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Spirit of the Amazon

Spirit of the Amazon

The Indigenous Tribes of the Xingu

By (author) Sue & Patrick Cunningham


Publishing 1st Jun 2024
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  • Foreword by Sting, with an introduction and endorsements by Sir Ghillean Prance and John Hemming
  • Sue Cunningham's photography has been published all over the world. She has exhibited in the UK, Switzerland, Brazil, USA & Japan
  • The heart of the Amazon is inaccessible and inhospitable, and contact with the tribes is something rarely experienced by outsiders. This book was only made possible because of Sue Cunningham's relationship with the Xingu tribes, developed over the past thirty years
  • The book highlights the resilience of the indigenous people against deforestation, dams and pollution
Full Description

Spirit of the Amazon is the work of photojournalist Sue Cunningham and writer Patrick Cunningham. It is a celebration of cultural difference and a call for better stewardship of the world. Sue’s stunning photographs demonstrate the spiritual and material value of the Xingu tribes to all mankind; they keep the forest alive and they protect the climate of South America and the rest of the world. Their spiritual connection to their environment and the wider Earth shows us an alternative way to connect to the natural richness of the planet, built on foundations completely different from those of global materialism. During their expedition by boat, the authors followed the course of the Xingu river, a tributary of the Amazon, traveling 2,500 km through the heart of Brazil. They visited forty-eight tribal villages in this remote part of the Amazon, accessible only by small plane or by negotiating the rapids of the Xingu. This is the story of the tribal communities they met; their daily lives, their connection to the land and to the rivers, the threats which pervade each day of their lives. It is also a validation of their importance to the rest of the world; why these small, remote and often secretive indigenous communities are so important to our own lives and to our shared planet. It is a celebration of their vibrant cultures, their rituals and their rites of passage, of cultures very different from each other, but with a shared spiritual basis which respects the trees, the rivers and the rain. And it is a call for the world to protect them, their lands and their forests and rivers from the destruction which our avaricious greed for natural resources drives ever closer and deeper into their realm.

About the Author

Sue and Patrick Cunningham, photographer and writer, are partners in life. They are dedicated to showing how the future of the planet can be better than the present, and they are passionate about Brazil's indigenous people. In the heart of Brazil lies the Xingu, one of the world's last great wildernesses, which is home to ancient forests and peoples with ancient roots. For twenty-five years Sue and Patrick made short visits to indigenous communities in areas which are remote from contact with the rest of the country. Winning the Neville Shulman Award from the Royal Geographical Society enabled them to lose themselves in the Xingu for six months. They grew to understand the depth of the cultural disparity which makes indigenous peoples different while recognizing the common humanity which they share with all the peoples of the planet. "Our hosts on the Xingu River were generous with us; they fed us, and they nourished our souls. They asked us to tell their story, to show the world that they are one with the forests, the rivers, the rocks, the trees and the sky, but to make people understand that they, too, are men and women, human beings, with hopes, aspirations and dreams for the future of their children and grandchildren."

Publish date
1st Jun 2024
USA & Canada
10 in x 12.01 in
228 Pages
233 color, 1 b&w
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