“Good Land” by Christi Belcourt
“GOOD LAND” by Christi Belcourt. Acrylic on Canvas, 30″ x 40″
“Good Land” shows two depictions of one map. On one side, it contains some original place names, and markings that show an Indigenous world view of land. So for example it may be marked with “fasting site” or “place of the little people” – on the other, the words have been taken from existing historical maps which have words such as “good land” “rough land unfit for civilization” “this is now called the County of Simcoe” and “Part of Canada”. Its been said that more Indigenous territory has been stolen with mapping than by guns (Bernard Nietschmann). “Good land” was an actual map made along the North Shore of Lake Huron in 1856 by Albert Salter, who started to mark out the resources in the territory. A map that affects us today.
Christi Belcourt is a Metis visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. The majority of her work explores and celebrates the beauty of the natural world.
See more of Christi’s work at http://christibelcourt.com/
ጃማይካ (Jamaica) in አማርኛ (Amharic), by Jordan Engel
The Rastafari movement is a faith which began in ጃማይካ (Jamaica) in the 1930s. Though Jamaicans primarily speak an English-African Creole language known as Patois, many Rastafari learn Amharic, a Semitic language from Ethiopia, as a second language, as they consider it to be a sacred language. In fact, the word “Rastafari” comes from two Amharic words – ራስ (Ras – literally “head”), which is an Ethiopian title equivalent to prince or chief, and ተፈሪ (Tafari – the given name of Haile Selassie at birth). ኪንግስተን (Kingston) is the largest city on the island, which is surrounded by ካሪቢያን ባሕር (The Caribbean Sea).
Percent of Population Practicing Indigenous African Religions (1900, 1970, and 1990), and Percent of Population Practicing Major Religions in Africa Today (Indigenous Religions, Islam, and Christianity)
The continent of Africa is home to many indigenous religions: Vodun, Ifá, Badimo, Dini Ya Misambwa, Ọdinani, and countless others. A century ago, these were the dominant faiths across the continent, but today, only about 10% of Africans practice an indigenous religion.
Source: Matthew White – http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/afrorelg.htm
The Celtic Nations by Jordan Engel
The Celtic Nations are territories in Northern and Western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived.
The six Celtic Nations, as recognized by the Celtic League, are:
Brittany – Breizh (Brezhoneg [Breton])
Cornwall – Kernow (Kernowek [Cornish])
Ireland – Éire (Gaeilge [Irish])
Isle of Man – Mannin (Gaelg [Manx])
Scotland – Alba (Gàidhlig [Scottish Gaelic])
Wales – Cymru (Cymraeg [Welsh])
Baltic Tribes circa 1200 CE
The Baltic region of Europe (modern Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, and Poland) circa 1200 CE. The Baltic tribes of this era practiced various forms of paganism about which little is known today. Beginning in the 13th century CE, Christian crusaders from Denmark, Sweden, and Germany invaded the Baltic region, converting tribes in what was one of the last parts of Europe to be Christianized.
European people are indigenous people. In the words of Ward Churchill, “Euro-Americans are indigenous people too. Not here, but they’re indigenous to somewhere with indigenous traditions and understandings of the land. They need to get back in touch with that. They must recover that which has been taken from them in the process of colonization, taken in the same fashion that things are being taken from us, now.”
Cavelandia is a region of extraordinarily karst topography across the modern states of Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, and Georgia. Tens of thousands of caves lie beneath the surface, including Mammoth Cave – the longest in the world. In the Yuchi language, this area is known as S’akabaha, meaning “Cave land.” The Yuchi, who call themselves Tsoyaha, or “Children of the sun,” are one of the original inhabitants of this region. Indeed, “Cavelanders” was once a common appellation for the Yuchi people. Caves were a central part of Yuchean spirituality, and dozens of caves in S’akabaha contain ancient glyphic inscriptions, the most common of which is that of the Tso (the sacred sun symbol). There is little doubt that the Yuchi played a large role in these cave inscriptions. The elder’s traditions describe initiatory rites performed in caves, and the priests often retired to the caves to journey to the lower worlds. Important Yuchi leaders were also often interred in caves after their deaths. These caves are very sacred to the Yuchi, and must be protected.
Map by Woktela D.K. Hackett, Yuchi Tribal Historian, and Jordan Engel
For more information on the Yuchi, visit http://yuchi.org/ or www.facebook.com/YuchiSpirit
This series of maps comes from National Geographic’s “A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World.” The maps detail in what ways we can be more efficient about where we grow, what we grow, and how we grow.
We can no longer afford to increase food production through agricultural expansion. Nearly all new food production in the next 25 years will have to come from existing agricultural land.
Only 55 percent of food-crop calories directly nourish people. Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised on feed supply another 4 percent. It would be easier to feed the planet if more of the crops we grew ended up in human stomachs.
Improving nutrient and water supplies where yields are lowest could result in a 58 percent increase in global food production.
All maps and graphics: Virginia W. Mason and Jason Treat, NGM Staff. A World Demanding More, source: David Tilman, University of Minnesota. Agriculture’s Footprint, source: Roger LeB. Hooke, University of Maine. Maps, source: Global Landscapes Initiative, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota.