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Season of Repentance

‘The past is in front of us’

The past is often something people like to forget, preferring to focus their energy on what the future holds. For the Indigenous living in Peru’s Andean Highlands, though, the past and future are viewed differently. It’s there that old shamans, speaking the language of the Aymara tribe, remind future-forward thinkers that “the past is in front of us, and the future is behind us.” The Aymara word for “past” is “nayra,” which also means eye, sight or front. The word for “future” is “q’ipa,” which translates as behind or the back.