Exploring the Art at Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을)
For more photos and videos of the village’s art, explore the 감천문화마을 (Gamcheon Culture Village) location page.
Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을) in South Korea is a small village filled with art and history. Located on a mountainside in southern Busan, locals often compare the village’s view of dense buildings to Greece’s Santorini, Peru’s Machu Picchu and even Lego blocks for its shape and colorfulness. Inside the village, narrow alleys spread throughout the city like a maze where people are likely to run into multi-colored buildings, quirky art installations and stylish galleries.
The village, also called Taegukdo Village, was founded in 1918 when thousands of people, many of them followers of the Taegukdo religion, fled to the war-free area of Busan. As a village settled by war refugees, it existed as one of the poorest areas in the region until very recently. In 2009, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched a project to preserve the village, turning it into the artistic community it is today. Now, the picturesque scenery the village provides is known to be a great place for photos, and many local and visiting Instagrammers alike come to document and share the art found all over the city.
24-year-old photographer Asher Svidensky recently traveled to west Mongolia with the intention of documenting the lives of traditional Kazakh eagle hunters, people who tame eagles for the purpose of hunting smaller animals.
With the traditions typically laying in the hands of the boys and the men, the biggest surprise throughout the journey was Svidensky’s discovery of a young eagle huntress, 13-year-old Ashol Pan, the daughter of an experienced eagle hunter. These stunning photographs symbolize the potential future of the eagle hunting tradition as it expands beyond a male-only practice.
Obit of the Day: The Last of the Seminole Code Talkers
Edmond Harjo was not trained as a Marine code talker. He was in southern France in 1944, serving in the 195th Field Artillery Batallion, when he discovered another soldier who spoke the Creek dialect. The two were conversing in their native tongue when an officer wandered by, heard the two men, and recruited them into communications. /p>
Famously, the U.S. Marine Corps recruited more than 300 members of the Navajo tribe to serve as the first code talkers of World War II. The Navajo language was considered especially effective as a code source since it had no alphabet and few people outside the tribe could speak the language.
As the war progressed, other Native Americans were recruited to disguise communications in a way that was nearly impossible for the enemy to decode. And since it was a simple modification of a native language, the soldiers made few mistakes in transmitting codes. Neither the Germans nor the Japanese ever broke the codes used by Mr. Harjo or the Native Americans from 33 other tribes across the United States.
Recognition for Mr. Harjo and his peers was slow in coming. To begin, the code talker program remained classified until 1968. Even then it was take another 3 decades for the Navajo code talkers to earn recognition for their work, when the 29 original members were each given a Congressional Gold Medal in 2000. Eight years later, gold medals were struck for some of the other tribes that assisted in the war effort.
In November 2013 after additional research and congressional pressure, 33 more tribes were given Congressional Gold Medals to honor the service of their code talkers. Mr. Harjo, the only surviving code talker to attend the ceremony, received a silver replica of the medal. (He had also received a Silver Star during the war for his work as a code talker.)
Edmond Harjo, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, died on March 31, 2014 at the age of 96.
(Image of Edmond Harjo, November 20, 2013, at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony. The image is copyright Chip Somodevilla/Getty and courtesy of USA Today.)
Obit of the Day has featured several Navajo code talkers over the years:
I imagine the two doors are making snide and hilarious remarks, just like the old men in the balcony.