Pre-dawn ceremony starts conference near Mayan pyramids
More than 200 leaders from 71 American Indian nations were joining in this jungle town to offer indigenous wisdom about ways to save the polluted planet.
"Our Mother Earth is being polluted at an alarming rate, and our elders say that she is dying," said Raymond Sensmeier, a Tlingit leader from Yakutat, Alaska. "The way the weather is around the world ... a cleansing is needed."
The pre-dawn ceremony that launched the conference included fire, copal incense, chants in Lacandon Maya and blasts from a conch shell to the four cardinal points.
For more on the subject, see Ecological Indian Talk.