Equal parts Margaret Mead, Albert Camus and Indiana Jones, meet Daniel Everett

When Professor Daniel Everett set off for the tiny village of the Pirahã people, located deep in the heart of the Amazon, his goal was to convert the 350-person indigenous tribe to Christianity. Thirty years later, he emerged an expert, enthusiast and atheist.Part passionate memoir, part scientific exploration, DON’T SLEEP, THERE ARE SNAKES is Everett’s riveting account of his life-changing experiences and discoveries deep in the Amazon jungle. Everett spent seven of the last thirty years living alongside the Pirahã, captivated and inspired by their language and its cultural and linguistic implications. The Pirahã ethos is rooted in the present, and driven only by immediate goals and needs; this worldview is reflected in their unique language in several ways.  See below a sampling of images and sounds from the Piraha’s.

In the Pirahã language, there is such a complex array of tones, stresses and syllable lengths that its speakers can dispense with their vowels and consonants altogether and sing, hum, or whistle conversations:

Listen to a A Pirahã Song.

Learn how to say:: Tomorrow I will collect Brazilnuts – in Pirahã

Below are select images from the area:

On the Maici River, approaching the Piraha Villages

The Piraha helping Daniel disembark from the boat

A view of a Piraha village from across the river

A young Piraha family from one of the villages

Please visit Professor Everett’s website for more information. His memoir DON’T SLEEP THERE ARE SNAKES is available wherever books are sold.


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