Monday, September 22, 2014

Goddess Series: Mama Cocha

The Mama Cocha necklace was made using varous shells, aquamarine, freshwater perals, and glass beads, metal focals, two rhinestone connectors and silver plated chains.  A small treasure 'cannister" rests amidst the shells and stones, allowing the wearer to carry a wish, prayer, or small charm.

Mama Cocha (Mama Qocha, Mama Qucha, Qucha Mama, Cochamama) is the South American goddess of the sea, though she's usually associated with the Incans.  She was revered throughout Peru, Ecuador, Southern Columbia, Northern and Chile.  Her name translates to "Sea Mother."  Coastal dwellers, sailors, and fishermen prayed to her for protection from storms, to calm the seas, and to bless them with the bounty therein (fish).  People who lived more inland saw her as a more menacing being.  She was also associated with Lake Titicaca, which is sometimes still refered to as Mama Cocha.

Mama Cocha was the wife to Viracocha (or Wiraqucha, the supreme god) and she bore two children, Mama Quilla (the moon goddess) and Inti (the sun god).  All water (rivers, streams, irrigation water, rain, and the ocean) was believed to stem from her.  To ensure that children were linked to her, Incans (and other Peruvians) would travel to the ocean to bathe their children in the ocean.  Certain seashells were thought to be "daughters of the sea, the mother of all waters" and were used in sacrifices to Mama Cocha.

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