Luis Devin


Music anthropologist and writer, Luis Devin studied cultural anthropology at the University of Torino (Italy), graduating with a thesis on the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon. He then earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, with a thesis on Baka musical instruments. He also got two diplomas in Composition and Choral Music & Choir Conducting at the "Giuseppe Verdi" Conservatory of Music, Turin.

He has been conducting anthropological and ethnomusicological fieldwork in Central Africa since 1998, first as a member of the Italian Ethnological Mission in Equatorial Africa and later as a part of his Ph.D., studying in particular the music, the traditional rituals and the survival strategies of the Baka and other pygmy groups (BaKola, Bedzan, BaKoya, etc.). During an expedition in the rainforest of Cameroon, he took part in the male initiation rite that marks the transition to adulthood of the young Baka boys, a secret rite conducted by elderly members of the group and by the Spirit of the Forest. After severals days of rituals he was accepted in a Baka clan.

Based on these experiences he wrote his first novel, La foresta ti ha. Storia di un'iniziazione (The Forest Has You. Story of an Initiation), published in Italy by Castelvecchi/LIT Edizioni. An other result of his field experience is his new book Ai confini del gusto. Viaggio straordinario fra i cibi più insoliti del pianeta (At the Edge of Taste. An Extraordinary Journey Among the Most Unusual Foods on the Planet), published in Italy by Sonzogno. His work has been also published in literary reviews such as "Nuovi Argomenti" (Mondadori) and "Granta Italia online" (Rizzoli).