The Desana people call themselves “People of the Universe”.
"According to the oral tradition of the Desana, which is common to other Eastern Tukanoan peoples, the ancestors of Humanity followed the course of the rivers Amazon, Negro, Uaupés and their tributaries, leaving from the Atlantic Ocean on a ship – the “Canoe-of-Transformation”. Along the trip they stopped in numerous “houses of transformation”, where they performed celebrations. The sub-aquatic trip in the Canoe-of-Transformation is assimilated to the humanization and progressive maturation of Humanity’s ancestors. They went aground among the Ipanoré rapids, on the mid river Uaupés. It was in this place that the differentiation between Whites and Indians took place. The ancestor of the Whites then went South, while the Indians went up the course of the river and its tributaries looking for a good place to live."