For more than 30 years, renowned anthropologist Wade Davis has traveled the globe, studying the mysteries of sacred plants and celebrating the world’s traditional cultures. His passion as an ethnobotanist has brought him to the very center of indigenous life in places as remote and diverse as the Canadian Arctic, the deserts of North Africa, the rain forests of Borneo, the mountains of Tibet, and the surreal cultural landscape of Haiti. In Light at the Edge of the World, Davis explores the idea that these distinct cultures represent unique visions of life itself and have much to teach the rest of the world about different ways of living and thinking. As he investigates the dark undercurrents tearing people from their past and propelling them into an uncertain future, Davis reiterates that the threats faced by indigenous cultures endanger and diminish all cultures.
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Wade Davis is Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and is the author of numerous books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, and the 2009 Massey Lecture, The Wayfinders. He has lived and worked in the Stikine as a park ranger, guide, and anthropologist since 1978. He and his wife, Gail, own Wolf Creek Lodge, the closest private holding to both the Sacred Headwaters and the proposed site of the Red Chris mine.From Publishers Weekly :
"As a young anthropologist I never understood how I was supposed to turn up at some village... announce that I was staying for a year, and then notify the headman that he and his people were to feed and house me while I studied their lives," writes Davis (Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire) in the introduction to this stunning collection of photographs that span the 25 years of his career. His solution was to find cultural common ground through the study of food and plants, which often was the ostensible reason for his travels through Canada, the Andes, the Amazon, Haiti, Kenya and Tibet. While Davis emphasizes that "at no time was photography [my] principal pursuit," his photographs are visually dazzling. A smiling Barasana boy of the Northwest Amazon holds a brilliantly colored macaw. A man in Haiti stands beneath the downpour of a torrential cataract, his clothes torn off by the force of the water. Indeed, these dramatic photographs frequently overshadow Davis's informative, witty essays, which introduce each of the seven chapters. In these, he shares anecdotes about the people he's met, reflects on the effects of colonialism in these areas and laments the uncertain fate of groups like the Penan of Borneo and the nomads of Kenya. Beautifully designed and produced, this album will delight armchair travelers.
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