NAMASTE!

© SHAFISHAKKEER

story   |  ARTISTS & INSPIRATIONS

WILD JUSTICE

RIMA KALLINGAL

Rima Kallingal, the Malayalam actress and diva, has her own way how to express her grief, as playful as Cruella de Vil. From a calm socialite, she morphed into an unhinged puppy kidnapper and then a vindictive glamourpuss.

© UNKNOWN

story   |  ARTISTS & INSPIRATIONS

Baudelaire's Girl from Malabar

AYURVEDA TRAILS

One of the Charles Baudelaire's poems, which was proscribed by the French authorities on grounds of immorality, is a beautiful poem called A une Malabaraise (To a Girl from Malabar). Who was that girl and where did he meet her?

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

01: Trees

ZAINA EL-SAID

Trees stand as a magnificent reminder of one of God’s infinite masterpieces, they are like the silent observers of time, wordlessly conversing with life as eons go by. Trees can be regarded as the wardens of earth, unconditionally giving life, sustenance and shelter.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

02: Circassian’s Belief System

ZAINA EL-SAID

Since time immemorial, the Circassian native tribes did not follow a script or a holy book, nor erected praying temples, but rather, they have formed an unwritten philosophy based on their collective outlook on life, and worshiped in the arms of nature.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

03: Associated Tree Deities

ZAINA EL-SAID

Deities associated with sacred forests transformed and evolved according to different historical eras. It is believed that the main original forest deity was Mezguasche (Forest-lady). Mezguasche was responsible for the forest and fauna.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

04: Tree Rites, Rituals & Letter ‘T’

ZAINA EL-SAID

Trees acted as shrines parallel to temples, and as mentioned previously, the native Circassians believed that prayers and holy events must be conducted in nature where no human trace of building or human planting or agriculture was found.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

05: Trees in Circassian Mythology

ZAINA EL-SAID

Mythology is a reflection of the people’s soul, and unlike common belief that they are fantastical stories, myths carry the core of the ancient world, safeguarding profound information, which relate human and world progression through the ages.

© ZAINA EL-SAID

story   |  THE TREE VENERATION IN THE CIRCASSIAN CULTURE

07: Tree Veneration of Circassians (Conclusions)

ZAINA EL-SAID

It is evident that tree veneration has accompanied the Circassians since ancient times, and holds one of the most important roles in the animistic view amongst the Circassians. The cult of trees has persisted up until the late 19th century.

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