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Celebrating Body & Soul: A Tea-Making Festival Reunites Russians with Their Cultural Traditions

Founder of the festival

by Mariia Ermilova and Tatiana Ilinich Every Russian knows the tall herb with elegant pink flowers and a reddish stem: Ivan-Chai (Epilobium angustifolium or Chamaenerion angustifolium). This plant is found throughout Russia, from Europe to the Far East. It usually appears on the outskirts of towns, one of the first species to appear when land

Farming Is Fighting: A Dayak Community Resists Unjust Regulations and Land Privatization

Meta Septalisa In 2015, a tragedy hit Indonesia: massive forest and land fires, which blanketed the whole country with thick haze. Following this disaster, the Minister of Environment and Forestry stated that her ministry was investigating 417 companies that were responsible for fires on about 1.7 million hectares of forest. But that’s not all. The

To the Roots: A Maya Reunion

A film by Steve Bartz . To the Roots: A Maya Reunion. Video: Steve Bartz, 1998. Watch film credits. We present this film by the late filmmaker Steve Bartz as a complement to Jim Nation’s story. Shot in 1998, the film chronicles a historic encounter between the Lacandón Maya and a group of Itza Maya

The Through Line: Lacandón Maya, Their Forest, and the Future

James D. Nations Through line = The connecting theme, the spine, the thread that connects people to their objective and pushes them forward. “Take care of the forest, like before, like the ancestors did. Take good care of the forest.” Years ago, when linguist Suzanne Cook asked Chan K’in, a Lacandón Maya Elder, what message

Food and Fun in the Forest: An Indian Village Turns to Nature during a Pandemic-Induced Lockdown

Radhika Borde and Siman Hansdak Once upon a time, growing up as an Adivasi in rural Jharkhand in eastern India meant learning what the forest could provide in terms of nourishment, education, and enjoyment— as for Adivasis, a group claiming an Indigenous identity, the forest was a context for living rather than a resource to

Muriira: Reviving Culture, Nature, and Ritual in Tharaka, Kenya

Simon Mitambo Right now, in July 2020, it is the harvest season in Tharaka, the bigger of the two harvest seasons we get every year in this part of Kenya. Usually this is a busy time on the farm, a time when people come together and work communally to ensure a good harvest. But the

Building Leadership Through Reconnection: The Latin American Academy for Food Systems Resilience

Yolanda López Maldonado The Indigenous Peoples of Peru have developed unique traditional knowledge around their food systems. This long tradition is related to the concept of Sumaq Causay, a central philosophy in the Andean Indigenous cosmovision: a holistic vision that takes into account diverse elements of the human condition, recognizing that a range of factors

Del Monte a la Cocina: Gathering Inspiration in Southern Chile

biocultural diversity

by Antonia Barreau, Sonia Aliante Raiguanque, Jesús Sánchez, Rosario Valdivieso, and Susannah R. McCandless What could be more local than wild, foraged foods, especially in a country where biogeographic isolation has generated high degrees of endemism? Wild foods contribute to Chile’s distinct cultural cuisine. In the south, they form an essential part of the traditional

Old Seeds, New Growth: Harvesting Community Empowerment from a School Garden in Kenya

by Eliot Gee Josephat Werimo doesn’t have an easy job. As principal at Mundika Special School, he is responsible for over one hundred students with disabilities. The staff is dedicated to making the school a safe haven for the students, many of whom are regarded as burdens in their own homes. Parents often entrust their

You Can Eat Your Cake and Have It Too: A Special Cake Recipe from the Nicobar Islands, India

coconut helmet

by Rakhi Kumari Food—its cultivation, cooking, and consumption—is an important ingredient for studying a society. Whether looking at food through the lens of anthropology, history, or linguistics, we cannot skip this strand of the cultural tapestry of a society if we wish to understand it clearly. What we eat, and how we eat, isn’t just