Related Themes of Chicha




     Chicha represents reciprocity in multiple ways. When celebrations were had, it was considered good manners to share your drinks with others. In the Huarochiri Manuscript, people that did not offer their drinks up to travelers or poorer Andeans were held accountable for their bad manners. In terms of the relationship between the elite, the commoners, and chicha, the drink provided a social bridge between the social brackets – if the people farmed their maize and gave their share, then they would be able to live well and have chicha to drink and celebrate with.

Huaca/Gods and Worship

     Andeans, regardless of identity or group, have a deep reverence for their spiritual culture. For the Inca, they offered up chicha to the Sun and to Mother Earth – named Pachamama. For the Kuna, they used the chicha as a form of spiritual transformation from child to adult and as protection against evil spirits. All around the Andes, chicha is a way for Amerindians to commune with nature, their ancestors, their spirits, their gods or goddesses, and one another.

Spanish Colonialism

     Under Spanish colonial rule, chicha was both a blessing and a curse. While many Andeans were able to keep an important part of their culture, it was also used against them. However, chicha represents endurance and resistance; today, Andeans are gaining more and more dependence and respect from governments and non-Andeans. Chicha is allowing some people to break away from years of economic barriers and prejudice, one of the worst ways the Spanish were able to keep the Native Andeans in check. Today, chicha is once again a sacred and enjoyable drink for people to enjoy.

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