Reconnecting the Americas

The prophecy of “The Eagle and The Condor” is one that has been ringing up and down the Americas for some time.  There are those who think it lore while others take it as law.  For people like Francisco Lojano, spiritual and community leader in Cumbe, Ecuador, this prophecy is an opportunity.

More than one year ago, Francisco Lojano, while walking to a sacred lagoon in the Andes, decided to take a chance and ask his student, a Montana woman, if she thought native people from Montana would be interested in coming to Ecuador to share indigenous wisdom, medicine, song and culture.  That was to be the catalyst, which helped each piece begin to fall into place.

Scott Frazier, Santee Sioux and Crow elder, first learned of Francisco’s invitation the summer of 2010.   With very little to go on, he decided to throw chance to the wind and make his way to Ecuador.  In late January 2011, with little funding and a whole lot of determination, Scott Frazier and Philip Zemke of Bozeman, MT, boarded a plane to join Francisco in celebrating an ancient festival known as Tayta Carneval.

For nearly two weeks, Francisco, Scott and Philip participated in traditional rituals that included a hike at nearly 14,000 ft. to three sacred lagoons where these men and a small group of Ecuadorians gathered to sing their thanks and to bring their medicine to help heal and bring balance to the water.  Francisco and his community also revived an ancient ritual to honor the agricultural time of the flowering of the crops by giving thanks to Pachamama, the spiritual force of the Andes.  This ceremony, due to the oppressive nature of the Spanish invasion, had not been celebrated in nearly 150 years.

Scott Frazier and Francisco Lojano became fast friends, but more than that, they became family.  Upon his departure, Scott was invited to return as quickly as possible.

Scott Frazier and John Potter, Anishinabe/Ojibwe, just returned to Ecuador in October 2011 to bring the people of the eagle to the people of the condor.  Once again, a variety of ceremonies were performed as Francisco shared his medicine, his wisdom and his community with his family from the north.  A hike to a sacred waterfall, high in the Andes, brought Francisco, Scott, John and their translator, Sarah Hanen Bauer from Bozeman, MT, to a very powerful pool at the base of a large waterfall.  Their hike followed an ancient trail that many feet have traveled over the centuries.  A rare Andean eagle, circling high above, greeted the small group as they walked up the mountain and once again as they made their way down.  The coming of the eagle signaled a welcoming that no human could extend.

Francisco also introduced Scott and John to a group of women learning the traditional dances of their people.  Upon invitation, this group of humble yet powerful women danced a tribute to the Andean deer.  Scott and John then shared a song of the Meadowlark.  While drinking a delicious cup of coffee, this group of women opened their home and shared portions of their lives.  Their curiosity about indigenous people from the north was evident as they asked Scott and John many questions about their lives, their people and their perspective.

Scott and John also shared a ritual of their own in the high Andean Mountains alongside a sacred lagoon.  Here a small group of young people hiked along a beautiful trail with Scott, John and Francisco.  The group sat beside the lake as Scott and John informed them of what was about to take place.  Scott asked the spirits of the north to bring the medicine then, upon their arrival, began.  The songs echoed out, the drum beat filled the air, the sun shone through the clouds, the wind blew and this group of men and women from both the north and south shared in a ritual meant to restore balance and bring healing to the water.

To close this second reunion of The Eagle and The Condor, Francisco ceremonially cleansed Scott and John with medicine plants from the Andes, clearing their path along the Andes.  They were then welcomed in as brothers of the Andes.

The future is as it always is, unknown yet full of possibilities.  The hope is to bring more groups to Ecuador, hopefully a group of native traditional dancers, to share their dance, their story and their history.  Both Scott and John have a standing invitation as well and we hope to see them back in the Ecuadorian Andes soon.  The ultimate goal is to then reciprocate this sharing and have Francisco and a small group from Ecuador come to the north to learn about and experience the land of the eagle.  The seeds have been planted.  All we must do now is tend them.

Written By:  Sarah Hanen Bauer ~ Cuenca, Ecuador

Click here to see videos and read more information about the Eagle and the Condor project.