Incas and Diaguitas: Abandoned Ways in Sierra de Quilmes
Waves on waves
I lie under the open night sky, waiting for the moon,
the puma high in the cliff side watches me,
I watch the universe completing another cycle.
I hear the mountain river in the night,
running down to the open wide pampas,
searching for its people.
The apachetas, pyramids of rocks and offerings to the Pacha Mama,
marking mountain passes and changes in the spiritual nature of the land,
now lie abandoned in an empty space previously cared by men.
Men came from the north, occupied the inhospitable mountains,
made them home thousands of years ago.
The Inca Empire is long gone.
The Diaguita culture that enlivened these mountains,
destroyed into shards of ancient ceramics and tumbled rock walls of village huts.
A culture overrun by an invincible tide of metal, gun powder and disease.
The invaded strengthening the spanic invaders
giving them knowledge of the land and rape-children,
creating a new hybrid population.
As one tribe receded into forgotten mountain crags,
another rose to take its place and fill the valleys.
inherited and expanded by the spanic wave,
are gradually blurring into wilderness.
Knowledge of the land, its ways and paths,
going with the new generation to the cities.
Like the Chuscha mummy,
a symbol of the living culture,
now removed from its mountain abode,
where it overlooked its people,
placed into a museum corner.
recovering its untamed nature,
returning to its original owners.
Piles of ancient ceramic fragments, strewn over abandoned fields,
mixed with fragments of plastic bottles, tetrapaks, glass shards.
The pumas and condors now dominate peaks and crags,
filling the void left by men's retreat.
Who will remember the Pacha Mama?