Feb 5, 2018

Helping Bushmen Reclaim Health & Identity 2018

Bushman healer at Council meeting
Bushman healer at Council meeting

Mobile Addictions Treatment for the Khomani San Bushmen

February 2018 Project Update

Submitted February 3, 2018

 

 

Dear Donors,

 

As always, we are very grateful for the ongoing support we receive from you, which makes our work with the Khomani San Bushmen of the Kalahari possible.

 

In October, through the generous support of the Wisdom Weavers of the World conference, we were able to bring an Indigenous Khomani San Elder and healer from the Kalahari in South Africa to Kauai, Hawaii to attend this conference. Lys Kruiper was one of 13 Elder Council members present at the event, which included Native Americans, Aboriginals from Australia, Arhuacos from Colombia, indigenous Hawaiians, and also one of our Indigenous Cultural Practitioners (ICPs) from Kyrgyzstan. The Elders met in council daily to discuss the state of the world from an indigenous perspective and what humanity needs to do during these times, and the event was filmed by an international film crew for a documentary film, release date TBD.  

 

After the gathering, we brought Lys to WISN’s headquarters, which is on a sacred site on Maui. We introduced her to a local Hawaiian ICP who teaches and performs an ancient type of healing massage called Lomi Lomi. As a healer who uses healing massage, we hoped the meeting would inspire Lys, and it did.

 

Lys indicated to us that much of this time on Hawaii inspired her. The filming helped give her a sense of her own significance in the world, important especially as isolation among ICPs around the world is such a huge problem. Also, in connecting with the Hawaiian ICP and Lomi Lomi instructor and seeing a teaching model for passing these healing modalities along to the next generation, Lys is now inspired to create a similar model for her community in the Kalahari, teaching young girls these ways with the hopes that having these skills will keep them off the streets and away from the problems of drug and alcohol abuse faced by her community, and sadly, much more frequently by younger and younger Khomani San.

 

She was also inspired to organize a trip with the youth to visit several sacred sites to the Bushmen with the hopes that visiting these sites will reconnect and empower not only Lys and other ICPs and Elders in the community, but the youth, showing them possibilities beyond their present day reality.

 

WISN will be supporting her efforts in building a training hut and treatment space so that this important work can happen. The space will also be used by her husband—also an ICP who works in traditional plant medicine and is a community leader—to conduct training sessions with the male youth as well as consultations with clients in need of his support.

 

Our continued hope is that we can support the Bushmen—on their terms—to reclaim their health, power, and identity for the healing of their community in the Kalahari and beyond.

 

Thank you again for your support and for helping us spread the word about this project and others.

Bushman Healer being interviewed for documentary
Bushman Healer being interviewed for documentary
Bushman Healer during Lomi Lomi Session
Bushman Healer during Lomi Lomi Session
Bushman healer praying at dawn ceremony
Bushman healer praying at dawn ceremony
Feb 5, 2018

Tigers and Jaguars Bring in the New Year

Jaguar ICPs from Brazil and Mexico meet in Oaxaca
Jaguar ICPs from Brazil and Mexico meet in Oaxaca

Jaguar of Light

Global Big Cat Alliance

January 2018 Project Update

 

 

Dear Donor,

 

Thank you for all that you do to help us bring Western and Indigenous knowledge systems together for the conservation of these beloved big cats. We are immensely grateful to you, to the ancestors, and to the spirit of the big cats.

 

Tiger Conservation

We have a number of updates to share with you this quarter, including our work with one of our partners, China Tiger Revival (CTR), whose Director was integrally involved in the global tiger conservation work of UNDP and who authored a seminal book on South China Tigers. We hosted a visit of the Director last month, during which time we strategized on tiger conservation and the role of culture. By way of background, CTR was instrumental in launching the first program of its kind, a program through which tigers previously held in captivity were brought to South Africa, and released into the wild, essentially “re-wilding” them so that they could learn to function like tigers in the wild. The goal is ultimately to bring these tigers back to China where they can roam free on their ancestral lands. During our time together, we learned that CTR was able to negotiate with the organizers of the Wild Conference to host the next annual global conference China for the first time ever. Our aim now is to identify Indigenous Cultural Practitioners in China who still perform the ancient tiger dances, in order to bring a cultural component to this conference. It’s a big step to bridge the tiger conservation and the indigenous world.

