The Earth Stories Collection is one of the two global projects that we are carrying out in collaboration with the Earth Charter Initiative and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (for more information visit Partnerships).
This project is based on the research that Grian A. Cutanda, founder of the Avalon Project, carried out between 2012 and 2016 on myths, legends and folktales from around our planet. Inspired by Joseph Campbell‘s idea of the need for a planetary mythology, Grian made a selection of 336 traditional stories belonging to 87 nations, 102 cultures and 20 spiritual traditions of the five continents. These stories were selected according to the different principles and sections of the Earth Charter, but also because of their characteristics as ancestral “technological devices” capable of transmitting a systemic and ecological worldview. Grian had previously justified that, in order to transform our nascent planetary civilisation into a sustainable civilisation, the most direct way involved a collective shift in our worldview.
A Global Bank of "Cultural Seeds"
On the Norwegian island of Svalbard, in the Arctic Circle, the so-called Global Seed Vault was built in 2008. It is a bank of agricultural seeds from around the world created to safeguard the biodiversity of food crop species in the event of a global crisis.
Grian was inspired by this same idea during his research to propose a global bank of “cultural seeds”, which is what myths, legends and popular stories are as building blocks of cultures and civilizations. This repository of traditional stories would currently have two objectives:
- To serve as a store of educational resources for the transmission of the necessary systemic worldview in order to try to avoid the collapse of our civilization due to the falling down of ecosystems.
To preserve the systemic cultural heritage of all cultures so that, in the event of a global crisis, we can reconstruct our civilisation from a systemic and ecocentric approach.
Our proposal involves the creation of an immense repository of myths, legends and folktales capable of illustrating the different points of the Earth Charter and of instilling an integrative, holistic and non-violent worldview which promotes social and ecological justice. This bank aims to be an ancestral legacy of the human species, which would be translated into all possible languages. On the other hand, it can easily be declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO and constitute a gigantic repository of educational tools for the construction of a humanity at peace with itself and with its world.
The Earth Stories Collection is already a growing reality. If you want to visit the Collection’s website, click on the button below.
Our Partners in This Great Adventure
At present, for the creation of this global cultural seed bank we have the determined collaboration of the Earth Charter Secretariat, at the United Nations University for Peace, in Costa Rica, as well as its global network of supporters, among which there are thousands of nongovernmental organisations and cities and towns throughout the world, over 150 universities, religious groups, peace initiatives and local government councils, including the United States Conference of Mayors and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.
On the other hand, we also have the active and determined support of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, which has even extended our initial proposal through a second project. His proposal involves the creation of a global network of storytelling activists, The Earth Story Tellers, devoted to telling myths, legends and stories illustrative of the Earth Charter, that is, stories like those you can find in The Earth Stories Collection.
As an example of what The Earth Stories Collection can offer, we encourage you to watch and listen to an ancient myth of creation belonging to the Australian Aboriginal tribes entitled “The Secret of the Dreaming”.
The Avalon supporters and The Earth Stories Collection
Our supporters are those people who are committed to financially support our organisation on a regular basis. These people will have a very special bond with The Earth Stories Collection, because they will receive, in exchange for their generosity with us, those traditional stories of the world which become part of the Collection. On the other hand, they may use and disseminate these stories at will, since all of them will be published with a non-commercial license Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA.
So, if you want to read myths, legends and folktales from around the world and want to make your own collection of systemic stories for social and ecological justice, please collaborate in the construction of The Earth Stories Collection and become a supporter of the Avalon Project.