Posts Tagged ‘Quechua’

Experiential Education at Inti Raymi

11/05/2010

Inti Raymi in Cusco

Peru’s Inca History Rich with Experiential Education: At least from what we see at current Inti Raymi Festival
Every year on June 24 Cusco celebrates the festival of Inti Raymi at the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
This festival was celebrated by the Incas as the Festival of the Sun in honor of the God of the Sun: Wiracocha. The Inti Raymi symbolizes the eternal consecration of marriage between the Sun and human beings. The festival is

Inca Royalty Observe Inti Raymi

now the second largest festival in Latin America with an expected 200,000 people visiting Cusco.

But from an educator’s eye, there is more going on than just a festival. Groups of students from all over Peru but especially from the Quechua speaking, and Inca origins, come to participate in experiential tests of courage and craftsmanship.  It is a wonderful and proud event in which to participate,

An 18-Yr-Old Balances

where young from come to throw, climb and balance, all the while, with elders looking on.  The sense of pride and community at the Inti Raymi is palpable.

When I first attended some 12 years ago, it had not been so big. So be it. The

Stone Throwing Competition

festival is popular and deservedly so, not only for the sense of history of the Inca, and Quechua heritage, but to see teens competing, representing their communities, here at this historical place, Sacsayhuaman.
Images: R. Richards, Mountain Spirit Institute
Mountain Spirit Institute has been running programs in Peru since the late 1990’s that focus on experientially learning and giving back to the people of the Andean villages we encounter. We pride ourselves in staying off the beaten path. See our website at www.mtnspirit.org for more information. MSI is a non-profit educational organization.

Festival near Machu Picchu, Peru

20/11/2009

In a small hamlet, near the town of Ollantaytambo, a few hundred devotees hold festivals in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, known locally as Mamacha Carmen, patron saint of the mestizo population. The gathering, that raises the curtain on these days of celebrations is held in the main square, where troupes of musicians play their instruments while richly dressed choirs sing in Quechua. The setting gives way to a series of ingenious choreographies that portray events in Peruvian history.  The main and much bigger celebration of Virgen Del Carmen is in the town of Paucartambo, about four hours from Cusco, Peru. Mountain Spirit Institute participants, guide Guillermo Seminario, and host Anna Sequeros are in this clip.

KareKare and Piha: Powerful Places

09/06/2009

The Power of Place – Two Black Sand Beaches near Auckland Exude Energy and Ayni*

The Big Easy

The Big Easy

I went for a gander at KareKare beach near our base here in Piha Beach the other day. One reads about deserted beaches that run for miles, and I know I’ve only just gotten a taste of New Zealand’s remote beaches, but I have to write about this place. I’m just settling in to what less population density feels like.

New Zealand  is a country of about 5 million, and Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city,  which is about 25km away, has a population of about 2 million.  By the looks of KareKare Beach, (or the beach village of Piha for that matter) you’d never know we’re near Auckland .   Both KareKare and Piha beach are little hideaways of spirit power spots. One feels the earth energy on the order of Sedona. The power of place exudes from both Piha and Kare Kare.

KareKare Powerspot

KareKare Powerspot

From studying geomancy ( the natural order and patterns of landscape and geography) and natural “Apus” or mountain spirits, my experience and feelings tell me this is one hot spot.  Both Piha and KareKare beaches exhibit rock peaks that protrude directly out of the beaches.

In Piha there exist dramatic caves at the beach’s north end. We got married in front of one last weekend which had two large caves ascending like hallways from the earth. The one on the right is 20-25 feet tall with floors of soft fine sand. The entrances of the two “hallways” are separated at the cliff’s face by a  high wall of about 5 meters wide by 8 meters high, which extends up to roof which forms an alcove.

Roughly in the center of this wall  is a block of lighter denser lava, which appears to have been formed by columnar jointing, but is a single large piece,  protruding out of the surrounding darker rock by 12 inches. It looks like a natural alter, at chest level, facing out to the Tasman Sea. The whole alcove sits about 6 meters above the beach below, and one ascends a huge pile of fine black sand, who’s top forms the uneven sandy floor of the alcove.

Piha Beach-Village

Piha Beach-Village

In Peruvian cosmology the Pacha Mama exhibits mountain or earth spirits in masculine or feminine. In the east, Yin signifies, female, yielding,  yang signifies  active, positive, male, strong. Piha is obviously a powerful place, not only because of its beauty, but  because of the balance in it’s natural layout, between the positive male peak and the female aspect, the caves, not more than a kilometer away.

KareKare Beach exudes power, and solitude.  The movie “The Piano” was made here. The wide black sand beach goes on for miles, with cliffs to the back, broad undulating dunes and a narrow little path from the hamlet of KareKare, which deposits you to the beach.

Mayor  Bob Harvey was asked on a NZ website about his relationship with this area. Says Harvey, “I’ve been the lifeguard here for 50 years. I think there’s a huge spiritual significance here that I reckon on this coastline from Karekare to Whatipu.”  He adds, “Something exists which I…. I can’t put my, my finger on it.”

Peace for two at KareKare

Peace for two at KareKare

The words “The Big Easy” keep coming to mind. I suppose, because it seems easy to be here, easy to reconnect with yourself and nature.  These words, in America have a different connotation –  of New Orleans and all the shenanagins that go with the annual Madigras celebration. But here in KareKare, they are the words  that seem to fit for me.  A place where you can unwind and connect. The place speaks to you. And you are rejuvenated.

*Ayni: A Quechua term meaning ‘reciprocity’ whereby one recieves power from the Apus, or mountain spirits, and one gives power back by offerings and meditation. Reciprocity is a concept that pervades the Quechua way of thinking, and of life  in the Andes.