How the Mapuches knew what Mother Earth would be facing in 2020

Ruka mapuche traditional house

Lately, the world has been going through tough times. Either socially, financially or naturally. What could seem unpredictable for the majority of us, might not be for some other cultures with a strong connection with the planet Earth. As a result, the Mapuche culture and vision of the cosmos predicted the current global situation. In this article, you’ll find out how this indigenous community knew what we would be going through in 2020.

mapuche member pouring mate yerba
Mapuche lady pouring a traditional mate yerba

Brief history & presentation of the Mapuches

As of today, the Mapuches is one of the most notorious native group of Southern Chile & Argentina. In Chile, it is the largest and the majority of the groups inhabits the southern regions & Santiago capital city. Throughout the beginning of their existence, they have mastered the ability to adapt in different types of climate. From the Andean mountains down to the coast, from warmer temperate climatic zones to cold rainy ones. They adapted to them, developing their culture in unique ways.

Historically, they are the most tenacious people. Indeed, neither the Incas or the Spanish settlers could defeat nor dominate them, despite their war efforts. Thus, in 1691, the Spanish King recognized the independence of the Mapuches.

mapuche family
Photo Source: The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Santiago de Chile.

In Mapudungun, their native language, the word “Mapuche” means “people of the land”. Their culture is based on the oral tradition. Indeed, the Admapu (set of ancient traditions, rights, laws and norms transmitted from generation to generation) governs the social and religious conduct.

Religion & cosmovision

The Mapuche Flag
The Mapuche Flag with the Meli witran mapu, representation of the Earth and the 4 cardinal points.

Religiously, the Mapuche beliefs are based on the existence of a world populated by Gods and Spirits. However, this polytheism is summed up under the existence of an Almighty Being. The “Pillán” (Volcano), or “Neguechén” (Supreme Being), who lived in the heavenly heights and had the power to grant life and death.

In addition, they associate manifestations of nature, such as thunder, fire, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes with their duality view of the world. In a few words, the religious beliefs are based on the union between the spiritual world and the concrete world. Moreover, they see the universe as a serie of superimposed platforms in space, all grouped in 3 zones:

  • Meli ñom wenu (the 4 places above), also weno mapu (the land above). It is the platform of good where live the Gods. From the highest platform, they are distributed hierarchically: the Spirits (Gods’ minor employees), then the ancestors; both authentic (the protectors and brokers of the lineage) and mythical (the common ethical counselors).
  • Anka wenu (half up), also miche mapu (the earth below) where inhabit evil beings that don’t have any relation with each other.
  • Mapu (Earth), the natural world summarizing the permanent conflict between the two prior zones.

According to the Mapuche, the harmonic relationship between all the elements of the Earth without the humane intervention is the base of their cosmovision. Thus, the respectful use of the natural resources is fundamental for the overall well-being of the community.

The Mapuche cosmic vision is dualistic and dialectical. The wenu mapu represents the good, whereas the anka wenu minche mapu represent only the evil. On Earth, both the good and evil coexist in a synthesis that does not imply fusion, but rather a dynamic juxtaposition. So, true polarity leads to union, and the conjunction of two opposing forces is a necessary condition to achieve a dualistic cosmic balance.

What happened in 2019 revealed the current global situation

As people of the land, the Mapuche are well-connected with planet Earth. Their deep knowledge of the native fauna & flora, along with the strong connection with the cosmos, enable them to read and interpret natural events.

In a recent post, we explained why a total solar eclipse means bad omen for the future. This extraordinary event happened recently in Chile on July 2 2019. A few months after, since October 14, social protests have been taking over the streets of big Chilean cities. As a result of this strong social and political crisis, the Chilean government had to cancel some important internacional events. Indeed, both the 2019 APEC and the UN Climate Change Conference were either cancelled or organized in another country.

This singular and natural event might seem a simple coincidence for us. But not for this wise indigenous community. As a matter of fact, another natural event took place but went unnoticed through the eyes of the common.

In the Mapuche culture, the Earth always delivers messages and warnings. There exists a belief about the Quila, which is a perennial bamboo growing in the humid temperate forests of Chile and Argentina. History has demonstrated that when the Quila comes into bloom (only every 70-90 years), and the Colihue gets dry after then, it is bad omen. According to the mapuche, the Earth tries to warn us about “great battles coming”, and with it famine and drought. But after that come new buds and “young land”.

quila chilean bamboo
The quila, Chilean bamboo

Here’s a few historic examples demonstrating how the quila has been warning us without knowing:

  • When the Spanish conquerors arrived from the north of Mataquito, the quila came into bloom throughout the south of the Bío Bío Region.
  • When Cornelio Saavedra invaded Malleco, the quila blossomed from Villarrica to Boroa on the shores of the Toltén River.
  • Before the financial crisis of 1929, it blossomed in all its splendor.

In early November of 2019, it occurred once again. What has been happening globally was announced, but we failed to see it as the modern cultures turn a blind eye regarding the damages we are causing to Mother Earth and to ourselves.

With their millennial experience, the Mapuches have been able to accumulate rich knowledge in the different areas of life. Starting with its ancestral historical heritage, such as art, socio-political organization, health, the spirituality, religion, economy, culture, politics, philosophy, education, organization social, among other components.

 

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