TENDUA - Association for biodiversity conservation

The Indian Kogis speak to their “little brothers” from Western world

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Kogis
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Kogis’ Lands
© Tchendukua - DR

On October 11th, 2012, two Kogis representatives gave a lecture at Vincennes thanks to the French association Tchendukua that works to redent them their ancestral lands they have been dispossessed.
Juan Gabriel and José Mamatacom Limako explained very clearly the Kogis’ vision of nature, of our Mother-Earth.

In 1997, Tchendukua was able to buy 123 acres for restoring the Kogis’ lands, then 1235 acres in 2000 and 4448 acres in 2012. On these lands, 350 people live, distributed in 80 families out of 3 villages. The current project, named after the valley of Mendihuaca, consists in the acquisition of 2471 more acres. These lands are sacred to the Indians Kogis: they belonged to Tayrona that they are descendants.


 Kogis
Kogis’ village
© Tchendukua - DR

The “Mendihuaca project” is planned on 3 years and requires the collection of 1 million euros. To the question “why do you need this land?”, the Kogis have just answered they take care of the water and the forest, without which men cannot live. 70% of the Kogis’ lands are forests that nobody touches and that “produce” oxygen for the planet ... They take care of nature for all of us, “little brothers”, so that we can enjoy fresh air and fresh water ... Fortunately they are there to remind us to do what each of us should do, and to warn us: if we go on the way we do, we are going to disappear.


The Kogis live in harmony with the nature
The Kogis live in harmony with the nature
© Tchendukua - DR

“No doubt you do not know, but when you are giving back land to us, you do not just give it back to us so we can cultivate this land, you are giving back sacred sites, the sites of our ancestors where we can do our work to protect the traditional things. On these lands in the Sierra, through”cuentas“that you bring us, we can make the necessary offerings to keep the law. all the material you bring us allow you to find words, to keep the memory and expand our thinking to keep it alive, strong.”

“The signs are numerous: global warming, climate change, depletion of the sea, rivers and lakes, death of coral (See our Newsletter N ° 7)...”
Back to the laws of nature, simple recommendation and hit in the corner of common sense, it seems. But how do that, while we are generations raised “above ground” for the vast majority, having lost contact with nature as it is really, and not as we want it for our entertainment, rest or vacation...
The Kogis compare the Earth to a human body to whom increasingly violent surgeries are undertaken simultaneously : one by one, piece after piece, her organs are removed to get oil, gas, minerals.
The ability of a body to regain health is well known to all medicines. However, there is a threshold beyond which it is no longer possible for the body to regenerate. “If we continue to abuse nature, diseases will spread” ... and finally death.


“We do not have papers, we work in the heart and soul.”
“We do not have papers, we work in the heart and soul.”
© Tchendukua - DR

What can do the “little brothers” that we are, so numerous and poorly educated, so little aware of our past, our present, our future?
The Kogis’ proposal is as follows: “find a collective relationship with the nature.” This involves for us an awareness, that will allow a change of mindset, and also a change of attitude. Human laws that we have built over time definitely cannot exempt themselves from the laws of nature.
“We think differently, but we must find a common thought to develop a single path. This path is nature conservation. We need to find him. Nature will show us what to do.”

Thank you to Juan Gabriel and José Mamatacom Limako, Eric Julien, founder of Tchendukua. Tendua supports Koguis’ actions together with the Nativa Fondation.

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