by Rowan Morrigan
To a packed room, the “People of the Earth: The Surviving Indigenous Spiritual Traditions of Europe” presentation was a wonderful description of the history of indigenous people in Europe by Andras Corban Arthen, and an example of keeping a living tradition intact through the Romuva religion in Lithuania by Inija Trinkuniene. I think many people did not realize that Christian Europeans were the conquerors of the pagani (the people of the land) long before they went on to conquer the Americas and other lands. Once Andras set the stage with that, Inija showed how her tradition survived, largely due to Lithuania being the last hold-out to Christian European colonization. The photo on the screen shows a core concept of Romuva: the living fire.
I was visited by the Shamans of Samiland (father and daughter, Ellen Marit Gaup-Dunfjeld, in 1987, and I visited them and received Ellen Marit in the states for four and a half years until she died. I have many photos and other things that I would like to deposit in an archive eventually. Can your organization give me some recommendations for this? thanks, Gloria Orenstein