A journey to the territory of the celestial anaconda

Carolina Daza Veloza

Anthropologist


...And one day I surrendered to the immensity of mother nature, the jungle. I went into its temporality, I walked trying to learn and know a little about its magic and its infinite wisdom, about its animal, mineral, vegetable beings that inhabit it. I toured part of the Colombian Amazon, specifically along the Vaupés, Papurí and Caño Yapú rivers where I interacted with people from the Tukano, Bará, Karapana and Tariano ethnic groups. Especially with the younger brothers of the Bará, the descendants of ɄmɄa Hino, Anaconda Celeste or sky people the Juna Majá known as Tatuyo. It was there in the Ipanoré cachivera where the anaconda canoe that came from the house of origin, from the milk river on an ancestral journey, left them and from there they moved to what is now their territory. Being a woman at first I felt like an obstacle, however over time I was able to discover and learn from the wisdom of grandmothers like Doña Rosa, of young women and girls; those seed women full of power, strength, knowledge, fertility, healer women, women of light, medicine women, dancers and answerers.


I learned about their spatial and temporal processes, about the cosmogonic relationship that the payé or Kumú have with nature. The Yoamarả (dancers and historians) are also a fundamental part within the order of specialized roles; It is through the ceremonies and a mixture of sacred elements that a relationship with nature, with the cosmos and with its ancestral past is established. The instruments, the songs, the medicinal plants such as coca (Erythroxylum coca novogranatense), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), yopo (Anadenanthera peregrina and colubrina), yagé or capí (Banisteriopsis caapi), fruits such as yucca brava, popuña and Yuquitania, a chili preparation whose elaboration is related to aspects of sexual roles and the moment of fertilization when combined with salt, representing the blood with the red color of the chili and the semen with the white color of the pepper. salt, in Barasana language salt is moa means movement, activation, work; and the chili for its part is bia and means renewal; thus establishing a metaphorical relationship with the female reproduction process, chili element of fire. They are sacred elements that come together at the time of the ritual as the representation of the four elements of nature, fire, air, earth and water, establishing contact between the earthly world and the spiritual world of Mother Nature.

Foto: Laura Noguera

They live in a cosmos with an established order, framed within analogous concepts of space-time and cosmic cycles associated with their patrilineal descent and their social structure, with their wisdom and metaphysical power they superimpose the different dimensions of space-time, it is at the moment of the ritual that his maloka is a clear and orderly universe and through trance men become anacondas. Learn about the powers that the Kumú Yoamarả have and especially their intrinsic relationship with the invisible beings of nature, who govern the order of the world in its entirety, the balance of all beings, children of mother earth; walking with my feet rooted on the leaves with rough surfaces, smelling the aroma of the humid forest, feeling the frequency of the beings that inhabit it, hearing nature itself whisper makes me remember that I am nature, that I am life, that I am a a very small part of the universal immensity, I am a daughter of Mother Earth, I am an instrument and I am an offering.

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