Elder Brother

Among indigenous peoples of South and North America—alongside core communities and scattered vestiges of civilizations which existed long before conquistadors arrived in 1498–the Kogi (who call themselves “Elder Brother from their mountaintop community in Columbia), have preserved a unique understanding of our planet, utterly uninfluenced by modern society.

Now the Kogi have broken ‘six hundred years of solitude’ to speak to “younger brother” through two films: “From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers Warning” in 1996, and “Aluna” in 2012. I watched “The Elder Brothers Warning” last year and “Aluna” yesterday. The earlier U-tube film has disappeared from the internet (itself a warning to seize the moment), and so it is no longer possible to view it. But the new film offers an even more profound message and IS available (on Netflix and Amazon).

Like Buddha arising from his seat beneath the Bodhi tree, Milarepa coming out of his meditation cave, Moses descending the mountain top with his tablets, the Kogi have come forth. They have never before left their mountain, not since younger brother began spraying defoliants and blocking river arteries, not since he began ravaging the earth, leaving open sores behind—not since conquistadors first stole their buried synapses of gold.

Why have they come down now?

In 1996, Alain Ereira, a BBC film maker, was invited to their mountain to film “From the Heart of the World”. In this film, never shown commercially, the Kogi shared their knowledge and delivered a warning.

Now, 20 years later, as their mountain continues to die, they realize that their first warning has not stopped the destruction. So they invited Alain Ereira back to the Sierra Nevada–the highest costal mountain in the world–to make a second film. This time they did more than invite a western documentary maker to visit them. They came down from the mountain with a spool of gold thread and strung it along miles and miles of coastline, sewing together gaping holes and cesspools left by mining operations and road construction—inflicted upon the land in ignorance of natural cycles. Natural habitat is disappearing and the cycle of rain feeding rivers and rivers feeding land is broken—thereby spawning death upon both land and life.

The film crew accompanied their healing pilgrimage and documented their urgent message to our society. The opportunity to hear the Kogi’s wisdom–out here, as we race toward a deadly precipice–is a chance to awaken from a nightmare. Anyone who cares about what is being lost beneath our feet and all around us should watch this new film, “Aluna”.

Among many references to the Kogi on the internet, I found the following link especially valuable: http://www.labyrinthina.com/kogi.htm

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