Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review #10 - The Lost Tribe

  • Hardcover: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805053182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805053180
  • Genre: Non-fiction
  • Days spent reading: 11

Two years before this story begins, the Liawep were a lost tribe. There were seventy-nine of them, living in deep jungle in far northwest Papua New Guinea. They worshipped a mountain and dressed in leaves. They hid when planes flew overhead, believing them to be evil sanguma birds. There was no record of them in census books; as far as the outside world was concerned they did not exist. Edward Marriott first heard about the Liawep tribe in 1993, when their 'discovery' by a missionary hit the international headlines. Unable to believe that anyone could still be truly lost, he set out to find them himself, to hear their stories, hopes for the future and fears for their changing world. Banned by the Papua New Guinea government from visiting them, he assembled his own patrol and crossed the jungle illegally. However, nothing could prepare him for what he found nor for the dramatic events that followed. Intriguing and impressive, The Lost Tribe is both a compelling adventure story and an extraordinary account of a small society caught at a time of dramatic change.

I thought I would never finish reading this book. From the beginning to the end, I had to drag myself reading it. The book came a little short of what I expected from it. As I was reading it, I was hoping that sooner or later, I would be reaching the climax of the story that would vindicate the chapters that failed to sustain my interest. Nevertheless, the only part that I enjoyed is the last part, where the author reflected what he has learned from the experience.

This is what I like the most:

I wanted so badly to draw a line between myself good and enlightened, but the distinction was blurred. Definitions, too, had turned on me- "lost" applied far more to my escapade that it ever had to the Liawep.


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