Wallace Black Elk
Wallace Black Elk (1921-2004) was a traditional Lakota Elder and spiritual interpreter, was a Channupa (sacred pipe) bearing and a descendant of Nicholas Black Elk, the author of Black Elk Speaks. He was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota where Nicholas Black Elk was one of his mentors. He was present at the occupation of Wounded Knee, and has been politically active in fighting for the rights of Native American people. He is a spiritual leader and has served as an international lecturer and as a Native American representative to the United Nations.
Tom Cowan is a shamanic practitioner specializing in Celtic visionary and healing techniques. He combines universal core shamanism with traditional European spirit lore to create spiritual practices that can heal and enrich one's own life and the lives of others. He is an internationally respected teacher, author, lecturer, and tour leader. He has taught training programs in England, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy; and most recently he was the first American shaman to teach in Slovakia.
Tom is the author of Yearning For The Wind, Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, The Pocket Guide to Shamanism, The Book of Seance, The Way of the Saints: Prayers, Practices, and Meditations and Wending Your Way: A New Version of the Old English Rune Poem.
Initiated into the mysteries of shamanism at the age of 17, Kum-hwa became a Korean celebrity when she won a national folklore competition with a personal interpretation of a gut (shamanic ritual) in honor of North Korean generals. Named Korea's 82nd National Treasure in 1984, this pioneer of modern female shamans and advocate of reunification travels the world as a cultural ambassador but is best known at home as the star of a spectacular annual ritual, performed to assure the safety and prosperity of fishermen, that is broadcast on national television to millions of Korean households. It is this ceremony, Daedong Gut, that Kum-hwa will perform for the Festival and that holds the key to understanding the ongoing influence of shamanism in Korean arts.
The recent resurgence of interest in Korea's earliest religious tradition is hard won after centuries of domination by both Buddhist and Confucian belief systems which relegated shamans to society's lowest ranks.
“Only by melting the ice in the heart of Man does Man have a chance to change and begin using his knowledge wisely.”
A shaman, healer, storyteller and carrier of the Qilaut (winddrum), is an Eskimo-Kalaallit Elder whose family belongs to the traditional healers of the Far North from Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland. Angaangaq, who’s name means ‘The Man Who Looks Like His Uncle’ is an internationally respected Elder for the native communities of the Circumpolar Arctic Angaangaq conducts healing circles, intensives, and sweat lodges. His teachings are deeply rooted in the wisdom of the oral healing traditions of his people.
Angaangaq was called by his people to bring home the Sacred Fire to Greenland. In July 2009 Elders from Siberia to Amazonia, from Nepal to Zimbabwe made their way to an ancient sacred site on the Top of the World, fulfilling a prophecy so old – no one knows the time. Angaangaq is a keynote speaker at international conferences on climate change, environmental and indigenous issues, and he participates in peace and spiritual vigils with the United Nations, and serves on the special advisory council to the Jane Goodall Institute. Angaangaq’s work is acclaimed in promoting interracial and intercultural harmony.
Ñaupany Puma Guaman grew up in the high planes of Ecuador. He is a descendant the Inca and one of the remaining guardians of the wisdom of this high culture, a wisdom that was almost completely extinguished.
Since 1996 Ñaupany has been supporting Indio children in Ecuador and Peru. In the beginning of 2007 he founded the non-profit organization "Pan y Sol e.V.". It is a strong desire for Ñaupany to strengthen the identity and the voice of his people and his culture and to bring back into their consciousness the knowledge of their ancestors.