One River

One River In, Wade Davis And Tim Plowman Traveled The Length Of South America, Living Among A Dozen Indian Tribes, Collecting Medicinal Plants And Searching For The Origins Of Coca, The Sacred Leaf Of The Andes And The Notorious Source Of Cocaine It Was A Journey Inspired And Made Possible By Their Harvard Mentor, Richard Evans Schultes, The Most Important Scientific Explorer In South America In This Century, Whose Exploits Rival Those Of Darwin And The Great Naturalist Explorers Of The Victorian Age In , After Having Identified Ololiuqui, The Long Lost Aztec Hallucinogen, And Having Collected The First Specimens Of Teonanacatl, The Sacred Mushroom Of Mexico, Schultes Took A Leave Of Absence From Harvard And Disappeared Into The Northwest Of Colombia Twelve Years Later, He Returned From South America, Having Gone Places No Outsider Had Ever Been, Mapping Uncharted Rivers And Living Among Two Dozen Indian Tribes He Collected Some Twenty Thousand Botanical Specimens, Including Three Hundred Species New To Science, And Documented The Invaluable Knowledge Of Native Shamans The World S Leading Authority On Plant Hallucinogens, Schultes Was For His Students A Living Link To A Distant Time When The Tropical Rain Forests Stood Immense, Inviolable, A Mantle Of Green Stretching Across Entire Continents It Was A World Greatly Changed By The Time Davis And Plowman Began Their Journey, Nearly Thirty Years Later, And Changed Further Today

Edmund Wade Davis has been described as a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life s diversity An ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent than three years in the an

[Reading] ➻ One River Author Wade Davis –
  • Hardcover
  • 544 pages
  • One River
  • Wade Davis
  • English
  • 08 May 2017
  • 9780684808864

10 thoughts on “One River

  1. says:

    This book makes me want to study ethnobotany, try a whole whack of obscure hallucinogens, and leave all my worldly possessions behind to explore the river basin Surprisingly captivating and dense with wonders I really ought to read nonfiction.

  2. says:

    6 30 17A quote from Wade, page 68 As a man Ames was firmly rooted in the past, yet as a botanist he was curiously ahead of his time A profoundly original thinker, Ames was one of the few scholars in the country seriously concerned about the origins of cultivated plants At a time when anthropologists maintained that man was a relatively recent arrival in the New World Ames published a book that, on the basis of botanical evidence alone, shattered the dogma Ames noted that in the five thousand years of recorded history not a single major crop had been added to the list of cultivated plants With the origins of maize and beans, peanuts and tobacco lost in the shadows of prehistory, it was simply unrealistic to assume that agriculture had emerged in the New World within the past ten thousand years The antiquity of agriculture alone suggested that humans had reached the New World far earlier than anthropologists then believed He was right, but it would be twenty years or before his ideas became generally accepted Can you imagine being among the first humans to see the shores of western N American Original reviewCataloging in Publication subjects Ethnobotanists EthnobotanyHallucinogenic plantsMedicinal plantsSubject Entries I would have added by page 67 River RegionAndes MountainsColombia Description and TravelColombia HistoryIndians of South America Tairona Kiowa CultureTairona Civilization A fascinating cast features Harvard University paying scholars to seek the organic gems of the jungles, like the Kogi and the frogs Have been reducing my cabin s book collection from three to two shelves of books owned This one is a keeper.

  3. says:

