Religious traditions can be compared on what they see as the key sin or fault.

For the Amazonian Quichua tradition a key human fault is called “quilla”.  Quilla is a word which can be translated by both the English words “lazy” and the words “sexually loose” and yet is not exactly either.”  The key is to understand the similarities and differences between the Quichua word “quilla” and the English word “lazy” and “promiscuous.  


Quilla is laziness at performing that particular task that a person is given  by the place, gender, and ethnicity of their birth.  For example an Amazonian Quichua woman may sometimes be considered a “quilla” because she is too lazy to maintain a manioc garden even if she does some other modern type of work.

Quilla leads to homelessness because the quilla is unwilling to do the work that gives them a home and a place in society

Quilla involves sexual promiscuity because the quilla is distracted from their work by the desire to flirt. 

Quilla is laziness at fulfilling the task that one is given within the web of reciprocity that constitutes ayllu exchange.  A woman may be considered “quilla” if she gives the fruit of her labor (chicha) to the wrong person, for example to a lover, instead of giving it to her husband and her husband’s ayllu.

Quilla involves envy in that the quilla prefers somebody else’s job, reciprocity relationships to his or her own.  The quilla man or woman is always imitating other people and their work, and so ends up being nobody.

Quilla is blindness in that it involves the inability to recognize the job and network of reciprocity that comprises a person’s home.  Conversely it is blindness in that it involves overvaluing unsuitable people outside of one’s given network of reciprocity who will not provide a home.

Quilla involves arrogance and pride.   The quilla man or woman thinks that they are too good for their own job the relationships that constitute their home.  They are thus ashamed of their own home and relatives, pretend to be from somewhere else, and end up being from nowhere with no home and no relatives.

Finally quilla is a kind of immaturity where the individual has not yet accepted working hard at the role that they have been given in life.

In all of these ways quilla is a condition or symptom of the end of a world age.  It also is the fault that ages the earth, gradually bringing it to an end.  Over time, quilla makes the world uninhabitable because everyone wants everyone else’s job, home, lovers and food.  They devour each other in a kind of monster world.  Native creation stories start with this generalized condition that I equate with the Quichua word “quilla”.   It is out of this uninhabitable world that the habitable world emerges.   Speciation (animal and plant origin) stories are a part of this creation of a habitable world.  Animal and plant origin stories are about how a person lost their home due either to their own quilla or someone else’s.  It is about how they withdrew and grew distant due to emotional pain and were eventually given a new home with a new task as a different species.