21. Traditional Lifeways on the Fringes of Civilization - Interview with Ben Belty
What is life like for the world’s few remaining cultures that haven’t been wholly erased by civilization?
For the latest installment of the Good Life Revival podcast, I invited my friend Ben Belty to come on and tell us all about the trip he took earlier this year with the Maine Primitive Skills School to get to know the indigenous Sámi people of northern Sweden.
This is a culture that has been chronically traumatized for many generations now by the looming forces of civilization, but they still retain their ancestral knowledge of living in harmony with their frigid and unforgiving landscape.
Ben shares some of the insight that he gleaned from this trip, and explains why it’s so important to learn from peoples like the Sámi. We also discuss what it means to live on the fringes of civilization, and how we go about ‘rewilding’ ourselves, in realistic terms.
Ben also traveled up to northern Michigan recently to harvest wild rice, and we talk about why wild grains are such an excellent staple food, and how wild foods are a key component of a lifestyle that’s closer to the land.