Indigenous Customs of Jujuy in Northern Argentina

The Amañamiento or Sirviñacu is a sort of starter kit for marriage among the natives of the Puna. When teenagers fall in love, they can ask for their parents blessing to live together.  If the parents consent, the ceremony of Sirviñacu is performed to bless the Young couple. It is more than an engagement since cohabitation is involved, but it lacks the gravitas and legal aspects of a full marriage. If everything works out, the young couple can take the relationship to the next level by performing a civil union or a religious wedding, or not.

The coca plant, legend has it, is a sacred plant delivered to the ancestors by Inti (the sun god) and Quilla (the moon goddess) to give them strength to fight the Spanish conquistadors.

The Misachico. The indigenous families of the Puna and the Quebrada de Humahuaca possess images and idols of the Virgin and their favorite saints. On the day of the feast of each saint, or on August 15th in the case of the Virgins, the natives form small festive processions to transport their idols and icons to the village church for blessing.

The Flechada is a ritual performed to celebrate the completion of a newly constructed home. The owner of the new house hangs an egg from the ceiling and his guests try to shoot it with a bow and arrow.

The Ofrendas (offerings) are ceremonies performed on the 1st and 2nd of November in remembrance of the dead.

The Coquena, according to legend, is the son of Mother Earth, Pachamama. The Coquena is the divine protector of all wildlife, especially the vicuna and the guanaco (relatives of the llama).

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