What We Lose When Cultures Vanish

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All week long, in partnership with our friends at Scientific American, we’re talking about "the end" on The Takeaway. Whether it’s melting glaciers, the falling water table, or even how the world itself will end, we’re exploring our fascination with endings.

Today, we examine the stunning evidence of how Western civilization is changing and, in some cases, eliminating indigenous cultures. Half of the world’s 7,000 languages are endangered, and when language dies, whole cultures can disappear. Vital, ancient wisdom can be lost.

So we ask you: What traditions or wisdom do you think is worth saving? And what do you do to preserve them?

Joining us is Wade Davis, explorer in residence for the National Geographic society. He’s spent years chronicling the lives of far-flung peoples.