De'Aruhuä Indigenous Chocolate™
Amerindian Wild Cacao from the Masters of the Forest
Pure, Organic, Wild-Grown, Original, Single-Origin, Extra-Fine and Aromatic Indigenous Chocolate™
Origin of Indigenous Cacao™
The Piaroa Tribe began to reacknowledge and recover its Indigenous cultural heritage and intellectual property when it was understood that we were responsible in the 1800s for much of Venezuela's cacao and thus chocolate production. Further investigations in 2021, revealed that our people and several other tribes had been collaborating with Spanish missionaries to harvest wild (naturally occurring) cacao 200 years before the territory was called Venezuela, Gran Colombia or New Spain. Since the 1990's it has been suggested by botanists, ethnologists and paleontologists that the most complex original evolutionary genome of Theobroma cacao came into existence more than 10 million years ago in the upper river valleys of the Guiana Shield before the Andes emerged from the sea.
The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have been using cacao to make chocolate since at least the ancient Mayo-Chinchipe culture 5,300 years ago in the upper Amazon region of Ecuador. Then approximately 4,000 years ago Theobroma plants were transplanted to the ancient Olmec culture in Central America and domesticated according to anthropologists and researchers. Chocolate played an important cultural, political, spiritual and economic role in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, which ground roasted cacao beans into a paste that they mixed with water, vanilla, chili peppers and other spices to brew a frothy chocolate drink.
Birthplace of the Cacao Genome
Based on finding wild Theobroma cacao in 2006 in the Upper Saapure and the Caura rivers, it was suggested by Globcal International researchers in 2022 that the Theobroma cacao genome originated at an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level near the jungle village of Esmeralda in Venezuela and travelled down the Orinoco to the Casiquiare valley and down river to the Rio Negro and into the Amazon basin. It was also noted that the same originary wild species of Indigenous cacao were found recently at the head waters of unconnected rivers on the Guiana Shield to the east of the Orinoco as far away as French Guiana. Evidence suggests that Theobroma cacao was endemic to the Upper River Valleys of the Guiana Shield long before the arrival of the Indigenous Pre-Columbian Peoples.
While the conclusions are circumstantial and speculative there is no evidence to suggest that they are incorrect, wrong or that our claims are untrue; quite the contrary. According to scientists the Theobroma cacao genome is only distributed via waterways, tapirs, peccaries and humans. The story of cacao among the Indigenous Piaroa involves our most sacred animal the elusive Danto (tapir) bringing cacao to the earth. It is more difficult to speculate when the shamans adopted the use of chocolate (ground cacao) or how it made it to Guatemala, Mexico and Belize 4,000 years ago.
Map of the Huottuja - De'aruhua (Piaroa) Territory
First Indigenous Chocolate™ Company
The primary objective of our company is to plan, project and promote the development of De'Aruhuä Indigenous Chocolate as a vehicle for delivering and provisioning ecosystem services in demand for voluntary carbon offset programs world-wide. The Huottüja people using our wild collected cocoa beans from the Guiana Highlands moist-forest biome in a proposed local cooperative state-of-the-art small-batch chocolate making factory with the Huottüja Foundation and an international community of chocolate fanatics through crowdfunding.
The chocolate produced by the Huottüja (De'Aruhuä) will promote our traditional culture, customs, lifestyle, Indigenous knowledge, spirituality, values and worldview as autonomous, independent and sovereign originaries. All of the chocolate produced by the cooperative factory will be sold directly to De'Aruhuä consumers, distributors, members and supporters which will be delivered as a byproduct of ecosystem services and as a tax-exempt non-profit Indigenous artisan and cultural product for national and international distribution to the European Union and Canada from the United States and Colombia.
De'Aruhuä Forest-to-Bar™ Factory Initiative
We began the De'Aruhuä project with the guidance of Globcal International under chocolate expert, Clay Gordon and environmentalist, David Wright who believed we were being taken advantage of by selling our sustainable, organic, and wild cacao too far below the actual value. Together they helped us develop a formal business plan to secure financing. With the difficult bureaucracy in Venezuela it was decided in 2022 to focus on a co-located enterprise under the autonomous Huottuja Government (est. 2020) in Venezuela and the Huottuja Foundation (est.2021) in Colombia.
The new business plan puts the factory project on privately held property (by the crowd) which is located within a Special Indigenous Jurisdiction adjacent to the protected biological diversity region maintained by the Piaroa tribe. The plan eliminates the cacao supply chain and is based on the chocolate factory existing within the forest, thus Forest-to-Bar.
The plan has over 50 exciting chocolate superfood combinations to recreate the perfect "Food for the Gods". Recipes gain their unique indigenous flavors through terroir, climate, natural fermentation techniques, biomaceration, combining superfruits like acai, borojo, manaca, moriche or pijiguao and adding medicinal tea/plant extracts. Our recipes have led to distinctive aromas and flavors that can vary due to terroir and seasonal climate, De'Aruhuä aims to stabilize these flavors in its business development. We will sweeten chocolate with melipona honey which has natural antibiotics, we also produce our own red cane sugar which has more phytonutrients than white sugar. Pure indigenous ceremonial chocolate will also be produced from our wild cocoa.
De'Aruhuä Indigenous Chocolate™
De'Aruhuä Chocolate will be made from Piaroa Organic Wild (POW) Cacao, a natural fine aromatic single-origin cocoa bean direct from the forests of the Guiana Highlands, home of the Indigenous De'Aruhuä, the "Guardians of the Forest."
Chocolate with Indigeneity™
Our product offers a new element to the taste and flavor of chocolate which can only be found in our Indigenous-made product, it is a combination of cru, terroir and a third indescribable flavor element we call "indigeneity" which are derived through the combination of regional wild harvested exotic fruits and medicinal plants that are added to the chocolate made by the Indigenous Huottüja.
Forest to Bar™ is also a trademark of our product. Terms such as "Guardians of the Forest" do not need to be trademarked because they have been used by third-parties to describe and identify our Indigenous culture as early as 1950.