Union of Indigenous Yagé Medics of the Colombian Amazon
Our organization was created in 1999 and includes five indigenous groups from the Colombian Amazon rainforest.
We work to preserve the Amazon rainforest and to revitalize and protect our cultures and our ancestral medicine.
We are spiritual authorities, medicine men and women of knowledge, and our role is to ensure the health of the territories and the physical and spiritual wellbeing of our communities and territories.
MEDICINE-WOMEN AND MEDICINE-MEN
In our communities there are women who posses great knowledge about medicinal plants that can alleviate many diseases.
We also have elders, who can cure possessions by malignant spirits. The elders or curacas can recognize and cure deseases using their hard acquired knowledge of experience yagé (ayahuasca) medicine.
We derive our knowledge from yage and other knowledge plants under the guidance of our elders and spiritual leaders [the taitas]. Our medicinal skills come from the yage plant and from mother nature. Nature is our book.
For us, the human being is not only flesh, blood and bones. We also have feelings, memories, thoughts and spirituality […] indigenous doctors see the person as a whole, and this whole includes one’s relationship with others, with nature and with the spiritual world.
Yagé medicine is our collective and individual spiritual healing process. The ceremonies are sacred and social. During yagé ceremonies we forge unity, we laugh, we analyze the problems and we find the solutions, we share knowledge and experiences.
With the spiritual strength provided by yagé medicine, we resist the pressures of war and protect the territories from environmental devastation.
During the long nights of the rituals, the fire and the yagé sacred and powerful plant of our ancestors illuminate the thoughts and clear our vision. There is also much suffering. Ancestral medicine is an arduous process that tries the individual.