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2021-03-28 10:43:37
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Evaluation of Children with Adhd on the Ball-search Field Task
Searching, defined for the purpose of the present study as the displacement of an individual to locate resources, is a fundamental behavior of all mobile organisms. In humans this behavior underlies many aspects of everyday life, involving cognitive processes such as sustained attention, memory and inhibition. We explored the performance of 36 treatment-free children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 132 children from a control school sample on the ecologically based ball-search field task (BSFT), which required them to locate and collect golf balls in a large outdoor area. Children of both groups enjoyed the task and were motivated to participate in it. However, performance showed that ADHD-diagnosed subjects were significantly less efficient in their searching. We suggest that the BSFT provides a promising basis for developing more complex ecologically-derived tests that might help to better identify particular cognitive processes and impairments associated with ADHD.We tested children from 5 to 12 years of age, of both sexes and without evident motor disturbances. They were recruited from two settings, a childrens psychiatric hospital and a primary school. The school sample was balanced for age and gender, whereas 81% of the participants from the hospital were male.Participants ( = 36, mean age 8.9 yrs, SD 1.7, range = 6.612.8, 28 males) were outpatients at the Hospital Psiquitrico Infantil Juan N. Navarro in Mexico City, a public hospital specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. The inclusion criteria for participation were a diagnosis of ADHD based on a structured diagnostic interview with the parents or legal guardians (Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, MINI KID), a score of at least 80 IQ points on the WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, WISC-IV) and to have not been on ADHD medication, at least over the course of the last year. Symptom severity was assessed by parents or guardians filling out a DSM-IV checklist according to the frequency of each of the items on a Likert scale (). Exclusion criteria included only comorbidity with psychosis or pervasive developmental disorders.Participants ( = 132, mean age 9.2 yrs, SD 1.8, range = 5.512.8, 68 males) were an unselected sample of pupils at an elementary school in Mexico City.Methods were carried out in accordance with the approved guidelines. The Ethics Committees of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomdicas of the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatra Ramn de la Fuente Muiz, Mxico and the Hospital Psiquitrico Infantil approved the full procedure of the current research. Informed consent was obtained from the childrens parents or guardians.The test setup consisted of a grid of 20, 30-cm high orange traffic cones arranged in 5 rows of 4 cones each on a 50 70 m area of a grass soccer field (). A golf ball was placed under each cone. Field sizes at the school and hospital were carefully measured to ensure comparability. The same set of cones and balls was used at both locations. Frequent lawn mowing was carried out on both fields.After answering a short verbal questionnaire providing their name, age, and school class, children were brought individually to the starting point on the soccer field (). At the starting point the task was then briefly explained. First, the researcher pointed to the field noting the cones and asked the subjects if they were able to see all the cones. Then, the subjects were told that there was a golf ball under each one. A sample cone and ball were shown to help establish the search image. The subjects were told to try to collect all the balls, placing each in a shoulder bag, while leaving the cones as they found them (upright). Children were not told how many cones or balls there were or how much time they had to complete the task. They were given a light cloth shoulder bag and fitted with a wrist GPS (Global Positioning System; Garmin Forerunner 205, Garmin Co., USA), set to record their location every second. If the children had questions (such as ), these were responded to using standard pre-constructed answers that avoided specifics ().Two raters (PI and a research assistant) observed the childs behavior and used a GPS-synchronized chronometer to record on a map of the cone array the time at which each cone was lifted (see for examples). The experimenters ended the test when the child had collected all the balls or after 8 minutes. Based on the GPS recordings and the observers records, several indicators of each childs search performance were used for analysis: 1) The number of balls collected, 2) the time taken to finish the task, 3) the distance travelled, 4) the number of mistakes made, defined as the number of returns to already visited, empty cones. Efficiency measures, summarizing the costs and benefits to the subjects, were calculated by the rate of collecting balls (benefit) according to the time taken per minute or to the distance travelled per meter (costs).Parents or guardians of the hospital subjects completed a Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). This rates 8 clinical scales (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials, Monitor), used to calculate a