HAPPY EKEKO DAY!
Yes, Happy Ekeko Day! It is also called Alasitas where I first encountered Ekko in Bolivia. I immediately feel in love and the rest, as they say, is history!
As a genealogical historian, I enjoy learning about not only the traditions of my ancestors, but also those of other lands that I visit. On each trip I make I try and bring home some historic tradition, belief, art, etc. that I can then introduce to my family and share with others. I have done this from Mexico, Thailand, Ghana, Morocco, Angola, South Africa, Seychelles, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, the U.K, Italy, Japan, and a host of others.
However, one of my favorites and now one of the favorites of my children and grandchildren is Ekeko from my travels throughout Bolivia. While there I made it one of my missions to find and bring home Ekeko. Happily I can say ‘Mission Accomplished!’
As it was related to me, Ekeko is the Aymara Fesitval of Abundance. The Aymara people are an ancient people in the Andean region of South America. Ekeko is an ancient belief and is seen as the god of abundance and good luck. Since he is a midget or dwarf, which is what Ekeko means in Aymaran) you need to offer him everything in miniature. You see, it is important that he must be kept happy in order to bring you good luck for the New Year.
All over present day Bolivia, Peru, and other Andean nations Alasitas begins today and you can find markets FULL of everything under the sun in miniature for your Ekeko!
One of the reasons I really like Ekeko is that during the Spanish colonization of South America and their following attempts to stomp out the native cultures and beliefs and replace them with their Catholic beliefs, Ekeko was one of the traditions that was kept. As it was explained to me, no matter what, the Aymara people kept Ekeko strong in their hearts, hidden, and did not allow the Conquistadors to destroy him! He is STRONG!
Now I am lucky to have a very good friend in Bolivia who supplies us with a few miniatures each year for our Ekeko celebration. Also I have found a terrific US-based company, S P Miniatures for all my Ekeko needs since I also supply the necessary items for both my children for the Ekeko in each of their homes, which only adds to the great fun!
As you look at my photos of Ekeko you might notice the cigarette. Well, Ekeko loves a good time, so he is partial to having a smoke now and again (so he gets a new cigarette each year) and he loves his spirits … so he gets a shot of my favorite each year, either Cachaca or Mount Gay Rum!
So now I am off to make sure we are all set!
Have a wonderful Ekeko Day and remember to be sure to include new, fun, and exciting traditions in your family genealogy work too!
Onward To Our Past!