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.
Japan is one of the world’s most mountainous countries, so it’s not surprising that mountain worship is an historic element of Japanese culture. And of all the mountains in Japan, Mount Fuji stands out as a unique cultural symbol. At 12,388 feet, Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain.
According to southern Australian Aboriginal clans, the Dreamtime figure of Ngurunderi chased a giant cod with spear in hand through freshwater marshes, carving the Murray River around Kumarangk.
Long before the concept of national borders existed, the Sami people of arctic Europe inhabited the regions now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Kola Peninsula.