    Telling the names of gods through plants, rivers, hallucinogenics, industries and languages what a discovery was reading One River My wife has read it like ten years ago, and it was only now when I got the time and the motivation to read it, mainly because it inspired the Colombian film El Abrazo de la Serpiente , nominated for the Oscars, 2016 The film got no Oscar, but the 529 pages told me a story that we have never learned in schools or in the universities in Colombia, Ecuador, Per or Brazil People in the Latin American cities know very little about the indigenous cultures living in the forests One River is a story developed in the basin, reflecting the medicinal and spiritual life of indigenous communities The story is told with key references to foreigners like La Condamine French, 1743 , Alexander von Humboldt German, 1801 , Richard Spruce British botanist, 1853 , Richard Evans Schultes American, 1941 , Tim Plowman American, 1974 and Wade Davis author Both Tim and Wade were Schultes students in Harvard, and the three of them play the central role of telling the many stories articulated by One River, the Though the main driver for Schultes visits to Colombia and the during 1941 1953 had to do with the need for getting rubber seeds for the USA war and industry needs , the core of the real story has to do with plants, quinine, hallucinogenics like yag , coca, y kee, yoco, curare, peyote, mushrooms, and the spiritual practices of the many tribes in the region It tells the story of the Muinane, Bora, Witoto, Mira a, Yukuna, Makuna, Jinogog , Siona, Waorani, Kofan, Ing , Karijona, Gwanano and Desano communities, living along the In rida, Guain a, Kuduyar , Vaup s, Kananar , Popeyac , Miritiparan , Caquet , Sucumb os, Naopo, Orinoco, Putumayo, and many other rivers tributaries of the The book is telling the story of an important part of Colombia, Ecuador, Per , Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia The book also reflects how the private sector important global companies are interested in using the indigenous ancestral knowledge It tells us clearly about the interests moved by the Intercontinental Rubber Company, Coca Cola, Parke Davis, Royal Dutch Shell, Rubber Development Corporation, Rubber Reserve Company, Shell, Shell Mera, and the United States Rubber Company It shows how religious influences became important, like the Jesuits or the Capuchin Order during the Colony, or the Summer Institute of Linguistics or the Wycliffe Bible Translators in modern times They played the role of articulating belief and interests between the visitors companies and the indigenous communities, who were not represented by the governments All these peoples, all these languages, have developed a deep communication with the plants, with the rivers and the forests According to Tim Plowman, when you say the names of the plants, you say the name of the gods Their Latin names are like koans of lines of verse The authors tell about their visit to the Kogi and Ika in the Sierra Nevada, and to many other shamans, and how they cultivate the art of divination, techniques of breathing and meditation that lift one into trance, prayers that give voice to the inner spirit The book brings together the best botanists in the world, and after many years of an intense experience and long life in the forest, they come to conclude that we do not know how Indians originally made their discoveries Spruce, Schultes, Plowman and Davis are some of the best people educated by the most advanced universities at the global level during the last 150 years and they go into the daily practice of learning from locals like Adalberto Villafa e, Pedro Juajibioy, Pacho Lopez, Jos Antonio Pab n, Gerardo Reichel Dolmatoff and few research centres What I find strange and to some degree disturbing is to see that One River is written in English, based on the communication that the Spruce and Schultes managed to develop in the local indigenous languages There is no Spanish or Portuguese translation, which means that most of Latin Americans are missing a fundamental part of their own reality Because of the strong link that the keeps with the many variables of Climate Change, One River is an important book to read.

  4. says:

    Wade Davis is one of my favorite authors to read He displays a sensitivity to other cultures that is rare, even to find in an anthropologist and he s a fantastic writer as demonstrated in this paragraph Shamanism is arguably the oldest of spiritual endeavors, born as it was at the dawn of human awareness For our Paleolithic ancestors, death was the first teacher, the first pain, the edge beyond which life as they knew it ended and wonder began Religion was nursed by mystery, but it was born of the hunt, from the need on the part of humans to rationalize the fact to live they had to kill what they most revered, the animals that gave them life Rich and complex rituals and myths evolved as an expression of the covenant between the animals and humans, a means of containing within manageable bounds the fear and violence of the hunt and maintaining a certain essential balance between the consciousness of man and the unreasoning impulses of the natural world I appreciate that Davis shared the story of his mentor and teacher, Richard Schultes Dr Schultes had an incredible life, spurred by his love of plants, he lived and traveled around the rain forest for decades Not only does Dr Davis share the fascinating story of his mentor, but he intertwines it with his own experiences in the jungles, the history of Europeans in the region and the uses of various plants One River weaves the stories of the ian people, the plants, the history of European ignorance, and his own experiences in a colorful fabric for an enjoyable experience.There wasn t much gossip about fellow scientists, but the bit that was there was tedious to read I still gave the book 5 stars just for the volume of fascinating information contained in this well written book.

