ELDER BIOS

UYUNKAR DOMINGO PEAS NAMPICHKAI

Achuar - Ecuador

Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai is a long-time leader from the Achuar Nation of the Ecuadorian Amazon serving the country's indigenous movement for nearly 3 decades. Currently, Domingo is the coordinator for the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE). CONFENIAE represents 11 indigenous nationalities from the Ecuadorian Amazon region. Domingo has been a key force in uniting the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Peru in forming the Sacred Headwaters Initiative to permanently protect 35 million hectares in the headwaters of the Amazon.  Previously Domingo served as the director of communication for the Achuar indigenous Nation of Ecuador (NAE) from 2000-2003. He is also the founder of the Achuar indigenous community tourism project of Sharamentsa, and served as the Vice President of the CONFENIAE from 1993-1996. Domingo has also served as the Vice-President and later President of CODENPE (Council of Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador) and previously served as a representative of the German Foundation Indio-HILFE. Domingo is also revered by his family and friends for using Amazonian plants to make powerful healing remedies. 


TWILA CASSADORE

Apache - USA

Twila Cassadore (San Carlos Apache Tribe) has been working with San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Yavapi peoples for the past 25 years, addressing health and social issues. She works on a number of community and cultural preservation projects- reconnecting the local youths with their ancestors' way of life and diet, she is also a professional caterer. Twila is the founder and face of the grassroots organization “Native Mothers Against Meth.”

BENKI PIYÃKO

Ashaninka - Brazil & Peru

Benki has been referred to as the Dalai Lama of the Amazon, he's considered an 'Antaviari' in his culture, which means a direct messenger of God. Healing people since he was 10 years old, Benki championed the rights of his community at the age of 12, from 2005 to 2007 he was also the environmental administrator of Acre, Brazil.

In 2007 he created training center Yorenka Antame. Benki rehabilitates drug and alcohol addicted youth by teaching them to work with the land, he has repopulated numerous endangered animal species in the area where he lives, Benki has also helped many indigenous tribes recover their cultures.

He won UN's Equator Prize alongside his tribal community Apiwtxa for their remarkable environmental work. Benki has planted over 2 million trees in the past 28 years and created the world's first eco-market which exchanges plastic for food in Amazonian town Marechal Thaumaturgo.

MOISES PIYÃKO

Ashaninka - Brazil and Peru

Moises Piyãko is the brother of Benki and also a pajé. Together they fight for the protection of indigenous land. They frequently repost invasions and illegal activities which are destroying the Amazon rainforest. They travel the world together speaking and advocating against the destruction of the Amazon. To raise funds for their cause they have designed a fashion collection for Osklen. Their work both spiritual and environmental is extremely important and well respected.

RAINE PIYÃKO

Ashaninka - Brazil & Peru

Young Ashaninka leader Raine Piyãko has been accompanying his father, world-renowned spiritual and environmental leader Benki Piyãko, in his works since early childhood.

Raine began his pajé (master shaman) apprenticeship a decade ago under his father’s and grandfather’s auspices. His maternal grandfather Aricemi is also one of Benki’s teachers and one of the highest regarded Sheripiari (tobacco shaman) in the Western Amazon.

Raine is a composer of traditional Ashaninka songs and a talented musician. He is the Vice President of the healing and reforestation center, Institute Yorenka Tasorentsi, in the Brazilian Amazon. 

Coming from a lineage of ‘Antaviari’ (direct messenger of God in Ashaninka culture), Raine is steeped in the most profound shamanic traditions of the Amazon.

MAMO ATILIO

Arhuaco - Sierra Nevada, Colombia

Mamo Atilio is an Arhuaco Mamo and comes from a family of Mamos and Zagas.  He is a teacher with a deep knowledge of Sacred Materials. Sacred Materials are the natural materials they used to offer Pagamentos for Nature and the Earth. This requires an extensive knowledge of plants, animals and minerals, as well as experience in order to choose the specific material that matches the type of Pagamento or Ceremony they are performing. 

Mamo Atilio is a Símuna Mamo, which means that he has the proper authorizations from the Spiritual Fathers of the Mineral kingdom to carry rocks, Tumas (Pre-Columbian, Ancestral pieces of Quartz) and all sorts of crystals in large quantities to perform Ceremonies/Pagamentos.  He also has a special gift as a Counselor for couples who are having difficulties in their relationships.

