The spirit of the Baku shaman has flown away

Dona Baku, one of the only women shamans and leaders of Amazonia, has just joined the spirits of the forest. Her entire Satéré-Mawé tribe is in mourning. It was the day after the red moon, caused by the lunar eclipse, that she left. With her, it is an invaluable knowledge of the jungle and an example for thousands of indigenous women who disappeared.

It was when she was twelve that her talent was detected by her grandfather, who was himself a shaman. Dona Baku followed the teaching of the pajés tuxaua (shamans) and let the transcendental sensitivity grow in her.

She has contributed greatly to the establishment of a matriarchal community, which is quite rare among Amazonian tribes. In 1996, she co-founded the indigenous Satéré-Mawé women association, which produces numerous organic jewellery distributed by DUMATO. Dona Baku has worked to preserve the traditions and knowledge of her tribe. While many members of her community had emigrated with her to Manaus in the disappointed hope of improving their livelihoods, she managed to convince them to return to their original lands to live free and in harmony with nature. They were able to develop economic activities such as ethnotourism or handicrafts, and found schools of which she was also a teacher.

Her knowledge of the plants and spirits of the forest, her leadership, her humility and her kindness allowed her to take care of her community and to ensure its unity, not hesitating to arbitrate disagreements. Also a midwife, Dona Baku cared for most of the births of her tribe.

She died at the age of 65. The tribe buried her next to her mother in the middle of the forest. Thanks to her and the spirit of the forest, the tradition will continue. His shamanistic powers were passed on to two of her seven children.

The shaman Baku and her grandchildren. DR – Dumato

The shaman was buried in the jungle near her mother. DR – Dumato