Why are these tribal elders opening Glastonbury?

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Why are these tribal elders opening Glastonbury?


Meet the Wisdom Keepers, a dozen tribal elders from around the world, who have come together to inspire action over our climate emergency.

Georgina Wilson-Powell

Wed 5 Jun 2019

Carrying on the spirit of protest and rebellion across the UK's festivals this summer, a group of 12 tribal leaders from indigenous groups around the world have come together to appear and speak about how we can help reverse our climate emergency.

For years, these Wisdom Keepers, have been on the frontline of climate change and have been fighting for an end to our abusive and extractive relationship with our only home. Indigenous populations only make up 4% of the world's population but they're the ancestral guardians of 80% of the world's remaining bio diversity.

They carry the most profound knowledge about how we can live with each other sustainably and in harmony.

Wisdom Keepers to open Glastonbury

12 tribal elders have come together from all over the world to spread a message of positive activism

Who are the Wisdom Keepers?

The Wisdom Keepers is a global initiative that brings together festival culture and climate awareness. They want to enable a profound shift in a global audience to appreciate the traditional wisdoms and ways that have been eroded and lost over the last few centuries. 

They will be talking about how festival goers can apply practical changes to their own lives and societies, inspired by the wisdom of these elders.

The 12 Wisdom Keepers are from Australia, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador and North America, will undertake a 21 day pilgrimage in June, along the Micheal and May ley lines to take their message of ecological warfare and conscious cultivation from the east to west coast of the UK. They will be stopping to host rites, workshops and performances along the way, ending up by hosting the opening ceremony Glastonbury Festival this year.

(The Michael and Mary Ley Lines are two great energy lines that travel through England, intertwining and linking many of our islands’ most sacred sites).

UK liaison Ben Christie explains: “Festivals are arguably some of the most influential cultural events on the planet, so they are a natural space for the Wisdom Keepers to come and share the wisdom and insight of their ancient lineages with large numbers of its participants, and potentiate shifts in culture in a powerful and progressive way. 

We are honoured to have been invited to be a part of arguably the most infamous music festivals on the globe to help the mission of climate change awareness.”

Wisdom Keepers to open Glastonbury

L: Erika Gagnon is a Canadian ceremonial leader and wisdom keeper. R: Anthar Kharanna is from the land of the Hacaritama people up in the Andes in the north of Colombia.

At Glastonbury they will be leading the Extinction Parade, which will create the largest Human Extinction Rebellion sign ever made in the Greenfields space.

The Wisdom Keepers will be appearing at a series of events and festivals around the UK. You can see them on the dates below:

  • 14–17 June: Kiva Gathering, Cambridge
  • 19 June Tobacco ceremony, London
  • 20-21 June: Summer Solstice Celebration, Avebury
  • 25-30 June: Glastonbury Festival
  • 3 July: Pilgrimage concludes, Cornwall

Want more?

Check out this documentary that shares the wisdom of ancient tribes from all over the world.

Here's how to have a plastic free festival