Charles Brewer-Carías

There are few areas of the Guayana-Amazonas Shield, bordered by the Orinoco River, where the Venezuelan explorer has not traveled. He is a highly regarded researcher of the natural environment with not only the most but also continuous exploration activity living in Venezuela today, as evidenced in his hundreds of expeditions since the early 1960s to the region known as the “lost world”.

Brewer-Carías made the first expeditions to the caves of Cerro Autana (September 1971) and to the chasms of Sarisariñama (February 1974), as well as obtaining the first botanical specimens in those and other areas including Sierra Marutaní, Ptari-tepui, and the gigantic cave that bears his name in the Chimantá Massif.

He has traveled extensively through the major “tepuys” [mesas] in Guayana—including the Roraima, the Duida, the Marahuaca, the Auyantepuy, and the Cerro de la Neblina—thoroughly studying and classifying their rare species “to convey the idea of isolation, endemism, and rate of speciation and evolution” that characterizes them. Many of these expeditions are documented in beautiful publications that reflect his extraordinary work as photographer.

Brewer-Carías’ scientific pursuits have resulted in valuable contributions to botany, zoology, and geography. In recognition, researchers of the international scientific community have named twenty-seven botanical and zoological species after him.

He has a deep knowledge of indigenous life, especially of the Yé-Kuana and Yanomami ethnic groups, with whom he has lived to a point of becoming speaking-proficient in their languages. This text is taken from a forthcoming book, currently being prepared, on the basketry of the Ye-Kuana.