The Tree Where Man Was Born (Penguin Classics)
A timeless and majestic portrait of Africa by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise
A finalist for the National Book Award when it was released in 1972, this vivid portrait of East Africa remains as fresh and revelatory now as on the day it was first published. Peter Matthiessen exquisitely combines nature and travel writing to portray the sights, scenes, and people he observed firsthand in several trips over the course of a dozen years. From the daily lives of wild herdsmen and the drama of predator kills to the field biologists investigating wild creatures and the anthropologists seeking humanity's origins in the rift valley, The Tree Where Man Was Born is a classic of journalistic observation. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by groundbreaking British primatologist Jane Goodall.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
26, 27, 37, 44–45, 47, 55, 60–61, 95, 152 Kamba Land, 61 Kampala, 20 Kamunyere, Feragoni, 85 Kanjera, 73, 74 Kapiti Plains, 99 Karatu, 209 Karomojong, 57, 58, 65, 109 Katanga, 22, 23 Kenya, 23, 25, 27, 29–32, 34, 40–42, 45, 65, 73, 75, 92, 95, 98, 99, 103, 106, 112–14, 130, 143, 150, 152, 177, 182, 203, 204, 212, 217 Kenya Capsians, 56 Kenya Highlands, 99 Kenya Rifles, 50 Kenyatta, Jomo, 18, 25, 29, 30, 34–35 Kere-Nyaga, 37 Kerimasi, 175, 179, 182 Kerio Valley, 177 Khartoum, 2,
life for me an even more ancient past, described by Matthiessen, when the African plains saw the emergence of the first ape-men, the australopithecines, ancestors of all the tribes of humans that followed. I was able to spend three glorious months in a completely wild Olduvai Gorge, marked by no trail and still a habitat for many rhinos and lions. The only people we saw were a few Masai morani, dressed with the old-style blankets dyed with red earth and not the bright colors one sees today. The
and southeast monsoons produces rain; the winds, colliding, are driven upward, and in the cooler atmosphere, discharge their water. In summer a hard southeast monsoon comes from cool latitudes of open ocean east of Madagascar, and because the meeting of monsoons takes place over the south Sudan and Ethiopia, rain is scarce in the Crater Highlands. But distant anvil clouds and cumulo-nimbus herald the separate weathers of the lake basin, and by late spring the plains animals are already moving
have been about 1640. Subsequently they continued south along the Rift, and in the vicinity of the Crater Highlands held great battles with a people that their tradition calls il Adoru3—conceivably the Barabaig, a tribe of the Tatog so fierce that they are known to present-day Maasai as il Ma-’nati or “Mangati,” the Enemy, a name reserved, so it is said, for a worthy foe. Otherwise, the Maasai met with small resistance. By the nineteenth century, they had driven the Galla tribes northeast across
longevity, might extend over a half-century; and finally, that this crash, which at Murchison Falls was well advanced, had already begun at Tsavo, and because of increasing destruction of habitat, might well cause the complete extinction of elephant populations in both places. Laws concluded that these threatened populations would benefit most from an acceleration of the crash brought about by man, in order to save the remaining habitats for the animals that survived. The Laws-Parker conclusions