Mamo Atilio is also a Spiritual lawyer and a musician who plays Ancestral Songs of the Arhuaco nation. 

ARROW PRIEST JOE DAVID OSAGE

Cheyenne - USA

Born in western Oklahoma, Joe David is full-blood Tsitsistsas (Cheyenne). He was raised in the community known as Red Moon, Hammon, Oklahoma. Joe David has lived the traditional Cheyenne life from birth, hearing the stories of many aspects of his people's travels through time and across the continent. He has participated in the sacrificial rites that give him great responsibility to his people. He was seated as ceremonial chief as well as earning the position of sacred arrow priest and in 2022 he was appointed keeper of blue sky, the 2nd highest ceremonial position in the Cheyenne tribe, the one who is in charge of the weather.

JERRY NELSON

Diné (Navajo) - USA

Jerry Nelson is from the Diné Nation (Navajo), from Whitecone, Arizona. He has been a Native American Church Roadman for the past thirty-eight years with his wife, four children, and twelve grandkids. He is a medicine man and a counselor, helping people in his own traditional ways of prayer. He runs traditional tepee and sweat lodge ceremonies as well as spiritual doctoring work.

PATRICK SCOTT

Diné (Navajo) - USA

Patrick Scott was born and raised in White Mesa, Arizona. He grew up primarily in the government boarding school system and mainly spoke Diné up to his senior year in high school.  Patrick began making fans while he was still in high school. Upon graduating from NAU in 1995, he decided to pursue his art full-time. Prior to that, his amazing talent and beautiful creations were well-known only to family and close friends. It didn’t take long for his art to become world renowned. Today, his creations can be found in permanent collections of major museums such as: the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK, the “Smithsonian Museum:” -  Museum of the American Indian in New York City and Washington, D. C., as well as galleries and private collections that span the globe. He also makes ceremonial prayer fans used in many Native American ceremonies and rituals, and fans used in Pow-wows. His gourd rattles, staff sets and drumsticks are valued by the Native American community for use in their own tribal ceremonies, healing rituals and other religious purposes. He followed the three different medicine people and learned their ways. He is gifted spiritual leader, hat'aalii and provides Hozhooji ceremonies, Protection Way ceremonies, and Blackening ceremonies. Now, as a husband, father and grandfather he is helping his people of White Mesa with all of his heart by building his non-profit corporation a new endeavor for the community of White Mesa.

NABA IRITAH SHENMIRA

Dogon - Mali, Africa

Son of legendary Dogon prophet Neb Naba Lamoussa, IriTah is a teacher, lecturer, spiritual activist, priest, and healer of the Dogon bloodline of Meritah. He is the “Head Merr” (Leader) of The Earth Center. IriTah was born and raised among the Tem people in Togo. As a young boy, he entered various initiations and apprenticeships with priests and healers, enduring the rites of passage of becoming a mana group of bloodlines, the keepers of knowledge from the upper echelon of the Pharaonic society.

The Dogon culture has remained uninterrupted since the time of the Pharaohs. Nabas specialize in spiritual knowledge including geomancy, astronomy, etc. Their mission is dictated by the Divinities and Ancestors of the shrines they maintain.

NEHEZ MENIOOH

Dogon, Mali - Africa

Nehez Meniooh entered The Earth Center’s M’TAM Initiation in 2004 and was initiated by its founder Master Naba.  He was trained in healing and herbal medicine by Master Naba and given the responsibility to take other initiates through the M’TAM Initiations after Master Naba left the USA to continue traveling and building other Earth Centers around the globe.  

Nehez has been an influential member of The Earth Center’s leadership and is an active healer, temple-hand, initiator, author, and public speaker. He is the International Director of the Firefly Publishing branch of The Earth Center.  He currently lives in Bobo Dioulasso, West Africa continuing his work and study with the elders of the Kemetic traditions.

KUMU RAMSAY – RAMSAY TAUMRamsayu

Hawaiian - USA

Mentored and trained by respected kūpuna (elders),

Ramsay is a practitioner and instructor of several Native Hawaiian practices: Hoʻoponopono (stress release and mediation), lomi haha (body alignment), and Kaihewalu Lua (Hawaiian combat/battle art). 

