Acadia Senior College

Course offerings

Lessons from Indigenous Cultures for Mankind Today

Richard Parker

Site: Community Room, Abbe Museum, 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor.
This class will examine how humans went from hunter-gatherer cultures to agricultural and how this shift meant we moved from “we” or “leaver” cultures to “me” or “taker” cultures. Some of our discussions will focus on which elements might be critical for civilization now and in the future. We will read Daniel Quinn’s book, “Ishmael”, first to examine the change from “leaver” to “taker” culture as agriculture took over. Then we will read Laurens Van Der Post's "The Heart of the Hunter" to look at Bushman culture, one of the first "leaver" cultures on the planet. Finally, we will read Richard Erdoes’ “Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions”, as a window into Lakota beliefs. The instructor has decades of first hand experience with the Lakota people, as well as 7 months with indigenous people in Kenya in the early 70’s, so some of the material shared is not available in print. An additional and fully optional half hour will be used each week to instruct those interested in meditation techniques used by “leaver “ culture people.
About the instructor

Richard holds a doctorate in Education from Penn, a master’s degree from Dartmouth, and B.A. degrees in Religion and English from Middlebury. He taught English for thirty-five years in independent schools and was Head of School at Chestnut Hill Acadmey. A major focus of his teaching currently is in yoga, meditation, and modern shamanism.

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