Tag Archives: Aluna

“These snowy peaks are like people”: Nunjwákala



Today we begin a cycle of thirteen posts on the struggles and alternative methods of defending the water of the Abya-Yala and Turtle Island. They will be brief comments on images, words, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), shared by elders, writers and filmmakers who have tried to draw intercultural and trans-indigenous bridges. We hope you share your comments with us, and spread the word among friends and family.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to publish news related to water in your community!


In Documents for the History of Contemporary Colombian Indigenous Movement (Documentos para la historia del movimiento indígena colombiano contemporáneo, Enrique Sánchez Gutiérrez and Hernan Molina Echeverri 2010) the Mamas – the Arhuaco, Kogi, Wiwa and kankuamo spiritual authorities – describe Nunjwákala, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the Kogi language, in terms of preservation and offering. The elder Vivencio Torres Marquez, in his letter from 1968 to the Minister Gregorio Hernandez de Alba, provides a brief description of the cosmology of his nation, in which the peaks and hills of the Sierra are grandparents, and the precious stones on the beach are medicine and mejoral (aspirin):

…So, then, we want to make you understand that these snowy peaks are like people, like us. They are our parents. But not only our fathers and mothers but also your fathers and your mothers. And those who are our Gods are also your Gods. They have entered the Sierra and they are surrounding all points. They have converted themselves into treasures, which have the figure of a similar image to us, for all eternity, it never ends.

But they didn’t enter the Sierra without institutionalizing all of our mothers and fathers, such as streams, rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, wetlands and the humidity of all springs.

They also created all kinds of minerals to be kept in their heart. And they created the plants of all species, trees, pastures and they scattered them everywhere around the world. They also created all kinds of lianas and blankets made of fibers like maguey, comparable to our nerves and blood that runs through our veins and flows through our body…. (Sanchez and Molina 66)

Beyond the Western concept of “utility” and “production” of the land, the words of Torres are woven into the belief that the territory is the body, and its present state updates the laws of origin, which in turn protects the future.

Today, we would like to leave you with two documentaries impart the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of the Mamas. Both documentaries are examples of intercultural work. The Lost City (1989) and Aluna (2012) were led by journalist Alan Ereira who, since the late eighties, has walked with the kogui Mamas.

The Lost City | From the Heart of the World – The Elder Brother’s Warning (Alan Ereira 1989): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0kWs1q3hI

Aluna (Alan Ereira 2012): http://www.alunathemovie.com/ This documentary is also in Netflix.

We also recommend (if you have a chance to find them because they are not yet online) the documentaries by the Zhigoneshi Collective (Amado Villafaña / Saul Gil / Silvestre Gil) “Big words”, “Nabusimake. Memory of an independence”, “Yosokui”, ” Word of the Older Brothers”,” Water Guardians”, “Resistance in the black line”, and “Serayimaku, the other dark”; which are all independent projects by Kogi, Arhuaco, Wiwa and kankuamo filmmakers. Here the presentation at the National Museum of the American Indian: http://filmcatalog.nmai.si.edu/title/3605/ And an interview with the Mama Amado Villafaña in Paris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEoY5AcN46Q

Until next week!


Hoy comenzamos un ciclo de trece posts sobre luchas y alternativas para defender el agua del Abya-Yala y la Isla Tortuga. Son breves comentarios sobre imágenes, palabras, y pensamiento tradicional ecológico con los que mayores, escritores y realizadores de cine han querido trazar puentes interculturales y trans-indígenas. Esperamos que ustedes comenten sus impresiones, y compartan este material con sus amig@s y compañer@s de viaje.

Por favor, ¡no duden en contactarnos si quisieran publicar aquí noticias relacionadas con el agua en su comunidad!



Hoy los dejamos con dos documentales que abordan el pensamiento tradicional ecológico (TEK) de los Mamas. Ambos son ejemplos de trabajo intercultural. La ciudad perdida (1989) y Aluna (2012) fueron conducidos por el periodista Alan Ereira, quien desde finales de los años ochenta ha estado caminado con los Mamas kogui.

La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) | From the Heart of the World – The Elder Brother’s Warning de Alan Ereira (1989): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0kWs1q3hI 

Aluna de Alan Ereira (2012): http://www.alunathemovie.com/  Este documental también está en Netflix.

Finalmente, les recomendamos también (si tienen oportunidad de conseguirlos, ya que todavía no están en línea) los documentales del Colectivo Zhigoneshi (Amado Villafaña/Saúl Gil/ Silvestre Gil) “Palabras mayores”, “Nabusimake. Memoria de una independencia”, “Yosokui”, “Palabra de mamos”, “Guardianes del agua”, “Resistencia en la línea negra” y “Serayimaku, la otra oscuridad”; todos proyectos independientes de realizadores de cine kogui, arhuaco, kankuamo y wiwa. Aquí la presentación en el National Museum of the American Indian: http://filmcatalog.nmai.si.edu/title/3605/ Y una entrevista al mama Amado Villafaña en París: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEoY5AcN46Q

¡Hasta la próxima semana!

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