Here we have the new born star creating a future world. Having spent several months together at Jiwa Damai, two years ago, Romina and Vali married and now have this beautiful son. Congratulations, many blessings and much gratitude. We would like to extend this to the Mama as well, since Romina has been our steady support for the past 2 years with Jiwa Damai website, blog and Facebook.
Laura, our lovely volunteer from Borneo, revitalized again our mushroom production.
The mushrooms need a dark and humid atmosphere so we set them this time in our tool shed, which we emptied out. Laura ordered the mushrooms already set in bags in nutritious food soil As you can see, they are beginning to sprout.
"The tattoo image for the Kalimantan Dayak community is not just a decoration, but has a very deep meaning ". As it has for our volunteer Laura presently at JIwa Damai
Borneo's illustrious tattoos are considered sacred, magical and are tied closely to the beliefs of the Dayak community. For the people of Borneo, as with all indigenous cultural practices of the world, getting a tattoo is closely associated with physical power and the spiritual world. Borneo tattoos are usually the intricate combination of images of humans, animals and plants in a single design, expressing the integration of all living things in the world.
Just as a great warrior was tattooed to mark his achievements in the human hunt, women were tattooed as proof of their accomplishments in weaving, dancing or singing – as well as for protective purposes.
The Bungai Terung, which translates to the eggplant Borneo flower, is the first tattoo an Iban individual would receive.. The tattoo is located on the front of the shoulder (never the chest) to show where ones bag straps lie, to prepare the individual to carry the weight of their own world (passage of a person into adulthood). The Bungai Terung has a spiral at the center of the eggplant flower the Tali Nyawa, which means the rope of life and is identical to the underside of a tadpole which symbolizes the beginning of a new life.
The scorpion symbol, also sometimes known as kala, isactually based on the highly stylized image of the aso, the mythical dog/dragon associated with protection from malevolent spirits.
This tattoo is typically used by men. This tribal scorpion is still a very popular tattoo in Borneo, even if its original meaning got lost in favor of its spiritual meaning: originally Dayak warriors, who used to cut off their enemies´ heads, got the scorpion tattooed as a protection in battle. The same design, when tattooed on the throat, should protect his bearer from undergoing that same fate, by giving strength to the skin of the throat. Luckily, heads are not in danger anymore, but the meaning of valiance and courage is still deeply connected with this design.
From each place the tattoos have different styles so the regional differences in his tattoos would tell the story of his journeys in life. A tattoo on the arm of a man is said to be helpful to other people.
All the tattoos, following the eggplant flower, are like a diary. A young male would go out on his own to find knowledge and from each place he went to he would get one tattoo to mark not only where he is from but also where he has been. Therefore, the more tattoos, the "torch" will get brighter and the path to the realm of eternity
Kalimantan is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. In English, we call it Borneo. Politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia (73%) to the south. The island is politically Antipodal to an area of Amazon rainforest, Borneo is itself home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Six major, and numerous minor, navigable rivers traverse the interior and function as trade and communication routes for the indigenous peoples who live here, namely the Dayak. Dayak, meaning “interior” or “inland” person, is the term used to describe the variety of indigenous native tribes of Borneo, each of which has its own language and separate culture. Approximately three million Dayak – Ibans, Kayans, Kenyahs and others – live in Borneo. Most groups are settled cultivating rice in shifting or rain-fed fields supplementing their incomes with the sale of cash crops: ginger, pepper, cocoa, palm oil. However several hundred Penan, nomadic hunter-gatherers, continue to follow a traditional lifestyle in the jungle, one that is rapidly vanishing.
We have started to introduce some basic Shiatsu relaxation techniques this lat week. Margret is showing our volunteers how to make it a moving meditation. Each movement and touch and pressure is done with the out breath and as such it becomes a relaxing meditation in movement and receiving. Our two wonderful Mexican volunteers, Ana and Pao with Evan from Australia. Presently Ana is working with Evan on a short video about each and soil and Paola is supporting the new HeartSelf-Intelligence website(www.heartself-intelligence.me) with graphics.
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Here is our wonderful April/May volunteer team with its many different skills.
Phillip on the left from Germany, Evan our permaculture wizard from Australia, Ella from Croatia making the new critter control liquids from garlic, ginger and chilis, Margret, Jiwa Damai caretaker, Regina, our Hungarian recipe collector of indigenous local foods and Norbee, our website and video producer from Romania.
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Ella, our Croatian volunteer and Phillipe our German volunteer, are recovering here the charcoal products after a 3 day burning in the ground, The materials burnt were mainly coconut shells. After digging a deep hole, the coconut fire was lit in the pit and brought to a high fire. Then the pit was covered with earth for 3 days. What you see is the result of a charcoaled coconuts which are extremely beneficial to be mixed with the earth to grow plants in.
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An invitation by Jiwa Damai/ LAgu Damai Foundation to the village youth during their festival to join in a Chi Gong flow, gracefully presented by our volunteer Camila from Chile.
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A wonderful volunteer group with incredible supportive skills. Evan from Australia, giving much love and knowledge to our garden, Iseult from France, supporting with her graphic skills improvement on the website, Lulu from Brazil, introduces many wonderful recipes how to prepare cassava from her Brazilian cooking heritage. Our Chilean fairy, filming and producing four wonderful videos, last not least Boris from Bulgaria, working though our website and company structure. A great group.
If you would like to join us as a volunteer, find out more.
Kevin, our Project manager from Australia with Mattheo a young and enthusiastic architect from New Jersey, USA. Both are standing at Awan Damai in front of our makeshift kitchen. This is their 3rd day in the mountains and they feel that they are adjusting well. Since it is winter right now in the southern hemisphere, the nights are quite cool, even cold.
At this time until we have more volunteers arriving by next month, they are doing their own cooking. Later on, one of our kitchen fairies from Jiwa Damai permaculture garden and retreat center will take care of their nourishment. Of course vegetarian and organic cooking.
If you would like to join them and the Earthship inspired build, read more details here!