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Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Words of a Yanomami Shaman"

In the first book ever written by a Yanomami Indian, Davi Kopenawa -- shaman and leading spokesman for his people -- describes the rich culture, history and ways of life of the Yanomami of the Amazon rainforest. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman is an impassioned plea to respect his people's rights and preserve the Amazon rainforest. In his book, Davi recounts his initiation as a shaman and his first encounters with outsiders -- including the gold miners who flooded Yanomami land during the 1980s and caused the death of 1 in 5 Yanomami through disease and violence. He vividly describes his impressions of western culture on trips abroad, such as his first journey outside Brazil when he visited Europe at the invitation of Survival International. Davi said, "This book is a message for the non-Indians. We want to teach people about our shamanic dreams … I hope that the non-Indians will learn from the book and make them think about our history."

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