  5. says:

    Blew my mind in so many ways A great tale of adventure in the region during two important eras, fascinating exploration of the world of plants and human usage, important exploration of human usage of drugs yage, coca, etc , and a subtle case for recognition of what we are losing in destroying ancient cultures and this great region of the earth.One of my all time favorite books

  6. says:

    One River is one part botanical adventure story, one part thoughtful exploration of humanity s relationship to nature The meat of the narrative is two parallel explorations of the northwestern and western South America one, Davis and his colleague tracing the earlier discoveries and collecting expeditions of their mentor, Richard Schultes the other story is Schultes journeys throughout the region a few decades before.Although the jumping about in time can often muddle the flow and make the book as a whole a little meandering, it doesn t detract from the book, though it does leave you feel like there was a lot left untold.At its base, this is a story of ethnobotanists finding weird new plants, experimenting with wide varieties of hallucinogens, and hanging out with Indian tribes that were then virtually unknown The sheer magnitude and intensity of these journeys, especially Schultes who spent than a decade river hopping and discovering hundreds of new species, is awe inspiring and Davis does a good job highlighting the overarching theme of indigenous knowledge and their ties to the earth, something we nowadays either ignore or take for granted, often at the earth s expense.

  7. says:

    I started reading this with the intent of reading some light non fiction to detox from grad school reading requirements But I ended up reading one of the best books I ve ever read Longer review probably forthcoming, barring distractions.

  8. says:

    Demor casi un a o leyendo este libro por temor a terminarlo Definitivamente mi libro favorito Davis narra las exploraciones de Schultes y Plowman de una forma tan rica que uno mismo se siente viajando por el as Los usos de las plantas, la coca, el yag , todo incre blemente bien explicado y acertado Un libro que todo colombiano deber a leer para ver si empezamos a valorar y respetar nuestras culturas y conocimientos ancestrales.

  9. says:

