Juan Tama de la Estrella

Juan Tama de la Estrella est un leader du peuple Nasa, il a obtenu la reconnaissance de la Couronne espagnole au nom des territoires indigènes. Sa figure était déifiée et de nombreuses legends se sont tissées autour de lui.

Juan Tama de la Estrella

In the middle of the 17th century, he led political negotiations with the colonizers of Quito, obtaining the recognition of four cacicazgos and the dialogue with the Spanish Crown on issues such as the payment of taxes, land titles and the supervision of the peonazgo ( peonage) in haciendas.

Four cacicazgos have been recognized by the Spanish crown:

  • Cacicazgo de Toribío, to the north, which included the districts of San Francisco, Toribío, Tacueyó and the Rio Palo valley.
  • Cacicazgo de Pitayó, in the center, with the towns of Pitayó, Jambaló, Caldono, Quichaya and Vitoyó.
  • Cacicazgo de Togoima, south of Tierradentro, with the petitscacicazagos of Yutuc (Calderas), Apirama, Yaquiva, Pisimbalá and Ambosta, later the partialities of Cohetando, Schitoris (Ricaurte) and Santa Rosa were founded.
  • Cacicazgo de Vitoncó, north of Tierradentro, made up of the districts of Tálaga, Mesa de Tóez, Buila and Suin. This cacicazgo was recognized as the main nucleus of the Paeces.

With the territorial recognition of the four cacicazgos, Juan Tama continued his political work within his community by achieving the unification of the Paeces against the desires of Spanish domination.

With this political goal, Juan Tama claimed a supernatural origin to acquire a sacred space given by the religious feeling of his people and thus a power on the territory. He became known as Juan Tama de la Estrella, who possessed the divine gifts of his grandmother, La Estrella, and had appeared floating in the lagoon among the vines, being rescued by shamans.

For the Paeces, this leader was the guide in the search for the balance between the divine and the natural. Its authority, recognized and respected, enabled it to establish two rules for the interaction of the indigenous people as a community with other groups:

“The dominator's laws are contradictory because they are made by the exploiters to favor, when in fact what they seek is to be exploited. Despite this, these laws can be used by the Indian in his favor, when the exploiters are divided or against them ”.

In 1702, Juan Tama on territorial autonomy

(Los paeces)… "Will firmly oppose and, in any event, dispossess the settlers who take their land as the owners that they are ... both in this case, and with the land given to them in possession, they defend with the documents given to them and fight until they take them clean ”

The Cabildos, which were originally formed to concentrate the natives in a certain area in order to facilitate their indoctrination and tax collection, were used by the natives to maintain their own forms of organization, authority figures such as the governor and gendarme to work under the direction of the traditional doctor.

Selon une legend, après avoir laissé à son peuple les lignes directrices de la coexistence et de la défense contre les colonisateurs, il est retourné dans la lagune où il est né en promettant d’y retourner si nécessaire : "I will go and live in the lagoon, I will never die".

Juan Tama de la Estrella

The Juan Tama Lagoon is located in the páramo de Moras, indigenous resguardo of Mosoco, municipality of Belarcázar, Cauca department, Colombia. It is considered a sacred place, with rituals of consecration and purification of the sticks of command, symbol of indigenous authority, since from this place was born, according to legend, Juan Tama and he returned to rest in its waters. with his companion.