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Exploring the Wisdom of Yagé: “The ceremony is only 50% of the work”

Taita Giovanni Moriano

Traditional doctor of yagé medicine

About Taita Giovanni Moriano

Taita Giovanni (born Luis Evelio Moriano) is a traditional healer from the Awá community of Putumayo, Colombia. Taita Giovanni has been serving yagé for over 30 years and founded his maloka, “Inkal Awá” (“people of the river and the mountain”), in Medellín 25 years ago.

Over the years, the medicine path has allowed Taita Giovanni to travel and hold ceremonies abroad in Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, El Salvador, Panamá, and Ecuador. In addition to healing with yagé, Taita Giovanni is trained in other traditional practices such as acupuncture and eastern massage. Also known by his spiritual name, Arvani, which translates to “keeper of nature,” Taita Giovanni is working to restore his ancestral lands in Putumayo into a natural reserve.

In this interview, we explore the ways in which yagé is used inside and outside of the jungle, the training process of becoming a taita and the prominence of charlatan shamans, and the pre-and post-ceremony work that’s necessary to receive the benefits of the medicine.

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