Tribal gathering in the French Pyrenees

Tribal gathering in the French PyreneesI am sitting on a mountaintop in the Pyrenees contemplating sucking the mint flavouring off my dental floss. This is the fourth day of my "vision quest", a rite of passage traditionally undertaken by young Native Americans. The idea is to go off alone into the mountains, immerse yourself in nature and then return to your community with your "vision". The Native Americans did it with no food, no water, no shelter, no clothes and no sleep, but we're having the luxury of just doing it with no food. On your return, the taking of the hallucinogenic self-discovery drug ayahuasca is an optional extra.

The mysteries of Hawk Rock

The mysteries of Hawk RockOne of the most amazing things that I have ever seen is a giant, carved boulder called Hawk Rock. Hawk Rock is located deep in the woods of the New York watershed in Putnam County, N.Y. and is perhaps one of the most mystical places and best-kept secrets in North America.

The rock was once on Native American sacred ground, and there is no coincidence that it is found in the same area in which a great deal of paranormal phenomena has been reported. An ancient Native American legend says that the land is a gateway to the gods and earth spirits.

NSW bill recognises Aboriginal people

NSW bill recognises Aboriginal peopleAboriginal people in New South Wales are set to gain constitutional recognition after a bill was introduced to Parliament.

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY LEADERS GATHERED today at NSW Parliament House in Sydney to watch Premier Kristina Keneally introduce a bill that will amend the state's constitution to acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land.

The symbolic inclusion would amend the Constitution Act 1902 to acknowledge Aborigines as "the state's first people and nations."

Introduction of the bill followed a traditional smoking ceremony in the parliament's forecourt, attended by MPs from all parties as well as representatives of the indigenous community and NSW Lieutenant Governor James Spigelman.

Surviving by Disguising: Nature’s Game of Charades

Surviving by Disguising: Nature’s Game of CharadesOne bright October morning, Fabiano Calleia, a researcher with the Federal University of Amazonas, was out in the lowland rainforest of Manaus, Brazil, tracking his usual group of eight pied tamarins as the small, dark monkeys with their dapper white shrugs grazed on the fruits of a fig tree. Suddenly the breakfast calm was shattered by the distinctive sound of a baby tamarin’s cry — a series of short, sharp whistles, like a boiling teapot doing Morse code.

Sacred Traditions with Universal Appeal

Sacred Traditions with Universal AppealView full size
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It's not often that you have the chance to turn a bone into a horn or hear an ancient tale that has been handed down through generations.

But at the Green Corn Festival, which occurs this Saturday through Monday at Philipsburg Manor, visitors can take in these activities and explore the history and culture of the region's Native Americans.