Dogs are of a high importance in the Amazonian culture, since they are seen as protectors created by gods to take care of us humans. When they get sick, the natives find the right plant to cure them, and there is a South American goddess that represents them. Her name is Yampani Nua, the mistress of dogs.


Yampani Nua is the guardian goddess of dogs in the Amazonian jungles. According to some research that has been made, she could be the equivalent to Artemis, the Greek goddess, since both of them represent not only the canine race, but also the divinity and relevance of women in the world.

While Artemis represents the old continent and pre-Hellenic traditions, Yampani Nua is her female counterpart in the South American Amazon.


Importance of dogs in the Amazon


In the depths of the jungle, dogs have a great significance for the native communities. They are disciplined, fed and taken care of by their owners as if they were another member of their families, such as children, with such devotion that it overwhelms everyone. If they hunt a prey, they are given a small part of it, since their diet is not based on raw meat.

Dogs in the Amazon are trained to perform many tasks, but the most important one is to hunt and save their owners from certain dangers. They are also a company for men during their death since women are left out.


The “woman yampani”


Yampani Nua, or “woman yampani”, is the guardian spirit of dogs, but her story is a particular one. She allows women to use dogs as a companion and a great protection, and the way dogs behave will partly depend on the good relationships natives share with the goddess, and partly on the owners’ capacities to take care of them. Reciprocity, then, becomes noteworthy in the Amazon.

Her importance in the Amazon comes explained by mythology, which says that Yampani is a man who turned into a woman to satiate sexual impulses that could not have a different way of satisfaction since women didn’t exist at the time of her appearance. So yes, Yampani can be seen as a transsexual man who was created with the purpose of satisfying sexual desires and procreating the human race, but her later task was to protect dogs, which at the same time protect humans.

Dogs in this case were created to serve as a loyal company for men during their life on Earth, while women raise them to such a purpose, and Yampani Nua is an intermediary in this bond. She is the perfect link to understand male and female roles in native communities in the Amazon.

The Achuar community is proud of showing their history and mythology for you to comprehend how things function in the Amazon. Visit Kapawi and ask us for more legends like these!