Painted Caves of France Inspire New Ways of Conserving Endangered Big Cats
Representing four corners of the earth—Asia, Africa, Europe, and North/South America—big cat shamans gathered with big cat scientists in historic meetings in the Caves of Southern France. They met in ceremony and dialogue to discuss ways to work together to save critically endangered sacred species, sacred sites, and indigenous cultures.
In the presence of shamans from around the world, Jean Paul Amanieu, member of the ancient Occitan indigenous people of southern France, called to Ancestors and for their help in renewing the indigenous spirituality and traditions of his people. The Occitan culture has survived a thousand years of oppression from the Romans and Catholic Church Inquisitions, and in modern times, French government policies aimed at destroying the language and any vestiges of culture. This moment marked a renaissance and is a beacon of hope for the entire western world.
Buyanbadrakh, Mongolian Shaman (left) was one of the participants in the WISN gathering of shamans and scientists was featured in a newspaper article following the event.
The aim of the meetings was to develop a new model of sacred big cat conservation, one that works by integrating Western science and indigenous wisdom at sacred sites dedicated to this purpose. The results of the meeting included the formation of a new Global Sacred Species Alliance, blending these two ways of knowing. The alliance will be gathering for its next meeting in Ethiopia this Spring.