The reunion between the Eagle and the Condor

Gabriela Pinilla, Camilo Torres at Teatro a Candelaria, book illustration. Watercolor on paper, 20 x 25 cm. 2018, Bogota, Colombia
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By LEONARDO BOFF*

We will still fly together, the North Eagle with the South Condor under the benevolent light of the Sun that will show us the best way

The planet Earth, due to the systematic aggression in the last centuries, is in a frank and dangerous decline. The intrusion of Covid-19 directly affecting the entire planet and exclusively the human species is one of the severe signs that the living Earth is sending us: our way of life is too destructive leading to the death of millions of human beings and beings of nature. We have to change our way of producing, consuming and living in the only Common House, otherwise we can know a Armageddon ecological-social.

Interestingly, against the grain of this process that some see as the inauguration of a new geological era – the Anthropocene and the Necrocene – that is, the systematic destruction of lives perpetrated by human beings, the original peoples erupt, bearers of a new consciousness and of a vitality, repressed for centuries. They are biologically remaking themselves and emerging as historical subjects. Their friendly way of relating to nature and Mother Earth makes them our masters and doctors. They feel so united to these realities that by defending them they are defending themselves.

The European invaders made a big mistake in calling them “Indians” as if they were inhabitants of a region of India that everyone was looking for. They actually called themselves by several names: Tawantinsuyo, Anauhuac, Pindorama, among others. The name prevailed Abya Yala given by the people Kuna from northern Colombia and Panama which meant “mature land, living land, land that flourishes”. They were peoples with their names like Taínos, Tikunas, Zapotecs, Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs, Toltecs, Mexicas, Aymaras, Quechua Tapajós Incas, Tupis, Guaranis, Mapuches and hundreds of others. Common name adoption Abya Yala it is part of the construction of a common identity, in the diversity of their cultures and expression of the articulations that unite them in an immense movement that goes from the north to the south of the American continent. In 2007 they created the Abya Yala People's Summit.

But over them hangs a vast shadow which was the extermination inflicted by the European invaders. One of the greatest genocides in history took place. About 70 million representatives of these peoples were killed by wars of extermination or by diseases brought by the whites against which they had no immunity, by forced labor and forced miscegenation. The safest data were collected by sociologist and educator Moema Viezzer and by Canadian sociologist and historian based in Brazil Marcelo Grondin. The book, impressive, with a preface by Ailton Krenak takes as its title Abya Yala: Genocide, Resistance and Survival of the Native Peoples of the Americas (Editora Bambual, Rio de Janeiro 2021). They collect data on the genocide of the two Americas.

We give a short summary: “In the Caribbean in 1492 when the colonizers arrived, there were four million indigenous people. Years later there were none. All were killed especially in Haiti. In Mexico in 1500 there were 25 million indigenous people (Aztecs, Toltecs and others) after 70 years only two million remained. In the Andes there were 1532 million indigenous people in 15, in a few years only one million remained. In Central America in 1492 in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama there were between 5,6-13 million indigenous people, of whom 90% were killed”.

“In Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay, on average, in some countries more, in others less, around one million indigenous people died. In the smaller Antilles such as the Bahamas, Barbados, Curaçao, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Trinidad-Tobago and the Virgin Islands, they experienced the same almost total extermination”.

“In Brazil, when the Portuguese landed in these lands, there were about 6 million people from dozens of ethnic groups with their languages. The violent mismatch reduced them to less than a million. Today, unfortunately, due to carelessness on the part of the authorities, this process of death continues, victims of the coronavirus. A sage of the Yanomami nation, shaman Davi Kopenawa Yanomamy reports in the book the fall from heaven what the shamans of your people are seeing: the race of humanity is heading towards its end”.

“In the United States of America lived in 1607 about 18 million original peoples and later only two million survived.

In Canada in 1492 there were two million original inhabitants and in 1933 there were only 120 thousand”.

The book not only narrates the immeasurable tragedy, but especially the resistance and, in modern times, the various summits organized between these original peoples, from the south and north of the Americas. With this mutually reinforcing, they rescue the ancestral wisdom of shamans, traditions and memories.

A legend-prophecy expresses the reunion of these peoples: the one between the Eagle, representing North America and the Condor, South America. Both were generated by the Sun and the Moon. They lived happily flying together. But fate separated them. The Eagle dominated the spaces and almost led to the extermination of the Condor.

However, I wanted the same fate that from the 1990s onwards, when the great summits began between the different indigenous peoples, from the south and north, the Condor and the Eagle found each other again and began to fly together. From their love, the Quetzal from Central America, one of the most beautiful birds in nature, a bird of the Mayan cosmovision that expresses the union of the heart with the mind, of art with science, of the masculine with the feminine. It is the beginning of a new era, of the great reconciliation of human beings among themselves, as brothers and sisters, caregivers in nature, united by the same beating heart and dwelling in the same generous Pachamama, Mother Earth.

Who knows, in the midst of the tribulations of the present time in which our culture has found its insurmountable limits and feels compelled to change course, this prophecy may be the anticipation of a good end for all of us. We will still fly together, the North Eagle with the South Condor under the benevolent light of the Sun that will show us the best way.

*Leonardo Boff he is an ecologist and a philosopher. Author, among other books, of O Casamento entre o Céu e a Terra: tales of the indigenous peoples of Brazil (Sea of ​​Ideas).

 

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