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The Huitoto maloca and the four celebrations (2011)

Maloca Huitoto

Creator Moo Juziñamui sends Yua+ Buinaima to the world to find a heart shaped tobacco seed and put it in a hole in the ground. Then, the people are born from this seed in this “creation hole”.

Juziñamui sends Yua+ Buinaima on a trip around the world. He discovers that it is big and round, so Juziñamui tells him: Your house will be like this too. That`s why the Huitoto maloca is big and round; it represents the world. So Yua+ Buinaima asks his sons to construct one, and because he has many, it is done in one day. The Huitoto maloca is constructed with 4 columns, which represent the four pillars of the world.

After Yua+ Buinaima ´s enchantment (disappearance), others follow up. First, Zik+da Buinaima , which also disappears, and then Meniza+ Buinaima and Noinui Buinaima . Each of these four has special knowledge.

The first, Yua+ Buinaima , is master of earth and eats fruits. The Fruit Celebration is held for him at the time of fruit abundance.

The second, Zik+da Buinaima , is also master of earth but eats meat of wild animals. The Hunting Celebration is held for him.

The third is Meniza+ Buinaima, master of water. The Water Celebration is dedicated to him, so he opens the rivers and lakes and to have plenty of fish. The Charapa (water turtle) Dance is performed during the celebration.

The fourth is Noinui Buinaima , master of fire. There is often thunder and lightning when the Yadiko (boa) Celebration is being organized.

A backpack made of palm leaves and full of meat and fruits is offered to Buinaima during the celebrations, so he can eat. There is plenty of food. People use mambe ( traditional green powder of processed coca and yarumo leaves) and ambil (processed tobacco with salt from the forest), and drink caguana and manicuera.

This is the location of the four columns in a Huitoto maloca (entrance located towards sunrise, and the exit towards sunset).

Maloca Huitoto

The maloquero , or maloca owner, inherits the maloca and corresponding responsibility from his father, who ultimately is a descendant from Buinaima . A maloquero has to follow the training of each maloca column, which basically comprises learning the history and origin of the things and beings of each world; vegetal, animal, water and fire. Each one is tougher and more mysterious than the former, and few maloqueros get to Noinui . A maloquero has to learn everything about each celebration: dances, songs, offer ritual to Buinaima etc. They are obliged to organize the celebrations and prepare them very well so there will be abundance of food, mambe and tobacco, and wellbeing. Crops will be damaged and fish and game will be precarious if the celebration is not well done.

Marcelo Buinage

The maloquero Marcelo Buinage in his maloca




Borugo S.A.S. * © 2005-2015 * Ver. 3.2
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Leticia, Colombia, South America