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Trail of feathers : in search of the birdmen of Peru / Tahir Shah.

By: Shah, Tahir.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001Description: viii, 273 pages, [8] pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0297645927.Subject(s): Shah, Tahir -- Travel -- Peru | Indians of South America -- Peru | Incas -- Folklore | Peru -- Description and travel
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Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction 985 SHA 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Enthralled by the chronicle of a 16th-century Spanish monk, which said that the Incas flew like birds over the jungle, and by the recurring theme of flying in Peruvian folklore, Tahir Shah set out to discover whether the Incas really did fly or glide above the jungles of Peru. Or was it flight of a different kind inspired by powerful drugs?

11 81 135

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Map of Peru (p. ix)
  • 1 The Feather (p. 1)
  • 2 Valley of the Dead Pilots (p. 6)
  • 3 Inca Trail Warriors (p. 13)
  • 4 Cusco (p. 22)
  • 5 A Sacrifice (p. 30)
  • 6 Tower-Jumpers (p. 43)
  • 7 Festival of Blood (p. 49)
  • 8 Susto (p. 59)
  • 9 The Trophy Head (p. 68)
  • 10 Vampires (p. 75)
  • 11 Conspiracy (p. 82)
  • 12 Guinea Pig Healer (p. 90)
  • 13 The Tsantsa's Cheek (p. 95)
  • 14 Iquitos (p. 100)
  • 15 Big Bug Business (p. 109)
  • 16 Vine of the Dead (p. 120)
  • 17 Saigon of South America (p. 131)
  • 18 Green Hell (p. 141)
  • 19 Two Wishes (p. 151)
  • 20 River of Lies (p. 161)
  • 21 Gold Teeth (p. 170)
  • 22 Wawek (p. 181)
  • 23 Ancient Ballads (p. 191)
  • 24 Trumpets of the Devil (p. 201)
  • 25 Love the Jungle (p. 211)
  • 26 The Avenging Soul (p. 220)
  • 27 Flight of the Birdmen (p. 229)
  • Appendix 1 Amazonian Flora-based Hallucinogens (p. 237)
  • Appendix 2 The Shuar (p. 245)
  • Glossary (p. 254)
  • Bibliography (p. 261)
  • Index (p. 267)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Being the type of guy who hangs about at shrunken head auctions, sleeps in hotel rooms washed in human blood and traverses the U.S. for a month without ever leaving an airport, Shah (Sorcerer's Apprentice) is comfortable in strange company. So when a fellow shrunken head devotee sends him a rust-colored feather dipped in blood and tells him to go in search of the Birdmen of Peru, there is no way he can refuse. Armed with cumbersome camping equipment and a vague idea that flight was invented long before the Wright Brothers, Shah traverses Peru as if at a treasure hunt, picking up clues in his quest to discover if the Incas could really fly. His beguiling ways, reflected in the seductive warmth of his writing, charm even the most exclusive strangers; they proffer an aborted llama fetus and guinea pig therapy for good fortune, then lead him to a sinking reed boat on the Amazon and a tribe of legendary cannibals, the Shuar, with whom he finally discovers ayahusasca the secret of Incan flight. Shah's passion for the bizarre and grotesque suffuses the book, and his writing is inspired, very funny and always respectful of the traditions and cultures he encounters. Supported by a thorough appendix, this tale is as marvelously multifaceted and offbeat as its author's shrunken head obsession might lead one to expect. 16 pages color photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved