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Colombia has over 80 native communities fighting to preserve their language, traditions and ancestral wisdom.

The Aluna Foundation supports this cause in many ways. Show your support!

Wisdom Keepers

Arose to honor the desire of the indigenous elders of various native Colombian communities to preserve their legacy by documented their satires in audiovisual format, for their own people, future generations and whenever wishes to listen and open their hearts to wisdom as ancient as humanity itself. It likewise comes from a desire to celebrate Colombia’s ethnic and cultural diversity, our gratitud towards the indigenous communities that have taken care of the natural environment and remind us that everything that exists has a spirit, is sacred and is interconnected.

Guardians of Wisdom is more than a project: it is a matrix, a co-creation, and a life purpose. 

Our purpose is to support the preservation of the cultural and spiritual identity of the ancestral knowledge of Colombia’s indigenous communities. We want to be a platform that enables said knowledge to inspire humanity to reconnect with our own essence and with that which is sacred.

We acknowledge the transformative and inspiring power of the audiovisual format and the possibility it offers of reaching many people in diverse places. For this reason, we are going to produce a series of six documentaries that allow us to record different aspects of the cosmovision, cultural identity and ancestral wisdom form various Colombian indigenous communities.

As a whole, humanity is moving towards a decisive moment in our evolution. Never before had we achieved such technological success and transformed our lives and relationships to such a degree; paradoxically, we have never before contaminated and destroyed nature as we are doing now, nor had we been more  collectively stressed, anxious and depressed. 

It would seem that we lost our way at some point, we disconnected from ourselves, our own essence and the sacred, and began to seek outside of ourselves for meaning in our lives, thus distancing ourselves further from our own hearts.

And it is precisely this breaking point, this time of profound transformation, when it becomes necessary to look elsewhere, towards what inspires us and, if possible, what can show us to live in harmony with our surroundings and reconnect with the true meaning of life. 

Even today, in the midst of the XXI century, the age of the quantum computer and nanotechnology, despite centuries of persecution as well as cultural and spiritual colonization,  there still exist indigenous communities that maintain their traditional way of life and preserve the knowledge and wisdom that have allowed them to understand the laws of nature and live in harmony with their surroundings. 

Such cultures, and all diverse social, artistic, intelectual and spiritual manifestations, known as the etnosphere, are as important to the planet’s well being and that of its seven billion inhabitants as the matrix of life forms know as the biosphere. 

To Wade Davis, famed anthropologist, explorer and National Geographic Society member, the etnopshere is the “total sum of thoughts, intuitions, myths, believes, idea sand inspirations that the human imagination has birth since the dawn of humanity.  It is the product of our dreams, the incarnation of our hopes, the symbol of everything we are and all we have created thanks to our species’ amazing adaptive skills.”

This etnospehere is being drastically and systematically degraded, even more so that the biosphere. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and skills that have been preserved by guardias of wisdom since the dawn of humankind itself as the most precious inmaterial patrimony that we can gift future generations, and which holds key elements to our survival as a species.  

Most indigenous communities continue their silent labor without expecting anything in return, aware of their duty. From he depths of the jungle and the highest mountains of Colombia, they dedicate their lives to preserving their ancestral cultures and perform gratitude ceremonies for Mother Earth in order to restore the natural order of the universe, with harmony and balance for those who inhabit the planet.

They are the guardians of nature, living in accordance with its cycles, interpreting its language and communicating with the spirit world  to learn the secrets of medical plants and healing with their chants. They are the final strongholds of a millennia old way of life. 

They remind us that nature is not meant for us, but rather that it is part of us and we are part of it, that nature and all living beings are a part of our family. They remind us, too, that everything that exists has a spirit, that it is scared and that everything is connected. In this way, what we do to others and to nature we do to ourselves. 

Most indigenous people live in abandonment, excluded by the government and facing grave threats such as the destruction of their natural habitats and scared places, forced placement from their ancestral grounds as a result of Colombia’s armed conflict, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, illegal crops, mining and other mega projects that threaten their physical survival as well as their land, their culture and their spirit. 

The indigenous communities have little national or international support for their grassroots projects aimed at strengthening their identities and transmitting their cultural and spiritual values as well as their ancestral knowledge, which makes them unique and irreplaceable in the world.

Colombia is a privileged country. Our wealth lies in our great biodiversity and in being an multiethnic and multicultural land.

According to the DANE, Colombia’s National Statistic Department, at least 87 indigenous communities live in our territory, and according to the ECLAC, Colombia is the country with the second highest number of indigenous communities in Latin America. 

In a global and interdependent world that tries to homogenize customs and traditions, impose beliefs and economic models, it is encouraging to know that there are other ways of being and interacting with the planet. 

In its 2001 universal declaration regarding cultural diversity, UNESCO stated that “Cultural diversity, the common heritage of humanity and is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for the nature. In this sense, it is the commonheritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.”

