EXPEDITION TUMUC-HUMAC by Francis Maziere

EXPEDITION TUMUC-HUMAC

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This account of a hazardous expedition in the jungles of French Guiana is dedicated to Raymond Maufrais, the author's fellow-countryman who disappeared on a journey with a like aim. Both expedition and account, while dealing with the deadly jungle, differ with that of Maufrais, whose journal was published recently under the title, Journey without Return (see p. 523, August 1, 1954 Bulletin). For the expedition, carried out with a man and woman for partners, was a success, leading, with the aid of the Oyanas, to the High Site of the Tumuc-Humacs, a feat only possible by the friendship the explorers earned while living for several months with the Indians. The book itself is less poetic, introspective, intense than Maufrais'- a sort of layman's report which has spirit rather than style. Maziere liked Cayenne but was distressed at the shadows of now closed prisons, signs of French usage of the country. He approached the Indians with openness and admiration and was rewarded. Near starvation while exploring the South-eastern extremity of French Guiana to affirm territorial claims, the party was saved by Emerllion Indians. Later the Oyanas, whose life he describes as much as he is able to from his limited, though valuable observation, acted as hosts and guides. Maziere feels strongly about colonial policy; and that Western expansion has driven the Indians to their jungle dwelling where freedom is bought dear in a climate inimical to human life. A new horizon.

Pub Date: June 16th, 1955
Publisher: Doubleday