481 - Strange Lapps and Their Magical Drumming Maps

481 - Strange Lapps and Their Magical Drumming MapsWhen the wise men of Europeís Far North want to see beyond the merely visible, they bang their noid drums (1) until the rhythm and concomitant incantations prise open the creaky doors of perception.

The skin that forms the membrane of their drums is decorated with cryptic symbols that constitute a symbolic landscape. On this mental map is placed a piece of bone, which dances across the membrane as the shaman bangs the drumís frame. It is his job to translate the boneís erratic hopscotchery across this magical universe into meaningful comments on events past, present and future.

American Indian church sues feds over peyote use

American Indian church sues feds over peyote useAn American Indian church is suing state and federal police and prosecutors over the right of its members to use peyote in religious ceremonies, even if they arenít of Indian ancestry.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Utahís U.S. District Court on behalf of the Oklevueha Native American Church. It contends that federal laws that protect peyote use by American Indians should apply to anyone who belongs to the church.

Religion of Naxi people in China

Religion of Naxi people in ChinaBefore 1949, most Naxi people were followers of the "Dongba" religion, which was a form of Shamanism. Sorcerers, called "Dongba," were invited to chant scriptures at weddings, funerals, the New Year Day and other festivals. Some of the Naxi people were followers of Lamaism. Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity only had limited access to the Lijiang area.

Phuket sea gypsies perform turtle exorcism ritual

Phuket sea gypsies perform turtle exorcism ritualPHUKET: Sea gypsies in Rawai held an exorcism ceremony on Mai Thon Island recently to seek forgiveness from their guardian spirit.
They were hoping to appease spirit Balai Da Toe after two fellow sea gypsies died from food poisoning in June after eating Hawksbill turtle meat.
Many others fell seriously ill, but survived the meal.
The late-August ceremony, involving the release of three sea turtles, took place at a shrine to Balai Da Toe on Koh Mai Thon.
The release ceremony, presided over by sea gypsy shaman Hari Fongsaitan, began at about 10am.

Nukak dispossession highlights Amazonian tribes' plight

Nukak dispossession highlights Amazonian tribesSlumped in a hammock, Duki Maku glares aggressively from behind dark sunglasses as he outlines the Nukak people's claims to a life beyond the tangle of the southern Colombian jungles.

"The Nukak want out," he says angrily, "the Nukak no longer belong in the jungle."

Village elders look on, a collective concern flashing across their faces as they recognise Duki's familiar rant.