Donate Button
menu icon
Seeds of Wisdom Logo 2022
Donate Button
menu icon

Feb 19, 2017

Building the main Ceremonial Home (Ungumas and Ushuis) of the Wiwa Peoples



This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals. To learn more about the United Nations SDGs, please click here

Fundación Ribunduna Tayrona
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

“Ribunduna’ is a word in the language of the Wiwa, Damana, which means “everything that lives and moves.

One of the consequences of the armed conflict that has developed in the territories of the Wiwa people has resulted in the displacement and abandonment of places of great cultural value such as the Ceremonial Homes: Ungumas, for boys or men; and Ushuis, for girls or women. This, in turn, has caused the loss of the role of the ceremonial houses as a central piece of the culture. Currently several communities do not have such ceremonial centers which are required for strengthening cultural processes and governance.
The main objective of the project is to build the main Ceremonial Home, to strengthen self-government with the ancestral principles, and to exercise the autonomous use, management and control of ancestral places in the territory of the Wiwa people.
The Ceremonial Home will serve several purposes. Mainly, it will guarantee the exercise of government by consolidating the organizational and political process of the Wiwa people. It will also serve as a space to train new leaders and to host meetings and make decisions involving the recovery of the traditional cultural and government practices. Additionally, the community would discuss the implementation of the criteria for land use and land management
The Ceremonial Home will be located in the Rongoy community where Moisés Gil, the “Mamo Mayor” of the Wiwa people resides. The “Mamo Mayor” is the spiritual authority responsible for the formation of new Mamos. He will be responsible for giving instructions to form community groups to collect the required materials and build the Ungumas and Ushius following the tradition.