Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes by Daniel…

Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes by Daniel L. Everett is a mind expanding read. I have lived in Africa and Ireland, traveled to North America, Indonesia and Greece and the experience, the culture and the basics of life have been largely the same. I thought Indonesia was quite different to my Western ways but in hindsight it was not. Travel with Dan Everett to the home of the Pirahãs on the banks of the Amazon and you meet a people and culture very different from much of the world. Dan is a linguist and uses his study of the Pirahã language to highlight the differences. One fascinating aspect is the mode of “immediate experience” the Pirahãs live in. They have no written nor oral history, only events that have been witnessed by a living person are important to them. This has great implications for their way of life and ends up affecting the author greatly. The book does descend into a bit of a Battle of the Linguistic Theories but it is well worth reading.


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