October 9, 2013
Carla tells me that prior to the conquest, Churuquella and Sica Sica were worshipped as deities, Sica Sica a god and Churuquella a goddess. The practice apparently continues. Yatiris and brujos (sorcerers) make sacrifices on the hills, especially Churuquella (I think goddesses are more likely to be supplicated with offerings than gods), some using white magic, some black. One can pay a brujo to cast a spell or make one well. (She tells me there is a section of the campesino market devoted to witchcraft, where they sell llama fetuses, among other things, as sacrificial offerings to pachamama, the mother-earth goddess.) She also explains to me how the Spanish demonized the Inca gods, who inhabited the seven hills around Sucre, so that you can now see crosses on each of the hills to keep the Inca demons away. The way these ancient traditions thrive in a city as modern and placid as Sucre astonishes me.