Kumu Taum in 2009 was recognized and honored by the University of Hawaii as a Star of Oceania, an honor presented every three years to extraordinary individuals of Oceania for their work and service-related contributions to raising greater awareness of Oceania and its people to the nation, region, and world.

Kumu Ramsay is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for transformational leadership in sustainability, cultural, and place-based values integration into contemporary business models, Ramsay Taum advocates team building, strategic partnerships, community brilliance, and creative thinking. He is a recognized cultural resource, sought after keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer, and facilitator. He is especially effective working with Hawai‘i’s  industries where he integrates Native Hawaiian cultural values and principles into contemporary business.

MONA POLACCA

Hopi / Havasupai / Tewa - USA

Mona is a Hopi Native American spiritual elder from Arizona. She has worked to further social justice for indigenous people from an early age. She is an author in the field of social sciences, has held posts of responsibility as Treasurer for her tribe, served on several committees for Indigenous Peoples within the United Nations, and is widely known for her "leadership in the Native American revitalization movement. In recent years, Mona has gained international recognition for her work as one of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers - a group of spiritual elders, medicine women, and wisdom keepers founded in 2004.

CHIEF MAPU

Huni Kuin - Brazil

Mapu is the founder of the Huwa Karu Yuxibu Center. He comes from the Huni Kuin people, of the state of Acre in the Brazilian Amazon.

Mapu is an activist working for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest, nature, and the well-being of humankind. 

Mapu’s project is aimed to strengthen the cultural identity of the Huni Kuin people and their traditions including paintings, crafts, songs and sacred medicines. 

Mapu considers himself a messenger of peace, a messenger of love and believes that the healing of humanity is in love.

NINAWA PAI DA MATA

Huni Kuin - Brazil

Ninawa comes from an unbroken lineage of powerful pajés and musicians, he has been on the shamanic path since he was born and has undertaken the highest initiations (dietas) of his tribe, some of which lasted up to a whole year of isolation and fasting in the forest. Considered a rockstar from the forest, he is a gifted musician and captivates people wherever he goes with his charisma and power filled with love and humility.

CHIEF RAONI METUKTIRE

Kayapó – Brazil

Chief Raoni Metukire is a leader and environmentalist. The name Raoni is associated with mystery and the power of the Kayapo people. He is internationally famous as a living symbol of the fight for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and indigenous culture, declared by French President Jacques Chirac. In 1989, accompanied by singer Sting, the Kayapo leader started his travels to many places around the world.

When Raoni was 15, he started wearing a labret, an ornamental disk that warriors wear on their lower lip when they want to show they are ready to die for their land. The size of the disk is gradually extended to reach its final size after 4 months.

Isolated from the rest of the world until the twentieth century, the indigenous peoples of the Xingu region have fought to orally preserve their traditions for countless generations. Raoni found ways to connect these cultures with the world while keeping appropriate stoicism, distance, and dignity. Although he meets with prominent people in many countries, he lives in a simple hut and owns nothing. The gifts he receives are always redistributed.

In September 2011, Chief Raoni was made an honorary citizen of Paris by Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë, and received the medal of the French National Assembly from Nicolas Perruchot of France's National Assembly.

MAMO CENCIO

Kogi - Sierra Nevada, Colombia

Mamo Cencio is a Kogi Mamo who is a botanist with an extensive knowledge of the native species of the Sierra. He is also a teacher of Medicinal plants for the Kogis. As a doctor of Ancestral Medicine he is constantly traveling to distant villages in Kogi territory to take care of his people. He offers his services as a doctor, priest, counselor and Spiritual leader for a large group of people who are living in a wide area of the Kogi territory in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. He is also a musician who plays different Tayrona musical instruments and teaches his people the Ancestral songs of the Kogi Nation.

He is authorized to use the Jatuquá which is a sacred method of Divination by water.


Louis Te Kouorehua Kereopa (Matua)

Maori - New Zealand

Matua is a Maori Elder (kaumatua) He is a natural counselor and mentor. He works with various levels of spiritual and emotional guidance and healing.

Matua is also a musician and teaches his own form of open eyes prayer meditation, called "Te Rakau Rangimarie” or way of the peace stick. Moving through the 7 elements/guardians of Nature, honoring the Creator and Mother Earth.

