Yine Cosmovision

It is said that in ancient times, the Yine achieved great spiritual mastery and became spiritual leaders capable of traveling to other worlds. The Kangochi, who is the shaman of the people, has the ability to explore these worlds through the ingestion of master plants, acting as a mediator between them.

These other worlds are divided into three. The upper world is divided into 4 spaces, where the birds live (Galnachine Gogne), the space where the gods live (Goyakalune gwiyawaka), and where ayahuasca and toe live, and also the plant called Kosopa, which gives power to the Kangochi to become an animal and travel to any space.

The third space is known as the "Heaven of Goyakalu", it is a spirit that inhabits a transparent place full of light, and finally the space of Tengogne, is a space that no one inhabits and where neither the divine spirits nor the human being can reach, but which is present in the mentality of the Yine People.

The world here corresponds to the earth, where the Kagonchi and the Yine dwell, as well as all human beings. This world comprises the earth itself, the water, the rivers, the forest, and all that is visible. Finally, there is a world below where the Gipnachine, Mtengatwenu and Gitoka dwell, which are the abodes of the departed. This world is under the earth, and under the water.


The knowledge of medicinal plants of the Yine people is broad and deep. Medicine in the Yine culture is not only limited to knowledge about plants and other elements that have physical healing properties, but is also integrated with spirituality. In some cases, diseases are cured only by chanting.

The cures of various diseases through medicinal plants are attributed to the extensive knowledge of the curanderos and curanderas, who have dedicated many years of preparation and learning. In addition, their training has inherited knowledge from their ancestors, such as grandparents and community sages. In their practices, Yine practitioners use a variety of resources, including bark, seeds, plants and icaros (medicinal songs).

Among the plants most used by the Yine people are; Toe, Ayahuasca, Piripiri, Matico, Sacha Garlic, bark of various trees, among others.

In a conversation with Mikal, she tells us about the properties and use of Piripiri, also known as camalegi. This becomes relevant in a context of conflict and contact with the Mashco Piro people in isolation:

"(...) I have to blow the Mahscos. That you have to chew it well (Piripiri) when they come, and blow on both sides, so that they mansen (calm down) fast. It is true, when you do that they tame quickly (...) sometimes they talk to you, they talk to you, sometimes they sing, and then their bitterness is over (...) that is why we are almost not afraid, that is how we do it".

The use of Piripiri plays a fundamental role in the healing processes in the Yine community of Monte Salvado. Contact and sightings of the Mahscos in the area have generated concerns in recent years. However, as Mikal and Teodoro point out, they have found ways to balance the tensions and relationships in this approach, using medicinal plants.

"Toe is a medicine that can cure you, of all kinds of illnesses, and it has its mother and its mother asks you what you want to heal, it heals you, toe is good to people but ayahuasca is not, it is ayahuasca that deceives, it leads you to perdition, it sends you to kill with another sorcerer, (...) we have hundreds of piripiris, there are pirpiri for the Mashcos so that they do not come threatening (angry), we blow them and they do not come threatening anymore" Teodoro Sebastián.