For over 12 years, the Aluna Foundation has shared with and learned from different indigenous native American communities, and from these shared spaces, relationships and friendships have forged, allowing us to walk alongside these communities, acknowledging the wealth of their culture, their beauty and wisdom. We have been inspired by their profound respect for nature. 

This closeness has allowed us to aid in their efforts to preserve the ancestral knowledge of some of these ancient communities and bear witness to the challenges they face to guarantee their cultural and spiritual survival.

Many indigenous elders feel a great sadness because they have no one to inherit their knowledge and wisdom. They see, with great concern, the very real possibility that their native language may disappear, as well as their culture and very identity and natives. Through the years we have ser many of them die, and with them an incalculable cultural and spiritual legacy, a true immaterial patrimony for humanity. Many elders have expressed to us their wish to leave a legacy, so that when their words, chants and dances are gone, the wisdom and knowledge may live on and inspire their own people as well as any willing to listen. 

 We acknowledge the transformative and inspiring power of audiovisual productions, and the possibility it affords to reach people in many and diverse places. This is why we are going to produce a series of six documentaries that allow us to record different aspects of the cosmovision, cultural identity and ancestral wisdom form various Colombian indigenous communities, so that they can become part of a videographer archive that allows us to preserve the legacy of these ancestral cultures, their history, which is also our own. We hope they can send a message to the world that inspires all to remember or recognize that it is possible to live in a more aware and respectful manner with nature, ourselves and each other. 

During the development of Wisdom Keepers, we mean to: 

  • Develop a process of investigation and documentation, written and audiovisual, of the ethnic, cultural and spiritual wealth of Colombia’s diverse indigenous communities. 
  • Design and implement strategies to share these audiovisual and written products. 
  • Support processes of self-education that contribute to the preservation of the cultural and spiritual identity of the knowledge of Colombia’s indigenous peoples. 

The first documentary we are going to develop aims to show the presence of the scared in some of Colombia’s indigenous communities, how this is seen int heir way of being in the word, in the way in which the live with each other and their relationships between themselves and with other beings and nature, as well as how their cultural practices and rituals give a profound meaning to existence and life through conscious and bliss. 

Communities from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Valley of the Sibundoy, the lower Putumayo and the Pacific Rainforest will participate in the making of this documentary.

We hope this audiovisual pies will inspire viewers to reconnect to the sacredness of life, beyond religion and dogma, and form this space of reconnection open our awareness to the possibility of giving life a deeper meaning than we have so far. 

Your support is key to making this dream come true. You can help by:

  1. Donating money. 

  2. Telling your family and friends and inviting them to be a part of this project.

  3. Sharing our story on social media.

  4. Spreading the messages and wisdom of the communities. 

  5. Raising awareness regarding the threats they face.

Producing this fist documentary for a period of six months costs ninety-million Colombian pesos ($90.000.000), which will be invested as follows:

  • Pre-production: COP $15.000.000
    Investigation phase: this will allow us to achieve the depth we aspire for the footage we want to develop. In this stage we will write the script, design production, scout for locations, routes and characters and plan the entire production schedule. 

  • Production: COP $45.000.000
    Shooting: we will take the entire team on a trip to the most beautiful and exiting places in Colombia. This is where the magic gets captured.

Given the wealth of languages present in Colombia’s indigenous communities that will be featured in this documentary, and that each one encompasses a large symbolic universe, we will approach each one from the viewpoint of audio anthropology, which will allow us to uncover the different soundscapes of Colombia’s jungles and mountains, where the communities have lived since time immemorial.

The chants, dances and music, as well as the different cultural manifestations, is loaded with symbolism, color, rhythm and sense that allows us to reveal the peculiarities of being in the world and relating to it from each territory, which is key for this documentary. 

Our viewpoint is synched with the magic of “cinema verité” films, where reality is allowed to unfold in front of the lens with minimal intervention, with the intent of creating moments of intimacy where the community reveals itself.

  • Post-production: COP$30.000.000
    From the look and feel of the footage to the editing process, graphic design, sound editing and music, door and screenings, television and internet, this is when the team’s technology and expertise create the documentary of our dreams as a work of art.

    The documentary will be shot with 4K technology with cinematic quality. It will initially be translated into English. 

We have a group of expert produces with ample documentary experience who has earned many national and international accolades and posses great sensitivity when it comes to working with communities. This team has produced projects for the Discovery Chanel, Deutsche Welle, Señal Colombia and Argentina’s Canal Encuentro.

The team will be lead by Aluna’s own co-director, Juan Felipe Robledo, a researcher and avid learner of ancestral knowledge, who has been a part of the ancestral knowledge preservation efforts for fifteen years, working alongside and learning from many tribal elders for Colombia’s indigenous communities.

 

Your support can make a difference, we invite you to express your gratitude and reciprocity with the indigenous nations and their ancestral wisdom, for all the love and generosity with which they have taken care of us and the planet… It’s time to thank and support them!

The Aluna Foundation thanks you. May the abundance of life always flow through us.