The Chronicle Review

Seek Out Strangers

The less comfortable we are, the more we learn

Martin Schoeller

Daniel Everett, who spent about eight years among people of the Amazon River valley, learned to appreciate what he calls "wisdom from strangers."
April 30, 2017 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

In a Pirahã village along the Maici River in Brazil, I squeezed mustard onto a piece of bread. An old woman from the village watched me. "Why do you eat bird shit?," she asked. There was irritation in her voice. Then I looked at her more closely: My...

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