Scientist of the People

Author Mary Batten

Illustrated by A. Magdalena Hurtado

Imagine making your living by hunting, fishing and collecting wild plants and insects. Imagine having to worry about being attacked by a jaguar or some other wild animal. This is how our ancestors lived for hundreds of thousands of years, but only a few peoples carry on this ancient lifestyle today. One of the few are the Ache, hunter-gatherers living in Paraguay, a country in South America.

Magdalena Hurtado is an anthropologist who has been studying the Ache for 15 years. She has spent years living with the Ache people: learning their language, observing their history. The photographs and text offer invaluable insight into the work of an anthropologist.


Ana Magdalena Hurtado is<strong> </strong>a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the Center for Evolution and Medicine at Arizona State University. She works on mortality reduction mechanisms in humans with emphasis on cultural niche construction and innate immunity.