Friday, 21 June 2013

City of Gold


Ancient traditions of the Inka Empire will be the subject of a talk being given in Budleigh Salterton on Saturday 22 June.  Retired anthropology professor Don Juan Núñez del Prado Bejar has devoted over 30 years to studying the spiritual practices of the Q’ero Indians, an indigenous people living in a remote area of Peru.

It was Don Juan’s father, anthropologist Oscar Núñez del Prado, who brought the Q’ero to the world’s notice following a 1955 expedition to the Peruvian Andes.  The Q’ero see themselves as the last living descendants of the Inka people, believing that their ancestors fled to the mountains of Peru at the time of the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Here, explains Don Juan, they maintained the Andean philosophy which, like Buddhism, argues that everything – from solid matter to living beings – is made up of living energy.

Like the Spanish conquistadores, our own Sir Walter Raleigh, born in East Budleigh, was tempted to explore South America in search of gold and the fabled Inka chief known as El Dorado, which explains the title of Don Juan’s talk. However for many students of the great Inka civilisation its true riches lie in its spiritual beliefs. 

Perhaps if Sir Walter had discovered these during his last disastrous Orinoco expedition of 1617 history might have taken a different turn. Raleigh would have returned to England a wiser man. Inka philosophy might even have taken root at court.

Instead, as we know, the life of East Devon’s greatest Elizabethan hero came to a sad end. His son Watt was killed in a skirmish with Spanish settlers and Raleigh came back to face an ignominious trial and death on the scaffold on the orders of King James I.

The talk ‘City of Gold’ takes place in the Peter Hall, next to St Peter’s Church, Budleigh Salterton, on Saturday 22 June from 2.30 - 5.30 pm.  Admission is £5. For further details telephone 01395 443437.
















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