Voice of the Earth Eco Shrine
Did you know?
The highly-endangered Cape Parrots are found in the Hogsback area (as are Knysna Loeries and Samango monkeys).
The Voice of the Earth Eco Shrine in Hogsback, built by local artist Diana Graham is a major attraction for spirit-seekers. Hogsback is renowned as a great getaway space for alternative travellers and certainly the breathtaking beauty of the Amatole mountains and spectacular Tyume Valley will do much to appease body, mind and spirit.
Graham created this Eastern Cape shrine in 1995, when she felt the urge to try and attempt to portray (in bricks and mortar) man's link to nature. She says, ‘I am an artist and am particularly interested in understanding and celebrating the evolutionary bonds connecting us to the Earth and to all other living creatures. For many thousands of years, our ancestors all over the world regarded the Earth as sacred. The Voice of the Earth Eco-shrine is my attempt to re-establish this idea.'
Local bricklayer, Dagamnyama Wara helped Graham to build a low brick enclosure with large upright structures - to house oil paintings and mosaics. The first thing one sees on entering the shrine are the two sacred angels watching carefully above the mosaic gates. ‘The angels combine images of bird, woman and man and symbolise the kinship between humans and other species,' says Graham.
What is so striking about this eastern cape attraction is that the oil paintings are displayed out in the open, and the combination of these deeply spiritual paintings and the exquisite natural environment is quite breath-taking. The Shrine windows are another thought-out aesthetic feature, peering through these carefully sculptured openings, one can focus on the beautiful mountains in the distance and reflect on Diana's message of connectivity.
Diana Graham is very active in educating the local community about environmental awareness and protection, and learner groups often come to spend time at the site. The Shrine is also used for gatherings, meditations, drumming sessions and sometimes - even weddings.
So next time you're in the Eastern Cape it might be a good idea to head off the beaten track into Hogsback and visit the Eco-Shrine, who knows - enlightenment may be just around the corner.
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