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Language, Culture, and Land: Lenses of Lilies

Pilawuk White

At a pond’s edge, a woman muses about waterlilies as metaphors for mother-tongue languages and their power to anchor story, wisdom, and heritage. Dawn Wink . Waterlilies hold a special place in my heart. I did not grow up with them, though. I grew up on a remote ranch amid the sand, rocks, cacti, and

Relatives of the Deep

Conversation with J,SIṈTEN John Elliott A respected Elder shares important teachings that are intrinsic to his people’s language and way of life. Luisa Maffi     “Our languages are a part of the winds, the rain, the mountains, and all life as it was given. These are our original laws and our sacred connections to

Living-Language-Land: Listening to Nature in Languages Not Our Own

Ghislain Bédard art

A journey through endangered and minority languages that reveals diverse ways of relating to land and nature. Philippa Bayley and Neville Gabie, with Missinak Kameltoutasset (Marie-Émilie Lacroix) and contributors to Living-Language-Land     The languages we speak shape much of how we understand the world around us, including our connections to land and nature. But

No Native Bones

A young Ghanaian muses about his Indigenous identity, traditional values, and biocultural diversity. Abraham Ofori-Henaku   “Ouch!” I exclaimed, after hitting my pinkie toe against the leg of a table that stood idle in my path. I’d been busy brainstorming ideas for this piece, and while at it I paced the corridors of my apartment,

Countravāl l’Aigo / Against the Current

By learning how to swim against the current like salmon do, a woman finds her way back to the source of her language and identity. Daniela Boccassini   As our times’ bewildered becoming keeps unfolding, two simple words from a French medieval poem have accompanied me every step of the way: contreval l’iaue. They sank

My Missing Tongue

WORDS Abraham Ofori-Henaku IMAGES Abotchiethephotographer . It’s been quite a long journey growing up in a society that very much holds on to its rich way of life — something that I always took for granted. And now, it’s all coming back to me in regret. Oh! Pardon me! Where are my manners? Hi there! I’m Abraham

Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land

linguistic diversity

Faith Baisden, Thomas Dick, Carolyn Barker, and Kristina Kelman . . For tens of thousands of years, the rich and beautiful sounds of hundreds of different languages washed across Australia. Over all of the continent it is believed there were more than five hundred languages at one time. Around two hundred years ago, a new

Yamani Project Artists

Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land

This page complements the photo essay “Yamani: Voices of an Ancient Land,” which presents a unique musical project by the same name, developed by six extraordinary Australian Indigenous women. They came together to support the revitalization of Aboriginal languages and the strengthening of Indigenous identity by creating, singing, and recording songs in their six different

Learning to Write Our Native Language: The Nepalbhasa Ranjana Script of Nepal

Indigenous Languages

WORDS Manju Maharjan and Yuvash Vaidya IMAGES Sheetal Vaidya and Shashank Shrestha We are Newahs, the Indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. We are worshippers in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions and belong to several different ethnic groups, but historically we all spoke a common language, Nepalbhasa. While the language is prevalent among

Quarantine as Ceremony: COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Quietly Rebel against the Dominant Langscape

WORDS AND IMAGES Severn Cullis-Suzuki The Haida people know the cost of disease. They have lived on Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the west coast of Canada, for the past 14,000 years. In their recent history, after the first encounter with Europeans in 1774, waves of smallpox, measles, and other contact diseases ravaged the Haida