More than the maximum divinity of the culture of the Andean Indians, Pachamama also represents the struggle and resistance of these original peoples and a way of life based on the well-being and balance between nature and human beings.
Know a little about Pachamama and the Andean cultures:
Mother Earth and maximum deity, the cult of Pachamama is the most important in the Andean territories, being present in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes, in the northwest of Argentina and in the extreme north of Chile as a heritage of the Inca civilization. In this belief, the goddess is present among men not only through the soil or the earth geologically speaking, but in all the totality that the earth can represent; providing life, sustenance, assistance and everything necessary to keep the world in harmony.
In addition to its representation as the deity linked to the land and fertility, Pachamama represents the meaning of life, birth, motherhood and protection of the Earth and its children who inhabit it. Another very widespread aspect comes the Quechua origin, which gave name to the divinity, mama refers to the figure of motherhood and pacha encompasses concepts such as time and space, the earth, the divine and the sacred.
Conceived as the mother who nurtures and protects human beings, the Andeans pay homage to Pachamama in order to repair the increasing damage that man does to the land and the environment. It is also an opportunity to thank for all the food that the goddess offers for sustenance, for the animals and for the protection that she gives day after day.
Even after the destruction of the Inca empire by the Spanish in the 16th century, the representations of Pachamama remain present and preserved by the culture of the Andes.
In this way, present in religion, art and everyday life, on the first day of August, resistance and devotion to the deity Pachamama is celebrated. On this date, people maintain some customs of offerings such as burying clay pots with cooked food in places close to their homes, for example. In addition to this item, typical foods such as coca, yicta, alcohol, wine, cigarettes and chicha are also added in order to feed the deity.
Offerings are a symbolic way in which man returns to Pachamama what he took it, in order to restore reciprocity between human beings and nature. So, in addition to giving back part of what Pachamama offers and thanking her, Mother Earth's deepest requests and wishes are also made about life, what we want to achieve and what we want for our loved ones. Because divinity goes beyond planet Earth: “Pacha” in Aymara and Quechua languages also means world, universe.
The ceremonies are basically of two types, in houses, with private and family offerings and in community, the ceremony is conducted by Andean priests or by the elderly in the community. In Argentina, Pachamama Day is very traditional in the north of the country, mainly in the province of Salta, which borders Bolivia and Chile. Salta was the precursor to the revaluation of these traditions. In Argentina, the ritual regains greater vigor year after year, even in non-Andean areas and even large cities, such as Buenos Aires, communities in the north and Bolivia keep these traditions alive.
The Andean worldview and the Buen Vivir
Despite the invasion, the massacre, the homogenization in the name of progress and modern forms of colonization, other peoples and knowledge resist - and they exist. The religiosity of contemporary Andean indigenous peoples is constituted by a complex theological interaction between the various original elements and the Christianized ones the historically produced phenomena and ideologies, such as imposition, interpenetration, extirpation, syncretism, resistance and reinvention.
And even with such influences and impositions, there remains a particular worldview quite representative of his feelings and mentalities about the world, especially with regard to his territory and his community experiences marked by the reciprocity and socialization of traditions. They carry their languages, their worldview, their food, their way of producing, preparing and enjoying them; their way of understanding and organizing life, in community.
The Andean worldview is multidimensional and, as such, represents a challenge for Western thought. Each civilization developed based on its perception of the world and the cosmos. Principles, values and beliefs constitute a worldview or paradigm. It is made up of deities (wakas), including Pachamama, nature and humans. The human being has the responsibility to ensure the balance between the three components of the community, using the principles of complementarity and reciprocity.
There is an Andean concept that encompasses the need to resist against colonization and developmentalism in order to exist well, in relation to the cosmos, with the land, with the community and with the planet: it is the Buen