The Power of Love is the Power of Life
The Power of Love is the Power of Life
A singer-songwriter presenting his most
intimate prayers and Sacred songs
by voice and guitar. The magical connection to the spiritual realms are rooted in the
of the Rainforest and its Sacred ceremonies. Comigo is the Portuguese word for ‘With Me’
refers to the part in all of us, that inseparable from God, Great Spirit will vibrate
all of creation and the children of Mother Nature. The Queen of the Forest. A magical
Innerpeace to all Brothers and Sisters on this Divine Planet. Sweet tones on a Heart
The sale of Comigo 's music will support the preservation and reforestation of the Amazon Forest.
'Recanto Verde' is the name of a litlle village in the Amazon Forest.
The village is situated on indigenous land, 'Terra Indígena Nukini', located in Acre, in the far southwest of the Brazilian Amazon region. The state has international frontiers with Peru and Bolivia and national boundaries with the states of Amazonas and Rondônia.
The Nukini indigenous land today integrates the most important mosaics of protected areas of Brazil and the world, being contiguous to the Serra do Divisor National Park of Guardian Warriors of the Serra, a region inhabited by the Nukini and sacred land by the divine beings there inhabit.
The 'Nukini', have an estimated population of 650 people. The majority of the families are living spread out over the 6 villages on the territory.
An 8 hours boat trip on the Moâ River, a path of natural beauty and active wildlife, is taking me on a visit to the 'Nukini tribe'.
When I arrive, I'm being welcomed by a small group of Nukini who show me around in their village. The naturaly build houses surrounded by agroflorestal areas, an impressive Samauma tree and other ceremonial and gathering spots are covered by a magical natural vegetation and dense tropical forest.
Surrounded by hills and views over the jungle that was inhabited by various tribes over thousands of years , I find myself in the most impressive indigenous territory amongst the others villages I' ve visited in the area.
The beauty of this place is astonishing. Particularly the organic 'structure' of the village, the panoramic view over an intact ecosystem and both the silence and the sounds of the forest, are giving this place the consideration that is deserves, Sacred Land ! This ground exhales Peace !! 'As The Creator left it to the people of this earth', it sounds into my ears.
In the days following I 'm being immersed into the way of life, the music, the nature and daily practices of these people. Their stories, the songs, and above all the natural and tender behaviors of these humble people are invoking a deep impact.
I notice that I am mostly in the company of the same Nukini people every day. Despite the language gap, my Portuguese is long from their accent, we have a mutual understanding. It is easy to recognize these compagnons as brothers, and our conversations are profound. As it was predicted by my friend Fabricio, a young Puyanawa who took me there, the Nukini brothers adore the songs of Comigo as much as I love theirs.
I feel deeply connected to some of these men and the more time we spend together the stronger it gets. Our mutual understanding deepens and a sense of equality and respect evolves towards recognition and friendship. My overwhelming first impression of being arrived in an environmental paradise, is being replaced by a feeling of 'coming home'.
They decide to take me on a 3-day boat trip deeper into the jungle. At Sunrise, a group of 4, provisian, hammocks and guitars are filling the boat which quickly finds its way again to the river Moâ. As we enter the Serra do Divisor National Parc, ancestral ground of the Nukini, I marvel about the magisterial view of virgin rainforest that is covering the hills of the river valley, as the boat roars between rocks and the massive tropical trees. It is the beginning of the most intense experience of my life.
Xata, a both native and portuguese speaking indio is our guide and his ways and songs are soundtracking his lifestory as a dweller of the rainforest, that surrounds us. I am very touched by the strength and integrity of this young man, who's name Xata, litterly means : 'filho da floresta' or 'son of the forest'. A name that truly covers his honesty and purity and I feel that he is intentionaly guiding me here on many levels. When finally I found ourselfs singing together, honestly I must say, together with a true brother of my heart, I discover that we have a lot in common. We share the same enthousiasm, passion and vibrational drive. Not only his lyrics and words are orientating me. Also the knowledge of the medicinal leaves (of plants) and of animals next to the clear understanding of the jungle, reveals his authentic way of life in this beautiful wilderness.
While walking the forest trails, singing and meditating together at the waterfalls and listening to the stories and songs all night long, I feel myself being initiated into the soul and the secrets of this Sacred Land. It becomes more than clear why these people are considered the 'Guardian Warriors of the Sacred Forest'. The Nukini appear to be known as the 'povo de Onça', the 'People of the Jaguar'. And as I feel being guided here by the love and the power of this amazing young 'jaguar' , I know, deep in my heart, a new and lifelasting friendship, love and connection with these powerful people and land, is born.
As we return to the village I feel that I have undergone a profound transformation, and that the group of Nukini who welcomed me on the first day, now embrace me as one of them. They now present themselfs as the nucleus of tribemembers who are conducting the important project that is Recanto Verde.
