The Kogi: From the Heart of the World – The Elder Brothers’ Warning

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The Kogi are an indigenous people living in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of northern Colombia, in South America.

They are the only civilisation to have survived the Spanish conquests and to have kept their individuality. They are perhaps the only indigenous people in the world who, because of the particular nature of their surroundings, have been able to keep themselves apart and sustain their culture inviolate. And not only that.

The one anthropologist who managed to study them in the 1940′s and 50′s concluded that though they are similar in some ways to the other Indian peoples around the Caribbean, northern Central America and south to the Andes, there are such profound differences that “in the end the Kogi stand alone”.

They have survived to this day, keeping their traditions and relying upon, and looking after, the mountain environment. They believe it is their duty to look after the mountain which they call “The Heart of the World”. They call themselves the Elder Brother and refer to the new- comers as the Younger Brother, who they believe is destroying the balance of the world.

In 1990 the Kogi decided they must speak out to the rest of the world. They had survived by keeping themselves isolated but they decided that it was time to send a message to the Younger Brother. They could see that something was wrong with their mountain, with the heart of the world. The snows had stopped falling and the rivers were not so full. If their mountain was ill then the whole world was in trouble.

The Kogi: From the Heart of the World - The Elder Brothers' Warning, 8.9 out of 10 based on 20 ratings

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  • George Thomas

    This was the beautiful movie which started my career in green education and the concept of a whole Earth full of people Caring for Life.

    I hold so much respect for this dignified beginning of the project. The Kogi people with their heart warmingly simple yet highly intelligent 14th century origins, lived high in the pristine Sierra Mountains when Europeans came and smashed it all to pieces in their ignorant search for gold ornaments. The Kogi cared deeply for nature long before today’s humans’ sad fall into industrialism and putting money even before the sacredness of life.

    But their message of ‘Caring for Life’ CAN be taught and now the project is ready to have that happen widely. It creates the highest standard of living imaginable. It will last for thousands of years when it becomes the main stream thinking of humanity.

    Do add your conscious and unswerving support, dear reader. Spread the word and celebrate the Earth, Life and People in your own way every season till 2020. See trial web site growing at, send in your comments and help wherever you can. It is designed to inspire fine human spirit and families everywhere.

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  • Carol Ricker-Bailey

    Thank you, the world of the kogi unfortunately is being killed by greed, a sin foreign to them, I assume, With simplicity, and intrigue, this doc. may be giving me a purpose, not to be a part of their demise…i will follow links below…how was the translation aquired fot this relationship to become, ever so temporary be it, so this short film could be created?

  • Bard of Ely

    This film made a huge impression on me when I saw it on TV all those years back. I have followed what I can of these amazing people since. I also published this article:

  • http://none Michael Kinsey

    Pretty slick, the questioner ask only questions and shows the culture of a middle ages European dark age. The Jesuit conquistador shows the Catholic spread of Christianity. But the Mamma condemning digging in the earth must have been doing some digging themselves to get all that gold. They were robbed of everything they considered valuable by gold hungry Europeans , and they want their gold back. The one really interesting thing is that love of gold is really ancient and universal, by both the elder and younger brother. I personally, have never felt a fascination for gold, but I am an authentic Christian and would not have stolen their gold. The global warming scam was given a boost by the Mamma’s lament, but I am not buying it. They just want their gold back.

    • Joe Simms

      You might be right. Or you may be ignorant of a culture you know almost nothing about.
      Based on my experience with the Kogi they value gold not for the reasons our culture does. Kogi don’t place financial value on things, as they don’t have currency, etc. Gold is valued for spiritual reasons, as opposed to “little brother’s” material obsession with it.

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  • susan yee

    I saw this years ago (borrowed from a library) and it made an immense impact on my life. For years I forgot the title and I’m glad I remember it. I reposted on FB and asked ‘friends’ to watch and share if it speaks to them. It is so important!