wayra

when i heared about wayra
i felt at home
as if i could hear the winds
caress my skin
and blow into my ear
things i had always wished to hear
and just in a second i knew
what i found is that i’m home
wherever air blows

 

wayra is a quechua word for air, storm, strong wind – it almost has a negative connotation, my local friend told me. quechua is the language that the Inka civilization used, a language that was planned to be wiped away by the Spanish who thought their oral culture meant analphabetism, because they did not write. the Inkas spoke, and transmitted their teachings and stories orally. a written form of the language came much later, that’s why the same word can me written in many ways. i read different versions of wayra, e.g. yaira, huaira, waira. it did not matter how it was written, the importance laid in the sound the word made. i think orality is really beautiful.

the word Inka itself is an abbreviation for Intiqchurinka, which means the sons of the sun. so basically, their population called themselves the sons of the sun. Inti being the sun. Quilla is the moon. Pacha the Earth.

My trip and short life in Peru has been filled with richness and discoveries, new languages and non-verbal communications. non-human relations. the mountains are called Apus, and they are so mighty and so wise that you understand why the locals saw them and still see them as divinities. the apus, provide everything. most importantly, water. water is Yaku, one of the most sacred elements. no yaku, no life up high in the mountains, about 3300m above sea level the arid landscape and hot beating sun are mercyless, so water is the center of daily life.

Cuzco is the highest city in the world, it lays among the Andes and the view is breathtaking from there. you feel the sun being so close to you. and it is. cuzco was one of the four main cities of the Inkan empire, and it was the most important one, where everything was being administered. this is why in quechua, cuzco means belly button. the core of the civilization. some say it is shaped as a puma, others as a sea otter – both sacred animals of those lands. the three realities the Inkas believed existed are being represented by three animals: the condor, the puma, and the snake. the condor represents the higher world, anapacha. the puma is the middle world, or the here and now: kaipacha. the snake is the underworld, the ukupacha. during our trek we saw two of them, the puma remained hidden in the forest, in the sacha.

the apus of the andes are mighty. there, the only rule is the rule of the wind. wayra rules, it blows in circles and storms and brings forth the most important information from peak to peak. mountains communicate like this, i believe. the trees are living further down for the air is very thin and heavy, when humans walk in that height they usually get a strong headache. condors are the kings, the surveillors of the lands, and snakes lead the way. pumas live undisturbed in the forests of the lower grounds, their bright eyes always watching, always knowing who’s passing along. beatles and insects are common visitors, and food for bigger animals. the local humans are part of the landscape, of nature and of the rule of the apus. direct descendents from the inkas, half spanish, their legs and feet as strong as a stone, and breath as fluent as wayra itself. their skin perfectly coloured like the sand and rocks underneath them, making it harder for animals to see them from afar. their hats and clothes made by the women of the village, bright and colourful like the flower of plants you can find around. which makes them stand out among other animals. their eyes are deep; one of the deepest kind i have found on earth until now. they seem fully grounded and centered in their physical form.

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