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Returning Home: Reflections of Yadiko and Jitómagaro Clan

Rising Voices Project Update

La Chorrera. Imagen usaada con autorización del proyecto.

La Chorrera. Image provided by the project and used with permission.

After living in the Colombian city of Leticia for ten years, coming back to my territory in Milan was a great shock. Returning to the own place of origin gave me strength and wisdom, I felt reborn. I felt that my people and a whole territory were waiting for me.

Although I've been back a couple of times, this last trip marked a difference in my way of understanding the Jitómagaro clan. Watching my brothers, nephews, and nieces working for our territory motivated me to contribute the most that I could with the tasks of fishing. Upon arrival, I got accommodated at my brother's house and started the process of adaptation once again. I broke with the attachments of the city and retook the discipline of the word of the coca and tobacco.

Every morning, I went fishing and in the afternoons I was in charge of the farming activities. With my nephews we farmed and harvested cassava, tobacco and coca, as had been done for millenniums. Each one, on their own way, has different a way of telling about our culture.

Yuca. Imagen

Cassava. Image provided by the project and used with permission.

As months went by, I started to retake the life I had as a teenager, remembering my parents and grandparents, and valuing our ancestral territory and its sacred places. Each night, with my brothers, nephews, and nieces we sat by the warmth of the fire and, through medicines and chanting our songs and prayers in our language, we started to remember the advice and words of our ancestors. It was then, from my uncle Calixto, we received the news of the rafue of yadiko (our major ceremony). And that's what I'll give you, sharing little by little about our language and culture.

I would like to thank all our team for its support, they all are part of the history of our clan. All of them from the past and present, have contributed and valued our knowledge:

  • Ever Kuiru Naforo: mɨnɨka dialect speaker, part of the Uitoto linguistic family from Colombian Upper Amazonas region. I'm a child of tobacco, coca and sweet cassava. My clan is Jitómagaro, which means sun. We are from the ceremonial group of yadiko, that defines us as a clan and whose celebration we want to share with the world through healing and harmonization of our word. I'm a student of Pedagogy of the Mother Earth at the University of Antioquia, singer and mɨnɨka expert.
  • Laura Areiza Serna: Uitoto language student, particularly Mɨnɨka dialect, has contributed with some publishings and translations from Uitoto to Spanish. She has also worked with several communities of the Igaraparaná river in Colombia Upper Amazonas and in the city of Leticia, Colombia. She currently is studying for her Master's degree in Amazonic Studies at the National University of Colombia and is a graduate from Hispanic Philology. She composes, proofreads and edits the contents and helps manages the project. She is also a singer and advisor of our clan.

We also thank professors Juan Álvaro Echeverri Restrepo from the National University of Colombia, Selnich Vivas Hurtado from the University of Antioquia and especially Fernando Urbina Ragel from the National University of Colombia, who has lent material that he recorded with my father back in 1989. Each one, with their contribution, is a fundamental part of the project.

Likewise, thanks to Mauricio Granados, professional photographer, who has contributed some of the material we've shared.

To all the members of my clan, Juan Kuiru and his family, Miguel Kuiru and his family, my cousins, uncles, and neighbors that came along with us on the process and ceremony.

We share another song:

Yadiko iedɨno

Mɨnɨka yadikona?
Yadiko mei rafue, ɨraɨziya, kaɨmataiya, guiyafue nabairiya.
Moo uai arera, uikonide, iemo ɨkoɨfenide.
Yadiko beno kaɨ kɨgɨmo,
nɨɨ rafuenɨaɨmona aiyue.
Uiyekomo ite.
Nana rafue daje
izoi raifide.
Rafue komuiya yezika, Moo nanoide jitomo iga.
Fɨnodogamɨemo, Noinui Buinaima.
Nana uaiyaɨ dɨga iga.
Urukɨ ñue iyena, nana binɨemo itɨno kaɨmare iyena.
Jirari afemɨemo ñueno ina.
Ee jiaɨyiraɨ zioraɨ, ee nuikɨrai kuiyodo ie.
Ee mazaka jiaɨmajɨ.
Nana ñuenodɨno.
Yadiko rafue Moo uai, kaɨmafue.
Monifue, manoriyafue.
Iedo rafuemo nana kaɨmataiya.
Moo jorema, Eiño joreño, komuiyafue.
Akɨdai ite.
Aiyo rafue ite iadɨ dɨno yotɨkue.

Origin of yadiko

What is yadiko?
Yadiko is a ceremony, dance, happiness, food, friendship.
The word of the father, with no beginning or ending.
Yadiko is here, in our center, of all ceremonies, it is the largest.
It's the first one.
All of the ceremonies have the same value.
When the ceremony was started, the father handed it to the elder.
Once prepared, Noinui Buinaima.
With all the words he delivered it.
For people's welfare, so everybody on the earth would be happy.
That's why he was given the best.
His support is made out of royal cumin, his crown is made out of royal parrots.
His peanut is red.
All the best.
The ceremony of yadiko is word of the father, happiness.
Abundance, healing.
That's why in the ceremony everybody rejoices.
The conscience of the father, the conscience of the mother, it's essence of life.
That's how it is.
There is much information, and I share up to here.

Niños de la comunidad. Imagen usada con autorización del proyecto.

Children from the community. Image used with permission from the project.

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