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Mask used on folk ritual Kamentsa on Chaquiras indigenous people of Colombia.jpg
Mask used on folk ritual Kamentsa on Chaquiras indigenous people of Colombia
Total population
4,020 (2007)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Camsá, Inga, Spanish[1]
Traditional tribal religion (Shamanism), Roman Catholicism (syncretized)
Related ethnic groups
Inga people

The Kamëntsá are an indigenous people of Colombia. They primarily live in the Sibundoy Valley of the Putumayo Department in the south of Colombia.[3]


The Kamëntsá also are known as the Camsá, Camëntsëá, Coche, Kamemtxa, Kamsa, Kamse, Sibundoy, and Sibundoy-Gaché people.[1]


The Camsá language is a language isolate,[1] although linguists have tried to connect it to the Chibchan language family in the past. The language is written in the Latin script.[1]


They are known for their carved wooden masks that are worn during ceremonies and festivals.[3] They farm maize, beans, potatoes, and peas, and use a number of different entheogens, including ayahuasca (yagé), Brugmansia species, Iochroma fuchsioides and Desfontainia in their rituals. Kamëntsá shamans are noted for the number and variety of Brugmansia cultivars which they have propagated in their gardens of entheogenic plants, and which bear leaves in a wide variety of curiously misshapen forms. One of these cultivars - 'Culebra' ('snake' in Spanish) proved so aberrant that it was, for a time, actually removed from Brugmansia and accorded monotypic genus status as Methysticodendron (Greek : 'intoxicating tree'), the full Linnaean binomial of the plant becoming Methysticodendron amesianum before it was subsumed once more in Brugmansia.[4]

Notable Kamëntsá people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Camsá." Ethnologue. Retrieved 24 Nov 2013.
  2. ^ "Kamëntsá - Orientation." Countries and Their Cultures. Retrieved 24 Nov 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Arts and Crafts in Colombia." Footprint Travel Guides. Accessed 29 Jan 2014.
  4. ^ Schultes, Richard Evans; Hofmann, Albert (1979). The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens (2nd ed.). Springfield Illinois: Charles C. Thomas

External links[edit]