The Ancestral Wisdom of the A'i Cofán Nationality: The Legacy of Taita Mayor Isidro Lucitante

In the heart of the northern Amazon, next to the border with Colombia, is the Avie Cofán family community, one of the few that has achieved great success in defending its ancestral territory and protecting the environment. This community, represented by Taita Mayor Isidro Lucitante, has been a beacon of hope and resistance in the face of the threats of mining and oil exploitation in the region.

The A'i Cofán Worldview and its Relationship with Nature

For the A'i Cofán nationality, respect and care for the environment and nature in which they live is closely linked to their worldview. While Western societies have historically abused the land they inhabit, the A'i Cofán see the land as a living being, a lung for humanity that deserves respect and protection.

According to their worldview, if the universe is spirit and the shaman is the one who studies and understands the entire spiritual field, then the shaman is the one who can explain the universe. The main pedagogical method of A'i Cofán shamanism is yagé.

The Yagé: A Tool for Spiritual and Pedagogical Connection

Yagé, also known as ayahuasca, is an entheogenic drink produced from the “banisteriopsis caapi” vine. This sacred plant has the ability to produce a modified state of consciousness in those who consume it. Its first effect is purgative, followed by its second and main effect: hallucinogenic vision, called 'la pinta'.

The 'vision' that this plant grants is deep learning. It is not just about images, but about the experience of being able to 'see' reality with 'other eyes'. The 'pinta' of yagé is a pedagogy specific to the Cofán, a knowledge to be experienced and incorporated, intimately linked to the territory.

The Leadership of Taita Mayor Isidro Lucitante

TAITA MAYOR ISIDRO LUCITANTE, from the A'i Cofán indigenous people, is a recognized leader inside and outside his community. Coming from the lineage of the Lucitante family, Isidro is the grandson of Grandfather Curaca Elías Lucitante, son of Grandfather Guillermo Lucitante, and nephew of Grandfather Esteban Lucitante, all late legends of the Yagé.

The family community of Taita Isidro Lucitante 'Avie Cofán' is known in Ecuador for having obtained a historic legal victory against the mining industry in 2018. A local court annulled 52 gold mining concessions granted by the Ecuadorian State without consulting or informing the community , as the law requires.

This brave and constant fight was honored in 2022 with the Goldman Prize, known as the Nobel of environmentalists, awarded to Alex Lucitante, son of Taita Isidro and one of the leaders of the community.

A Message of Hope and Resilience

Listening to Taita Mayor Isidro Lucitante is receiving a message of hope and resilience. Through his leadership and the spiritual tradition of the A'i Cofán people, he reminds us of the importance of respecting and caring for our mother earth. It invites us to support indigenous peoples in their honorable work in defense of life and the environment.

Don't miss this unique opportunity! We cordially invite you to a free talk with Taita Mayor Isidro Lucitante, leader of the A'i Cofán people, which will take place in the VILCABAMBA COMMUNITY HALL on THURSDAY, April 25, 2024, at 3 pm

Join us to explore the “WORLDVIEW AND ANCESTRAL MEDICINE OF THE A'I COFÁN PEOPLE AND THE DEFENSE OF THE COFÁN TERRITORY FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATURE”. This is a unique opportunity to learn from ancestral wisdom and the fight for the protection of nature. We will wait for you!