Behavioral Regulation Index, a Metacognition Index, and a summary score, the Global Extended Composite.Hospital subjects performance on the Tower of London task (ToLo), a standardized test requiring subjects to rearrange a set of balls on a set of pegs in an optimally efficient sequence, was also assessed. Performance on the ToLo is evaluated according to the number of moves (NM), the latency to the first move (L1), and the time taken to finish the test (TT). Also scored are so-called time violations (TV), defined as the number of times a subject took longer than allowed to finish a test round, and rule violations (RV) defined as the number of times a subject held more than one ball in the hand, placed a ball on the table, or attempted to place a ball onto an already full peg.We used Student -tests, or for nonparametric frequency data, Mann-Whitney tests to compare the performance at different ages of the hospital and school groups. Pearson partial correlations, controlling for age, were performed for the hospital sample to evaluate the relationship between symptom severity, IQ and BSFT descriptors. To compare the hospital subjects performance on standardized neuropsychological tests against normative values we used a one-sample Student test and quantified the effect size using Cohens We used a two-sample test for equality of proportions to compare the percentage of hospital and school participants who collected all the balls, the percentage who collected all balls in less than half the allotted time, and the percentage who made no mistakes. To explore the possible relation between measures of absolute performance and search efficiency according to participants age, sex and group, we used generalized linear models, which combine continuous (here age) and categorical (here sex and group) as explanatory variables into a model. Since no interactions were found, we used a model that accounts independently for the effect of the variables involved. While a normal distribution can account for the variance in the models used for most descriptors, for the number of mistakes, a negative binomial distribution resulted in a better match due to the nature of the data.Statistical analyses and data visualization were performed using the statistical software R. All tests were two-tailed and statistical significance was set at
Al Qaeda Link Investigated As Clues Emerge in Foiled Terror Attack
Romulus, Michigan (CNN) -- Part of an explosive device that failed to take down a plane last week was sewn into the underwear of the Nigerian man accused of igniting it, a law enforcement official told CNN Monday.Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab is being held for allegedly trying to blow up a flight carrying 300 passengers on Christmas Day.Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Monday for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for alleged U.S. strikes on Yemeni soil.In a message written in Arabic, dated Saturday and published Monday on radical Islamist Web sites, the group hailed the "brother" who carried out the "heroic attack."The group said it tested "new kind of explosives" in the attack and hailed the fact that the explosives "passed through security." "There was a technical problem that resulted in a non-complete explosion," the message said.A preliminary FBI analysis found that the device AbdulMutallab is said to have carried aboard the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, contained pentaerythritol tetranitrate, an explosive also known as PETN. The amount of explosive was sufficient to blow a hole in the aircraft, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Sunday. In his first public comment since the Christmas Day incident, President Obama said he directed his national security team to "keep up the pressure on those who would attack our country." "We do not yet have all the answers about this latest attempt, but those who would slaughter innocent men, women and children must know that the United States will do more than simply strengthen our defenses," Obama told reporters in a break from his Christmas holiday in Hawaii.U.S. investigators have not determined whether the al Qaeda claim of responsibility was true, but one U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN on Monday that the group might have some involvement. CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said that if al Qaeda operatives in Yemen were behind the Christmas plot, that would represent a significant advance for the group. "Most of the attacks we have seen in the past have been in Yemen or Saudi Arabia, and the [al Qaeda] affiliate there has not been able to do out-of-the-area operation," Bergen said. A federal security bulletin obtained by CNN said AbdulMutallab claimed the explosive device used Friday "was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used."Yemen's government launched airstrikes and other raids against al Qaeda operatives on its territory over the past two weeks, and Monday's statement by al Qaeda accused the United States of assisting with cruise missile attacks launched from offshore. U.S. officials privately acknowledge they have provided secret intelligence on several al Qaeda targets to Yemen's government but won't say whether U.S. aircraft or drones took part in the strikes. