LA PAZ, Bolivia ( Associated Press) — Lama embryos hang like trophies with a variety of offerings in a busy street market in the colonial center of La Paz, where sales are booming in August, a month dedicated to Pachamama, a celebration of the Andean The ancestral thanksgiving is destined to be the land that provides food.
“It is an act of reciprocity with Mother Earth called Pachamama, which was practiced by pre-Hispanic peoples and originated in the countryside, where one is grateful for the fruits that the land bears and demands a good harvest. Migration established customs in the cities”, explained anthropologist Milton Izaguirre.
The celebration of Pachamama – Mother Earth – has become popular in cities, where business owners make a variety of offerings over a small bonfire to thank the Andean deity and ask for favors such as good health and prosperity.
In rural areas, Prasad presides over planting and harvesting. According to Andean mythology, Pachamama “wakes up hungry” after the dry months and needs to be fed before a new agricultural cycle begins, asked by Margarita to sell the offerings at her stall.
“People are looking to recover financially,” said the seller, who did not wish to give his last name in reference to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rituals are most commonly practiced by Catholic believers, who are the majority in the country. The most enthusiastic go to the mountains to perform rituals with llamas, a major offering because llamas are considered a sacred animal.
These Andean beliefs were recognized in the adopted constitution in 2009 and the rituals have become official. Since then it is common for official state ceremonies to be preceded by an offering to Pachamama.