The lost tribe

The lost tribeMichael Dreaver has listened patiently for 45 minutes on a muggy afternoon in Ranui. The ranchslider is open, assisted by an electric fan battling for breeze, in the cramped pensioner flat. It's a lost cause. The air doesn't budge and everyone sits quietly steaming.

Rare Eskimo shaman mask sells for record-breaking $2.5 million

Rare Eskimo shaman mask sells for record-breaking $2.5 millionFacial protrusions that look like hands; dangling sticks and feathers; a wide and mischievous grin: It's no wonder this rare Eskimo shaman's mask was so precious to the Surrealists.

And now a price has been put on the value of the Donati Studio Mask -- it was sold for over $2.5 million Thursday to a U.S. collector.

Spirited First Nations play cause for celebration

Spirited First Nations play cause for celebrationLong ago, in the history of the Anishnaabe First Nation, when a boy was born who danced "in the way of a woman," he was raised as an agokwe (ag oo-kway), meaning "wise woman" or "Two-Spirited." He was deemed special and was ranked in status along with medicine men. Each of the First Nations had a word for this phenomenon--a boy who had within him both "the spirit of a man and the spirit of a woman--fire and ice."

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Hands-on trek back in time

Hands-on trek back in timeJust beyond the Blue Mountains railway lies a portal to the Dreamtime, if you're prepared to open your mind, writes Lance Richardson.

"THIS is what we'll be avoiding today," Evan Yanna Muru says, waving his hand. A freight train rumbles past. Fragments of sandstone crumble in the maw of a bulldozer as another road is constructed by Faulconbridge station. There is a colonial-era cemetery, carefully manicured. And then there is the bush. As we find our unmarked entrance and the drone of machinery is replaced by cicadas, a sense of symbolism settles over what was, moments before, just another stop on the railway.

House Rhetoricians vs. Santa's Reindeers

House Rhetoricians vs. SantaThis January, the House Rhetoricians of the 112th Congress started their climate denialist work with great passion. Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News that the GOP-led House won't "let this administration regulate what they've been unable to legislate." This is fine rhetoric -- on one hand he is referring to the Obama administration's failure to pass a climate bill last year, and on the other he is talking about his plan to undo the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to establish stricter greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants and oil refineries.