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Oldoinyo Sambu

A Maasai man tells the story of his splendid and diverse territory of life in Tanzania. WORDS, IMAGES, AND VIDEO Alois Porokwa   I didn’t know why Ndakaji Leyian was so perplexed when, back in 1978, he asked me where I was studying. Ndakaji is a Maasai Elder, now about eighty years of age. In

Reeds of Harmony

As guardian of a tradition that breathes life into the land, a Nigerian weaver engages in a timeless dance with her reeds. WORDS, IMAGES, AND VIDEO Ode Dixon . In the heart of Iworo, Badagry, Nigeria, where the sun kisses the Badagry Creek each morning, there lives a woman named Deborah Avoseh, affectionately known as

Basandja

In the heart of the Congo, a community revives a traditional code of conduct for caring for the environment. WORDS AND VIDEO Petna Ndaliko Katondolo with Maurice Carney IMAGES Stella Ramazani Nyota   Enter the fascinating world of Basandja: The Living Wisdom of the Congo Rainforest, where the documentary camera lens captures more than just

Black to the Land

A Black urban girl in Upstate New York reclaims ancestral gardening. WORDS Rehani Tapp | IMAGES Ronke L. Tapp . If something was stolen from you, you would want it back, right? Well, I am a Black urban teen who gardens with her family, and one thing that I’ve realized is that when Africans were

Custodianship for the Common Good: Restoring Traditional Concepts of Rights and Responsibilities

Inclusive international law and governance and a shared ethical framework are needed to sustain both people and the planet. WORDS AND IMAGES Nigel Crawhall  “The forest is our school, and our ancestors are our teachers.” — Papa Nze, Baka Elder, Zangaville, Gabon   . Global assessments such as the one produced in 2019 by the

Ituri: Challenges and Prospects for Biocultural Heritage in Conflict Situations

A civilian peacekeeper explores the role of biocultural rights and responsibilities in achieving reconciliation and a lasting peace in conflict areas. Paulin Regnard It was with some trepidation that, in April of 2016, I set foot in Bunia, the capital of the Congolese province of Ituri in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of

The Wealth of Our Lands: Celebrating Boititap Korenyo with the Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya

A community advocates for land rights and protects its ancestral forest with mapping technology. WORDS AND IMAGES Rudo Kemper   The Ogiek of Mount Elgon are an Indigenous group native to western Kenya. They have lived across the vast swathe of moorland and forests of Mount Elgon since before colonial occupation and the subsequent creation

Territory of Life: The Story of Ibola Dja Bana da Massaha, the Reserve of All Massaha Children

A forest community in Gabon affirms its will for self-determination and responsible management of its ancestral land. WORDS Benjamin Evine-Binet | IMAGES Nsombou Abalghe-Dzal Association   Ours is a real story, one both lived and shaped by the Kota community of Massaha — a group of villages located in the Ogooué-Ivindo province of northeastern Gabon,

It All Starts with Opening Our Hearts: A Dialogue about Earth Jurisprudence

Every being on Earth has both inherent rights and the responsibility to participate in the web of life. WORDS Mashudu Takalani and Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson | IMAGES Tim Hawkins The Gaia Foundation is an international organization with nearly forty years of experience accompanying allies to revive biocultural diversity. Having graduated from Gaia’s three-year, UN-recognized “Trainings for

Growing Pains: The Price of My Negligence

Reflecting on his life’s path, a young writer from Ghana realizes that there are no rights without responsibilities. Abraham Ofori-Henaku Back when I was a kid, living out my prepubescent years with no worries about responsibilities whatsoever, I had every excuse to enjoy the bliss of ignorance. Shamelessly, I carried on with this fatuous sense