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Returning to the Origin

Ancestral narratives about humanity, time and the world


* This unpublished manuscript has been accepted by CLACSO for publication in the Latin American Library of Social Sciences , and will be published for free access during the month of March 2022.

The book may be subject to final style corrections, composition and revision of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. The copyright and all the legal rights that apply to the book belong to the work team of the project "The history of humankind in other words" and to the web domain

Creative Commmons BY-NC-SA 4.0 License,

Returning to the Origin collects stories from ancestral authorities of six original peoples of Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, about the origins and trajectories of humanity. The stories were recorded through direct interviews with the original Knowers and Knowers, within the framework of solid bonds of solidarity and, in several cases, deep friendship with them and their communities.

The book is organized in three parts. The first offers a text, which wants to be just a threshold for the visitor to the stories that make up the central room of the book, about the emancipatory potential that the work of recording and sharing these original narratives entails. It is a question, in this welcoming reflection, of offering the theoretical bases on which the project, and this book, can be understood as an ethical-political act. The second includes the stories of the Knowers and the Knower, and the chronicle of a meeting with the Kogui Council of Knowers. The narratives are accompanied by authorized photographs and brief clarifications on traditional terms, conjunctures or historical and demographic data mentioned in them, and are presented as narrow phonetic transcriptions. The last section offers an output text in which the individual stories of the second part meet, reflect and reveal each other. Narratives acquire, in this inter-ethnic and intercultural narrative fabric, an enormous transfiguring potential. By capturing them in this integrating plot, the structure and epistemic, ethical, aesthetic and political power of ancestral thought seem to reveal itself more clearly to our gaze. Thus interwoven, their common firmament emerges.

Ancestral authorities

Carmen Yamberla (Kichwa People), Marceliano Guerrero ( Muina People), Domingo Sayritupac ( Aimara People), Wilder Güegia ( Nasa Yuwe People), Ampam Karakras (Shuar People), Council of the Mama (Kogui People).


Eduardo A. Rueda, Ana María Larrea, Augusto Castro, Óscar Bonilla, Nicolás Rueda, Carlos Guzmán.

"For us the path is clear: the elders left the path traced, and it must be done: today there is much to do. [...] We have to change. But knowing and starting from the origin, from us One must know who one is, what he wants, where he comes from and where he is going, by being clear about that, one does not get lost ".


from the interview with Major Wilder Güegia of the Nasa Yuwe people

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