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In Momostenango, a small town in the highland region of Guatemala, the Quiche Mayan community did not enter the 2012 year dreading doomsday predictions. Instead, they’re gearing up for their biggest party yet. Momostenago has a total of 10 sacred altars. On important days of the Mayan calendar, these prayer spaces are packed with Indigenous Mayans coming to make their offerings, pray, and celebrate special occasions, such as the initiation of the planting season, a marriage, a birth, or the opening of a new business.


Alutiiq dance traditions returned to Kodiak Island last August after an absence of more than two centuries— a casualty of Russian and American missionaries’ proselytizing influence in tribal communities, where Native dancing was forbidden or discouraged as an irrelevant and unnecessary practice. In order to reintroduce Alutiiq youth to creating new artistic performances in the traditional storytelling method, Dr.


The recent uprisings in the Middle East, dubbed “The Arab Spring,” have not only been a political revolution, but also a media one. The uprisings have shown the world how media technology can grant voice and power to ordinary people. As cameras get smaller and cheaper, and internet access broadens, this revolution is destined to expand.


My people, the Bribri, have always watched and waited for the birds that visit our lands each year in March and again in October. Now we know that these are migratory birds of prey—raptors—that travel thousands of miles from Canada to South America and back each year, tracing the ancient flyways of their species. 


Sacred Places, Sacred Lifeways: CSQ 36.1 March 2012

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The Quechua: Guardians of the Potato

At four the morning, Quechua farmers in the high altitude Andean communities of Amaru and Paru Paru, Peru are beginning the day in their fields, or chacras. Most of them are tending to a crop representative of the Quechua diet and culture: the potato. “Our most basic food is the native potato,” says Isabella, a Quechua woman and respected elder from Amaru. In…

Saving Wirikuta: My people’s struggle to protect a sacred place in Mexico

Long before nations like Mexico, the United States, and Canada existed, my people, the Wixárika Nation (incorrectly known as Huichol), were the original inhabitants of this land. And long before we were here, our creators, Grandfather Fire, Grandmother Growth, Father Sun, the Rain Mothers, Elder Brother Deer, Brother Wind and other universal spiritual forces created the Wixárika universe. Our…

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