Arahuaco Universe

The fragments of texts that you have read in the introduction were taken from a book called “Arahuaco Universe”, which is a compilation of conferences given by different “mamos” (spiritual authority), of an indigenous tribe known both as Arahuco and Ika. The Ika are one of the four tribes that live on their territories in the “Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta”, mountain range that rises out of the Caribbean Sea and is to be found on the north eastern tip of the geopolitical delimitation known today as Colombia.

What is fascinating about these texts is that they are a literal transcription of the thoughts spoken by the mamos and not an anthropological analysis made by a western or westernized observer.

PDF - Arahuaco Universe

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Desinformacion


While searching for information about the four tribes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on the Internet I realised that there was alot of confusion as to the names of each tribe: Ika, I’ka, Wiwa, Kankuamo, Knakuamu, Asario, Arahuaco, Kogui, Sanha?
Being that the capacity to identify something or someone by name is an important step in the recognition of its existence, I have transcribed a paragraph writen by Reichel Dolmatoff that clarifies the confusion:


“Today (1988) in the Sierra there are three indigenous tribes that distinguish themselves linguistically, somatically and also in some aspects culturally, these are: The Ika, the Kogi and the Sanha. A fourth tribe, the Kankuama, extinguished itself as a cultural entity during the course of the present century, after having lost its own language in the last century.” P.7

“The name by which the Arauacos are best known in ethnological literature is Ika o Ikja, words that in their own language mean “people”.”
“The denomination Arauacos, can lead to great confusion with Arawak, which is the name of a linguistic family that is not of Colombian origin and that doesn’t exist in the Sierra Nevada. Let it be said that all of the existing tribes of the Sierra Nevada speak languages that belong to the linguistic family Chibcha, which are related to the languages of the Cuna, Chimila, Tunebo and the antique Muiska.” P.8

“The Kogi appear in ethnological literature as Kaggaba (people), Cogui, Koghi o Kogi. The preferred name is Kogi because it is the phonetic equivalent of their own auto denomination – which according to the Kogi is derived from and antique word meaning Jaguar.” P.8

“The third tribe auto denominates themselves Sanha, but has recently been calling themselves Uiua, which is not their own tribal name, but the name that the Kogi give them. In a lot of articles they are referred to as Arsario, a barbarism introduced by the capuchin missionaries, which did not understand the Indians when these told them that they came from a township called El Rosario. Another name that common people give these Indians is Malayos, erroneous and fraudulent denomination. The Sanha explained to me several times, that some time before there had been an old Indian called Malo, who had a very numerous family. The mestizo colons of the region referred to that kinfolk with the nickname “Malayos”, meaning “the people of Malo”, and thus originated that denomination.” p.8

“Los Ika – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Colombia” - Reichel Dolmatoff
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1991, Bogota, Colombia.

 
   
     
   
     
   
           
             
   

Contact


There are numerous non profit organizations that have as objectives the development of different activities related to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. La Casa Indigena Gunnavindua, is the only entity administered by the Indians themselves and which represents the indigenous groups of the region.

 

Casa Indigena - Organización Gonawindúa Tayrona
Carrera 19A #23-05, Santa Marta, Colombia.
Tel – 57 5 420-3751
Fax – 57 5 420-6268
Margarita – sierranevadaogt@atgc.net.co
Julio Baragan– juliomarinob@hotmail.com

 
   
     
   
           
  Links 

In 1990 Alan Ereira directed a 90 minute long incredible documentary about the Kogui called From The Heart of the World –The Elder Brother’s Warning:

http://www.eremite.demon.co.uk/
Production companies web site.
http://www.insight-books.com/new/1561762474.html
http://www.videoproject.net/Heart_of...ELDER_BROTHER'S.html
Where to buy this doc.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679406182/104-9403455-5995143?v=glance
Where to buy the book.
http://www.lamp.ac.uk/tairona/c4film.html
About heart of the world

Other

http://www.lamp.ac.uk/tairona/b6sndesm.html
Physical description of the Sierra Nevada
http://www.lamp.ac.uk/tairona/2conts.html
Much info
http://www.epm.net.co/VIIfestivalpoesia/html/Arhuacos/contents.html
Home page of Universo Arahuaco
http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/(Symbol)/E.CN.4.2003.NGO.74.En?Opendocument
Information on indigenous tribes.
http://www.colombiasupport.net/actualidad350.html
Information on indigenous tribes.
http://www2.amnesty.se/aidoc/external.nsf/0/DA23F89EA2DB2F89802569A6006048D4?opendocument

Information on indigenous tribes.

   
             
 

THE 4 TRIBES
OF THE SIERRA
NEVADA
DE
SANTA MARTA