There is only one way in and there is only one way out: the river. One stifling afternoon, a mysterious supply boat docks at a research station deep in the jungle. To Dr Forle and his team of naturalists, its passengers are unwelcome. Ruthless, uninvited, and bringing corruption to the life of the forest, they force Forle, already a fugitive from his past, to confront his darkest impulses . . . ‘An unusually intelligent thriller that refuses to take sides’ Metro ‘As full of intellectual provocations as it is of suspenseful turns’ Giles Foden, Guardian ‘Reminiscent of J. M. Coetzee or Damon Galgut . . . This poisoned Eden throbs with intensity and delivers a gut punch that leaves you reeling’ Independent on Sunday ‘Docx is a master of disquiet’ Spectator ‘A confident and compelling novel, a riveting Conradian page-turner’ Dazed and Confused
'Fossil Fuels, Oil Companies, and Indigenous Peoples' is a study of oil production that focuses on the places from which oil is extracted, and on the problems, both environmental and human, created in those places. Global public awareness of the devastating impact of oil extraction on local communities has grown considerably in recent years, due in large part to Ken Saro-Wiwa's work on behalf of the Ogoni in south-eastern Nigeria and his death in 1995 at the hands of Nigeria's military dictatorship. This volume consists of eight case-studies, all of them examining these questions: What can indigenous people do when faced with the destruction of their natural and social habitats? And how do oil companies respond to the various forms of local and indigenous resistance to their activities? The eight case studies deal with oil-producing regions in Alaska, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and West Siberia and encompass 18 indigenous population groups.
Claude Lévi-Strauss, the 'father of modern anthropology' and author of the classic Tristes tropiques, was one of the most influential intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century. Dislodging Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir from the pinnacle of French intellectual life in the 1950s, he brought about a sea change in Western thought and inspired a generation of thinkers and writers, including Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes and Jacques Lacan with his structuralist theories. Lévi-Strauss's bohemian childhood and later studies of the emerging discipline of anthropology in the field and the university led him to mix with intellectuals, artists and poets from all over Europe. Tracing the evolution of his ideas through interviews with the man himself, research into his archives and conversations with contemporary anthropologists, Wilcken explores and explains Lévi-Strauss's theories, revealing an artiste manqué who infused his academic writing with an artistic and poetic sensibility.
This new edition has been completely revised with updated information on hotels, lodges and tour operators. It contains a detailed and illustrated natural history section on native species and habitats. The Amazon is an ideal location for eco-travellers, naturalists, sports enthusiasts and explorers. Travellers are given sound advice on responsible travel and planning their own expedition.
The Amazon Indian is an icon that straddles the world between the professional anthropologist and the popular media. Presented alternately as the noble primitive, the savior of the environment, and as a savage, dissolute, cannibalistic half-human, it is an image well worth examining. Stephen Nugent does just that, critiquing the claims of authoritativeness inherent in visual images presented by anthropologists of Amazon life in the early 20th century and comparing them with the images found in popular books, movies, and posters. The book depicts the field of anthropology as its own form of culture industry and contrasts it to other similar industries, past and present. For visual anthropologists, ethnographers, Amazon specialists, and popular culture researchers, Nugent's book will be enlightening, entertaining reading.
Despite their small area, the southern islands of Japan can be seen as stepping stones towards a more nuanced view of cultural osmosis between Japan and the outside world. This book presents an ethnographic portrayal of the people of the Southern Ryukyu Islands and their world. In particular it explores the mind of the islanders, their relationship with the natural world, their social relationships, and the rituals which represent and give expression to these relationships. Based on extensive original research, including participant observation, the book allows the authentic voices of the Ryukyu Island worlds to speak for themselves as well as setting the work in the wider context of anthropology, Japanese Studies and Pacific Island studies.
Utilizing ethnographic and archaeological data and an updated paradigm derived from the best features of cultural ecology and ecological anthropology, this extensively illustrated book addresses over fifteen South American adaptive systems representing a broad cross section of band, village, chiefdom, and state societies throughout the continent over the past 13,000 years.Indigenous South Americans of the Past and Present presents data on both prehistoric and recent indigenous groups across the entire continent within an explicit theoretical framework. Introductory chapters provide a brief overview of the variability that has characterized these groups over the long period of indigenous adaptation to the continent and examine the historical background of the ecological and cultural evolutionary paradigm. The book then presents a detailed overview of the principal environmental contexts within which indigenous adaptive systems have survived and evolved over thousands of years. It discusses the relationship between environmental types and subsistence productivity, on the one hand, and between these two variables and sociopolitical complexity, on the other. Subsequent chapters proceed in sequential order that is at once evolutionary (from the least to the most complex groups) and geographical (from the least to the most productive environments)—around the continent in counterclockwise fashion from the hunter-gatherers of Tierra del Fuego in the far south; to the villagers of the Amazonian lowlands; to the chiefdoms of the Amazon várzea and the far northern Andes; and, finally, to the chiefdoms and states of the Peruvian Andes. Along the way, detailed presentations and critiques are made of a number of theories based on the South American data that have worldwide implications for our understanding of prehistoric and recent adaptive systems.
