The wetlands around Lawrence, in eastern Kansas, hold over a hundred years of memories of Native children forced to grow up in isolation from their families and cultures. These memories bear their traces in unmarked child graves and a medicine wheel erected by contemporary Haskell students.
What was once Quechan land is now prime gold mining territory, and the off-reservation sacred landscape around Indian Pass in the California desert is endangered.
In the Yunnan Province of southwestern China, strong indigenous cultures have lived for centuries in a dramatic landscape of vertical mountain slopes, high plateaus and deep river gorges.
Since 1532, the inhabitants in the region of Cajamarca, high in the Peruvian Andes, have been invaded by waves of outsiders obsessed with gold. Though the form of colonization has changed over the years, the local descendents of the Inca are still fighting to preserve their land and way of life.
Snowcapped Tongariro and his fellow volcanoes, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, rise majestically from the central volcanic plateau of New Zealand’s North Island. To the Maori tribes who have inhabited this land since at least the 14th century, Tongariro is tapu, sacred.
Off the northwest coast of Australia, the islands of the Dampier Archipelago are home to perhaps the largest concentration of rock art in the world, along with Australia’s largest collection of standing stones.
Mecca—officially “Makkah”—is the holy city of Islam. Located in western Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea, in the sandy Valley of Abraham (Wadi Ibrihim), it is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammed and site of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj, during the month of Dhu’l-Hijja.
Lake Cowal, often referred to as “the Heartland of the Wiradjuri Nation,” is the largest inland lake in New South Wales, Australia. Scar trees and river-stained gum trees told both the history of Aboriginal ceremonies and intermittent flooding that
Machu Picchu, an Inca citadel located in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is one of the world’s most well known sacred places. A marvel of human engineering melded perfectly into a natural setting of profound beauty, it’s no wonder this place has been adopted as a pilgrimage destination for spiritual seekers of all races and beliefs.
The creation story of the Amungme people, who live in the highlands of the island of Papua, speaks to their close relationship with the land. The story tells of the sacrifice of an ancestral mother for her children and the transformation of her body into the island’s life-giving resources.