The Kogi People

Kogi translates as ‘jaguar’ in the language of the Kogi people. They live in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northeastern Colombia. They say that they are descendants of the Tayrona people.

At a village on the way to the Lost City

In many ancient cultures there are stories which tell the people from a particular culture that they are in some way unique to the rest of humanity. In Kogi teachings this revolves around the geography of the Sierra Nevada. Their history says that this place is the heart of the world. The Kogi see themselves as custodians of the environmental state of the world and call themselves the ‘elder brothers’. Everyone else is considered a ‘younger brother’.

Big sister

The Kogis see the earth as a living thing. They believe that ‘the great mother’ controls everything but that modern humans have upset the balance of nature.

The Kogi call the priests among them ‘mamas’. These priests communicate with the great mother for guidance on how things should be done to sustain the earth.

Today the Kogi use slash and burn farming methods and grow various crops to support their community of about 10,000. They also raise cattle on the higher slopes of the Sierra Nevada. They live largely at peace with one another and maintain a strong focus on balancing their lives with the surrounding environment.

Listening to a story