Dec 31, 2011
Our agenda on this day was to visit a local Siona community located 2 hours east of our lodge. It was another long boat ride to get there.
The community clan is called Fondadorde Clan. There are several clans that comprise the community. And there are several communities within the rainforest. Their community establishment and social structure is not unlike the First Nation communities in Canada. They have an elected leader but their religious head is the Shaman who is most revered.
The community is quite modern. Access to satellite TV and solar generated electricity prevalent (Note: most of the infrastructure is donated by local Petroleum firm).
The Shaman’s grand daughter making Cassava bread for us.
I had brought along a cowboy hat all the way from Calgary as part of a cultural exchange with local natives. The White Cowboy hat is a symbol of Calgary’s warmth and friendship and is used for all official celebrations.
The local Shaman (Senor Victoriano) gives his own personal prayer bead in return. This I heard later has never happened before as the prayer bead is considered as a special Talisman and only given by a Shaman to another Shaman. Guess I should feel lucky. But still. Staying away from the Casinos. Nobody beats the house!
A Very Happy Cowboy Shaman indeed!
Acknowledgement: Riley and McCormick generously donated the White Hat to Glenbow Museum for this ceremony. As an active member of Glenbow’s young professional initiative Pivot, I was able to act as a representative of the museum in presenting this White Hat to the Ecuadorean people. My sincere gratitude on behalf of the Ecuadorean people and everyone else on this journey to both Riley and McCormick and Glenbow Museum for their support.