Don Mamallacta Vicente is a yachak in his 80s. Yachak is the Kichwa word for shaman or natural healer. Another term often used in the region is curandero or ayahuasquero.
His healing powers and energies are from a different time and age and he here (Sat 14 Jun 2008) speaks about his extraordinary life as a shaman, – including paddling for a year, leaving behind a wife on the border only to find her married to another shaman, who was out to kill him, upon returning from collecting salt on the Marañon river, deep in the Peruvian jungle, far away; then finding a new wife and altogether fathering ten children and healing many peoples lives throughout his own.
There are three parts:
(Don Vicente – Speaking of his life: Part I)
(Don Vicente – Speaking of his life: Part II)
(Vicente Mamallacta – Still Going Strong)
He has lived most of his life, to the best of his abilities, as a secretive shaman who has never been much in public, let alone left his house, apart from the mission to get salt or when forced to “work for the man” or in his work as a leading elder in his community; he prefers to hide away in his little part of the hilly rain forest of the Napo region of Ecuador with his family.
However, his family and Vicente himself are coming to terms with the possibility of death within reach, not just in ayahuasca visions, and have decided to record his memories. They are here for the first time told to a camera, in Kichwa without subtitles, filmed with a little digital camera because batteries of the miniDV camera were dead and there was an extended power cut; but this is an extraordinary story that will hopefully be repeated with a better camera and with subtitles in Spanish and English one day. If not, they stand as a historical documentation of an ancient tradition, which still lives on, but not with these ancient powers and energies.
Despite the language barrier, the monologue (with interventions by two younger generations) will still give an impression of this amazing character and medicine man.
Vicente lives in a community called Santo Domingo near Archidona in the Napo region of Ecuador where his open to ayahuasca ceremonies with good hearted people for little money. A ceremony with Vicente can be bought from 10 dollars if you don’t have any more than that. If you can give USD20 or bring some sugar, salt and flour to the family you will probably make everybody happy.
Vicente can be contacted via his son, Silverio: silverio.mamallacta -at- gmail.com; and if you don’t speak/write Spanish the Mamallactas can be contacted via the colonos blog, leave a comment and we will get in touch as soon as possible.