Matua’s forehead markings represent his spiritual connection with Sky Father, the nose markings represent the Breath of Life, the lips, mouth, and chin represent Sacred Jaw of Truth, both sides of his face represent his work of service to God, Ancestors, and Family.

He received these markings from the elders of his tribe, a blessing attained or his service of Love as a Master Carver and a Matua Puna... Living Spring.

NANA AMALIA TUM XINICO

Maya Kaqchiquel - Guatemala

Amalia is a gifted healer, naturopath, and renowned spiritual leader and teacher, member of the commission of the sacred sites in Guatemala – COLUSAG, founder of the elder council Iq’B’alm, member of the council of elders and political association of Mayan women MOLOJ, spiritual assessor of association of women KAKLA.

Nana Amalia works alongside her husband Tata Mario on healing, purification, and spiritual balancing ceremonies, Mayan astrology readings amongst other traditional rituals.

TATA MARIO SIMON OVALLE CHAVEZ

Maya K’iche - Guatemala

Tata Mario is a renowned spiritual leader, naturopath, painter and talented traditional musician, he plays the marimba, drums, caracol, and flute.

Founder of the council of Ajq’ijab’(spiritual guide) Iq’ B’alam and Accessor of Indigenous Townhall of Santa Lucia, Utatlan, Solola. He gives conferences about medicinal plants, Maya cosmology, and history, identity and rights of indigenous people, he’s also a primary school teacher.

Tata Mario works alongside his wife Nana Amalia on healing, purification, and spiritual balancing ceremonies, Mayan astrology readings amongst other traditional rituals.

NANA Rosalia Zavala

Maya K’iche, Guatamala

Spiritual guide and midwife, she works with the sacred fire and tobacco readings. She’s been elected as part of the ancestral authorities and is responsible for maintaining the order community in Solola.

Khurelbaatar Khuramkhaan

Mongolian

Khurelbaatar is a legend in Mongolia, known as the shaman of the shamans. He incorporates an ancestral spirit called Spark, he has 11 kinds of ethnic spirit guardians from the Xiongnu empire. A master of meditation energy and bone setting.

He is the head of the council of Mongolian Shamanism as well as the group ‘The Destiny of Shaman” . Khurelbaatar is also the president of NGO ‘Undes Ugsaa” and president of Tengerleg Mongol association of shamanists of inner and outer Mongolia.

WAHIPTAH FAHKARA

Niolotic, Uganda & South Sudan - Africa

A spirit coming from the vestibule of worship and enlightenment. A Dogon initiate, a Nilotic son, walking and working towards order and balance. He is a Cultural Activist, Researcher, Lecturer. A teacher of philosophy and spirituality of indigenous Dogon and Kemetic culture, preserved in secrecy in Meritah for over 2000 years. WahibPtah is also a Head Merr of the Earth Center in Europe, a Dogon mystery school as it were in the Nile and Niger valley since time immemorial.

Túpaq Ttito Kuntur

Paq'o Andino, Inka - Peru

Túpaq descends from the pre-Inka and Inka ancestors. He’s an Altomisayoq - a bridge between the celestial, the elementals, and the terrestrial realms. He was taught by his Inka elders and the Apus (spirits) of the High Holy Mountains of the Andes. Túpaq is a spiritual teacher and counselor, keeper of cosmic wisdom of the Paq’os and the Inkas. He is a maestro of the new MUSUQ, Tawantinsuyo of the Inkas.

PAPALI’I

Polynesian - Polynesia

Papali’i is a Polynesian traditional leader from the Samoan Islands with extensive genealogical ties throughout the island cultures of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia; and a culturally based regenerative development advocate of Oceania. He promotes the weave of traditional wisdom, cultural values and spiritualism with modern science, knowledge, and technology. He is also a Suli Matua (senior heir) to the Sa Malietoa Talavou warrior King line of Samoa and was conferred the Papali’i title in 1980 recognizing him as such. He was raised in a social-cultural and spiritual context that views the earth as his Earth Mother accentuated by the ritual burial of his umbilical cord wrapped in lau ti leaves into the sacred ground as an infant. His i’ike (ability to attune to the rhymes, patterns, and currents of mana) aligns with the wisdoms of regeneration, symbiosis, and synergy inherited from his open ocean voyaging ancestors. He cherishes the wisdoms of his ancestor, Salamasina, the last and only queen of the Samoan Islands. Though an heir of a warrior line, the wisdoms of Salamasina have reframed the values of conquest and war, to Tofa’s (wisdoms) and healing that guide the definition of leadership to this day.


