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Indigenous faith, reverence for land lead effort to conserve sacred forests in northeastern India | KLRT [Video]

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First Nations News

SHILLONG, India (AP) — Tambor Lyngdoh made his way through the fern-covered woodland — naming plants, trees, flowers, even stones — as if he were paying older family members a visit.

The community leader and entrepreneur was a little boy when his uncle brought him here and said these words: “This forest is your mother.”

This sacred space is in the village of Mawphlang, nestled in the verdant Khasi Hills in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, whose name means “abode of clouds.” On an overcast day, the forest, a bumpy 15-mile drive from the state capital of Shillong, was tranquil but for the sound of crickets chirping and raindrops rustling the bright green foliage.

The ground, carpeted by dead leaves and green saplings, was peppered with moss-covered sacred stones, which for centuries have served as sacrificial altars and recipients of chants, songs and prayers.

Mawphlang is one of more …

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