Altai Mir University

Together, we access peace by creating a knowledge bridge between ancient wisdom and today's world.
Dec 13, 2016

Work continues to make videos of Altai legends

Concert and presentation of Altai myths
Concert and presentation of Altai myths

Our Altai project leader Svetlana Katynova continues to develop innovative ways to ensure that the ancient Altai oral history is carried forward.

For the past year, she and her team have been developing videos using a unique medium called sand-painting, by which sand is manipulated on a back-lit table to make dynamic images. She has persuaded some of Altai’s most revered throat-singers to provide music whose vibratory qualities enhance the visual image of the sand-painter.

They have been giving standing-room-only live concerts in Gorno-Altaisk while they continue to seek funds for commercial quality video recording equipment. Our intention is to create DVDs for the tourist market, sales of which will support further projects to sustain Altai’s rich cultural heritage.

Thank you for your continued support.

Oct 26, 2016

Report on Standing Rock; Update on Housing

1st 10 of 1000 grandmothers at Standing Rock
1st 10 of 1000 grandmothers at Standing Rock

Our South Dakota project manager, Christinia Eala, writes from the camp near Cannonball, North Dakota, that our partner organization has made in solidarity with the Standing Rock Lakota in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which if completed will run under the Missouri River and has the potential to contaminate the drinking water of at least 18 million people who depend on that water for drinking and farming.  

"Since our first trip there in the second week of August, we are starting a "1000 Grandmothers" movement to draw more attention to the actions of the various law enforcement agencies at the site.  It's pretty dangerous there right now and there has been no media coverage of it, so anything we can do to draw the attention of the world to what is happening, we are willing to do.  Please see the FB page of the same name and please do what you can to help get the word out.

"If you peruse the FB pages I mentioned above, you can glean the history of the beginning of the gathering of the Protectors as well as see the escalation of provocation of the law enforcement agencies. They are arresting reporters and legal observers, strip-searching arrestees. One 16-year-old girl was left naked in jail overnight.
"They are trying to get an angry reaction from the Protectors so they can "attack" and remove the camps from the area.  It's a pretty scary story.  Right now, I am in Chicago on R&R but will be returning to North Dakota towards the second week in November to help get our camp set up for winterization.
"You can gather information about the Protectors on FB at "Red Warrior Camp" as well as "NoDAPL", or "Sacred Stone Camp".  There is a video on the "Red Warrior" page in which I was interviewed re: an "action" that I was involved with where the police and sheriffs pointed guns right at us.  It was truly one of the more terrifying moments of my life.  
"There will be a Skype meeting on the 26th (I believe) between the women who are supporting the "1K GM" as we call it, which can be found on our organization's site….winyanmaka07.webs.com.  Holly wrote and performed the song by the same name in the 70's.  Listen to it on youtube if you get a chance."
Christinia reports that the Pine Ridge Housing Project, located in the district of Slim Buttes has been officially presented to Engineers Without Borders/USA. We're looking forward to a Spring build with them.
Sep 12, 2016

Altai legends video team seeks support for professional studio

Altai sand-painter
Altai sand-painter

Your donations have been supporting Altai artists to create videos of Altai legends using the medium of "painting" with sand on a light table.

In an effort to improve their professionalism, they have reached out to the Carolyn Leaf of Canada, who is a pioneer in such painting. She recommended that they develop the skills, not only to make images with the sand, but to actually animate their images through manipulation of the sand. For that, our team will need better equipment as well as seed funding.

So our Altai project leaders have been not only investigating opportunities for such funding within the Altai Republic governmental ministries of culture and tourism, but also reaching out for international grants and fellowships. Here in the US, we are supporting this effort by using grant databases to search for likely funding sources. We have been encouraging them to use a business model---selling their DVDs to tourists---in addition to their philanthropic model.

This work is important because of its global implications. Many Native Americans recognize Altai as the starting point of their journey across the Bering Straits. Altai legends are therefore important not only to the indigenous peoples of Russia, but also of the Americas.

Thank you for your ongoing support. It makes a huge difference.

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