Herbal Tradition
Valentina Osorio

Herbal Tradition

Growing up, picking flowers and herbs was almost a family ritual. My family has specific beliefs surrounding these plants, and uses them to heal certain pains, as part of a beauty ritual or as a form of protection. I developed 45 symbols that show the way my family uses flowers, herbs, fruits, and root crops in our specific beliefs, and in applications that have been past down through generations. In this piece I want to enhance the intimate feminine relation between flowers and our bodies.

In 1783 and 1816 a Royal Botanical Expedition to New Granada took place in what is now Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Peru and northern Brazil and western Guyana. Priest and botanist José Celestino Mutis led the expedition that revealed a detailed study of the more than 20,000 new species found.

Colombia has 5 distinct geographical regions: Andean region, Pacific coast, Caribbean coast, eastern savannah and Amazon jungle. Colombia is the only place on the planet where some specific ecosystems exist. This variety of climates and ecosystems are responsible for astonishing diversity of fauna and flora being the first country in birds and amphibians and second in plants

The special mega diversity and fertile grounds of Colombia directly affect de cultural development. The majority of the Colombian population are rural farmers or live of growing plats, flowers or food. This generates all kinds of cultural expressions surrounding the flora and fauna of Colombia, a few examples are the Flower fair in the city of Medellin and the Barranquilla carnival.

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia witch means my hole life I’ve been surrounded by nature and I’ve learned to love it and respect it, though out generations my family has past on knowledge of how to plant and use all kinds of herbs, flowers, fruits and root crops. I live in the city but my parents live in a nearby town called Tabio because they have a big house with a large amount of green area, a difficult thing to find in the city. Every weekend, I go to Tabio and spend time with my family, among the activities we commonly do, cooking and planting seeds are the most important.