THE RAINFOREST SHAMAN

Written by: Callie

Posted on February 4, 2015

jan_profile_noemi_pic-setWithout Fuelcard Group and The Green Journey, the forest and homes of Cool Earth’s indigenous partners around the world would have been destroyed. Each month, Cool Earth is introducing the incredible people behind the projects that Fuelcard Group is supporting.

This February, meet Noemi Lopez Camashiri.

Noemi is from the village of Tinkareni in Cool Earth’s Ashaninka Project in Peru. She is the oldest woman in the project, as well as the most respected elder in the community. She is the community’s sheripiari – the Ashaninka word for shaman.

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“I live here, this is my house in Tinkareni, this is my forest, my community. I was born here and I’ve lived here ever since – I belong to the community of Tinkareni. I love living here, the forest provides me with all I have. It feeds me and provides clean air that comes towards me and gives me life. For me, the forest is everything.” Noemi Lopez

Sheripiari actually means ‘tobacco eater’, which is the most important medicine for the Ashaninka. Noemi chews the leaves to help control visions and also blows the leaves on sick patients to cure them of many ailments.
For the Ashaninka, shamans act as mediators between the visible and the invisible worlds. The community believe that only the shamans can save someone inflicted with the trauma caused by a vision of peyari – the body of a dead person wandering on earth, separated from its spirit.

Noemi has even performed a spiritual healing on our very own Vivienne Westwood on her trip to the rainforest with Cool Earth. Watch the healing video below.