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Amoazonian Wisdom Keepers

One that feels to protect the forest, the earth and its bounty of creatures, should start with honoring the woman – knowing that she holds the anguish of the world in her body, and gathers the Mother’s voice in her intuition.

 

“ We, we want the forest to be kept as it is, always. We want to live in it with good health, and we want the xapïripë [shamanic] spirits, the and the fish to continue to live in it. We plant only the plants that feed us, we want no factories, no holes in the ground, nor dirty rivers. We want the forest to remain quiet, the sky to remain clear, the evening darkness to really fall and for the stars to be seen. The xapiripë spirits have danced for the shamans since the earliest time and continue to do so now. They look like human beings but are as minuscule as particles of shining dust. Thousands of them come to dance together, waving leaves of young palms, emitting cries of joy and singing ceaselessly. Their path looks like spider’s thread sparkling like moonlight and their feather ornaments move slowly at the pace of their steps. It’s a joy to see how beautiful they are! The spirits are so numerous because they are the images of the forest animals. Everything in the forest has an utupë image: those who walk on the ground, those who climb in the trees, those who have wings, those who live in the water. It is those images that the shamans call and make come down to become xapiripë spirits. Those images are the true centre, the true interior of the forest beings. Common people cannot see them, only the shamans. But they are not images of the animals we know today. They are the images of these animals’ fathers, they are our ancestors’ images. In the First Time, when the forest was still young, our ancestors were humans with the names of animals and ended up becoming prey. It is them whom we kill with arrows and eat today. But their images have not disappeared and it is they who dance for us as xapiripë spirits.”

 

– Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami Shaman

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