Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Offerings to Pachamama: The truth behind them

by the Colca Specialist
Offerings to Pachamama: the truth behind them
Despacho.- An offering comprised of a variety of natural items, called recados (ritual items) ,arranged ritually on white paper,prayed over and infused with sami or energy, and then folded into a bundle to be burned or buried. Although there are approximately 250 different kinds of despachos, the two most commonly made are to honor Pachamama or literally Mother Earth and the Apus or spirits of the mountain.

That is a definition of a despacho. This practice is still alive in the peruvian andes specially in Colca valley and Colca Canyon area where you can still find the keepers of the ancient knowledge.

Ayni or reciprocity is a word that should be kept in mind in case you would like to learn about the inca traditions.

With the help of philosophy we can try to understand the way of thinking of our ancestors. For our ancestors everything is alive. The concepts of life and death our ancestors had were totally different from those the spanish conquerors brought to these lands. In order to understand it is necessary to see “with andean eyes” as we say.

We have different kinds of reciprocity for example: reciprocity from man towards the Creator, reciprocity among human beings, reciprocity among plants in the agriculture and reciprocity among animals which we called in the modern days simbiosis.

According to philosophers our ancestors were an animist culture but the animism they had was totally different. They didn´t feel apart. They believed that everything was alive and they felt part of a living universe in which all elements in this universe were linked.

Despacho ritual are a way of expressing reciprocity towards the cosmic mother Pachamama which is represented by the Earth in our world, the one who provides us a home to live, the one who nurtures us with fruits, water etc like a mother without asking for anything back.

A Despacho is a way to say thank you for all the things received but of course a despacho is much more then that. Despachos can be used for healing purposes,for protection and for making your dreams come true too. As we said at the beginning there are many kinds of despachos for specific purposes.

In the Inca period we didn´t have shamans but Inca priests. The word “shaman” comes from north american indians vocabulary and means “medicine man” .
A shaman performs a ceremonial according to what he/she feels. A priest performs a ceremonial in an specific order and that is totally different.

I recommend you to read the book “keepers of the ancient knowledge” written by Joan Parisi Wilcox . The book is really good because it provides us the occidental people good information about the cosmovision of the Qero natives from Cusco.

The author has done several interviews which are transripted in the book and that is good because as investigators we can use it as a tool to understand the different ceremonial performed in the peruvian andes.

The Ceremonial of despachos is one of the most powerful ceremonials in the andean world. Of course here in Colca Canyon there are very powerful ceremonials that are still in practice in which some of them implicate necrophagia.

Catholic religion is the most important religion in Peru, but in the peruvian andes specifically in Colca Canyon and Colca Valley areas, we have a mix of the catholic and the pagan religion of our ancestors.

People go to hear the mass on Sunday, but in the specific dates, they are going to be on the top of the mountains performing the ancient ceremonials.
In Colca valley and Colca Canyon it is different. Ceremonials are not open to tourists or curious visitors.

Because of tourism and new age, many visitors, writers and investigators are looking for this knowledge, and the main reason they come is to see at least a little of what we had before. But when they come they find a circus of people who are playing the inca game and that is really disgusting because we know it is fake.

As an specialist in aboriginal cults, it saddens me the way visitors are cheated by mediocre travel agencies, who are just thinking about making money with our traditions. The famous qero natives from Cusco whose reputation is well-know all around the world as keepers of the ancient knowledge they are victims of exploitation.

There are many travels agencies that organise mystical and spiritual trips in the Andes, all of them talk about the spirituality but when you find out you discover the reality which is totally different from the one shown.

The owner of the travel agency which is almost always a grand master has a beautiful 5 star hotel and a very modern travel agency, built with the money obtained through donations and payments of their services.

When you go to the house of the qero natives who are working for the travel agencies you end crying, and if you talk to them and thanks to God I speak quechua too, you can be told about all the abuses done by these merchants of spirituality. The inca descendants are being exploited by the travel agencies who offer these services and that is not correct.

Another thing that is really disgusting, are those hotels whose owners are foreigners who are grandmasters in inca religion. When you hear and participate in their lessons there is a lot confusion because you start with inca mediation, which is done with hindu music ,then you start hearing about kundalini yoga which is performed with chinese or japanese music and at the end, you are part of a new age salad. Spirituality is important but please stop cheating tourists and don´t mix things.

Many of these gringo grandmasters organise meetings in foreign countries and the natives are taken there for ceremonials. After everything is done, the ones who make the money are the owner of the travel agency and the translator. The natives just received a small quantity of the money. They have to be thankful with the exploiters that gave them the opportunity to travel abroad.

The musicians are a problem too. All of them are children and descendants of an inca or their grandpas were inca priests, the most curious and funny thing is that their names and surnames are spanish. At least they should change their names to make it real.

