We Are One
We are many, yet We Are One. Many people of different cultures live on the earth, this we know. Some people live in cities with cars, tall buildings, airports, computers, cell phones, and Apple Watches. Others live in rainforests or deserts – on the tops of mountains – or on the islands in the sea, without any of those material cultural resources. All cultures belong to the same human family. We are many, yet We Are One.
Many cultures in our human family have died out completely or become lost within other dominant cultures. Cultures that we love, read about, and study are endangered and struggling to survive. They are the indigenous or native peoples who still live in small groups and primarily hunt and gather for their food. One place endangered peoples are found is in Australia within the Austral-European Global Village. They are the Aborigines who inhabit this Global Village.
Aborigines play a musical instrument called a digeridoo (di-jer-i-doo). It is made from a hollow tree limb and makes a haunting sound, especially when played near waterfalls.
Aborigines have special ceremonies to pass boys into manhood and girls into womanhood. They say there is a place called Dreamtime, where land, water, air, life, and all people everywhere are related. They know we are many, yet we are one. Explore More in Cultural Anthropology.
Another endangered people are the Gwich’in of the Arctic in Alaska. They depend on migrating caribou for their life’s needs. After a successful hunt, caribou meat is shared with the entire village. It is given away as gifts or traded for other needed items. The women make the hides into clothing. The men shape the bones into tools.
Gwich’in honor the caribou in songs, stories, and dances. The picture above is a protest against drilling in their lands, which they believe endangers the caribou that is necessary for their culture, lifestyle, and subsistence practices. The Gwich’in have a common belief that, long ago, all creatures spoke the same language. They have always known we are many, yet we are one. Explore More in Cultural Anthropology.
The Maoris (mow-rees) of New Zealand also live in the Austral-European Global Village; and much of their culture and their land has been lost due to laws they did not understand. Some of the older Maoris still remember the old ways; they teach young people to speak their native language. Many are learning to make canoes the way their grandfathers and great grandfathers did. Some are learning ancient ways of fishing, tying nets, and tattooing with plant dyes. Children are taught through stories, prayers, and Maori war songs.
Tangiora, a Maori woman, and elder says, “People everywhere have gifts and wisdom, we are all one.” Explore More in Cultural Anthropology.
The Yanomamos live in the rainforest of the Amazon Basin in the Latin American Global Village, are perhaps the last people of their kind anywhere in the world. They live in 250 separate villages; and they have no written language.
They call themselves “fierce people.” They are gardeners, hunters, and fishermen. They live together with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Kinship ties help them to live happily away from the modern world, because both knowledge and possessions are shared among family members. They have always been in charge of their own destiny until recently.
Oil and gold was discovered on their land, bringing outsiders. With outsiders came diseases, which have killed many people. Roads have been built, which take away land for gardening, hunting, and fishing. New ways of doing things make the young forget what their elders have taught them; their culture may be lost forever. Explore More in Cultural Anthropology.
Another endangered group are the Quechua (ketch-oo-wa) who live in the same Global Village as the Yanomamo, but in the Peruvian highlands in the Andes mountains. They are the descendants of the Incas who once had a great empire.
The Quechua have no doctors. Their medicine men, called shaman, cure the sick using natural herbs and knowledge passed down from fathers to sons. Amaru, a young Quechua shaman says, “A true shaman can see into the hearts of the people, no matter what color or what race they are.” They believe we are all part of nature, like the sunrise and the rain in the jungle. We are many, yet we are one.
The rainforests, remote islands, grandiose mountains, and parched deserts all hold secrets that only native peoples know. Scientists are beginning to understand the ways of the earth. They want to learn from indigenous peoples of the earth before they are gone. Over hundreds of thousands of years ancient people have preserved “libraries” of information in their songs, dances, stories, traditions, prayers, and lifeways (culture). The loss of any of these cultures is a loss to the entire human family.
The peoples of the earth are many, not only in numbers, but also in the ways we live our everyday lives. We are many; yet We Are One. Explore More in Cultural Anthropology. If you want to comment, you must log in – it’s free!