When we were filming in the Altai Republic of Russia for Standing on Sacred Ground in 2007, renowned Altaian throat singer Nogon Shumarov spent hours with us singing several shamanic songs that connect humans to nature and other dimensions of reality.
Every year, California hosts PantheaCon, a gathering of pagans. This year we were invited to show film scenes and organize a dialogue about New Age appropriation of indigenous spirituality and to discuss protocols for visiting sacred places.
This film clip from Standing on Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Tourists (2014) depicts the conflict in the Altai Republic of Russia, where Altaian shamans have for years objected to outside shamans conducting rituals at sacred places, which they consider to be disrespectful, inappropriate and spiritually dangerous.
Before dawn on the fourth and final day of the Mascal Ceremony in Ethiopia’s Gamo Highlands, a fire is lit in a sacred grove and elders gather to chant in the new year. Fundamentalist Protestants disrupted the closing ceremonies, as captured in this four-minute video clip.
With the Australian Federal Supreme Court preparing to hear a case on the legality of the McArthur River mine expansion and river diversion plan, a group of 50 men, women and children boarded a bus in Boroloola and traveled nearly 1000 kilometers to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory.
Set in the Altai Republic of Russia in southern Siberia, Mapping is Power follows cultural specialist Maya Erlenbaeva and shaman Maria Amanchina as they visit sacred sites near Kosh Agach. Indigenous people are mapping their sacred sites to protect them.