Wisdom from a Rainforest
The Spiritual Journey of an Anthropologist

Stuart A. Schlegel

A portrait of the vanished way of life of the Teduray people in the Philippine rainforest

Reviews

"Very readable . . . A compelling portrait of a way of life very different from our own."
Washington Post Book World

"The observations and insights of Wisdom from a Rainforest are thought-provoking, and for the visionaries among us potentially inspiring."
Bloomsbury Review


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Description
In the early sixties, Stuart Schlegel went into a remote rainforest on the Philippine island of Mindanao as an anthropologist in search of material. What he found was a group of people whose tolerant, gentle way of life would transform his own values and beliefs profoundly. Wisdom from a Rainforest is Schlegel's testament to his experience and to the Teduray people of Figel, from whom he learned such vital, lasting lessons.

Schlegel's lively ethnography of the Teduray portrays how their behavior and traditions revolved around kindness and compassion for humans, animals, and the spirits sharing their worlds. Schlegel describes the Teduray's remarkable legal system and their strong story-telling tradition, their elaborate cosmology, and their ritual celebrations. At the same time, Schlegel recounts his own transformation—how his worldview as a member of an advanced, civilized society was shaken to the core by a so-called primitive people. He begins to realize how culturally determined his own values are and to see with great clarity how much the Teduray can teach him about gender equality, tolerance for difference, generosity, and cooperation.

By turns funny, tender, and gripping, Wisdom from a Rainforest honors the Teduray's legacy and helps us see how much we can learn from a way of life so different from our own.

Page count: 288 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5

 



Paper
List price: $24.95
978-0-8203-2491-3
9/1/2003

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Stuart A. Schlegel is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an Episcopal priest. He is the author of several books, including Children of Tulus: Essays on the Tiruray People.