Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Human Inhabitants

Indigenous Health

Research has found that unacculturated indigenous peoples have remarkable health compared to that of assimilated tribal peoples, peasants, and many city dwellers. In the 1970s, an American team documented the health of the Waorani at the time of contact. The team found no evidence of hypertension, anemia, heart disease, or cancer. In fact, the Waorani "ranked as one of the few populations in the world where blood pressure does not increase with age. The people had practically no internal parasites and virtually no secondary bacterial infections. They had never been exposed to polio or pneumonia, nor was there any evidence that smallpox, chicken pox, typhus, or typhoid fever affected the tribe. There was no syphilis, tuberculosis, malaria, or serum hepatitis" (Davis 1996).

However, the Waorani did have their ailments, typically fungal infections, external parasites, and various wounds from snakebites, burns, spear injuries and the like. Most Waorani were in need of a good dentist and there was a heavy presence of yellow fever, herpes, and hepatitis B.

Suggested reading
  • The Lost Amazon: The Photographic Journey Of Richard Evans Schultes by Andrew Weil, Chris Murray, and Wade Davis
  • Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures by Wade Davis
  • Last Place on Earth by Mike Fay and Michael Nichols
  • One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest by Wade Davis by Wade Davis



  • Continued: People of the Rainforest [an error occurred while processing this directive]
    Forest People
    African Forest People
    Asian Forest People
    American Forest People
    Forest People Overview
    Incas - Wade Davis
    Incan Achievements
    Dyaks
    - - - - -
    References
    References
    Indigenous Health
    Lessons from the Maya
    Forest people plant knowledge
    A Brief Social History of Borneo
    Forest people today
    Tri-country Amerindian summit
    Indigenous people estimates
    Varzea vs Terra settlements

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    Kids version of this section
    - Who lives in the rainforest?
    - Great rainforest civilizations
    - Medicinal plants and native people
    - What happened to the people of the Amazon?
    - Kids in the rainforest


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    Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2013

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