Pachamama: Mother of All

A nice take on the challenge for a word a week – Mother

Taking to the Open Road

“For Pachamama,” says Carlos, when he notices my questioning glance as he quite deliberately spills a few drops of his Cusquena onto the ground.

Later, many nights later, standing in a circle of ruined stones, the night pitch black and filled with stars, I repeat his gesture, spilling out some chicha for the Incan Earth Mother. An offering of coca leaves, selected for their symmetry and perfect shape, is heaped in the palm of my hand for her. Carlos blows the conch horn he carries, and the haunting tones fade away into the darkness of the Sacred Valley. By now, two days into the Inca Trail, I am used to making challah – offering the first few drops of my drink to Pachamama, the fertility goddess of the Aymara and Quechua. Rumour has it that she loves sweet drinks, Coca-Cola, in particular.

Pachamama is revered throughout Peru, Bolivia and…

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