"The prophecies of the Andean world announced for our time the emergence of bridge-men (chakarunas), people with a vocation to establish gateways between" worlds ": material versus spiritual world, different cultural worlds, phenomenological world versus archetypal (numen) world. [...] Bridge-men come from opposite sides, from the western world and from the indigenous world: the bridge can be crossed in both directions."
Excerpt from the article “The time of Chakarunas”, Dr. Jacques Mabit
We have gathered here a small biography of some master healers who transmitted to the doctors and psychologists of Takiwasi Center their wisdom and experience in the proper management of modified states of consciousness, plants and other practices of Traditional Amazonian Medicine, for self-awareness and healing. Follow the link to see the current team of Takiwasi: Therapeutic Team.
Aquilino Chujandama - Peru
Chazutino Indigenous born in 1910. He is from the town of Llucanayacu on the banks of the Huallaga River. He tells that he spent 10 months in the jungle, being a young man, in a school of traditional medicine. There he began to heal and devoted himself to it all his life, especially giving purge plants, with his “ikaros” (healing songs) and “sopladas” (blows). Very loved and respected in the town of Chazuta, his descendants are also healers (Winston Tangoa, Orlando Chujandama). He accompanied the preparation and foundation of Takiwasi from 1986 to November 1993, when he died. He was always accompanied by his wife Doña Alegría who, although discreet, knew a lot of traditional medicine.
Luis Culquitón - Peru
Mestizo ayahuasquero shaman, born in Iquitos in 1949. There he founded, in a land of 13 hectares located near the town of Manacamiri, the Kapitari Center, where, for more than 30 years he has been using ayahuasca for healing work of different types. Its center integrates the work of recovery of the ancestral memory, the revaluation of the rich patrimonies that are related to the indigenous legacies of the Amazon and the implementation of projects with different communities. From revelations obtained through the visions he has developed, among other projects, integral fish farms, seed systems, paints with vegetable dyes.
Walter Cuñachi - Peru
In addition to being a “Vegetalista” Healer, Walter Cuñachi has been an Awajún (Aguaruna) Leader and Master of Toé (Datura). Native of the town of Nazareth, province of Bagua, Department of Amazonas. At the age of 30 he began to work with Toé, especially to correct bone problems, such as fractures and dislocations. In his passage through Takiwasi with his wife, Doña Isabel, he has taught us new and important practices of traditional Amazonian medicine. Among them are purgahuasca, ginger purge and toe. The ceremony of "Datem umaja imutai waimaktasa" or purgahuasca, in Spanish, is one of the therapeutic procedures of the Awajún culture that since November 1998 was included as a practice within the therapeutic protocol of Takiwasi Center. He became blind because of diabetes, nevertheless he kept working as a healer with the help of his family until his death in 2017. He had a leader’s soul that led him to perform as a political leader in the defense of his people.
Watch video: The Toé intake
Read the article: Contribution Of The Awajún Culture To The Drug Addiction Treatment
Sacha Domenech - Argentina
Clinical psychologist, he is the founder and coordinator of the health department of the association Runa Wasi (Buenos Aires), Center for the treatment of people with addiction and psychological problems, HIV-positives and research on aboriginal medicine. Graduated in Clinical Psychology at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, he worked as socio-therapeutic operator of the UOMO Project (Italy). He spent two years studying Franciscan spirituality and theology within the Franciscan Order of minors friars. He works as a transpersonal psychotherapist and dedicated to problems of addiction and personality disorders. He is a member of the Inter-American Council on Indigenous Spirituality (CISEI). He works in the construction of a bridge between the Christian and the native’s worldview.
Juan Flores - Peru
Asháninka healing master, native of Rio Pachitea. He works as Ayahuasquero Healer, Purguero and Director of the Center for Concentration of Medicinal Plants Mayantuyacu. The Mayantuyaku Center, founded in 2000, is located about 3 hours from the city of Pucallpa, in an area of 100 hectares of primary forest. In this center the aim is to rescue Amazonian Traditional Medicine and give priority to the training of apprentices in the field, especially children, young people and women. Master Juan Flores receives visitors and residents for cures or teachings, whether indigenous, mestizo or Westerns.
Roberto Masías - Peru
Master healer belonging to the ethnic group Ese eja. The Ese eja are a Peruvian ethnic group that has been decimated in the rubber era. Only approx. 700 survivors are still living nowadays. Don Roberto belongs to the native community Infierno, located in the Madre de Dios Department, which is one of the only three communities Ese eja in Peru. Don Roberto, a healer with great knowledge of plants and animals, is a specialist in the treatment of children and swelling steam. His learning began at age 31 in the field of traditional eyamitecua medicine.
