Remarkable Lecture and film by Wade Davis

With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the diversity of the world’s indigenous cultures, now disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate. He argues passionately that we should be concerned not only for preserving the biosphere, but also the “ethnosphere” — “the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination.”

According to Wade: “3,000 out of a total of 6,000 living languages are no longer being taught to children,” which he characterizes as “ethnocide.”


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At a time when indigenous traditions throughout the world are being lost, the pan-Andean culture found in South America continues to thrive. In Peru: Sacred Geography, part of the ‘Light at the Edge of the World’ series, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis accompanies villagers from the town of Chinchero, Peru, as they make the trek to the annual Qoyllur Riti festival, which attracts more than 25,000 people a year across the Andes Mountains. A rich illustration of beautiful rituals, this festival showcases the cultural fusion of pan-Andean culture. The customs date as far back as the ancient Incas and Spanish Conquistadors, and are an eclectic mix of Inca and Catholic tradition. Contributing historical perspective, Davis and other experts provide insight into the development of this vibrant culture, which emphasizes the vital relationship between humans and the earth.



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