SIL International Home

Coca and the Mountain
Observations into the Worldview of the Quechua of Panao

by Terry P. Smith

Previous | Next


The worldview of a people reflects the reality upon which their culture's beliefs, values, and customs are established. It is the core which gives substance to all of life. This paper has described the Mountain and coca in order to gain insight into the Panao Quechua worldview.

These insights are necessary in the process of translation where we seek a correspondence of meaning between two languages. And language is a symbolic representation of a culture's worldview, not a description of it. Thus accurate translation must really generate a correspondence of meanings between two worldviews.

My investigation into the Panao Quechua's worldview has raised my own level of consciousness to the many differences that exist in worldviews. It has shown me different perspectives of reality and the need to translate carefully.

Document created: June 6, 1997