how to access Aluna the movie (2014)

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Filmed and Produced by Alan Ereira

Watch OFFICIAL Trailer

Alan Ereira YouTube

Rent or Buy ALUNA

Buy on ITunes or Amazon

following is an extract from the OFFICIAL facebook Aluna Movie


Following some recent enquiries , we think it may be helpful to post this information on our Facebook page.

Update on Netflix: ALUNA is available for online streaming in the following countries

Argentina Australia Belgium Brazil Canada Costa Rica Denmark Finland France Ireland Luxembourg Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Panama Peru Sweden UK USA

In other countries, it may be possible to view the movie using Vimeo On Demand. You can check if it is available in your region by using this weblink

Edit: More links here

We also welcome any enquiries about organising a public screening of Aluna in your home town. Please contact alunathemovie.com for more details. Thanks.

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Después de algunas averiguaciones recientes , creemos que puede ser útil para publicar esta información en nuestra página de Facebook.

Actualización sobre Netflix : ALUNA está disponible para los flujos en los siguientes países

Argentina Australia Bélgica Brasil Canadá Costa Rica Dinamarca Finlandia Francia Irlanda Luxemburgo México Noruega Nueva Zelanda Panamá Perú Suecia Reino Unido EE.UU.

En otros países , puede ser posible ver la película usando Vimeo On Demand . Usted puede comprobar si está disponible en su región a través de este enlace web

Editar: Más que enlaza aquí

También damos la bienvenida cualquier consulta sobre la organización de una proyección pública de Aluna en su ciudad natal . Por favor, póngase en contacto con alunathemovie.com para más detalles. Gracias

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Want to Visit the Tairona: Kogi?

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ed:    tours to the “lost city” la ciudad perdida (it is not lost, it is a sacred site) are not sanctioned by the Tairona:Kogi. there are also videos encouraging tours. these video invitations are also not sanctioned (see sidebar links) if you care about yourself, our world, the kogi -keepers of humanity and our environment, do not seek out the kogi, the elder brothers who are daily doing ceremony for the rest of the world – that is their job, their task, their ceremony which holds back much social and environmental devastation. If the Tairona:Kogi wish to meet you, they will send a trusted emissary.


indians_737810cas  Alain Ereira of  Tairona Heritage Trust says,

The first thing to say about meeting the Tairona is – PLEASE DON’T TRY.

alan

Alain Ereira

These people are the conscientious guardians of a tradition, philosophy and form of thought that has been pretty effectively destroyed everywhere else in the world by the advance of our own culture.  The most isolated of the Tairona communities, the Kogi, know very well that isolation is their only possibility for survival.

The original European invaders of America carried death on their breath and their bodies, in the form of invisible infections which wiped out perhaps as many as nine out of every ten inhabitants of the continent.  Even the best-intentioned among them were, however inadvertantly, the carriers of destruction.

We also carry infections.  But more than that, we carry our own way of perceiving and understanding the world, and however well-intentioned we may be, we re-form the consciousness of others.  We teach more than we learn, and so we change the people we meet.  That is why the Kogi demand that we stay away.

For the new film, ALUNA, the Kogi themselves organised everything in the Sierra, and eventually took complete control of the filming.  They also reviewed, discussed and changed the film cut.

The Kogi think in terms of levels of cultural pollution; the lower down the mountain they go, the more of it they encounter.  Whole areas of the Sierra are closed to whole groups of Kogi, because they have become too polluted by outside contact.

The Tairona do not want to be met.  But they do want to be listened to.

And that is not for their sake.  It is for ours.

How to access Aluna the movie.


extract from Jonathan.  read the whole thing here.

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jonathan evatt

please know that they have NO interest in people coming to visit them and their sacred lands. This includes visiting La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), which for the Kogi was never “lost”. Rather, it was purposefully hidden, because it is an incredibly sacred site that even many Kogi are not permitted to visit… and certainly not tourists.

The Kogi have gone to GREAT lengths, for the past 500+ years to keep their sacred lands free from the energy and unconscious spiritual issues of outsiders. This is something the average “Westerner” might have a hard time understanding. But all we need to understand is that the Kogi DON’T want people visiting their lands, and whether we understand the spiritual reasons for this, or not, is unimportant. Being in their territories uninvited is like walking into a complete stranger’s house, uninvited, and walking through the rooms of that house as if it were your own. It is rude and inappropriate. Please take this to HEART and KNOW what it means to violate their wish to NOT have outsiders in their sacred lands.

