My name is Harmony Cronin and I'm an ancestral skills practitioner living in rural western Montana.
Most of the work that I do has foundations in the fact that we live in an illegally occupied country, in the wake of a genocidal destruction of the First People (and plants and animals) who inhabited this continent.
I have accepted the responsibility of my white privilege and colonizer lineage, and have decided to dedicate my life to honoring the life ways of Indigenous people through decolonization of mind, body, food, and home. I believe that it is only through this process that we can start to heal the wounds in ourselves and our landscapes. This is not a process of appropriation, but a conscientious and deliberate rejection of the culture of Empire and the life ways that perpetuate the enslavement of the planet. Instead, I am interested in the ways humans have lived with the planet in balance, for thousands of years, before the tipping point of agricultural domination.
I'm a student of 'experimental archaeology', a primitive technologist, and an everyday practitioner of ancient living skills. I believe that we have a shared history in these skills - no matter where your ancestors came from, if you look far enough back, we all descended from people who knew how to procure every thing they needed for an abundant, happy life directly from the natural world.
To me, it makes the most sense to do what human have been doing the longest. The disastrous experiment of agricultural domestication has disabled our physical and mental health, our environment, and severely disrupted our biosphere, and I believe that in order to find a place of balance again, we need to ask for guidance from those who came before.
It is our birthright.
I went to Africa for the first time when I was 17. Since then I have traveled and studied in 12 different countries, experiencing massive paradigm shifts while living in extreme, diverse life ways. I've witnessed the beautiful resilience and adaptability of humans on this planet and I've seen the incredible flux of different ways humans participate in the great organism of earth. Through all of the years and all of the cultures, I've found that traditional life ways are the only proven "sustainable" human experiment.
Over the years I have been involved with a number of non-profits, from traditional drum-and-dance groups in Ghana to art rehabilitation venues in Washington, and I've taught in a variety of modalities and circumstances.
I'm currently a professional skinner for a specialty butcher shop in Montana. I skin around 500 animals in 7 weeks during the hunting season; mostly deer, elk, antelope, moose, and a few bison. I utilize hides, heads, brains, fat, legs, bones, sinew, and other discarded parts of the animal to craft clothing, bags, tools, shelters, and jewelry.
I spend most of my time tanning hides, shooting my bow, foraging, cooking weird and wonderful food, making fire, and walking around secret wild places.
I teach private and group workshops on extended animal processing, brain tanning, foraging wild food, friction fire, medicine making, fermentation of all kinds, and how to be comfortable (and stylish) living outdoors.
To me, this is life, not 'survival'.