Their main characteristics: long hair,andean music and red ponchos. Where you can find them? Everywhere, specially in the streets, plazas or in discoteques looking for a victim to cheat. Specially girls who are looking for a direction in their lifes.

Here, in Colca the keepers of our traditions live far from the village on the mountains. They breed alpacas and lamas and when somebody needs their help after the ceremonial when you want to pay they say: Your will.

They don´t have a scale of prices in US DOLLARS OR EUROS. A keeper of our traditions is not going to be found inside a noisy discotheque dancing trance or electric music. They appreciate much the silence of the mountains and they don´t like to be disturbed.

Besides they don´t have propaganda in internet neither web pages advertising their abilities as healers. The ones who do that are travel agencies who are very far from the real inca spirituality beacuse they ignore Ayni or RECIPROCITY.

If you are a spiritual seeker avoid those web pages who offer you a salad of arabian, chinese, mexican, hinduist and inca spirituality. If I am interested in hinduism it would be better for me to go to India and to learn it there.

The pictures taken shown a ceremonial in Colca Valley with a real elder or karpay as the people called them here. The elders are protected by the people and when a strange person asks for them sometimes they are going to misguide you saying that they don´t know where they live. But if you continue looking you will find them.

It is good to carry goods for them such as oil, sugar, bread, salt etc as payment because sometimes where they live, they don´t have these things available.
If you are looking for the real stuff start reading and looking for information. Check the experiences written in the travellers blogs and find out. Write the names of the places and look for books where you can find the names of the towns where the real masters live and enjoy the experience of your life: the real experience of love or munay.
The following pictures will give you an ide about the despacho ceremonials.

by the Colca Specialist

We are now in the little shop of mama avelina, she is a specialist in recados and despachos. She has all the things needed for paqos or keepers of the ancient knowledge.

Corn is very important during ceremonials. The colors can vary according to the ceremonial performed.

Tha lama fetus has a very deep mening in the andean world and it´s associated to constellations.
Why the elders during the ceremonial put a lama fetus during the ceremonial?

Our friend mama avelina posing for a picture with our friend from Holland. As you see this is not a touristic place and it is located in an area only andeans know very well.

Scenes of a basic ceremonial which is very powerful. A ritual to Pachamama is performed.
La abuelita,the grandma doesn´t speak spanish and she is one of the elders that can be found in Colca Canyon! Our friend is performing Samay ,the act of giving vital energy and intentions to the despacho or offering. The visitor here was introduced previously to the elder.As elders they like to be in peace and they heal only their people.This elder is real . No travel agencies involved. Just spirit seekers will find them on the mountains.

The despacho is burning and the abuelita is offering respect to the apus or spirits of the mountain. This elder is consider as a blessing for the natives because besides from being a healer she is also a koka qawaq,the one who can see through coca leaves.No lies,no tricks.
The readings are very clear and all obscure things will appear to those who are looking for truth.
Well,I hope you enjoy the pictures my friends, nest time I will have another interesting article for you! If anybody is interested in the knowledge of our ancestors please write us to our email: The Colca Specialist planet_x_adventures@hotmail.com. Thank you very much for your kind attention!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Walking in Coporaque with the Colca Specialist

by the Colca Specialist

Coporaque is one of the beautiful villages in Colca Valley. In one publication of my blog you can read more about this place where the incas established their center of power when the Kollawas and Cabanas were conquered.
This tour I did was specifically to visit this place. The are many advantages of traveling in a private tour is that you can take it easy and you can have more time for your pictures and visits.
Our holidays are important. Quality and not quantity is the rule for having an unforgettable trip in Peru and in Colca Canyon.
Well now it´s kodak time and I will guide you in this beautiful trip to Coporaque.

This is a picture of Chachani volcano at 5:00 am in the morning. The sun is about to come in the highlands of Arequipa!
Great! The sun is coming out in the highlands of Arequipa...How many of us have we seen a sunrise in the morning?

We arrived to Chivay at midday after some stops we did on the way. After our lunch we went quickly to Coporaque and on the way we can see this little gorge on the way to Coporaque!

After the little gorge, we stopped in this place to see the views of these fields in the area of Coporaque.

Along the way to Coporaque we can see remains of the old terraces that are still being cultivated in this area of Coporaque.

Now we are watching remains of inca houses that are on the way to Coporaque.

Finally we are arriving to the village of Coporaque or place where the corn is given. Our adventure is going to start here in this place in some minutes more...

This is the church of Coporaque which is one of the oldest chapels in Peru. See the difference between the towers... the duality is present in the inca and in the preinca world...
This church is dedicated to Santiago,one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Why the spanish conquerors built churches in the power places of the inca or preinca people and they put Santiago just in specific places of Peru?

Next to the church we have this chapel dedicated to San Esteban.

We left the village and we took a path that is going to take us to Yuraq Qhaqha to see the burials of our ancestors.

