The runa/ jaqi, before being a rational and productive entity, is a natural entity, an element that is related by means of countless vital links with the set of ‘natural’ phenomena, be they astronomical, meteorological, geological, zoological or botanical. The direct communication with nature in the cultivation of the land, but above all in the multiple ceremonial forms of communio with the vital forces, does not allow an instrumental and technomorphic conception of it. “The Andean never interposed any instrument between him and nature. His relationship with nature is vital, ritual, almost magical.” The chakitaklla/uysu is not so much an instrument, but the prolongation of the foot (chaki: in Quechua) and of the hands.
Speaking of “ecosophy”, I use a Greek word (oikos) that has its topos in the economic sphere; for Aristotle, ‘economy’ is the ‘law (nomos) of the house (oikos)’. I recover here this etymological meaning (‘house’), without submitting to the ‘eco-nomic’ dictum: the universe presented as ‘house’ (wasi/uta; oikos), as Pachacuti Yamqui did; and the elements in it, ordered according to criteria of a sophia or ‘wisdom’ of relationality. In this sense, the term “ecosophy” means the ‘Andean wisdom of the physical cosmos as an organically ordered house’. I prefer this term to the one that is fashionable in the West: “ecology”, because the latter has the connotation of modern logos (and ‘science’). For runa/jaqi, nature cannot be ‘known’ logically, but only ‘lived’ organically and symbolically.
Estermann Josef – Filosofia andina