 

Jaguar Conservation

Additionally, one of our partners, ICP and artist Ernesto Olmos was able through the support of WISN and your generous contributions to travel to the Oaxaca Xaguar Xoo (Jaguar Zoo) to set up an exhibit and altar dedicated to the white Jaguar, also known as the Jaguar of Light an icon representation of the species’ sacredness. The zoo has a number of jaguars in residence, which they hope to rehabilitate and release back into the wild. The environment is not currently hospitable for jaguar conservation.


In the month ahead, we will introduce an ICP from a pristine culture and ecosystem (Yawanawa from Brazil) to both conservationist and and ICP from Mexico to mirror how things can look when culture and ecosystems remain intact. It’s an aspirational model and our hope is that through these connections, a corridor of protection can be established for jaguar conservation that extends from the Amazon in Brazil through Central and North America.

 

We will continue to raise funds for this effort as well as our work with the other big cats and will have more to report on our ongoing work in our next report this Spring. As always, we are immensely grateful to you, our donors, for all you have done to make this possible.

Jaguar of Light exhibit at Xaguar Xoo in Oaxaca
Jaguar of Light exhibit at Xaguar Xoo in Oaxaca
Jaguar of Light performance
Jaguar of Light performance
Jaguar of Light exhibit at Xaguar Xoo in Oaxaca
Jaguar of Light exhibit at Xaguar Xoo in Oaxaca
Nov 7, 2017

Snow Leopards in the Caves of Southern France!

Zhaparkul in front of the the snow leopard paintin
Zhaparkul in front of the the snow leopard paintin

Snow Leopards in the Caves of Southern France!

Global Big Cat Alliance

Fall 2017 Report

 

 

"Science and Indigenous knowledge must work together. We have entered the Altyn Dor (golden age, the time to heal the planet)." - Kyrgyz Elder and Healer Zhaparkul Ata

 

Dear Donors,

We give thanks to the ancestors and to each of you for your generous support for our Global Alliance for Big Cat Conservation work. This work in support of these sacred and disappearing apex predators continues only becuase of your generosity and through your spreading the word about our work with your friends, family, and colleagues. Thank you.

 

This quarter was an exciting one for the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network’s (WISN) Big Cat Alliance, specifically for our work with the Snow Leopards.

 

WISN has worked with snow leopard shamans and healers throughout Kyrgyzstan and other parts of Central Asia for more than a decade. One of the stories and part of the Kyrgyz oral tradition states that the snow leopard clan people migrated West (towards Europe) tens of thousands of years ago forming the European tribes, for example, the Celts. The Kyrgyz say this migration is one of the reasons there are so few snow leopards remaining in Kyrgyzstan, which of course has been exacerbated in more recent times by poaching, territory encroachment in the name of “development,” and more. However, until recently there was nothing to substantiate this oral history.   

 

In addition to our big cat work, we also do research on the painted caves of Southern France—archeaoacoustics and more. On a trip there in 2016, by chance, we made an incredible discovery—that not only had an image of a snow leopard been painted in Chauvet Cave (in Southeastern France), but also actual bones had been discovered there. Hikers stumbled upon the cave (much as we stumbled upon the discovery of the snow leopard image and bones last year) in 1994. Researchers and scientists later determined these caves had been sealed for at least 26,000 years, so these bones and paintings are known to be at least that old if not older, probably closer to 30-35,000 years old. It was the first linkage that we are aware of linking the migration stories outlining the westward movement of the snow leopards and snow leopard clan people of Kyrgyzstan! 

 

In October of this year, we returned, bringing with us one of our Big Cat alliance members Zhaparkul Ata to these caves to make an offering and to pray at this sacred site, at the foot of the snow leopard image. We also introduced him to one of the most world-renowned cave experts Jean Clottes, one of the first prehistorians to conclude that there is a strong argument to believe that much of the cave paintings and prehistoric art were in fact produced as a result of shamanic practice. The meeting was covered by local media and was an important step in bringing indigenous and Western science together for the purposes of conserving these magnificent beings so critical to the survival of our planet’s fragile eco systems, and for our very own survival.

 

Thank you again, dear Donors, for your ongoing support to make this work possible. 

Coverage in the local papers
Coverage in the local papers
Jean Clottes and Zhaparkul sharing their wisdom
Jean Clottes and Zhaparkul sharing their wisdom
Snow leopard image in Chauvet
Snow leopard image in Chauvet
 
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