Kogis, Guardians of the Earth

“The earth is diseased, trees are drying…new illnesses will appear and there will be no cure or medicines for them. Younger brother is violating fundamental principles continually…drilling, mining, extracting petrol, minerals…that’s damaging the world. Tell them to open their eyes, we can no longer repair the world, you must,” warns the Kogis – the last surviving Native American tribe from the pre-Colombian era.

Kogis believe their responsibility/sacred task is to sustain ecological and spiritual balance on earth – they are the keepers of the world with profound spiritual understanding of the bond between humankind and the natural world. Settled in the highest coastal mountain on earth – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – in northern Colombia, Kogis escaped the Spanish invasion 400 years ago and were forced to move into the highlands of Sierra Nevada. They are the descendants of the Tairona culture along with three other tribes Arhuacos, Wiwa and Cancuamo, who live in the same region.

Kogi the Native American tribe

Kogis or ‘Elder Brothers’

From the hidden folds of the towering mountain they have watched our civilization, taking care of the ‘Great Mother’, their creator. An ancient culture that has survived the changing times, Kogis remain true to their indigenous traditions and profound spirituality in isolation from modern civilization for more than a thousand years. Their ways of life are in complete harmony with nature and they focus their energy on life of the mind rather than the body.

The unique structure of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta means that it is virtually a miniature version of the planet, and it represents every climate of the world. The mountain is quite literally a micro-cosmos, which contains every ecological zone in which most of the plants and animals of the planet can find homes.

Kogis carry a gourd or poporo that is a symbol of manhood

Kogis carry a gourd or poporo that is a symbol of manhood, it contains powdered sea shells

Kogis call themselves ‘the elder brother’ of humanity living in the heart of the world (Sierra Nevada), and everyone outside it are known as ‘Younger Brothers,’ who according to them are destroying the natural resources.

Kogi Mamas – The Guardians of Gaia

Kogi shamans or Mamas are considered the enlightened ones, who watch over the community and maintain its purity. The training to become a Kogi Mama is rather extra-ordinary and rigorous – young acolytes are taken away at the age of 3 or 4 and are isolated in stone huts, at the base of glaciers, in complete darkness for as long as 18 years. This way they communicate with ‘Aluna,’ which is the ancient secret of the spiritual world, the thought process that shapes and maintains reality or the very source of life.

kogis outside a Kankarua or round hut built with nine beams means the nine worlds

kogis outside a Kankarua or round hut built with nine beams means the nine worlds of Kogi philosophy

Mamas spends his entire life to create harmony in the spirit world and the one we are living in. They feel that the younger brother is destroying the world which will have dire consequences on survival of mankind. In this documentary ‘From the Heart of the World’, shot in 1989, Kogis give a strong warning to the ‘younger brother’ to give up on their self-destructive ways and respect Mother Earth. It’s a very insightful film that shows the Kogi culture and beliefs.

Now, 20 years since that documentary the Kogis have come up with another film called ‘Aluna’ – the mind within nature — to reiterate their warning to avert disaster before it is too late. They take us on a perilous journey into the mysteries of their sacred places to change our understanding of reality.

Writing this article was an eye-opening experience for me, thanks to Anahata for sharing the video link. An ancient civilization that is coming in contact with the western world to save Gaia, and how deeply connected they are to the inner realities of our world. The time has come to open our minds and change our very perception of the life as we know it!

Few facts about the Kogi tribe

kogi mamas or native american shaman columbia

Kogi Mamas – the Enlightened ones

  • Kogi men eat coco leaves once initiated at the age of 18, the leaves have to be tended and pulled only by women. They believe that natural coco civilises men, its been their food for thousands of years, giving them important vitamins and helping them to stay without food and sleep for a long time.
  • For the Kogis time is cyclical as opposed to linear time, which means continual re-creation of the world – birth, maturity, death and re-birth. In this cyclical life, the important stages of individual and collective life are marked by rituals.
  • Conscience is paramount for the Kogis and they have to be watchful at all times.
  • The seeds are blessed before its planted, because the Kogis believe that the crop won’t grow properly other wise

Image Sources:

Colombia Kogis

Indigenous Kogi tribe

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Bhavika is a nature-loving, spiritual being and co-founder of Fractal Enlightenment, who thrives to help fellow beings re-connect with nature and their inner selves. Thank you for being part of this journey.
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  1. Toni Paton - August 31, 2013, 6:41 am Reply


    I viewd the documentary on TV in LA when it first came out bought the Video and no longer have it having moved back to Australia, I am trying to find the Doco in DVD form any idea how I can get hold of a copy?


  2. Brittany - January 5, 2014, 3:00 pm Reply

    It’s time for humankind to change its ways. We need to take care if our Mother Earth now before its to late. I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a consumers world.