If you feel—and KNOW within your heart—that you have a genuine calling (not just idle curiosity) to support the Kogi in some way, my only recommendation is that you take a serious and sincere interest in recovering your attention from the great many distractions—most especially “spiritual” distractions—and doing what it takes to come into greater consciousness of who you are as Spirit, where you are from as Spirit, and precisely why you are here, as Spirit. This is hard and, at times, painstaking work.

Most importantly, know that the message of the Kogi is a practical one. That we day-by-day apply ourselves to the deep work of resolving our issues, misconceptions, projections, negative tendencies, etc. And that we do EVERYTHING within our power to stop living a lie (the Modern world) which is quite obviously destructive and out of alignment with LIFE. In simple terms, they are making it clear that the Western world must drastically change its ways, less we go through drastic changes. If you’re reading this, that likely includes you. The Kogi are not simply something interesting for our entertainment or idle curiosity. They do NOT wish to be idolised, for that only marginalises the deep importance of their message, which is, in reality, the Mother’s message. AND once more, they do NOT want people trying to visit their sacred lands in Columbia. Such actions are deeply inappropriate.

Read much more of the Kogi on Johnathan’s site

 

watch film “From the Heart of the World”

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ed: this extract below is by Jonathan. the full article is on his site here.


From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning (Kogi message)avances

The Kogi are a true lost civilization. The Kogi and their 3 sister tribes live interdependently on the highest mountain range coming out of the ocean in the world at the coast of northern Colombia. This has been their home for millennia and they are the only surviving culture that did not get annihilated by the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores over 500 years ago. The skill to survive the harsh conditions that they encountered while fleeing to higher altitudes where they could not be reached by their enemies and their tenacity to preserve their pristine culture and way of life have been a blessing for the entire world. They were selected three-kogi-tchendukuaby the Divine Mother to be the caretakers of “The Heart of the World,” from where they work hard to keep the balance and natural order of the planet.

In 1989, for the first time ever, they allowed a non-indigenous person into their sacred environment so he could create a documentary about the urgency of change within each human being. It was becoming increasingly difficult for them to keep the Earth in harmony. The film is called From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning. The Kogi do not understand our unresponsiveness to their first serious warning. They are deeply concerned that the ecological imbalance created by the “Younger Brother” cultures has reached such a critical point that the Kogi need help to keep their sacred sites protected in order to keep global balance. This is why they have decided to send a second warning through a new documentary called Aluna, the movie. They want us to know that if we do not change our ways, we will be seriously reprimanded by the Great Mother, Aluna, and her impeccable laws of homoeostasis.

See the most recent documentary on and by the Kogi, “ALUNA [2014]”.         go here for updated details for ALUNA Movie  –  the trailer and the film: buy or rent

**Note that the Kogi people do not want any visitors and can only be contacted through their chosen representatives. Please respect their wishes**

Published on Jul 6, 2015    Jonathan – I AM

In memory of Frank G. Chavez, indi filmmaker

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frank chavez g

click image for source

VAUPES

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Frank Chavez (1949 – 2016) Obituary Guest Book

“You will be missed Frankie! Love Auntie Marcy Chavez…”

frank chavez g 2

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FRANK GEORGE CHAVEZ
APRIL 23, 1949 – JANUARY 25, 2016
Frank G. Chavez was born April 23, 1949 to Frank and Louise Chavez and passed away on January 25, 2016 at VA Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.  He lived in Cupertino, Ca for over 20 years.  Frank was in the United States Army as a Specialist 4 with Battery B 3rd Battalion 143 Artillery from 1969-1975.  He served during Vietnam and received the Vietnam Service Medal Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal.  He was also a member of the VFW Post #7792 in Winton, Ca. He loved to fish and golf but most of all he loved his family.  Frank will be remembered for his loving way, meaningful laugh and genuine answers to any question. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Frank is survived by his loving wife, Monica Chavez, children; Kevin B. Howell, Christina I. Howell, Bryan F. Chavez and Shelly A. Chavez, brothers; Mike Westlake, Adrian Taylor, Art Ramos, and Roberto Torres, and 2 grandchildren; KaiAnna Howell and Caelan Howell.
Visitation will be Tues. Feb. 2, 2016 from 4-8PM with Rosary at 6PM at Wilson Family Funeral Chapel, 1290 Winton Way, Atwater. Funeral Mass will be Wed. Feb. 3, 2016 at 10AM at St. Anthony Catholic Church with burial following at 1:30 PM at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Santa Nella, Ca.


