San Agustin, Colombia — A group of elders from the Amazon decided to make the way up the heights of the Colombian Massif, a standing spiritual region with ancient stone statues where the main Colombian rivers have their cradle. Taita Hector Yaiguajé Coca, an elder in his 80’s, crossed the Putumayo river, took a flight inside a small craft and different buses to climb literally the Andean mountains of the Massif, where ancient Colombians left their stony legacy. “We believe that this place was a center of high spiritual value not only for South American tribes, but also those of Mesoamerica,” said Eng. Heber Muñoz-España, a former worker for multinationals of high technology who is now one of the main promoters to rescue and protect the ancient knowledge of the elders in a combination of science, technology and innovation.
They made a huge space of bamboo and cane leaves with an identical resemblance to the Amazonian housing of the indigenous communities to become the House of Healing or the YaiRuna House. Yai stands for wiser in Siona language and Runa stands for people in Quechua.
For the opening, eight taitas made the journey from different ethnic groups of the Colombian Amazonian basin, all of them with a dedicated life experience with natural medicine and knowledge on the ayahuasca, coca and tobacco, among others. The word taita, meaning wiser, father, spiritual leader, was a common decision. “In every ethnic group we have our own ways to call the wiser, the elder who has knowledge of the old traditions, so we decided to choose a word from one of our languages to use when we don’t speak our own. And we chose the Quechua word Taita… but in my language it is Yai Baihn,” explains Taita Hector Yaiguajé Coca.
Last Saturday night in the estate of Muñoz-España, inside the new YaiRuna House, the eight taitas led the ceremony of blessing with 130 persons. They were students, professionals, foreigners and people wanting to know the legacies of the ancient South American civilizations, especially from the Amazons. It has been a matching between the West hunger for spirituality and the intention of the indigenous elders to share it with all. “God told us, to all the elders, the taitas, that we have to share this wisdom, so we can help in the purification of the world,” said Taita Julio Muñoz Lino, murui ethnic, who is the leader of the YaiRuna. He feels himself a disciple of others like Taita Hector and Taita Cherub, a centennial that could not attend the ceremony, but who is like a sort of Pontiff of the jungles.
Eng. Muñoz-España explains the publication of a book is coming, with the title San Agustin, Ancestral School of Knowledge, which is an alternative reading of the legacy of the ancestors and a perspective of how to work with communities of knowledge, cultural research, archaeology, the role of water in the cultures, the environment protection and the social innovation in the Colombian Massif. The book is the result of a multidisciplinary team led by PhD Jorge Reynolds Pombo during the year of the Augustinian Culture.
It is important to support this kind of initiative, because it is about our ancient traditions, those that survived the persecution and marginalization by centuries of European conquests.