UPDATE – Arrival of Indigenous Elder Delfin Payaguaje in London


As part of the Native Spirit Festival 2011 we have arranged for Delfin Payaguaje, a respected elder of the Secoya nation from the Ecuadorian Amazon forest to come to the UK to share messages from his home land and create connections with the warm hearted people in the UK. Delfin will be in Avebury from Sunday the 30th October and in London from the 3rd – 8th November.

Events in London

From the 4th – 8th there will be various encounters as we invite Delfin to share with us in our big old city.

Friday the 4th November: 18.30 – School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS ) Room: G2

This event will be centered on the life and issues concerning the Secoya. It is important for Delfin and Luke to share issues regarding the  land, environment and social changes effecting the survival of the Secoya people.  This event will help create connections between the Secoya community and people here.

Monday 7th Nov- SOAS University, G2 at 19.00

Continuing with a sense of celebrating culture, diversity and humanity, this will be a time to share and explore the cultural and spiritual value of this visit. The event will be open question and answers and will explore the healing plants, health and community well being. All welcome.


Delfin Payaguaje is a Secoya shaman in his community and a traditional Elder, the son of Fernando Payaguaje, one of the greatest spiritual masters the Secoya people have ever known.

Delfin will be accompanied by the Minister of Education and Culture for the Secoya people, Luke Weiss. Luke is an American who has lived with the Secoya for close to 20 years and who speaks the language and understands the culture, he has the unique and privileged experience of being a bridge between the two worlds.

The Secoya people (also known as Angotero, Encabellao) are an indigenous ethnic group living in the Ecuadorian Amazon or The Oriente region of Ecuador. They speak the Secoya language, part of the Western Tucanoan group. They share territory along the Shushufindi, Aguarico, and Cuyabeno rivers with the Siona people, with whom they are sometimes considered a single population.

The Siona people are organised politically through the Secoya Indigenous Organisation of Ecuador (OISE). They have been involved in a conflict with Occidental Petroleum over oil drilling in Block 15 in Ecuador. The Secoya people are fighting to protect their rainforest home against logging and oil exploration, including legal battles against Chevron in the United States Supreme Court.

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Photo by Chid Gilovitz, see here: www.chidgilovitz.com for more of his work, including some beautiful photographs of his time spent with the Secoya.

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See here for a short film by Sebastian Cardemil B. – a window into a day in the life of Delfin.

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Visit to Avebury, Wiltshire

Delfin will visit Avebury on Sunday 30th and Monday 31st and participate in Q&As and workshops at the Village Hall. Events will start in the evening on Sunday at the Village Hall with an open space for music/poems/dance/joy in honour of the Secoya people. If you play an instrument, write poetry, dance, or tell stories you are most welcome. Hot drinks are available. The SHARING SPIRIT open mike will be from 8pm – 10.30pm on Sunday night. Drummers of all kinds are especially welcome!

We are also very privileged to be joined in Avebury by the founder of the Native Spirit Foundation – Freddy Treuquil. He is a community activist, poet and artist of the Mapuche in southern Patagonia

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We extend our apologies to everyone who has been anticipating the arrival of the Elders and awaiting information. The logistics of travel arrangements and visa applications have been a long and protracted endevour. We were unable to bring over a larger delegation of Elders due to the limitations of the funds raised through Sponsume. We will update the website and facebook as and when we are able to finalise the events and activities. Thank you! to all who contributed to the Sponsume campaign, and although the date has expired, we are still taking donations – please get in touch if you wish to donate: [email protected]