Thursday, March 18, 2010
My friend Jeff returned home today after 10 days in Bolivia. He brought me home this cute little ornament. He is the Ekeko, the household god of abundance. A common sight in Paceño homes, the Ekeko is a demanding god who must be kept happy with regular supplies of alcohol, cigarettes and miniature gifts. In return, he watches over the household, ensuring happiness and prosperity and returning in kind any gift he receives. At the fair each year, people buy objects they desire in miniature to give to Ekeko, thereby ensuring that the real thing will be theirs before the year is out. Originally, gifts to the Ekeko would have been farm animals and foodstuffs, but in the modern urban context of La Paz, miniature cars, houses, electrical goods, wads of dollar bills and even airline tickets and university degrees are preferred to more traditional items.Looks like I'll be busy creating a multitude of gifts in miniature! He also brought me the cute little leather purse which was filled with Bolivian coins to add to my coin collection. Welcome home Jeff!