Dongria Kondh – Royal descendants of the mountain God

‘We are born of this earth, and this earth is ours. Niyamgiri belongs to us.’— Laksa Majhi

Royal descendants of the mountain God

The Niyamgiri hill range in Odisha state, eastern India, is home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. Niyamgiri is an area of densely forested hills, deep gorges and cascading streams. To be a Dongria Kondh is to farm the hills’ fertile slopes, harvest their produce, and worship the mountain god Niyam Raja and the hills he presides over, including the 4,000 metre Mountain of the Law, Niyam Dongar.

Yet for a decade, the 8,000-plus Dongria Kondh lived under the threat of mining by Vedanta Resources, which hoped to extract the estimated $2billion-worth of bauxite that lies under the surface of the hills.

The company planned to create an open-cast mine that would have violated Niyam Dongar, disrupted its rivers and spelt the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people.

‘We’ll lose our soul. Niyamgiri is our soul.’

The Dongria Kondh of India’s Niyamgiri Hills have won a heroic victory against mining giant Vedanta Resources to save their sacred hills. The Supreme Court told Vedanta in 2013 that the Dongria must decide whether to allow mining on the Mountain of the Law. The Dongria answered with an unequivocal ‘No’.


Bonus Read: Hateful Things Exhibit, Bad Food, Progress

SAGINAW, MI — A collection of racist memorabilia and objects depicting caricatures of black people will be displayed at a Saginaw museum in February, called Black History Month.

“Hateful Things,” a 39-piece traveling exhibit from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University, is coming to the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History.

The exhibit “represents nearly 150 years of violence against African Americans through objects and images that embody the terrible effects of the Jim Crow legacy,” a Castle Museum news release states.

“Hateful Things” will be on display from Tuesday, Feb. 9, through Sunday, April 24, at the Castle Museum, 500 Federal in downtown Saginaw.

Top Photo and above: From Hateful Things Exhibit



Aboriginals: “We’re all dying from bad food”

Aboriginal people are seven times more likely to die of diabetes than other Australians and 37% of urban Aboriginal children are overweight or obese by the age of two. Aboriginal film-maker Warwick Thornton’s thought-provoking photos are the focus of a Survival news report.

Progress can kill: the report

Around the world, “progress” and “development” are robbing tribal peoples of their land, self-sufficiency and pride and leaving them with nothing. Taking tribal peoples’ land and imposing “our” model of development is the cause of untold misery and suffering.

This will be news to many people, for whom development simply means bringing education, infrastructure and healthcare to the world’s poorest nations.

But “progress” is often simply the excuse used by industrialized society to justify crimes of land theft, genocidal violence and slavery.

We have made “Progress can kill” available as a download as well as a free printed booklet. Please help us spread the word by requesting copies in the post for distribution. Their future is in your hands.  [Survival International refuses government money so we cannot be silenced by those guilty of violating tribal peoples’ rights. ]

‘Lost’ report over Brazilian tribal genocide resurfaces after 40 years


By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Figueiredo report reveals alleged crimes against indigenous tribes from 1940s to 1980s and sheds light on current land policy

A “lost” report into genocide, torture, rape and enslavement of indigenous tribes during Brazil’s military dictatorship has been rediscovered, raising fresh questions about whether the government has made amends and punished those responsible.

The 7,000-page Figueiredo report has not been seen for more than 40 years, but extracts acquired by the Guardian reveal hundreds of alleged crimes and perpetrators.

Submitted in 1967 by the public prosecutor, Jader de Figueiredo Correia, the document details horrific abuse by the Indian Protection Service (widely known as the SPI), which was set up to improve the livelihoods of indigenous communities but often ended up as a mechanism to rob them of land or wipe them out with guns or poison.

centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The document caused an international storm when it was released, leading two years later to the foundation of the tribal rights organisation Survival International. Brazil, however, failed to jail a single person despite initial charges against 134 officials alleged to be involved in more than 1,000 crimes.

The report was believed to have been destroyed by a fire at the agriculture ministry soon after it came out, prompting suspicions of a cover-up by the dictatorship and its allies among the big land-owners. However, most of the document was discovered recently in a musty archive and is being examined by the National Truth Commission, which is investigating human rights violations between 1947 and 1988.

Read more here:

Indigenous children worldwide have suffered for the conquerors need for more land… Sickening greed… Lara/Trace

tribal olympians

Mongolians define themselves as the people of five animals: horses, sheep, goats, camel and cattle. Horses are prized above all others – one horse is traditionally worth ten goats – and are still an integral part of daily nomadic life.

The national drink, airag, is made from fermented mares’ milk; strands of horse-hair are used as ties in nomads’ homes, or gers.

Their equestrian skills are exceptional; boys are often taught to ride as soon as they can walk, learning on silver-engraved leather saddles that are passed down the generations.

During the naadam festival, boys as young as 5 years old race bareback and shoeless across the Mongolian steppe for up to 30 kilometres.

Picture © Joanna Eede/Survival


See more photos and story here:

can you write a letter?

We help tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.

Welcome to Survival.

Survival supporters are often the only thing that stands between tribal peoples and those who wish to take their lands and resources, and so destroy them. Your help is vital to ensure the survival of tribal peoples long into the future.


I mailed a letter to India recently in support of the Jarawa Tribe of the Andaman Islands. You can if you join this website. You might contribute $$ but your letters will help even more…Lara/Trace

we learn with the great spirits


I am shaman of the rainforest and I work with the forces of nature, not with the forces of money or weapons, says Davi.

Our wisdom is different. Our knowledge is a different knowledge.

It is the wisdom of our shamanic spirits, of the Earth, which is very important for the survival of humanity.

Picture © Victor Englebert/Survival