Visualizing Birth through an Italian Prayer to Pachamama

Pachamama, an important Andean fertility goddess celebrated in cultures of the Amazon, has previously been discussed on Visualizing Birth here. Known as “Mother Earth” or “Mother of All,” Pachamama is a figure found mostly in the context of worship in the Andes. However, shown in the form of several small wooden figurines depicting pregnant women, Pachamama’s imagery recently made its way to the Vatican, where she appeared in an indigenous prayer service in the Vatican gardens. Pope Francis was in attendance during the service. The figurines were then moved and displayed close to the Vatican in Rome’s Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina.

The presence of these statues at the church was controversial and several men  stole them, throwing the figurines into Rome’s Tiber River. However, the objects were retrieved unharmed from the river