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula threatened further attacks in its statement, saying, "We have prepared men who love to die." "By God's permission, we will come to you with more things that you have never seen before," it said. Yemen's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Friday's attempted attack in a statement released Monday. "Yemen has long suffered from terrorism and condemns such criminal acts that kill innocent civilians. Yemen is and remains an active partner of the international community in the war against terrorism. Efforts of Yemeni security agencies to continue ongoing operations and prosecutions against terrorist operatives from al Qaeda will not falter," it said.Mohammed Albasha, spokesman for the Yemen Embassy in Washington, confirmed to CNN Monday that AbdulMutallab was in Yemen between August and December. According to the ministry's statement, AbdulMutallab had obtained a visa to study Arabic at a language institute in Yemen where he had previously studied.Relatives of the suspect said Monday that they told authorities weeks ago about AbdulMutallab's "out of character" behavior and hoped authorities would intervene.AbdulMutallab, 23, was studying abroad when he "disappeared" and stopped communicating with his relatives, they said in a statement. His father, Umaru AbdulMutallab, contacted Nigerian security agencies two months ago and foreign security agencies six weeks ago, the statement said.A senior U.S. administration official said one of those agencies contacted was the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria. The embassy, which has law enforcement, security and intelligence representatives on staff, reported the father's concern to other agencies, the official said."We were hopeful that they would find and return him home," the family said. "It was while we were waiting for the outcome of their investigation that we arose to the shocking news of that day." AbdulMutallab, a Nigerian who had a multiple-entry visa to the United States, had been added to a watch list of 550,000 potential terrorist threats after the information provided by his father was forwarded to the National Counter-Terrorism Center, a senior administration official said. But "the info on him was not deemed specific enough to pull his visa or put him on a no-fly list," the official said.Obama said Monday he has "ordered a thorough review, not only of how information related to the subject was handled, but of the overall watch-list system and how it can be strengthened." Do you feel safe in the skies?The father of the suspect contacted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria with concerns his son had "become radicalized" and was planning something, a senior U.S. administration official said."After his father contacted the embassy recently, we coded his visa file so that, had he attempted to renew his visa months from now, it would have triggered an in-depth review of his application," a U.S. official said.Passengers on the Christmas Day flight described a chaotic scene that began with a popping sound as the plane was making its final approach, followed by flames erupting at AbdulMutallab's seat.The suspect was moved Sunday from a hospital, where he was treated for his burns, to an undisclosed location in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. He is charged with attempting to destroy the plane and placing a destructive device on the aircraft.Authorities have focused their investigation on how AbdulMutallab, 23, allegedly smuggled the explosives aboard the flight and who might have helped him."We're ascertaining why it was that he was not flagged in a more specific way when he purchased his ticket, given the information that we think was available, allegedly was available," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN's "American Morning" Monday.Meanwhile, tighter security measures in the wake of the incident triggered long lines at security checkpoints at airports in the United States and abroad. Airlines and their crews have been given discretion over implementation of a "one-hour rule," which prohibits passengers from leaving their seats during the last hour of flight, sources said. The Transportation Security Administration invoked the rule for international U.S.-bound flights after the botched attack.Airline security will be the focus of hearings by the Senate committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Commerce, Science and Transportation; the House Committee on Homeland Security is also slated to hold a hearing on the incident.AbdulMutallab's trip originated in Lagos, Nigeria. There, he did not check in a bag as he flew on a KLM flight to Amsterdam, said Harold Demuren, director-general of Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority.Demuren said the suspect underwent regular screening -- walking through a metal detector and having his shoulder bag scanned through an X-ray machine.He then underwent secondary screening at the boarding gate for the KLM flight, according to officials of the Dutch airline.After arriving in Amsterdam, AbdulMutallab boarded the Northwest Airlines flight to the United States.The Netherlands' national coordinator for counterterrorism told CNN that AbdulMutallab had gone through "normal security procedures" in Amsterdam before boarding the flight to Detroit. CNN's Elise Labott, Jeanne Meserve, Carol Cratty, Richard Quest, Nic Robertson, Christian Purefoy, Tom Cohen, Mike Ahlers, Alona Rivord, Mohammed Jamjoom, Miguel Susana and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.
