Spirits for the Spirits: Vodka's Role in a Mongolian Shaman Ceremony

Spirits for the Spirits: VodkaWe crouched on stools for four hours, watching each move the Mongolian shaman made. Somehow all 30 of us — 10 Americans, 14 Koreans, 2 Mongolian guides, the shaman and his assistants — all fit comfortably in his ger, a Mongolian version of a round yurt with felt sides. The guides arranged for us to attend the shaman’s ceremony that day, and it seemed obvious on both sides that no one knew what to expect. It was our first time seeing a shaman and his first time performing in front of travelers outside of his village.

'Now here we are, fighting for our rights': a new generation returns to Yule River

The plaque marking where Old Man Parker once sat is gone. He sat on a slight rise on the banks of the Yule River, 60km south of the West Australian town of Port Hedland, on his red velour throne, an Aboriginal Solomon listening to the complaints and concerns of his people.

Why We Should All Care About The Amazon's Disappearing Tribes

Why We Should All Care About The AmazonBefore Mark Plotkin became a successful Amazonian ethnobotanist and rainforest conservationist, he was a 19-year-old college dropout working the night shift at the Harvard Zoology Museum. Having developed an insatiable curiosity about the world's flora and fauna as a child, he decided to take a night course at the university led by a famed ethnobotanist. After attending that first lecture in 1974, Plotkin knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life exploring the rainforest. Within months, he was invited to join an expedition to the Amazonian region of French Guiana as a research assistant.

Malaysian villagers offer prayers to end quake aftershocks

Malaysian villagers offer prayers to end quake aftershocksBorneo tribal shamans chanted age-old prayers yesterday in a ceremony in Malaysia aimed at soothing spirits and bringing an end to disturbing aftershocks from an earthquake that killed 18 people.
About 100 members of the Kadazan Dusun, the largest tribal group in the Malaysian state of Sabah, held the ritual in the state’s Tamparuli district after a 5.1-magnitude aftershock shook the area yesterday.

Kennewick Man closely related to Native Americans

Kennewick Man closely related to Native AmericansDNA from the 8,500-year-old skeleton of an adult man found in 1996, in Washington, is more closely related to Native American populations than to any other population in the world, according to an international collaborative study conducted by scientists at the University of Copenhagen and the Stanford University School of Medicine.