“Tigers of the Night” – Author Robert W Howe – Book Review
The life of an Amazonian tribal community is brilliantly illustrated in the writings of Robert W. Howe as he followed the true story of Juan and Amalia Arcos, lay missionaries and naturalists living in the rainforests along the Amazon.
In the mid-1900s, Juan Arcos studied to become a priest under Father Peter Vosa, a man who had guided him for the last fifteen years of his life. After much prayer and careful consideration, Juan finally decided not to become a priest. This decision was difficult for him, but God led him to become a teaching missionary instead. He was convinced that God wanted him to work with the local tribal people called the Shuar because he had already learned their language as a child and felt spiritually connected.
Juan and Amalia’s goal was to lead a life dedicated to God and his people, the Shuar. They are simple and humble people. Once considered violent, they are actually generous, welcoming and kind. In Howe’s book, he describes how the Shuar speak with the dead, balance the needs of their men and women, keep the peace or wage war, practice the ancient art of shamanic travel, and learn sacred teaching plants (ayahuasca, datura, chicha, and tobacco) and many other tribal customs. It offers a view of the way of life of a culture from another time, in a distant place, life in the Amazon jungle.
Tigers of the Night truly has powerful messages that are welcome at a time when we all need to feel a sense of strength, courage, healing, and love. While the book’s vivid imagery invites us to experience the lush tropical splendor of the Amazon rainforest, the real value lies in the rich wisdom passed down by the Shuar people.
It is very appropriate to have the image of a cascading waterfall on the cover of this book. For the Shuar people, waterfalls are sacred. If you need strength, answers or wisdom, a man will visit the waters in order to get in touch with his soul and find direction.
Robert W. Howe’s writings speak of indigenous wisdom, different ways of life, and are especially for those who are already missionaries or those wondering if God is calling them. This book would also be a great resource for your pastor and your church library. He created a masterpiece that lives in the heart for a lifetime. For the Shuar, their homeland is a place of wondrous beauty and great danger. It’s a place where anacondas hide in rivers and jaguars prowl at night, Tigers of the Night is a book that tells their story. You’ll find that “Tigers of the Night” includes author’s notes, an appendix, and a bibliography for further reading.
Title: Tigers of the Night
Author: Robert W. Howe
Publisher: Xlibris Publishing
Pages: 373, paperback and hardback
Reviewed by: Nicole Sorkin, Pacific Book Review