The Heart of the World - Documentary

Just finished watching "Heart of the World," a 1991 BBC documentary on the Kogi people in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta highlands of Columbia.  The Kogi are a tribe of indigeneous who survived and successfully isolated themselves from Spanish Conquistadors.

Kogi men chew coca leaves constantly and have a life expectancy of 90 years. The narrator did well to compare coca leaves to coaine as dissimilar as rye bread is from from rye whiskey. Not a cokewhore to be seen in this culture.

The Kogi allowed a film crew to come and take a message to the world to stop hurting our Mother Earth, who they know as Aluna. They see their mountainous region in danger and they are alarmed since it provides a central pillar of life in the region. Snowmelt, sediment and so forth. The Kogi's former coastal cities are now pillaged by grave robbers. Their gold was taken by the Spanish and are under threat of "development" like power plants that sacred freshwater lakes are drained to install nearby, deforestation, mining, etcetera.

When conquistadors waged a moral crusade against the Kogi they used the absurd notion that all the men were homosexual as the basis to wipe them out. Apparently it was common belief in Spain that if it was not for Christianity men would be blowing eachother's brains out in a sexual manner rather than using muskets against "savages," as well as raping or enslaving while stealing their land.

The Kogi appear extremely peaceful and even quarrelling with one's wife is forbidden. They weave their own fabric and dress cleanly in white with a shoulder bag. The white clothing represents the purity of nature. Only men chew coca leaves that are prepared by the women. They carry around a gourd that symbolises the woman. It is filled with lime that breaks down the coca compunds after it numbs the mouth. The lime is extracted with a stick that symbolises the man. The priests of the Kogi are selected at birth and raised for 9 years in darkness. I doubt that would mesh with the child protective services Nazis.

Upon doing further research on the KogiI discovered that twenty years later the Kogi asked for the original filmmaker to return for another lesson about Mother Nature since we did not heed their warning. That new film is Aluna. I am providing the original documentary I found on YouTube and the preview of the new on below. "Aluna" is $2.99 on YouTube.

For more information about the Kogi and the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida): From the Heart of the World - The Elder Brothers Warning is a documentary about the Kogi people who inhabit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain in northern Colombia.

Aluna Trailer by Alan Ereira : Alan Ereira : - The Kogi attach great importance to memory. The memory of events with which the community has been confronted, the memory of social regulations within the group and so forth. "Memory," they say, "is like eyes which were made to see.