Light at the edge of the World by Wade Davis

Chapter one: The wonder of Ethnosphere

Ethnosphere is a word that Wade Davis used to refer to the imaginative contributions of humanity within the planet. This includes everything from scientific theories to dreams to stories. Davis coined the concept of Ethnosphere referring to the sum of all human living cultures on earth at any given time (Powell, 2016). Davis believes that most of the people fail to think of these things as global resources similar to air, water and green life but they truly are (Davis, 2009). Davis coined the term Ethnosphere to bring a concept that would suggest to people that as there is a biological web life and biosphere, so too there is a cultural fabric that strongly envelops the world (a cultural web life). Ethnosphere has been the greatest human being legacy despite being thought of as myths, dreams, inspirations, and intuitions (Powell, 2016). According to Davis, it is the sum product of our hopes, an epitome of our dreams and the sign of all that humanity has created enthusiastically astonishingly and inquisitive adaptive kinds.

The loss and extinction of languages is a clear indicator of how much and quick the Ethnosphere is becoming degraded. It is haunting to discover that half of the languages of the world are wavering on the edge of extinction. Davis argues that a language is not the grammar and vocabulary but the flash of the human spirit and a vehicle by which the personality of the culture is connected with the physical world. The fact that most of the cultures have been engaged in modernity and dance with new life possibilities has changed the constant human history of culture. In the wonder of Ethnosphere, Davis moves through a series of journeys, merging tales and dreams from some of the most endangered cultures. Davis has challenged this notion with an argument that most of the languages that were spoken in the world are becoming extinct (Davis, 2009).

Davis stories have retold that there is something different in nurturing culture. Placing value in what is being lost has become impossible. Cultural diversity is happening at a time when humankind could depend on it to get ideas and a poll of experience that would go a long way towards solving the environmental and social challenges that are being faced in the world (Davis, 2009). However, the dynamic, vibrant living languages and cultures are being forced out of existence. Moreover, at risk are the massive archive of expertise and knowledge, a catalog of oral, imagination and written literature that was composed of the countless memories of healers, farmers, warriors, elders, and fishermen.

The wonder of Ethnosphere clearly shows that the world is fading away with every culture disappearing which has diminished a possibility of life and reducing the human repertoire of adaptive responses to the common challenges that have confronted humanity. The Eyelids of wolves.

Chapter Two: The Eyelids of Wolves

This chapter recounts some of the many journeys made over the course of work as an anthropologist and ethnobotanist. It covers the travels that embrace and appreciate the key exposure of anthropology and also the idea that the distinct cultures that reveal unique visions of life, inherently right and morally inspired. This entails a cycle of tales and stories about indigenous cultures and people revealing a sense of place and the aspect of their existence (Davis, 2009). This chapter gives a number of tales by Alex who shows the wealth of human diversity and all the traditional culture and how they teach about different ways of thinking and living. This reveals the life of Alex who travels the globe studying the mysteries of animals and plants and celebrating different cultures around the world. According to Alex, it is clear that each culture has something to say and that each deserves to be heard. Alex gives his encounter with people charged with strange intensity and a passion for life and great acceptance of the frailty of human spirit. The passion of Alex has brought him to the very center of understanding the indigenous people in remote places such as the Canadian Arctic, rain forest of Borneo and many other cultural landscapes.

In this chapter, Wade Davis thinks that we should pay more attention to the voices, values, and concerns of the indigenous people. With reference to Alex, there is a lot that people can learn through listening to indigenous people and understanding the cultures (Davis, 2009). For instance, studying how to use natural plants and herbs is an essential element of spiritual practice. Alex has explored that the distinct cultures have represented their specific visions for themselves and have a lot to teach the world about their own different way of thinking and living. These stories have provided a visceral sense of wondrous diversity which can be well-defined as the entirety of all beliefs, considerations, myths, and perceptions that are manifested today by different cultures around the world (Glass, 2004). A desire to understand the different cultures around the world has clearly shown the richness and diversity of cultures around the world and why it matters to interpret culture.


Davis, W. (2009). Light at the edge of the world: A journey through the realm of vanishing cultures. D & M Publishers.

Davis, W. (2009). The wayfinders: Why ancient wisdom matters in the modern world. House of Anansi.

Glass, J. (2004). Tales of the Ethnosphere Explorer Wade Davis helps preserve a precious resource: the stories of indigenous people. UTNE-MINNEAPOLIS, 62-65.

Powell Ph D, C. (2016). Revitalizing the Ethnosphere: Global Society, Ethnodiversity, and the Stakes of Cultural Genocide. Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal10(1), 7.


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