For renowned anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis, the term "ethnosphere" encompasses the wealth of human diversity and all that traditional cultures have to teach about different ways of living and thinking. In Light at the Edge of the World, Davis-best known for The Serpent and the Rainbow-presents an intimate survey of the ethnosphere in 80 striking photographs taken over the course of his wide exploration. In eloquent accompanying text, Davis takes readers deep into worlds few Westerners will ever experience, worlds that are fading away even as he writes. From the Canadian Arctic and the rain forests of Borneo to the Amazon and the towering mountains of Tibet, readers are awakened to the rituals, beliefs, and lives of the Waorani, the Penan, the Inuit, and many other unique and endangered traditional cultures. The result is a haunting and enlightening realization of the limitless potential of the human imagination of life. While globalization has become the battle cry of the 21st century, Davis's magisterial work points out that the erosion of the ethnosphere will diminish us all. "The human imagination is vast, fluid, infinite in its capacity for social and spiritual invention," he writes, and reminds us that "there are other means of interpreting our existence, other ways of being."
Through photographs and eloquent text, the author unveils the diversity and unique quality of human cultures around the world.