An Array of Utopian Flowers
- Samoan “Chief Tuiavii” on the Desperation of ‘The Papalagi’
Posted on September 10, 2020 | No Comments
- Candidate Forum for Environmental Justice in South LA with Fatima Iqbal-Zubair
Posted on September 3, 2020 | No Comments
- Flood Control to Free Rivers: The Tale of Water on Tongvalands
Posted on August 27, 2020 | No Comments
- Ocean Desalination vs Conservation and Human Rights
Posted on August 13, 2020 | No Comments
- Missions of Culture: Reclaiming Indigenous Wisdom with Caroline Ward Holland
Posted on August 6, 2020 | No Comments
- Samoan “Chief Tuiavii” on the Desperation of ‘The Papalagi’
WilderUtopia in 102 Languages
Daily Dose of the Wild
Twittering From the Trees
‘Medicine Walk’ Featured in SBLitJo
Rituals and Traditions Archive
- Posted on July 29, 2020 | 1 CommentThe following story from 19th Century Venice, Italy, is similar to the "Bluebeard" folktales from France, regarding the dangers of female curiosity about forbidden chambers and how questioning patriarchal rules can open the door of truth. This mythic jaunt takes another route about when the Devil married three sisters and how the third sister managed to rescue the other two from the fires of Hell. Italo Calvino also published another variant of this story in 1956, called Silver Nose.
- Posted on July 1, 2020 | No CommentsThe Kraken, a mythological super-squid or legendary massive octopus from the depths of the ocean, known to destroy ships, also has some significant scientific basis for its existence. Here we share an encounter with this magical sea monster in an excerpt from Jules Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'.
- Posted on June 12, 2019 | 1 CommentAs outbreaks of "crazy sickness" continue to afflict Nicaraguan Miskitu towns and villages, we revisit the story of the Duhindu of Kambla, or how the community overcame their first case of this "culture-bound syndrome," blamed on the dark supernatural forces out of the wild bush.
- Posted on May 1, 2019 | 1 CommentMay Day (May 1) marks the return of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, with origins in ancient agricultural rituals to ensure fertility, handed down from the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Later permutations included the Celtic festival of Beltane and Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half a year from All Saints Day (November 1), and cross-quarter day with pagan overtones. Today, this ancient festival survives, including gathering wildflowers and decorating a May tree or Maypole, around which people dance, and some use it for political protest in association with International Workers Day.
- Posted on October 10, 2018 | 2 CommentsIn Aztec cosmology, the soul's journey to the Underworld after death leaves them with four destinations: the Sacred Orchard of the Gods, the Place of Darkness, the Kingdom of the Sun, and a paradise called the Mansion of the Moon. The most common deaths end up on their way to Mictlán with its nine levels, crashing mountains and rushing rivers, and four years of struggle. This pantheon of gods and goddesses and the expanse of the 13 Heavens provides the cultural basis for the Day of the Dead customs and celebrations.
- Posted on June 29, 2018 | 1 CommentIn ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. The following myth tells how her daughter Proserpina was abducted by the ruler of the underworld, forced to become his wife, but with Ceres' help, she watches over the springtime growth of crops and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth or renewal.
- Posted on November 26, 2017 | 2 CommentsHere is a retelling of the Hopi story, The Revenge of the Katcinas (Kachinas or Katsinam). To grow crops and survive in their mountainous desert, the Hopis understand the necessity for proper devotion to the supernatural powers, known as the Kachinas, who embody the spirits of living things and also of ancestors who have died and become a part of nature. When the people fall out of favor with the supernaturals, disaster results.
- Posted on November 8, 2017 | No CommentsAn exhibition by artist Cristóbal Valecillos in Los Angeles invoked the Dancing Devils of Yare, a 400-year old Venezuelan tradition celebrating life, the triumph of good over evil, and renewal. His provocative interpretation of the diablo masks, hand-sculpted from repurposed waste materials, takes aim at culture and consumption in the US, a plea for overcoming.
- Posted on January 30, 2017 | 1 CommentThe original lands of the Crow or Apsáalooke peoples were east of Yellowstone National Park in Montana/Wyoming, the Absarokas, across the Basin to the Big Horn Mountains, and southeast to the Wind Rivers. This story, recounted to anthropologist Robert Lowie at the turn of the 20th Century, reveals the esoteric visionary experience of a young Crow, and his interest to visit the Land of the Birds.
- Posted on December 26, 2016 | 1 CommentChristmas legends make the freezing nights pass faster and the children - and laborers - behave. Iceland's Jólakötturinn, or Yule Cat, warned lazy children would be eaten by a monster cat, which has roots hundreds of years back, and popularized by a poem by Johannes ur Kotlum.
- Posted on December 17, 2016 | 3 CommentsKrampus, a half-goat, half-daemon of centuries-old Bavarian-Alpine lore, appears prior to the celebration of the benevolent giver Saint Nicholas on December 6th, where Central European communities have a Krampuslauf, or Krampus Run, the night before.
- Posted on November 19, 2016 | 1 CommentShadow-Trickster Donald Trump, preaching revolutionary change and unending prosperity, emerged from the shadow of hatred and aggression, and now proceeds to install one of the most repressive, socially regressive, selfish, greedy, and racist US Presidential Administrations in generations. It must be resisted, but with a trickster spirit.
- Posted on April 11, 2016 | 2 CommentsEthnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.
- Posted on August 29, 2015 | 3 CommentsThe Kumeyaay of southern and Baja California have a rich history of coexistence on the border of California and Mexico in the mountainous region of San Diego County. Here we republish Florence Shipek's treatise on the preservation of their sacred mountain called Kuuchamaa, also known as Cuchuma, as well as several videos on their culture, history and stories.
- Posted on May 3, 2015 | 5 CommentsUsing sacred tools and treatment by touch, connection and cures through spirits in flight and ritual extraction of sickness, the traditional healers of central Australia explain their extraordinary skills and how they deal with contemporary issues and Western medicine.
- Posted on February 19, 2015 | No CommentsThe fracking boom threatens Puebloan and Hopi ancestral homelands around New Mexico's sacred Chaco Canyon and local Diné communities are fighting drilling, pipeline projects and just general industrialization of their region without bringing real economic development. See the videos from the Solstice Project.