The Q’ero People- The Link Between Inner Beauty and Outer Beauty

Ann and Q'ero girls show their Inner Beauty

Can your thoughts and actions affect your beauty? I certainly think they can, and my Q’ero friends in Peru do, too! Recently, I shared about my experiences in the hot springs I visited in the Andes. Continuing with my adventures in Peru,  I have learned a lot from the native tribe there, the Q’ero.  They live in the high Andes and have a ‘way’ of life that they have been living for thousands of years, some say even before the Incas.  Their way is following five principles: Munay, Yachay, Llan’kay, Kawsay, and Ayni.  They are not yet familiar with any skin care products, but are the most beautiful people I have ever seen. I believe it stems from their inner beauty.

I am so connected to their way of life I thought it would be great to share it all with you. I truly believe your thoughts, actions and beliefs can effect your inner beauty, which in turn will effect your outer beauty!  Inner beauty does not come in lip-stick, a miracle eye cream, or a new pair of skinny jeans. Instead, inner beauty is learned through kindness, patience, and love for yourself and others.

Inner Beauty Principle Number One: Munay

The first principle is called munay, (which translates from their native language Quechua) into love and beauty.  Munay isn't a romantic love, but a love that you can have with everything including the environment.  A love that is simple and real and does not expect anything in return.  It is of acceptance of yourself and others with out judgement.  You can not truly manifest it until your heart is open.

Nature also express Munay through her beauty.  Like in a magical sunset, aromatic flower or sweet fruit.  The Q’ero believe that if you are kind and loving to mother earth she will always provide you what you may need. The Q’ero are always expressing their love and kindness to Pacamama (Mother Earth) by offering her tea before they take a sip, or their potatoes before they take a bite.  What they do when they're drinking tea, for example, is pour a little of their drink on the ground as an offering to her, this is so sweet to me.  They tell me they also cultivate her through their crops and their animals.

Inner Beauty Principle Number Two: Yachay

The second principle of the Q’ero way is called yachay, which means to know, or to have wisdom.  Living in the rugged cold Andes, the Q’ero need to know how to survive and they have learned this from their ancestors.  Without that knowledge, their people might not still be around today. They also see it as their responsibility to pass this wisdom on to their youth.

When I was in college the program I was in had a motto that I still practice today.  “See one, do one, teach one.”  I feel this is very similar to the Yachay way.  Pass on what you have learned.  A lot of valuable information has been lost in our culture, this is very sad to me.

Inner Beauty Principle Number Three: Llan'kay

The third Principle is called llan’kay or “way of action.”  Llan’kay literally translates to work, but it doesn't necessarily mean physical work or a 9-5 job.  The Q’eru practice ceremonies and perform healing on each other, they also consider working in the fields very spiritual and loving to Mother Earth.  Llan'kay also encourages Q'ero to have the utmost respect for all things.

In our modern world you can apply llan’kay to your religious or spiritual practice.  It can be applied to how you interact with others and how you show respect for people, how you treat mother earth by using earth friendly products. Llan'kay can also correspond with how you take care of your self; your body is a temple and should be treated as so.

My friend and colleague Dr. J. E. Williams has written a book on these principles and here is an exerpt from it-

“As one learns and grows, each principle transforms into a higher form. Munay becomes impersonal love that embraces all things. Yachay becomes the superior consciousness one arrives at through the proper cultivation of love and work. Llan'kay is not just work and routine ritual, but becomes right livelihood. A way of living that is ecologically sound, promotes the welfare of others and encourages service performed in the spirit of lovingkindness is central to the higher form of llank’ay.”

-Andean Codex

To me, this is beauty

I will continue with the Q'ero people's last two principles of inner beauty in next week's blog post.

Much Love,
Annmarie Gianni

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