Even in our hyper-connected world, there are tribes scattered across the far reaches of the globe who still live much the same way that their ancestors did thousands of years ago. Having had minimal contact with the outside world, these peoples currently live in harmony and unison with the environment around them. But as technology grows and the human population expands, the way of life of these tribes becomes increasingly threatened with every passing day.
In Rainforest Survivors, veteran overseas reporter Paul Raffaele recounts his time spent with three unique jungle tribes—the peace-loving Congo Pygmies, New Guinea’s tree-dwelling Korowai cannibals, and the Amazon’s ferocious Korubo. Over months spent living in these three communities, Raffaele experienced firsthand wisdom and mysterious rites forged over many millennia.
Resonating with high adventure and remarkable characters, Rainforest Survivors details the daily lives of these relatively unknown peoples and provides key political and environmental context, showing how outside forces are closing in on them and threatening to change forever their ways of life.
The Rainforest Survivors: Adventures Among Today’s Stone Age Jungle Tribes by Paul Raffaele
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was very insightful. I’d recommend it to anyone. Anyone interested in learning a bit of African cultures amongst the DRC (The Democratic Republic of the Congo), particularly focusing on certain tribes such as Bantu and Baka, those of pygmy slaves who are more widely known for their incredibly short height, being around 5 feet (1.5 meters) on average, facing land crisis, exploitation, and challenges of cultural preservation.
The story centered around traditions and daily life, told from a Western perspective which at times bordered sensationalization, almost exoticized, nonetheless interesting.
Majority of the content focused on sexual display and relationship. I would have enjoyed a bit more perspective on the relational aspect of more what relational aspects such as love, time, and sense of self means to the people from a more open-ended approach, rather than focusing on the differences of Western shock, but I could understand why this would be so when the writer was just sharing his experiences and comparisons to his own understanding of how he sees the world.
Other indigenous peoples ways of living were also included in his stories as he explored other countries, mostly visits from the previous last century which I thought was quite refreshing in contrast to the most recent 10-20 years change. So there is a lot of value in perspective that is portrayed during a time of exploration that does not include social media influence and the connectedness that is hard to describe in absence of such technology for audiences who could never know or imagine what life was like beforehand.
The book also incorporated bits about daily life like hunting sport, environmental success and threats, cannibalism, currency, communal living, and body modification.
I liked that the writing style was very matter of fact. It incorporated movie and actor references which I thought was a nice takeaway and break with a humorous and relatable approach to the subject matter.
I appreciated the inclusion of photos.
This book has a lot to offer for learning about lesser known tribes around the world that have sustained over time without most modern advances and influences.
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