Darkness in El Dorado Controversy - Introduction

Books by Napoleon Chagnon and Patrick Teirney Related to the Darkness in El Dorado Controversy

This portion of my website is dedicated to providing a place to find information about Patrick Tierney’s Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon–a clearinghouse for information, not to further a particular view of any of the arguments that Tierney’s book has fueled.

I began collecting relevant information on the views, critiques, and any other sources about Patrick Tierney’s book Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon in October, 2000. While some of the information is indexed within search engines, I find it difficult to find up-to-date articles and often the search engines do not index the relevant material in an orderly manner. My goal with this web site is to provide the most up-to-date information that can be found on the internet in one place in a searchable and sequential way.

Soon after I began making links to web pages with information that pertains to this issue, I found that many links were expiring. I also found many sources of information require a user password or to sign up for a service. Since this is for information purposes, those links that have expired or those that require a password will be linked to copies of the documents that I have made.

I do not state an opinion or take sides on the ‘scandal’. I created this web site so that those who are interested in the ‘scandal’ may find information to make their own decision about who is telling the truth, what actually happened, and what should be done. Since I collect all of the information that I can find, I have not nor intend to read all of the relevant literature contained within this web site. I scan the content of the documents for applicability towards the issues, but my teaching and research will not allow me to take the time to read and reflect upon the issues. I believe that there are others who are more qualified by either experience with the Yanomamö or with the key players in the ‘scandal’ that should be stating opinions about the matter.

However, I have written about the scandal within a book review, analysis of the documents within this website, and in chapters about Yanomami cultural survival:

Neely, Sharlotte, and Douglas W. Hume, eds. 2020. Native Nations: The Survival of Indigenous Peoples. 3rd ed. Vernon: JCharlton Publishing Ltd. Cite - More Information

Hume, Douglas W. 2020. “Yanomami of Venezuela.” In Native Nations: The Survival of Fourth World Peoples, edited by Sharlotte Neely and Douglas W. Hume, 3rd ed., 269–89. Vernon: JCharlton Publishing Ltd. Cite - Download

Hume, Douglas W. 2017. “The Yanomami of Venezuela.” In Native Nations: The Survival of Fourth World Peoples, edited by Sharlotte Neely, 2nd ed., 217–36. Vernon: JCharlton Publishing Ltd. Cite - Download

Hume, Douglas W. 2016. “Darkness in Academia: Cultural Models of How Anthropologists and Journalists Write About Controversy.” World Cultures EJournal 21 (1). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/75j9q56x. Cite - Download

Hume, Douglas W. 2013. “Anthropology: Tribal Warfare.” Nature 494 (7437): 310. https://doi.org/10.1038/494310a. Cite - Download

As more information becomes available concerning Tierney’s book, Napoleon Chagnon, James V. Neel or others accused by Tierney, I will add it to this list of ever growing documents. At this moment, most of the information that is available on the web is passed along by word of mouth; so if you have any informative links or any of the links on this site become inactive, please contact me.

  • Biographies A collection of links and information that form a biographical sketch of several of the key players in the Darkness in El Dorado scandal.
  • Book & Film Reviews Reviews, either online or published, of Darkness in El Dorado as well as Secrets of the Tribe.
  • Journal & News Articles An up to date list of both academic and news articles and that have appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers, and electronic news sources around the world about the ‘scandal’.
  • Position Statements The position statements of the University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Michigan; American Anthropological Association; the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES); W. W. Norton Publishers (Patrick Tierney); organizations in Venezuela, Brazil, and other countries; and several individuals.  Includes blog posts, mostly concerning the impact of Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — The Yanomamö and the Anthropologists by Napoleon Chagnon.
  • Teaching Resources A collection of assignments that can be used for classes and by students that I have suggested through emails that enable examination of the controversies surrounding the book Darkness in El Dorado.  Includes past news items and other information that pre-dates the scandal concerning Patrick Tierney, Napoleon Chagnon, James Neel, and/or the Yanomamö.
  • History and Education in the Circulation of Ethnographic Knowledge in the Amazon: the Yanomami Controversy, a Decade Later I participated in a session about the Darkness in El Dorado controversy at the 2010 American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, in New Orleans.
  • Bibliography A growing bibliography of resources on the Yanomamö, Darkness in El Dorado, Patrick Tierney, Napoleon Chagnon, and James Neel.