Religion and the Kogi

Topics: Earth, Sierra Nevada, World Pages: 3 (1129 words) Published: December 1, 2013

Briefly describe their religion and how it is interrelated in everything they do. What is a mama? Describe the mamas and their religion using anthropological concepts related to religion. What is their prediction for the world? What kind of evidence are they using to support their prediction?

The Kogi, descendants of the Tairona, live in the high reaches of the Sierra Nevada of Columbia. This area remains mostly untouched and indigenous. Europeans landed here in the 1500’s and attempted to conquer the region and for a short period enslaved the locals. There was an uprising and the Tairona fled to the higher elevations in the Sierra to rebuild their civilization. Kogi, who refer to themselves as Elder Brothers, call anyone not of their society Younger Brother and see them as unable to care for the earth (Video). The Kogi believe that the rituals and offerings they perform keep the world alive, as well as its inhabitants. Other than some modern supplies such as iron tools and horse brought to them by missionaries the Kogi are mostly self-sufficient. Because the Sierra Nevada has every climate zone within its varying elevations the Kogi are able to harvest many different plants, animals and supplies. They also use these different supplies and areas for their offerings, religious observances and livelihood ( The religion of the Kogi is tied to every aspect of their day to day life.

The religion of the Kogi could be classified somewhere between Monotheistic and Olympian. They have a main deity known as the Great Mother, but see spiritual guardians within every living and non-living piece of nature (Video). Led by Mama, priests decided at birth using divination, they make offerings to these spirit guardians try and restore balance and gain good fortune. These mamas are medico-magico-religious figures within the tribe and can be of either gender. These town leaders are responsible for blessings, healings,...

References: (Complete) "From the Heart of the World" documentary [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Gezon, L. L., & Kottak, C. P. (2014). Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill.
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