MAPUCHE SPIRITUALITY: Connected to the earth

The Mapuche are a very spiritual people who foster a deep connection to the land and nature and view life as a constant battle between good and evil. Central to their beliefs is the celestial father, or ngenechen, embodied in four components: an old man, an old lady, a young man, and a young woman. The Mapuche believe in a natural world on Earth and a spiritual world in the sky. Their spiritual world, Wenumapu, is found between the clouds and the cosmos, and is inhabited by the gods, spirits and ancestors. Next to it is Anka-wenu, a chaotic place containing evil spirits called Wekufes who cause suffering to mankind. The spiritual lives of the Mapuche are guided by shaman called machi, whose job is to communicate with the celestial family, ward off evil from the Wekufu, influence weather and harvests, and cure diseases.

The most important Mapuche festival is the Nguillatun, celebrated at different times of the year to re-establish the balance in the Mapuche peoples’ lives in times of social unrest or natural disasters, or simply to give thanks to their ancestors. Mapuche communities come together for two to four days to pray to their creator, the God of the sky, and sing, dance and feast.
Jun 1, 2015
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