Meet GardenAdvice.co.uk`s newest member,
Orlando, a Lamista Indian from the rain forests of Peru
As one of the last Lamista Tribe Healers Orlando carries the knowledge
the rain forests, the plants, the stories and the legends handed down
from generation to generation. As the Lamista Tribe move out of the
rain forest and into the cities there is a danger that this information
might to lost forever.
Orlando lives in a world that fosters different values to the western
world we live in. A world were trees become respected friends and the
death of a tree is treated in the same way we would treat a death in
our own family.
GardenAdvice have embarked on a joint project with Orlando and the
Lamista Tribe to catalogue all the tribal information and knowledge.
Over the next 12 months the GardenAdvice team will be publishing the
stories and the legends about the plants, people and creators from the
heart of the rain forest. As our series of articles unfold over the coming months you will be
able to ask Orlando questions and provide him with feed back by email
translated by the GardenAdvice team firstname.lastname@example.org
The story of Orlando.
Orlando was born in the Peruvian rainforest. Son to don Llony Manuel
and doña Leonila, he was born near the village of Chuzata in the
region of San Martin on the 24th of april 1966. Both his parents
were Lamista Indians, but tragically his mother died when he was 3 years
old and his father followed her into death just 3 years later. Orlando
was left alone at the age of 6 years, along with his little 4 year old
Orlando and his brother were very fortunate in being adopted by his
grandparents, like his parents, his grandparents were very poor. So poor
that Orlando did not own a pair of shoes until he was 12 years old when
he managed to buy a pair after earning some money working very hard
harvesting vegetables. Before this he had walked the world entirely
barefoot and with hardly any clothes. He ate what the rainforest had
to offer, fruit, vegetables, fish and animals (often monkeys), and he
helped his grandfather, who was a Curandero (Healer).
often took Orlando with him on his trips where they would search for
healing and spiritual plants whilst his grandfather told him a lot about
the ancestors and the curanderos. This gave Orlando considerable knowledge
of the flora and fauna of the rainforest at a very early age. click
hear to read more about Orlando's life.
The story of Orlandos Ancestors
Orlando is a descendant of the tribes of the Chancas, who many years
ago lived in the Andes together with the Huanca and Inca. The Chancas
were one of the nine cultures living in the region within the period
between 900 and 1400 A.D., known as the fourth period. The history described
here has been passed down from mouth to mouth for generations and it
starts at the end of the fourth period when the Inca were starting to
dominate large parts of South America.
There had been many wars between
the Chancas and the Incas but the Inca were finally getting the upper hand.
In the Western Calendar it was the middle 14th century to the early
part of the 15th century and the Spanish had yet to arrive in the region.
According to the story told by Orlandos grandfather the Incas
were steadily subjugating the surrounding tribes and so some heads of
the tribe of the Chancas took the decision to abandon their homes and
the area. The area where they used to live was between the Pampas and
Apurímac rivers and covered the departments of Apurímac,
Ayacucho and Huancavelica. This area became more and more dominated
by the Incas and so the Chancas left for different destinations in Peru.
They left in small groups heading for unknown destinations.
orlando`s ancestors went in the northern direction towards the
rainforest, they went over the mountains and through the populated
part of Ayachuca, sometimes forced to fight battles as they went. They
changed direction and went north through the modern day departments
of Cajamarca, Chachapoyas and Moyobamba. Finally they arrived at a quiet
uninhabited place where they settled down.(click
hear to see trail map)
They cleared parts of the forest and started to plant their crops in
order to provide food for themselves. After they had been living there
for some time the head of the families gathered together in order to
find a name for the place they had settled. They called it Lamas and
later the Quechua speaking Chancas called themselves Lamistas. The name
still persists with a city called Lamas to the south east of Moyobamba
Not everyone stayed however because little by little arguments grew
into conflicts and conflicts grew into tribal fighting. Before long
the Incas also arrived at this place and several wars broke out in which
the Incas gained control over the area. The ancestors decided once again
to leave their homes in order to find another unknown and uninhabited
They crossed an area inhabited by the Suchiches indians. The Suchiches
invited the Lamistas to live in their area to form a bigger village
in order to better defend themselves. But the Lamistas explained that
they wanted their own place so they built a village they called Mauca
Llacta (also called Isango Pampa) about 2500 yards from the villages
of the Suchiches.
Nowadays it is close to the city of Tarapoto and is
known as the "la Banda de Shilcayo". The Chancas arrived at
this place in approximately the year 1700.
Here they lived in peace for many years until the Spanish started to
conquer the area. The Spanish defeated and enslaved the Suchiches and
the Chancas who had been living in Muaca Llacta anticipating a similar
fate rebelled against the Spanish but no avail. Once more they were
forced to abandon their houses and so they moved deeper into the rainforest
seeking out unknown places.
To continue the story about the rain forest plants and creators click
on the small images on the above right hand side of the screen
Next month we will be looking in depth at the plants the lamistas
use for healing and spiritual rituals. Mean while Orlando is avalible
to answer your questions by email email@example.com
Become a GardenAdvice member
an receive Orlando's monthly rain forest diaries by e-mail once a month.
Picture and text provided by Orlando. Peru. Translation by GardenAdvice