Great Grand Mother Earth

By Jheri St. James

“Hello Gary, Sorry for the delay. I was on vacation and I have lots of things to take care of. Please see attached documents (you can see the “dunes de sables” of Mauritania. The word of peace in Mauritania is: SALAM. . . Happy New Year, Best regards, Ghoujdi Lalla Aicha” (Her collection photo above.)

And yes, that’s all we have, folks. Other than the 12 emails in the file from Gary Simpson to Ms. Aicha wondering if we had been deserted. Well, no, we did get the soil. Maybe it came from this location above, or maybe this is a movie photo. Sometimes we never find out the details of a soil collection, and must remain grateful just to have it. Mauritania after all may not be the easiest place from which to obtain or write about this sandy sample.

The story of Mauritania has been one of constant change between various ruling entities. Independent from France in 1960, many groups have seized power and then lost it through geographical, political and ethnic struggles. And what else is new on Planet Earth? This writer could count on one hand the number of countries whose soil is the platform for peaceful existence upon the surface of our Great Grand Mother Gaia.

Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean west, Western Sahara north, Algeria northeast, Mali east and southeast, and Senegal southwest, this country was named after the Roman province of Mauritania. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast. About 20% of the population lives on less than US $1.25 per day. Mauritania is also “a source and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation, slavery-related practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships which continue to exist in isolated parts of the country. Mauritanian boys called talibe are trafficked within the country by religious teachers for forced begging; children are also trafficked by street gangs within the country that force them to steal, beg, and sell drugs; girls are trafficked internally for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation; women and children from neighboring states are trafficked into Mauritania for purposes of forced begging, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation.” (

Quran Collection in Chinguetti (below)

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Warfare on Earth is the product of the violent taking of land from, first, indigenous peoples. Sub-Saharan African groups, sometimes collectively referred to as Kewri, primarily inhabit Senegal, including the densely populated fertile Chemama land on the Mauritanian bank of the Senegal River. They were probably the first losers of land.

One interesting current evolution of this land grabbing has been the formation of The Morning Star Foundation, a group of indigenous grandmothers from around the world. The Morning Star Foundation is committed to creating public awareness for the protection and preservation of all indigenous nations on Mother Earth. Their primary purpose is to protect and support “traditional” elders, sacred sites, sacred burial grounds, and sacred ceremony.

W.O.M.B. (Wisdom of Mother Beauty) Grandmother’s Gatherings is an affiliated grassroots movement of these grandmothers, “Life-Givers” of our Mother Earth. Twenty seven grandmothers have met as a group for four years now and the concept continues to grow. Grandmother Joyce Fifi Gubevu is the South African member, a respected traditional, tribal healer in her country. Other grandmother activist groups are forming as well, using their accumulated wisdom energy to save our Great Grand Mother Earth. Go to their site to see beautiful indigenous items for sale and/or to make a donation.

Here is one of the Grandmothers’ ceremonial prayers:

”We send our love and prayers out to all of you who live in the direction of the North, Wazi Yata. We pray that you will have a warm home and plenty of food, water and blankets to make it through the severe winter season. We also send our prayers out to all our four legged, winged ones, finned ones, creepy crawlers, the standing people and stone people relations. They too need to make it through the winter's frost. We especially send protection out to our salmon relations that are under attack through over fishing, industry pollution and mining interests in both North America and Alaska. Every living thing is an important part of our Eco System here on Mother Earth. We should always speak up for all our relations and not think that we as humans are always the most important living thing. They all came before us in native/indigenous creation stories. It is our responsibility to take care of them, our sacred water of life, Mini Wakan, and Uchi Maka, Mother Earth. This is why we are here, to be the caretakers and to walk in beauty on our Mother. Not destroy what we have been given. These things are all necessary in order to make sure there are forests, lakes and animals here for our next generations. We should remember this when we look into our grandchildren's eyes and our elders’ eyes. We have so much to be thankful for every day. May you all be open to the Love and guidance that Great Spirit sends you every day.”

Like the Common Ground 191 project, the Grandmothers envision our planet as one living entity, with human beings as only transitory inhabitants. Every slave and every slave master has a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. Let us add our prayers for integrity and moral eye contact between all people on our planet. Let us not desert the idea of oneness--in our project, with the Grandmothers, and with our Great Grand Mother Earth. Thank you to Ghoujdi Lalla Aicha, the anonymous collector of soil from Mauritania, part of the often forgotten but gigantic stage upon which we are born and die, and within which we rest. Salam.

The Village of Bareina in Southwest Mauritania





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