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Superstitions from Peru

Victor M. Del Carpio from Peru

Victor M. Del Carpio Photo from Kathy Gardner
Despite all the technology our civilization has developed, we keep having hopes and fears about nature, fertility, the harvest, or the need for water and rain.


In Peru, a country where many cultures and traditions have been mixed and have fought, there are many expressions of the encounter and the struggle to face life, the environment, and the future without certainty.

Despite all the technology our civilization has developed, we keep having hopes and fears about nature, fertility, the harvest, or the need for water and rain. We still know that our environment and the future are out of our control.

When my first child was born, my sister-in-law told me that I should put a red lace ribbon on some part of my baby's body to protect her against a supposed disease transmitted by the sight of evil people (evil eye).

I'm not a superstitious person, so I refused that idea. After some time my kid was sick and having some spasms and convulsions, so we took her to a doctor for some tests and he gave us some medication. For a while, it didn't work.

The same sister-in-law suggested that I take my daughter to some shaman who would solve the problem by doing a ritual with an egg to absorb the evil eye; if the disease would be different, they use a guinea pig to absorb whatever is causing her to be sick. I was worried about the health of my baby, but I couldn't do that. I just kept doing what the doctor told me and finally she was relieved of her illness.

I know there are a lot of wizards and witches in my country doing their rituals to heal some diseases or to reverse the bad luck of some people. There are rituals made in order to get good luck, to make a brand new house, and to be healthy and prosperous.

For example, in Bolivia, where I have lived for a while, the laborers would bury a smoked animal in the ground before they would start on the foundation of a house. In Peru, on the day the laborers are going to do the roof mostly with bricks and concrete, the owner must organize a party, with a lot of beer, music, and food. Then the laborers work and party at the same time.

There are many more rituals made to get protection against an insecure environment that mankind faces with fear, but there are a lot of positive rituals that people do to express gratitude for the miracle of life and the Creator.


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