THENEW PACHA (Article in English)









The following article is reprinted with permission from



Lorenzo Fritz G.

Native American Advisor for CONAMAQ
Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Marcas del Qullasuyu

The Native American Andean language known as Aymara is said to be among the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. For the more than three million speakers of Aymara, the sacred word Pacha is used to refer to both time and space -- one word, one ingenious concept. Our current Pacha, in what has been announced as the transformation from Piscean to Aquarian awareness, is the most important in the history of indigenous peoples. Following some 500 years of unjust rule commencing with western expansion in the late 15th century, the "original guardians" of the earth are at the brink of extinction. Just as entire plant and animal species have disappeared because of unchecked activities by western civilization, tribal cultures are also rapidly becoming extinct. Indigenous peoples are literally disappearing in overpowering capitalistic and political systems that they have little power to defend themselves from. This is a loss not only for them but for mankind as well.

Native peoples have so much to offer our changing world including ancient wisdom and knowledge, vital spiritual ideology, and helpful forms of communal relationships. Through visionary and meditative experiences involving sacred plant use and age-old rituals indigenous peoples open gates to universal truths and basic insights unavailable through academic or scientific inquiry. They furnish mankind with alternative natural medicines and nutritious as well as delicious foods. The guardians have bestowed upon mother earth sound ecological techniques for adapting to their environment together with sustainable practices for gently affiliating with animals and plants. Tribal groups grant society attentive child rearing procedures and the sensibility to respect and heed elders. Native cultures reveal the importance of female vivaciousness and the absolute necessity of balancing feminine and masculine energies. They render our world with uplifting music, stimulating dance, enriching poetry and marvelous material arts. Indigenous cultures impart unique senses of humor and endow the human race with the vitality and consciousness of original native spirit. It is not too late to preserve, rescue, and in some cases, reclaim some of their positive traditions and values.

The greatest single earthly phenomenon to potentially change the course of mankind and protect against the loss of indigenous culture arrived as golden sunlight at darkest dawn. The Internet -- worldwide unrestricted communication -- provides a sunshine brightness that can preserve traditional customs, beliefs and values and at the same time bring peace and mindful understanding to virtually every member of the human race. No longer does historic precedent or unfavorable government or narrow education or ignorant prejudice have the power to force unreasonable limitations on us. Before long all people will have the opportunity to share of themselves without qualified limitations. With planetary interchange the human heart and spirit can overflow one to the other with respect, compassionate understanding, love, and forgiveness. We are living a New Pacha --one of encouraging brilliance unknown and unavailable before now. A savior has arrived...s/he can be perceived on our computer monitors. And s/he can succeed in sharing original native spirit and uniting humanity through the judicious sharing of our own heartfelt desires.

Up to now tribal people who have been forced into monetary economies have rarely been able to sell their products directly to the ultimate consumers of those products. Because indigenous populations tend to be among the poorest on earth, their marketing options have been extremely limited. They often live in cultural isolation and are generally not segregated among governmental statistics dealing with commerce and economics. Few people realize the contribution and immolation that native peoples make to the world economy and how inequitable their compensation has been. Historically, tribal people the world over have suffered in poverty and been held back from achieving their inherent potential as coequal members in the family of humanity. Thus the majority of indigenous peoples have relinquished the creation and manufacture of traditional products in addition to forsaking, if not renouncing, established activities that were once important to their survival. Most are seeking non-traditional means of obtaining income that are often personally abusive as well as culturally annihilating. Despite the fact that tribal products in western markets are especially desirable and valuable, native people have seldom had the opportunity to reap the greater financial benefits from that desirability.

It is time to utilize the positive achievements of western civilization to the advantage of native peoples and the rest of humanity. The fragile existence of tribal culture the world over has been so easily extinguished in the past. We have all experienced negative effects from the devastative injury to indigenous cultures. Their cries of anguish and suffering and loss have gone largely unnoticed by poorly controlled, if not out of control, powers of supremacy. With Internet communication that power can be transformed into a positive force controlled by every one of us. We must stop using the irresponsible cliché that losing tribal cultures and native values to "modernization" is inevitable. That is no longer true. By exposing the diversity and richness of autochthonous peoples through Internet connections we can learn about and comprehend their courageous plight. Original native spirit -- masked but not missing -- must be shared and expanded if indigenous peoples are to survive in the 21st century. Let us open our hearts and minds to accept the offerings and wisdom of native peoples and return to them our moral, emotional, intellective and financial support during this crucial ascendancy of our planet. Our collective interests and participation in preserving earth's most valuable resources -- indigenous peoples -- will further enlighten the New Pacha.

La Paz, Bolivia
5 May, 2000

Special thanks to Andalucia Rocio Apaza Escobar, Victor Hugo Salinas, Giovanni Aliaga Cañaviri, Aymar Ccopacatty, Eduardo Villaroel, and Maggi Solar Banner.

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Click here to read THE NEW PACHA in Spanish LA NUEVA PACHA