On Saturday March 25th, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) organized its annual Earth Hour. The organization encourages individuals and organizations all over the world to switch off their lights as a symbol for support for the planet and raise awareness for environmental issues that cause damage to our planet.

This year, WWF-Guianas has put the jaguar at the center for Earth Hour.  The jaguar is threatened by various human activities. For example, the habitat is shrinking due to deforestation due to the wood- and goldmining sectors.
The jaguar is also an endangered species in some locations around the world due to their usage in traditional medicine.

The jaguar is at the top of the food chain and provides balance in nature. If there are (too) few jaguars, the natural balance can be disturbed, with the result that plant species, other animals and communities suffer due to overgrazing and destruction of farmland.

Through the campaign ‘let yourself be heard for the jaguar’, WWF-Guianas has organized various activities that, in collaboration with partners. On of these activities was a mini-fair at the Assuria High-rise in which several organizations that support the cause participated in.

At the Mulokot Foundation booth, we focused on presenting the jaguar from our Wayana Indigenous perspective, as the jaguar has played a vital role in our development and our history.

Long ago, the Wayana Indigenous Peoples had the unique ability to transform into animals. One major example is the transformation into Jaguars, which is why Wayanas are known as the Jaguar nation.

At some point, the jaguars fell extremely ill. They had a skin disease that caused their skin to fall off.
One day, the Jaguar king decided to give up and he was ready to accept his faith. He told the people he would leave and wanted to die very soon as that was the only way to free himself of the pain.

He then saw the village-healer and yelled out: “Please safe me, I am dying. Or end my life, I cannot take it anymore.”
The healer said to him, I am your master, I am your father. The healer then helped
him shed his skin and the jaguar transformed into a Wayana. From then on, the Wayana’s and Jaguars became one and the same.