Since time immemorial Yawanawa people have lived in harmony with nature on the banks of the Gregorio river in the Amazonian region that concentrates the greatest biodiversity on the planet. In this rich habitat, their ancestors developed a vast knowledge of the healing plants of the forest and a worldview of great spiritual wisdom.
Their contact with western man happened a little more than a hundred years ago, very violently, initially with enslavement by the rubber barons and later by foreign protestant missionaries that forbid indigenous culture and spirituality. At the end of the last century, the Yawanawa regained the rights to their lands, drove away the missionaries and since then have been leading a process of cultural and spiritual revival that has crossed national boundaries and today fascinates the world.
The Yawa Festival is of major significance in this process, and has been held annually since 2001. Initially designed to restore and strengthen traditional culture among the natives, it quickly attracted international attention, and represents today an important milestone in the revival of the Amazonian ancestral cultures, serving as an example for several other tribes to follow the same path.
The traditional village where first contact was made is today a space dedicated exclusively to spirituality. Known as the Sacred Village, it is home to the burial grounds of their ancestors, a garden with more than 2,700 varieties of medicinal plants and is where the initiation of their spiritual leaders is carried out through isolation and plant diets.
Messengers of Yawanawa spirituality currently lead ceremonies in various capitals of Brazil and abroad, sharing the magic of this enchanted people through their ancestral medicines and exceptional musicality.