Venezuelan Indigenous Communities Demand Germany Return Spiritual Kueka Stone
Caracas, 22 June. AVN – Members of several Venezuelan indigenous communities accompanied the ethnic Pemon people outside the German embassy in Caracas last Thursday to demand the return of their “Kueka Stone”, a holy monument of spiritual value to the native peoples.
The Kueka Stone was illegally donated in 1998 to German artist Wolfgang Kraker von Schwarzenfeld, in connivance with then president of the National Institute of Parks, Hector Hernandez Mujica, and German chargé d’affaires Hans Peter Pliska, to implement a personal project called Global Stone, which was allegedly intended to “activate energies for peace in the world”.
Last Thursday Venezuelan indigenous groups took the surrounds of the German embassy with signs reading “give us back our grandmother” and “the Pemon people want their wise grandmother”. They claim that the removal of the “grandmother” stone has unsettled the country’s natural balance and caused deadly disasters.
According to Pemon legend, the Kueka Stone was part of a pair of rocks believed to have originated from a giant block of stone split by lightening thousands of years ago. The two stones represent the legend of a love story between a Pemon man and a woman from different tribes. Their inter-tribal romance displeased the Pemon god Makunaima, and he turned them into stone. The two rocks now symbolise the tribe’s grandmother and grandfather.
Protesters were received by German ambassador Georg-Clemens Dick, who gave a speech in which he expressed his desire to respect Venezuela’s demand to have the thirty-tonne stone returned.
“I’ll try to be the voice of your position, from your point of view. I’ll go to Berlin and submit your demand and we’ll work for a resolution,” he said, although he informed them that he would be replaced by another representative in two weeks.
Furthermore, the ambassador insisted that Germany had never intended to “steal” something from the nation. “I ask for respect because there was never an intention to steal a spiritual stone from its people,” he said.
Nevertheless, Pemon spokesperson Melchor Flores talked with the ambassador and said that an “alleged German artist” had kidnapped the Kueka Stone without the permission of the communities which inhabit the Gran Sabana tropical grassland region, in the southern state of Bolivar.
In a demonstration also attended by anthropologists and the president of the Cultural Heritage Institute Raul Grioni, Flores handed over a document to the German ambassador demanding the quick return of this ancient relic, considered so holy that humans aren’t permitted to touch it.
Flores affirmed that in 1998, shortly after the stone was taken away, Pemon representatives went to the Embassy and talked with the German diplomat in turn, but the stone still remains in Berlin.
“The indigenous people have always been peaceful, but this is enough. It’s been 14 years of battle to have the Kueka stone back, which was taken by means of allegedly diplomatic documents. Governments of the Fourth Republic violated our right,” he said to press.
Venezuelan authorities have issued statements and sent several diplomatic documents to Germany, but without further results. The Pemon community itself has unsuccessfully opposed the removal of the stone from the start.
The Venezuelan Government has confirmed it would pay all costs to move the “Grandmother” stone back to its original location, together with Grandfather.
In addition, Venezuela’s National Assembly has passed a resolution to bring the Kueka stone back to its country of origin.
“Since it was kidnapped, the Pemon people have demanded its return. They believe that due to being far from its home, nature is behaving differently, causing unbalance because its parts were modified,” reads the resolution, and urges the Executive to carry out the procedure with the German government to bring the holy stone back to Venezuela.
Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com