Chapter 7:


A history of the Mayan civilization can be found in Sharer, R.J., The Ancient Maya, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994. It has been suggested that deforestation may have been one of the causes behind the downfall of this great civilization.

An overview of forest people today is found in Moran, E.F. "Following the Amazon highways," In Julie S. Denslow and Christine Padoch (eds.), People of the tropical rain forest, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1988.

Wade Davis (One River, New York: Touchstone, 1996) describes research by Kaplan, J.E., et al., ("Infectious Disease Patterns in the Waorani, an Isolated Amerindian People," American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 29(2): 298-312, 1980), Larrick, J.W., et al., ("Snake Bite Among the Waorani Indians of Eastern Ecuador," Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine 72: 542-543, 1978), and Larrick, J.W., et al., ("Patterns of Health Among the Waorani Indians of Eastern Ecuador," Medical Anthropology 3: 147-91, 1979) which found remarkably good health among unacculturated indigenous people.

According to MacDonald, T., ("People of the Central and South American Forests," Rainforests: The Illustrated Library of the Earth. ed. N. Myers, Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1993) virtually no native group in the Amazon obtains the majority of their food by traditional nomadic hunting and gathering.

The brutal treatment of native people by the conquerors, religious leaders, and rubber barrons is depicted in Davis, W., One River, New York: Touchstone, 1996.

The sharp 1996 increase in land incursions by loggers and miners on indigenous territories was publicized by Schomberg, W., "Brazil's Indians Face Rising Land Invasions Report," Reuters, 12/5/97.

The Brazilian government plan to reduce the threat of garimpeiros to the Yanomani is reported in Schomberg, W., "Brazil Clears Miners in Bid to Save Yanomani," Reuters, 1/14/98 and Schomberg, W., "Brazil's Yanomani See Life After Gold Rush," Reuters, 2/28/98.

The Rainforest Action Network (1990-1996) reports on conflicts between miners and native Yanomani, while Clay, J.W. ("Indigenous Peoples: The Miner's Canary for the 20th Century," In Lessons of the Rainforest, Suzanne Head and Robert Heinzman, eds., Sierra Club Books) notes some of the techniques - such as distributing disease-infected blankets - employed by miners to clear lands of indigenous people.

Mercury pollution and disease among local residents resulting from gold mining in the Amazon is discussed in Hecht, S.B. and A. Cockburn, The fate of the forest: Developers, destroyers, and defenders of the Amazon. London: Verso, 1989; Malm, O., Pfeiffer, W.C., et al.: "Mercury Pollution Due to Gold Mining in the Madeira River Basin, Brazil," Ambio19(1):11-15 (1990); Thornton, l., D. Cleary, S. Worthington, and N. Brown, Mercury contamination in the Brazilian Amazon: A report for the Commission of the European Communitie (Directorate General l-K-2, Environment). Brussels, 1991; Lebel J., Mergler D., et al. "Evidence of early nervous system dysfunction in Amazonian populations exposed to low levels of methylmercury," Neurotoxicology, 17(1): 157-167, 1996; Pearce, F., "A nightmare revisited," The New Scientist, 2/6/99.

Official land demarcation for indigenous Brazilians is reported in Borges, B., "Brazil Legalizes Indigenous Land Titles," Environmental News Network 11/28/97 and Moffett, M. "Native empowerment and economic growth collide in rural Brazil,"The Wall Street Journal 8/19/99.

The botanical genius of native rainforest peoples is articulated in Caufield, C., In the Rainforest, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984; Cox, P.A. and Balick, M.J. "The Ethnobotanical Approach to Drug Discovery," Scientific American, June 1994; Davis, W., One River, New York: Touchstone, 1996; and
Davis, W., Shadows in the Sun, Washington, D.C.: Island Press/Shearwater Books, 1998.

The internal conflict over development in the Bahineimo tribe of Papua New Guinea is described in Hanley, C.J., "Aboriginal Peoples Choosing Between Heritage, Money," Associated Press, 5/29/96.

The plight of the Ashanainka tribe in Peru is documented in Speer, L.J., "Amazon Tribe's Last Stand," San Francisco Chronicle Foreign Service, 1/9/95.

The battle between Occidental Oil and the U'wa of Colombia is discussed in Rainforest Action Network literature (1995-1999) and Waldman, G. "A rain-forest tribe brings its eco-battle to corporate America,"The Wall Street Journal, 6/7/99.

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