Linguistic Diversity and Voices of the Earth


The knowledge keeper, extract from forthcoming book, chapter Voices of the Earth by Joanna Dobson

I’d like to express my thanks to Terralingua who published an extract from my forthcoming book in their Voices of the Earth theme for the Winter 2016 issue of Langscape Magazine. Terralingua works to promote the investigation of the links between biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity, as well as the adoption of an integrated biocultural perspective on the perpetuation, maintenance and revitalization of diversity on Earth.

The extract published in Langscape Magazine is taken from the fifth chapter of my book – Voices of the Earth. In this chapter I share my impressions of a trip to the Altai Republic, south Siberia, an area that was later to become my home. I can recall certain moments of this trip with photographic clarity including the faces of three very special people, a knowledge keeper, a poetess and a throat singer – all in their own way, voices of the earth.

Quotes from the book:

The knowledge keeper 

His words seemed to gain profundity because he had chosen to share them in this moment, in this spot, perhaps because the wind had blown in such a way on his face, or the grazing herd had wandered in our direction giving their approval; perhaps there was something he had chosen not to share because the sacred mount had veiled her highest peak with clouds saying “not now”.

The Poetess 

On hearing her words I had no doubt that the flowers did indeed chat away to each other and how I wished that I could perceive the world in this manner, having the perceptivity to see the living soul in a pretty lupin no less than in my travelling companions. 

The Throat Singer

It was hard to believe that this mix of three vocal sounds could be the song of one man; It was like listening to a dialogue in another language on themes of the earthly and the divine, and its sound gripped us as it flowed through the cave, down the mountainside and to the raging river below, satiating the atmosphere, as if ceremoniously blessing all that it encountered.

For more information on my forthcoming book sign up to Altai Pilgrim Studio on my home page.







Altai, Life writing, The book in progress