“Ancestor medicine is wisdom, not witchcraft or folklore” · Global Voices

Art by Sairy Lligalo, sairyartlligalo.com. Installed with permission.

Ecuador’s indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian Montubio peoples and nationalities advocate for greater recognition of the region’s original philosophies and a comprehensive approach to health through traditional medicine.

Jose Janes del Pozo, also known in the country as Taita Cinci, has accompanied the movement for many years, researching and writing ancestral knowledge. OROriginally from the province of Bolivar in Ecuador, Taita Sinchin is the author of books such as: Jananti, The Intercultural Dialogue Philosophy of Huarochiri’s Manuscript և: Wave. Health և Indigenous disease.

Rachu Paza Guanolema, a teacher of one of Ecuador’s ancestral languages, and his pupil Belen Febres met Taita Cinci, who shares some of Abya Yala’s philosophy, a name used by some indigenous peoples. to what is now known as the American continent. “This name is a symbol of respect, of respect for the origin of this area,” explains Taita Sinchin.

Photo by Taita Shinchi was posted with permission.

He adds that although he has devoted most of his life to the study of this knowledge, it is not that he has entered philosophy. “The first approach I took to philosophy was through classical Western thinkers. “It’s the philosophy that is still taught here in Ecuador. However, while writing his doctoral dissertation abroad, he learned about Abya Yala’s philosophy. “I found Huarochiri’s manuscript, a text written in Quechua in the region that is now Peru at the beginning of the colonization, so it had a different approach than the European one, which began to dominate us in 1492,” he says. .

Taita Sinchin explains that this text collects the Andean thoughts of the time, gives answers to some philosophical questions, such as what happens after death, where we go, what it means to be good or bad, what family is. So it’s the answers to the questions we all ask ourselves, but from a different perspective.

“Maybe we should go back to the wisdom of these ancestors who are still alive in the communities, because there we can find ways to help us with current issues,” says Taita Sinchin. He emphasizes that the way of understanding and approaching health is not an exception, as the vision of health, which comes from the philosophy of the peoples and nations of Abya Yala, has a lot to offer.

“This philosophy talks about the meaning of health, the meaning of the origin of the disease, the meaning of healing horses, which does not correspond to Western horses,” explains Taita Sinchin. This is due to the fact that the thinking of the peoples of Abya Yala և nationalities is based on principles, logic և value systems that support different lifestyles և, consequently, develop a vision of health, which is also different.

Taita Sinchin explains that one of the major contributions to this medicine is that it focuses on identifying the many causes of each disease. “In ancestral medicine it is not taking pills, that’s all. “This medicine understands that the cure is not just to treat the symptoms of the disease, but to understand why we have the disease,” he said.

Art by Sofia Silva, sofiasilva.art. Installed with permission.

He adds that this search for the many causes of the disease is linked to the fundamental principle of Abya Yala’s philosophy – relativity. According to this principle, all facts and beings unfold in a chain of interconnected relationships that must be reciprocal. Thus, this vision does not put man at the center, but considers him a part of a whole, because he claims that all beings in the universe are equal and complementary.

The idea of ​​health that comes from this philosophy is to be well-balanced with oneself, other people, Mother Nature or Pachamama, grandparents or great-grandparents. In this way, health is connected not only with the physical field of man, but also collectively includes the human mind, body, emotions and spirit. That is, it seeks the health not only of the person, but of his whole environment.

Therefore, the healing process is based not only on relieving a person’s physical symptoms, but also on other elements such as music և song, dance, language, nature or Pachamama, gastronomy, clothing, calls or prayers և medical practices. և rituals. Through these principles, we strive to achieve the carnal, caring, harmony of human beings, their relationships with themselves, with others, and with everything around them.

Thanks to all the investments that this medicine can offer, Taita Sinchin thinks that areas for deep knowledge exchange should be opened. That’s why he thinks that the way of teaching medicine should be changed. “Medical schools should teach different health philosophies and practices with the same validity, not starting with the false idea that Western medicine cures and the rest is witchcraft or folklore. “That is, we must expand our way of understanding health և treatment,” he says.

However, he says that in practice this is not the case, as he believes that the same value is not given to the knowledge of the indigenous, African-Ecuadorian “Montubio peoples”‘s ethnicity’s nationalities. He believes that this leads to the fact that public resources are not distributed fairly, it must change. “We must unite instead of judging or dividing. “Only in this way can we comprehensively improve our health և broaden our perspective as a society,” concludes Taita Sinchin.

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