Cholita women conquer Highest Peaks in Bolivia.

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Eleven Aymara indigenous women, ages 42 to 50, who worked as porters and cooks for mountaineers, put on crampons – spikes fixed to a boot for climbing – under their wide traditional skirts and started to do their own climbing.
These women have now scaled five peaks: Acotango, Parinacota, Pomarapi and Huayna Potosí as well as Illimani, the highest of all, in the Cordillera Real range.
All are higher than 19,500ft (6,000 meters) above sea level Bolivia’s cholita climbers scale highest mountain yet.

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Photographs by David Mercado/Reuters

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Aymara indigenous women Lidia Huayllas, 48, and Dora Magueno, 50, stand near Milluni lake, with Huayna Potosí mountain in the background.
See more images via Bolivian cholita climbers conquer highest peaks near La Paz – in pictures | World news | The Guardian

Beauty Contest in the Peruvian Rainforests.

bIn this June 23, 2015 photo, Yeni Casiano Barboza, 15, from the Ashaninka Indian community, Natividad, poses for a photo while waiting to compete in the annual beauty contest, in the Otari Nativo village, Pichari, Peru.
For Ashaninka men, a woman’s beauty is determined in part by her hair, her sense of humor, and whether she can cook a tasty cassava dish, according to some community members.
Gathered in the middle of the Amazon forest, the participants in the beauty contest wear the simple brown dresses of the Ashaninka indigenous woman, their faces dotted in a traditional design with a red dye extracted from a spice called achiote.
“The little red dots are my happiness,” said Beysi Anaya, a 17-year-old who won last month’s competition after traveling three hours by car from her native valley community of Sampantuari. She was crowned with a small straw hat featuring a long red feather.
It was the fifth beauty contest held among annual festivities marking the founding of the Ashaninka community of Otari Nativo, which is in a valley near the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers in the world’s largest coca-growing region.
The Ashaninka people number in the tens of thousands and live mostly in the rainforests of Peru.
aIn this June 23, 2015 photo, Ashaninka Indian school children parade with torches during festivities celebrating the 44th anniversary of their village, in Otari Nativo, Pichari, Peru.
The village is located in a valley near the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers in the world’s largest coca growing region.
In addition to the standard Ashaninka dress, the contestants also showed off a shorter, midriff-baring summer version that can be used for swimming. Multiple strands of colored beads crisscrossed their chest like bandoliers.
Other activities included an archery competition for men and women as well as a contest for drinking the fermented juice of the cassava root.
The community’s men smoked large amounts of meat for festival-goers to eat.
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For Ashaninka men, a woman’s beauty is determined in part by her hair — the longer, the better — and whether she can cook a tasty cassava dish, said community member and translator Marishori Samaniego.
A sense of humor is also important in determining attractiveness, said psychologist Leslie Villapolo, who has worked with the Ashaninka.
via AP PHOTOS: Indigenous festival in Peruvian rainforest – Houston Chronicle.

‘Undiscovered’ – Aboriginal Culture.

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The Australian National Maritime Museum acknowledges all traditional custodians of the lands and waters throughout Australia and pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.
When Captain James Cook first arrived on Australian shores on that historic day in 1770, he wrote in his journal that the Aboriginal people ‘may appear to some to be the most wretched people upon Earth, but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans’.
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It is this journal entry that has inspired the Indigenous artist Michael Cook many generations and centuries later to produce his inspired and progressive art. NAG
His work poses many ‘what-if’ questions, specifically. ‘what if the British had realised Aborigines were indeed civilised?
Would history have been different?’
via Australian National Maritime Museum.

Colourful Masks at Indigenous Festival.

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Indigenous children dress in traditional outfits in preparation for the Rey Curré festival. Courtesy The Culture Ministry
The moment tourists arrive at a Costa Rican airport, they see artifacts of the Boruca people: elaborately painted balsawood masks hang in the souvenir shops, sculpted like monsters, jaguars, and playful demons.
Travelers stop, lean into the masks, and wonder, Now where did these come from?
But to really understand Boruca heritage, amateur anthropologists should attend the 22nd Indigenous Cultural Festival in in the deeply rural community of Rey Curré.
The annual event is a comprehensive celebration of Boruca culture. (Also note that while they are commonly known as “the Boruca,” the more accurate nomenclature is the “Brunca”).
“These cultural spaces are very important, because they offer a place that the community needs,” said Uriel Rojas, a community representative, in a press release.
“The customs, traditions, traditional cuisine, games, crafts, artistic skills, oral tradition, archaeological heritage, [and] natural medicine are part of the different themes showcased at the community during these days of celebration.”
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Among outsiders, the Boruca are particularly famous for their “Juego de los Diablitos,” or “Game of the Little Devils.”
The custom began during the conquistador invasion, when Boruca warriors discovered that the Catholic Spanish were afraid of demonic imagery and crafted fearsome-looking masks.
Today, Boruca descendants enact playful rituals wearing this devilish headgear, a unique mix of pre- and post-colonial ceremony.
via Colorful masks and stone spheres will abound at Rey Curré indigenous festival — The Tico Times.

