Prompted by his mother's death from breast cancer, ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox travelled with his family to a remote Samoan villae at the edge of a rain forest to search for new leads in treating the disease. Working closely with both native healers and the U.S National Cancer institute in an analysis of traditional rain-forest remedies, Cox discovered a promising new plant-derived drug, prostratin, for a different but equally serious malady: AIDS.
The promise of this new drug lead was soon overshadowed, however, by the news that a logging company had started to destory the 30,000-acre rain forest where Cox first collected the plant that yielded prostratin. It was then that the village elders began to instruct Cox in the legends of Nafanua, the Samoan goddess who in ancient times freed the people from oppression and taught them to protect the rain forest.
Collaborating with the village elders eager to preserve the spirit of Nafanua's teachings, Cox launched an international campaign to the stop the logging of Falealupo Rain Forest. In Nafanua, he tells the moving story of those efforts, and his involvement in related campaigns to create a U.S. National Park in American Samoa to place Samoa's endangered flying foxes under international protection. Cox's conservation efforts, however, were ultimately followed by a devastating series of events that threatened the lives of himself, his family, the villagers and everything they had worked for. In this exciting and beautifully written account set among the lush forests and picture- perfect villages of Samoa, Cox paints an intriguing portrait of a society that is neither primitive nor industrial...
This hardback edition is "as new"; it features a stunning front cover and illustrations within.