The BaVenda (also known as Venda), a Bantu tribe living in Southern Africa, tell a traditional myth about how the meerkat gave all the animals their special colors.
Rituals and Traditions
WilderUtopia celebrates world culture with a frame of environmental sustainability. Our inspiration sources from ethnically-based indigenous arts, myth and storytelling, as well as dance and music, played out in the rituals, customs, and traditions of the many peoples of the planet.
Every day, more and more tourists arrive in Iquitos, Peru, seeking spiritual enlightenment or a psychedelic experience first made popular by William Burroughs and the Beatniks in the 1960s. Unfortunately, some well-paid “shamans” lack the experience or understanding of the powerful and sacred botanical brews used for thousands of years for healing and divination. And the gringos-on-holiday often get over their heads in the wilds of the Amazon.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés tells the story from the deserts and mountains of Northern Mexico about a wolf woman, a collector of bones, who resurrects the wild spirit of life from the depths of the Underworld.
Like several West African religions, Vodouisants believe in a supreme being called Bondyè, from bon “good” + dyè “God.” Because Bondyè is unreachable, Vodouisants aim their prayers to lesser entities, the spirits known as Lwa (Loa), contacted and served through possession. In turn, the Lwa confer material blessings, physical well-being, protection, abundance.
Eostre – the Germanic goddess of dawn and fertility, whose name gives us the word Easter – must be pleased. Two millennia of Christianity, and she has yet to be displaced from our annual celebration of fecundity. Easter eggs, representing birth, nod to both pagan and Christian traditions.
The California Condor Recovery Program has defied the odds to rescue from oblivion the last of the prehistorics and icon of Native Californian cosmology. Threats such as lead ammunition, microtrash, and sprawling land development threaten these impressive gains of an endangered species. The film “The Condor’s Shadow” documents this struggle.
The Sacred Land Film Project captured a revival of a canoe ceremony with feasting, dancing and carving, honoring their sacred Ramu River. The region is part of the third largest intact rainforest ecosystem left on earth, where sustainable agriculture and forestry practices have allowed societies to thrive for thousands of years, now threatened by multinational logging interests and corrupt governmental entities.