Yuquilla (aña ëko)

Story by Judy Payaguaje

To visit my parents in the Waiya community, I traveled by bus from Lago Agrio for three hours, then by motorcycle, and finally by canoe. My father, Miguel Payaguaje, is a wise man from this community of the Siekopai Nation. This time, I visited him so he could talk to me about the ancient medicinal plant aña ëko, as we call it in Paikoka language. The aña ëko medicine is used to cure snake bites.

My father told me that this medicine was discovered by wise men and women. To show me how to use it, my father went in search of the plant with help from my mother, Erodia Payaguaje. First, they took the roots out of the soil and washed them. Then, they crushed the roots and mixed them with a little water. Finally, they pressed this mixture to extract the liquid.

My father told me that first, you take three mouthfuls of ëko aña. Then, you have to rub the wound with the crushed roots to stop the bleeding. This decreases the amount of snake poison, reducing the pain and swelling. You have to rest for three days to fully recover.

After sharing this moment with my parents, I thanked them, got into the canoe, and headed back to the city.

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