What is We Tripantu? The symbolic keys of the Mapuche ancestral ceremony

What is We Tripantu? The symbolic keys of the Mapuche ancestral ceremony

The Ancestral and Contemporary We-Tripantu

The accompanying ceremony for the renewal of natural cycles or we-tripantu dates back thousands of years, as it responds to the logic and regulations of nature and the cosmos, through which the first Mapuche assumed and adapted their individual and collective life. However, at present we find two types or ways of commemorating the we-tripantu in the Mapuche world.


First of all, it will be necessary to know how the day of we-tripantu was determined or defined in ancient times:

The most effective method our grandparents had in defining we-tripantu day is the design, structuring, location and construction of their Ruka; with a hearth in the center and the main door facing the sunrise, they determined and controlled the time and its movement during the course of the year.

That is, the hearth, the main door and a log or stick located in front of the door, will define or mark the movement of the day, the constellations, the sun, the moon and the time, that is, these symbols will mark the days and indicate the path or movement of the sun and the natural cycles pukemngen (rainy time), pewüngen (time or season of outbreaks), walüng (time of abundance) rimü (time of rest or dives) and with this the exact day of the we -tripantu.

From the reference point you could see the beginning of the route that the sun made from the day of we-tripantu, starting it to move from Puel-pikumapu (northeast) to Puel-willimapu, (southeast) vice / versa. In this route it is said that the sun must penetrate or connect with the hearth located in the center of the ruka, in addition the rays must not have any impediment on its journey or route that it takes every day and during the thirteen moons of the year.

Other of the determining factors of the we-tripantu are the thirteen moons of the year, all of which have their own names and each one represents the time in which it corresponds to be present. The moon that marks the beginning of the new year is known as trufken-küyen, gray moon or moon of the ashes, corresponding to the pukem. Therefore, once the trufken küyen has appeared or born, preparations begin for the ceremony of beginning of renewal of life or we-tripantu.

Currently there is also talk of a set of stars called Ngaupoñi, which as the we-tripantu approaches, will disappear to the west, lafkenmapu or ngülumapu, peeking towards the east at dawn, a few days before the birth of the new life in nature .

It is also known with certainty that on the day of we-tripantu, there is a single dawn of the year in which the waters of rivers, springs, lakes, estuaries and others enter a process or changes in temperature caused by the movement of the earth or re-accommodation of it that begins the return or the journey through the universe, completing in the next new year or we-tripantu. That day, warm waters emerge from the depths of the earth through the springs which allow people to bathe in the early morning, (epewun or dawn).

What does the we tripantu ceremony consist of?

The We-tripantu consists of participating together with nature in the renewal and emergencies of new lives. That is, the che (human) being one of the components of nature makes his own and participates with his family and guests in this ceremony of renewal of life. Thus, in advance, he gathers various types of food for the misawün or coexistence that he will carry out with his guests, families and members of nature. You can also perform a konchotun (in which with other friendly families they will visit and share the event), Or perhaps a ceremony carried out by the grandparents, in which they will place their name on a grandchild or small child and that is why of celebration, in short there are many reasons.

The invited families go to the host Ruca at sunset the day before the start of the new cycle, with their yewün (food contributions and presents). During the night, topics related to stories, relevant facts of the Mapuche work are discussed and others relate epeu, ayekan, ül, weupin, koneu, ceremonial dances are also performed around the fire, awarkuden is played among other entertainments. While the mums, sisters, grannies prepare mültrün, kako, rüngalkofke, müllokiñ, mudai, and the celebration begins.

In the early morning or epewun everyone is invited to bathe in the springs, rivers, lagoons or sea, to receive the first waters that will allow them to purify their body and spirit, since all the Mapuche must wait for the we tripantu, very strengthened to May the cycle to come favor your personal, family and collective life. You return to the Ruca before the sun rises, the purification or cleaning ceremony begins by dancing around the ruka according to how the sun moves in this hemisphere, instruments are played, llellipun is performed, consisting of a ceremony of connection and interrelation with the spirits of nature, the ancestors, the universe to thank you for the completion of one life cycle and allow you to receive the next. This is done before the sun appears in the puelmapu.

Afterwards, the food prepared for the occasion is shared, later, they participate in events prepared by the community, palin, awarkuden, ñiwülün, lonkotun, aukankantun, as well as a propitious occasion to do katan pilun (piercing of the little girls' ears), among others. activities.

The moment the sun appears, a new life has been given way, on earth and in nature; There has been a renewed encounter with all the actors of the Mapuche world, a new relationship and bond with the creative spirits and ancestors has been given way, thus a new life begins once again in the Mapuche family and in the mother nature.