I 'm being introduced to Xiti, the Cacique, the leader of Recanto Verde. He is a charismatic, strong figure and as an experienced traveller to many tribes in South America, he holds responsability on guiding his tribe in the objectives they pursue. It's another great encounter and as he is a singer, musician, and an open but strong willed brother, we go along very well. Ties are forged and we agree on a joint musical project. We sing, eat and laugh together and having conversations that take us into the night. More brothers are joining the gathering and they respectively are being presented to me as students and teachers of medicinal plants and foodgatherers who engage in agroforestry.
It is a beautiful night. The laughter of the children, the strumming of guitars, maracas and singing voices harmonize with the sounds of birds and animals that are echoing through the valleys of the forest. Stars brighten the sky and the moon is presenting its us the glory, that we need to apply the sacred tabaco medicine that is shared within this circle.
The conversation is going to another level. By stating that they consider me as one of them, as a 'guerreiro da floresta', a 'guardian warrior of the forest' , is showing that they feel as confident and enthusiastic as I am. The 'nucleus' seems to be complete and when Ruka and Xiti start talking about the mission of Recanto Verde, each member is adding something to the historial background of their mission.
In the beginnings of the 20th century the Nukini made their first contacts with European, Brazilian and Peruvian non-indigenous people and were driven in harsh slavery and exploitation for harvesting latex from the rubber trees. The decrement in population of the Nukini tribe arose and the few members that managed to survive, were spread over the huge territory. In addition, some indigenous settlements were massacred by extractivists of caucho after the latex cycle. A huge part of the culture, including their language and other traditions, was lost or scattered. Almost the entire ethnic group disappeared and got challenged by severe epidemic outbreaks in the years afterwards. Due to this decline in members, many Nukini people had to mingle with members from other ethnicities in order to survive. Exploitation and violence that started with the rubber industry, has turned into drug traffickers, loggers and hunters that untill today pose a threat to the tribe.
When Kapapista, a quiet but brilliant expert in native knowledge of seeds, trees, and fruits, plays his song, the invisible but tangibly presence of a black jaguar is silently entering the dark space that is disclosing this circle.
I’m holding my breath when images of the cruelty exposed on these beautiful people appear before my eyes. Just like their ancestors they are very scanty with these stories, and their calm and silent sincerity, does not show any trace of victimhood or trauma, but a legacy of courage, dedication and wisdom. They are not surprised when I ask how it is possible for them to receive a white European like me, and their response is disarming and warmly disproving my judgment :'the current generation is not responsible for the actions of the past generations and not everybody would have commited those crimes', a bright voice declares.
I 'm exposed to the raw power of integrity and the deep warm breath of life force, as a pair of yellow eyes in front of me are projecting the images of a tribes' dignity and resurrection into mine. We share another piece of abacaxi and a little boy swipes the mosquitos that are incessantly attacking our backs.
Although the Nukini Territory was one of the first to be demarcated, the administrative procedures for the demarcation that began in 1977 was only concluded with the publication of Decree nº 400, in december 1991. The area approved is 27,263 hectares. At the time the Nukini were not calling for any changes to the boundaries of their land. It is only since 2000 that the Nukini started to call for the revision of the northern and western limits of their lands, creating a superimposition over part of the Serra do Divisor National Park.
Since the demarcation, the pursue of a stable socio-economic situation and economic activities as fishing and hunting, are the main objectives. And as there are many nutritious plants, until now, it is possible to survive. Nevertheless, a huge part of the culture, including their language, spiritual and other traditions were lost. The Nukini used not to practice agriculture since during the rubber boom and many of the members, disconnected from their old practices, are depending for food, energy and recources on cargos coming from the city.
A difficult balancing of living partly by artificial recources conflicts with the 'nature' of these people. And the voices of their ancestors are constantly blowing through the palmtree tops and their visions are projected on the giant roots of The Samauma tree as silhouets dancing the ancient rythms of the Forest.
When Ruka returns to his homeland, after some years living close to the city, he is still recovering from a severe disease. Doctors don't have a name for his 'illness', nor a proper treatment. The hospital relieves him under the assumption that soon he will die. The man, nothing but skins and bones, is held hostige for many months to his 'deadbed'. But when some relatives of the neighboring tribe Puyanawa start treating him with native plant medicines, his proces of decay stops. Against the disbelief of many about his recovery, the treatment is continued. While he is receiving the sacred medicines, visions penetrate his mind and he is able to see his hometribe, living again in peace and harmony on their sacred land.When finally he manages to get up from his sickbed a vision of hope is been induced. A 'jaguar' is healed. And adream is born !
When I meet Ruka he is a strong and muscular indio who has been planting native trees for the past 10 years and initiating agroflorestry on the area that surrounds his house at the center of his village. The lyrics of his songs articulate the mission statement of his innervision and the dream that now has become Recanto Verde.
When we shake hands, his gaze is focused and the straight contact of his eyes tell me that this is a guy who will not back down. I witness the energy of a man who stepped through the gates of life and death and whose mission radiates from the brilliance of his deep and loving eyes.
