Kogi: "The Earth is decaying and losing its strength because of your greed"

The Kogi are the Indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains of northern Columbia, South America. In the documentary, ‘Heart of the World: The Elder Brother’s Warning’ filmed by the BBC in 1992, the Kogi Mamas (The Enlightened Ones), who are charged with the spiritual guardianship and welfare of their people and of Nature, deliver a stark prophetic warning to the world about the destructive actions of ‘younger brother’ (modern western people) towards the Great Mother. What follows are transcribed excerpts from the Kogi Mama in the documentary.

“We look after Nature and we Mamas see that you are killing it by what you do. We can no longer repair the world. You must. You are uprooting the Earth and we are divining to discover how to teach you to stop...

“In the beginning, the Great Mother divided up the Earth, she sent you far away, far away, far away. And in this place, this place she put us. When the younger brother came back again to this side of the world, he came back again and he started to destroy and started to kill us. So now you’ve reached here, the younger brother is at the gate of the elder brother. We want you blocked from crossing over. We do. Younger brother climbs and we retreat before him. He has taken our lands below but the lands above are closed to you. It was said long ago to the younger brother that he should stay in his place over there, but still he never listens. Still he keeps on coming and trying to get in here so now he must stop right here. Isn’t that what the Mother said?

“I’m here, we’re all here to give a warning. I’m speaking on behalf of us all to send out a message to all the younger brothers. And I’m going to have to say it in a way they can understand. Not just a message for the men who have come... I want the whole world to listen to the warning that we speak to you. She taught, the Great Mother taught, she taught us right and wrong and still we have not given up living in the way, and knowing right from wrong as she taught us. We remember a teaching and apply it. The Great Mother taught and taught, the Great Mother gave us what we needed to live and her teaching has not been forgotten right up to this day. We all still apply it. But now they are taking out the Mother’s heart, they are digging up the ground and cutting out her liver and her guts. The Mother is being cut to pieces and stripped of everything. From their first landing they have been doing this. Younger brother, we know that the water down below has started drying up. Don’t think that we are responsible. It’s you! We are doing our work properly and neither you nor us know when the world will end, isn’t it so?”

“We work to take care of the world... stop digging into the Earth and stealing the gold, if you go on, the world will end. You are bringing the world to an end! I want to give some advice to tell the real truth to the younger brother. If they go on like this and don’t change their ways at once, they will see what will happen. I don’t know when the world will end but their looting will destroy it. They’ve taken so much. They’ve taken the guardians of the sun and stars, the world will go black. Yes, what would they think if all we Mamas died? Would they think... what would they think? If that happened and all we Mamas died and there was no one doing our work, well the rain wouldn’t fall from the sky, it would get hotter and hotter from the sky and the trees wouldn’t grow and the crops wouldn’t grow, or am I wrong and they would grow anyway?

“Humans need water, they have to have water to live. The Earth is the same... Now it is weak and diseased, the animals die, the trees dry up, people become ill, many new illnesses will appear, there will be no cure or medicine for them and the reason is that younger brother is violating fundamental principles, continually and totally: drilling, mining, extracting petrol, minerals, stripping away the world. This is destroying all order and damaging the world. BBC tell the younger brother, open your eyes, hear the Mama’s law and story, learn how things really are.

“Where does the idea of Earth come from? Where do we get the idea of water? Why do we have a word for it? These things were conceived in the beginning, before the dawning , these were ideas. Water and earth. We can only have ideas of things that have already been conceived in Aluna, before the dawning, before there was anything, we were conceived in the water of Aluna, so were the trees, the mountains, everything.

“We the Elder brothers had no problems with the younger brother at all. Always in peace, in peace, that’s how it was. And then he arrived, younger brother arrived and he started to kill us and to destroy. They set dogs on us we were terrified and the people panicked and didn’t know what to do and just ran wherever they could. That’s how it was.

“Things fell from our bags as we ran and scattered everywhere. Falling, scattered, our finest things. And when we stopped and we looked, everything was gone, nothing left. Down below by the sea there were the gold Guardians, the Guardians of the Uca and the trees, all the trees, all the birds there in the ground. They dug the Earth, dug them out. They must stop doing it. Must stop doing it! We once had golden bowls for Divination, gold images, gold oracles all these things. We prophesised with gold. We had many things. Young brother took it all. And now we sorrow... the Earth is decaying and losing its strength because of your greed. You take gold and all the minerals out of the Earth.

“It is the mountains which make the waters, the rivers and the clouds. If their trees are felled, they will not produce any more water. They have taken the clouds... they have sold the clouds. We know what is happening and we are all in agreement, the world does not have to end. If we act well, the world can go on.”

The warning is echoed in the following extract from the book ‘The Elder Brothers’ by Alan Ereira:

“If all the Kogi die, do you, Younger Brother, think that you will also go on living? Many stories have been heard that the sun will go out, the world will come to an end. But if we all act well and think well it will not end. That is why we are still looking after the sun and the moon and the land.”

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