ISBN-13: 9781461114949 / Angielski / Miękka / 2011 / 406 str.
Yanomami men and women tell their own stories of their contact with the outside world, especially the decimation brought by an illegal invasion of goldminers since 1987 and the challenges they now face in contact with Whites. This book is the only one reporting from the Yanomami point of view about the attempts by the Brazilian government and gold miners in late 1980s to destroy them, the upsets in the cosmos caused by extracting gold from the earth, and their valiant resistance and fight for survival in the Amazon rain forest. Extract from the Introduction, "There is nothing inevitable about the destruction of tribal societies. What is happening today to the Yanomami in the Amazon, and to many other peoples worldwide, is the deliberate theft of land and killing of people, as has happened wherever Europeans have landed on foreign shores. Apologists seeking to explain this subjugation as the unhappy consequence of "evolution" or "progress" are only giving themselves excuses; conquest by these forces is our own killing-machine by another name. The statistics for mass deaths of indigenous peoples since 1492 are often quoted but worth repeating. An estimated 3.5 million people lived in tribal societies in the area of South America known today as Brazil; only about 250,000 survive. Dozens of tribes have become extinct and others have been devastated. For example, the Nambiquara along the southern watershed of the Amazon numbered 20,000 people when first visited by Europeans in 1909. By 1970, only 6OO Nambiquara were left alive in a reserve 0.5 per cent of the size of their traditional land. I arrived in the Amazon for the first time in 1986 with all the usual preconceptions of a liberal education; I believed the deaths of tribal societies were tragic but inevitable. The stronger (subconsciously understanding this to mean superior) forces from one society had won over the weaker. It has happened throughout history by force of arms and by force of trade. Tribes, being primitive (of coarse meaning only less developed), fell apart when shaken up by the arrival of Europeans. Armed resistance only emphasized the superiority of our weapons over tomahawks or bows and arrows. Like millions of other fair-minded Europeans, I believed the social progress that came from contact with the Whiteman inevitably meant the destruction of the tribal Indians of South America. Indians in contact with Europeans are drawn irresistibly into the Whiteman's camp - begging for food or tools proves the superiority of our culture for it can supply items the Indians want; in time, they wear our clothes, pray in our churches, buy our radios and abandon their war paint and feathers. Disease can speed up this implosion, but the process of social evolution continues and, inevitably, the Indian disappears. This is what I believed and it is a lie." ..".He has a refreshing lack of pretension. As an added bonus, Savages is beautifully written -- there's a rythmn to Berwick's prose that takes the reader gently through the book." Sue Sutton, Globe & Mail.