Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle
A riveting account of the astonishing experiences and discoveries made by linguist Daniel Everett while he lived with the Pirahã, a small tribe of Amazonian Indians in central Brazil. Everett, then a Christian missionary, arrived among the Pirahã in 1977–with his wife and three young... show more
A riveting account of the astonishing experiences and discoveries made by linguist Daniel Everett while he lived with the Pirahã, a small tribe of Amazonian Indians in central Brazil. Everett, then a Christian missionary, arrived among the Pirahã in 1977–with his wife and three young children–intending to convert them. What he found was a language that defies all existing linguistic theories and reflects a way of life that evades contemporary understanding: The Pirahã have no counting system and no fixed terms for color. They have no concept of war or of personal property. They live entirely in the present. Everett became obsessed with their language and its cultural and linguistic implications, and with the remarkable contentment with which they live–so much so that he eventually lost his faith in the God he’d hoped to introduce to them. Over three decades, Everett spent a total of seven years among the Pirahã, and his account of this lasting sojourn is an engrossing exploration of language that questions modern linguistic theory. It is also an anthropological investigation, an adventure story, and a riveting memoir of a life profoundly affected by exposure to a different culture. Written with extraordinary acuity, sensitivity, and openness, it is fascinating from first to last, rich with unparalleled insight into the nature of language, thought, and life itself.
Publish date: November 11th 2008
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
, Non Fiction
This book has been on my TBR shelf on Goodreads for years, like literally for years. So not only am I very glad that I finally got around to reading it, but that I also found it extremely enjoyable! I put this book on my TBR because it hit all my buttons: travel memoir, the Amazon, native tribes, an...
As anyone who has had a conversation with me over the last week can attest to, I think this book, and especially the parts about the culture of the Piraha tribe in the Amazon rainforest is fascinating. The Piraha have frequent contact with neighboring tribes and Brazilians, traders, anthropologists,...
Several times while reading Everett's book I found myself wanting to find some corroborating sources about the Piraha people. I do not doubt Everett's account of the 30 years he spent living among the Pirahas in Brazil, but they seem like such a perfect embodiment of the philosophy of Diogenes that ...
My husband picked this one up and spent quite a bit of time telling me about the Pirahas and so I felt somewhat required to read it. Overall it is a very interesting book with lots of great stories about jungle life, funny anecdotes and life lessons. As a “pop” linguistic book, it is slightly educ...
Meh? White missionary man goes to hang out with those primitive brown people in the jungle and learns a lesson and has wacky hijinks along the way! At least for part of the book... I guess if you are into linguistics, this book would be better. But I'm not.The first part of the book was largely...