VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Tag archives for culture

Celebrating My 25th Ameri-versary

For many people, “immigration” is just another political issue. But for me, immigration completely changed my life.

Bison Hunting on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

By Sharon Pieczenik At first glance, explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli might seem like your cliché New Yorker: brash, assertive, an avid talker, and someone who might think that New York City is the center of the universe. However, while Chris may carry that NYC veneer, he is also a dynamic young man…

The tribes of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley in Photographs

    The Omo River rises on the mountainous plateau of Ethiopia’s Shewan Highlands, then flows for hundreds of kilometres through lush grasslands, acacia plains and riverine forests, until it reaches Kenya’s Lake Turkana. The river’s lower valley, in the southwest corner of the country, is a wild, beautiful, remote region.  In the mud and volcanic…

A History of Displacement, Remembered in Dance

Author’s Disclosure: While interviewing the former leader of the Banaban Dancing Group, Maraki Kokoria, he explained that he had tried to organize a special reunion performance of the group for an event commemorating the Banaban displacement on Fiji’s Rabi Island, but found he could not afford to pay for the dancers’ transportation to the event…

Best Job Ever: Living With Mongolian Nomads

What’s it like to live among modern Mongolian nomads? From throwing himself into traditional wrestling matches where he faces certain crushing defeats to riding galloping horses across the Mongolian steppe, National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli tries to find out.

Unsurprisingly, American Explorer Terrible at Milking Cows

Cross-cultural explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli tried to live as Mongolian nomad for a month and found himself face-to-butt with the nomads’ livestock. He quickly discovered that “when your face is a few inches from a cow’s teat and a few feet away from the cow’s kicking legs, it isn’t exactly the most comforting environment.”

The Arctic Is Changing … Or Is It?

While the world is captivated by the environmental changes in the far north, the people who live there are eager for changes of another kind.

A Portrait of the Lacandon People

A young Mexican photographer, Gema Ramon, captures the last of the Lacandon society as they are threatened by modern culture and their inevitable transformation.

Creating a Language by Committee

On the white board, nine words in Khmer are listed in blue. In the cool, dim room, members of the Cambodian Sign Language committee are seated at an oval conference table scattered with the various implements essential to their work—iced coffee sweetened by condensed milk, a Khmer-English dictionary, pencils and paper. Papers ruffle on the table as a breeze surges through the barred window, slightly swinging the heavy green shutters. Over the next three hours, the committee will invent four new signs.

Hmong Use Tech to Keep Old Traditions Alive

Hmong communities in Vietnam use modern technology to preserve their ancient arts, crafts, and oral history. See photos and learn more about their traditions.

Bhutan: a Frontier for Culture, Biodiversity, and Adventure

Bhutan straddles an area with high biodiversity richness—the Eastern Himalayas. Precipitation from the monsoons, great altitudinal variation, and its location connecting the Indian plains to the high Himalayan peaks on the edge of the Tibetan plateau allow for an amazing assemblage of biodiversity that is still being discovered today. Bhutan is the only place on Earth where snow leopards and tigers share the same habitat. Recent survey results show that both these endangered large cats are not only surviving, but thriving, in Bhutan. And this is only one example of how Bhutan is a coveted destination for scientific exploration and adventure, writes Tshewang Wangchuk, the first Bhutanese National Geographic explorer, and Executive Director for the Bhutan Foundation in Washington, D.C .

Scenes From Mongolia’s Changing Steppe

National Geographic Grantee Hannah Reyes is a photojournalist curious about cultures in transition—how old traditions are surviving, what remains under broader social pressure, and the new forms emerging through the fusion, interaction and conflict of cultures. Mongolian herders are one such culture.

Healthy Seas and Healthy Communities: The People of Honduras’ Mesoamerican Reef

International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) Fellow Karen Kasmauski travels to the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras with partners from the Centro de Estudios Marinos Honduras (CEM). The region is part of the Mesoamerican Reef, a marine region extending along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Ecological pressures to the area, including population, overfishing, pollution and climate change have affected the reef. These pressures have stressed fishing communities all along the coast of these Central American countries. Fishermen have to stay out longer and travel farther to match the number of fish caught in previous years.

Spadefoot Toad and Other Weird State Symbols

Louisiana’s official crustacean? Crayfish. New Mexico’s honored amphibian? The spadefoot toad. See what other states have quirky symbols to show their pride.

Family of SeaWorld Trainer Killed by Orca Speaks Out for First Time

The family of Dawn Brancheau, the trainer killed by Tilikum the killer whale, speaks out for the first time about the documentary Blackfish.