    Take a lot of plants, trees, seeds, some of them hallucinogenic, some known, lots unknown, a dog, Botany s answer to Indiana Jones, his brightest student and another wide eyed yet equally capable student, Rubber, Orchids, Coca, a cast of incredible and wonderful characters and a sizeable chunk of South America and slowly drift down the river, from one end to the over, from one tributary to the next, and you have, well you have a lot than One River, I have to say.Much like the river of the title, I imagine anyway, this is a big, sprawling book that seems to be a biography, a travelogue and a study of medicinal and hallucinogenic plants mashed in a great mortar and pestle and pressed onto the pages Ostensibly dedicated to the memory of Tim Plowman, Wade Davis has written a detailed biography of Richard Evans Schultes who has become a hero of mine on the basis of this book , as well as the histories of rubber and Coca and their impact, the lives and roles of Indians in the basin and beyond, and their incredible knowledge and understanding of the world around them Along the way he travels with Tim, throws in the histories of Richard Spruce, a bit off Alfred Russell Wallace, the Inca s and even a little bit of Peyote.What this meant was that while reading, I drifted in and out of interest Just when I got into the life of Richard Schultes, we were back with Wade Davis Just when you remember what Davis was doing the last time we were with him, we were back with Schultes, or spinning off with a detailed history of whatever it was that Davis was talking about at that point In complete naivety I came to the book to read about the and despite thinking I would enjoy the travelogue parts, it is in fact the biography of Schultes that I grew to love, a man with a passion and curiosity for plants that drove through almost any obstacles that nature or man placed in his way which I could only admire and throughout the book Davis also gives detailed history or everything relevant to the narrative Indeed, the exploits of the rubber barons, particularly Julio Cesar Arana were horrific, and made uncomfortable reading, yet still fascinated me, particularly after all those years of hard work were ended by petty shortsightedness of the US government.It is the sheer breadth of the book that makes it feel like an encyclopedia while reading The Latin plant names, and technical botanical terms which at the same time piqued my interest in botany, but not quite enough and so kept me at arms length The switching between Schultes and Davis would have been easier to keep pace with without the additional history of subjects related to where they were or what they were doing, this all made One River feel like three different books.Until.Until I finished Then it became a great book, filled with seemingly endless information on the rainforest, and it s human and flora inhabitants and the adventure for their discovery and their impact on medicine, and in the case of cocaine and rubber, on society and technology across the whole world.By this time Waterton was familiar with the work of Brodie and Bancroft, and one morning he decided to experiment with their technique He began by injecting the poison into the shoulder of a female donkey In ten minutes the creature appeared to be dead Waterton, being rather accomplished with a blade, having bled himself on at least 136 occasions, made a small incision in the animals windpipe and began to inflate its lungs with a bellows The donkey revived When Waterton stopped the flow of air, the creature once again succumbed Resuming artificial respiration, he nursed the animal until the effects of the poison wore off After two hours the donkey stood up and walked away This treatment marked a turning point in the history of medicine.It wasn t until towards the end of the book that I thought of the Indiana Jones comparison for Schultes, and I m pretty sure it s a comparison he himself would of not appreciated, maintaining as he did in the book that he hadn t known any adventures Yet his journeys up and down rivers and through jungles far outstrip giant rolling boulders and alien crystal skulls Travelling for days to get treatment for Beriberi and malaria, then continuing with his collecting showed an almost stubborn refusal to let these inconveniences to get in the way of the job in hand He believed and appreciated the knowledge and expertise of the native indians, making great efforts to understand them and their worldview, which was sometimes completely alien to what he knew and understood himself.These traits influenced both Davis and Tim Plowman, who spent his life researching Coca, before the narcotic derivative took over the known world and forever tarnished a nutritional stimulant used by people for thousands of years before it became a good time drug for everyone He actually managed to trace it s evolution throughout the different locations in South America.Coca had been found to contain such impressive amounts of vitamins and minerals that Duke compared it to the average nutritional contents of fifty foods regularly consumed in Latin America Coca ranked higher than the average in calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fiber It was also higher in calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, and riboflavin, so much so that one hundred grams of the leaves, the typical daily consumption of a coquero in the Andes, than satisfied the Recommended Dietary Allowance for these nutrients as well as vitamin E The amount of calcium in the leaves was extraordinary, than had ever been reported for any edible plant.So in the end I struggled, I forced myself to finish it before the new year, but it was worth it all Now that I ve finished I will delve back in to various bits, particularly one of the final chapters which contained interesting history on the Inca s If you like travel writing, you ll like bits of this, if you like history, you like some of this, if you like biography, you ll like most of this, If you like botany, you ll love this If you like to read about a real life adventurer Don t call him Indy then you ll definitely love this blog review here

  10. says:

    What an incredible book I often try to stay away from reading books for fun that are closely related to my work, but this was a fantastic exception Early on, Davis presents One River as if it will be two intertwined stories one focused on the South American travels of Richard Schultes, a famous and influential Harvard ethnobotanist, in the 1940s and 50s, and a second story focused on travels through many of the same locales a few decades later by Davis and his comrade Tim Plowman both students of Schultes But this book is so much than just those two narratives Woven throughout is an incredible amount of information about the various native tribes and peoples that all three of these main characters Schultes, Davis, Plowman interacted with He describes their languages, cultural practices, use of plants, and daily lives with an amazing amount of detail, and beautiful, evocative, descriptive language I learned a staggering amount, especially about which plants are used and how, by particular groups of native South Americans He also discusses the history of these peoples, particularly as their history was impacted by Europeans, in sometimes gruesome detail There is always a sense that we must remember what was done to them in order to understand both their current cultures and the issues faced in various parts of South America, and particularly how plants including coca are intricately tied to traditional ways of life.Davis mentions in the epilogue that he used Schultes extensive photograph collection to infer much of the book s content for example, to determine what people were wearing, what they might have been doing or where they were on a given date, and how they were using plants e.g., by looking at whether a man was carrying a coca pouch Reading Davis s comments about the extent to which he relied on these photographs, it clicked for me that this is a primary reason why the book is so fantastic the level of detail, and Davis s fantastic descriptions, are almost photographic, and create such a vivid image of the people and places that you are completely immersed in the story And the feel is photographic because, essentially, he is describing and discerning from photographs Really cool way to approach writing a history like this.

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