We have forgotten the flocks of passenger pigeons that blotted out the sun, the herds of bison that shook the ground, and the untamed places in which we destroyed them. This is ecological amnesia. This capacity to forget, this fluidity of memory, has dire implications in a world dense with people, all desperate to satisfy their immediate material needs. Yet, the way forward is land and water protection and regeneration, permaculture, and community reconnection with the wild.
Tag: Wade Davis
Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called “Embrace of the Serpent.” In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.
The Kogi People of Colombia, through two separate documentaries, delivered a message of a sustainable interconnection with nature and community as a way to avert climate and ecological destruction.
Prehistoric paintings on vertical rock faces in an Amazonian wilderness in Colombia were recently photographed and filmed for western eyes. The pretense of this British filmmaker as the “discoverer” of the paintings is of course ludicrous. The once populous Karijona Tribe most likely painted these masterpieces, and continue to live uncontacted in the vast rainforest, and anthropologists and explorers have studied the region for hundreds of years.
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.
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.
Canada is the number one oil supplier to the US and is pushing to increase that role using the Alberta Tar Sands, slated to mine and strip an area of Boreal Forest the size of Florida, impacting land resources and indigenous communities, producing bitumen-crude that will foul the global climate.