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4 Ways to explore indigenous cultures and reconnect yourself with our beautiful planet

Päivitetty: 7. marras 2020

Checking the reindeer herd many times per day is part of the experience with a Sami family

The demand for authentic and sustainable traveling is growing. Following the path of the indigenous people can teach us living sustainably with the environment and give us unique and real travel experiences. Indigenous people live in balance with nature and their livelihood is based on the respect of our planet, without upsetting the balance because they see the Earth as a source of the bounty that requires care and gratitude; it provides them with food and health. Throughout the centuries, they have lived sustainably way and developed techniques that are adapted to extreme environments from the Arctic to tropics where they live. Indigenous peoples have developed their traditional ways of knowing how to survive that are included in their indigenous values and wisdom. Until today, indigenous territories hold 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Indigenous peoples know how to preserve habitats and secure biodiversity – the variety of life on Earth.

Indigenous peoples view the world we live in as an integrated whole. There are many good reasons why indigenous knowledge should be respected and used more when figuring out how to live more sustainable and to reconnect ourselves with nature. To preserve biodiversity, we must turn to indigenous peoples for guidance. We picked up five journeys of a lifetime where travelers can truly immerse themselves in fascinating indigenous cultures and to get closer to nature than ever before. These meaningful expeditions can be one of the greatest trips you can ever take.

1. Join a Sami reindeer spring migration in Norway

Reindeer herding is of great economic and cultural importance for many indigenous peoples who live in the Arctic Circle. Reindeer herding is an interesting traditional way of life. The Sami reindeer herders herd their reindeer in close contact with nature, following the path of the reindeer between summer grazing areas and winter grazing areas. They have in their indigenous language hundreds of concepts of snow and ice and even more of reindeer. Step into Sami reindeer herder's shoes on northern Norway to taste tundra life and experience the Sami reindeer spring migration of a lifetime. You travel with a native Sami reindeer herder family and sleep in a traditional Sami "lavvu" tent that is set up in a different location every day in the Arctic wilderness.

Travelers observe and participate in every aspect of the Sami reindeer herders' life

2. Observe how Hadzabe hunter-gatherers collect wild honey

The Hadzabe are hunter-gatherers who live in north-central Tanzania. They are one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes on Earth. The indigenous Hadzabe wisdom and lifestyle are built around respecting the environment and it contains the belief that we are all related, including all living and inanimate beings. For the Hadzabe, honey is gold as it’s valued more than meat and fat in their diet. The Hadzabe harvest the honey from wild bees of seven different species, and the essential species is the African honeybee. As the Hadzabe lives in a total balance with nature, they allow harvesting honey only during the periods of the rainy season so that the bees can store a surplus. Explore the world with the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers who have the most sustainable and ethical relationship to nature. If you want to observe how Hadzabe gathers wild honey from huge Baobab trees, book this Hadzabe expedition in May to June as it's the end of the rainy season.

Hunting with the Hadzabe is an unique experience that teaches how to live in in balance with nature

3. Hang out with the Maasai warriors in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

More than a hundred years ago, the Maasai ruled over much of East Africa. Their feared warriors were renowned for their bravery. Even now, the Maasai have a special relationship with their land, the wild animals, and cattle. The Maasai have adopted a revitalized approach to preserve their culture in modern times. Their way of life is deeply rooted in traditions that have been practiced in the same way for hundreds of years. This adventure is based on the real-life of the Maasai warriors from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is the only place on earth where people, livestock, and wild animals co-exist in harmony. During the dry season, the warriors herd the cattle much further where are better pastures. The warriors can stay in savanna with the cattle up to months. They only eat meat, blood, and herbs, and they sleep under trees. Here you can feel and hear the spirit of Africa. You are entirely safe with the Maasai, who walk with their spears, and you can see many wild animals from a close distance on foot. At night you are not allowed to go out of your tent. The Maasai watch your back at all times during the night and day. Besides herding the cattle and bushwalking, you learn about traditional medicine, traditions, and wisdom of the Maasai. Herding the cattle with Maasai warriors is the adventure of a lifetime.

4. Join the ancient tradition of marking reindeer calves in Norway

The Sami reindeer herders have always followed the natural rhythm when herding reindeer. The reindeer year starts in May when reindeer calves are born. From midsummer, the reindeer are gathered into corrals, where the new calves are marked by cutting a pattern into their ear with a knife. Ear tags are used to give a single reindeer an individual identity and to indicate ownership. All the Sami reindeer herders have their own unique earmark for their reindeer. The earmark has long pre-historic traditions in Sami culture, but it’s required for all reindeer by Swedish law. Marking reindeer is essential for the Sami reindeer herders to secure reindeer property and to minimize reindeer losses. The Sami family welcomes travelers to join them during this unique period in the mountains and to experience the old tradition of reindeer calves' earmarking.

The powerful thing about sustainable tourism is that we can do much more than just travel. We can make a meaningful contribution to people’s life and our planet. Traveling broadens our minds and can change our environmental behaviors towards more sustainable living. To preserve the biodiversity and well-being of humans and the environment, we must turn to indigenous peoples for guidance. Let the indigenous people guide you into the indigenous wisdom for living responsibly.

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