Ayahuasca: indie's new drug of choice

Ayahuasca: indieHave this generation's crop of hippy-dippy indie artists found a new drug to match their music? Devendra Banhart, the Bees and Klaxons have in recent weeks namechecked ayahuasca, a so-called "plant medicine" taken in the Peruvian rainforest over intense 10-day periods. Klaxons' Jamie Reynolds even went so far as to cite the experience as a key factor in helping his band finally follow up their debut album. But before you rush out to guzzle down this herbal brew, it's perhaps best to know what you're letting yourself in for

And they came from Central Asia

And they came from Central AsiaThereís a new paper in AJHG out, Whole-Genome Genetic Diversity in a Sample of Australians with Deep Aboriginal Ancestry, which Iíll hit later. It doesnít have anything too surprising, but in the supplements they have a figure which shows frappe and Structure plots for the HGDP populations as well as their Australian Aboriginal sample. These methods take an individualís genome and assign elements to one of K ancestral populations. For African Americans this is highly illuminating, as K = 2 simply breaks down along European/African ancestral lines. The mean turns out to be ~20% for the minority quantum, exactly what had previously been ascertained through genealogy, classical autosomal markers (e.g., Duffy), and the average of uniparental lineages for European ancestry (African Americans tend to be enriched for European Y chromosomal markers, and have less than the expected European mtDNA markers. Again, totally intelligible in light of the history of relations in the old South).

Indigenous leaders call for constitutional change

Indigenous leaders call for constitutional changeSeveral Aboriginal leaders will meet Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin today to ask her to consider changing the Australian constitution.

Ms Macklin is due to arrive at the Garma Festival in eastern Arnhem Land this morning.

Prominent Indigenous people like Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton and Galarrwuy Yunupingu say it is time Indigenous people were recognised in the nation's supreme law.

Sweat lodges traditional part of Native American culture, purification ceremonies

Sweat lodges traditional part of Native American culture, purification ceremoniesDeep inside Turkey Creek Ranch there is a small dome hut made of willow branches and covered with heavy blankets and tarps. The Lakotas call it an Inipi, a sweat lodge.

Here, Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, their families and supporters come to pray in a traditional Native American purification ceremony. Inside the Inipi, they leave their inner "pollution" in the hot stones, said Michael Hackwith, a Lakota Sundance spiritual leader and retired U.S. Marine who runs the lodge at Turkey Creek Ranch, about 10 miles south of Fort Carson on State Highway 115.

Roots of eastern mysticism found within the western world

Roots of eastern mysticism found within the western worldGroundbreaking new research has revealed a very different origin for the western world than anything we have been led to believe. And what is most striking about these discoveries is that they not only tell us about our past - they also guide us to live a fuller and much richer life today.
A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of the Modern World by Peter Kingsley tells the true but forgotten story of extraordinary people who arrived in Europe over 2,000 years ago from as far afield as Central Asia and Tibet.