Guillermo Ojanama - Peru
He belonged to the Chazutino indigenous group. He was a talkative man, very open and welcoming. He was Curandero, Purguero and Dieta Specialist. He has been healing for more than 60 years, mainly using diets and ayahuasca. He could be usually seen walking beside his patients going to the jungle to diet. He was a living encyclopaedia of the Amazonian medicinal plants. He has supported the Takiwasi Center since 1986. He passed away in 2019. We present a testimony of Guillermo Ojanama that has been extracted from the book Chazuta and his Wonderful Wisdom: “I learned to take plants when I was 12 years old (...). All this time I have taken and I have got no disease”. ” On the intake of plants: “First you take Yawarpanga, the vomitive. I give a spoonful and a half to the ladies, but a man takes five spoonful. They have to drink plenty of water. At 15 minutes, and then all day, they vomit. At five o'clock in the afternoon I take my pipe, put tobacco and cinnamon in it, and I blow on the head, on the feet, on his hands, on his stomach, on his back, and after that the person recovers strengths and calms down. Then comes the ayahuasca and, the next day, the Sanango. We have a lot of respect for the plants."
Watch video: The initiation diet of Don Guillermo
Ignacio Pérez - Peru
Pillar of Takiwasi, he worked for about fifteen years at our side. Don Ignacio made of force in the face of adversity an essential virtue. It brought together in this amazing character the force of nature, delicacy of heart, power, extreme sensitivity, and the sweet soul of a child. His science included the use of perfumes, camphor and tobacco. In his passage through Takiwasi we were able to observe and learn from Master Ignacio how he acted with different instruments: perfumes, tobacco and water spirits. Its main ritual consisted in preparing the person by eventually making him ingest tobacco or perfumes or plants associated with them, then take him to the river where he was asked to lie in the water, with his head under water, to do a cleansing, purification and reinforcement work. He passed away in 2009.
Watch video (English subtitles): The ritual of master Ignacio
Humberto Piaguaje - Colombia
Senior Counselor or Elder Men of the UMIYAC (Union of Yageceros Doctors of Colombia). Originally from the town of Buena Vista, Siona community, Putumayo River, Don Humberto lives on the beach in front of Buena Vista. A calm, kind man, from a family of Taitas, he is highly respected among Colombian natives. His father, Panchito Piaguaje, was a famous Taita who started taking ayahuasca at the age of 5 and visited Takiwasi in 2001 at 85 years of age. Humberto's son, Sandro, follows in the footsteps of the family tradition.
Adonías Quintero - Colombia
He was born in 1959. He is an Inga native from the Putumayo Region (Orito and Puerto Asís), Colombia. He is a Taita with more than 40 years of experience in the use of Yagé or Ayahuasca. In Colombia to be recognized as Taita (father in Quechua) means to possess a deep knowledge and wisdom on yagé use and medicinal plants use.
Alejandro Salas - Peru
Healing doctor of the Peruvian Amazonian tradition belonging to the Lamista cultural group, located in the proximity of the city of Tarapoto, north-eastern jungle of Peru. His grandfather and his father were healers and from an early age he learned from them the first notions of this art and his first knowledge of plants. He undertook his work as a medical healer after a serious illness that he himself had to cure. He began a period of intensive study of traditional medicine which he practiced for more than 50 years. He died in 2016.
Winston Tangoa - Peru
Healer from the town of Chazuta, he started his process of learning Traditional Medicine with his grandfather Mr. Aquilino Chujandama, a native of the town of Llucanayaku, when he was 14 years old. His learning has continued under Master Juan Flores, who has taught him how to handle various plants. Since 1995 he has worked in the Takiwasi Center as a Therapeutic Assistant, dedicated to the production of remedies with plants, “dietas” and seminars. He is currently married and father of four children. In 2004 he founded the Situlli Center, located in the village of Llucanayacu, on the banks of the Huallaga River, not far from Chazuta.
Solon Tello - Peru
Solón Tello Lozano, was born in Nauta on November 16, 1918. Ayahuasquero master who for more than 60 years dedicated himself to this practice. His first teacher was Daniel Soplin. Don Solón traveled by river to the interior of the Amazon to undertake learning “dietas” that lasted 8 to 10 days every two years. He was one of the main promoters of Amazonian Traditional Medicine in Peru between 1980 and 2000. He could call the attention of people for the humble and effective practice in the healing work he carried out in the city of Iquitos. His well-known and good medical practice led him to be summoned several times by the Takiwasi Center to serve ayahuasca and other plants. He had the patience to teach his medicine with his leisurely pace, transmitting his ikaros and those taught to him by his teachers. He passed away in 2010 at 92 years of age.
Watch video: Heir - transmission of traditional medical knowledge
Read the article: The transmission of traditional medical knowledge
Edgardo Tuanama - Peru
Native of the quechua-lamista indigenous community of Santa Cruz, district of San José de Sisa, Department of San Martin. Apprentice healer at the Takiwasi Center. He received a healer's inheritance from his great-grandfather, an indigenous healer. He then consolidated it in the community of Chazuta and exercised it since 2010 in the Takiwasi Center.
Listen to his ikaros: Ikaros Edgardo Tuanama