As Gap Between Rich and Poor Grows, Resentment Doesn't
A 1999 Times poll found that nearly 60% of Californians who described themselves as working or lower class expected they would be able to move up the economic ladder. Many at the bottom have, in fact, been making progress during this long expansion. This may be one reason why inequality, a hot topic for politicians and journalists in the 1980s and early 1990s, is getting less play these days. When people at the bottom and top are gaining ground, inequality is less potent. But there are other reasons for the current apathy about inequality. In 1992, Bill Clinton began his first presidential run by criticizing executive pay and perks to draw attention to the growing income gap between rich and poor. In the last eight years, however, the Democratic Party has grown much closer to Wall Street, and criticism of the money men there may be less vocal as a result. Today, Democratic politicians talk about the digital divide, often as a surrogate for the old discussions of income inequality. This new formulation is less likely to irritate allies and funders on Wall Street than criticism of salaries and stock options. The public may also feel more comfortable with the newly rich than in the past. In their 1996 book, "The Millionaire Next Door," authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko drew a survey-based portrait of millionaire Mainstreeters who blended easily into their communities. Stephen M. Case of America Online, who wears khakis and drives a VW Bug and an SUV, fits the profile. For many of the new cyberbillionaires, gray flannel suits have given way to Gap casual. This is a definite change. Though many who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations were also self-made men, their upscale tastes ran to expensive designer labels that set them apart from average Americans and may have drawn more attention to the gap between rich and poor. As the United States has become richer, there has also been a corresponding rise in social equality, and this, too, may be taking some of the sting out of growing income inequality. In 1997, when Fendi introduced its wildly popular baguette, the slim shoulder bag designed to be carried under the arm like a loaf of French bread, the price tag could be as high as $5,100. But, today, Coach offers a copy for $198, and the younger, hipper Bebe stores have one for $49. The market's impressive ability to reproduce high-end consumer goods for the masses has democratized status. Here's another example: In 1998, Americans 30 years or older were asked how a family with a swimming pool would have been viewed when they were growing up. Responding to that poll, 58% said the family would have been considered "well above average" in terms of wealth. But only 14% said a family with a pool would be considered "well above average" today. Even before this economic boom, most Americans were reasonably satisfied with what they had, and nearly all recognized gains from their parents' time. Virtually every polling question from the past quarter-century shows that solid majorities feel better off than their parents in terms of opportunity, preparation to get ahead, standard of living, income, homes and possessions. This dampens resentment against the rich, too. A more generally favorable climate toward big business also helps explain the reduced journalistic coverage of inequality. Financial writer John Steele Gordon recently noted that capitalism's history is no longer being written by its enemies. In recent years, he said, there have been an "increasing number of serious rigorous biographies in which businessmen are not mere automatons of greed but live human beings." Literary critic Jonathan Yardley recently described our time as one in which "big business and those who run it are esteemed." In part because the federal government has performed so poorly in the minds of many Americans, businessmen who produce wealth look good by comparison. Most Americans don't think the prosperity the country enjoys today comes from Washington. In several recent polls, more people have said that they would like their children to grow up to be like Bill Gates than Clinton. Yet another explanation for waning coverage of the income gap may come from the economic profession itself. While nearly all economists who study income inequality agree it is real and growing, there is uncertainty about how it can best be addressed. In the 1970s, economists worried whether young people seeking higher education would receive sufficient rewards in the marketplace to justify the high cost of schooling. Today, the rewards of additional schooling have been so great that some, particularly males with a high-school education or less, are farther behind that in the past. Economists also know that the gap between rich and poor is exacerbated when people marry people like themselves. Inequality is measured in terms of family, not individual, income, and the distance between high-earner two-income families at the top and low-earner two-income families at the bottom is greater than in the past. Economists are more aware than a decade ago about how much natural movement there is up and down the economic ladder over time, and this knowledge contributes to uncertainty about what can be done about it. In 1992, the New York Times ran a front-page story arguing that "the richest 1% of American families appears to have reaped most of the gains from the prosperity of the last decade and a half." The article ricocheted through civic discourse for weeks. And that same story could be written today. But one reason it hasn't may be that many in the media, like those in country as a whole, have found themselves better off in the boom, and may be less comfortable writing about inequality. Though it is not possible to document specifically, "stock-options journalism" has, according to the Columbia Journalism Review, "increased the bottom line for a fair number of editors and reporters." Finally, there's not much evidence that rising income inequality ever captured the public's imagination. Americans may have long been ambivalent about wealth, but they don't resent it. Pollsters recently asked people whether they thought Gates was happier than they were. