Portrays the Teduray’s deep respect for nature and for each other, and recounts with great vividness how their behavior and traditions revolved around kindness and compassion for each other and the spirits sharing their worlds. Describes the Teduray’s remarkable legal system and their strong storytelling tradition, their elaborate cosmology and their ritual celebrations. Alongside the ethnography is the author’s recounting of his own personal transformation—how his own world view as a member of an advanced, civilized society was shaken to the core by a so-called primitive people.
Originally published in 1999. Reprinted in 2004. Finalist, 1999 National Book Award, for Social Sciences.