Kusilla kusilla Pachamama

Pachamama offering ceremonies take place throughout the month of August and hold a significant place in Andean culture.

As the first rays of August’s sun grace Cachi, a veil of fragrant incense envelops the town. Families awaken early, fumigating their homes as an act of purification and healing. They do so with the intention of seeking strength, prosperity, and the continuous blessings of Pachamama, the Earth Mother.

Offering ceremonies are deeply rooted in ancestral traditions and are integral to a system of reciprocity. Their purpose is to return to Mother Earth what has been received from her. At their core, offerings to Pachamama embody the essential connection between the Andean people, particularly those in rural areas, and the Earth Mother. These rituals symbolize the act of giving back to Pachamama what has been taken from her, with the primary aim being the restoration of harmony between humanity and nature.

These photographs were made possible through the cooperation and generosity of Otilia Burgos, Nieves Mendoza, and the families of Fuerte Alto and Rojas-Soruco in the San Nicolás neighborhood of Cachi, located in the province of Salta, in northern Argentina.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude for their hospitality and openness.

Pachamama” and “La Señalada” are integral parts of a long-term project: Andean Rituals in the Calchaquí Valley. The objective is to document various facets of life in the Valley, moments imbued with rituals. This valley, a unique cultural landscape, continually inspires and beckons me to further acquaint myself with its inhabitants, and to delve into the depths of their ancestral wisdom and ways of life.

Cachi, Salta, Argentina.

© Nicolás Preci