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Pachamama!

May 28th 2010
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In Inca mythology, Mama Pacha or Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting. She causes earthquakes. Llamas are sacrificed to her. After conquest by Catholic Spain her image was masked by the Virgin Mary, behind whom she is invoked and worshipped in the Aboriginal ritual(1).


While in Bolivia I started to get acquainted with the Pachamama and other local costumes (check this article), but the one thing I really couldn’t digest was the whole «dried-llama-foetus-burying»! Yes, when you are about to build something on your land, the use is to bury there a llama foetus(2) as a good-luck wish to the Pachamama.

On the other hand, I can’t help to sneer thinking on the zealous work of catholic missionaries trying to eradicate local beliefs, eventually finding out that the people just renamed the old divinities with the new Christian names: Resistance is futile!(3)


  1. Merlino, Rodolfo y Mario Rabey (1992). «Resistencia y hegemonía: Cultos locales y religión centralizada en los Andes del Sur». Allpanchis (40): 173–200. — Source: Wikipedia
  2. I don’t want to know how do they get a supply of that. Really.
  3. Oh my god! Did I just make a Star Trek reference?! I am a geek! Resistance is futile! [3] A recursive footnote?! Aaaargh, I did it again! I am drowning in geekness!

This post is filed under America, Bolivia and tagged , , .

One Response

  1. Ally says:

    where are you….
    come on, come back to the internet world.

    Kind regards

    Alessandro

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