DIANA TURBAY

Published on Jan 28, 2016  Frank Chavez G.

Trailer homenaje a Diana Turbay


TRAILER

Published on Jan 28, 2016  Frank Chavez G.

Trailer Ciclo de Vida


LINEA NEGRA

Published on Jan 28, 2016  Frank Chavez G.

Documental realizado con las 4 comunidades indígenas que habitan la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta


LA ROCHELA

Published on Jan 28, 2016  Frank Chavez G.

Trailer documental La Rochela


CONSEJO de ESTADO

Published on Jan 28, 2016  Frank Chavez G.

TRAILER CENTENARIO CONSEJO DE ESTADO


 

Kogi / Arhuaco The Black Line Sacred Ceremony

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Miriam Delicado

Kogi & Arhuaco of Sierra Nevada: The Black Line   miriam_delicado_2009

Miriam Delicado March 28, 2010

source:  http://bluestarprophecy.com/film-clip-kogi-arhuaco-of-sierra-nevada-the-black-line/

Recently while in Colombia I was fortunate enough to meet Frank Chavez G. along with two of his friends Juan David and Hector. While in P1230311-300x300the Sierra Nevada, Creator made it possible for me to join ten Mamos on a spiritual journey to the Sacred Points of the Black Line that surrounds their Sacred Mountain. During my time with these Sacred people I was allowed to share with them a message that there are many people in the world who have the same heart as them and are ready to hear their messages and work towards unity for humanity and balance for the earth. I gave this message from my heart….while holding you all with me….. together….. they heard our words and were happy to hear the message from us. You will see some of the mamos I spoke to in this film clip.

The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta or heart of the world is a group of mountains in Colombia South America that together form the shape of a pyramid.According to the vision and knowledge of its inhabitants the Spiritual Fathers of everything that exists dwell amongst these mountains.These invaluable treasures are protected by a magnetic circle called the Black Line that surrounds the mountain.This is where the the Sacred Spiritual people known as Mamos do their ceremonies to hold the balance of all life.This never before seen film clip is the creation of independent Colombian documentary filmmaker FRANK CHAVEZ G.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful seven minute film with us!
With Love and gratitude, Miriam


Uploaded on Mar 22, 2010

BLACK LINE

The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta or heart of the world is a group of mountains in Colombia South America that together form the shape of a pyramid.

According to the vision and knowledge of its inhabitants the Spiritual Fathers of everything that exists dwell amongst these mountains.

These invaluable treasures are protected by a magnetic circle called the Black Line that surrounds the mountain.

This is where the the Sacred Spiritual people known as Mamos do their ceremonies to hold the balance of all life.

This never before seen film clip is the creation of independent Colombian documentary filmmaker FRANK CHAVEZ G.


Miriam Delicado : Indigenous Story : Get to work

Published on Jul 1, 2012


Miriam Delicado: Canyon de Chelly 2012
Published on Jun 29, 2012


Hopi Message 2012 – Worlds Waters at Risk
Published on Jul 5, 2012

Shungopavi Hopi website

For the first time in history the Traditional Hopi Elders from the Village to Shungopavi (the Mother Village) are stepping forward to speak. They have a warning to the world. They say they have been told this time would come when the water would be taken from them. If this happens it will have an effect on the whole world as they are the microcosm of the world, of the universe.

Sign our Avaaz Petition here   ed: update the Hopi have won their campaign – the bill was stopped!

Now is the time that the True Hopi have been waiting for. It is in this lifetime they see the unfolding of Prophecies of their Ancestors and have been given instructions to not allow these things to happen. This is why they are speaking to us, to warn us, that if the water is taken from Hopi it will have a devastating effect on the planet.

