Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tracking Lions, Myth, and Wilderness in Samburu

Jon turk has come out with another book, this time working with the Samburu, a sub tribe of  hte Masaii in Kenya.

The culture remains intact and they remain pastoralists.  This sadly remains ignored as an impoortant form of Agriculture as we have now learned through the power of managed grazing rotation.  understand that closely managed grazing will double the natural stocking rate while aggressively bebuilding soil carbon.

It still demands a well trained grasier and these tribes are all ideally suited for the transition. Even better, they use the small animals as well which cleans up the weeds as well.

The big pussy cats continue to be a threat, but also obviously suppressed and thorn fences keep them out at night. There is a working balance here as the cats suppress the wild herds in competition for grass.

Tracking Lions, Myth, and Wilderness in Samburu

A provocative look at the vital connection between human beings, the natural world and meaningful knowledge.

Our Stone Age ancestors found the power to survive through wonder, art, cooperation, storytelling, and ceremony; not tools and armaments –

But these soothing and loving ideas have been hijacked and distorted within this modern, internet-crazed, consumer-oriented, oil-soaked world.

We can find our way back through Nature’s healing.

While tracking a lion with a Samburu headman and then, later, eluding human assailants who may be tracking him, Jon Turk experiences people at their best and worst. As the tracker and the tracked, Jon reveals how the stories we tell each other, and the stories spinning in our heads, can be molded into innovation, love and co-operation — or harnessed to launch armies. Seeking escape from the confusion we create for ourselves and our neighbors with our think-too-much-know-it-all brains, Jon finds liberation within a natural world that spins no fiction.

The People, The Lion, and the Villages

“According to camp rumor, when Dipa was a young man, he would scoop up a black mamba with his bare hands, break its neck, and casually toss it aside, as his quiet, unassuming way of establishing the hierarchy in the neighborhood.”

“Tina is a wildlife biologist who had worked with the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and now was involved with the Lion Conservation Fund, integrating her dedication to preserve the Samburu culture with the parallel imperative to preserve lion populations, because culture and local ecology are irreversibly interconnected.”

“Some days previously, when we first heard rumors of violence in the region, Tina, told me that if trouble ever surfaced, I should escape with Jawas into the mountains, rather than with any of the others. Of course, Jawas. It all made sense.”

“What was that phone call about? Why did Dipa take off so suddenly? And why the gun this time? I look at the battle-worn stock, the trigger polished into a reflective metallic sheen by wear, like a railroad track, the curved clip of bullets.”

“Tina explains that a lion killed a cow and asks me to help track it. She offers no insight into what we are expected to do if and when we find the lion.”

“Then women weave rings of thorns to build a perimeter that will repel any evil curses.”

If you asked an average North American observer to comment on the economics of this village, he or she might say that these huts are an indication of poverty. But when we sit down for a warm cup of fresh-out-of-the-nanny goat milk, people speak of poverty in terms of grass.”

Professional Praise

Valeria Teles: Fit For Joy Podcaster. For Valeria’s blogpost on the book, click here.

”Tracking Lions, Myth, and Wilderness in Samburu” is a calling for expanding our natural wisdom to transform the way we experience life, as individuals and communities. Jon suggests there is another obvious way of experiencing life that recognizes that there is no separation between you, me, and the natural world. This is a must-read book for anyone who is ready to explore the magic of true living!

Peter Stark: author of “Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America's Founding Father”.

Jon Turk is one of our most articulate and courageous writer-adventurers. On this journey to the Samburu people and lion-savannahs of Africa, he guides us on an intellectual probing of our deep human past in an attempt to understand our planets future. Bravely curious, he explores the proto-consciousness that grows from living in the moment, on the edge of survival, like our ancestral hunting-and-gathering forbearers. Reading Tracking Lions, you'll think about human interaction with the natural world in ways you havent before.

Marni Jackson: Author and editor with the Mountain and Wilderness Writing Program at the Banff Centre

While tracking lions in Samburu, explorer and lifelong environmentalist Jon Turk is not afraid to ask the Big Questions: if humans have such impressive problem-solving brains, why have we ended up trashing the planet? Whether he is describing the midnight growl of a leopard outside his tent or “interviewing the Earth” Jon Turk is a gifted storyteller, a wise elder and a fun companion.

Jon Waterman: Author of “Running Dry”, Grand Prize winner of the Banff Book Awards
With his trenchant powers of observation, Turk has steered kayak, skis and climbing rack up and down those far-flung destinations most of us will never visit, from Tierra del Fuego to Kamchatka to the Canadian Arctic, and now in his latest work, eastern Africa. His books have always transcended the standard adventure narrative—in inimitable, no bullshit prose— by taking his readers into the heart of both wilderness and culture. More than just compelling insight into place and a little-known and olden-day culture, Tracking Lions makes the linkage to what we have lost in our own troubled modern society. Jon Turk is as precious as a Samburu warrior.

Pat Morrow: Mountaineer, filmmaker, photographer, coauthor of “Searching for Tao Canyon.” Adventurer, author Jon Turk’s worldview has been sculpted over the past seven decades by science, and shaped by mythology. In this, his proclaimed “final book”, Jon distills hard-earned lessons learned from his larger than life experience into the following: "The pursuit of happiness is the root of all unhappiness, and The pursuit of happiness is killing the planet. So. Where do we go from here?”

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