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Animal Wisdom is an ongoing, organically growing intercultural storytelling program

Alpaca — pencil drawing by Chrisje Ronde

The program aims to appeal to different generations, both young and old!

Animal Wisdom workshops, teaching modules, (e)books, original artistic expressions, animations, games are offered as services and products on the website.

These very diverse materials aim at intercultural education and ‘global citizenship’, thereby contributing to inclusion and cultural diversity for life in the cosmopolis.

Free basic materials

The basic materials ― teasers of Animal Wisdom ― are made available by the QFWF free of charge; thanks to the selfless efforts of many hands, hearts, heads and eyes of a growing circle of participants and volunteers throughout the foundation.

Purchase of in-depth educational materials

These in-depth educational materials ― which can be downloaded after a donation to the QFWF (such as purchasing e-books and teaching modules) ― promote the further development of intercultural understanding through Animal Wisdom as well as helping to support the other activities of the Quest for Wisdom Foundation.

E-books

These beautiful books contain animal stories as well as information about their origins and extensive commentary about (inter)cultural storytelling traditions.

Available in Dutch, English and/or other languages. Please contact us for more information.

Dieren Wijsheid uit Noord, Zuid, Oost, West

(NL, 2022, ISBN: 978 94 921 27099)

and

Wisdom of Animals North, South, East, West

(EN, 2022, ISBN: 978 94 921 27 105)

This first e-book explains the QFWF storytelling program and introduces the reader to 20 fascinating stories carefully selected from the four corners of the world.

It unlocks the philosophy behind the Wheel of Animal Wisdom.

The 20 animal stories from four different cultures and storytelling traditions are told through five different animal groups: Snake, Salmon, Raven, Lion and mythical animals.

In all these stories, the original artwork — by Caroline Young, Chrisje Ronde, Greg Suffanti, Louis Van Marissing, Nour Kayali, Robin Stemerding and Veronica HuisintVeld — beautifully express the wisdom that these animals embody. Just like the photos by Adri de Groot, Gea Smit, Heidi Muijen, Johann Gomes, Joke Koppius, Laurens Gomes, Maike Stegeman, Marie-Claire Marx, Miny Verberne and Moniek Steggerda; Wikipedia. 

The highly appealing stories with their timeless wisdoms and original artistic expressions feed the soul very directly — even without having to decipher the symbolism. However, each story also contains the reflections of Dr. Heidi Muijen about how people as strange birds, smart as foxes and courageous as lions can successfully develop ‘global citizenship’.

This e-book is available in Dutch and in English. The English version has been translated by Greg Suffanti.

Buddha as an Animal

(EN, 2022, ISBN: 978 94 921 27 075)

The third e-book, Buddha as an Animal, as Originally Told in the Jatakamala by Arya Shura, features the 11 classic Buddhist animal stories retold by Greg Suffanti, with extensive background information and commentary. Some of the stories are in epic poem form! In addition, Greg has illustrated all of the stories with original watercolors.

This delightful nearly sixty page e-book contains all 11 stories from the Mahayana Buddhist Jataka narratives in which the future Buddha is presented as an animal. In addition, there is a link provided to the 6 original songs made, that retell Greg’s epic story of Buddha as the King of Geese.

This e-book is only available in English.

Indian Stories in the Panchatantra Tradition

(EN, 2022)

The fourth e-book contains 18 Indian stories, mostly retellings by Dr. Nivedita Yohana and Greg Suffanti from the ancient Vedic tradition of informative Panchatantra stories which serve as a Hindu guide to life.

In addition, Nivedita and Greg, inspired by this old storytelling tradition, have created  a number of original stories themselves, in which timeless wisdom is reflected in the lives of animals.

Together, the authors illuminate the meaning of these stories and their roots in the ancient Vedic tradition.

Nour Kayali’s pencil drawings and oil paintings and Greg’s watercolors depict the mythical wisdom of these animal tales.

This e-book is available only in an English version.

Caught in the Cosmic Web – Ghanaian Folk Tales in the Twenty-First Century

(EN, Akan/Twi, Ewe, NL, 2022)

The fifth e-book Ghanaian stories about the spider Anansi and other animals. Taken directly from oral traditions and first written by Dr. Kofi Dorvlo…! With an introduction by Dr. Louise Müller and illustrations by Josee Tesser.

One e-book available in four languages: English, standard Akan/Twi, Ewe and Dutch.

Madagaskar, Land van Orale Cultuur, Lemuren and Kameleons

(NL, 2022)

It was English and Norwegian missionaries who were the first to record the local folktales before Madagascar became a French colony in 1895. In few comparable countries was there such an enormous wealth of oral tradition in all its forms as in Madagascar.

Dr. Marcel Reyners takes us along for a fascinating trip via a series of Malagasy animal stories in this sixth e-book. Illustrated with animal photos and photos of embroidery by Malagasy woman and with original illustrations by Mirelva Romano.

This e-book is available only in a Dutch version.

Workshops and Masterclasses

Art Dialogues with the game Quest for Wisdom; workshop, masterclass

Finding your course in life. Includes:

  • With the game Quest for Wisdom — a digital game, elaborating on the Wheel of intercultural art of living:
  • A workshop offers an introduction to this game as a means for developing your personal intercultural art of living. By means of intercultural symbols and stories of wisdom traditions from East, West, North, South
  • In a masterclass you learn to use this game in your own professional way.
  • Lasts from 2 hours to 2 days, suitable for individuals, groups and teams.

Art Dialogues centered around the board-game – ‘Know Yourself’; workshop, masterclass

From drive to resilience

  • Around the mythical-philosophical board game Know yourself — with the six game rounds with intercultural symbols and perspectives:
  • A workshop offers an introduction to this game as a means for personal and professional growth. It offers a playful introduction to the intercultural art of living.
  • In a masterclass you learn to use this board-game in your own professional way.
  • Lasts from 4 hours to 4 days, suitable for individuals, groups and teams.

Art Dialogues around the dialogue table based on What is the question-What is the question!; workshop, masterclass

From imagination to vision

  • Around the generative dialogue table What is your quest? — in four rounds with intercultural symbols and perspectives:
  • A workshops offers a playful introduction to this dialogue form as a means for exploring personal, professional and social issues in-depth by tapping into tacit knowledge.
  • In a masterclass you learn to use this dialogue table in your own professional way.
  • Lasts from 4 hours to 2 days, suitable for (small) groups and teams.

Intercultural Communication, Masterclass

A contemplative game which is both challenging and fun

  • Using Adinkra — intercultural communication game in 2 game rounds:
  • A workshops offers an exercise with an indirect form of communication and an introduction to traditional African wisdoms — in particular the symbols and proverbs of the Akan in Ghana
  • In a masterclass you learn to use this tool in your own professional way
  • Lasts from 1 to 2 half-days, suitable for groups and teams.

Information and subscription: adinkra@questforwisdom.org

Educative Materials

Intercultural lessons for Basic Education

Animal Wisdom for Global Citizenship and 21st Century Skills

  • for primary and secondary schools
  • for Higher education

More information

Update 2021-12
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