Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Stikkers, Kenneth


Drawing from child personal memories, stories, and participation in different ceremonies in Sibundoy (Colombia), as well as from scholarly papers and books on the Kamëntšá culture, a native culture settled in the southwest of Colombia, I discuss the constituted and constituting meanings of a native culture. The main argument is that storytelling, dancing, and yajé ceremonies are Kamëntšá’s symbolic ways of approaching the quest for meaning. At once constituting and constituted symbols of it, Kamëntšá symbols define its culture and sustain it alive. I use the idea of constituting symbols to underlie the experiences of creativity and adjustment of Kamëntšá people to their historical circumstances and to its natural environment. And I use the concept of constituted symbols to indicate that symbols provide meaning and value to the life because they are historically rooted in the collective memory of the Kamëntšá culture.




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