The Story of the Hunter-gatherers

Opening words

This is the story of our people:
How we came to be and who we are, and it contains the knowledge of our people.
The story changes and grows as people add what they have found and learned to it.
The adults will know the important stories and will teach them to children, until the child knows enough to become an adult.
People might know different parts of the story, and they will all tell the story in their own way, so it is important to keep telling it so that it contains all the voices and remains alive and in the present.

Stories are in memory like paths are in a landscape.
Along them are important places, and the path takes you from one place to another, connecting them.
The paths that are useful will become well trodden.
From them small paths diverge, maybe only walked by one person.
You can turn to another path where the paths connect, and you can return back to the same path where you left off, or in another place, or not at all.
You can leave the path and go to places unknown, and as you go you leave a new path, and maybe others will follow.
But no two people walk the same path exactly the same.
All of the paths together are the world we know.

The story of creation

We are the people of this land.
We live in this land and from this land, but we are not alone in this land.
Our ancestors also live here, our foreparents.
They are in the past, but not only in the past.
The ancestors are still present in this land.
They live in this land, but on a different level of being.

We were all once ancestors.
We were ancestors, who saw that the world of ancestors couldn’t continue.
If it was left to continue, it would eat itself.
So the world had to be created again, the way the world must always be created again.
So those ancestors decided to create this new world and pass on to this side.

They passed through the opening between the worlds.
But you can’t pass between worlds and remain the same.
Here they were born anew.

They saw the world anew.
In this world there are not yet paths to walk, stories to tell.
They are children who do not yet know the world or themselves.
They must tread new paths and tell new stories.
They must give new names.
Those children are us.

We will create this world.
We will grow up with it.
And if this is a good world, new children will come.
And new parents, afterparents.
The world we create must be enduring, because generations are endless.

When a new world is born, the edges blur.
The past and the future are present.
Things move between worlds.
When we came here, a part of us remained in the ancestors’ world.
And so we are also our own ancestors.
A shadow of us remains there while we are here.
We can return there, and what we are here waits here.
We are people of two worlds.
Maybe one day a child will be born who is only here, the first of the afterparents.
But until then children are born here by passing between the worlds.
We invite them here, because we need new people to inhabit this land.
All kinds of people, to see this land in all the ways.
And to tell its story in all different voices.

In the world of the ancestors, there is much that is useful. That we will bring with us.
But what is not durable, we will leave.
Something might be useful for a while, until we learn how to do the same in a sustainable way.
We must always think of the afterparents.
They live here with us, in the future.
We must know how to live with the afterparents and the foreparents.

We must be careful with the ancestors.
This was their land first, it is still their land, and they are powerful.
We must not disturb them if we can avoid it.
We must not take what belongs to them.
We must not break their rules.
We need to keep them content.
And then they will sometimes give us something.
The ancestors make much more than they can ever use, and the rest they leave.
And then we can take it.

The ancestors also had ancestors, the first people.
They lived like we do.
They wandered this land and gathered what the land provided.
They are also in this land, in the past.
We can’t talk with them like we can with the ancestors.
We must find different ways to hear their voices:
What things and places have to tell, what the ancestors remember.

This world is new, and we must learn to know it:
To listen, to see, to explore, to walk, to learn.
What we learn we tell each other so that someone will always remember.
And this is that story.

When you tell a story

Tell who you heard it from, so we know they already know it.
And we can ask them to tell it if we want to know how they tell it.
Or if it’s your story, a new one.
Give it a name, so that we can ask, “tell us the story of…”

When you encounter something that you want to pass forward, commit it to memory:
Tell it to the people who are there, so it’s in their memory.
Or tell it to yourself, so that you will remember.
You can sing it or make a poem of it, if it will help you remember: anything that helps you.
You can trace back the path that took you to it.
You can start it where another story ended, or part from another story to add to it.
You can pick up a thing that will help you remember.
You can draw a picture. You can dance. Anything you like.

When you tell a story, tell it the way you like.
Tell the things that are important to you.
Use the words that make sense to you.
It can be complex and ornate, or it can be simple and straightforward, long or short.
It can be unfinished too. Or just a part of a story.

Sometimes the story you tell is the opposite of what someone else tells:
We don’t see the world the same.
It’s good to see both sides, all sides.
Only from all stories together can the whole story of the world be heard.