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Peru Map

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Orlando's grandfather

Orlando's grandfather


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 from

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 orlando@gardenadvice.co.uk



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 brother.

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).


His grandfather 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 Orlando’s 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 Orlando’s 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 place.
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 orlando@gardenadvice.co.uk


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



Click on the links below to learn about plants and legends of the Lamista tribes
Bading Place Bobinzana Chiric Sanango
Fallen Tree Yellow and Black Frog Gergon Sacha
Mijano Pepperplant Village









Orlando Orlando

Email Orlando a question about the rainforest




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