In the Upper Amazon, mestizos are the Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers and the indigenous peoples of the jungle. Some mestizos have migrated to Amazon towns and cities, such as Iquitos and Pucallpa; most remain in small villages. They have retained features of a folk Catholicism and traditional Hispanic medicine, and have incorporated much of the religious tradition of the Amazon, especially its shamanism, sorcery, healing, and the use of potent plant hallucinogens, including ayahuasca. Singing to the Plants sets forth just what this shamanism is about - what happens at an ayahuasca healing ceremony, how the apprentice shaman forms a spiritual relationship with the healing plant spirits, how sorcerers inflict the harm that the shaman heals, and the ways that plants are used in healing, love magic, and sorcery.
The author recounts her search for the pink river dolphins of the Amazon, describing their history and habits, threats to their survival, and their role as shapeshifting guides to another realm in the lore of local peoples.
Totally redesigned to mark their twentieth anniversary, these acclaimed travel guides feature a dramatic full-color section at the front, new design elements to make them easier to use, up-to-date information on restaurants and accommodations, meticulously detailed maps, transportation tips, and discussions on geography, natural wonders, landmarks, itineraries, cultural facts, and other valuable tips for travelers.
The AYAHUASCA READER is a four-part celebration of a sacred plant which grows in the Amazon rainforest and which, throughout the rainforest history, has been instrumental in allowing medicine men (and others) to leave their bodies behind and travel with their souls. Their experiences and the invaluable information they return with are so impressive that many anthropologists have felt the inclination to question them about these "trips” and the mythologies of their ancestors regarding them. Hence, part one of the AYAHUASCA READER consists of information divulged in such interviews. Part two consists of essays by (or about) the scientists themselves upon experiencing Ayahuasca in ceremonial settings. Part three discusses the use of Ayahuasca as a present day religious sacrament, and finally, in part four, well known celebrities from the literary world discuss their experience of Ayahuasca.All of this renders the AYAHUASCA READER the most comprehensive collection ever written on the subject, with essays translated from nearly a dozen languages. The many contributors include Françoise Barbira Freedman, Wade Davis, Philippe Descola, Allen Ginsberg, Jean Langdon, Peter Matthiessen, Dennis McKenna, W.S.Merwin, Richard Spruce, Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, Mario Vargas Llosa, and more. As the myths within confirm, Ayahuasca has been a means "of reconnecting with the invisible layers of the cosmos” for millennia. Not surprisingly, the myths make for very fascinating reading in and of themselves, and certainly no study of world mythology is complete with them. The additional scientific, religious and literary points of view, then, are all wonderful bonuses.There is a lot at work here: As if the various stories from these disparate groups were not enough, there are depictions of the artwork of the indigenous peoples, photographs of a few of the Ayahuasca practitioners (including Ginsberg), a copy of a Brazilian watercolor depicting Ayahuasca, a copy of an oil painting depicting visions induced by the plant, and much more. From the religion section there are hymns a plenty, and from the literary section, as much eloquent prose and spirited poetry as a reader is likely to find in any literary anthology.
Mourning the death of loved ones and recovering from their loss are universal human experiences, yet the grieving process is as different between cultures as it is among individuals. As late as the 1960s, the Wari' Indians of the western Amazonian rainforest ate the roasted flesh of their dead as an expression of compassion for the deceased and for his or her close relatives. By removing and transforming the corpse, which embodied ties between the living and the dead and was a focus of grief for the family of the deceased, Wari' death rites helped the bereaved kin accept their loss and go on with their lives.Drawing on the recollections of Wari' elders who participated in consuming the dead, this book presents one of the richest, most authoritative ethnographic accounts of funerary cannibalism ever recorded. Beth Conklin explores Wari' conceptions of person, body, and spirit, as well as indigenous understandings of memory and emotion, to explain why the Wari' felt that corpses must be destroyed and why they preferred cannibalism over cremation. Her findings challenge many commonly held beliefs about cannibalism and show why, in Wari' terms, it was considered the most honorable and compassionate way of treating the dead.