Join with the True Traditional Hopi in stopping the further destruction of the waters around the world.

Support stopping SB2109 and support the fresh waters in your area and together with a world community we can and we will save the future waterways for generations to come.

Kwa Kwah / Asquali
(Thank you)


ed:  this is an extract of a wonderful post by miriam. go to her blog for the full article. you can donate to support the work of miriam

P11501401-mep0fc0cnvhwop7qm46tqckgfh8sq4kb7jktlfq65iBy Posted June 17, 2013    In Indigenous Issues

COLOMBIA REFLECTIONS Part three

Reflection on my life and my path was very much a part of my time in the Sierra Nevada. One of the people we were traveling with made a statement to me and Sabrina; “One day in the Sierra is like a year of your life.” What did he mean? This was my first reaction to this statement. It only took a few days to truly understand how profoundly accurate this was.

After our fourth day of being on the mountain Sabrina and I looked at each other and asked the question, How long have we been here? The answer astounded both of us. It felt like weeks had passed. We had experienced so much in such a short time. This is not easily described or expressed in words of the differences in the reality of life itself in this special area of the world.

The Sierra is not meant for everyone and it is not a place where tourists are welcomed. This area is a home, a life, a reality, a matrix that is intended to be untouched by outsiders. It is a place where the reality of the world comes into focus and is held there for all the world to have its center, its balance. These are my observations.

The whole time I spent in this area I never knew the time of day, the day of week or the actual date, with no technologies of any kind. I was able to unhook from this the material world matrix that has such a strong hold on me and most of the rest of the world. It was life changing for this reason alone. Insightful, thoughtful toward my soul in a way. I was able to simply sit quietly and LOOK at the world, reflect in the words of others as they spoke to me and see my life as more deeply the observer of my own world.

In this process of my world I was able to hear the words of those that sat with me and spoke directly to my soul. Sometimes the words others spoke to me were like they connecting with my most inner self and knew me more deeply then I knew myself. Always the conversations with others or even the small comments in daily routine became a reflection of my inner world. There to show me, lead me, allow me to see, feel, observe the inner.

How fortunate, how grateful, how blessed I am on a personal level to have been gifted this by those that supported this journey to the Sacred world of the Sierra Nevada People.

This was a life changing five weeks. Changing my life to become more at peace with myself, more focused and clear in my path for The Great Gathering and so much more. I feel again in my heart in a way that gives me peace and comfort to my own soul, spirit and even my own body.

The changes I feel now in my own life came from so many people, moments, sights, emotions, natural elements that it was not one thing that I can put my focus on and say this is why……

I would like to share with you some of the more memorable things that happened that brought change to me. Here are a few and I will share more in another post.

Sabrina….wow…what an amazing woman she is. Insightful in a way that few people are able to be. I listened to her speak and as she did I could feel her make connections to my soul. She really touched me and helped me to see more clearly. I may have great insight and knowledge but this does not mean that for my personal life I can always see the answers or know what path to follow. She gifted me on many occasions and spoke to me me through reflection, understanding, insight, knowledge and the most amazing ability to comprehend the most complex of issues. Sabrina is unique and I am in awe of her in many ways.

It was because of Sabrina that I was able to have all the experiences I did in the Sierra Nevada. It was her choice to bring me with her to the Sacred People. I will be forever grateful and send to her my heart and pure gratitude for her belief in the words of the messages I carry and follow.

The trees of the Sierra were alive in a way that I have never seen before. As I would drive past them or walk under them it was as though their arms stretched out and were reaching for me sending love and beauty to me. I could feel the connection to the inner world of the earth as the matrix of life was in all the worlds, the air, the earth, touching the sky. Truly remarkable.

I watched the mountain, the trees, the magic to be revealed to me every moment I was there. I watched for the glimpse into the heart, the heart of the world thorough the reflection in the trees, the people, the earth, the wind, the air, the sky. The connection between them all and then allowing myself to be open to experience the gimps of this other world. The REAL world we are all meant to be living in.

