Shamans and Apprentices Gathering in Kwamalasamutu

Date: 
Monday, February 16, 2015

Dutch version can be read on the ACT Suriname website.

In January, shamans from various villages across Suriname’s rainforest interior partook in a two-day evaluation of ACT Suriname’s Shamans and Apprentices Program. In addition to the presence of indigenous shamans, Ramon Awenkina—a maroon traditional healer from Gonini Mofo who specializes in bone-setting—joined the meeting.

The traditional healers were in unanimous agreement that the ACT program must be prioritized and further developed. According to the attendees, the program has made an enormous contribution to the development and transfer of knowledge to younger generations.

The shamans proposed tests for the students in each of the villages where the program is run: Peleletepu (Tepu), Kwamalasamutu, Apetina (Puleowime), Gonini Kiki Mofo, and the Brazilian village Urunai. These tests could be administered in partnership with Western-oriented organizations like the National Herbarium of Suriname. In this way, we can better measure the transfer of knowledge from shaman to apprentice.

Participants also discussed the importance of information sharing between villages, and made plans for several visits during which shamans will exchange knowledge.

The next Shaman's and Apprentices Gathering is scheduled to take place in Tepu in June.