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Journeys to the Edge In the Footsteps of an Anthropologist

by Peter M. Gardner

Journeys to the Edge In the Footsteps of an Anthropologist Synopsis

In this fascinating and vivid account, Peter M. Gardner takes us along with him on his anthropological field research trips. Usually, the author's family is there, too, either with him in the field or somewhere nearby. Family adventures are part of it all. Travel into the unknown can be terrifying yet stimulating, and Gardner describes his own adventures, sharing medical and travel emergencies, magical fights, natural dangers, playful friends, and satisfying scientific discoveries. Along the way, we also learn how Gardner adapted to the isolation he sometimes faced and how he coped with the numerous crises that arose during his travels, including his tiny son's bout with cholera. Because Gardner's primary research since 1962 has been with hunter-gatherers, much of his story transpires either in the equatorial jungle of south India or more than one hundred miles beyond the end of the road in Canada's Northwest Territories. Other ventures transport readers to Japan and back to India, allowing them to savor ancient sights and sounds. Gardner closes the book with a journey of quite another sort, as he takes us into the world of nature, Taoist philosophy, and the experimental treatment of advanced cancer. Throughout this fast-moving book, Gardner deftly describes the goals and techniques of his research, as well as his growing understanding of the cultures to which he was exposed. Few personal accounts of fieldwork describe enough of the research to give a complete sense of the experience in the way this book does. Anyone with an interest in travel and adventure, including the student of anthropology as well as the general reader, will be totally intrigued by Gardner's story, one of a daily existence so very different from our own.

Journeys to the Edge In the Footsteps of an Anthropologist Press Reviews

The book is a superbly written, absorbing account of two types of journey: one geographic, to places off the beaten track, . . . the other, a personal journey through the author's life. . . . The two voyages are interlinked as the ethnographic travels and labors are rendered understandable and meaningful, coherent and resonating, by being grounded within the author's personal life and worldview. --Mathias Guenther, author of Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society The book is a superbly written, absorbing account of two types of journey: one geographic, to places off the beaten track, . . . the other, a personal journey through the author's life. . . . The two voyages are interlinked as the ethnographic travels and labors are rendered understandable and meaningful, coherent and resonating, by being grounded within the author's personal life and worldview. --Mathias Guenther, author of Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society The book is a superbly written, absorbing account of two types of journey: one geographic, to places off the beaten track, . . . the other, a personal journey through the author s life. . . . The two voyages are interlinked as the ethnographic travels and labors are rendered understandable and meaningful, coherent and resonating, by being grounded within the author s personal life and worldview. Mathias Guenther, author of Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society The book is a superbly written, absorbing account of two types of journey: one geographic, to places off the beaten track, . . . the other, a personal journey through the author's life. . . . The two voyages are interlinked as the ethnographic travels and labors are rendered understandable and meaningful, coherent and resonating, by being grounded within the author's personal life and worldview. --Mathias Guenther, author of Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be an anthropologist plunging into an exotic culture? . . . Let me share some stories about the eighteen months I spent doing fieldwork with hunting bands in the tropical forest of India . . . dancing under a full moon in a circle of smiling faces, hunting wild boars with spears, coping with elephant herds and army ants, and waking at dawn to find a venomous snake zipped into my seven-by-seven-foot tent. --From the Introduction

Book Information

ISBN: 9780826216342
Publication date: 15th March 2006
Author: Peter M. Gardner
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Ethnic studies,

About Peter M. Gardner

PETER M. GARDNER is author of Bicultural Versatility as a Frontier Adaptation among Paliyan Foragers of South India and coauthor of The Individual in Northern Dene Thought and Communication: A Study in Sharing and Diversity. He is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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