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Island Press
Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness / Edition 1

Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness / Edition 1

by Alan Rabinowitz
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781559638005
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 02/15/2003
Edition description: 1
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Alan Rabinowitz is Director of the Science and Exploration Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society based in the Bronx, New York. He is a frequent contributor to Natural History and is the author of two previous books: Jaguar (Island Press, 2000) and Chasing the Dragon's Tail (Doubleday, 1991).

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Beyond the Last Village

A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness
By Alan Rabinowitz

Island Press

Copyright ©2003 Alan Rabinowitz
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1559638001


As soon as I entered the hut, the man sitting by the fire turned away from me. He had known I was coming. Two Taron women, his older and younger sisters, stood beside him. As Khaing worked with the translator to ask the women questions, I sat down beside the man, sipping tea and looking into the fire. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him cast furtive glances toward me. I waited.

I reached for the teapot sitting in the fire, forgetting that my hands were not as work-hardened as those of the villagers whom I'd watched do this many times. "Yow!" I hollered, dropping the pot, spilling the tea, and spraying myself with hot ashes. "Damn," I said, pounding out the smoking embers that were burning holes in my clothes. Suddenly, I heard the strangest sound and turned. The Taron man was now facing me, rocking back and forth, cackling with high-pitched laughter. Unwittingly, I had broken the ice between us.

His name was Dawi and, at 39, this stocky, impish-looking man was the youngest of the surviving Taron in Myanmar. He and his two sisters were the only pure Taron family left. The other eight Taron were part of Htalu families. As he poured the tea for me, I took outmy last remaining PowerBar, which I'd been saving for an emergency, and gave it to him. He sat facing me now. He was wearing a coarse, dirty blanket thrown over his shoulder, light cloth pants tied at the knees, and cloth leggings that ended at black, hardened feet that had never seen shoes. He was one of the few who still wore remnants of the Taron traditional dress. I asked him several questions that went unanswered. He nibbled around the edges of the PowerBar, smiling and speaking to his sisters in the Taron dialect; suddenly, the whole bar was gone in a gulp.

After many cups of tea and a long hard look at me, Dawi began to speak, straining to put into words thoughts he'd perhaps never voiced before. He'd remembered everything I had asked him, and the intensity of his gaze hinted at an intelligence that had probably been long suppressed.

"For many years the Taron only marry each other," Dawi started, almost in a whisper. "But when we have babies, the babies have small brains and small bodies. It was no good." He turned his eyes away for a moment and then looked back at me.

"We don't want Taron babies anymore," Dawi continued. "Long ago, the Taron decided not to have babies with each other. Only with Htalu. Some Htalu marry Taron, many do not want to. If Htalu won't marry Taron, then we die alone."

His voice became almost defiant. "There are few Taron left. Many die alone."

Dawi shifted his body away from me again and faced the fire. It must have taken a lot for him to tell me what he did, to face images of a past that was gone and future that would never be. Kingdon Ward called the Taron "one of nature's unsuccessful experiments." I think Dawi might have agreed. I didn't need to ask him what he thought of his own future. He was among the last. And he was dying alone.


Excerpted from Beyond the Last Village by Alan Rabinowitz Copyright ©2003 by Alan Rabinowitz. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Author's NoteXIII
Chapter 1Yangon, 19931
Chapter 2Tarnished Golden Land5
Chapter 3Of Rhinos and Sea-Gypsies13
Chapter 4Gateway to the North25
Chapter 5Last Prayers at Shwedagon43
Chapter 6Into the Triangle61
Chapter 7Savage Land71
Chapter 8For the Love of Salt89
Chapter 9In the Shadow of Hkakabo Razi101
Chapter 10Lost Tribes of Tibet123
Chapter 11Pygmies of the Adung Wang Valley135
Chapter 12The Last Village147
Chapter 13Touching the Snow165
Chapter 14Child of Beyond179
Chapter 15Back into the World187
Chapter 16Genetic Fingerprints203
Chapter 17The Mysterious Leaf Deer213
Chapter 18The Ghost Valley231
Chapter 19Through the Looking Glass247
Chapter 20The Return259
Selected Bibliography283

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Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
billsearth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is complex book. On one hand, it is a story of trying to get protection for endangered wildlife. On another hand, it is the story of human population pressure on a previousy diverse ecosystem. On another hand it is a story of an exciting adventure into lands so remote foriegners had never entered. All three themes are carried out well by the author.