Paila is an ancient spirit ally, my Ice Age Teaching Assistant advising me and my Fellow Travelers on this journey into a sparkling healthy future. She offers commentary and practical advice needed to manage the irresistible sweet temptations sickening us in the modern industrialized lifestyle. It is wisdom from a time before modern conveniences softened some of us into unhealthy puffy sedentary blob-like creatures on a ‘just take the pill’ treadmill of slow dying.
It’s simple and effective Ice Age wisdom. A perspective derived from healthy living practiced in daily life and enjoyed by her people, the Mastodon Clan. Her Clan didn’t need an exercise program. We do. The physical activities needed for daily survival were adequate for them to thrive. Paila is the voice detailing prehistoric ways that were in complete accordance with ‘The Way of Nature’. Her simple common sense suggestions have practical applications that can enrich our modern living.
Paila wears an original pair of leather PaleoShoes and she is always accompanied by a spirit dog named Falo, her inseparable companion. Periodically she and Falo will appear as ghost like images in my photographic compositions floating near a pair of my running sandals, PaleoShoes Barefoot … with Sole®.
Her story begins fifteen thousand years ago as the Pleistocene era was ending. The massive Laurentide ice sheet, which was up to two miles thick, blanketed the Northern United States and the Canadian land mass. It was slowly melting and receding as the Ice Age finally began to release its frigid grip on our sparse population not far from her dwelling.
Near the southern edge of an immense shrinking glacier lived an Ice Age group of strong healthy game hunters known as the Mastodon Clan. Their hunting territory was along the newly formed Mississippi River near what is now known as Nebo, Illinois. They were a vigorous population, moving seasonally, following the huge herds of mega-game, stag-moose, long-horn bison, shrub-oxen, mammoths, and mastodons. The Clan moved south following the herds avoiding the bitterest of cold Ice-Age winters in favor of warmer microclimates.
Among the people of the Mastodon Clan was an independent young woman named Paila. Paila lived and with her some of her Clan members as they hunted the huge game animals that populated the rivers, lakes, and prairies of the Midwest with her loving mate Bo-hono. His mother named Bo-hono which means little boy with the heart of an eagle in the language of the Mastodon Clan. He grew to be strong, fierce and a loving warrior companion of Paila’s. Everyone in the tribe called him Bo.
Paila was accompanied everywhere by her ever-faithful companion, a DireWolf dog she called Falo. Falo along with all of the camp dogs were the result of a slow selective breeding process taking thousands of years. It was a process that tamed the fierce DireWolfs into domestic companions. The Mastodon Clan’s Ice-Age dogs were working dogs. They were faithful canine companions who provided camp protection, pulled sledges, and helped with hunting mega game animals. DireWolf dogs were fiercely loyal animals with a streak of wildness that all Clan members needed to respect.
Falo’s mother and litter-mates strayed one day from the safety of the Clan camp into a burned-out forest area nearby. When they heard their dog’s terrifying cries and the roar of a large starving grizzly bear, Paila and her mate Bo ran to attempt a rescue. Finding their dogs cornered near a rocky outcropping, Bo attacked the bear using his thrusting spear. The spear found its mark many times during the brief fight. Frequent blows were keeping the bear at bay. One of Bo’s strikes punctured deep into the bear’s chest but his valiant attempt to rescue their animals from the vicious bear attack was futile.
One massive retaliatory swipe from an enormous paw of the enraged grizzly bear mortally wounded Bo. His courageous assault on the grizzly bear gave Paila sufficient time to load her atlatl with a five-foot-long thin reed like dart. The lethal projectile was tipped with her recent invention, a razor sharp Clovis Spear Point. With deadly aim powered by her strong arm the atlatl’s speeding dart penetrated deep into the bear’s heart. The spear point dropped the bear in her tracks.
Paila rushed to Bo’s side to assistance and comfort him. It was too late for Bo. His wounds were fatal. He was dying as he laid broken and bleeding on the smooth sandstone outcrop. He tenderly expressed his never dying love for Paila. Then with his final surge of energy made his last request. He begged Paila to make a sacred vow, “You must find a way to stop the slaughter of the mastodons and all the other huge animals before they were gone forever!”
The big herds were being destroyed by her new invention the lethal Clovis Spear Point. Both Bo and Paila had been worried for some time that the vast population of the largest animals was noticeable diminished. The Clovis spear point was being overused by the Mastodon Clan and all the nearby tribes with terrible consequences for the Ice Age mammals, the mega fauna. The populations of stag-moose, long-horn bison, shrub-oxen, mammoths, and mastodons were being depleted. The Clovis Point gave the tribes a new advantage. An advantage that made over hunting the big animals too easy. People always seem to take the easy way. She knew that she had to act! She had to teach the people before it was too late!
