Telling the Siekopai Story with Jimmy Piaguaje part 8

Meet Robinson Piaguaje, the young apprentice Shaman of the Siekoya Remolino and who is currently part of the SËRA Foundation expedition who are visiting communities and Forest Schools practising their own education curriculum combining ancestral and modern knowledge.

Shamans are the individuals who preserve the oral histories, myths, legends, and other belief systems of their people. Many shamans devote their time to curing diseases through traditional rituals. The Siekopai are renowned for their medicinal plant knowledge incorporating over 1000 different plant species and understanding the ancestral ways of preparing and using these plants are key to their training.

We asked Jimmy; 

How do you choose a shamanic apprentice within the community?

'Here in the village, a shamanic apprentice is not chosen, but rather it is the decision of each person, of each young person, to decide their life dreams.  So, when an elder sees that there is interest, from a young man or woman, the elder guides that young person with their work and continuing to learn. So, shamanic apprentices are not chosen, it is the decision of each person, of what they want to do, then the elders guide them and direct them to be the best healers. That is the path of wisdom.'

During their recent visit to Pambiliño Forest School the group were taught how to extract incense oils from plants that can be used for healing, something that Robinson found fascinating!

Special thanks to Beth Pitts for all her work as writer, translator and logistic queen!