From Kirkus Reviews
Cox (Botany/Brigham Young Univ.) details the tribulations of protecting a small patch of unique forest in this story of his field days in Western Samoa. Spurred by the recent death of his mother from breast cancer, Cox decided to pursue ethnobotanical studies in Samoa, hoping to find indigenous pharmaceutical possibilities for treating cancer in the endemic plant community and in the traditional healing techniques of Samoan herbalists. He headed for the most remote village he could find to interview healers on their use of local plant life and soon found himself swept into not only the everyday life of the village (it didn't hurt that he was fluent in both colloquial and formal Samoan, which he learned during an earlier stint in Mormon service on the island), but also as a dedicated conservationist involved in the effort to save the island's remaining rainforest and its denizens. He knew that as the rainforest went, so too would go any hopes of tapping the potential of its singular plant communities. Cox chronicles his efforts, along with those of numerous others, to end destructive logging, gain endangered status for such unusual forest species as the flying fox, and raise money to provide schools that the timber harvest would have paid for. While Cox can be irksomely disingenuous (``I was astonished Rothman had heard of my ongoing effort to protect flying foxes--I had published only a few articles in addition to giving several lectures on the topic,'' he rather modestly notes), one can only admire the devout conservation ethic, and the deep immersion in Samoan culture, of this broadly curious ethnobotanist. Cox complements his record of the harsh specifics involved in struggling to preserve native species and cultures with the exegetic delineation of subtly important moments in Samoan culture--the kava ceremony, for example--that have no analogue in Western society. A lively, useful work. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A lively, useful work." -- Kirkus
"A moving and haunting memoir by one of the finest ethnobotanists working in the South Pacific, Nafanua
is a story of triumph and tragedy which serves to remind us that all of the rain forests of the world are rare natural treasures deserving of reverence and protection." -- Wade Davis, Author of One River and The Serpent and the Rainbow
"A wonderful book by a true conservation hero. Nafanua belongs on the bookshelf of everyone interested in both nature and culture. -- Mark Plotkin, Author of Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice