Notes/ thoughts on the baiji river dolphin, damming, river systems

(Adding to this area very soon)

An ancient folk story, wall carvings, a river, two female mammals, a zooamorphic damn, animal displacement, riverside population displacement, loss of ancient carvings, loss of life (losing a branch) of the tree of life.

Damming fractal water systems. Systems that resemble internal systems of the body. The damming of ourselves, stories, art, culture. *Anima Mundi = the soul of the world, ……“If the world is deteriorating, and your soul is in the world, than you are” ……….- James Hillman

Damming, hydro mega damns. Concrete, land flooding, the Canadian in China. The ancient salamander and the sturgeon. South East Asia damning projects.

The baiji dolphin is an extinct dolphin that existed in the Yangtze River.

The baiji was nicknamed 'goddess of the Yangtze'

The dolphin was declared as officially extinct in 2006. It was a quiet extinction and conservation efforts were late, as the action plan was only approved in 2001. The extinction was declared as the first global megafaunal extinction in over fifty years.

Reasons for the animal's extinction vary - from pollution to overfishing and the nearby construction of the megastructure Three Gorges Dam. 

There was once a time where the dolphin was regarded as a national treasure of China and illustrations of the dolphin were depicted on postage stamps and coins. 

Local folklore tells of a human story on the dolphin in which that there was once there was a poor girl who lived with her stepfather on the banks of the Yangtze. He took her on a boat one day intending to sell her at a market. A storm arose and the boat sank drowning the girl. A god named Guanyin took pity and changed the human child into a white dolphin. The dolphin was a local emblem of peace and prosperity.

Three Gorges Dam is the largest dam worldwide. It took over 40,000 workers to construct and it produces 20.000 megawatts of power.

To begin with, the river which roughly spans two kilometres had to be diverted, over 1.3 million people had to leave an area about to be flooded. Protesters were met with police brutality, and many arrests were made. 

The Three Gorges mega dam is the first of a whole series of mega dams that are under construction in China. 1,350 villages were submerged and 50,000 acres of land behind the dam have been flooded.

In eastern Asian folklore, the yak is regarded as the bringer of rivers and mountains. The hump of a yak resembles a mountain peak. Yak physiology shows that yak is well adapted to high altitudes and have physical difficulty at lower altitudes. A river flows down from the hump of the yak, the river basin represents the heart of the yak where all nutrients, sediments, fry fish, and pure mountain water flows out to sea. Below the mountain, in the valley, there are living populations of humans and non-humans survive by the river basin. The udders represent the area where the water is flushed out to sea - the mouth - The pattern covering the body of the yak represent life as fractal and things are not separate in this world but work fractally.