"Ekeko" red- God of fortune
Ceramic ekeko with 19cm tall, carrying bags of grain and food made out of plastic.
In the mythology and folklore of Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina Ekeko is a fortune bearer character that has not lost prestige. It is said that whoever has a "loaded" ekeko will have prosperity and will not want in any basic need (food, roof, etc.). A person is not supposed to buy an ekeko for him/herself, as the tradition says that in order to fulfil its mission, it has to come as a present from somebody else. In other areas people offer him banknotes and/or coins to obtain money, grains for a good harvest, and some food to ensure prosperity in general. Ekeko is also known in other zones of Argentina due to immigration and internal migrations, but there his followers, who adopted him as a superstition more than as a folkloric deity, consider him as some kind of beneficent patron.
In art he is depicted as a man with a moustache wearing traditional Andean clothes (especially the poncho) and completely loaded with bags and baskets with grain and food, (compare with the cornucopia of some Greco-Roman deities), household objects, and currency bills, and basically anything that a person is thought to want / need to have a comfortable and prosperous life ; he is commonly found as a little statue to be put in some place of the house, preferably a comfortable one, but also as an amulet holding from key rings; modern statues of the god include a circular opening in his mouth to place there a cigarette (better if lit) for Ekeko's pleasure. Latest tradition has the ekeko "smoke" a lit cigarette (hence the rounded mouth) once a year to ensure a full year of prosperity.