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  • Writer's pictureJanet Zoya

The talking Apus

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Just saying hello, and putting out the welcome mat.

Here are some photos from Peru, where I lived for the last 5+ years (and visited for long periods before that for the last 10). For most of that time, my home was in Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, up in the Andes among the Q'echua people (the descendants of the Incas). Peru, and in particular the Sacred Valley, is a deep part of me, and I am grateful to share it with you.

My first visit to Machu Picchu was in 2009. The mountains of Machu Picchu were literally talking to me. They were speaking to everyone. I was stunned that the other visitors around me were not hearing them. Later that day when I was back in the nearby village of Aguas Calientes, I was talking to a local man (a local art gallery owner) about seeing Machu Picchu for the first time. I told him that the mountains were talking, and what a profound experience it was. He nodded and said, "Oh good. You heard them. Most foreigners cannot hear the mountains speaking." He then showed me many of the paintings in his gallery, painted by local people. The paintings were of the regional mountains, rivers, and landscapes, with faces in them. The indigenous people can hear the streams, rivers, and mountains speaking to them. They have a personal, conscious relationship with nature. In Peru, the mountains are called the Apus, which means "Grandfathers/Grandmothers" in Q'echua. The apus are revered as wise ancient beings who protect and teach us.

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