I’ve written before about my old friend and now-retired colleague, Pierre Odier. He has written a book titled “Some Last People,” which is all about vanishing tribes of Bhutan, China, Mexico, Mongolia and Siberia.
In past years he has lived among each of these tribes, documenting their stories, their customs and traditions, their religions — and relating their tenuous existence in a world that inexorably encroaches on their existence.
In the introduction to his book, he writes, “It is man’s inner self that remains both the central enigma and the greatest challenge of existence. As long as we consciously suppress differences and systematically eliminate civilizations and cultures because of these differences, we diminish our own understanding of ourselves. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, takes us further away from knowing who and what we are.”