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Trail of Feathers (edition 2002)
by Tahir Shah
Trail of Feathers: In Search of the Birdmen of Peru by Tahir Shah
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753813173, Paperback)Enthralled by the chronicle of a 16th-century Spanish monk, which said that the Incas 'flew like birds' over the jungle, and by the recurring theme of flying in Peruvian folklore, Tahir Shah set out to discover whether the Incas really did fly or glide above the jungles of Peru. Or was it flight of a different kind, inspired by powerful drugs? After gathering equipment in London the long quest begins, in the mountains of Peru, with a trek to Machu Picchu, the Incas' most sacred city. Then on to the mountain city of Cusco and a mysterious island on Lake Titicaca, before the trail of clues leads to the coast and through the desert, to the immense animal-like etchings which form the Nazca Lines and a remote burial ground for 30,000 mummified corpses. And finally to an epic river-journey up the Amazon to discover the secrets of the Shuar, a tribe of legendary savagery. Even for a traveller so used to surreal adventures, there are many strange encounters - some gruesome, some hilarious - among madmen and dreamers, sorcerers, con-men and jungle experts, before he can at last discover the truth about the Birdmen of Peru.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:39 -0400)
"His imagination captured by the account of a sixteenth-century Spanish monk who reported that the Incas "flew like birds" over the jungle and by tales of flying in Peruvian folklore, the author sets out to discover whether the ancients really were airborne - or experienced flying by other means. A shrunken head from Peru and a feather with traces of blood on it are his only clues when he begins his quest for the Incas' secret." "But soon he's trekking in the high Andes, where he pitches up at Machu Picchu, the Incas' most sacred city, and one associated with the condor. From the metropolis of Cusco he motors out to a mysterious island on Lake Titicaca. Gathering treasures, curiosities, and dubious companions along the way, the author follows his trail to the coastal desert and the baffling puzzle of the Nazca Lines. It was these inexplicable etchings in rock, so huge that the animal forms they represent can only be grasped from the air - that is, while flying - that Erich Von Daniken attributed to aliens in his Chariots of the Gods. Is it any surprise that ancient cloth from a nearby burial ground bears images of bird-men? After an encounter with a guinea pig-wielding shaman, it's off to the Amazon, where the author joins a Vietnam vet on an epic journey deep into the jungle to uncover the secrets of the Shuar, a tribe of legendary savagery reputed for their expertise with ayahuasca, the mind-altering "Vine of the Dead.""--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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