Besuch bei den Arhuacos Kakao-Bauern

About 5 years ago, during my first stay in Colombia, we hiked through a national park, the Parque Tayrona. It is known for its incredible biodiversity and the natural spectacle that results when wild mountain jungle flows directly into the Caribbean Sea. Even then, on our hike through the national park, we encountered tribal people dressed in white. Sometimes accompanied by a donkey or a mule, mostly with a cheek full of coca. At that time, I felt extremely foreign to this culture, which was so different, and at the same time so fascinated by it.
About 5 years ago, during my first stay in Colombia, we hiked through a national park, the Parque Tayrona. It is known for its incredible biodiversity and the natural spectacle that results when wild mountain jungle flows directly into the Caribbean Sea. Even then, on our hike through the national park, we encountered tribal people dressed in white. Sometimes accompanied by a donkey or a mule, mostly with a cheek full of coca. At that time, I felt extremely foreign to this culture, which was so different, and at the same time so fascinated by it.


Gerade mal 5 Jahre später, verschlägt es mich wieder in die gleiche Region. Doch diesmal nicht wegen der atemberaubenden Natur. Diesmal lockt mich eine ganz besondere Bohne, genannt Businchari (übersetzt: Neuanfang), kultiviert durch ebenjenes Stammesvolk, welches mich damals schon fasziniert hat. Hätte mir damals jemand davon erzählt, dass ich eines Tages wiederkommen würde, um von den Arhuacos der Sierra Nevada Kakaobohnen zu kaufen - ich hätte es nicht geglaubt.

Jetzt, durch die Hilfe von Jan und Original Beans, ist es fast schon naheliegend...

 

Original Beans arbeitet nun schon länger mit den Arhuacos zusammen und ist eng an deren Entwicklung im Zusammenhang mit Kakao beteiligt. Der Businchari hat es vor allem dank ihrer Hilfe aus ganz abgelegenen Ecken des Nationalsparks hinunter in die wiederaufgeforsteten Food Forests der Arhuacos geschafft. Es wird geglaubt, in ihm liege der Ursprung des, bis in den Amazonas-Regenwald gewanderten Criollo Blanco.

 

Ein Exkurs zu diesem Stamm und seinem Zusammenhang mit Kakao: Die Arhuacos lebten einst im gesamten Gebiet zwischen den karibischen Traumstränden und den schneebedeckten Gipfeln der Sierra Nevada. Ihre Vision, früher wie heute, ist die Vereinigung der Polaritäten, Himmel und Erde, Männlich und Weiblich, Berge und Meer, um die fragile Balance der Erde zu erhalten.

Ihre Spiritualität umschließt die Personifikation der Natur als eines ihrer Stammesmitglieder, dessen Gesundheit und Wohlergehen es zu schützen gilt. Sie stehen in enger Kommunikation mit ihrer Umwelt.

Am tiefsten angebunden in ihrer Kultur ist ihr spiritueller Führer, der sogenannte Mamo. Er stellt das Medium dar, welches zwischen ihren 121 (Natur-)Gottheiten und dem Stamm übermittelt. Der Mamo trägt das Wissen der Pflanzen, der Berge und der Götter und macht es dem Stamm der Arhuacos zugänglich. So die Theorie! Denn seit der Ankunft der großen Entdecker vor etwa 600 Jahren erlebten die Arhuacos in vielerlei Hinsicht Rückschläge.

Sie waren gezwungen große Landstriche, vor allem in Meeresregion an die Siedler abzugeben, um gewaltsamen Konflikten aus dem Weg zu gehen. Damit einhergehend verloren sie den Bezug zu diesen Teilen der Natur.

Sie waren und sind zum Teil immernoch gezwungen in hohen Bergregionen zu hausen und sich von der kargen Landschaft um sie herum zu ernähren.

Nun, nach 6 Generationen dieses eingeschränkten Lebens, haben die Arhuacos seit wenigen Jahren zum ersten mal seit Kolumbus wieder den Zugang zum Meer und damit die Möglichkeit diese für sie so wichtige Polarität wieder zu vereinen. Leider ist in 600 Jahren "Abwesenheit" ein Großteil des Wissens um die an der Küste vorherrschende Flora und Fauna verloren gegangen. Darunter natürlich auch der Kakao.


Leider ist in 600 Jahren "Abwesenheit" ein Großteil des Wissens um die an der Küste vorherrschende Flora und Fauna verloren gegangen. Darunter natürlich auch der Kakao.But this time not because of the breathtaking nature. This time I am attracted by a very special bean, called Businchari (translated: new beginning), cultivated by the very tribal people who fascinated me back then. If someone had told me back then that one day I would come back to buy Kakao beans from the Arhuacos of the Sierra Nevada - I would not have believed it.

