Workshop: Taller de la abuela Pastora
Craft: Trabajos en madera, tejeduría y tejidos no tejidos
Trail: Amazon Route
Location: Puerto Nariño, Amazonas
Founder of Maloca Moruapu this Tikuna craftswoman is an expert in doll making with yanchama. She is also a skillful weaver of baskets, necklaces and carves beautiful pieces of jewelry. She was the first indigenous woman to ever sing the National Anthem in her own language to a president of Colombia. Everyone knows her for her voice. She sings both melancholic and merry songs that tell her myths and legends.
For decades, her mission has been to share her tradition with the younger members of her family, so they never forget where they come from. Other of the community’s grandparents have tasked themselves with the same goal. They do this through traditional games such as the game of the tiger, the monkey, or the squirrel. These are all personifications and gestures of animals that the children recognize and dance around. This is the way they have chosen to share their values and symbols. These are symbols that all of the Tikuna people have grown up with and that they want to keep alive.
This is the reason behind the importance of the yanchama dolls. The latter are made from a fibrous fabric extracted from the trees. Pastora imprints meaning into these fibers: she tells the stories of her people through them. She fills them with natural dyes that are made from saffron and a variety of seeds that come from the rainforest. She gathers these seeds on her daily incursions into the forest with her daughter-in-law Carmen Yazmín, to whom she is passing down her wisdom. Each doll is a representation of one of their gods. Its meaning is rooted in environmental protection, and it blesses the person it accompanies.
She learned the art of carving balsa wood and bloodwood from her elders. With these Amazonian woods, she makes tiny dolphins. She also makes rings from coconut and tries to use many of the seeds she finds. She lives a happy life in this paradise, which has managed to preserve the purity of its air. It also claims to be an environmental municipality. It is located right next to the wide Amazon River, whose waters are home to the pink river dolphins. There, you can see thousands of different birds and stroll around its ecological, ethnic, and botanical trails full of medicinal plants.
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