Center for World Indigenous Studies
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A Search for Meaning

Published: January 7, 2012, Author: JayTaber

What was it that made Celts Celts as they migrated over centuries from the Caucasus Mountains across the northern Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula to the British Isles? According to Dr. T. Anantha Vijayah, in his Fourth World Journal article Digitizing Worldviews Intangible Cultural Heritages, it was their stories.

As they recorded and retransmitted ideas over generations and geographical locations, these stories that encompassed their indigenous knowledge and worldviews were more reliable than cultural artifacts and natural heritage sites in transporting their culture.

In his article about indigenous peoples’ cultural survival, Dr. Vijayah notes that while the expressive part of culture is subject to change, the culture that underlies that expression is that which determines the perception of the community and the worldview of their culture. Their worldview, in turn, determines their perception of reality.

Worldviews, Vijayah observes, emerge from the totality of peoples’ perceptions and beliefs. Aboriginal worldviews, he notes, are founded on a search for meaning from a metaphysical journey for knowledge based on the premises of skills that promote personal and social change that leads to harmony with rather than control over the environment.

Indigenous worldviews, intrinsically holistic and interdisciplinary, have had to survive alongside colonial worldviews. As indigenous peoples, Celts, like all other aboriginal societies, have experienced intercontinental migration and colonial subjugation. The stories they carried with them create a mental space for others to experience their culture and way of thinking.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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