Nine fingered destiny of Maria Reiche

December 1st, 2008

One of the stranger tales told about the Nazca Lines and the work done on finding their meaning by the great Maria Reiche begins not long after the German first arrived in Peru.

She had, when leaving her native Germany for Peru in the early 1930s, sensed she might not return. A feeling compounded by the fact that on arriving on the Peruvian coast something strange happened.

Count the fingers

Count the fingers

“It was a kind of destiny. When I first came to Peru by sea the ship went passing through the centre of four consecutive rainbows – four arcs, one inside the other! It was a marvellous spectacle. It must have been some kind of prediction or something. Imagine a boat, a boat driving through the open sea, passing through arching rainbows that touched the waves”, she once commented.

It was not long after she had arrived that an accident occurred. While enjoying the Andean scenery she pricked her finger quite badly on the needle of a cactus. After a few days, and heavily swelling of her hand, the doctor attending her had no choice but to amputate the finger due to gangrene.

She had now only 9 fingers.

Skipping forward in time, Maria Reiche had been made aware of a new and amazing archaeological discovery in the desert outside Nazca. She said several times she felt drawn to the site, compelled to study it. And she did until they day she died.

What’s fascinating though, something she noticed immediately when studying the huge drawing of the monkey, is that it only had 9 fingers. Five on one hand and 4 on the other. Just like Maria Reiche.

Count the fingers

Count the fingers

It’s an amazing coincidence, made all the more so by the feeling Maria had when walking around the lines. She felt at home, she seemed to know where others were located, like she had been there before. Other figures, both on pottery and also in the desert, also so animals with one finger less on one hand.

Was Maria Reiche destined to be here? Was she a reincarnated Nazcan? Did the Nazcans know that a thousand years down the line a devoted woman with nine fingers would bring their creations to the attention of the world and lovingly restore them?

Impossible to prove, but a wonderful story nonetheless.

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