The world of Anthropology was upended recently by extraordinary information flowing from a new discovery. Some eight years ago, in a remote cave named Denisova in Siberia, a researcher found an artifact [of jewelry] and two fossilized pieces of the anatomy of a person = a tooth and a piece of [pinky] bone. As it turns out, the fossils, with new and more accurate than ever analytical equipment, threw up the fact that the genetic antecedents of this ‘person’ were unlike any we have ever seen before …and went back more than 300,000 years and possibly as much as 500,000 years, just like the Neanderthal. The new species of hominid apparently left Africa hundreds of thousands of years before modern Homo sapiens did, just like its now-extinct cousin in Europe…
Now, as was also reported recently,…“While Neanderthals contributed to the DNA of all modern humans excluding indigenous Africans, Denisovan DNA can only be found in people indigenous to Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Australia and other parts of Melanesia. In fact, the researchers estimate that up to 6% of the genomes of modern-day Papuans [Melanesians] derive from Denisovans.”
This knowledge will soon enough come to the local indigenous population but it will come as somewhat of a shock …since the present view of their ancestry is quite blurred beyond the 3,500 years ago when the ‘Lapita‘ people settled into some of these islands now called the Republic of Vanuatu. The only evidence of that sojourn is found in the shards of elaborately designed pottery they left in settlements here in Vanuatu.
All this has contributed significantly to my growing more conscious of the need to preserve this genome found in the indigenous ni-Vanuatu …more than ever since my adoption seven years ago into the chiefly family of the Tavues of Matantas. It has actually brought me much closer to them as a people. And it has deepened my sense of their culture.
That my adoption also resulted ultimately in the land being ‘given’ to me - the land that is now devoted to the new East of Eden Project/Community – is certainly consequential. The new Project, I call it Phase II, is more temporal than EdenHope. But then it is not just the mountain range that runs down the whole of the west coast and its Northern Peninsula that separates us – it is the evolutional purpose embodied in our new vision, expressed also in our being described as ‘Warriors of the Rainbow’ ...so the gathering of a Rainbow of Children firmly establishes the vision in its own light.
Regardless of the more personal interest that caused me to explore the ‘Culture’ here, I have come away from the immediate tensions I was immersed in with greater than ever clarity …and gladly share that here. Many more than Hopi Chief Dan have drawn our attention to the command given us by Great Spirit …to go to the Four Directions …and one day, when we have found the wisdom that was scattered to the winds during the separation, we are to bring it back to those who are no doubt waiting, perhaps even desperately – for we have arrived at the most critical time we, as a species, have ever faced …let alone all the other life we have leaned so heavily upon…
I see now that the rich lore we gained through our divergent histories are now being summoned …to be restored in a new world that honors Great Spirit [our Loving Creator] …and in becoming the People GrandFather always knew we would be …when he would once again be our Divine Father …and we his Children. Aho!
Thus do we also honor our womenfolk …for they have been given the womb of our Divine Mother …and to bring forth the future we have longed for …for so long.
It is so clear, all Culture must be shed, as we embark once again on the Great Work…!