TONU & KOA EAGLETON

Polynesian - Polynesia

Tonu Eagleton his son Koa are the founders of humanatree, an artistic partnership dedicated to raising awareness for environmental, social, and ecological issues. Tonu is an internationally acclaimed and collected artist and teacher at many universities. His extraordinary work, is found in the private collections of many high-profile musicians and world statesmen. His life-long mission is to draw attention to, and help protect, the many endangered species of the planet–be they indigenous peoples, trees, plants, or animals. Tonu is regarded as a major “thought leader”, who has foreseen, and has tirelessly advocated for, many of the world’s pressing environmental issues for over forty years now.

He has carved healing poles around the world. His work can be seen locally at the Shoreline amphitheater, Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco Zoo, and at the Native Plant Nursery in the Presidio. Tonu’s work has been received by some of the world’s leading environmental and spiritual minds, including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Dr. David Suzuki.

With canoe carving deep in his heritage, Tonu was given a penknife by his grandmother when he was 8, and he began a life-long love of carving wood. Using a variety of chain saws, grinders, and chisels he carves environmentally conscious themes from any discarded wood and uses recycled wood to make statements for the environment. Recycling trees into art gives them a second life of dignity, is symbolic of treating the whole planet and its endangered lifeforms with more aloha, care and respect. He is committed to and guided by his Polynesian ancestors and living Elders. Their notion of the “Mana” guides his work - the spiritual energy that interconnects with all life in the Universe.

Juan de Dios Kucho

Quechu / Aymara - Peru

Kucho was born in Cusco and grew up in and around Machu Picchu. He has been an official tour guide for Machu Picchu for 20 years, although a better way to describe him is a “magic guide”. He’s nurtured a connection with the Sacred Master Plant Wachuma for more than 30 years, guiding people through the mystery and profound healing offered by this plant with integrity, clarity, strength, and joy. He has lived in Machu Picchu for the majority of his life and built a strong relationship with the Apus (Mountain Spirits) of the land there and other places in the Tawantinsuyo that he has visited on different spiritual pilgrimages. He practices and guides those wanting to learn through the cosmovision of the Andean people and will soon open his center Inti Wasi as a school and center for learning and exchange with other leaders and spiritual teachers from the Andes and beyond.

Chief Clara Soaring Hawk

Ramapough Lenape - USA

Chief Clara is Deer Clan Chief in the Ramapough Lenape Nation. An Elder whose inspiration (in spirit) for her life’s work begins and ends with her family, both biological and spiritual. She has been called by her Creator to work with the young humans of the planet.

Chief Clara has been facilitating ceremonies, both nationally and internationally, since 2016. She has been asked to present Ceremony at a multitude of events and religious/spiritual gatherings.

Chief Clara defines herself as a “Spiritual Ecologist”. “In this time of global turmoil, we must all be open to a new level of consciousness. We stand for the Water. We stand for the Land. We stand for the People.

We are the Sweet Water Protectors! A’ho!”

Kiiloona Lunaapeewak ~ We are all One People

MAESTRA INEZ

Shipibo - Peru

Maestra Inez is one of the last Shipibo with her level of knowledge, now in her 70s, she has been working as a Master Shaman for over 50 years, along with her two daughters Laura and Lila.

Austin Nunez

Tohono O’odham - USA

Austin is the elected chairman of the San Xavier District, one of eleven political districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation (formerly known as the Papago Tribe of AZ) located in southwest Arizona, USA. He is currently serving his eighth four-year term, having served continually since 1987. Prior to being elected, Austin worked as the Assistant Director for Save the Children’s Arizona Indian Nations Office, serving 19 Native American nations in Arizona; he also worked for the Papago Tribe of Arizona’s Community Development Program (the tribe changed their name in 1986 to Tohono O’odham Nation, Tohono means desert, and O’odham means people).

Austin is the current chairman for the Indian Land Working Group, an organization dedicated to the restoration and recovery of the native land base; and the control, use, and management of this land base by indigenous communities.

