©2003 Donald R Ricker
( 44"x90" oil on hardboard)
Pachamama is drawn from the pre-Columbian epic legends involving the gift of coca to the people of the South American continent by Pachamama, the earth goddess. There was always a stern god who liked law and kept order. And there was a goddess who loved life and liked to party. Her neighbors found her to be getting too friendly with their husbands and cut her in half, leaving her by the side of the road where over time she became a giant mountain like the god was. Smoke rising from new fields on her hillsides got in his nostrils, irritating him until he unleashed a storm of severe dimension. The people had to crowd into a cave in the mountain for shelter. When at last the storm abated and they emerged, the land was a frozen desert wasteland and the air was thin. Staggering forward, they found Pachamama's gift, the green coca plant. Chewing it, they learned to overcome their physical limitations cheerfully. In honor of cocamama, no burden of leaves traveling from farm to market goes without a commemorative sexual episode even today.
caveat emptor: A modernday latino poet has imagined a corrolary myth that expresses the notion that this gift to the Aymara and Quechan peoples of the Andes would be a poison to white invaders from the north. The image at left shows the artist laying in the cartoon with a projector, and the naked gal is the anonymous net sheila who finally let me understand how a beautiful fun-loving woman could be cut in half and turn into a mountain. The challenge to the imagination called the Nude Excuse series continues unabated in this latest addition to the Ricker collection.