Queen Defender of the faith: FolkLore

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Arhuaco philosophy

In the beginning of time, Kaku Serankua created the Earth. He made her fertile and took her as his wife.

The world was supported by two sets of four golden threads which were interwoven and attached to the four cardinal points. Where the eight golden threads cross, lies the heart of the world. This is our home, the Sierra Nevada, which is marked out by the ‘black line' which defines its boundary and separates it from the low plains which surround it.

The snow peaks and sacred lakes were placed in the middle of the mountains; this, the highest area, is chundua. The peaks are like people, like us in many ways, like ‘guardians of honour'. They are like our parents, our fathers and mothers. They are also the fathers and mothers of the white man; for our god is his god. A mamo [priest] was put on every peak to be vigilant and caring. Every peak has a mamo, just as every house has someone living there. The peaks are like our temples or churches.

Then Kaku Serankua distributed the land, he kept the Sierra as a sacred place where wisdom would reside, so that one day it could be taught again to humanity. This is where Kaku Serankua lives now, watching over his creation.

Before he made the world, Kaku Serankua created the water, which nourishes the Earth as the veins of man nourish his body. He also made the stars, the sun and moon, and everything.

When he came to create the living beings, he gave laws to the four kinds of people - the white, yellow, red and black. Their colours are the same as the four mantles of the earth: bunnekan, the white earth; minekan, the yellow earth; gunnekan, the red earth; and zeinekan, the black earth.

Our breathing is the same breath which springs from the world: the air, the winds, and the breeze. All the races of people are equal; to each was given their own rights and their own laws so that they did not violate their brothers and sisters. Each one of us has been given a path whereby we can come close to god and recognize and know him.

Taken from Survival's colour report, 'Guardians of the sacred land'.

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