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These four serpentine votive figures, with whiskers and small front legs, likely represent a species of river catfish known as the capitán de la sabana. Similar creatures encircle these bowls, together evoking a watery landscape of lagoons such as those found in the páramos (high altitude moorlands found only in the American tropics).
Páramos are a rare and unique ecosystem. Sixty percent of species found there are endemic, and they play a key role in combating climate change. Its plants and mosses act like sponges, trapping moisture from the foggy air, storing it in the soil, and releasing it gradually, forming the great rivers of Colombia. The Páramo Chingaza, east of Bogota, provides the city with 70 percent of its water.