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Development Cooperation Handbook/Stories/Muisca Indigenous Heritage

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Recommencing from the ancestral call for a universal identity
Bogota', Colombia , May 2011
Project managed by the Secretaría de Integración Social of the Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá


We went to visit the community centre of Cabildo de Bosa, on the periphery of Bogotá, where activities of education and nutrition security go alongside the rediscovery of ancestral values and the re-establishment of cultural identities.

An estimated 30 million people lived in South America before a series of official documents or papal bulls, as they are called, were issued by the Pope between 1452 and 1493 whereby Christian monarchs were authorised to take possession of non-Christian lands. This paved the way for the European colonisation of the Americas. Since the 1530s, both people and the natural resources of South America have been mercilessly exploited by the conquistadors and ethnic Americans have been massacred by wars, new diseases and forced labor.

The Spaniards forcibly or amicably converted the survivors to Christianity and as a result native religions got largely wiped out of South America. Although indigenous and mestizos populations suffered social exclusion and even self-inflicted inferiority complexes, still they preserved the ancestral values hidden within, in a secret receptory of their personality. However, now this spiritual heritage is becoming an unexpected resource for a cultural and political regeneration.

The Government of Bogotá formally recognises the importance of cultural diversity and, through its Department of Social Integration, it supports minority ethnic groups, indigenous as well as of African origin, in their effort to re-establish traditional institutions. In the community of Cabildo de Bosa, the recovery of ancestral memory goes along with increased political participation and community service in education and food security.

One of the principles that animate the recovery of ancestral memory is that spiritual values are universal and that all civilisations must cooperate in restoring the human richness we have lost by following a predatory and exploitative model of development. The political implications of rediscovering spiritual values go beyond the local communities that are animating workshops for reviving ancestral memory. In Colombia, intercultural dialogue and reconciliation are proving to be regenerative not only for indigenous groups, but also for all those trying to embark on a new path back to one's own lost soul.

Contents

Video clipsEdit

See alsoEdit

  Issue 7 ⇒ What is the relationship between "Global" and "Local" agendas and responsibilities?

 Muisca people
 History of South America
 Bosa (Bogotá)
 Cabildo Mayor del Pueblo Muisca
 Cultural heritage
 Aguirre, the Wrath of God - A film written and directed by Werner Herzog. The story follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Orinoco and Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado


 Bogotá Muisca
 Cabildo Muisca Bosa
 Secretaría de Integración Social, Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá


Related storiesEdit

 Los derechos de la hospitalidad para las personas sin hogar - Bogotà (1) -  playlist
 Villas Del Sol - Barrio Rafael Uribe Uribe (2) -  playlist
 Community at Work - Ciudad Bolivar - Jan Pablo II (1) -  playlist
 Responsible Development - Varanasi -  playlist
 Youth & Heritage - Sweida -  playlist
 Preservation and Development - MAM - Damascus -  playlist


External linksEdit

 Política Pública Distrital para el reconocimiento,garantía,protección y restablecimiento de derechos de los pueblos Indígenas

 Poderes de la Mimesis: Identidad y curación en la Comunidad Indígena Muisca de Bosa.
 Los Muiscas un Pueblo de Reconstrucción. Santafé de Bogotá. Alcaldía Mayor

EU Documents
 Cultural heritage policies in EU
 Culture in EU development cooperation
 Thematic briefing note on the external cooperation projects in the field of cultural heritage