TUMACO

 

 

A series of photographs taken in the afro-colombian municipality of Tumaco, located on the Colombian pacific coast.

Lélé, Tumaco 2017

Crocs girl, Tumaco 2017

Florida, Tumaco 2017

Florida, Tumaco 2017

Florida, Tumaco 2017

Florida, Tumaco 2017

Florida, Tumaco 2017

Florida, Tumaco 2017

Here is a look at the people in the rural area and their working life on the fringes of the conflict. These women, at their level, are also resisting the violence that is spreading in the region by offering their know-how to their isolated communities.

 


San Luis de Robles is a small village in Tumaco. Robles is one of the most problematic areas in Tumaco. There, armed groups come into direct contact with the drug trade and compete for the monopoly of coca cultivation. In the midst of the clashes, the population tries to keep going.
The portraits of the women of Robles highlight the specificities of Afro-Colombian culture on the Pacific coast. They underline the role of women in the perpetuation of rites and customs. Through the practice of their art and know-how, they ensure the trans- mission of a tradition. This cultural resistance is an obstacle to the isolation of these communities, which are among the first victims of the conflict between armed groups and drug traffickers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"YO TENGO QUE DAR VIDA"


My mother and grandmother were midwives. As the seventh surviving daughter of a family of 17 brothers, I am the midwife and first nurse in the village of San Luis Robles, with more than 364 deliveries in the community. The plants I use for care are altamis, mint, basil and boiled garlic water. To alleviate the pain of the first deliveries, I sing a melody:

 


Que tiene esa mujer, que yo no pueda darle, dime que tiene ella que yo, que yo no pueda darle, hay dímelo dímelo, dime que tiene ella que yo, que yo no pueda darle.

 

 

 

 

 

SINGING GIVES ME LIFE.

Since I'm 9 years old I've been singing, I learned from my grandmother that I used to accompany her on the velorios (funeral wakes). Singing is a fa- milial tradition. In the past, we didn't fear the loss of the tradition, it was part of everyday life: children wanted to do as their parents did.
People dedicated themselves to playing music in the evenings, with traditional rounds and games, it was our way of enjoying ourselves".
"The fundamental when we sing is the drink and the drum. If the drum doesn't sound good, the singer doesn't sing well. If there is no aguar- diente (brandy) at the velorio (funeral ceremony), the mouth does not open.
Singing without drinking?
No!
You have to drink to sing well. 

 

I've been processing cocoa for 10 years. In the beginning we were a group of nine women, but we split up and today I am the only one who continues this work. I still have cocoa, I sell it daily. I receive the orders, I prepare it and I deliver it.


I don't live from this, it's more of a hobby, I dedicate myself to this activity in my free time also for personal use. I take it out of the farm, dry it and then turn it into sweet chocolate."

 

 

 

 

 

I'm 92 years old. Since I was 30 years old I have learned to know medicinal plants and to use their healing powers. The secrets of traditional medicine and knowledge about the handling and use of plants are transmitted orally from one person to another.


Few of us know the secrets of nature; this knowledge must be passed on to future generations so that the tradition never disappears.

I have learned to treat headaches with Guanabana leaves; blows with arnica; chivo is good for bad air while stomach pains are treated with chamomile and salt. Few of us know the secrets of nature. This knowledge must be passed on to future generations. 

 

 

 

 

 

“Knitting the tradition”

At 9 years old, Leoncio started to learn with his father the art of knitting the atarrayas (fishing nets). Now, he sells them, a job that allows him to support his family, but he uses also them for fishing. It takes 20 days to make one atar- raya, and he works until 9 pm every single day.