IQUITOS - Portal to the Amazon by Cliff Tulpa, Author

Page 71

160 opposite “Mitologias Amazonicas” - visionary art by Anderson Debernardi

Myths and Superstitions

MYTHS - MITOS As the native people of the jungle in their tribal villages try to understand their surroundings, and things that happen they cannot understand or explain, it is normal for them to create stories, myths and superstitions to use as explanations. Most of these myths and superstitions are related to the jungle and the animals they encounter on a daily basis there. Some myths were created and repeated time and again to keep children afraid and not to wander off alone into the jungle. Some legends are perpetuated and used by parents to try to control the sexual urges of their growing children. And some myths are ways to explain the

fear created of living in a jungle where most of the animal life is nocturnal and to explain what goes bump in the night… For millennia, before the present day churches and missionaries brought their recent new religions to the natives, they had their own gods, beliefs and religions. Most of the native religions were based on the life of interaction with the natural world around them. Myths and legends were their way to pass on these beliefs to future generations. Their gods and religions are based on the natural plants and natural order of life in the jungle.

Pachamama Pachamama is the goddess of nature or mother earth. She is the goddess of harvest and fertility. After receiving sacrifices, she is considered benevolent and giving. Many rituals are performed with offerings to Pachamama. Some of the older rituals involved sacrificing animals, although today most are providing a plate of food. The worship of Pachamama is to preserve the nature and the Amazon rainforest for sustainable use practices by the native indigenous people. The purpose is to live in harmony with the natural world. There has been an increase in awareness of the need for balance with nature and mother earth with the increasing extraction of oil, gold, wood and other natural resources from the Amazon Jungle.

161 above - “Pachamama” - visionary art by David „Slocum‟ Hewson