detail from my 'Four Corners Dreaming'
This picture of the Tupuna (ancestors) is dedicated to the Kogui of the high sierra jungle of Colombia.
i was fortunate to meet the Kogui when i made the four-day trek into the jungle of the high sierra of Cristobal Colon, the highest feature near to the Caribbean Sea. High up in the jungle, on the flanks of Cristobal Colon is Cuidad Perdida ('Lost City') of the Tairona civilization. It is known also by its UNESCO World Heritage designation as 'Buritaca 2000', as the city is reached by climbing 1200 stone steps from a landing point on the Buritaca River. This wiki feed tells of the Kogui's spiritual beliefs.
'Spiritual beliefs [of the Kogui]
The Kogui base their lifestyles on their belief in "The Great Mother," their creator figure, whom they believe is the force behind nature, providing guidance. The Kogui’s understand the Earth to be a living being, and see the colonizers' mining, building, pollution and other activities damaging the Great Mother.
From birth the Kogui’s attune their priests, called Mamos, to the mystic world called Aluna. It is in this "spirit-realm" that the Mamos operate to help the Great Mother sustain the Earth. Through deep meditation and symbolic offerings, the Mamos believe they support the balance of harmony and creativity in the world. It is also in this realm that the essence of agriculture is nurtured: seeds are blessed in Aluna before being planted, to ensure they grow successfully.
The Kogui people live largely in peace amongst themselves and their environment. They use slash-and-burn farming methods; each family tends farms at varying altitudes of the Sierra, producing different crops to satisfy the range of their needs. Their community is closely knit around the Mamos, while the rest of the community works under direction of the Mamos.
In 1990, having seen evidence on their mountain to suggest extensive worldwide ecological damage, the Kogi’s sent a message to the world via a Lampeter University archaeologist, filmed in partnership with the BBC. The Kogis gave a warning to the "Younger Brothers":
“ ...the world doesn’t have to end; it could go on, but unless we stop violating the earth and nature, depleting The Great Mother of her material energy, her organs, her vitality; unless people stop working against the Great Mother, the world will not last.'
Kaitiaki: Dr Tony the Cherokee