Ancestral Wisdom Equality and Duality

Pre-Hispanic and contemporary indigenous societies understand the cosmos as a continuum. 

One of the guiding principles is that of duality, and thus of equality. The cosmos is understood in balancing pairs, both necessary for the equilibrium and proper functioning of the universe. 

Day, night; feminine, masculine; life, death are just examples of the principle of duality. Nothing is above or below. Following this logic, indigenous societies understand that all beings in the world are interrelated and interdependent. Plants, animals and men need each other to continue existing. 

Examples of equality are seen throughout pre-Hispanic art. The nations that lived in what is now modern-day Colombia had developed an advance collaboration and trading system. Goods and laborers were exchanged or borrowed. For example, goldsmiths would wander between chieftains in order to benefit communities with no goldsmiths. Carriers, people who would trek the Andes in order to deliver messages and goods, were respected for their noble and demanding task. Both men, women and highly ranked members of society would act as carriers too. 

Men and women served as priests and priestesses and even if there was and still is a traditional gender role division, women are respected and revered for their ability to give life and are considered wise members of society. In fact, the Wayúu are a matriarchal society and pre-Hispanic societies worshipped Inti (the Sun) and Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) as their two most important deities. A fact which illustrates the principle of duality and the equality between feminine and masculine, the sun gives life and the Earth provides life. Today, the concept of Inti and Pacha Mama has translated into uttermost respect for the environment.