Spirituality and the Pachamama in the Andean Aymara Worldview

  • Vicenta Mamani-BernabéEmail author
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 2)


This chapter shows the importance of cultural values and the role of traditional religion in the daily life of the Aymara people of Bolivia and lifts up the special importance women have in continuing traditional culture. Aymara life is framed in rituals regarding the Pachamama or mother earth, planting and harvesting, especially potatoes, and is based on a close and communicative relationship with nature. The Andean worldview is based on male- female pairing because reciprocity, duality, and complementarity form the defining principle in which harmony and equilibrium are fundamental values. Likewise personhood is not granted to the individual but to the couple. Only when a young man and woman marry are they considered complete and are recognized as adults. Collective complementarity also is the basis of labor relations and forms of collective labor continue to be an important dimension of community life. This worldview, the values that sustain it and the traditional religious rituals, reinforce community solidarity and seek to protect the fields in order to respect the Pachamama as a living being, and to assure a good and abundant harvest for the Aymara communities.


Aymara Pachamama Potatoes Reciprocity Rituals 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Superior Ecuménico Andino de Teología (ISEAT)La PazBolivia

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