Wave Hill Indigenous Protest 1966 -1975.

5S587x880by Jude Dinely
On 23 August, 1966, the Gurindji people walked off the job at Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory in protest over low wages, bad work conditions and the dispossession of their land.
The 250 men, women and children were led by Vincent Lingiari, (pictured above) a community elder and head stockman at the 26,975sq.km cattle station 600km south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
A nine-year strike followed that remains the longest in Australian history, ending with the handing back of the land to the Gurindji by the Australian government.
This event marked a crucial point in the national Aboriginal land rights movement and led to the establishment of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory) of 1976, the first law to recognise indigenous land ownership.
Poor conditions for indigenous workers
“Wave Hill was a major step on the long road towards equality between settlers and indigenous Australians,” says Professor Deborah Rose, an anthropologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
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Vincent meets Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975. (ABC News).
Read on further via On this day: Wave Hill indigenous protest – Australian Geographic.

Myall Creek Massacre, NSW, 1838.

Myall Creek massacre 1838, by Harold Joseph Thomas (Bundoo)

The Myall Creek massacre near Gwydir River, in the central New South Wales district of Namoi, involved the killing of up to 30 unarmed indigenous Australians by ten Europeans and one African on 10 June 1838 at the Myall Creek near Bingara, Murchison County, in northern New South Wales.
After two trials, seven of the 11 colonists involved in the killings were found guilty of murder and hanged.
A group of eleven stockmen, consisting of assigned convicts and former convicts, led by one, John Henry Fleming, who was from Mungie Bundie Run near Moree, arrived at Henry Dangar’s Myall Creek station in New England on 9 June 1838.
They rode up to the station huts beside which were camped a group of approximately thirty-five Aboriginal people. They were part of the Wirrayaraay (alternative spelling: Weraerai) group who belonged to the Kamilaroi people.
They had been camped at the station for a few weeks after being invited by one of the convict stockmen, Charles Kilmeister (or Kilminister), to come to their station for their safety and protection from the gangs of marauding stockmen who were roaming the district slaughtering any Aboriginal people they could find.
These Aboriginal people had previously been camped peacefully at McIntyre’s station for a few months. They were therefore well known to the whites. Most of them had been given European names such as Daddy, King Sandy, Joey, Martha and Charley.
Some of the children spoke a certain amount of English. When the stockmen rode into their camp they fled into the convict’s hut pleading for protection.
When asked by the station hut keeper, George Anderson, what they were going to do with the Aboriginal people, John Russell said they were going to “take them over the back of the range and frighten them.” The stockmen then entered the hut, tied them to a long tether rope and led them away.
They took them to a gully on the side of the ridge about 800 metres to the west of the station huts. There they slaughtered them all except for one woman who they kept with them for the next couple of days.
The approximately 28 people they murdered were largely women, children and old men. Ten younger men were away on a neighbouring station cutting bark.
Most of the people were slaughtered with swords as George Anderson, who refused to join the massacre, clearly heard there were just two shots. Unlike Anderson, Charles Kilmeister joined the slaughter.
Testimony was later given at trial that the children had been beheaded while the men and women were forced to run as far as they could between the stockyard fence and a line of sword-wielding stockmen who hacked at them as they passed.
After the massacre, Fleming and his gang rode off looking to kill the remainder of the group, who they knew had gone to the neighbouring station. They failed to find the other Aboriginal people as they had returned to Myall that night and left after being warned the killers would be returning.
On the party’s return to Myall two days later, they dismembered and burnt the bodies before resuming the search for the remaining people.
The ten people had gone to MacIntyre’s station near Inverell, 40 kilometres to the east, where between 30 and 40 Aboriginal people were reportedly murdered with their bodies being cast onto a large fire.
Many suspect this massacre was also committed by the same stockmen. After several days of heavy drinking the party dispersed.
Read On via Myall Creek massacre – Wikipedia
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