A few times I was able to see the magic before my eyes through the trees. The sun would shine down onto the leaves. In the reflection would appear what looked like water, a river of movement in the glistening movement of the leaves with the gentle wind. It was…….like gold dust……. showered upon the earth, the trees the matrix reality we are made from showing itself to me. I was simply…… in awe to see this world HERE on earth. It reminded me of the astral world, the other dimensions that I have traveled to in the past and the gold that makes up those other worlds revealed itself to me here in this world on Earth.

Please, be clear….. that my insight was mine. Traveling to this Sacred place doesn’t NOT mean that you would experience or see the things I did. As I stated the area is not a tourist place and the last thing these extraordinary people want is tourists. They prefer to be left alone so they can continue to maintain their culture, beliefs, their Spiritual work that is done for all of humanity and the earth.

While I was with the one very strong Mamo (One of the Sacred Spiritual people) it was as though I constantly had gifts given to me from him. He was powerful and gentle at the same time and always smiling. It was like looking at a child with the innocence of the world and yet you could also feel that he understood this world more clearly than most and was very powerful.

There were several moments that we shared in our time together where words were not spoken but the reflection of this world was shared. One of these moments we were sitting alone both looking at the mountain and he was smiling, we both were, in silence. He then turned to me, smiled even bigger like a light chuckle almost then opened his eyes slightly. Turning his head back to the mountain I followed and as I did the matrix of life…. I believe HIS view of life came before my eyes. It was remarkable! He then turned back to me and the vision dropped from my sight. As I turned to him he looked at me and laughed. In response I laughed lightly and had a huge smile nodding my head to let him know I saw…..the truth……… the light… of this world and what is possible to live in. What a gift to be given…..

The children and the women of the Sierra Nevada are strong, proud and the strength of the tradition in my eyes. They are all talking and trying to find new ways to feed their families and keep the tradition alive with finding balance between their world with the outside world. In my first week in the Sierra Sabrina and I met a group of the Sacred People who were gathering to talk about a very serious problem of their children dying. We found out that an outbreak of Dengue Fever was the cause.

What will stay with me forever was one of the women we were speaking to told us that her two year old child had died just the week before. She was strong, resilient and had she have not told us we would never had suspected such a deeply painful event had just taken place in her life. It was a natural part of life…….. death…..My thoughts naturally took me to the death of my mother. In the reflection of this woman I could see into myself once again.

The death of my mother has been painful and sad for me and I admit that it has not been easy for me to not have here here with me any longer. Yes, life goes on to the other worlds and I do know that, however, that does not mean we do not think of our loved ones and miss talking with them and holding their hand and laughing. Yet by sitting with this woman it brought some kind of further peace to my inner world regarding my mother, who at the time was 82 years old. I think it was the feeling of her inner world I felt somehow that touched me and this gifted me something that took that last part of my pain over my mothers death and allowed me to have peace and acceptance over it.

The group that I traveled with really gifted me in countless ways. Each one so completely different and at the same time we all had the same heart. The heart of respect for the Sierra Nevada and the Sacred People. There were three men from Bogota, myself, Sabrina and the driver. In this Toyota jeep we traveled for 10 days together, connected, side by side. Laughing, joking, reflective, quiet, tired, hot, hungry and not always an easy time being so close to each other.

We were all a part of a Sacred Walk with 10 Mamos from around the Sierra Nevada. They were doing Sacred work around what they call The Black Line. It is a line that surrounds the mountain region of the Sierra Nevada. It has Sacred points that hold the balance of water, of life for all the world. It was…. beautiful. A very special thank you to Rick for this opportunity!

The reality was in their reflection that I saw of myself in each of them. The playful, serious, intuitive, profound, emotional, daring, strong, reflective and so much more. It was interesting because I sat often in the jeep as the observer of myself literally and then in the reflection of these people. Sometimes one of them would say something to the group or to me and it would be MY words, MY thoughts, My views, understanding etc. They were my guardian angels so many times. Like my protectors, my support for the reason I was there…… to give a message to the Mamos. Each one of them were committed to assisting any way they could. I send my heart and gratitude to each of them for all they gave to me on this journey. They will be in my heart for a very long time…….

