All Hail to the Babemba!

From Spiritual Ecology:

Photo by Jessica Hilltout.

Photo by Jessica Hilltout.

The Babemba tribe of Africa believes that each human being comes into the world as good. Each one of us only desiring safety, love, peace and happiness.

But sometimes, in the pursuit of these things, people make mistakes.

When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he/she is placed in the center of the village, alone, unfettered. All work ceases. All gather around the accused individual. Then each person of every age, begins to talk out loud to the accused. One at a time, each person tells all the good things the one in the center ever did in his/her lifetime.

Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length.

The tribal ceremony often lasts several days, not ceasing until everyone is drained of every positive comment that can be mustered. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe. Necessity for such ceremonies is rare!

This story is originally from the book, Contact, The First Four Minutes by Leonard Sunin. The Babemba or Bemba people make their home in an area of Africa that includes Zambia and the Congo.

Aboriginal Hunting Practice Increases Animal Populations.


Burning approach mixing practical philosophy and knowledge leads to near doubling of lizards and improves habitat.


Nyalangka Taylor, near Parnngurr Aboriginal Community in Australia’s Western Desert, waits behind a burn to begin searching for monitor lizard in the ‘nyurnma’ – a freshly burned patch of land. Credit: Rebecca Bliege Bird

In Australia’s Western Desert, Aboriginal hunters use a unique method that actually increases populations of the animals they hunt, according to a study co-authored by Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated researchers Rebecca and Doug Bird. Rebecca Bird is an associate professor of anthropology, and Doug Bird is a senior research scientist.

The study, published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, offers new insights into maintaining animal communities through ecosystem engineering and co-evolution of animals and humans. It finds that populations of monitor lizards nearly double in areas where they are heavily hunted. The hunting method – using fire to clear patches of land to improve the search for game – also creates a mosaic of regrowth that enhances habitat. Where there are no hunters, lightning fires spread over vast distances, landscapes are more homogenous and monitor lizards are more rare.

“Our results show that humans can have positive impacts on other species without the need for policies of conservation and resource management,” Rebecca Bird said. “In the case of indigenous communities, the everyday practice of subsistence might be just as effective at maintaining biodiversity as the activities of other organisms.”

To read more click the link at the top!


Aboriginal spirituality involves the land.


Aboriginal spiritual beliefs are invariably about the land Aboriginal people live on. It is ‘geosophical’ (earth-centred) and not ‘theosophical’ (God-centred).

The earth, their country, is “impregnated with the power of the Ancestor Spirits” which Aboriginal people draw upon [2].

They experience a connection to their land that is unknown to white people. A key feature of Aboriginal spirituality is to look after the land, an obligation which has been passed down as law for thousands of years.

“Spirituality is about tapping into the still places I go to when I’m on country and I feel like I’m part of all the things around me,” explains Senimelia Kingsburra, from the far north Queensland Yarrabah community [2].

A powerful explanation of the spiritual connection of Indigenous people to the land can be found in a publication of the now abolished ATSIC [3].

We don’t own the land, the land owns us. The land is my mother, my mother is the land. Land is the starting point to where it all began. It’s like picking up a piece of dirt and saying this is where I started and this is where I’ll go. The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and identity.—S. Knight [3]

Aboriginal author and Yorta Yorta woman Hyllus Maris (1934-86) expressed this connectedness with the land beautifully in her poem Spiritual Song of the Aborigine [4].

Spiritual Song of the Aborigine

I am a child of the Dreamtime People
Part of this Land, like the gnarled gumtree
I am the river, softly singing
Chanting our songs on my way to the sea
My spirit is the dust-devils
Mirages, that dance on the plain
I’m the snow, the wind and the falling rain
I’m part of the rocks and the red desert earth
Red as the blood that flows in my veins
I am eagle, crow and snake that glides
Thorough the rain-forest that clings to the mountainside
I awakened here when the earth was new
There was emu, wombat, kangaroo
No other man of a different hue
I am this land
And this land is me
I am Australia.

Poem by Hyllus Maris.


The Aboriginal Perspective.

Playing the traditional aboriginal musical ins...

Playing the traditional aboriginal musical instrument, the didgeridoo – an amazing instrument ! To hear free samples go to: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The traditional Aboriginals are not ‘goal oriented’ in the same way that we Westerners are programmed to be from childhood, nor do they attempt ‘to push the river’ which they know with absolute certainty is an exercise in absolute futility.

In Miriam Rose’s words: “We are like the tree standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping through the timber. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burnt, but inside the tree, the sap is still flowing and under the ground, the roots are still strong. Like the tree, we have endured the flames and yet we still have the power to be reborn.”

After more than 200 years of assimilationist practices inflicted upon them by church and state alike, the Australian Aboriginals are still here. They are used to the ongoing struggle and to the long waiting. In this sense, they still wait for the white people to understand them better. They have spent many generations learning about Western ways. They have learned to speak our language and have listened to what we have to say. Yet they continue to wait for us to come closer to them. They long for those things they have always hoped for—respect and understanding.

In Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann’s words: “We know that our white brothers and sisters carry their own particular burdens. We carry burdens as well. Yet I believe that if they let us come to them, if they would open up their minds and hearts to us and hear what we have to say, we might lighten their burdens. There is a struggle for all of us, but we, unlike them, have not lost our spirit of dadirri.”