Views from San Antonio de Chijra from Yuraq Qhaqha area.

Coporaque seen from Yuraq Qhaqha or white rock.

After a walk of some minutes finally we arrived to the area where the burials are located.
We dont´t understand why the local authorities don´t protect this place. You can find bones scattered in the place and there are many skulls that present a notorius craneal deformation. This place should be protected and tour guides should respect this place during their visits.
The cult to the death is still alive in Peru. There are many obscure ancient ceremonials that are still performed in Colca Valley in which the death is involved.

After the tombs of Yuraq Qhaqha we continue with our way and now we will visit the ancient town destroyed by the spanisn cavalry in 1570.

We are at the top of the hill and we are watching wonderful viewes of one of the most important shrines of our ancestors in the area of Coporaque.

Nice view of Coporaque from the top of the hill.

We are in the inca ghost town and we see remains of the old terraces done by our ancestors.
Apu Wayra or Lord Wind is the keeper of these places where according to the old people,the spirit of the ancient ones is still alive there...What kind of rituals are still performed in these places?

Now we can see Yanque village and down there we can see some inca terraces that look like a greek amphiteather...incredible!

Now we are descending in order to go back to Coporaque after a nice walk in the area, trying to understand the way of living of our ancestors...

After a walk in which we talked a lot about history,anthropology,architecture,etc we come back to the square of Coporaque very happy of having learned much about our ancestors.

On the way beck to Chivay we can see this beautiful view of Qotallaulli volcano or purple lake in Aymara language,the language of the Kollawas the original inhabitants of Colca valley area.

The sun is about to be eaten by the Pachamama...it will take the shape of a puma or cougar to travel into the underground world.The next day will come in the east again to give life and heat to all living creatures...
I hope you enjoy watching this pictures. Thank you very much and see you later!

Downhill mountainbiking in Colca canyon

by the Colca Specialist

Definitively true! Colca valley and Colca canyon are wonderful places for mountainbiking. Today I would like to share with you pictures of my last mountainbiking event presented by Planet X Adventures called KAMIKAZE NITRO XT-2010 DOWNHILL COLCA CANYON.
This was the fourth time I descended Colca Canyon on a mountainbike.
received any kind of financial aid from the local authorities. Nothing is done to diffuse sports to the young people neither to create new touristic circuits in Cabanaconde.
All the events done were sponsored by private companies. None of these events In this event the downhill team was compound by Guillermo Rendón, John Medina Rendón, Edison “Chiqui” Gomosio and the dutch cyclist Esther Visscher.
Pablo Masías Nuñez del Prado, director of the TV program Pureq Runa was one of the guests of this important event.
The circuit goes from Cabanaconde and then it goes down to Soro area, which is a small communa inside Colca Canyon.
The views are really amazing and the views of the canyon are not the same as the ones seen on the area of the condor cross.
The trail we used to go down is a dirt road wide enough for a van or a small truck.
It´s not technical at all and you can go as fast as you can.
Words cannot describe the experience we had in this places.
It is a wonderful circuit. You can go downhill with your mountainbike until the bed of the river and then you can go walking to Soro or to Llahuar which is close. Mountainbiking and trekking. Fantastic.
Don´t hesitate and take this tour! If you really love nature and adventure this is the right option for you! Kodak time!

In this picture we can see Pablo Masías Nuñez del Prado and Guillermo Rendón ,the most famous and controversial downhill mountainbiker in Arequipa. Don´t confuse him with Darth Vader!

The new generation participated in this event,here we can see John Alexis Medina, a downhill mountainbiker from Arequipa.

The views of the Colca Canyon are spectacular. The place has no comparison with the condor cross that in the last years turn into "the condor marketplace". No noisy groups,no vendors. Fantastic!

The dutch cyclist Esther Visscher having a great time in the Colca Canyon !

Edison "chiqui"Gomosio ,the most popular mountainbiking guide from Cabanaconde showing his skills to the cameraman from peruvian TV program Pureq Runa.

More impressive views of the majestic Colca Canyon: the condors realm!

Here we can see the dirt trail wide enough to run safely! This circuit is marvelous.We don´t understand why the majors of Cabanaconde do nothing to publish more information about this circuit.

Pablo Masias the director of the TV program Pureq Runa and his cameraman Rodolfo enjoying the views of Colca Canyon!

Edison "Chiqui" Gomosio posing condor style for a picture !

Wow! This picture was taken seconds before the fall...

The broom car coming to pick up the mountainbikers...

A nice view of Colca River,in the area close to Soro.

Kodak Time for Esther Visscher! This pictures would never be forgotten!

Now we are going up in the broom car back to Cabanaconde...The adventure was great and we will come back again for another adventure!

A wonderful view of Cabanaconde, we hope you have enjoyed these pics and we invite you to come with us the next time!