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Sensing Landscapes: Mongolia-Mexico

Sensing landscapes: Mongolia to Mexico

In Mongolia and Mexico

The land is filled with spirit, whether manifested in man-made shrines,
or in the trees themselves

Ганц мод [Gants mod], Mungumorit, Mongolia

(Mongolian: A lone tree. A tree that stands alone can sometimes be said to have a powerful spirit
that causes the tree to flourish where others have not.)

“Once there was a beautiful girl.
She was in love with a poor herder, but her family would not let her marry him.
They told her: ‘we have arranged for you to be married to a wealthy man with a large herd’.
So she ran away, and came to the place of the lonely tree. The lonely tree is where she wept and where she died.
We come here every year at Tsagaan Sar [the lunar new year] to get the energy of the rising sun.”


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The grandfather tree


According to a number of Ixtlán elders, every mountain top as its dueño, or owner.
The grandfather tree at the centre of this photo, it is said, hosts such an owner.
If you are in a proper frame of mind, you can put your ear to the trunk and hear its heart beat.
In the background, we see a ring of younger trees ‘standing guard’ and beyond that, the path to
Shia Rua Via (‘the place where the clouds are born’ in Zapotec). Photo: Ben Macias

 'The place where the clouds are born’
Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, Mexico


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Stupa and prayer wheel, Bayangol, Mongolia

“This is the entrance to where we live, people stop the car here as they drive in or go out.
We come here because it’s a place of welcome, and to say goodbye to people when they are leaving.”   In the landscape, sensing nature