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
Nov 7, 2017

Renewed Strength for Bushmen

Lys at a traditional Hawaiian ceremony
Lys at a traditional Hawaiian ceremony

Mobile Addictions Treatment for the Khomani San Bushmen

Fall 2017 Project Update

 

 

Dear Donors,

 

Thank you so much for your ongoing support, which makes our work to bring a Mobile Addictions Treatment program to the Khomani San Bushmen of the Kalahari possible.

 

This quarter, we brought Bushman healer Lys Kruiper to Hawaii to attend a gathering of Indigenous Elders from around the world. Attending Elders included Aboriginal Indigenous Cultural Practitioners from Australia, Arahuaco Indians from the Sierra Nevada of Colombia, several Native Americans, an Aleut from Alaska, and a Kyrgyz Elder and Healer from Central Asia.

 

The purpose of this gathering was to learn from one another, to discuss the state of the world as well as what can be done, and to give one another strength and hope to face situations indigenous people around the globe are confronted with, including addictions.  This was accomplished by having daily council meetings, ceremonies, and more. There was also a break out session where Elders and other attendees discussed what steps could be taken to help solve the world’s current problems.

 

Many in Lys’ community are losing hope. At the end of each day of this gathering, she discussed specific ways and ideas that she planned to bring back to her community. She said she felt strengthened, empowered, and that she realized she is not alone in what she and her community are facing, which gave her hope and courage to move forward.

 

We are looking forward to seeing how Lys’ new knowledge and connections will help both her and her community, and we are ever grateful for your support—financial as well as sharing this story and project with friends, family members, and colleagues, and we wish you a wonderful holiday season ahead.  

Lys and international Elders being interviewed
Lys and international Elders being interviewed
Lys praying at the morning ceremony
Lys praying at the morning ceremony
 
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