The world of Anthropology was upended recently by surprising 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 [dated 40,000 years ago] 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, drew some intriguing conclusions. The genetic antecedents of this ‘person’ were unlike any we have ever seen before …this unexpected new hominid went back more than 300,000 years and possibly as much as 500,000 years, having left Africa around the same time as the Neanderthal. And that was hundreds of thousands of years before modern Homo sapiens did, just like its now-extinct cousin in Europe…
Now, as was commented upon recently,…“While the 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 [ed. 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 their view of ancestry is quite blurred beyond the 3,500 years ago when the ‘Lapita‘ people settled into some of these islands now called the Repiblic of Vanuatu. The evidence of their sojourn is found in the shards of elaborately designed pottery they left in their settlements here.
All this has contributed significantly to my growing knowledge of the indigenous ni-Vanuatu …ever since my adoption seven years ago into the chiefly family of the Tavues of Matantas. That has actually brought me much closer to them as a people. And it has deepened my sense of their culture.
This also contributed to my being ‘given’ the land that is now devoted to the new East of Eden Project/Community. Our agenda is more temporal than EdenHope’s – but then my old community is also evolving. 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 our vision embodies. It is clear in the description of our being Warriors of the Rainbow …and the gathering a Rainbow in its own right.
Regardless of the more personal realities 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 I will gladly share that part of it 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 four winds during the separation, we are to bring it back to those who would no doubt be waiting desperately – for it would be a most critical, emergent time …we are facing.
I see now that the rich lore we gained in our divergent histories are now being summoned …to be restored in a new world that honors its Loving Creator …and in becoming the People GrandFather always knew we would be …when he would once again be our Divine Father. Aho!
Thus do we also honor our womenfolk …for they have been granted the womb of our Divine Mother to bring forth the future we have so longed for …and for so long. For them we are their ‘warriors’.
It was culture to which we inclined and succumbed …and in which we lost our way. Once stripped from us …we are naked again …and innocent.