ON THE TRAIL OF THE FEATHERED SERPENT by Gene Savoy

ON THE TRAIL OF THE FEATHERED SERPENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Reminiscent of Thor Heyerdahl, whose premise for Kon-Tiki (1950) was the similarity between the cultures of Pre-Colombian Mexico and Peru to those of ancient Africa. Archaeologist Gene Savoy, who has also written about his search for the seven Amazonian Lost Cities (Antisuyo, 1970), constructed a similar boat of reeds called the Feathered Serpent to establish a prehistoric sea link between the Incas and the Aztecs. Starting out from Peru with a CBS film crew not far behind, Savoy ""staked my reputation, fortune, and possibly my life on the belief that wind and current would carry our fragile vessel to Central America."" End of anthropologizing: beginning of tale of adventure, accompanied by native factotum Segundo (in it for the money) and incompetent navigator Tomas Serafini, a former Fascist (in it, of course, ""to find glory again""). The challenge for Savoy was ""indefinable"": ""Maybe I had to prove something to myself. What that something was I did not presume to know."" It was to take him through stormy seas, doldrums, tricky currents, dangers from huge modern ships for 64 days until Panama Bay where the hurricane season forced an end to his voyage. Savoy's expedition is perhaps valid in its own right, but the precedent of Heyerdahl's epic journey in a paper boat takes the wind out of this account's sails.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1974
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill