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Conversaciones con la Pachamama (Conversations With Mother Earth)

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The following film was made by three indigenous communities in the Peruvian Andes The film was created as part of a participatory video project I am very proud of being a "Cochasina" because here we still follow our customs learnt from our parents. Up there is the mountain Winchur. beyond is the Huacraqocha Lake. Up there is the mountain Maman Wasi and behind is Father Huaytapallana, the snow mountain. There we can see the mountain Chuyo (ongoing flowing water) from which all springs originate that provide potable Cochas Grande with potable water, it is very clean. There are other hills, Waricancha or Tucoloma because the owl used to live there. When a person visits unknown fields he or she has to be with positive energy, taking offerings to Pachamama, coca, cigarettes. The World Is Warming Too Much our Mother Earth has been trampled on and mistreated. In the year 2020, how is it going to be like? I feel sorry for my grandchildren. We should not forget what our parents and grandparents have taught us. We should remember by heart our rituals. We are continuing what they did although some of it is getting lost. What is western ideology? If children do not obey their mother and misbehave she will be sad and sick. What we want to show are the changes in recent years regarding when and how much it rains. Ten years ago sowing normally took place in September. We took advantage of the first rains most of all for maize We did not merely sow but we applied all the secrets and wisdom of our tradition, talking happily and many times helping each other in "ayni" (co-operation). After sowing, the period of growth of the crops was from September to May. In October and November the intensity of rain decreased. As long as there was little rain, the crops would develop. In the month of December the rain intensified. By January and February the rain was heavier. In March rainfall was heavy but by the end of April it rained much less and during this month harvesting was possible. In May the opening of the ears of corn took place. This whole period lasted 6 to 7 months, a complete normal growth cycle and the rains were more regular. Now especially in the last two years changes have become visible. so in September rain is absent, this continues in october and in November. Many people say that the fields look like fallow lands, as thought were summer, just like in July and August after opening of the fields. In December, the villagers soak the maize seed before sowing so that they don't remain dry for too long When seeds are soaked they germinate quickly but everything is done without secrets and wisdom, just in a hurry Later this month the first rain will appear and in January and February, rainfall is very heavy Now we see that rainfall is more intense, I mean the rainy season has been reduced from December to April. Practically we are talking about 3 to 4 months of rain. Also the intensity has increased. That is why many villagers day the rain periods are shorter but when it rains it rains cats and dogs. The difference is that the villagers and the plants have to adapt to these processes. Now the weather is changing too much, we see hailstorms and frost any time. Because we don't remember our Apus anymore hail and frost fall anytime. My grandfather used to tell me that Hail is a person that lives, that is why hail harvests the food from our field when it is time. But now hail is coming around November, December and January too, just when we have sown, and our crops are very small and green. Little plants that are not supposed to be harvested ...will you put them in your storage? This is a result from our lack of respect to Pachamama, we have failed her. We have not fed Pachamama so that she sends us hail as revenge, she does not take sare of us, she does not protect us that is why we get hail any moment. Nowadays frost is stronger, it burns inside of the corn and makes it a mess. When it gets warmer what will happen to us? Will we obtain our food or not? We need to know and be prepared for the global warming. Seedtime had its period, specific months. For example maize would be sown on August 30 onwards. That is all. Everyone prepared the fields, watched the little maize, wives made chicha (fermented maize drink) of real Maize. The chicha was prepared in a little ceramic vessel where it ripened quickly. She took to the Maize fields and offered flowers. We caught crickets. The elders said only innocent children should capture crickets, 4 or 5 to obtain big ears of corn. Mamapacha (Mother Earth) welcomes children that are innocent. If elders touch the soil they will spoil it, castrate it, therefore when men enter the fields they guide the oxen with with a plough. Otherwise it is a mistake. We used to sow using guano (manure from sea birds) with ashes and we fertilised with fermented compost. We took to the fields and spread the natural fertilisers. The potatoes grew, with worms but very tasty. Now, with more chemical fertilisers our harvests don't taste. Our livers get sick. With so many chemical fertilisers we get gastritis, before we never heard about it. Everything is changing. In the year 2020, how is it going to be like? I feel sorry for my grandchildren. Our fields where we grew potatoes were worn out by using fertilisers. They are our enemies, when we use them in the fields we don't produce, even grass does not grow. The fertilisers burn the roots of the plants. When we use natural fertiliser they rot and return to the soil, they become earth. Natural fertilisers have many nutrients and the pasturelands sprout. Guano lasts long and keeps our fields healthy. It's like healing a sick person. With compost we heal our fields. As a community elder you nurture all members to work from your heart. Talking with Pachamama, with the Apus (sacred mountains) night and day, begging with our hearts, with faith, this is what nurtures the community. That way there is no frost, hail or drought. The protestant religion has made us forget our customs. As community elders we put aside religion and serve the community. That is our old custom. We have to serve each other with all our hearts. Since the Spaniards arrived with their religion, our Mother Earth has been trampled on and mistreated. They told us "The earth is not alive, only God is alive". This is not true: since the time of our grandparents and parents, since the origin of our culture we have always respected Mother Earth and we nurture her with love as we walk gently. Before sowing our parents artfully paid respect to Mother Earth, offering her coca leaves, carnations and wine. If children do not obey their mother and misbehave she will be sad, and sick. That is what happens to Mother Earth who is now completely polluted. We do it from our heart, it is no joke, we chew the coca leaves, drink a little bit of alcohol. That helps the community. That is the way we talk with mother earth. To call for rain is difficult. It is easier to bring an engineer to the community but to call upon rain, to bring water is very difficult. In the time of our grandfathers, in the time of the Incas we used to call "gentiles" (wise ones) those who knew all that, without having studies, without knowing how to read. We are continuing what they did although some of it is getting lost. What is western ideology? It's like a huge sickness that has penetrated us. That is why we are ashamed to be authorities (traditional elders), to wear our hats, to walk with our woollen trousers. We are ashamed of speaking our Quechua language. Things have changed because people do not believe anymore due to education or because they are Protestant. They change everything because they do not believe in anything. I beg of you, wherever you are don't forget to celebrate the rituals. We should not forget what our parents and grandparents have taught us. We should remember by heart our rituals. The Apus are the witnesses that protect us. Thanks to them we have food and can eat, we have water and can drink. That is why I beg you to remember and present offerings to the Apus. But don't forget God, always remember him. The Earth is our mother and children take care of their mothers. We can gain awareness and not cut the trees, not burn the forest. Peasants don't think that money is everything. Our health is better than money because you cannot buy health. My mother and me, we will always follow the rituals, we shall never give them up.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 37 seconds
Country: Peru
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 100
Posted by: conversationsearh on Dec 15, 2011

Participatory video on climate change.

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