She concludes her message by observing “I believe that the spirit of dadirri that we have to offer to the world will help you Westerners to blossom and grow, not just within yourselves, but within your nation as well…

“There are deep springs within each of us and within them, there is a sound—the sound of the deep calling to the deep. The time for rebirth is now. If our culture and your culture are alive and well, as well as strong and respected, they will grow. In such a case, our culture will not die, nor will yours, and our spirits will not be lost. We will continue, together, as this was always meant to be.”

Note from Ralphie: I have certainly come to respect the Aboriginals and their beliefs. I hope some of you will follow me in this.

Mister Big Child.

Magic Is a Child

Magic Is a Child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, at the risk of annoying you, I shall never relent in my praise of Marlo Morgan’s book: Mutant Message Down Under. Among the many Aboriginal customs she describes there, is one where people change their names, whenever they themselves feel that they have learned an important life lesson, which therefore makes them better human beings.

To honour this custom I have decided that I shall henceforth be known as Mister Big Child, the king-less jester to a court of none, but you can call me MBC for short. I realise that I am utterly human and my faults are still legion, but my childlike wonder is still undiminished. Where I thought I had lost the capability to rejoice in the simple things that life so generously provides us with, I had merely misplaced it. Reading the above-mentioned book has restored my belief completely. My faith in the existence of magic has been revitalized and I am bubbling over with glee, simply because I am alive.

I had lost sight of the prime directive of magic: “When you ask, you shall receive what is correct for you and for the good of all living beings.” In other words, you get what you need, but not necessarily what you want, because it must be for the greater good. Karma is particular about that!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have personally lived and breathed magic, during my last years on the streets in Spain. It took a harsh school and some rather strange encounters to get me there, but I did it and I was never without what I really needed. I shall reveal to you some of the methods that I used, so that you may try them out for yourselves.

1. Ask and ye shall receive (, under the condition that you really need it!) You can ask out loud or silently, but it works even better if you visualise it and send it up to Karma, for her to deliver. However…, it is extremely important that you let go of it completely, because if you keep the desire, then there is no room for the real thing to materialise.

2. Be specific and for heaven’s sake be careful with the wording! Someone asked for an open heart, meaning empathy and such, but got surgery instead.

3. Have complete and utter faith. In fact, thank Karma or your god for what you are about to receive, before you get it, instead of afterwards. Even though giving thanks twice can never hurt. Many were the times that I worried, only to mentally kick myself afterwards for having doubted. It was only after I told myself to stop worrying, that Karma obliged.

4. Always stay positive. The more you fret, the more trouble you attract, by force of this negativity. The more upbeat you are, the more good things come to you.

5. Do not ask for luxury, for you do not ‘need’ it. Karma is not the lottery! You will not get it, period.

6. Also very important to keep in mind is the old maxim: Be careful what you wish for…

7. Constantly re-evaluate your situation and ask yourself what is important for you and for the good of all.

Thus far my humble contribution in the teachings of magic. By the way, by no means did I invent these. They came my way through sometimes unorthodox channels, from being far more enlightened than I.

I will just elaborate on this last bit. When you are open to magic, spirituality, call it what you will, then you are emitting on a certain frequency and the answers will come to you through any and all mediums at the disposal of Karma or your God. It is important to be receptive and never to give a second thought to the cover of the book, person, movie, etcetera that is sent your way.

A last severe admonishment: Do not under any circumstance wish somebody harm, for it will come back at you a hundredfold!!!

Intolerance – by Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Australian Aborigines

Australian Aborigines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A poem about bigotry and the horrors it creates for the people it is perpetrated against.

There is copyright on this and can not be shown here. To read click the link.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (/ˈʊər/ /ˈnnəkəl/ UUD-gə-roo NOO-nə-kəl; born Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska, formerly Kath Walker) (31 November 1920 – 16 September 1993) was an Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal rights.[2] Oodgeroo was best known for her poetry, and was the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse.[3

During the 1960s she emerged as a prominent political activist and writer. She was Queensland state secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI),[4] and was involved in a number of other political organisations. She was a key figure in the campaign for the reform of the Australian constitution to allow Aboriginal people full citizenship, lobbying Prime Minister Robert Menzies in 1965, and his successor Harold Holt in 1966.[5] At one deputation in 1963, she taught Robert Menzies a lesson in the realities of Aboriginal life. After offering the deputation an alcoholic drink, he was startled to learn that in Queensland he could be jailed for doing the same thing.[6]

She wrote many books, beginning with We Are Going (1964), the first book to be published by an Aboriginal woman. The title poem concludes:

The scrubs are gone, the hunting and the laughter.

The eagle is gone, the emu and the kangaroo are gone from this place.

The bora ring is gone.

The corroboree is gone.

And we are going.

To read more from Wikipedia <click here!>

Aboriginal Wisdom.

I have added a new category to Ralphie’s Portal, which you can see in the title of this post. I am an aficionado of the wisdom of the American native tribes, who have my utter respect, but there is more wisdom to be found elsewhere. Wisdom that I for one have not had the pleasure of reading or hearing much about.

After reading Marlo Morgan’s book, Mutant Message Down Under, I am so overcome with admiration for these wonderful people, the Australian Aboriginals, that I take it upon myself to learn more about their spirituality, poetry and plight and whatever I learn I shall share with you, our esteemed readers.