Cover: The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman, from Harvard University PressCover: The Falling Sky in PAPERBACK

The Falling Sky

Words of a Yanomami Shaman

Product Details


$24.95 • £21.95 • €22.95

ISBN 9780674292130

Publication Date: 01/31/2023


648 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

7 photos, 24 illus., 6 maps

Belknap Press


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“The Yanomami Struggle,” an exhibit running February–April 2023 at the Manhattan cultural space The Shed, features drawings, paintings, and videos by Yanomami artists—including art Davi Kopenawa developed for The Falling Sky—along with documentary photography by Claudia Andujar. Learn more about the exhibit and buy tickets »

The Tenth Anniversary Edition

“A perfectly grounded account of what it is like to live an indigenous life in communion with one’s personal spirits. We are losing worlds upon worlds.”—Louise Erdrich, New York Times Book Review

“The Yanomami of the Amazon, like all the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia, have experienced the end of what was once their world. Yet they have survived and somehow succeeded in making sense of a wounded existence. They have a lot to teach us.”—Amitav Ghosh, The Guardian

“A literary treasure…a must for anyone who wants to understand more of the diverse beauty and wonder of existence.”—New Scientist

A now classic account of the life and thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami, The Falling Sky paints an unforgettable picture of an indigenous culture living in harmony with the Amazon forest and its creatures, and its devastating encounter with the global mining industry. In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation as a shaman and first experience of outsiders: missionaries, cattle ranchers, government officials, and gold prospectors seeking to extract the riches of the Amazon.

A coming-of-age story entwined with a rare first-person articulation of shamanic philosophy, this impassioned plea to respect indigenous peoples’ rights is a powerful rebuke to the accelerating depredation of the Amazon and other natural treasures threatened by climate change and development.

Watch the trailer for The Last Forest (A Última Floresta), a 2021 documentary film cowritten by Luiz Bolognesi and Davi Kopenawa Yanomami and produced in association with Hutukara Associação Yanomami and Instituto Sociambiental

Watch the trailer for Holding Up the Sky, a 2023 documentary film on the disastrous consequences of global warming and deforestation on the Yanomami people and territory, directed by Pieter Van Eecke and produced in collaboration with Hutukara Associação Yanomami and Rio Taruma Films

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