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Invented Eden: The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In 1971 Manual Elizalde, a Philippine government minister with a dubious background, discovered a band of twenty-six “Stone Age” rain-forest dwellers living in total isolation. The tribe was soon featured in American newscasts and graced the cover of National Geographic. But after a series of aborted anthropological ventures, the Tasaday Reserve established by Ferdinand Ma ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Bison Books (first published 2003)
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Varmint
Oct 20, 2007 Varmint rated it really liked it
Myths die hard. Should be required reading for any anthropolgy freshman, along with Derek Freeman's book on Mead.

The Marcos family were mediocre dictators at best, But they were magnificent con artists. Some of their best trick involved skimming money off charities. One of their cronies collected money for the desperately poor tribes on the southern islands. He discovered that the more primitive he made the tribe sound, the more money he took in.

It was only logical that he hire some farmers,
...more
Vivian
Dec 15, 2008 Vivian rated it it was amazing
Really good exploration of the Lost Tribe of Mindanao "hoax"--i.e., was it or wasn't it? Examines the idea of hoaxes and why and how they occur or are alleged to occur, the question of truth vs. fiction and the role of various segments of society--the press, the scientists, the politicians.
Karen
Feb 16, 2017 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: journalism
An interesting work of journalism that investigates the history (disputed, as the title states) of the Tasaday, a tribe of indigenous "stone age" people who were allegedly discovered, untouched by modern civilization, in the Philippines in the 1970s.
Mary
Mar 18, 2014 Mary rated it it was ok
My husband and I read "The Gentle Tasaday" by John Nance in the early 70s. We were both very excited about this peaceful stone age tribe that had no weapons or words for ward. We were very disappointed when we later heard it was all a "hoax." Robin Hemley tried to figure out what was true about them. However, it proved to be too elusive. Because of the way they were dealt with initially, we will never know the truth. I found the book to be confusing and difficult to read, but that was partially ...more
Niks
Apr 30, 2009 Niks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "Gentle" Tasaday: genuine lost Stone Age tribe or elaborate hoax? Robin Hemley sets out to solve this puzzle, but finds there are no clear answers. At the center of the storm are the Tasaday, but a wide range of characters figure in this saga: politicos, missionaries, land grabbers, loggers, miners, Marcos, Manda Elizalde, John Nance, communists, Muslim rebels, Christian settlers, journalists, linguists, anthropologists, archaeologists, etc.

Ultimately, this is a meditation on "truth", how el
...more
Rei
Sep 07, 2007 Rei rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all who are interested in knowing whether the Tasadays (Filipino group) are real or not
I loved Robin Hemley here! I was in the same room where he interviewed Dr. Peralta. Now, I'm not so ignorant about the Tasadays.
Laurelf
Dec 10, 2014 Laurelf rated it it was amazing
One of the most insightful and sensitively reported stories of the Philippines in contemporary nonfiction.
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Robin Hemley has published seven books of nonfiction and fiction. His latest book, Invented Eden, The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday deals with a purported anthropological hoax in the Philippines. James Hamilton Paterson, writing in the London Review of Books, call Invented Eden, "brave and wholly convincing." John Leonard writes in Harpers, "Besides a terrific story, Invented Eden is a ...more
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