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking, but 63% said he was no happier. News accounts of "affluenza," the psychological and spiritual malaise of many trust-fund teens, serves as a reminder that money is no guarantee of happiness. Researchers who study the reasons Americans think some people are rich and others poor find that explanations based on individual drive and ability are more compelling than explanations about the unfairness of the system, and this, too, moderates resentment against the rich. Americans believe ours is an opportunity society and people who work hard can get ahead. Low- and high-income people in The Times poll agreed "anyone who works hard enough can make it economically" in America. In a society where people think they can move up, class resentments have little place to grow. Today, most people think they are doing pretty well and getting a fair shake from the system, and this fortunate circumstance reduces concern about inequality. *
The Ancient Guardians of the Earth
The hidden people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains have emerged from centuries of isolation to help save the world from climate change. The Younger Brother is damaging the world. He is on the path to destruction. He must understand and change his ways, or the world will die, Luis Guillermo Izquierdo lamented as he walked beside me, his cheeks swollen with a wad of coca leaves that he slowly masticated.Ritual flute music drifted through the forest from some unseen source as Izquierdo a mamo, or enlightened spiritual leader, of Colombias Arhuaco indigenous people led me to the sacred natural pool Pozo de Yaya for a ritual cleansing. He removed his sandals, lowered himself onto a rock and sat cross-legged beside a fast-running stream. Izquierdo bade me remove my shoes and step into the water. Then he handed me a piece of thread representing the umbilical cord tethering me to Mother Earth, and in a warbling falsetto told me to pour my thoughts into the thread.Hair as thick and whorled as a flokati rug flooded over Izquierdos shoulders from beneath a woven white conical hat, worn in reverence to the snow-capped peaks of the sacred Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. He was dressed in thick, snow-white trousers and a matching serape (shawl) of maguey fibre, tied by a belt at the waist. He reminded me of a Star Wars Jedi a wise member of the noble protective order capable by mental training of tapping into the metaphysical Force in search of peaceful and righteous solutions. The metaphor seemed appropriate.We want the Younger Brothers to know more about our culture. In that way we can stop him destroying the world, said Izquierdo, referring to the modern world beyond the mountains.You may also be interested in:A flourishing culture believed extinctThe descendants of Alexander the Great?The last guardians of a python spiritThe Arhuaco are (with the neighbouring Kogi and Wiwa, or Malayo) one of three peoples whose ancestors were connected to the ancient and advanced Tairona civilisation. Brutally subjugated by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th Century, the survivors retreated into the pyramidal Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta that explode upwards from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Their homeland the worlds highest coastal mountain range comprises every distinct climatic ecosystem in Colombia, from coastal wetlands and equatorial rainforest to alpine tundra and glacial peaks. Declared by Unesco in 1979 as aBiosphere Reserve of Man and Humanity, the mountain range was named as the most irreplaceable ecosystem on Earth by Science journal in 2013.The three communities, who still total about 90,000, according to non-profit organisation Cultural Survival) call themselves the Elder Brothers and are ruled bymamos, who maintain an ancient cosmovision (a conscious, cognitive interpretation of the world) based on a worship and custodianship of Mother Nature.The mamos believe themselves uniquely possessed of a mystical wisdom. Izquierdo, like fellow mamos, spent his entire youth in intense spiritual training. Chosen by divination and sequestered for 18 years from birth to adulthood within dark confines near the summit of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, theyre inculturated in their societal values until they master a cosmic consciousness that they believe permits them to commune with the planet directly. They learn to work as hidden-spirit midwives to all life, keeping it in balance, explained Alan Ereira, a documentary filmmaker and founder of the Tairona Heritage Trust.The thoughts of our ancestors are embedded