He is also an active member of the Native American Church of Southern AZ and conducts sweat lodge ceremonies, blessings, and prayers for various events and occasions in, and outside his community.

Néité Décimus

Vodou – Haiti

Néité of Lakou Papiyon is a houngan, Vodou Priest or Guardian of the Haitian Vodou Tradition. He blends ancestral wisdom with western training in anthropology and psychology to treat mental illness. He also specializes in healing relationship challenges especially those that involve reuniting with loved ones and/or situations that call for support with legal issues.

Neite is certified by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Mental Health Counsellor Association (AMHCA).

ELEWOKÁ WAURÁ

Waurá - Brazil

Recognized as one of the greatest pajés (master shamans) of Upper Xingu alongside his wife Kapi.

Recognized as one of the greatest pajés (master shamans) of Upper Xingu alongside his wife Kapi. 

As a young man, Elewoka Waurá was the greatest huka huka wrestler of his generation. But one day, as he was practicing his physical art, he fainted in the village plaza. As he was carried home, he began to see many spirits all around him. He was treated, however he did not recover. He had to immerse himself in his shamanic vocation in order to master the forces which came to him. He became an apprentice, first from his own father, then from other pajés from whom he learned how to work with the sacred tobacco in order to keep the guardian spirits with him. Then, finally, he went through a long, several month’s diet in order to master the relationship with spirits which work through him for healings.  Elewoka was first guided by the Great Monkey Spirit, and more recently he has been equally guided by the Capuchin Monkey, the Anaconda and the Tapir Spirits, who all help him in his cures. Elewoka is also the chief of Ulupuene Village, which he created with his brothers and children over 15 years ago in the Upper Xingu region of Mato Grosso, in the southernmost part of the Amazon Forest in Brazil.


KAPI WAURÁ

Waurá - Brazil

Recognized as one of the greatest pajés (master shamans) of Upper Xingu alongside her husband Eleowoká.

Kapi Waurá was a young woman when she began to suffer from a spiritual illness. She was collecting fruits in her village’s pequi orchard and a hummingbird fluttered right in front of her eyes for a long time. It was a sign she would begin to experience the spiritual illness for the first time. Her body began to ache to the point she would faint. And then, she would see many spirits all telling her what was going on with her: she was asked to follow her path as a pajé and there was no way back. She went through several diets and initiations, but then became ill again, this time even more than before. She thus learned how to smoke the sacred tobacco and sought guidance from other pajés as well as her husband, Elewoka. She then went through long diets, staying home for several months to learn from her main spirit guardians: the Jaguar and the Whirlwind Mask.

YAUKUMÃ WAURÁ

Waurá - Brazil

Yaukumã is the son of two of the greatest pajés (master shamans) of the Upper Xingu region and is their apprentice and translator. Learning from his father and mother since an early age, the deep wisdom of “double shamans” which means having the power to dream and a deep alliance with spirits of nature, as well as intimately knowing all of their sacred healing plants. Yaukumã accompanies his parents as they serve many Xingu communities, and works to preserve their culture for the next generations.

MAMO RODRIGO

Wiwa - Sierra Nevada, Colombia

Mamo Sewigu Kakamukwa (Mamo Rodrigo) comes from a lineage of Mamos that goes beyond his great-great-grandfather, his family comes from the Kakamukwa lineage and there has been Mamos in his family in every single generation. 

Mamo Sewigu (Mamo Rodrigo) was an educator and leader of his community before receiving his Segwa at the head of the Jerez River when being ordained as a Mamo. 

Mamo Sewigu is not only a Mamo, but he was a Maestro first. 

For the Tayrona, a Maestro is a weaver, a storyteller, a musician, a teacher, and is also in charge of making Sacred Objects for the community. 

A Maestro is the weaver who makes the walls of the Temple and the hats the Wiwa people wear, a Maestro also makes the Carrumbo (Sacred Object: a spindle) that the young females use to spin the cotton.  

Mamo Sewigu/Rodrigo was the teacher who opened the first bilingual School in 2007 inside the Reservation to teach basic Spanish and Math, as well as their Traditional Knowledge, to prevent the youngsters to leave the Reservation while preserving their Cultural Identity. He has also worked for the Colombian Public Health Department during Public Health campaigns as a nurse. His knowledge of the Tayrona languages as well as his knowledge of the Wiwa and Kogi territory in the state of Guajira enables him to act in the capacity of an intercultural bridge.