  3. Fabio Alberto Ramirez - January 6, 2014, 6:29 am Reply

    I am a colombian physician, I was last week among Kogis and Wiwas in La Sierra, I met a man and a woman who spent 14 Years in a cave, they were so thankful with his father for that experience, it is amazing the wisdom and the energy they have, something like that I have not experienced before, proactivity and “child abuse” are cultural relative concepts which I respect, but La Sierra is not NY, those people live according to ancient rules which can not be fully understood by our culture.

  4. Fabio Alberto Ramirez - January 6, 2014, 5:45 pm Reply

    I am a colombian medical doctor, I went weeks 2 weeks ago to La Sierra; I met Wiwas an Kogis, I met a man and a woman who were educated in caves, their deep understanding of reality, their happines and gratitude for receiving this knowledge is beyond our limited ideas about “child abuse” and capitalist “proactivity”, plants ( tobacco and coca leaves are in this cases sacraments) it takes at least three years to know their secrets, tobacco and coca existed long time before we came here and they will probably survive when we disappear, the all stuff is not about being “high” but about being wise with the gifts of mother nature.

  5. Eric Kane - January 11, 2014, 9:08 am Reply

    Being Blessed to hear stories being passed down from certain Hawaiian Elders, One was shared with us of a certain kind of Kahuna, of the highest nature that for 9 years from birth being in constant darkness and trained in the celestial nature, and then to the sacred Wao Akua (higher altitude forest) where that one would be trained in the earthly nature. That being was of a guiding and healing class that did not have the family and tribe concerns and obligations in mind of concern, so in return that person was supported by all yet totally self contained with vision, knowledge and insight that could penetrate the worlds of space and time and could feel anything rippling across the universe and the earth before it became manifest to effect the lives of the people so the people could always be prepared for what was to come into being upon the shores and the lands of these Islands called Hawaii. Decolonize your mind and judge not what you do not understand, and which is filled with your projected images from your experience’s within a fragmented, disconnected, money controlled security competition that is without sustained extended family support where acts of doing out of love trumps the “sorry you got enough money” for the price demanded, compounded with competing religions institutions that have no living relationship to the creation, the Mother aspect that completes the Father aspect as a unified whole of responsible Human interaction with the divine design of Nature and the Universe and the cyclic Nature of all things from atoms, molecules, organs, bodies, planets, (seasons, tides, moons) universes within the great universe of universes. Yes, the earth is flat culture continues to rule through might and force and economic control based on artificial intelligence who’s core principle is profit and resource control, not to be confused with true resource and life enhancing sustainability.

  6. Profile photo of Michelle Brown

    Michelle Brown - April 10, 2014, 6:21 pm Reply

    Taking a 3-4 year old baby and putting them in a dark place all alone for the remainder of their childhood is absolutely positively unacceptable. I do not care what the reason is. Absolutely not!

    • Marcos - May 4, 2014, 12:51 pm Reply

      Michelle, like most things you find on the Internet these days, the information is not complete. Check out a TED talk by Wade Davis (a famous US Anthropologist), he will explain more. Basically, they are not confined in the dark, they can go out and play around, but they cannot go more than a few hundred meters around the Hut (also, is not only stone, light does go through). and they are to be taught the ancient ways by the shaman until they learn some, which takes dozens of year and a life time of course.
      if you still think that that is unacceptable, most of these kogis will tell you that they find unacceptable how Westerners leave their children for days or more abandoned or in care of strangers, when they are unlucky, forever (in Colombia and the most of the world is pretty common children on the streets). And in the US, how absurd is to abandon them for hours to TV and ipad and no contact with Nature, now that is a crime for them that we take for granted!

  7. Gina - April 25, 2014, 10:43 am Reply

    The most beautiful people i have learned about to date , Blessings be with them.

  8. KG - April 30, 2014, 6:57 pm Reply

    Does anyone know how we get to see the second film?

  9. Profoundly Ineffable - January 5, 2014, 5:05 am Reply

    I see what you are saying, but they have every right to ‘get high’ on coco leaves, which is basically caffeine, the active agent in chocolates and coffees which I’m 80% sure you also ‘get high’ on. What have they done to destroy the earth? Nothing. What have they done to save the earth? They have made these documentaries to tell the people who ARE destroying the earth to stop. They have no karma in the destruction of it, why should they be responsible for helping to clean it? They’ve already done more than they’ve been asked to do in my humble opinion. I bite my thumb at you, sir! lol

  10. Kevin - April 25, 2014, 8:46 am Reply

    Coca not coco leaves. You may want to take a peak at the difference. Hint: cocaine. Not defending any position just clarifying the substance.

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