in every rock and other element in which humans have contact, said Izquierdo, who holds to Arhuaco belief that we exist in a conscious universe where all material things have life and awareness. Its unfathomable to them that modern man does not believe the Earth consciously experiences the harm we inflict on it.They cannot understand why it is that we do what we do to the Earth, said Wade Davis, an anthropologist and former National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who spent many years studying and living among the Arhuaco.Surrounded by almost impassable jungle (and in recent decades caught in the crossfire between the Colombian Army, Farc guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries), this lost indigenous people lived for five centuries in almost complete isolation and obscurity, steadfastly guarding their territory against outside intrusion. Despite this isolation, their consciousness and cosmovision charges them with the responsibility of maintaining the harmony of nature and the universe on behalf of all mankind.Three decades ago, theindigenous people of the Sierra realised that the sacred Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta snow caps for them, the literal heart of the world were melting. Thepramos(high-altitude savanna) were drying up. Amphibians and butterflies were disappearing. In 1987, concerned that climate change was impacting the cosmos, they established the Organizacin Indgena Gonawinda Tayrona to represent the mamos at a governmental level.The Kogi were the most traditional and withdrawn group, and according to Ereira, they werefearful that their work of taking care of the world would be disrupted and damaged by contact.But in 1990, their mamos decided that, without drastic change, all would be lost, so they persuaded their people that they had to go public, and they invited Ereira to film From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers' Warning.But their aching exhortation of ecological disharmony and potential disaster fell on deaf ears. Two decades later, they called Ereira back to make a sequel: Aluna. They had to do better, driven by fear of what they see will happen next, Ereira said.As the world accelerates towards calamity, the Sierra peoples self-awareness as wards for the Earths ecological welfare has taken on a sense of urgency.While in Bogot researching a National Geographic guidebook to Colombia, I was introduced to Arhuaco political representative (and future Senate candidate) Danilo Villafae Torres. Known as El Canciller (the Chancellor) and Gran Hermano (Big Brother), Villafae inherited the mantle of tribal leader at age 23 from his father, Adalberto, who was killed in 1996 by drug traffickers for opposing illegal coca plantations on Arhuaco land. Villafae invited me to visit the heart of the world in the care of Izquierdo.Brother Christopher is here to share our message with the Younger Brothers, Izquierdo said to the border guard. He dipped his hand into a beautifully hand-woven zijew (shoulder bag) and withdrew a handful of coca leaves. The guard did the same. They exchanged leaves as a symbol of sharing and goodwill.We were attempting to enter the Resguardo Arhuaco. Occupying a vast tract of land on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the communitys autonomous territory was granted legal recognition by the Colombian government in 1983. (The Kogi occupy their own resguardo on the northern slopes; the Wiwa, to the south-east.)The sullen guard scrutinised me with disdain.Izquierdo known by the honorific Mamo Menjavi spoke again, more authoritatively. I heard the words National Geographic. At that, the custodian smiled, and the massive gates swung open, creaking on their rusting hinges.The ravine-slashed, boulder-strewn drive up the mountain from the village of Pueblo Bello would have challenged a goat. Few vehicles ever make this journey into the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. I felt honoured. Permission for bunachis (outsiders) to visit Nabusimake, the capital of the Arhuaco resguardo, is rarely given. To be allowed entry to Nabusimakes sacred walled inner sanctum is almost unheard of. The entrance of non-indigenous is prohibited reads a sign above the thatch-topped entrance gate. For the lucky few who make it inside, photography is forbidden.But the mamos held council the evening of my arrival and granted me permission to enter. The next day, I clambered up a narrow ladder beside the gate to photograph the hallowed hamlet, nestled in a small pine-scented plateau cusped by a mountain meniscus.Huddled together against a rough mud-and-stone wall, three teenage girls giggled nervously, unsure whether to pose or flee. Younger children scattered. Women withdrew at my approach. The men aloof, expressionless and haughtily proud avoided eye contact, impervious to my presence as I walked a cobblestone thread between worlds. They eased past, mysterious as ghosts. Several wore cowboy hats and other sartorial accoutrements that set off their white Arhuaco attire.Izquierdo smiled serenely. By contrast, he seemed pleased by my presence.Indefatigable and inspired, the self-assured mamo is at the forefront of a third wave of Arhuaco initiatives that represent a huge leap beyond the unheeded warnings from their mountain refuge. Izquierdo champions opening up the resguardo for ethno-tourism and autonomous economic empowerment, such as the sale of Arhuaco crafts to the Younger Brothers.Since 