He speaks in short but warmly inspiring sentences as if he 's holding the door for me, to a new, but real existing world. My first contact with him instantly gives me a feeling that I 'll find good things while he’s driving the boat in front of ours, that first day, on the way to his village. I' ll be sleeping in his house and during my stay I find out that he immediatly recognised my intentions for travelling this Amazon forest. The lack of language between us is bridged by looks of recognition when our eyes meet during the many conversations we have, and are underlining the essentials of our encounter.
I'm being invited to an official welcome ceremony on behalf of the tribe, halfway my stay. Mutual thanks and findings are shared and the ceremony is opened. A brief moment of silence precedes the imploding sound of a rattle that is shaken by the strong hand of Ruka when the tribemembers, all painted and feathered, in a simultanious movement are lining up for the ancient ritual dance.
The moment that Ruca is initiating the first step of the sacred dance, strengthened by a deep loud voice, chanting old native language, I 'm overwhelmed by an old warrior spirit that takes over my being. The seemingly powerful pounding of his foot into the earth impacts a reflection and in a moment I see a row of houndreds of men standing behind him. They are executing exactly the same movement. The image coincides with a sound and sensation in which I cannot distinguish it' s being thunder nor earthquake.
A few moments later I find myself marching together with the tribe and repeating the words and chants of this powerful leader, and it feels like I’ve been doing this a thousand times before. We circle around the amazing Samauma tree and before I 'm truly concious of what is going on, the tribe holds still, the song is over … The forest is shrouded in absolute silence …
And the Jaguar roars !!
Recanto Verde, that can be translated as 'green corner', envisions a tribes upgrading to a natural lifestyle, the independency from industrial resources and 'contaminating system'. The education of the children and young people on agroforestry, plants, seeds and , the reestablishment of the old language, facilitates the study and use of native medicine, acient cultural and spiritual practices and are the breathing ground for the future generations. It guarantees health, peace and the ultimate protection of the Rainforest from within.
Ancient knowledge on a wide range of medicinal use of plants is carried by only a few but as the future generation is being educated, an overall use of medicinal, spiritual and health practices will be reestablished.
The nuclues of tribemembers of Recanto Verde are teaching and aiming strongly to inspire the tribemembers of the other villages to follow their example. A long path of hard work by creating new plots of agroforestry, conducting self-sufficiency, and making as much knowledge and means available as possible.
But the slow and gradual improvement of the socio-economic situation through agroforestry is inextricably linked to social cohesion on the indigenous territory. Ceremonial and cultural gatherings are providing the teachings of old songs, dances and instruments and are the platform for raising awareness of the new path.
The next step, a new center, the current project, even naturally build, requires financial input. The village Recanto Verde has an old dream that today can become reality for the strengthening of the village, working with agrofloresta, cultural and handicraft production of the Nukini people but they need all the help they can get.
When I leave the village feeling ready to go, the nucleus of guardian warriors are standing on the shore. Ruka, Xiti, Kapapista and Xata have come to help to load the boat and to say goodbye. These last moments are very intense. We share a final round of sacred tobacco and silent moments reveal the feeling that we share.The contact with these men and the physical, healing, spiritual, musical and teaching qualities in each of them are engraved in my heart. These are not just Guardians for the Amazon Rainforest, these men are warriors of peace and words come short to express my love an respect I have for them and the vision that they embody. We share our deepest intentions to meet again. A short but deep conversation with each of them and a final handshake and hug, seales our joint mission.
As the boat takes of for the trip a last eyecontact with Xata fills my heart and for hours I remain silent. I'll miss you too brother, but as we spoke, everytime I 'll play your songs I'll be here”. During the boat trip I feel a deep stable force that holds on to my soul. God knows I'll come back here, presenting the fruits of my labor back in Europe.
The Guardian Warriors, the Nukini, The People of the Jaguar, they have a mission. It is protecting The Rainforest, their Sacred Land. Their projects implies drawing attention to the threats to a large piece of one of the most important area mosaics in Brazil.
The Sale of Comigo's music and the music of the Nukini is fully donated to Recanto Verde.
As it will create greater awareness of their mission and as a part of the strategy for a higher protection of their ancestral land, The Nukini are opening the possibility to visit them as it provides an important way to support the preservation of The Rainforest.
Visitors will have the privilege of participating in traditional ceremonies with medicines of the Amazon Forest in the village Recanto verde. Regarding rituals the Nukini, like other Pano groups in the region, currently dance the mariri and sing many indigenous songs, some composed by themselves and others taught by the older members.
We will visit the Serra do Divisor National Parc in company of the people from Recanto Verde who will guide us on our way to the waterfalls and the most beautiful places in the area.
If you want to support Recanto Verde by visiting their land, help, donate or add input, send me a message.
I' ll gratefully respond to you.
Project will be available soon.