January 22, 2006

Evo Morales a Real, Modern Inca?

MABB © ®

As I watch what is going on in Bolivia I cannot help of thinking how unprecedented these events are. The fact that a president elect is being vested with a "special kind of authority or power" over the people, has up to now been unthinkable. But, exactly that is what is happening today in Bolivia. This highlights the complexity of the Bolivian reality. A country which its history does not start in 1492 or even 1825, but much, much earlier with the history of the Inca and Aymara cultures.

Today, president elect Morales is being vested with what is known as the "andean power or authority". This authority has symbolically been given to him by high priests of the Andean cultures. The ceremony was held at the ancient Aymara temple, Kalasasaya, located in the town of Tiwanaku (60 km from La Paz). There Morales was dressed with an ancient "poncho", which has not been used in (as some say) 10 centuries. Below you can see the map of the temple and the ancient ruins, where the ceremony were carried out. Also depicted are the details of the ceremony.



The ceremony itself started with Morales walking up the piramid of Akapana bare-foot. He was escorted by four young man and women (two male and two female). These threw in Morales' way flower petals. Accroding to some experts and organizers of this ceremony, this ritual would ease the "cosmic energy" of the sacred temple to penetrate Morales' body through his naked feet.

Once at the top, Morales was handed the authority scepter, which represents the power given to him by the Andean world. This ritual was performed by four Amautas (Andean religious priests) from the three andean towns of Tiwanaku, Charazani, Samaipata and the Chaco region.

Morales was dressed with the sacred Andean "poncho", called Unku. This poncho was used in the imperial tiwanakota period by Inti priests or Sun priests. This poncho hasn't been used by anyone for 10 centuries. After being dressed with the sacred poncho, he was blessed by the priests with water from a sacred river. The poncho has two kinds of motives. One is a series of Anacondas, which represent the Amazonas region and the other is a series of Condores, representing the Andean region. Together they remind us of these regions living in harmony with nature. Lastly, he was given a hat, called Chucu, with four points representing the four geographical points of the territory.

Once Morales was dressed up and received the spiritual power, he spoke to the people from the ancient door of the Kalasasaya temple. Once he finished, he walked around the temple towards the central squere of the Tiwanaku town. There he received the real power over the Andean world. He was given a stick and a whip, symbolizing power and punishment (justice). He was also given another poncho, this time red, a scarf and traditional cap. He was declared the prodigal son of the Andean world.

Below you can see the picture where all is explained in Spanish. I have already tranlated for you above.



Once again I have to repeat that this ceremony is unique and unprecedented in the history of Bolivia. An interesting even, nevertheless.

Graphics from La Razon.

4 comments:

DemoBlogger said...

very interesting post. I've reblogged it to my blog, Demoblog, which covers global democracy struggles. I've credited you as the author and included a link back to your page. Best, Mary

Anonymous said...

The traditional regalia and setting of Morales' inauguration certainly makes one reminice of the official ceremonies that occurred after the dissolution of European colonialism in other Third World nations.

Whatever the conservative conspiracy theories may be concerning the supposed entanglements of Castro and Chavez with Morales, it does seem that Bolivia's popularly elected president's platform has swayed the hearts of the poor and indigenous.

miguel said...

Thanks Mary.

Yes, it certainly appears to be so. But, I wouldn't say Morales' platform. I would say his persona. Morales himself is what captured the hearts. Up to now, Bolivians don't know much about his platform.

Asha Nair said...

Thanks for this work,

i blogged too,
crediting your work and linking..
is very interesting,
as your work is.

Ciao
Asha Nair