The Endurance of the Andean Gods: Virtues of the Andean Ethos

Vega-Centeno, Imelda (2009). "The Endurance of the Andean Gods: Virtues of the Andean Ethos" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

For more than 500 years the majestic cults of the Andean people – of which we learn through the chroniclers of the XVI century – have not been acknowledged. Yet these cults survive found in numerous peasants’ rites, thereby connecting the Andean people to their ancestral gods. They survive in Catholic rituals fast as well as the celebration of Corpus Christi. Hidden in these rituals one encounters solar cults, the gods of the old religion and their faiths as well as manners of relating to the sacred and to nature. Moreover, ancient Andean cults also provides an ethic that seeks social cohesion, leading to a sense of ‘group or community’ as separated it from the others. The author looks at the survival of the original cults, faiths and conceptions of social relations, today hidden in the wrapping of Roman Catholicism. The paper aims to go beyond Eurocentric concepts and descriptions of indigenous religions; in particular when analyzing the original Andean religion. It thus seeks to understand its ethic of social relations and the value-based connection of people to nature.
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