1995, various Arhuaco communities have organised themselves into cooperatives to produce and sell export-quality organic coffee. But as climate change pushes coffee production to cooler, higher mountain slopes, theyre now working to supplement coffee earnings with those from selling cacao. And as spiritual leader for Puerto Bello (the gateway village at the base of the mountains), Izquierdo has promoted the cultivation of sugarcane locally to produce panela (unrefined, organic raw brown sugar) for export."The idea is also to let the world know more about our culture," Izquierdo said. "We want to carry the message that it is not simply to cultivate, but to cultivate with conscience," he added, referring to organic farming, without harmful pesticides and other inputs, in harmony with Mother Nature.By integrating into the cash economy, the Arhuaco are gaining cultural recognition while deriving income to buy back, parcel by parcel, ancestral territory owned by Younger Brothers, Izquierdo explained. The ultimate goal is for the Arhuaco to control more than 190,000 hectares (almost half a million acres), reconstituting ancestral territories like a rombacabeza (jigsaw puzzle), piece by piece.I watched, fascinated, as Izquierdo moistened a wooden stick with saliva and dipped it into a poporo (a gourd filled with lime from powdered seashells), a carry-over from pre-Columbian civilisation. Izquierdo extracted some lime, wiped it on a wad of coca leaves to enhance the cocas stimulating effect, and stuffed the wad in his mouth.The thick limescale, the hard residue that builds by incremental degree with each wipe around the rim of the gourd, is a living library of every thought underlying every stroke of the stick. For the Arhuaco, an individuals every thought or dream is literally recorded by the metaphorical action of poporeando (dipping into the poporo). We write our thoughts with it. Its a record of a mans entire life, Izquierdo said.Equally, every knot in their intricately crafted zijews and clothing represents a thought or memory. I watched men perched on low wooden stools weaving cloth on ancient looms, deep in concentration as their deft fingers wove together the material world with that of spirit.Every aspect of Arhuaco life is permeated with the symbolism of weaving. Their central metaphor is a loom, Davis said. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the very spindle from which the all-knowing Mothers thread unwinds, turning possibility into reality, dreams and memory. The power of embedded thought is the very weft to the warp of their cosmovision.Suddenly the meaning of the maguey thread that Izquierdo had handed me became clear. My experience with the Arhuaco was indelibly printed in that metaphorical umbilical cord. A cord uniting the past and present, the spiritual and material worlds, and my understanding my thoughts, dreams and memory of the Arhuacos cosmovision to be shared with the world.CORRECTION:A previous version of this article said it was theArhuaco who invitedAlan Ereira to film From The Heart of The World: The Elder Brothers' Warning and Aluna. It was the Kogi. We regret the error.Our Unique Worldis a BBC Travel series that celebrates what makes us different and distinctive by exploring offbeat subcultures and obscure communities around the globe.Join more than three million BBC Travel fans by liking us onFacebook, or follow us onTwitterandInstagram.If you liked this story,sign up for the weekly features newslettercalled "If You Only Read 6 Things This Week". A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.
London Fashion Week: Ashish Stylist Celestine Cooney
Irish born Celestine Cooney is a top stylist in London. Shes worked for Dazed and Confused, British Vogue, Teen Vogue and V Magazine and has most recently launched a hardback magazine called Twin where she is fashion director.She also does campaign work with a diverse mix of clients ranging from Topshop and Levis to John Richmond, as well as working with Marina and the Diamonds, Jude Law, Florence and the Machine and Daisy Lowe.Shes styling the Ashish show at London Fashion Week (Tuesday) but kindly took an hour out of her manic schedule to talk about fashion, fashion week and her secret desire to style Beyonce.Diana Ross in chain reaction when she wears that red fish tail sequinnned dress and she's standing on a kind of metal disc with sparks flying out of it. It looks like someone is welding and she's just all amazing and red and sparkling in the middle. It blew my mind as a kid. I was just like WOW.Balenciaga and Christopher KaneMy neon Christopher Kane bandage dress, it was the first one on the runway of his first ever show.My Balmain lace shoulders top from two seasons agoA Louis Vuitton pastel green canvas shoulder bag with matching fox tail and torch keyrings.hmmmmm everytime I get to travel first class, stay in mega hotels and eat lobster on set.Cecilia Byrne my assistant and two of my best mates Simone Rocha and Claire Ban Coffey.TopshopStyle, anyone can buy beautiful clothes but you have to have style to make pieces look amazing walking down the street. I think it's about being effortless, you either have it or you don't.Ashish, Meadham Kirchoff and Christopher Kane.Kristen Stewart and Beyonce.Ann Demeulemeester in Paris, Rodarte in New York and Meadham Kirchoff in London.Jameson and ginger beer.Mac lip balmBoth depending on my schedule.Tea with sugar in it and thick white bread with butter and marmalade.
