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Mon, 05/16/2022 – 18:02
Colombia is home to more than 1900 species of birds—the most of any country, and comprising approximately twenty percent of all bird diversity worldwide. Birds have social lives that are revealed in ancient artworks and in the mythology of contemporary Indigenous Colombian cultures.
“In Kaggaba culture, birds were originally people,” explains Francisco Chimontero Nuibita, a Kaggaba elder. “Their father, Ziukukui, wanted to leave messengers for humans, so he decided to turn some people into birds. My grandmother taught me this, explaining that when the birds sing, they are telling us something, and that I should learn to identify each bird song and the different messages they send. There are birds that announce the right time for the harvest of particular fruit, or the coming of a visitor. There are birds that sing to guide you on the right path, or to warn you that you are lost.”