The Sun

The context and meaning of "Antu" are explained by Dr Jorge Calbucura, Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Work of Mid Sweden University and Coordinator of the Mapuche Documentation Centre, Ñuke Mapu, in Chile.

In Mapuche tradition, existence is understood as an integrated whole; the Universe is conceived as an organism of high complexity that is born, grows and reaches the capacity of self-regeneration. Its genesis or existence is the term that in Mapuche knowledge corresponds to the energies that make up the Universe, which manifest themselves in different dimensions in Nag Mapu, this material world, or Huenu, also expressed as Wenü Mapu, the immaterial world.

The beginning of the Universe starts with a great explosion, Chrufken Ruka, "the bursting of the upper house". In its origin, the Universe is configured as the ashes of the embers of the burning coal. From the Quimun or Kimün expression that denominates the ancestral knowledge we take the axiom that tells us "Kom kiñe mew muten deumalei pu antu, pu pullig, ka pu wangelen, pu che, pu mapu", which translates to "Everything is made of the same thing, the Sun, the spirit, the stars, the people, and the Earth corresponds to the truth of everything that exists and is connected with everything else".

In this way, like all the original peoples, the Mapuche conceive the notion that besides being men and women of the Earth, we are also men and women of the Universe, which gives us the duty to live with respect for the cycles of nature and the Universe.

After Chrufken Ruka galaxies are formed, among them Wenuleufü (River of the Sky), the Milky Way, and Gulpoñi (pile of popes), the Pleiades. This is how Antü, the Sun, and Quillen, or Küyen, the Moon, are originated. The latter is the most important feminine manifestation of the Universe in the Mapuche world conception.

Antü, the Sun that generates both life and Nehuen, an "infinite source of energy" that ensures survival on Earth, is also a creator of life that guides the relationship between the symbolic and the spiritual. According to the Kimche, "the ancient" sages, the Wün, the time "between 4 and 6 in the morning, the first moment of the day", is the moment in which we receive the energy that gives us physical, social and spiritual wellbeing. Symbolically, it is at this moment that we receive the energy to act and make decisions that connect us with nature.


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