Reposted from Indian Country Today Media Network
Originally shared on 12/21/15
By Rucha Chintis
Indigenous Terra Madre showcased the rich diversity of indigenous dances and songs and how these art forms are tied to harvest ceremonies and their food cultures. Photo by Richa Chintis.
At an ancient sacred grove in Mawphlang, orchids bloomed on towering evergreen trees. Our guide picked a fallen rudraksha seed that is used as a prayer bead and medicine. Nestled in East Khasi Hills in the Indian state of Meghalaya, meaning the abode of the clouds, this sacred grove is a stunning example of how indigenous communities are guardians of their forests and territories. People are forbidden to disturb the grove or gather any forest resources to respect labasa, the forest deity. We walk in quiet contemplation and awe through emerald hues of ferns and vines.