The mountain speaks to those who can be open enough to listen. This is the same anywhere on the planet…. even in your own back yard….the question is WHAT does it say to you? In the Sierra I would put my hand on the earth in different spots and close my eyes to listen to the song of the earth, the roots of the trees, the breath of life. Deep inside I could feel the stillness of the land that so clearly was still pure in some ways. In my thoughts I would think of being in Hopi and how the earth felt there….. similar but not completely the same. There was more movement in the earth in the Sierra there was more pain in the land…. and this was most certainly reflected in the people.

The struggle of these ancient Traditional people doing everything they could to simply stay alive due to the fighting between all the factions. The drug trade killing them for no other reason than that was where their home was. Monsanto doing work in the Sierra for many years making the food supply change. Mining, dams being built, marinas being built and so much more. The government taking the land and selling it to the highest bidder. Ah yes……. I could feel the earth and the people with the struggle.

One night high in the mountain in a small town we heard stories of how the people were killed every day for years because of the terrible fighting that went on between all the different groups. They were helpless being accused by each group of helping the other. No wonder I could see SUCH happiness in their eyes, huge smiles and laughter that I could FEEL from them.

The military took over this small town in the night and we could hear them walking past the windows and doors, calling out in the darkness to one another. THIS was a good night…… where no one was killed and no shots were fired. This was peace…….

Waking up on two occasions being surrounded by military men was strange for me as a Canadian. I took pictures of the machine gun that lay at the feet of some of the men. Reminders to my soul once again WHY I was there in Colombia. WHY I was doing my part to be responsible with my actions and my life. The Great Gathering always in my thoughts. This was the reason we need to come together… for humanity….one small step at a time, as a collective WE can change this type of world.

Being in the Sierra was not at all easy. Sleeping on concrete floors, heat, bugs and the basic simple food was only a part of the difference of my world to theirs. Yet I felt the comfort of the people and the land it was in balance within me. Water……. the water of the world and the Sierra is a reflection of our world. That is something I do in fact believe.

The Mamos say that the water of the word will run out if we do not act quickly. The Mamos are the Guardians of Water for this world and we need to pay attention to what they have to say and share with each of us. In more than one place during my travels I was in there was NO water. The rivers and streams are drying up and there is garbage….mostly WATER bottles polluting the lands around these sacred points. It was heart breaking.

The reflection of my mind, my soul my words, my visions there before my eyes in the waters of life. Life is seen very differently when there is NO water, when the realization that people are not paying attention to the delicate balance that is being turned over due to no respect for one of the most precious things on the planet..it is slipping away before our eyes…. wake up I thought so many times….wake up!

Water, is in fact one of the building blocks of life on this earth. Water being bought and sold like it was a child toy. Rivers and streams being polluted, torn up, diverted to care for the needs of what??? The few that waste the most precious of elements on earth. I am changed once again in my very soul from this Sacred walk I was blessed to be a part of. As the Mamos would come to the Sacred points I could see their eyes, feel their hearts and hear their thoughts….. of sadness over what they saw. Destruction not of a small river or stream but of LIFE itself. The end as we know it. It gave me strength and clarity for myself to experience these moments with the Sacred People and those we were traveling with.

More than once when no one was looking I had tears in my eyes as we stopped at the Sacred points. I would speak to the earth and the river and ask for its forgiveness. My heart would open and I would ask the creator to be with me…. to be with US! I asked that the rivers of life hear my words and feel my heart. I would ask that the rivers and streams that were so low and tired of the fight with humanity that it would FEEL the people from around the world that were of the same heart as myself. I asked for forgiveness and said… The Great Gathering is on its way to help stop this destruction. I asked for forgiveness talking to the rivers and streams telling them that many around the world are now working hard to stop this mess from going any further. I asked that the rivers and streams hear the words of those I stood there with in my heart… all those who have the same vision and the same heart around the world….. I asked for more time… to give us a chance…….. the chance to make the difference…….

With all my heart……….. Love Miriam

 

Sierra Nevada Indians: Kogi (or Kaggaba), Arhuaco (or Ika), Wiwa, Kankuamo

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to assist the kogi and other sierra indians (Arhuaco (or Ika), Wiwa, Kogi, and Kankuamo), please go to the trust which was established in collaboration with the indians themselves . . . . Tairona Heritage Trust.


