Rebirth of the Nasa Women of Toribío

The Nasa people of Toribío, a municipality in the department of Cauca in southwest Colombia, believe that their Wët Wët Fsi´zenxi (wellbeing in Nasa dialect) is determined by the relation between the cosmos, the spirits, nature and the Nasa people in the territory.

Armed conflict has disrupted their Wët Wët Fsi´zenxi; affecting women and children the most. In 2017, to support rehabilitation activities of the Collective Reparation Plan implemented by the government, Blumont started working with Nasa leaders, elders (Thë walas) and women to promote community rehabilitation and emotional recovery in women. Each activity carried out with the community followed traditional Nasa customs and beliefs.

More than 40 Nasa women from the reservations of Tacueyó, San Francisco and Toribío participated in twelve meetings called the Mingas de Pensamiento during which they recognized the effects of armed conflict on their lives, families, communities and territory. They then worked to transform their pain into stories of resilience and recovery, and performed sacred rituals with the Thë walas.

Women also worked with the national and municipal government, traditional authorities and elders to build a new Tulpa de Pensamiento, an ancestral house for rituals, which is now available to them without any restrictions. The tulpa was inaugurated in December 2017 in a collective ritual that included offerings to the spirits in the Sacred Tree, and traditional dances which strengthened the women’s bond with their territory.

The women referred to what they went through together as a rebirth. In the words of Alicia Quiguanas, one of the participants:

“I feel like new, today I can speak openly and before I didn’t because I thought it wasn’t right. Little by little I learned that us, Nasa women, can speak about our emotions, our spirituality, and about what we learned from the elders. In this tulpa we slowly recovered our confidence in ourselves and we are today able to honor those that are no longer with us.”

The story of the rebirth of the Nasa women is told in a documentary that remains as a legacy of their past, present and future.



This community rehabilitation activity was part of the Closing Gaps program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The program, now in its ninth year, strengthens institutional and community capacities to improve assistance to victims of displacement.


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