Juliana Gongora Rojas, 2021
Yinela Piranga Valencia and Juven Piranga Valencia are leaders of
the Coreguaje Ko’revaju Indigenous community and their workshop,
Masipai “wise people”, in Florencia, Colombia. Together with their
people, they have worked in a complex process of recovery of ancestral
knowledge, continuously affected by the armed conflict in Colombia.
Today the Coreguaje Ko’revaju—which is in their language “people of
the earth”—talk to us about cooing.
In the voice of Juven and Yinela:
Coming to this world is the greatest privilege because of the possibility
we have of coexisting with creation and to know how to choose
between good and bad.
The grandmother contains the whole. Her presence is vital in the
moment of birth. She is the means by which the baby reaches the
arms of creation. Through her hands, her knowledge and her word, the
whole is manifested.
The grandmother’s presence tells us: whatever happens, I will be
there. The elders are the lullaby.
The cooing brings certainty
The cooing is a here I am, calm, quiet, calm
Cooing is confidence
I am near, listen to the heartbeat
When the mother breastfeeds the child, a conversation is created
between them that transcends words. In their encounter they weave
a language. The baby and the mother become one. Mother and child
perceive what they need and feel without speaking.
Seeing the movement of the mother’s lips and feeling the throbbing
of the veins pumping, the baby understands that the sound of the heart
is the cooing of the earth.
Hearing the cooing of the earth, the baby will know how to take care
of it because it will feel no difference between its skin, the mother’s
skin and the surface of the earth.
Our skin is an extension of the skin of the earth.
To approach the reality of cooing is to listen to the elders saying:
“Don’t run, there is no hurry:
Don’t run, there is no eagerness.
We are all going to get to the same place.”
Our elders are active, accompanying us, approaching us through
dreams and words. Their voice is a lullaby and the effects of their
words do not rest. The word of the elders has been around for
thousands of years, and it is sweet, not bitter.
The elders are at work, they are attentive.
A grandfather said: “I am in the hammock, but my spirit is in the world”.
While the human being rests, someone is lulling him: nature itself.
“The water lulled me and in that movement I rest.”