Paila lost her loving lifelong mate that day. From that day forward she embarked on a new life course, a sacred quest. It was the day she began an eternal assignment of honoring Bo’s appeal to stop the extermination of the Ice-Age animals. She had to teach her people to be wise; not to overuse their beautiful resources. She had to stop the devastation.
Paila was filled with soul searching sorrow as she surveyed the destruction of her shattered life. Her loving mate and all their dogs were gone forever. Her eyes were filled with tears when rain began to gently fall. Rain mixed with the tears streaming down her face and blearing her eyes. Through her tearful sorrow she gradually became aware of a puppy softly whimpering. Slowly looking around and carefully searching the rocky outcrop she found one lucky little puppy that was still alive. The smallest puppy from the mother’s litter survived the brutal bear attack. He was the one that never got much attention from her, Bo, or any of the Clan. Being so small it seemed to everyone that he was unlikely to much help as a Clan working dog!
The litter runt had managed to wiggle his way deep into the back of a crevasse; just out of the reach of the hungry bear’s mighty claws. The little fellow had only sustained some scratches and bruising. Filled with the sadness of her devastating loss of all her companions Paila saw a ray of hope in the little orphaned animal. Pressured by the need to get back to camp to relay the news about her beloved Bo but fearing for the dog’s safety, she sweetly urged the frightened little pup out of the crevasse. Cautiously he crawled out to her. He was shivering from fear and now the cold rain. Paila’s petting and comforting helped soothed his injuries. She coaxed the pup to follow her back to the nearby Mastodon camp. She walked slowly and urged him to follow her. He followed her so close and devotedly that when she got back to camp she began calling him sweet little Falo. Paila and her new little canine buddy bonded during that day’s tragedy. They became inseparable Fellow Travelers, Ice Age companions.
Falo grew up to be a mighty DireWolf dog. He accompanied Paila on her Ice Age adventures in the waning days of antiquity as the mastodon hunting lifestyle gradually ended with the depleted herds. Soon the lifestyle of the Neolithic Farmer displaced the roaming hunting clans. They brought agricultural which unleashed all of the blessings and curses of modernity.
When it became Paila’s turn to join her ancestors in the spirit world she could not follow them. Her spirit journey was to stay with us, to teach the people. The other reasons she stayed with us will be revealed as her story unfolds in the NOTEBOOK. She roams our world today in spirit form, enticed to the vicinity of my running sandals which are similar to her leather hunting sandals. Look carefully at my photography. From time to time the spirit of Paila and her DireWolf dog Falo’s ghostly image will appear.
Paila continues to serve the people as my Ice-Age Teaching Assistant. Meet her canine companion, Falo, and enjoy their exploits. Heed her wisdom. She offers to teach you the healthy lifestyle practices enjoyed by the Mastodon Clan in the tranquil summer days of easy living in the waning era of the last Ice Age. Paila and her Clan lived, loved, and thrived gathering the bountiful fruits of the land as they followed and hunted the slow moving abundant game herds of antiquity. It was the time before farming enabled the development of the modern industrialized food chain.
Farming permitted permeant settlements. In a short time, Neolithic cognition empowered tinkering with food production. Tinkering that altered human lifestyles and transformed our natural paleolithic health into a quagmire of diet related disabilities. Disabilities that has too many people on the ‘just take the pill’ treadmill to slow protracted death.
Our technologies are vastly different than those of the Mastodon Clan. Nevertheless, we share the same genetic bodies and have the same human needs. Her footwear was an important part of the essential equipment she needed for a nomadic hunting lifestyle. Her original PaleoShoes were as vital for Ice Age living as her atlatl and spear. We have enhanced and updated the basic simplicity of Paila’s Ice Age hunting sandals with modern materials. The results are PaleoShoes, Barefoot…with Sole® running sandals.
Join us as a Fellow Traveler. Listen as Paila’s spirit teaches us the ‘The Way of Nature’. Her Wisdom is timeless! Her guidance is applicable for healthy living in modernity. Her suggestions for Better Health and Great Running are as relevant today as they were when the Mastodon Clan practiced them in antiquity. They used daily living practices from a time before modern technology. Paila, her Mastodon Clan, and Paleolithic populations thrived before farming enabled modern technological blessings and an unhealthy existence into large segments of the population.
Better Health can be rapidly attained by practicing ancient Ice-Age nutrition and adding a moderate level of jogging or running to your weekly routine. Paila’s simple health restoring practices apply equally to us now as they did when they were practiced by the Mastodon Clan hunting mega-fauna on the American Midwestern prairies 15,000 years ago. Paila’s sage advice and Life Insights are peppered throughout the NOTEBOOK.