Happy Ekeko Day! Perhaps my most favorite day of the year! I love Ekeko and the culture that surrounds him.
Here is my Ekeko in my office. All decked out with his miniatures and his favorite smoke.
The story I heard when I was in Bolivia was that when the Spaniards came and took over they sought to stamp out every vestige of the native’s culture and belief system. This was especially true when it came to religion.
However, the natives of Bolivia kept Ekeko a secret and kept him central to their culture. Today, at high noon in La Paz the feast for Ekeko will begin and it will last until Feb 18th! Centuries later …. and the spirit of Ekeko still rules in Bolivia!
You can see my Ekeko. I keep him happy all year long, but on this day, his day, one must be sure to make him happy so your wishes and desires will come true in the coming year.
So I ply Ekeko with fresh cigarettes, a bit of rum, and miniatures of all the things that folks want in life: health, food, money, travel, etc. You can see my miniatures have multiplied over the years due in large part to a very speical freind in Bolivia, Maria Teresa, who to sends me items each year! She too, keeps her Ekeko happy and we work together to keep him happy and, I might add, we work together to keep the children in need in Boliivia a bit happier too!
So, what does this have to do with genealogy you have probably asked yourselves 10 times over by now!
To me Ekeko is key to how I approach my work in genealogy. This is because to know Ekeko is to know the culture of Bolivia — and as genealogists and family historians we must, yes MUST, learn, know, educate ourselves, and at least to a certain extent embrace the culture of our ancestors and our families. To be truly effective, we must understand what they considered important and central to their lives.
So there are many such chances for each of us in the lives we study ….. but for today and for me ….. it is all about Ekeko!
Onward To Our Past,