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The month of Pachamama

On August 1, Pachamama Day was celebrated, a tribute to Mother Earth that is transmitted from generation to generation.

Día de la Pachamama,

Throughout the month of August the  Pachamama is celebrated, which, in Quechua, means “universe”, “world”, “earth”. It is an  Andean belief  that worships nature and forms part of the culture and tradition of the  native peoples of Latin America  . The event consists in honoring  Mother Earth  and represents the identity of the Aboriginal communities in the region. In our country it extends from Jujuy to the Puna Salteña, Tucumán and Catamarca.

The ceremony reclaims ties with the land and ancestors, and the ways of celebration vary from region to region. The centuries-old custom begins on August 1 with rituals and offerings made in the spirit of  returning to the earth what has been taken from it.Honoring Pachamama implies recognizing it as a life generator and is a tradition that extends for hundreds of years by native communities that existed even before the current borders . 

In some areas, ceremonies are presided by Andean priests or respected people within the community, here echoes coplas that evoke gratitude for work, health, animals and crops.In the homes, offerings are made, the earth is fed and the  sahumation is carried out, which serves to eliminate bad energies and start a new cycle. This cleaning extends to loved objects or close people. For those who believe in Pachamama, it is about renewing themselves and starting new projects asking for the  blessing and protection of the Earth . It is advisable to use the traditional herb muña muña or myrrh, although this may vary. For example, homemade sahumeries can be performed with ruda, rosemary, sugar, yerba and orange.

The land can feed on various offerings ranging from meals, coca leaves, alcohol, cigarettes and chicha (a typical drink of the region) to wood or paper. A hole is made and presents are deposited there. These must have a relationship with the desires and purposes that are asked of the Pachamama, this ritual is known as  Corpachada. 

Another tradition during this day is to drink  cane with rough  as a way to scare away evil spirits and attract good health. This medicinal boil should be taken on an empty stomach and portends a full and prolonged life because it deprives people of bad luck. It is very good for the circulatory system, the digestive system and is believed to work as a powerful deworming agent. The origins of this belief go back to the Guarni people who, in the face of the winter storms, devised ways to counteract the negative effects of the season by making concoctions.

How this year celebrates Pachamama in Jujuy

In 2013, the National Congress declared Jujuy the  “National Capital of Pachamama”. This is due to the importance of this celebration in Jujeño territory .  But this year the celebrations take place in a different framework. The province is undergoing a phase of strict social isolation due to the increase in cases of coronavirus that have appeared in recent weeks.

Despite the pandemic, it is very important for Jujuy to honor the Pachamama and to vindicate the ceremonies of gratitude. In this context, they asked Jujeños that the  ceremony be held in a private setting  and with a small number of people.

Publication Date: 04/08/2020

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