Why the world won't end in 2012

Why the world wonIf there's a word in Mayan for "malarkey" that's what shaman Gerardo Carrera thinks of Hollywood's end-of-days spin on Dec. 21, 2012. With Roland Emmerich's big-budget disaster movie 2012 riding a wave of studio publicity into theatres Nov. 13, people are talking about what seems to be the date the sophisticated Maya calendar runs out, perhaps triggering the downfall of civilization.

Carved trees bring indigenous history to life

Carved trees bring indigenous history to lifeFOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS Aboriginal groups in central NSW marked important ceremonial sites by carving beautiful, ornate designs on the trunks of trees. The carvings, comprising symbolic motifs, intricate swirls, circles and zigzags, were intended to be long-lasting but, instead, only a handful of the trees on which they were carved are still alive today.

Behind the shaman's mask

Behind the shamanShamanic rituals are a riotous display of color, music, dance and dramatic performance, their appeal often beyond our understanding. Shamans, with their reported psychic abilities and seeming supernatural powers, have been simultaneously feared and respected in every culture.

Negara: A quest for ghosts in Malaysia's green heart

Negara: A quest for ghosts in MalaysiaI toyed with the idea of deliberately losing myself in the wilds of Taman Negara and living off the land like the Orang Asli. I will never go thirsty here. Not with all those lianas, which foresters call water vine. If I get parched, all I have to do is hack one. For food, I could pick after monkeys and squirrels.

Ancient Aborigines understood eclipses

Ancient Aborigines understood eclipsesAustralian Aboriginal accounts of lunar and solar eclipses indicate many traditional communities understood the movement of the Sun, Earth and Moon. The research by Duane Hamacher from Sydney's Macquarie University and accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage and appearing on the website arXiv.org, indicates Aboriginal communities in different parts of Australia often have similar traditional stories to explain these events.