ZAGA JOSAFINA

Wiwa - Sierra Nevada, Colombia

Zagas are the female equivalents of Mamos. They are much more than just leaders; they represent the Light in the darkness. They hold the Ancestral Wisdom for future generations. They move and behave in alignment with the rhythm of Nature and humanity. They are the Healers and hold the keys for the Water, the Earth and the Air elements. And because of this the Zagas have the big responsibility to sustain the Planet. They are the weavers of knowledge and are responsible to maintain and pass on the Ancestral Wisdom. Zagas represent the Moon and are the rulers of time and cycles. 

As it is the case for most Zagas, Zaga Josefina was chosen by divination when her mother was pregnant and began her training from birth. Zaga Josefina plays an important role in her community, she is responsible to guide and educate the girls during their various rites of passage, such as a girl’s first menstruation, giving birth, etc. She is a teacher and a counselor for her community.

Zaga Josefina is a Priestess, a medicine woman, a botanist, a midwife, a massage therapist, a weaver, a storyteller, an adviser, a seer, a diviner, a musician, and an Elder. Besides her normal functions as a Priestess which includes: to officiate weddings and Baptisms as well as administer Funeral Rites, Zaga Josefina specializes in clearing the energy field of people by different means: aguarrinchi and Frailejon and preparing talismans or “seguranzas” which are power objects that will protect the person who wears them.

ROSALIA LEMUS DE LA ROSA (MAMA CHALI)

Wixárika - Mexico

We are happy to host Rosalia Lemus de la Rosa, a Marakame (the one that can dream, heal and sing - master shaman) from the Wixarika culture from Mexico.

Rosalia grew up in a cave, naked, until she was 12 years old, coming from an unbroken lineage of Marakames. She married Don Eustolio Rivera De La Cruz around 65 years ago and they worked together up until his recent passing this year. She is a Living Library of knowledge with remarkable humility and incredible stories ~ as well as miraculous healing gifts.

Modesto Rivera

Wixárika - Mexico

Son of Eustolio and Mama Chaly, Modesto is a spiritual leader and political representative of the state of Nayarit, Mexico. He was born in a Wixarika community in the high mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental, coming from an unbroken lineage of Marakames he started his studies at an early age under his parents and followed the sacred path throughout his entire life, learning all about the Wixarika cosmology, music and art. Modesto is a gifted musician who has received and written many of the traditional Wixarika chants, his ceremonies are led by the violin and the traditional canari guitar and dance.

Modesto is a traditional storyteller, he wrote and illustrated the book 'When Animals Were People'.

Matsini Yawanawa

Yawanawa - Brazil

Matsini, the Chief of Aldeia Mutum, comes from an unbroken lineage of pajes (master shamans), studying with his teacher and legendary Pajé Tata from childhood till a few years ago when Tata passed away.

Matsini became a Pajé around the age of 18 and has been deepening his studies ever since constantly doing diets to strengthen his connection with the Uni (ayahuasca) and the Yawanawa prayers and traditions. His sisters are the first-ever female Pajé’s of the Yawanawa tribe, Hushahu, Putany, & Waxy, and also study in Mutum.

Matsini works year-round with groups dieting in Mutum, sharing his prayers and traditions with a few close students, and is focused on NGO work via Floresta Association, a non-profit aiming to create sustainability in Mutum for generations to come.

TUIKURU & KENEMANI YAWANAWA

Yawanawa - Brazil

Tuikuru and Kenemani are the son and daughter of Chief and spiritual leader Matsini Yawanawa. They come from a long line of leaders and were raised as such. Following their ancestor's footsteps and legacy in Mutum village, they have been in contact with the medicines, dietas and the spiritual studies of the Yawanawa since a very young age. Their dedication to their spiritual studies shows through in the strength of their prayers and they are an inspiration for the new generations in their community. They are both incredible musicians with strong, captivating voices and compose beautiful music on the guitar with the saitis, the sacred Yawanawa songs.

LánéSAán Moonwalker

Yoreme / Apache - USA

LánéSaán Moonwalker has been an oracle, healer, spiritual teacher, and environmental guardian for more than 45 years.

