Sacred Water & Sustainable Huni Kuin Cooperative

Sacred Water & Sustainable Huni Kuin Cooperative

Fabiano MAIA SALES (Brazil)

Acre, Brazil

I want to speak of severe ecological and economic developments, water contamination and destabilisation, as well as possible actions for change in the Huni Kuin lands of Acre, and present you an ancient myth and a chant about Xaca and the sacredness of water. Xaca is the pajé (shaman) of the water, it is a very sacred spirit in the shape of a crab who lives in the river. A (mythical) crab was pregnant and went fishing by the river. She was struck by a thunder and her human son was born. Xaca took the child and raised it in the water. The child was created by the shaman and spirit of the water. The Huni Kuin boy became the guardian of earth taking care of the relationship between human, nature, and the astral—he is the spirit of integration. We came from water and everything depends on water. Water is not made by humans nor by God. It is already God. Water is an element of nature and human beings have to learn with and from it and know how to use it. If not, we harm ourselves and all life. The contact with civilization has increased our consumption. We are using oil for engines and food, shampoo, laundry soap, batteries, creating plastic waste, intoxicating and harming the health of water, animals, plants and humans. Today we can no longer drink water from the Jordão, like when I was a child. The river sometimes dries out and has no fish. I am 29 years old and have seen two large floods, when we had to move the village to the top of the mountain. Dryness and floods are becoming more extreme. Yet, we can adapt to changes, learn from other cultures and technologies and integrate them in our culture. For this, we plan to create a Huni Kuin cooperative as a political, ecological and economic organization that unites the powers of Huni Kuin people. We want to collectively organize our land, finance, food, handicrafts, culture, copyright of our medicines and plants for my peoples to become sustainable entrepreneurs and disseminate information about tools and technologies. Today we increasingly depend on money and the bolsa familia. This trade and the resulting debt destroy us. We want to create a green bank and produce and sell our own products, scents, oil, soap, to create our own consumption and trade for all of our 34 villages.  The money is used to invest in everyone, in nature and sustainability; it provides access to shared resources and land. The cooperative is connected to the world, as a political actor for self-representation. It is a place to conduct research of our plants. It is a spiritual work and mobilizes our traditional forces and knowledge. We will cultivate our medicines in our own hands. We envision a garden of nature (nature reserve) that maintains biodiversity, decreases pollution and contamination, with special codes that are read only by indigenous that are the voices of natural codes and well prepared to meet any demand of nature and men. We need to save nature and life from the great tragedy of the present and future. It is time to find real solutions. Haux



My name is Fabiano Maia Sales, or Txana Bane Huni Kuin from Novo Natal, Jordão, Acre in the Amazon. I am 29 years old. I am an ancestral indigenous healer, musician, one of the leading forces and historian representing the Huni Kuin traditions and culture of the Jordão region to Europeans. I am the son of the Huni Kuin Sia Kaxinawá, the chief of the Huni Kuin in the Jordão region. As child and during my whole life I was introduced to the chants, oral histories, and work with plants and other medicines of the Amazon rain forest, and today continue to engage with these traditions, expanding also the exchange of knowledge between Europa and Jordão, the spiritual, ecological and the political.

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