Kogi in Colombia

Joshua Project has identified the Kogi only in Colombia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

In the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia there lives a group of people named Kogi, existing somewhat closely to the way they did before Christopher Columbus arrived in the hemisphere. Their name means "jaguar" in their language. When Caribs invaded around 1000, they fled to the mountains. Their location there led to the retention of their way of life but also preserved them from the Spanish invasion.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kogi create their own clothing from plant to finished product. Nearly everyone wears these white clothes. They live in round huts made with stone, mud, and palm leaves. Kogi men and women all carry traditional bags, made by the women, across their shoulders.

They cultivate sugar and coffee to sell. The sugar is made into a hardened brown substance.

There is a meeting hut exclusively for the men where community decisions are made. Mamas or priests are very important to the decision making process.

Kogi women are seldom mistreated and are valued as being very connected to Mother Earth. When two men meet, they exchange handfuls of coca leaves.

What Are Their Beliefs?

"Aluna" or "The Great Mother" is their deity. She is the earth who is alive. A nearby mountain is known as "The Heart of the World" and the Kogi are the "Elder Brothers" who care for it. They see nature as needing protection and oppose the mistreatment of it.

Mamas are village priests who undergo strict training. Selected male children train in a dark cave for the first nine years of their lives. Mamas and the child's mother care for these young priests inside the cave until they are ready to begin their practice in the society. It is believed that the mama can hear the words of their god to pass along to the tribe.

The Kogi believe in complementary opposites. Even wrong-doing is necessary as the complement to right.

After death a soul is considered to be on a journey for nine days and nights, after which it returns to an existence alongside the living Kogi.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Kogi
People Name in Country Kogi
Population in Colombia 12,000
World Population 12,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Cogui, Kogui
Country Colombia
Region Central and South America
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank 35  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country North, east, and west slopes of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kogi (12,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kogi 12,000
For Primary Language: Kogi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2000-2006)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Online Bible text (Scripture Earth) Text / Printed Matter
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.60 %)
1.60 %
Ethnic Religions
98.40 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
5.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
40.0 %
Roman Catholic
55.0 %
Photo Source: Uhkabu   Creative Commons  
Profile Source: Joshua Project  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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