Nieves, a shaman woman from the Andes is offering Coca leafs and
tributes like llama foetus and quinoa to Pachamama, Mother Earth.
Kechua she remembers the myth of coca, “ Coca was a woman before she
was a plant; when she died her semi-divine husband, Sinchi Roca , cried
so much that a plant grew from where his tears fell, a healing present
from Pachamama.” It was named Coca.
the centuries, in Bolivia, women and the Coca plant have shared the
same destiny: discrimination, repression, misunderstanding and finally,
at this very moment in history, revaluation.
In the Andes
is more appreciated and valued by the Indians than coca. It is
impossible to imagine the native Indians without their plant and its
significance in religion, culture, health and work; it is a powerful
symbol of Andean identity and of the indigenous protest against US
policies. This uprising has proved so effective that it has changed the
face of Bolivian politics. In a society where women are under-estimated
they are threatening the status quo.
It is women
transformed the struggle in Bolivia from isolated individual responses
to organized and widespread resistance. It is women who stand up in
front of the road blocks. It is women who organized marches and the
hunger strikes. It is women, the spirit of Coca, who are restructuring
the political landscape.