About This Project
What we are making here is a Telling of the Wild Ginseng.
Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a native plant of Turtle Island (North America). It's range, prior to European driven settler colonialism was at least as far north as present day Hudson Bay Ontario, as far south as the Bayou's of Louisiana, west nearly to the slopes of the Rockies, and east to the sea.
There are a large number of ancestral tribal lands that would have found Ginseng growing in their forests. Naming, acknowledging and honouring those tribes, their territories, shared spaces and the languages Ginseng was known and named in, is a goal of this project.
Ginseng, a small, inconspicuous, knee-high wild forest shrub serves as a focal point for the mechanisms, trappings, follies, greed and destructiveness of the global colonial-capitalist project. It also allows us a window into something more tender; forest medicine that against all odds, still nurtures and nourishes peoples of all four directions.
It is clear, after centuries of continued global trade, of wildcrafting, hunting, poaching, forest farming and industrial agricultural attempts to keep this plant from total extinction - that all peoples who come into contact with it - come to respect its medicine. It is my belief that by cultivating a loving, protective, respectful attitude towards this plant in its wildness that we simultaneously extend those sentiments towards ourselves.
Cimarron or Maroon is a term used to describe people, many of whom were escaped slaves, native peoples, or indentured servants, who bonded together across racial and ethnic lines to both survive and resist the oppressive colonial force surrounding them.
Maz is a term from 'The Telling', one of the fictional worlds created by the late Ursula K LeGuin. The Maz are a class of people who's role in their society is to gather, organize and dispense histories, stories, medicines, lessons, meditations, and music through tellings, nightly gatherings where events and myths of the world are told into being.