The Aymara are one of the thirty-six ethnic groups in Bolivia (the current president Evo Morales is Aymara) and the main group inhabiting the altiplano – Bolivia’s high plains.
June 21 is the winter solstice, which they welcome with ancient sunrise rituals and celebrations. In a circle, the amautas – Aymara shamans – build a bonfire and make offerings, such as a dried lama foetus, for good health and fortune. The dried lama foetus is a much-used offering in Aymara rituals.
Other offerings consist of symbols made of sugar, such as tablets depicting a house, moneybags, etc – miniatures that represent their dreams. During the offerings the amautas call to Pachamama (mother earth) and Pachakama (the universe) to bless the New Year and give thanks to the sun.
“06_21_07_11” by Carling Hale. CC2