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Showing posts by: Cecilia Velastegui click to see Cecilia Velastegui's profile
Fri
Jun 14 2013 8:30pm

Peruvian Mummies Still Talk

The Ice Maiden of PeruPeruvian mummies refuse to play dead. In fact, despite their now empty craniums and lifeblood that has long drained from their bodies, their hushed demands or whispers of love can still be heard by those who carry within them the mummies’ inherited DNA. But it is only a handful of their descendants who still honor the mummies’ enigmatic cries. Ages ago, the advice of Incan leader Manco Capac rang in all ears of the empire like a clap of thunder; even coming from a mummified sovereign, his powerful words rang true. Now the majority of the mummies’ descendants prefer to listen only to scientific and anthropological explanations for how and why the mummies continue to be rediscovered in glacial crevasses, musty caves, and cloud-swept volcanoes. Contemporary society listens only to scientific and anthropologic data pertaining to newfound mummies. We are intrigued to hear that the Ice Maiden’s stomach still contains the frozen food she ate and that she died of a blunt trauma blow. We listen to reports that tell us X-rays confirm the Chachapoya mummies of the Peruvian cloud forest had their internal organs removed, and we wait to hear about the methods used to preserve their skin. Although the scientific language of logic and reason has practically duct-taped the mummies’ own communication in the twenty-first century, the mummies’ visceral messages continue to hum in the bone marrow of a few of their descendants like a huayruru rattle shaking on a foggy night in the cloud forest or a lone pan-pipe tune ascending the frigid Andean peaks.

[Can you hear them? Listen...]