Maloca of Puerto Córdoba.

Maloca of Puerto Córdoba. Photo courtesy of Tropenbos Colombia.

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December 16, 2021

Indigenous Peoples, Culture, and Traditional Knowledge: The Work of Tropenbos Colombia

Sharon Austin

Nia Tero has supported the work of Tropenbos Colombia on cultural strengthening and traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples in Lower Caqueta River, Amazonas in Colombia. The project facilitated the creation of innovative ways and spaces for inter-generational communication, compilation, and documentation of traditional knowledge, with the leadership of knowledge holders of the Yukuna and Matapi Indigenous peoples of the Colombian Amazon.

A cultural cartography was also developed of thematic maps of the territories. The maps presented the cultural contents on history of the territories, locations of malocas, topography of the territory, sacred sites, and other sites of importance to the Indigenous peoples. These documents are fundamental for the process of cultural revitalization, knowledge of the territory, formulation of territorial plans, and exchange of information with other Indigenous territories, that are vital to the guardianship and management of the Indigenous territories.

This initiative generated great collaboration between the elders, traditional knowledge holders, youth, men and women, of the ten (10) Indigenous communities, who are committed to revitalization, preservation, and strengthening of their cultural identity. The collaboration saw the construction of malocas – traditional meeting place/house, women’s ceramic art, transmission of traditional songs, dances and practices, traditional ceremonies, and other cultural activities.

Watch a Video from the Sueños de la Juventud Group as Part of This Initiative