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Ekeko: Wikis


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In the mythology and folklore of the Aymara people of the Altiplano, a high plateau region which spans parts of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina, Ekeko is the god of abundance. Its origin is believed to be in the Andean Mountains and around Lake Titicaca. Ekeko is depicted as a man with a mustache wearing traditional Andean clothes (especially the poncho) and completely loaded with bags and baskets with grain and food, (compare with the cornucopia of some Greco-Roman deities), household objects, and currency bills, and basically anything that a person is thought to want / need to have a comfortable and prosperous life ; he is commonly found as a little statue to be put in some place of the house, preferably a comfortable one, but also as an amulet holding from key rings; modern statues of the god include a circular opening in his mouth to place there a cigarette (better if lit) for Ekeko's pleasure. Latest tradition has the ekeko "smoke" a lit cigarette (hence the rounded mouth) once a year to ensure a full year of prosperity.

Many households have the small stature version of the Ekeko. Traditionally a person is not supposed to buy an Ekeko for themselves or it won't fulfill its mission. It has to come as a present from somebody else. People offer him banknotes and/or coins to obtain money, grains for a good harvest, and some food to ensure prosperity in general. Ekeko is also known in other zones of Argentina due to immigration and internal migrations, but there his followers, who adopted him as a superstition more than as a folkloric deity, consider him as some kind of beneficent patron.

The Alacitas festival is held for, and hosted by, the Ekeko, each January 24 and sprawls along many streets and parks in central La Paz, in Bolivia. People come from all over to buy miniature versions of goods they would like to own and have them blessed by any one of the many women or mostly men acting as shaman. Throughout this region the festival for the Ekeko is held in October. This spring festival also celebrates the "'abundance'" or fecundity of humanity. Governor Segurota moved it to January in La Paz after a military victory. In some parts Alacitas is still celebrated in October and known by the name "'Calvario'".

There have been rivalries as to whom the folklore truly belongs. Although Ekeko is known throughout Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, recently Bolivia has claimed sole ownership of the Ekeko and Peru has disputed this claim.



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