The Lost Tribe

Edward Marriott, Author Henry Holt & Company $23 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8050-5318-0
In 1993, a Papua New Guinea government agent reported his discovery of a tribe of Stone Age people in the jungle. This, writes Marriott, ""induced the usual slavering in journalists all over the world,"" himself included. Neither an anthropologist nor an explorer, this British freelance writer set out, with a compelling curiosity and a book in mind, to see for himself. In an almost comically haphazard way, he surmounted great difficulties--unreliable maps, uncertain directions, undependable hearsay and improbable local guides--to make a six-day trek through jungle heat and rain across rotted primitive bridges, while often hip-deep in polluted rivers, to find the clearing where the Liawep tribe of 79 people lived. Clad in leaves and using bows and arrows, they had nevertheless built a helicopter runway hoping for the return of the government agent who had introduced them to medical supplies and T-shirts. A half-mad resident missionary offered Marriott hospitality and some interpretations of what he saw. But though Marriott's description of that frustrated Christian and his evocations of the jungle trek and the threatening atmosphere of the community are spellbinding, his communications problems, the brevity of his visit and his limited sociology leave a reader more mystified than enlightened about this ""lost tribe."" (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Hardcover - 275 pages - 978-0-330-33619-2
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-0-8050-6449-0
Ebook - 978-1-250-10896-8
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