Aluna the movie


source of below extract

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a unique pyramid-shaped mountain on the northern tip of the Andes in northern Colombia. On its slopes live four separate but related peoples: the Arhuaco (or Ika), Wiwa, Kogi, and Kankuamo. Together they number more than 30,000.

The mountain’s peak is over 5,000m high. Rising from the shores of the Caribbean, the lower plains are clad in tropical forest, turning to open savannah and cloud forest higher up.

To the Indians, the Sierra Nevada is the heart of the world. It is surrounded by an invisible ‘black-line’ that encompasses the sacred sites of their ancestors and demarcates their territory.

Older brothers

The Sierra Indians call themselves ‘the older brothers’, and believe that they have a mystical wisdom and understanding which surpasses that of others. They refer to outsiders as ‘the younger brothers.’

A meeting amongst the lush landscape of the Sierra Nevada

A meeting amongst the lush landscape of the Sierra Nevada © Danilo Villafañe

The older brothers believe it is their responsibility to maintain the balance of the universe. When there are hurricanes, droughts, or famines around the world it is said that they are the cause of human failure to keep the world in harmony.

Balance is achieved by making offerings to the sacred sites to give back to the earth what is taken out of it.

Mamos

Arhuaco man, Colombia.

Arhuaco man, Colombia. © Survival

Spiritual leaders are called Mamos. The Mamo is charged with maintaining the natural order of the world through songs, meditations and ritual offerings.

Mamo training begins at a young age and continues for around 18 years. The young male is taken high into the mountains where he is taught to meditate on the natural and spirit world.

In Western culture, the Mamo could be seen as the priest, teacher and doctor, all rolled into one.

Coca vs cocaine

Surplus seashell powder creates a thick rim around the poporo over time

Surplus seashell powder creates a thick rim around the poporo over time © Danilo VillafañeThe coca leaf plays a central role in daily life and is used in offerings and ceremonies.

Each man carries a bag of the leaves, which are chewed to create a mildly stimulating effect. When two men meet, a handful of leaves is exchanged as a sign of mutual respect.

A hollowed-out gourd called a ‘poporo’ contains crushed seashells. A stick is used to transfer the powder to the wad of coca in the mouth – the highly alkaline shells react with the coca to stimulate its active ingredients. Surplus powder is rubbed on the neck of the poporo – over time, this becomes a thick collar.

The poporo is a symbol of manhood and a mark of civilization amongst the Indians.

The poporo is a symbol of manhood and a mark of civilization amongst the Indians. © Danilo Villafañe

Coca is also grown by non-Indian settlers as the raw material for cocaine. Colombia has long been dubbed the cocaine capital of the world, and its production has had devastating consequences for the indigenous population.

The lower slopes of the Sierra have been occupied by colonists growing coca for the drug trade that funds much of the armed conflict between guerrilla groups and paramilitaries in the country’s long-running civil war.

Despite the Indians’ peaceful nature, they have frequently been caught in the crossfire between the army and illegal armed groups, and many have been killed or forced to flee from the quasi-civil war raging on their land.

Keep off our land!

'The entrance of non-Indians is prohibited', sign at an Arhuaco village

‘The entrance of non-Indians is prohibited’, sign at an Arhuaco village © Kelly Loudenberg/Arianna Lapenne

For us, grave robbing is the same as taking a mother and removing her guts, taking out her teeth and replacing them with dentures, removing an eye and replacing it with glass. Mamo Ramon Gil

The Sierra Indians are descendants of the Tairona, a great civilization whose masterful gold work and architecture draw tourists and grave robbers alike to the region.

Each tribe has adapted to the invasion of their lands in its own ways: the Kogi shunned outside invasion by fleeing higher up the Sierra. They have remained particularly averse to visits from camera-toting tourists.

The Arhuaco, whose men are distinguished by their white conical hats, organized a strong political movement to defend their rights, while the Kankuamo living on the lower foothills were almost entirely integrated into mainstream society.

Water

Water is highly revered by the Indians and there is strong opposition to existing and planned hydroelectric dams in the region. Dams interfere with the natural water cycle of the Sierra and threaten the tribes’ crops and livestock.

Privately owned land and development projects are making it increasingly difficult for the Indians to move within their ancestral territory and make offerings to keep the world in balance.