Blood is thicker than the water

Now that she was 17 she decided, it was time for her to become a mother. The father of her child was to be Bao. So she gave him a shawl that she had woven herself. Bao knew what he had to do. The same night he went to the house where she lived with her mother, scaled the outer wall to her wide-opened window, climbed in and stayed with her until morning.

Learning responsibility

Time played him. He was looking in the mirror straight into his soul and realized that what he could see was just the end of an era. As scary as the image in the mirror appeared, he didn’t panic. He calmly looked a bit more intense and without any fear suddenly decided that the full acceptance of his adult life might not be such a bad idea as it culminates – if he’s going to luckily live long enough – in the respected status of a wise man.

The way the heart leads through the stomach

Hungry mouths gather around the fire. The communal meal is an important part of the development of the social fabric of Human Society. But one day, there was food that could be stolen. The storehouse was a radical turning point in the social history of Mankind. From then on, the man guarded the supplies and the woman prepared the meals. This activity is profanely called pairing consolidation, thus coining the idiom: the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

When our world touches the bases

More and more surviving indigenous people communicate to a large extent using the Internet, and by mobile phones via satellite uplinks. Chat groups, email, websites and news groups are making inroads into the furthest corners of the rainforest and most distant reaches of the steppe.

The own religion as a standard for the others

The migration movements are one of the two main reasons why religious encounter each other. Conversely, there were and are repeated attempts to set one’s own religion as a standard for the lives of the other. Generally, missionaries followed in the footsteps of conquerors – if they did not even go ahead of their forces. They were sent out to convince presumed unbelievers by means of more or less pressure that is was worth changing sides in order to achieve peace on earth or in heaven.

Jarawa – the survivers

In December 2004, a seaquake of tremendous proportions shook the Indian Ocean, causing a gigantic Tsunami wave to bring death and devastation to the coasts of countless islands and neighboring regions. Hundreds of thousands people lost their lives. Even the Andaman Islands were not spared. Currently, around 500 to 600 natives survived the Tsunami: the Jarawa, the Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese. They had foreseen the impending disaster and escaped to higher regions of the island.

When Sun created the world

The Sun wished to see some land, and he told the beaver to dive down to the bottom of the water and to try to bring up a little mud so that he can make something marvelous out of it. The beaver dived and was under water for a long time, but he could not reach the bottom. Then other two animals tried, but the water was too deep for them too. In the end a turtle was sent into the ocean. It stayed there for so long that everyone thought it must be drowned. Finally it came up and while they were looking to his paws they found a little mud in them.

The body as a piece of paper

Making changes to one’s body evolved in our days to the level of plastic surgery, but is probably something as old as human themselves. During time it manifested in many ways and for some it seemed to be almost a cultural need. During time it manifested in many ways and for some it seemed to be almost a cultural need. Humans etch pictures underneath their skin, pierce holes in their ears, nose and lips, or scar themselves decoratively. What for some may mark the beginning of a new life phase, or even a promotion in social status is a religious taboo or used to humiliate or disgrace another person in other societies.

Belief is Rhythm

As already stated, music, like all other activities, has a context. This context enables the people to survive. Whoever digresses from this music, breaking the rhythm, sets himself apart from the community, with all the possible consequences that may follow. Whoever breaks the binding taboos also breaks with the community.

The people in the circle

Imagine you could use the eyes of the first human being and look through them out into the skies. With these primitive eyes but not-so-primitive understanding, you will see the first and most amazing circles – the moon, the sun, the planets, the stars, and realize a grandeur that can be spoken in a circular language.

In search for authenticity

Every boy wants to become a man one day, but it’s not an easy job to get recognition and respect from the important ones in the society. In order to achieve that, one has to be initiated and roughly trained for several years in a camp, far away from the human realm. It’s only there that he can learn the real meaning of his traditions, the principals and the moral values.  There were he is, in the sacred but dark forest, crossing the boundaries between his comfort zone and  the world of the unknowns, he might get a chance to be visited in a dream by a spirit who wants to be given a bodily shape. Just following this dream, the adult inside the boy will be able to give life to the spirit and show it to the world in such a form which will uniquely define him as a person.

Ainu or the sense of tradition

On the other side of the island a lovely woman is enjoying her independency and laughs at the sun, still being aware that she has to remain extremely beautiful if she decides to marry Ainu one day. She feels totally safe and relaxed as her grandma prepared everything in advance. The big secret of happiness was just a simple tattoo that was brought to earth by the ancestral mother and so she decided to have it done.  This tattoo was supposed to repel evil spirits from entering her body causing sickness or misfortune. Even more, it was powerful enough to assure her life after death together with her beloved ones.

Men do it and women do it too

Men do it and women do it too. In all cultures they take on duties and responsibilities, enter into affiliations and make vows. In addition to extremes even in the great below, there are lovely microcosms. One of them is called Thoma. As MacCormack writes: “With Poro and Sande, the contrastive gender categories are split apart and the uniqueness of each gender is emphasized, but always with the final view that the complementarity of the two constitute human society, the full cultural unity.  Thoma is a microcosm of the whole.

How far can we go?

They do not own land, holiday houses or apartments. They are everywhere and nowhere; they need no money; they know no time; they are indebted to no one, aside from their God and themselves. No one knows when they are coming, where they are coming from, and where they are headed. Their rhythm is determined by day and night, ebb and flow, rainy times and dry times. Their children are born on the water, grown up on the water, marry on the water, and finally die on the water.