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24 October 2022 The Hummingbird and the Condor among the Nasa Symbolize Spirituality in the Ceremony of the Saakhelu
Edna Lourdes Orozco Calambas, Fernando Orozco Calambas, Willian Orlando Castillo Ordoñez
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Abstract

Among the Nasa, an Indigenous culture of Colombia, established in the Departments of Cauca, Huila, Valle del Cauca, Caquetá, and Putumayo, the Hummingbird and the Condor are symbols of spirituality. The Hummingbird represents the fertility and abundance of crops; it is the giver of water and the one that harmonizes the Condor to prevent it from bringing negative energies to the territory. On the other hand, the Condor is the ruler of the great mountains, who can bring good or bad energies to the territories because it is the only one that knows the way to the afterlife. To achieve both harmonization and protection of the territory, the Nasa people, every September 21, perform the Saakhelu ceremony. This ceremony symbolizes their cultural identity and this legacy has been maintained for thousands of years, representing the most significant festival within their five grand festivities, bringing them together throughout their territory. All the spirits of nature are invited to this ceremony, particularly the Hummingbird and the Condor. Therefore, this study aims to understand the biocultural importance of these two birds in the Nasa culture. For this, the Saakhelu ceremony was analyzed, following ethnographic methods and the dialogue of knowledge with three knowledge holders of the Nasa people, who have the ancestral knowledge of their culture and the spiritual responsibility of being essential guides for their people.

Edna Lourdes Orozco Calambas, Fernando Orozco Calambas, and Willian Orlando Castillo Ordoñez "The Hummingbird and the Condor among the Nasa Symbolize Spirituality in the Ceremony of the Saakhelu," Journal of Ethnobiology 42(3), 1-12, (24 October 2022). https://doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-42.3.4
Published: 24 October 2022
KEYWORDS
ceremony
condor
ethno-ornithology
hummingbird
INDIGENOUS
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