Now, with the help of Jan and Original Beans, it's almost obvious....

 

Original Beans has been working with the Arhuacos for some time now and is closely involved in their Kakao-related development. The Businchari has made it from very remote corners of the National Park down to the Arhuacos' reforested Food Forests largely thanks to their help. It is believed to be the origin of the Criollo Blanco, which has migrated as far as the Amazon rainforest.

 

A digression on this tribe and its connection with cacao: the Arhuacos once lived in the entire area between the Caribbean dream beaches and the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Their vision, past and present, is the union of polarities, heaven and earth, male and female, mountains and sea, to maintain the fragile balance of the earth.

Their spirituality embraces the personification of nature as one of their tribal members whose health and well-being must be protected. They are in close communication with their environment.

Most deeply connected in their culture is their spiritual leader, the so-called Mamo. He is the medium that communicates between their 121 (nature) deities and the tribe. The Mamo carries the knowledge of the plants, the mountains and the gods and makes it accessible to the Arhuacos tribe. So the theory goes! Because since the arrival of the great explorers about 600 years ago, the Arhuacos have experienced setbacks in many ways.

They were forced to give up large areas of land, especially in the sea region, to the settlers in order to avoid violent conflicts. Along with this, they lost their connection to these parts of nature.

They were and still are partly forced to live in high mountain regions and to feed on the barren landscape around them.

Now, after 6 generations of this restricted life, for the first time since Columbus, the Arhuacos have access to the sea again and thus the possibility to reunite this polarity which is so important for them. Unfortunately, in 600 years of "absence", a large part of the knowledge about the flora and fauna prevailing on the coast has been lost. Among them, of course, the Kakao.


Unfortunately, in 600 years of "absence", much of the knowledge about the flora and fauna prevalent on the coast has been lost. Among them, of course, the Kakao.

With the help of Original Beans and the rediscovery of the Businchari tree, a new beginning for the Arhuacos really happens. They are now re-exploring the environment that was once their home and learning to use it for their own benefit. This is such an important step, which we can now support by buying their original Kakao beans. On the right you can see the big tree under which the Arhuacos always gather to discuss important issues and also to celebrate their tribal culture. It is a great honour for us to get to know and appreciate these sacred places of the Arhuacos.

Before my trip, I was not really aware of the scope and symbol that Kakao carries for the Arhuacos. After the days with them, I not only understand it, but can feel it. By buying a total of 300 kilograms of these special Kakao beans, we are sending a signal from the outside to the tribal people, saying: "You, as well as your work, are important for the big picture."

 

The Kakao beans have already been loaded onto a cargo sailing boat. I don't know when they will arrive, I don't know how we will process them and I can't predict what the Kakao we make from them will taste like. All I know is that it was the right and important thing to do at that moment.

 

Thank you to Jan and Original Beans for this unique opportunity, thank you to Anka for the wonderful support and great camera work.

I feel blessed and challenged at the same time. 

Wow. 


With deep humility, 

Yours, Mischa.



Written by Mischa Levit
Find similar articles
newsstory

Comments

Lieber Mischa und natürlich das ganze Kakaouniversum drumrum,
ich habe mir eines der besonderen Herzen des Kakaos der Arhuacos bestellt.
Ihn auszupacken war besonders besonders. Noch mehr als sonst. Der erste Geruch spannend, leicht verbrannter Röstduft. Ich bereitete ihn mir zu. Als ich den Deckel öffnete, um ihn in die Tasse umzufüllen, stieg mir ein einzigartiger Duft in die Nase und mit ihm eine so kraftvolle Energie, das ich mich voller Demut fühlte und mir Tränen kamen.
Nun lese ich gerade die Geschichte des Volkes und wundere mich nicht, wie berührt ich allein vom Duft war. Alles Liebe zu euch und diesem besonderen Volk der Arhuacos.
Katja

Katja on Apr 03, 2024

Toll🤩
Danke🙏🏼

David on Apr 03, 2024

Leave a comment

More stories

What does acceptance mean?

Just now I made myself a Kakao. Here in the kitchen of the hostel, where I'm staying for a few days. My venture was almost thwarted by three intensely sizzling pieces of chicken breast spread over half the stove. A feeling of repulsion flashed through me. "Are these the vibes you're using to get your hei

Am I still valuable?

Imagine you are an entrepreneur (maybe you are?) and you have this one dream. The dream of being unattached, financially free and able to travel wherever you want. Isn't that a fabulous dream? You set everything in motion, you do and do, you reach out to many people who w

Through the ears straight into the heart

I share my journey of discovery in the areas of spirituality, personal development and relationships in the Kakao Mischa Podcast