Nomads of the Rainforest Evolving in the Ethnosphere Essay

Nomads of the Rainforest Evolving in the Ethnosphere Essay

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Change is inevitable. Cultures around the world have been evolving over time and deeply entrenched traditions have passed from generation to generation. However, with the evolution of technology and the homogenization of our “smaller” world, many traditions have been discarded or minimized and our ethnic differences have dissipated. Wade Davis (2007) is troubled by the idea that a quest for power is destroying the unique expression of the human spirit across the globe while Thomas Sowell (1990) considers cultural change as a dynamic process that evolves from things that prove effective over time and those that don’t disappear. Mark Plotkin, an ethnobotonist, is embarking on projects that provide a more balanced approach in tackling the cultural diversity issue and minimizing the erosion of cultural diversity. He is merging the two scientists’ understanding of culture and its evolution into the homogenized world culture. Plotkin is attempting to create a movement that embraces the cultural traditions that are essential to the future of mankind by incorporating new technologies. Plotkin is bringing the modern world, with Google’s cooperation, to tribal cultures to enable these diverse cultures to maintain their identity while incorporating technology thus managing their environments more efficiently (Plotkin, 2009). This approach will allow many unique cultures to maintain diversity yet, as Davis eloquently says, they will evolve and “dance with new possibilities of life” (Davis, 2007). Nomads of the Rainforest (1997) is a film that focuses on a tribe in Ecuador called the Waorani. As a case study, the Waorani people would be a perfect selection to address the ability to bring the new world into a savage world.
The Waora...


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...ads of the Rainforest. WGBH Educational Foundation: Boston.
Davis, Wade. (1997) Among the Waorani. In One River. pp. 276-295. Simon and Schuster. New York, NY.
Davis, Wade. (2007) Wade Davis on Endangered Cultures. TED Talks. Accessed on 3 March 2014.
Plotkin, Mark. (2009) Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature’s Healing. Authors@Google. YouTube Video accessed on March 14, 2014, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= ALG5NQgcMqQ.
Plotkin, Mark. (1994) Through the Emerald Door in Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An Ethnobothanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest. p. 1-18. Penguin Books. New York, NY.
Sowell, Thomas. (1990) Cultural Diversity: A World View. Francis Boyer Lecture AEI Annual Dinner. http://www.aei.org/article/society-and-culture/cultural-diversity/ Accessed 31 March 2014.

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