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Last of the Medicine Men

By Benedict Allen

‘Benedict Allen… the possessor of more fascinating first-hand stories than seems possible for a man of 38.’ – TIME OUT

Benedict Allen explores the dramatic and mysterious world of the medicine man.

Often depicted as ‘witchdoctors’ or ‘shamans’, medicine men around the world perform a pivotal role in the communities they serve. They are as much herbalists, healers and psychotherapists as performers, poets and priests.

In Last of the Medicine Men, Benedict Allen investigates four diverse traditions. He joins the Vodou priests of Haiti and the remote rainforest healers of Siberut Island, Indonesia. He meets shamanic drummers in Siberia and, in the Mexican desert, pilgrims who come face-to-face with their gods using hallucinogenic cactus. By observing their rituals, Benedict investigates these complex and enigmatic characters, and discovers what others can learn from them.

Benedict Allen has lived alone with remote peoples, for months, in every part of the globe. He usually explores the landscape by launching out with only the assistance of the indigenous communities to guide him.

Pioneering the use of a hand-held TV camera to film his own expeditions, Benedict enabled millions to share in the ups and downs of being alone in often hazardous terrain. He is the author of seven other books, including the best-selling Skeleton Coast and Edge of Blue Heaven: A Journey through Mongolia.

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