By Vojtech Novotny
Hailed by way of Edward O. Wilson as "one of the main impressive books i've got ever read," this exhilarating quantity bargains an extraordinary mixture of first-rank technology and top-notch storytelling. Vojtech Novotny, a world-class researcher and a super author, works on position in a single of the hardest areas of the world--a high-risk locale rife with tropical illnesses and venomous flora and fauna. in addition, Novotny works heavily with the indigenous peoples--natives who nonetheless hunt nutrition with spear and arrow--involving them in his learn and benefiting from their deep familiarity with this rugged panorama. for that reason, he has many a desirable story to inform, and he's a wonderful storyteller. certainly, this is often an strange and engaging choice of virtually 100 short vignettes, adventurous stories, and reflections that remove darkness from the local tradition and what the West can examine from it. Ably translated by means of David brief, this delightfully enticing publication brings to life--with heat and wisdom--the position, the folks, and the pursuit of information deep within the jungles of latest Guinea.
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Extra info for Notebooks from New Guinea: Field Notes of a Tropical Biologist
For most of the inhabitants of the Highlands this was their Wrst opportunity to see the dances and customs of other tribes. Only there did they come to appreciate their staggering numbers and diversity. The Highlands were traditionally a mosaic of tribal territories between which travel was largely impossible, since neighbouring tribes were frequently at war. Under Australian administration, introduced after World War II, the tribal wars were brought to an end and the chance to travel and get to know more remote neighbours opened up.
Conversely, no similar empirical evidence exists to support the analogical (and no less logical) theory about the existence of giants, so no sensible man believes in them. Except for the Czechs, a Central-European tribe known for its universal belief in the existence of whales. The whale is a gigantic animal that can hardly be extrapolated from anything to be witnessed in Bohemia, not excluding Prague zoo. Foreign travel doesn’t turn up many whales either; perhaps they can’t be caught. How many friends of yours have seen a whale with their own eyes and how many of them are credible enough for their story of the one that got away to be taken seriously?
The geographical distribution of positive and negative versions does make sense, since in the areas farther away the small amount of ash did not destroy the agriculture, but added to the fertility of the land and increased yields in the following season. Comparison of geological data with the legends shows that not only the event itself, but also the details of its progression have been faithfully handed down in an oral tradition for a full 350 years. Only Wve of the Wfty-six legends depart in any major way from the faithful account of the event and speak of the fallout lasting two weeks or more and put the depth of the ash at as much as seven feet.
Notebooks from New Guinea: Field Notes of a Tropical Biologist by Vojtech Novotny