Láné began her training in the healing arts at the age of 12 from members of her family who were highly skilled curanderas (traditional healers who combine Native and Catholic spiritual beliefs and practices). From her mother, she learned to work with creative expression as a doorway to spirit.

Láné is an accomplished artist, a weaver, and a painter, as well as a dancer and singer, and holds a degree in humanities and the visual arts from the University of Colorado. She has been a licensed minister for more than 32 years and is a Canon in the Brigade of Light.

Láné has studied with many spiritual teachers, including artist, writer, and visionary Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow), Eric Tao, and Marian Starnes.

In 1987, she met her main teacher Tu Moonwalker, an Apache, the great great granddaughter of Cochise. Tu was the holder of this unbroken Moonwalker lineage and Láné is an acknowledged part of that it, in addition to being from an unbroken lineage herself through her Yaqui grandmother. Together Tu and Láné founded the Philosophy of Universal Beingness within the Whole. The foundation of this system is about working with nature in a sacred way.

matzuwa oscar

Yoreme - Mexico

Matzuwa Oscar comes from the Yoreme people of Sinaloa, Mexico. He has been a pilgrim of the Wirikuta desert for over 16 years, learning within the Wixarika tradition. He has taken the sacred oath as a marakame (spiritual guide) in Wirikuta as well as different spiritual initiations and vision quests which also granted him the fire to run Inipis (Sweat Lodges).

Matzuwa is a traditional singer and musician, a member of the Native American church, and also a carrier of the Half Moon Altar. Oscar is also an anthropologist specialized in traditional medicine, he wrote his thesis on the traditional and medicinal uses of Peyote. He is a founding member of cultural association Raíces del Corazón de la Tierra, in both Mexico and Catalunya, Spain.

IN MEMORY OF

TATA PEDRO CRUZ

Maya TZ’UTUJIL - Guatemala

We honor the life of one of the last authentic Guatemalan Mayan TZ’UTUJIL, Tata Pedro Cruz. An acclaimed spiritual figure and international ambassador of world peace. His teachings include Mayan culture, cosmology, sacred calendars, and ancient oral Maya wisdom.

Tata Pedro is a founder of the Unification of Ancestral Wisdom festival in Tikal, Guatemala, which brings fragmented Mayan descended tribes together to promote the oral traditions, rituals, and ancient Mayan culture and to share this wisdom with the world. He recognizes the interconnectedness of all people, expanding planetary consciousness, and the urgent need to unify our spiritual, cultural, and ethnic wisdom for the benefit of the planet and humanity.

He is known for his phrase, “No matter what happens, everything with love!”

Don Eustolio Rivera De La Cruz

Wixárika - Mexico

We honor the life of the great Marakame,  Don Eustolio Rivera De La Cruz. A Marakame (the one that can dream, heal and sing - master shaman) of true and gentle power, the love he brought to this world was of the highest, purest and strongest kind. Don Eustolio lived and walked his path of light as a warrior, teacher, husband, father, and grandfather. Not just to his family but to all of us. To anyone lucky enough to have known him and received his blessing. Don Eustolio started his spiritual lifetime commitment as a Marakame at 12 years old and became a legend in Mexico, working with the ancient form of healing that involves sucking disease out of one’s body. 

He carried with him the teachings of his grandfather, and his profound wisdom transformed and healed everyone he touched. He was a living library of knowledge with remarkable humility and incredible stories ~ as well as miraculous healing gifts. Yours was the way of the heart Don Eustolio. The way of the deer. Of courage and devotion to your community. You lived for others with the highest expression of selfless love and service. You brought the purity of your medicine, joy in your heart, and healing in your touch. You were the greatest of men and an eternal child. Playful, laughing, and joking to the very end. You radiated joy with your youthful spirit and amazing sense of humor, you were tireless. At nearly 100 years old you could out dance anyone. You lived with your bare feet on Mother Earth, blessing her with every step. 

A natural man, devoted to your beloved Mama Chali, you showed us how to live in sacred partnership. You took little, gave all, and sung your great song. So, sing your song and play your violin for the last time. On your journey to the stars. We will never forget you. We will miss you so very much. You live in our hearts as we have lived in yours.