An old woman once told me that we are trees that walk, we carry twigs, roots and all those who came before us are stars in our sky.
An old woman once told me that we are trees that walk, we carry twigs, roots and all those who came before us are stars in our sky. Our barefoot walking towards the sun is to feel the earth, the heat, the water and each breath. We are nature. The elders know the cycles of the earth and the sky, the hidden music that manifests itself in all things and awakens what is asleep, the good words, the maraka’yba.
Which ancestor speaks through us?
Tamuya is in Tupi "grandfather, old man." Our root is the umbilical cord that oxygenates the tekobé "life". I was born on the waning moon, Jaxy inhepytù, as the Guarani spoke. She always comes when a lunar cycle comes to an end and the energy of the earth tends to go down, which is the root period. All the peoples of the Tupí-Guaraní region have their own way of reading the stars. To read the ybaka "heaven". you have to always be guided by our old men.
Seeing my grandmother Tupinambá, listening to her stories, songs, advice, she has become a living culture, adapting to new places. Knowledge germinates when youth is fertile soil. I learned to see life through the eyes of nature, it is a great book with sounds, silences, tastes, smells, instincts, what you learn by observing and living every day. I water the flower we call our culture, letting it bloom in the way we see the world and life is our greatest wealth.
Fell into a river, the water is always moving in the direction that the current drags everything into its flow, stones can change some directions. We can sit near its shores, observing its interior can be lighter or darker. Every time you share a teaching, only with the eyes of our identity you can hear or read its signs. The memory of a people is the fabric of its history, the ancestors are the stems of the crops. Respect for their ancestry is not only to seek ancient traditions and knowledge, but because it is our origin and source of strength, that is, we cannot live without looking at the past that lives through us in each heart beat.
When knowledge is shared, when we hear the council of elders, the ancestral teachings echo the voices of the generations, it is passed on as a great network. Daiara, a sister of the Tukano people, said that strong peoples are like a very ancient and sacred tree, called Samaúma, its roots are enormous. The Samaúma brings a very deep teaching for everyone. I had already heard about the tree that removes water from the depths of the ground feeding other species, watering it and protecting the entire plant kingdom around it, but I did not know its name. Its roots are for communication. The connecting force between ancestors and their descendants is like a great tree and its roots. All connected by the origin of the seed. The knowledge that is within each member of a family expresses the ancestral essence of their trunk, which is activated by the transmission of knowledge from one generation to another. The basis of our original culture is the food of our identity and the most important fight of indigenous peoples is the right to be.
I remember a Zapotec poet on a radio, her name Natalia Toledo, her work, The reality: ”What is being indigenous? here is my list: To have a language for the birds for the air that whistles, a language to speak with the earth, to speak with life ... to be indigenous is to have a universe and not renounce it. the memory of sound, always repeating several times, "to be indigenous is to have a universe and not to renounce it."
Dialogue with the past, present and future in contemporary times is a challenge, cultures are not static and permanent, but changing over time, everything changes. There is no freezing of ways of being and acting. With colonization, the mixing process and the influence of other cultures were intense, as well as the birth of new ways of being. The communities and their members encountered different strategies of resistance against oppression.
Large cities camouflage the indigenous presence, spirits, bones and voices muffled in the cement of the limes. Concrete has grown and continues to grow strongly on sacred soil. Children and grandchildren, where are they? Below and above the limes, voices want freedom. I remember the passage of a poem by Nanblá Gakran, known as the guardian of the Laklanõ Xokleng language: “É… não adianta to prune minhas folhas and try to silence minha historia, pois subjectnte will suffocate as minhas creas and, assim, will revive minha roots. It does not dry out the root of the burned mind, it peels the earth to sprout. Two nossos with rich memories are not turned off; It does not hold long handles, because either ceu é freedom of faith and find or ‘Ãgglẽnẽ’ um dia ”. (“It is useless to prune my leaves and try to silence my story, because that way only my beliefs are drowned, it is like this to revive my roots. rich memories of our grandparents. The wide wings are not clipped because heaven is freedom and faith is to find 'Ãgglẽnẽ' [the one who is Above] one day ”)
Indigenous philosophies need to be recognized by the school and the academic space, because they reveal ways of thinking, languages and knowledge that have been ignored by those who built an education surrounded by walls, preventing men, women and young people from looking at the horizon.
By Renata Machado
Source: Rádio Yandê. Brazil's first indigenous web radio