Colombian Indigenous tribes talk to the nature


It is a common practice for the indigenous groups in Colombia and Latin American to make a ritual for the nature. This is the opportunity for them to offer everything they have and to ask for forgiveness and seek reconciliation with the nature.

Los Tunjos lake in Sumapaz, Colombia has been the place chosen by many indigenous communities (like the Misak, Huitotos, Quechuas, Pijaos, etc) for the ritual.

Children are a very important part of the ritual as they are the ones that ask for forgiveness but at the same time make a call for the whole world to take care of the nature, of the earth and of everything it gives us.

Luis Enrique Tuntaquimba, one of the wise indigenous member that takes part of the beautiful ritual explains: “We make something like a circle in which we offer everything that is given to us by nature, like corn, beans, everything we eat. We make prayers to the mother earth and then to the lake, that has a positive spirit as the rest of the nature”.

Once they arrive, traditional doctors and wise grandfathers ask for permission before they get in and start the ritual.

They smoke tobacco to communicate with the nature. They walk and they mentally convey everything they need to, nature answers with a positive or negative effect on the body of the person smoking tobacco.

If there is no negative answer against tobacco, it means they are allowed to get in.

“Since that moment, the harmonization and cleansing process begins. We gather in circle with the kids, dancing, singing, making peace with the nature, getting clean and prepared to receive the new positive energy” describes Víctor Jaime Tandioy another wise member.

For the ritual, different musical instruments are required like the drums and the quena, and some herbs and plants like tobacco, guaira, chundú and coquianodo. Candles and mats are also needed, flowers and seeds are the center of the ceremony.

Children go to the front and adults go to the back of the circle. They all go singing ancestral songs like ‘Mama India’ while one of the wise members gives a punch of leaves to each member, for them to clean their hands before the offers.

“First, we play music to make contact with the spirits. When we starts hitting the floor with our feet we are connecting with the earth and we are saying than you for everything she gives us. Then the wise grandfathers go down to the lake and offer all the elements put on the circle to the water, they throw everything and wait for the water to take them away” said Luis Enrique Tuntanquimba.

Children have a special function during the ritual. They are in charge of offering on behalf the sins of people around them. They have pure and clean hands can balance the energy.

“It is not too late to start harmonizing with our awareness and with positive energy start to understand that if we destroy everything there will be nothing left for the future generations. Let’s start taking care of our mother land, it is what gives us life, this is what we live from and what we truly are” finally stated Victor Jaime Tandioy.

A call for us to be actually aware of all we have, and to also be aware of what we could not have if we do not start now.

Manuela Pulido

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