Saving the old with the new

Saving the old with the newThe Achuar people in the Ecuadorian highlands use tourism in their fight to retain traditions
I had traveled by car, plane, boat and foot to a place where the old ways have not been forgotten. Here local people interpret the world through their dreams and the forest spirit known as arutamis said to inhabit the mighty kapok tree, and healing and insight is sought from a hallucinogenic plant brew the indigenous people call natem, known elsewhere as ayahuasca, or "vine of the soul."

New documentary remembers largest mass execution in US history

New documentary remembers largest mass execution in US historyWorthington, Minn. — The largest mass execution in U.S. history occurred 148 years ago, when 38 Dakota warriors were hanged from a single scaffold in Mankato.

The shock waves of that mass execution still reverberate today among the Dakota people. A new documentary film remembers the 38, and also a group of Dakota who ride on horseback each year at this time to Mankato to commemorate the executions of Dec. 26, 1862

Poinsettias and mistletoe signs of the season

Poinsettias and mistletoe signs of the seasonStuttgart, Ark. —
Poinsettia and mistletoe, two plants which are common in the holiday season, weren't originally used as Christmas decorations as they are today.

Poinsettia is a red leaf plant, which is associated with Christmas because it only lives in tropical climates, blooms in the winter months and was used as a medicine by the Aztec Native American tribes in Mexico.

Drumming up enthusiasm for a noisy new way to beat the blues

Drumming up enthusiasm for a noisy new way to beat the bluesIt sounds hippy-dippy, but joining a drum circle is a great way to release tension – and learn a thing or two about African rhythms, writes FIONOLA MEREDITH
IT DOESN’T GET any more elemental than this: sitting in a circle of people and beating out a complex web of rhythms on a simple African hand drum. Cynics may scoff at the peace-and-love hippy vibe, but drumming aficionados know better. It’s no coincidence that drum circles are soaring in popularity, with sessions springing up in Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Limerick and Belfast.

Shinnecocks to meet Thursday with Obama

Shinnecocks to meet Thursday with ObamaTrustees of the Shinnecock Indian Nation are in Washington for their first formal meeting Thursday with President Barack Obama as a federally recognized tribe.
Tribes attending the White House Tribal Nation's conference will argue for an executive fix to a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that limits Native Americans' ability to convert private land into federal trust, Shinnecock leaders said. They will also seek more federal funding for tribal programs.