Ekeko – The Smoking God of Prosperity
This god of prosperity is a popular god found mainly in Bolivia, but also in Peru, Northern Chile and Northern Argentina. He is the Tiwanakan god of abundance.
He is shown a man with a mustache, wearing traditional clothing.
He is loaded with tiny parcels. They may contain just about anything. Often the miniature packages contain food and candy representing that all the basic needs will be taken care of. Other articles may be miniature household items, miniature cars, diplomas and so forth.
It is not uncommon to see money attached to the doll. This is obviously with the intent of attracting financial abundance.
These small offerings made to the god represent what a person hopes to receive or achieve to secure a prosperous life.
Ideally you give these miniature offerings to the god, but you do not keep him yourself, you give the god away as a gift to someone you truly want to see has success. This is meant to be a compassionate and unselfish gesture.
The Smoking Good Luck God
There is a strange tradition that has emerged concerning this god of good fortune. It has become customary to light a cigarette and put it into the open mouth of Ekeko.
The longer the cigarette stays lit the better chance one will have for your wishes to come true and the longer good fortune will bless you in the coming year.
Not all statues have mouth openings that a cigarette will fit into. There are both smoking and non-smoking Ekeko dolls.
Keep only one Ekeko in your home
Superstition claims that it is very unwise to have more than one Ekeko residing in your home. Bringing a second one into your home will only result in that they will start quarrelling.
This could turn into a real mess. Instead of the Ekeko being busy granting your wishes, he will be preoccupied fighting with the other Ekeko.
Single Women Beware
Single women should never let Ekeko reside in their home. He is a very jealous god. He will see to it that all male suitors refrain from trying to court the woman. This god will adore the woman and will not permit a new man into the home.
If the woman is already has a spouse, it is a different story. He will respect the married couple and not be to blamed for any marital problems.
A Perfect Gift
It is told that the Ekeko has a much stronger powers if you receive one as a gift. If someone gives you an Ekeko you may consider yourself very fortunate. The generosity and good intents of the giver will increase the power of this prosperity god.
Giving Ekeko away as a gift would be the ultimate gesture to show that you truly hope that they succeed with all their hopes and dreams. This is considered an unselfish act and may bring blessings to both the benefactor and the receiver.
Treat him with Respect
When bringing Ekeko into the home be sure he is placed in an honorable place. He needs to be comfortable and treated with respect.
You do not want to hide him away in some dark corner or stashed away in a closet. He will not take kindly to such disrespect.
Place him on display in a worthy place.
In La Paz, Bolivia the Alasitas festival is a huge event. The festival in honor of Ekeko starts on January 24th. Thousands of people travel to La Paz every year to participate in the festival. It is quite a grand event.
The true believers of this prosperity god may have a shaman carry Ekeko into their home and have the shaman carry out blessings.
Interestingly The Catholic church also participates and gives blessings to the gifts offered to Ekeko.
Other areas have different times of the year in which they hold the celebrations.
The Ekeko doll is also well known and respected in Peru.
Puno, Peru also has a huge festival in honor of Ekeko. Thousands of visitors travel to Puno yearly to take part in the celebrations. In Puno the festival is celebrated in May annually.