Synopses & Reviews
For renowned anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis, the term ethnosphere encompasses the wealth of human diversity and all that traditional cultures have to teach about different ways of living and thinking.
In Light at the Edge of the World, Davis--best known for The Serpent and the Rainbow--presents an intimate survey of the ethnosphere in 80 striking photographs taken over the course of his wide exploration. In eloquent accompanying text, Davis takes readers deep into worlds few Westerners will ever experience, worlds that are fading away even as he writes. From the Canadian Arctic and the rain forests of Borneo to the Amazon and the towering mountains of Tibet, readers are awakened to the rituals, beliefs, and lives of the Waorani, the Penan, the Inuit, and many other unique and endangered traditional cultures. The result is a haunting and enlightening realization of the limitless potential of the human imagination of life.
While globalization has become the battle cry of the 21st century, Davis' s magisterial work points out that the erosion of the ethnosphere will diminish us all. The human imagination is vast, fluid, infinite in its capacity for social and spiritual invention, he writes, and reminds us that there are other means of interpreting our existence, other ways of being.
For more than 30 years, renowned anthropologist Wade Davis has traveled the globe, studying the mysteries of sacred plants and celebrating the worlds 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.
In this major new work, renowned anthropologist and bestselling author Wade Davis explores and reveals the awe-inspiring wealth of human diversity and makes an impassioned case for preservation of Earth's disappearing cultures. 80 photos.