This celebration probably (until 50, 60, 70 years ago) was carried out in a more formal, private and with deep respect in which the closest families were summoned and invited and those belonging mainly to the maternal line, Cheche or chezki, chuchu, weku, grandparents, grandmothers and maternal uncles, also nephews, cousins ​​and others; occasionally families and friends of the sector or territory, in order to perform misawün, konchotun, lakutun, katan pilun, among others, prepared for the occasion.

The above all changed in the families and communities throughout the Mapuche territory, when the imposition of the western world began, through school, Christianity and the feast of San Juan Bautista in particular (one first than the other).

When we found out we were celebrating the feast of Saint John and praying the Our Father. Our We-tripantu had been replaced by popular customs of seeing one's luck on the night of June 24, putting inks on a paper, peeling potatoes, putting feet in a container with water and looking in the mirror, getting fat and killing piglets to celebrate some son or daughter named Juan or Juanita, among others.

In this and other aspects of our being Mapuche, we were all equally intervened. Thus begins our confusion, syncretism, mixing, spiritual, economic, identity impoverishment, among others.

Fortunately this date has been gradually recovering, we have been celebrating the New Year on January 1 as the only date with great fanfare and over time with the support of the new generations of young Mapuche we have been able to partially rescue the celebration of the we-tripantu. Precisely this one starts out there around the years '86 from the theater group of the Ad-Mapu organization at that time.

However, today we are already entering a very different and very complicated time and then others will come and others, meanwhile we have not been able to recover our own way of expressing our spirituality and the most original we-tripantu, the mapudungun among others. The influence that Winka religions and culture have had and have on ours has been more powerful than we might think.

Thus, at present both in the Mapuche and Winka spheres, the we-tripantu celebration continues to accommodate and approach the western popular celebration, although in previous programming and commemorative speeches the we-tripantu of the ancestors is vindicated, However, this is far from being ceremonial, ancestral and original, since today the celebrations are similar to the New Year's festivities of January 1 (from the Western calendar) and are even more folkloric, especially those promoted by state agencies. also organized and celebrated by some communities. These also include those that are organized and carried out in cities.

The aforementioned institutions work in a paternalistic way, offering economic resources and promoting the realization of we-tripantu in rural and urban Mapuche communities, through small incentives or projects to which a detailed program of activities must be presented in order to be creditors of those resources.

The above is so contradictory because we-tripantu occurs naturally, it is a celebration or ceremony of rejoicing of the children of the earth, plants, animals, insects, birds, people with nature, that is, the che (human ) is a guest who mixes with others and accompanies Mother Nature in her party, in her joy in the return of her children's lives, to that extent and understanding it is the duty of every human being of all those who cohabit our territories ancestral and mainly Mapuche to participate in that celebration, in the most natural way contributing with their own, with their own and not expecting projects or benefits from state or private organizations that all they do is make the Mapuche an even more dependent being.

So also at present many schools and institutions and even Mapuche groups, perhaps due to ignorance or the real loss of the meaning and meaning of this event, have made serious mistakes, when holding celebrations or commemorations of the we-tripantu that is far from the true meaning of this, which is to accompany and be part of the rejoicing of the new awakening of life in nature, culturally assumed by our ancestors. As a consequence of the above, the we-tripantu has gradually been transformed into a purely social party and in some cases political. There has also been folklorization of this sacred holiday to say the least.

Another of the shortcomings is that today we-tripantu is celebrated in reduced times, one morning, a while in the day, meanwhile strictly speaking it should begin at sunset the day before, ending at sunset on the day of we-tripantu fulfilling In this way, the natural law, complete the circle and say goodbye to the night of the year that is leaving and receive the beginning of the night or dawn of the new year, wüñoi and we-tripantu respectively, concluding with collective activities. Well, the we-tripantu ceremony is family, that means that we must gradually return to the family to strengthen ourselves with them on the most relevant day of dawn, which is the day of we-tripantu.


We invite all the inhabitants of the southern hemisphere to make this we-tripantu (new year) their own, more real and in accordance with natural norms. Make it a point of reference for the reunion with life in coexistence with the earth, nature, spirits and time. Well, this date that marks the renewal of natural cycles in this hemisphere is not the property of one or another culture, but belongs to all those beings who were born and cohabit in this part of the planet, humans, animals, trees, rivers, birds, insects, oceans, among others.

Küme ayiukonpape tüfachi we-tripantu. (Let this new year begin with joy)


Video: We tripantu: Especial pueblos originarios 2020. Videos educativos (May 2021).