White sangoma follows ‘calling’ of his ancestors

White sangoma follows ‘calling’ of his ancestorsSOME of his ancestors are black and they communicate with him in isiXhosa. They visit and guide him in his dreams. But because Paul Wagenhauser is a white man practising as a sangoma, a cultural practice very distant and foreign to his own background, there is still skepticism from both black and white people about what he does.

Living gods of the Himalayas

Living gods of the HimalayasThis time I set out for Devbhoomi, the land of the Gods, to encounter the reality of experience and the collective consciousness of a system of belief that is unique in its cultural context but common to all our histories.

Basking in the shadow of the majestic Himalayas, Kullu valley is a pastoral delight. Here people live off the land, mostly in villages, and Manali is its only cosmopolitan oasis.

35,000-year-old axe head places Aboriginal ancestors at the cutting edge of technology

35,000-year-old axe head places Aboriginal ancestors at the cutting edge of technologyTHE oldest ground-edge tool in the world has been discovered in Arnhem Land, prompting scientists to reconsider exactly when the technique of grinding to make tools sharp entered the Stone Age.

Unearthed from a sandstone cave in a remote part of south-west Arnhem Land in May, the basalt axe piece measuring 4 centimetres in length has been radio-carbon dated at 35,000 years old.

Stimulus Greed Endangers Tribe's Cultural History, American Indians Say

Stimulus Greed Endangers TribeIt is not exactly the mortgage mess, but it strikes a similar chord.

When Congress passed the economic stimulus package
in 2009, it promised billions of dollars to “shovel ready” government projects that could get up and running quickly. But the scramble for the flood of money led to some shortcuts being taken to meet start-up deadlines -- leaving problems that will have to be dealt with later.

Harry Potter to blame for India's owls disappearing?

Harry Potter to blame for IndiaIt's no magic trick. Harry Potter, the fictional boy wizard, is making owls disappear in India, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh says.

His comments came during a presentation of a new report by a conservation group, Traffic, which offered a new study blaming a black market for trading in the highly endangered owl species in India.

The report says the owls are often being trapped for black-magic rituals. "Shaman or black magic practitioners frequently referred to as tantriks in India, prescribe the use of owls and their body parts such as skull, feathers, ear tuffs, claws, heart, liver, kidney, blood, eyes, fat, beak, tears, eggshells, meat and bones for ceremonial pujas and rituals."