In Colombia lots of people have magical beliefs. For example, lots of indigenous tribes believe a kind of God lives inside the earth that’s called mother nature. The Kogi people are an indigenous tribe that live in the mountains around Santa Marta. They have lived there since before the Spanish arrived in South America hundreds and hundreds of years ago. They were the only tribe not conquered by the Spanish who took lots of other tribes as slaves and killed lots of them. They believe that Earth is the great mother and it is their job to look after the planet. They think that lots of the other people living in Colombia are not looking after the earth well. The Kogi is also called Kágaba which means jaguar in Kogi language. We have seen lots of Kogi people walking around in the mountains and in the jungle (but we haven’t seen jaguars yet!). The Kogi are a bit different to other people we see. They live in huts in the mountains in the wild, and they all only wear white and most of them carry a special kind of bag made out of a kind of plant, with the strap over the top of their heads. The men live in different huts than the women in their villages.
Most Colombian people don’t believe the same as the tribes do but they listen to them and respect them. For example, they closed the amazing national park called Parque Tayrona for a month before Christmas, so that the indigenous tribes could come down from the mountain and give Tayrona back its magic. They cleaned it and said special prayers in it and did some things that they thought would give magic from mother nature and when all the people went away and the tribes gave it back the magic all the animals came down from the mountains. Maybe that meant that when we went to Parque Tayrona we saw all sorts of amazing creatures.
When we went to Minca again we did a tour to learn about Kogi tradition. We got some special red mud. We got it wet in a special Kogi place by a waterfall and rubbed it on our selves. Then we got some leafs and stuck them on us. After that we took the leaves off and let them go in the water. Next we climbed up a rock and washed the mud off in the waterfall.
This is a Kogi tradition that would make them well. The red clay is only found in one place in the whole of the forests around Minca.
This week, we also went to find a special village that was made by an ancient indigenous tribe more than 500 years ago. It was called Tayronaka. For centuries it was overgrown by jungle, then it was discovered and they cut down some jungle and so you can see what it was like. While we were there, we leant some things about the tribes and did some special breathing and listened to the sounds of nature and thought about the things that the tribes believe like mother nature. It made me think about all the things in nature and how amazing it is.