Three great stories we found on the internet this week.
In the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, the Indigenous Nyishi community has a long tradition of wearing certain animal parts, including carrying a machete that includes the jaw of a clouded leopard or a tiger. But as the state’s wildlife numbers have plummeted, concerns have risen. That’s why Nabam Bapu, an entrepreneur from the Nyishi tribe, partnered with a friend in tech to 3D print replicas of the teeth and other animal parts.
So far, in addition to clouded leopard and tiger teeth, the enterprise has replicated wild boar teeth and eagle talons — and now they’re working on hornbill beaks.
The effort is aimed in part at fighting poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. “If people are shooting wild animals mercilessly using hi-tech guns,” Bapu said, “why not use technology for a greater purpose: to save wildlife and restore cultural practices.”
The curving Massachusetts peninsula known as Cape Cod is dotted with freshwater ponds where locals and visitors alike love to swim. Since 2017, a group of determined swimmers has dedicated itself to removing litter from the Cape’s ponds — and they’re all women over the age of 60.
The Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage (OLAUG) clear trash by hand, diving and hauling out everything from beer cans to fishing rods to tires. Conservation is of course the goal, but OLAUG is not just about the cleanup itself — it’s also about showing the world what older women are capable of, and the sheer wonder and satisfaction of the experience.
“When you are underwater, it’s like flying,” said founder Susan Baur, a retired psychologist. “You’re in a different world.”
Land and healing
Last month, in what’s believed to be the first triumph of the modern Land Back movement in California’s Marin County, the Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin bought 26 acres of rural land on what was historically Coast Miwok territory.
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“We needed a place to have ceremony, a place where we could do all those things that we always did for thousands of years,” Joe Sanchez, who co-founded the nonprofit that raised money for the purchase, told KQED. There are plans to build a sweat lodge, a roundhouse and a dance arbor. Sanchez hopes this land will be a gathering place for people with Coast Miwok roots.