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comment by ahosai
ahosai  ·  518 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: New Zealand has granted legal personhood status to a river. A mountain is next.

This is exactly the kind of thinking and action we need to embrace in the environmental movement. Animistic beliefs (assigning agency to non-human beings or systems) can help to effect positive environmental change. We would be much less likely to harm or pollute a river if we were able to think of it as a living being - especially if that living being was considered one of their direct ancestors.

I don't think westerners will be able to fully embrace these types of animistic beliefs as it is very counter to our dominant materialistic-scientific mindset (maybe less difficult for people that grew up in AU or NZ and were exposed to Maori or Aboriginal thinking and beliefs at a young age) but I believe it's a good exercise to at least start thinking about natural systems in this way.

Foveaux  ·  517 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In meetings at my workplace we often start with a Mihi - mine involves my river, mountain, place of birth etc. All spoken as though these are a part of me. It's quite nice, especially now I think of other people maybe not having that kind of connectiuon.

in my area, we were certainly raised on the Maori culture and language regardless of who you were. I first learned to count to ten in Maori, according to my parents. This piping little voice going "tahi, rua, toru, wha.."

steve  ·  518 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    exposed to Maori or Aboriginal thinking and beliefs at a young age

worse than little to no exposure... in the US, we spent 400 years exterminating, force migrating, and marginalizing our indigenous population. Then the next 90+ years demonizing and caricature-ing them in media. and we're not out of the woods yet.