Ekeko: What is it?
The Ekeko is the representation of the goddess of abundance, fertility and joy, typical of the Andean culture, especially in Bolivia.
These figures are used as amulets to attract prosperity and abundance, according to the beliefs.
Legend has it that an Ekeko materializes the wishes of those who worship it and make offerings. These miniature objects that it carries represent what is desired. So the more loaded the Ekeko, the greater the promise of wealth for its owner. A pot represents the Pachamama, a heart represents love and cereals represent food.
But according to the custom, the owner has to “flatter” the doll, with a series of rituals. Otherwise, the tradition warns that the Ekeko could take revenge for neglecting it.
God of water and rain
This deity was in charge of making it rain during the planting season, to ensure a good harvest.
In other words, the Ekeko was born as a god of water and rain, then evolved into a deity of abundance.
However, today these figures do not look like any deity of the Andes, but like any inhabitant of this South American region.
Ritual care of the figure
In order for the Ekeko doll to have its good luck to act in the house where it lives, it has a traditional ritual of care.
The first rule is very important, once you acquire an Ekeko, you cannot uncover its face until it arrives at the house it is going to start taking care of.
Then, when it arrives, you must show your new companion around the house so it knows all the territory it has to protect. Then place him in a nice spot in one of the rooms.
Taking care of the figurine
Once placed, to release the “power” of the Ekeko, you must “smoke” it. Each Ekeko has a concave mouth where you can place a cigarette.
Tradition has it that you must hang what you wish to have; you offer him a cigar because according to ancient legend he likes to smoke to fulfill the request that has been entrusted to him.
Howeover, If the cigar that has been lit is consumed only half is a sign of a bad omen or his discontent in the house where he lives. However, if it is consumed whole it means that you have a good chance that your wish will be fulfilled and that you have a great illusion of living in your home.
The Ekeko is a capricious being and needs a lot of attention, besides the annual offerings. That is, twice a week you have to offer him a new cigar and bring some kind of alcoholic beverage to his side. Despite this, many families feel a great weakness for this doll, so in most houses Ekeko has its own name.
But according to custom, the owner has to “spoil” the doll, with a series of rituals. It has to be pampered so that it does not become jealous or resentful and maintains abundance.
The reason for its resentment is attributed to the time when it originated, where human beings would offer sacrifices to the gods to keep them happy.