Wade Davis

“And critics who’d always say, ‘Don’t take these drugs
because they’re gonna change your life forever’ – what
they didn’t understand is that was the entire point.”

Wade Davis

Wade is an ethnographer, writer, photographer and filmmaker, named by the National Geographic Society (NGS) as one of the ‘Explorers for the Millennium’. In 1974, at the age of 20, Wade crossed the Darien Gap on foot in the company of the celebrated English author and amateur explorer, Sebastian Snow, one of many adventures chronicled in his classic book One River, the fascinating account of his own ethnobotanical research and that of Richard Evans-Schultes, his mentor and Harvard Professor.

Wade’s later work took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of ‘zombies’, an assignment that led to his writing Passage of Darkness (1988) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller and subsequently used as the basis of a horror film.

A native of British Columbia, Wade has published 180 scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian vodoun and Amazonian myth and religion to the global biodiversity crisis, the traditional use of psychotropic drugs and the ethnobotany of South American Indians.

Wade Davis's films

Wade Davis


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