The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World
North Point Press
Publication date: April 2002
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
A brilliantly evoked journey into the core of human history and the destiny of the world's hunting peoples.
Hugh Brody first encountered hunting peoples when he lived among the Inuit of the High Arctic, who instructed him not only how to speak but how to do and be Inuk-titut, "in the manner of an Inuk." Since then he has spent nearly three decades studying with, learning from, crusading for, and thinking about hunter-gatherers, who survive at the margins of the vast, fertile lands occupied by farming peoples and their descants.In material terms, the hunters have been all but vanquished, yet in this profound and passionate book Brody utterly dispels the notion that theirs is a lesser way of life. Drawing on his experiences among indigenous peoples, as well as on the work of linguists, historians, and fellow anthropologists, he reveals the outlooks and practices that distinguish the hunter from the farmer. Whereas the farmers are doomed to the geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis, Brody argues, the hunters' deep attachment to the place and ways of their ancestors stems from an enviable sense, distinctively expressed in thought, language, and behavior, that they are part of a web of relationships in the natural and spiritual worlds. Brody's aim, however, is not to elevate one mode of being over another; rather, it is to suggest that we might all move beyond the familiar dichotomies and become more fully human.