Chinese town embraces technology while retaining its Shangri-La image

Chinese town embraces technology while retaining its Shangri-La imageImagine a remote province in southwestern China. A roomful of American teachers sit transfixed on wooden benches in a classroom, listening to a young student of ancient dongba — a religion, language and form of hieroglyphics. Dongba, he explains, is the only hieroglyphic writing still in use. The school teaches dongba to young people of the Naxi (NA-shee) tribe in order to preserve their heritage.

Behind the tunic-clad young man sits an impressively attired shaman.>>>

Apocalypse Now (or Not?)

Apocalypse Now (or Not?)A SECT OF enlightened individuals lives among us.Their beliefs encompass shamanism, a 2012 doomsday scenario, obscure psychedelic drugs, mysticism, yoga, UFOs, crop circles, occasional communication with Mayan deities and the lingering suspicion that Obama is part of a robot conspiracy. You know, the usual.>>>

Pray for snow: Sierra-at-Tahoe's winter ritual is Thursday

Pray for snow: Sierra-at-TahoeThe tradition of praying for snow runs deep in resort towns, combining the spiritual with the jovial. In Vail, Colo., Ute Indians perform a traditional snow dance during the winter festivities. The folks in Breckenridge take a week to celebrate Ullr, the mythical Norse god of snow, in the middle of dating games, comedy shows and parades.>>>

Descendants of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull attend Indigenous Peoples Days

Descendants of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull attend Indigenous Peoples DaysTo highlight the tribe’s 10th annual Indigenous Peoples Days the Tsi Akim Maidu invited descendants of 18 noted Native Americans to join the celebration.

The descendants sat on bales of straw in a wide circle around a late afternoon fire as the sun dropped into the pine forest at the Maidu Active Cultural Center just outside Nevada City. Offerings of tobacco were tossed into the fire by each participant.>>>

SHUAR AND SHAMANISM

SHUAR AND SHAMANISM To understand the culture of the Shuar people of Ecuador, it is crucial to appreciate the importance they place on “the hidden world.”

As the American academic and white shaman Michael Harner explains in his book The Jivaro: People of the Sacred Waterfalls the Shuar believe that waking life is simply “a lie,” or illusion, while the true forces that determine daily events are supernatural. The Shuar believe that witchcraft is the cause of the vast majority of illnesses and non-violent deaths. This view of reality has created a demand for numerous Shuar shamans, people who are able to interpret the forces of the “real” world and help others interpret and deal with these supernatural elements.>>>