If our ancestor’s acts of courage and ingenuity had been documented throughout the centuries, what might we learn is possible?

Traditions will be altered as time passes and humanity changes, that’s inevitable, but now, we’re armed with the ability to preserve them before they actually disappear.

On this edition of  Ever Widening Circles: Saturday’s Around the World, we’re journeying just south of Mount Everest and dangling off the high cliffs of Nepal with a team from National Geographic as they document what’s believed to be the last traditional harvest of hallucinogenic honey for the Kulung.

Hunter, Mauli Dhan, is said to be the last person in his region to be given the blessing and ability to harvest this medicinal honey. At the age of 57, it doesn’t come easy for him to climb and swing on a braided ladder hundreds of feet in the air to retrieve the precious product that provides his income (well, not that it really ever was easy)
 Without him continuing to go on these hunts, the tradition is under threat of ending forever.

But here’s something to consider: with our interest, education, and understanding, this amazing tradition and hunter can be immortalized! In this first video, we get to go behind the scenes in the experience of documenting this historical hunt with a team from Camp4Collective as they suspend from the cliffs alongside Mauli Dhan. (If you have a fear of heights…prepare yourself for some breathtaking thrills!)

So, why can’t someone else just take over?

According to the article National Geographic published on these events, Mauli Dhan is the last person reported to receive “the dream”. At the age of 15, “Rangkemi, the guardian spirit of bees and monkeys—a sometimes wrathful energy that inhabits dangerous places where few humans dare to go” 2 saved him from a spiderweb on a cliffside, therefore showing Mauli and the elders that he will have safe passage when collecting the honey.

 Mauli’s assistant, Asdhan, would be an ideal replacement for Mauli, but here are his thoughts on that:
“Yeah, I’d like to have the dream,” Asdhan says, “but I haven’t, and I don’t know why. Of course I could harvest the honey. But other people have tried without the dream, and bad things have happened to them. Their fathers have died, their children have died, their houses have fallen in, and their crops have failed. And I’m afraid of that.” 3
No one has since reported having this dream, and with most of the younger generations moving away for school, to travel the world, or simply having no interest in continuing this dangerous tradition, it will soon die out. Especially with the additional threat of the government seizing the cliffs to capitalize on the price of this hallucinogenic honey on the market. So, what’s there to do?

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We’re lucky to be living in an age where we have the ability to thoroughly document the historical events happening around the world, and experience them from wherever we may sit. Now, in full detail, we’ll always be able to look back and see the people that made events possible, how far we’ve progressed, and what we’ve lost in the process.

With the creation of these videos, this tradition and Mauli Dhan are preserved forever.

To get the team’s full experience with Mauli Dhan, please dive into the complete and beautifully written piece from Mark Synnott on National Geographic!

Here’s the stunning final video from National Geographic!
(It’s filmed 360-degrees so just grab the footage with your cursor and drag the video around! Have fun!)

Via: National Geographic  4 Directed by Camp 4 Collective and  Renan Ozturk

Want to learn about more astounding traditions? Here’s one of many that will amaze you…

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The Traditions of This Tribe Have Left Quite a Mark

What you can find in the mountains of the Philippines may stay with you forever, especially if you happen to visit Apo Whang-Od in her village. She’s single handedly working and teaching to keep her culture’s tradition alive!

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Keep yourself open and happiness may stay nearby!

  • Sam

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Notes:

  1. “The Last Honey Hunter: Behind the Scenes.” Vimeo. The North Face, 28 June 2017. Web. 12 Sept. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/223495819>.
  2. Synnott, Mark, Renan Ozturk, and Ben Knight. “The Last Death-Defying Honey Hunter of Nepal.” National Geographic. National Geographic, 12 July 2017. Web. 12 Sept. 2017. <http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/07/honey-hunters-bees-climbing-nepal/>.
  3. Synnott, Mark, Renan Ozturk, and Ben Knight. “The Last Death-Defying Honey Hunter of Nepal.” National Geographic. National Geographic, 12 July 2017. Web. 12 Sept. 2017. <http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/07/honey-hunters-bees-climbing-nepal/>.
  4. “360° Dangerous Honey Hunting (4K) | Explorer | National Geographic.”YouTube. National Geographic, 19 Nov. 2016. Web. 12 Sept. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGz-HrB-Js&feature=youtu.be>.

Samantha Burns

Executive Assistant, Staff Writer

Samantha is a listener, creator, collector of knick knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.