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art and culture | by Miguel Centellas | January 24, 2004 at 05:18 AM | comments (1) | trackback (0)

Today's the close of the festival of Alasitas, a paceño New Year tradition. It's a festival dedicated to the god of good fortune. El Ekeko is a little figurine that carries all your wants & wishes for the coming year.

So. The tradition revolves around buying little miniature replicas of the desired items as "offerings" to El Ekeko. These can be quite intricate & complex. You can buy little bank notes, passports (even w/ specific travel visas), model cars & trucks, college degrees, pretty much anything you can imagine. After you buy these, they're loaded unto a little Ekeko figurine, who carries them for you during the year.

Careful w/ the care & attention paid to Ekeko, however. It can be a pain. You have to give him cigarettes to smoke (the figures have a little whole to put lit cigarettes into), coca offerings, and such. If not, you get bad fortune.

The main event, in the Plaza Roosevelt (in Miraflores), is great time to pick up nice artesanías, like clay flatware. Various craftspeople display their products, there's food areas, and other entertainments. Also available are little newspapers w/ sarcastic parodies of public figures & recent events.

At noon, both Aymaram yatiris (witch doctors) and Catholic priests bless the people's little miniatures. This involves scattered flowers and an offering of alcohol (cha'lla) to the Pachamama.


Was just bored and thought I would post

Posted by Loryn | August 12, 2004 01:08 AM

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