Grandfather. Guide of the ancient time. Humbleness, gentleness, and simplicity.
Medicine man. Guardian of sacred ceremony space.
My name is Vovô Tema João (Tiima Shãwahu). I was born in 1933, I am the oldest pajé (shaman) of the Yawanawá people and the brother of the great pajé Yawaraní who passed away in 2022.
I take nowadays the legacy of an ancient time that has experienced so many changes. I was there when this world looked totally different and I am here now, accompanying with my experience a cultural journey of healing through the world.
I completed the muká diet, the highest spiritual initiation of the Yawanawá tradition, in which a seeker spends one year without drinking pure water while avoiding sugar, sweet fruits, red meat, and sex.
During my study I have been focusing specifically on the medical plants and herbs of the Amazon forest, becoming a master in the field of plant healing and keeper of this knowledge. I am responsible for planting and sustaining the medicinal garden in the newly established spiritual center of Pekã Rasu. The garden is created with the intention of preserving knowledge of the healing herbs and medicine plants of the Amazon alongside the spiritual and healing properties they hold.
I live in Amparo, a beautiful village close to Yawaraní. As an elder, I have a profound understanding of the traditional stories, ancient songs, shamanic culture, and language of my people. I promote ancestral knowledge and stories among the younger to connect them with the language becoming the voice of the ancestors.