Mythical and cosmological structures that make up the traditional knowledge of the shaman-jaguar Yurupari represent the cultural heritage of many ethnic groups living along the river Pira Parana in the south-eastern Colombia, in the department of Vaupés.
The “Hee Yaia Keti Oka,” or “traditional knowledge Yurupari Jaguars management of the world”, is a system of sacred knowledge that was given to the ancient wises to care for the land and human life. It focuses on traditional knowledge aimed at maintaining the relationship between humans and nature, and contains ancient wisdom useful for land management, time and life. This body of knowledge is a whole culture that continues and is manifested in ritual ceremonies, social behavior and economic practices, ecological and cosmological.
According to ancient wisdom, the Pira Parana forms the heart of a large area called “the territory of the Jaguars Yurupari” whose shrines contain the spiritual life force that nurtures all living things in the world. The shaman-jaguar follow a calendar of ritual ceremonies, which includes songs and dances that accompany healing processes, disease prevention and revitalization of nature.
Traditional knowledge of the shamans are inherited from an almighty God, the mythical Yurupari, an anaconda who lives as a person, and rests on a tree. Traditional patterns to maintain the health of people and territory are transmitted to sons as part of their transition to adulthood, while traditional knowledge about caring for children, pregnant women and food preparation are transmitted by women.
In the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are already included other elements of the Colombian culture:
- The marimba music and traditional songs of the South Pacific Colombian
- Wayuu Culture
- The Carnival of Blacks and Whites
- The Holy Week processions in Popayán
- Carnival of Barranquilla
- Cultural Space of San Basilio de Palenque
Read more at UNESCO page.