Men's Shoulder Bags by Comparison
Part One: The English Gentle man Edward Marks is a seasoned English gent, a true survivor of his tradition. He retired from the British army after forty years of dedicated service where he achieved the proud status of Sargent Major. Now in retirement he resides peacefully with his memories in a small village on the edge of the downs. Today, Mark is carefully planning a hike across the downs and laid out on his single bed a suitable collection of clothes. He will be wearing a Harris Tweed Jacket and cap, Flannel Check Shirt, Olive Green Moleskin Trousers and hiking boots, perfectly suited a walk in the country side. Before leaving the house there is one more very important thing to address, selecting a suitable shoulder bag to carry his requisites. This inanimate object is a faithful companion and without it Mark would feel great loss and discomfort. He reaches out and removes a green canvas bag with leather straps from his collection hanging from wooden pegs in the entry hall to his home. Now the bag is ready to perform its vital function. Mark gives his choice bag a little shake and inspects the inside for any remnants of last use. He places the bag on the kitchen table in front of a selection of objects, all of which will sustain him on his days outing; ham cheese and tomato sandwich, wrapped in wax paper, one orange, wrapped in an old kerchief, a leather pouch containing Old Holbourn tobacco and papers, flask of piping hot tea, sketch pad and drawing pencils and finally a spare hanky. He is now fully prepared to step out into a perfect spring day. Slinging the bag over his left shoulder he feels great comfort and satisfaction, there is an odd kind of security one gets from the shoulder bag. And, even odder is the attachment to it, though tattered and torn it may be and long past a use by day. The old faithful bag will lie next to similarly tattered sneakers and many failed attempts have been made to discard them, an impossible task. Part Two: The New York Stock Broker In complete contrast to the tranquil nature of Edwards Marks peaceful surrounding in the English Countryside, across the Atlantic Ocean Marcus Steiner, a young positively aggressive stock broker is in a similar mode of daily preparation. Markus graduated from Harvard with first degree honours in finance and economics. His very life feeds on success; his whole existence is driven by adrenaline. He is on a career path consulting in the share trading market. It's a cut throat industry and only the tough survive. He rises very early in the city that never sleeps. After a protein rich breakfast has been fully consumed he performs his ritual Yoga exercises and religiously chants a few self-motivating scripts to prepare him for battle on the stock room floor. Marcus is now standing beside and laid out before him are collections of clothing, he carefully selects the most appropriate to reflect his powerful intentions of the day. A finely tailored blue Marino Wool suit, crisp Egyptian cotton shirt, red and blue striped handmade silk tie, dark brown leather shoes with matching belt. Now it's time to select that all important companion men's bags to house electronic communication devices, pens, business cards, latest financial review, wallet, pens and dark glasses. He slings the bag over his shoulder with a great air of confidence and steps out onto the crowded streets. Marcus is capably ready to take on the finance world he thrives on, enclosed in his leather bag all the things that reflect his intentions and critical information at hand to demonstrate his skills. Conclusion Two individuals at the opposite end of a scale and from vastly different cultural influences have something in common. They both rely heavily on a similar companion (the shoulder bag) though its contents vary, it performs the same function. The bag originally born out of function has now become a fashion accessory in an ever growing demand. You will see men of all ages carrying them by hand, dangling from shoulders or clinging to their backs. Do you have a favourite companion bag?
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