Through oral history, stories of one’s culture are handed down from generation to generation and hold the woven threads of collective wisdom, tradition, and cultural memory. These stories are painted by mythological and symbolic expressions to describe lessons and ideas about life, death, creation, and the cosmo-vision of a particular culture.
Anaconda del Sur
The Grandmother is seated at the fire, watching the sparks and ash fly to light the night. While looking at the fire’s embers she is reminded of the ancient memories and stories that were told to her by the ancestors.
From her mouth, sweet words are born and are revealed like golden corn kernels being shucked from the husk. With a slow and calm voice, she invokes the Anaconda, “Oh Grandmother Yaku Mama, Warmi Boa, Great Mother Goddess of the Waters, Species Multiplayer, Giver of Life, Guardian of Earth and Sky, inside you is the paradise and the heavens. From you springs our fish, our people, our essence!”
Long ago, thousands of miles past time, the spirit of the ancestral Anaconda of Life resided among a group of stars in the eastern part of the sky. On one majestic night lit by the full moon, the Great Anaconda became detached from the sky and began sliding over all the cosmos. It was then that the Great Anaconda released a glowing spark through the sky that inseminated the earth, and created the first drop of water to create the great rivers of the Amazon. This drop was called, “Americua” – the first drop of water that is the genesis for all of life’s creations.
In the bowl that is the Amazon, the primal essence of all of life is created by this drop of water, it is the universal solvent of all life.
From the Great Anaconda’s guts and internal organs emerged Pirarucus, Bagres, Sabalos, Bocachicos, Doradas and an infinite number of fish to populate the waters of Americua. The spirit of the Celestial Dolphin took the form of a pink dolphin. Thousands of insects and life forms were born, and the earth was humid and rich. The banks of the rivers bloomed with plants and flowers of all colors. The magnificent gardens were born and with them, lush trees grew abundant fruits with enchanting aromas. Life awakened and the jungle became alive.The Amazon was born.
As the Anaconda passed by the newly formed rivers and jungles, she impregnated the children of the water, she expanded the great rivers, and gave birth to the first humans. From the Apaporis River and its tributaries, she fertilized the anaconda people of the water, who are guardians of life and hold the mission to honor and safeguard the waters of life within them. She gave them special gifts and virtues…
In her journey she expanded the waters with her every movement. She created the rivers of Orinoco, Guaviare, Caqueta, Putumayo, and many more. Everywhere she passed she seeded life and gave birth to men and women, the first people of the earth.
In the uppermost part of the river was Death, a mere passageway back to the origin. There in the sky rested the gods and stars preparing to embark for their next journey.
The Great Anaconda had the power to combine the three spaces of the Cosmos – the water, the earth, and the sky. Like skin, the scales from her smooth body renewed, and every time the Great Anaconda would move to another space she would also change her form. Because of this, she is the mother and protector to all predators, including men.
One brilliant, sunny day the Anaconda decided to leave the water to complete her creation of the Earth. On this day, she transformed herself into a jaguar and began walking through the jungle all day and night. In the wet, humid, and fertile jungle she created different species of animals including the macaws, monkeys, toucans, hummingbirds, armadillos, tapirs, and butterflies. These were the creatures to be ruled by the jaguar.
The Great Mother Jaguar was delighted with the different songs and calls of her animal creations, and as a final act of infinite love she braided her anaconda ancestral essence and divine memory into the plant kingdom. She took on the form of the Yagè vine, the great anaconda medicine and remedy.
In the Yagè vine she transcribed her history and then created Taitas, Payes, Curacas, Mamas, Sayas, Chamanes, Simchis, Saberore and Sabeforas to speak with the vine and protect its teachings through all the territory. These were the guardians of wisdom and health. With her words she spoke, “ The fire is the spark of life, and connector of Memory.” She planted harmony and health, and revealed that she would always speak to the Anaconda Men of Fire.
“Health is the harmonious state between what is seen and what is invisible. It is between what you are and what you are not. The essence of this vine is for humanity, and to remember the sacred fire of the original balance of the universe.”
In the next moment, she transformed herself from jaguar into a beautiful, colorful hummingbird and opened her wings to fly over the trees. She flew through and over the jungle, up to the heavens and far away. She became the Andean Mountains and raised herself north, moving mountain after mountain. With her, sons of the Shuars, the Kichwas, the Incas, and the Ingas live and now continue to hold the lineage of the Great Anaconda.
Story Telling & Oral History
As time goes on and with each generation, the re-telling and oral transmission of these stories and myths often become distorted, polluted, or even forgotten by the influences of religion, power, and modern industrial and technological ideals and development.
Although distortions and imposing exterior influences are inevitable to oral traditions, the core messages of these myths and beliefs are still able to be reached by deciphering stories and symbology. The ancient knowledge captured in mythology is accessible through direct experience with the “noosphere”, or the planet’s collective historical memory bank.Through the creative mind, arts, meditation, imagination, and poetry, we still hold the ability to reconnect with the origin and essence of these stories and the source of their creation to give meaning to life.
This particular version of the myth “Anaconda del Sur” is a compilation composed by the “Anaconda Del Sur” eco-village located at “the eyebrows” of the Amazon, where the Andes Mountains meet the Amazon in Putumayo, Colombia. The telling of this myth was created by intimate studies and sharing from the local communities of this Amazonian region.
The purpose of this text is to reignite interest for ancestral wisdom and to honor the spirit of aboriginal myths, traditions, and people of the wide and diverse tribes that inhabit the river of the great South Anaconda.
This is a tale composed from the Kofanes, Tucanos, Arawaks, Uitoto, Muinanes, Bora, Ingas, Koreguajes, Piaroas, Piapocos, Desanos, Cubeos, Nukaks, Ticunas, Sionas people, and many more. This is a story told from generation to generation, from father and mother to their sons and daughters. It is the mythology and cosmovision told by the elders to the community with dreams, rumors, and awakenings about the Anaconda to describe the Symbol of Life, Regeneration, the Feminine Force, Survival and Death. The symbol of the Anaconda is a fundamental cultural pillar to the Amazonian, Andean, Mayan and the entire population of indigenous tribes of the Americas.