Gathering Ethnobiologists

Maui Solomon speaks. This room can host about eight hundred congress visitors, but this man uses no microphone. I’m sitting in the back and I hear him perfectly. “I’d like to thank the waters of Languedoc for being with us today. Thank the Mediterranean sea also.” From where I sit, I see a raging watermass fill the huge hall. It’s purplish blue.

Earth and the Sun pass by during this opening ceremony of the 13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Earlier this morning, the mayor of Montpellier announced that she will speak out a statement to Rio +20 in june. This statement will be set up by the six hundred visitors of this congress: indigenous and western people who come up for the rights of indigenous knowledge. We came here with five western men to add the words Sacred Natural Sites to the statement that, summarized, will say that to protect this world, we should listen to the wisdoms of traditional tribes world wide.

In his daily life, Solomon explores the remaining roots of his own people, the Moriori. He’s just one of the many inspiring characters that walk this congress. He ends the ceremony by singing a traditional song with his daughter. Spreading a feeling of peace and harmony, they set the tone for the week.




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