Book release event: Old Magic - Lives of the Desert Shamans

Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 3:00pm


Illustrated presentation (30 minutes) followed by Q&A and book signing with author Nicholas Clapp

Location: ABDSP Visitor Center in the Discovery Lab

*Light refreshments will be provided

For a thousand generations, desert shamans of the far West sought order in the stars and in the mysteries and wonder of their grand, if unforgiving landscape. When summoned, they doctored the stricken, be they stoic elders or frightened little children. They conjured rains. Taking leave of reality, they rode whirlwinds and soared in magical flight. They epitomized a native American ability “to relate to the land in ways beyond a Western way of thinking.” They’re gone now. But there remain telling accounts of how, day-to-day, they lived: how omens foretold a shaman’s destiny, how he learned his craft, how he could exercise his power for both good and evil. How a shaman could travel to the land of the dead and (hopefully) return. Drawing on the lore of a dozen tribes, Old Magic conjures the year-to-year life of a shaman – a life of service to his people, a life fraught with torment and danger, a life often taking a man or woman to the edge of madness.

Old Magic

Documentary filmmaker and author Nicholas Clapp has explored, filmed, and written about the deserts of the world. He has won over seventy major awards for his documentary work. As an author, his distinguished previous publications include: The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands, Sheba: Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen, Who Killed Chester Pray?: A Death Valley Mystery, Gold & Silver in the Mojave: Images of a Last Frontier. His latest book, Old Magic: Lives of the Desert Shamans, fulfills a lifetime interest in archaeology and anthropology. He lived with the Zapotecs of southern Mexico (which earned him a Brown University scholarship), participated in the excavation of the Great Temple of Petra in Jordan, and was leader of a team that discovered the lost city of Ubar in the Sultanate of Oman.