Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Journey Begins

The descendants of the ancient Tairona civilization of pre-Colombian America still live traditionally and in isolation in the mountains in the north of Colombia. The civilization is struggling to protect their territory from “occidental culture” as they call it, the culture of the Western world. Four language groups once made up the Tayrona culture, the Kogi, the Wiwa, the Arhuaco, the Kankuamo. The Kankuamo language and traditional culture are considered dead. Colonization of the Territory of the Tayrona peoples of Colombia is now happening rapidly and now the other three language groups are being threatened. After 500 years of isolation Tayrona leaders have requested the documentation of the language and the wisdom of the elders.

The Tayrona peoples believe that their ancestral territory is the Heart of the World, which is actually the form of a heart. They stalwartly uphold their sacred responsibility to protect and maintain equilibrium at the heart of the world. Their belief is that Creator crossed two cotton strings to create the fabric of life, establishing the four cardinal directions for their guardianship. The warp and weft of equilibrium for the entire planet emanates from the Heart of the World. Because of the weight of this responsibility for the welfare of all life on Earth, they have done their utmost to preserve the integrity of their cultures by remaining in isolation. The spiritual leaders of Tayrona culture, known as the Mamas, have traditionally been raised the first nine years, or even eighteen years in total darkness and from this seminal initiation their priests have sourced the esoteric and arcane knowledge behind the nature of existence. You can read more about their culture on their own website created with the help of National Geographic.

In 1990, a documentary filmmaker, Alan Ereira from the BBC, was invited by the Kogi to document a message entitled "Elder Brothers’ Warning". In it they admonish the “younger brother” or industrial society to vastly re-order conscious priorities to avert an inevitable catastrophe. At this time again, they are making a concerted effort to communicate with the outside world. They are seeking opportunities to convey their perspicacious warnings, offer solutions and expand our understanding of the nature of reality itself.

In December I will be beginning the journey to support this culture by using the media tools of the Western world to record their language, the wisdom of the elders, and inspire the youth to continue to evolve the language on their tongues and remember their culture. This blog will be dedicated to helping to disseminate any communication they would like to make, and to share my experience, my personal realizations about living within the reality of the world of the Tayrona.

I begin by sharing a communique from the Mamas from December 2008.


VOICE of the ELDER BROTHER, TAYRONA Original Peoples
Heart of the World, UMÛNÛKÛNÛ
(Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia).

We, the Wintukwa Peoples of Umûnûkûnû along with our other brothers of the Wiwa, Napeybu (Kogi) and Kankwamu who guard Umûnûkûnû, Heart of the World, demarcated under the Understanding of the Law of Origin or Linea Negra (Black Line) by Serankwa the Creator; we deliver now the clamor of Umûnûkûnû, the thundering demand of the Mountain:

We address you as our younger brothers, representing different nations who gathered in Poznan, Poland under the framework of the UN Climate Conference to negotiate climate issues. While you the younger brothers continue speaking and making decisions without recognizing the Rights of the Original Peoples and without a harmonious agreement with we the Elder Brothers who are the caretakers and translators of the knowledge of the Mother Earth of Umûnûkûnû and in defense of her, the Creator Serankwa continues and will continue to bring due to you brothers until the debt of destruction of the constitution of the Mother Earth is canceled.

Law that legislates the universe, whose constitution is made of harmony and balance by which Serankwa traverses on the ray of the sun, drawing close and piercing the sky from above to say no more marketing of the Mother Earth much less of the Sky because as the Grandmother Sea charges invoking a second tsunami or Mother Earth itself may call upon Brother Storm to bring global disaster, and so it is Brothers, representatives of different nations, especially the government of Colombia who must respect the Mandate of Serankwa because we the Tayrona Peoples are prepared to educate in the schools and with the University of Mother Earth as Emissaries of Umûnûkûnû that we are, we are ready to cooperate to halt the abyss that you the Younger Brothers are creating through economic and scientific development that is recklessly speeding the end of the world.

We are concerned about the path of destruction being invented by the scientific orientation and so we ask of the present governments: If the second tsunami or third hole appears in the sky, do your scientific advisers have the knowledge to avert this catastrophe?

We believe that your knowledge is that of an infant to respond in this regard, or is it that you understand fully one hundred percent the secrets of the land? Do you control the winds? Do you know the power of the waters? Please respond clearly and effectively to these questions, or if it is you can only present a hypotheses, then please listen, as we are not beings who over speak, much less when the subject is the caretaking of our universe. Be respectful of what you do not know and what you cannot dominate with your rational formulations.

Such is the VOICE of the MAMAS of UMÛNÛKÛNÛ.


  1. Hello Shannyn, I found this to be quite profound.
    Thank you for posting it. marion

  2. Hello, Shannon; Stephen C. here. So glad to hear/see what you have been up to! Very profound.
    You may recall several Eagle/Condor events here in and around Santa Fe in years past, ones in which Elders and associates from S. A., L. A., and N. A. met to discuss sharing of teachings, etc. Don Alejandro from Guatemala and Leon Secatero from Navajo To'Hajiilee close by here were instrumental in arranging that "Conference of Indigenous Elders and Priests of the Americas." I don't remember but I'd be surprised if you did not attend one or the other of those.

    Any way, in the meantime, I have been following up on those in a more local context, developing working relationships with Navajo people whom I visit with on a regular - for Indian time! - basis for quite a while now. I'd love to share personally or onblog with you about how a good future can be made out of this mess we're in.
    I'm sure you have blessings to share from your relationships in Columbia. Can't wait!



    PS: this site requires a "Profile" in order for me to post. I do not have a profile and do not want one. ? (PPS: After multiple tries, it looks like I snuck in...?)

  3. hello there it looks fantastic...
    I am just back from Aotearoa-New Zealand
    and Maori people looking forward for some
    ceremonies for Mother Earth
    Irma Clausen

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