Hello there! My name is Ana Filipa Piedade and I’m a woman with deep roots in Oestriminis, the Land of the Serpents or Ofiússa, nowadays known as Portugal. I’ve always dreamt of living a simple life in Nature and, with this dream in mind, my husband, Pedro, and I decided to become the care takers of a beautiful piece of land (Quinta Corvo do Côa) in the wild and ancient Côa Valley, where our Ancestors once dwelled 20 000 year ago, leaving behind their marks on the local shale rocks.
I have a deep love for Ancestral Skills and Crafts and am on a mission to learn as much as I can about them, so that I can live lightly on this beautiful Earth, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. I love hide tanning and leathercraft, basketry, felting and wool witchery in general. I have a deep love, respect and connection to my Ancestors, and that relationship deepens as I deepen my understanding about them and the skills they practised for thousands of years.
I’m an Animist. I deeply nurture my relationships with my Other Than Human Kin and strive to live as respectfully as I can towards them. I’m also a photographer. You can see a sample of my work at my second website here. I love story telling and photography is one of my favourite tools to express the stories that come to me.
My philosophy is one of deep respect for Nature. I wish to flow with the cycles of the Sun, the Moon, Life and Death. I desire to be part of my local ecosystem and develop meaningful relationships with the Other-than-Human people.
Longer Background Story
Hello there! My name is Ana Filipa Piedade and I’m a Portuguese woman with a deep love for our Mother Earth. This love has always existed in my heart. As a young girl, I deeply loved and connected with animals and felt my mission was to help them and the Earth. As I grew up, I naturally gravitated to study biology and ecology, taking a master’s degree in Conservation Biology. My dream of living closer to Nature guided me to study Permaculture and simple living, and had the honour of doing my PDC with the amazing Josh Gomez and Rosie Stonehill at Casalinho e Escabelado, a beautiful farm in central Portugal.
I travelled a lot and worked odd jobs here and there. Life had its ups and downs. I believed Permaculture would save the world and all would be just fine. Until one day… I decided to read the books “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn and “A Language Older than Words” by Derrick Jensen. The information in these books was not necessarily new to me and yet… they had a very profound impact on me. For the first time, I started truly grieving the destruction of the Earth. I felt powerless and hopeless. A lot of pain and sadness flooded my heart, and I knew I had to do something to help me get out of that hole, or otherwise… I don’t know what would have happened. I felt I needed to connect on a deeper level with Mother Earth. I didn’t know how or what exactly that meant, but I had to do it. This is how I found Lynx Vilden and her Basic Skills course. I registered in Winter for a course that would only happen in Autumn, and I remember even dreaming about Lynx and her teachings! I just couldn’t wait for it. Finally the course happened, and it was the most profound experience I had ever had… during those days, I made a sacred promise to the Earth in ritual, which I have been working towards fulfilling since then.
After the Basic Skills, I was deeply called to do the longer immersion with Lynx. Thus, in 2018, I spent 3 months in Northern Sweden and Finland in her Stone Age Immersion Program with the most beautiful Clan I could ever ask for. It was an intense experience for which I am deeply grateful. We lived and slept outdoors. We washed ourselves in the most pristine lakes. We sat on the ground, we conversed around fires, we ate more berries than we could count. We smiled and cried and shared and hugged. And by the end of the 3 months, I couldn’t believe it had all happened at all. It was like a dream… The Clan, the local Sami People and the Land taught me so much, and held me in times of happiness, sadness and grieve. I am forever thankful to them.
After 3 months living outdoors, totally immersed in the Great Community of Beings, it was hard to come back to the modern world. The lack of silence, space and community. No more drinking directly from clean flowing Rivers. No more Ancient Forests. I was back to a polluted and loud and destructive side of the world, and it was hard to adapt. Sintra’s Forest was my refuge, but even there it’s hard to be left alone by other Humans. The Other-than-Human community in Portugal is constantly being encroached by civilization. They have no space, nowhere to go. And even Humans cannot run away from this craziness.
Rewilding Portugal is more important than ever. And this is my life’s work, and the reason this website exists. I tan hides the Old Way. I felt and spin wool and weave baskets. The pieces I make and sell support me and my rewilding work. I rewild myself by remembering these skills and eventually I hope to help others on this process too by teaching them. But very importantly, when you buy my pieces and support my work, you are allowing not only these skills to survive but also allowing myself to work on a bigger project: to rewild a piece of land in the sacred Côa Valley, in Portugal.
As some of you know, my husband, Pedro, and I bought a piece of land in Trás-os-Montes, Portugal. Quinta Corvo do Côa is located close by one of the most important nucleus of Paleolithic Rock Art of the region and our aim is to rewild it by bringing back the native trees that were once cut down, contribute for the maintenance of the water in the soil and fight climate change in the region. Since our plan is to also live on the land, we wish to apply a Feralculture approach, in which zones 4 and 5 will be the main focus of our project. Our gesture is small in the great scheme of things, but this project is very big and important for us both. We hope to move to the land soon, but till then we are working on saving enough money to make it happen. Therefore, I cannot be more grateful for all those who buy my products and thus help us make this dream come true!
All my work and life is driven by an ethics of respect for the Earth. As an Animist, I see the world populated by Human people, but also by Oak people, Trout People, Plantain People, Mountain people, River people… i.e., I see Humans as another piece of a larger community of beings. The world is full of different kinds of people, and so we as Humans cannot simply use whoever is around us as we please. We are accountable to them for our actions. Therefore, it is important that we establish and maintain good relationships with those that live around us, Human and Other-than-Human. We must remember the Old Ways, and I say this is in a very practical, down to Earth sense. What is important is not “out there” somewhere, out of the world or reality. The Other-than-Human community and the Ancestors dwell on the Land, and we must re-learn the appropriate ways of relating with them. Because I find all this work important, I am currently studying Practical Animism with Daniel Foor, well-known for his work on Ancestral Healing. I am also expanding my web of connections by learning the songs of the Bird People and the medicine of the Plant Folk.
In my Resources page (on the menu, under “About”), I share with you interesting projects, communities, small businesses and people that inspire me. I hope you enjoy it and that it is useful for you. Thank you so much for reading!
All my love, Filipa
About Wild Ana Crow’s Logo
This logo is very special to me. In the centre, you can see an Iberian Wild Goat, the drawing found in the Côa Valley, Portugal, and made by my/our Ancestors about 20 000 years ago. Around the Goat, I drew different symbols that were found in rock art all over Ice Age Europe. One of these symbols is particularly special to me after visiting Font-de-Gaume cave in 2016, but in general all of them speak to me immensely, even though not much is known about them yet. In terms of symbolism, this logo obviously transpires my profound love for my Ancestors from the Stone Age, whom I admire so deeply. Even though the central drawing is of a Wild Goat, choosing the Goat and not another wild animal was intentional. I work a lot with Sheep skins and, hopefully in the future, with Goat skins too. Thus, I wished to honour them too in my logo, as well as my more recent Ancestors who worked with these animals and also lived off the land. Last but not least, the fact that this Wild Goat is under threat of extinction, and two of the four subspecies have recently became extinct (in 1890 and 2000), reinforces my belief in the importance of Rewilding Portugal. This is why this logo is so special to me. It really embodies so much of what I love.