Synopses & Reviews
A rare adventure with the last Stone Age hunting and gathering tribe in Africa.
In l997 James Stephenson arranged to have almost a full year free, a year he wanted to spend among the Hadzabe in East Africa. He had visited these people several times previously and with every trip his fascination with them deepened, for the Hadzabe are the last hunters and gatherers still living a traditional life in Africa.
At the age of 27, Stephenson intended to spend the year living among the Hadzabe, and, more importantly, living their life, hunting what they hunted, eating what they ate, participating in their dances and ceremonies, consulting with their medicine men and learning their myths and dreams.
Armed only with his camera, his art supplies and the open-hearted courage of youth, he set out to visit with a people who have changed little since the Stone Age. He wanted to glimpse the world as they perceived it and learn the wisdom they had wrestled from the land. This account of his adventure and what he learned is travel writing at its best, reminiscent of the books of Peter Beard and Bruce Chatwin.
"As in the best travel literature, the account of the physical journey in The Language of the Land becomes a voyage of the self...Stephenson treats readers to a memorable portrait of the Hadzabe, a shy people who relish the moment, do not understand greed, and manifest profound reverence for nature and their ancestors...With alluring descriptions of nature and an inspiring depiction of this ancient tribe, he will likely provoke readers into a new respect for remote corners of the earth, where people still understand 'the language of the land' --New York Times
"Extraordinary...a fine book marked by its deep respect for these people, who still hunt with bows and arrows, still speak to their ancestor spirits." --National Geographic Adventure
"One of the most eye-opening, enjoyable, and inspiring books you'll ever read."
"This fascinating account is told with wit, warmth, and great respect." --African Sun Times
At age 27, the author went to live among the Hadzabe, the last Stone Age hunting and gathering tribe in Africa. He shares his experiences and the wisdom he gained from the tribe in this rare and provocative traveler's story--the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary. 67 b&w photos and drawings. of color illustrations.
About the Author
received his B.A. in English Literature at Ohio State University, and studied at the Rhode Island School for Design. Currently working as a landscape artist in New York City, where he designs rooftop gardens, Stephenson lives in Brooklyn and Tanzania, East Africa.