AMAZON and the A'I-COFAN tribe
The Cofan people are an ancestral indigenous tribe native to the Sucumbíos and Putumayo amazon regions of northeast Ecuador and southern Colombia, between the Guamués River (a tributary of the Putumayo River) and the Aguaricó River (a tributary of the Napo River). Their real name in their language is A'i, which means "people of Truth."
The Cofan have 5 reservations situated within Colombia and Ecuador. AWE has one of its headquarters within the Dureno A’i reservation in Ecuador where we receive students and build programs of knowledge intersection and health.
Many of the tales of different amazon tribal groups regarding the genesis of the ayahuasca brew point to the A'i Cofan as the original knowledge holders of this technology. Our experiences with the A'i elders have taught us that Yagé (Ayahuasca) is not a plant or a brew, it is a spirit, a spirit that lives within us. In the jungle, Yagé is the cosmos, culture, and tradition. It is the means by which the knowledge of the teachers of the jungle and our ancestors is transmitted. The Yagé ceremonies that the taitas lead guide and keep the spiritual harmony within the community alive.
The A'I people teach important practices, such as respect for the sacred plants, for the traditional healers (curacas), humility, and simplicity.
The elders of the community: Taita Querubin (first authority in the Cofán people), grandmother María, grandmother Tntn, and taita David remind us of the importance of respecting the jungle and its invisible world.