Learning more about the traditions, culture and customs of diverse communities and other people is by far one of the greatest experiences of travel. Savor the planet’s uniqueness and cultural heritage with one of these authentic and locally owned tribal encounters.
Trek with the H’mong –Sapa in Northern Vietnam
Negotiate age-old cascades of rice paddy fields and mountain tracks to reach the hamlets of the H’mong people. This ethnic minority tribe in Vietnam is different in every sense of the word and welcomes you with a “Hello” in their local dialect. Trek with the enchanting Sapa O’Chau, to boost the education and literacy of H’mong tour guides and their children. Headed by Shu Tan, Sapa O’Chau is an energetic woman who is striving hard to make a real difference in the lives of the H’mong people. If you plan to stay on for awhile, then do volunteer to teach at the community school run by Sapa O’Chau(image by rhea).
Drape the Mola textiles of Kuna people–Panama
Sprawling across 400-plus islands of San Blas Archipelago in Panama, is the autonomous homeland of Kuna Yala. Once here, spend your time interacting with the local people and knowing more about their lives, culture and cuisines. You may choose to fly to the small island of Mamirupu from Panama City and stay in the locally owned and rustic Dolphin Lodge.
Along with the sublime pleasures of snorkeling and fishing, you will also love to indulge in a small boat ride that takes you to nearby islands and educates you about the Kuna’s history of resistance and independence. Drape the iconic local handicrafts of the Kuna’s which includes molas-colorful and finely crafted appliqué textiles. These are indeed worth a look.
Indigenous Aboriginal Cultural Heritage–Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Take a trip to the ancestral villages of the indigenous Ngadjuri and Adjahdura peoples residing on South Australia’s remote and rugged Yorke Peninsula. Their traditional storytelling sessions include ‘Dreaming Stories’-which recount the legend of creation and the times when mammoths and mega-fauna roamed upon this ancient landscape. The myths and memories shared by Adjahdura (a local) are reinforced by fossil evidences of giant kangaroos and other larger animals. Interact with the guides and get to learn a lot more about these indigenous people.(image by bill doyle).
Maori Culture and Spirituality–Waitangi, New Zealand
The indigenous Maori people inhabiting New Zealand’s scenic terrains are comprehensively integrated into our contemporary society-yet they stand out with their unique tribal traditions, customs and values, which still hold significance for them in the 21st century.
Hone Mihaka, belonging to the Ngapuhi tribe from the northern parts of New Zealand, welcomes all visitors to his unique ancestral marae (meeting place). After savoring the experiences of a shared paddling excursion with him in a Maori waka (canoe), you reach a rustic meeting house that is trimmed with raupo (rush stems). Here, you get to see his family members conduct a spiritually oriented powhiri (welcome)-a ritual on behalf of their long-gone ancestors. A rare treat indeed!
The list of tribal communities and people with different cultural attributes is endless and attracts with its richness, diverse nature and unique features-experience their magic!
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Feature image by Francois de Halleux