Alingo Doekoe alias ‘Edje’
You could better ask: What doesn’t Edje do? He’s a shaman, village leader, storyteller, artist, museum owner, member of the Saamaka tribe from Suriname and father of eight boys and six girls. Edje integrated the Rasta lifestyle with the traditional lifestyle of the Saamaka.
Integrating those two lifestyles literally didn’t go without a fight. His wife and children were taken from him by his in-laws and Edje was abandoned from the village. For a long time Edje lived in the jungle surviving only on products the jungle had to offer. Almost twenty years later Edje recaptured his position in the village Pikin Slee. Together with Goldman Prize-winner and chief villager Kapitein Wazen, Edje is now a village leader and fighting for the preservation of the jungle and the cultural heritage of the Maroons. He has opened a museum, is performing with artists collective Totomboti on shows and fairs all over the world. And of course he’s teaching young people about Saamaka traditions and medicine.
For everyone who is attending TedxMaastricht, Edje Doekoe is a surprise because he was unannounced as a speaker. Being an unannounced speaker has to do with the surprising performance ‘Edjeman’ wil give us. But maybe the topic of non-western medicine is surprising in itself. Western medicine is still strongly focused on evidence-based Western medicine. Learning from this non-western shaman might open our eyes to a new paradigm and gives us new inspiration to change healthcare.
In his TEDxTalk Edje Doekoe will not only tell us about traditional Saamaka medicine and the lessons he learned in life, he will also give us an experience we will probably never forget.