Limited Edition Art Toys
The next level of evolution: the condor, the puma and the reptile
The story behind WAKOs Avelino, Felipe, and Lizardo, the third level of evolution in the WAKO mythology. How WAKOS evolve into an animal state and what each animal means in the WAKO mythology.
Recreating the past
WAKOS present pre-Columbian and Pan-Andean spirituality in a new form. Artist Rafael Lanfranco plants profound spiritual roots in the fertile soil of the Chavín, Mochica, Chimu and Nazca cultures, among others. He combines respect and understanding of their mythology with the pop-cultural elements of anime and toy making to present these eternal themes in a relevant way.
Artisans working with Lanfranco craft the WAKOS sculptures in limited edition runs. Each piece comes on a wooden platform with a certificate of authenticity, along with a profound message of Peruvian culture.
The Condor, the Puma and the Reptile
Drawing on the tripartite cosmology of the Andean people, Lanfranco had developed three primary WAKO.animals: the Condor, the Puma, and the Reptile. These three archetypal animals represent the vast energies that go into every element of creation and make up the soul of every person
But these three creatures are not only totems for abstract energies. They are also keepers of their realm. From the heavens, to the earth, to the underworld, these three sacred animals maintain and carry the message of their respective domains. If we listen to them, they will speak their secrets.
The WAKOS in Transformation
Through the medium of WAKOS, Lanfranco leads us through stages of evolution before arriving at the animals. In this way, the WAKOS are like a Tree of Life, tracing the energy of creation from pure potential (Webo) through becoming (Double.Spout) to realization (animal) and beyond.
Within each WAKO.animal is the possibility for progression, development and even mating. In this way, WAKOS open up a new understanding of this ancient wisdom. And as the WAKOS evolve, they take on human characteristics. This detail illustrates the role these steps take in our own lives as we develop into fully realized people.
But we must first understand the animals before we can conjure up their full potential. How do WAKOS get here? And where are they going?
WAKO.webo, the new born.
The WAKOS begin in an infant state as the WAKO.webo. They are caught in an egg, their eyes closed in fetal bliss. In this state, there is no difference between one kind or another — this is pure potential. It is the state of grace we begin every journey in. What we lack in understanding or skills we make up for in possibility. But we must break through our egg to begin to grow and realize that potential.
WAKO.double.spout, the infant.
The second level of evolution is the WAKO.double.spout. This stage is one of preparation and declaration. This is a liminal space between the pure possibility of becoming and the solidifying of identity.
The WAKO.double.spout is then a being in transition, immersed in the state of becoming. And once its transition is complete, it will morph into one of three primary WAKOS. Inside every WAKO.webo are these three fundamental paths.
Avelino: The Condor
Flying above in the heavens, the Condor is respected as the king of the skies. The large body and ability to travel sweeping distances confirms the Condor as the suzerain above us. Credited with the bringing of rain and gifted with vision, this is the spirit of transcendence and insight.
Because the Condor is able to move between sky and earth, it is seen as a messenger. Much like Hermes, the messenger to the gods is always the knower of occult secrets and hidden truths. And with the Condor’s far reaching sight, it is also the seer and bringer of the future.
Avelino is the WAKO Condor. Emerging from it’s adolescence, this WAKO has embodied the spirit of seeing and searching for transcendence in the heavens.
Felipe: The Puma
The Puma stalks the forests, its strength and agility making it a fearsome predator. The Puma is the embodiment of action and the graceful handling of earthly affairs. Far from being bound to the land, the Puma is perfectly suited to it.
That is why the Puma was revered by Incan civilization. Seen as everything that a human should hope to be while on earth, the Puma exudes the will to act and the vigor to succeed. This is the creature who lives in the present.
Felipe is the WAKO Puma. With stylized cat ears, this creature maintains order in the world we all share. And as the keeper of the middle ground, it is on the Puma’s turf that the forces of the Heavens and the Underworld must meet.
Lizardo: The Reptile
Originally conceived of as a snake by Andean cultures, in the WAKOS universe, the friendlier Lizard steps in as the bearer of reptilian energy. Found in caves and the lower places, the Lizard dwells in the mysterious Underworld.
The Lizard is also the keeper of the past. It is through the past that the world of the future is made. Decay in the soil feeds the newly planted seed. The past is also the container of wisdom and understanding. And just as with Jung’s Shadow, that which we bury wields tremendous power, all the more powerful for being unseen.
Lizardo is the WAKO Reptile. Its green tail seems to point to the past which is its concern. While the smallest of the three, Lizardo has equal power — a power that emanates from the mountains and depths where it reigns.
WAKOS Come Alive
Avelino, Felipe and Lizardo begin their existence in relative isolation. They move in their respective realms, tending to their duties. It is only when the WAKOS begin to interact that the world comes alive.
There is no rain without the water of the underworld, the clouds of the sky and the gathering of the earth. These three levels of existence work along the world axis, radiating from low to middle to high and back.
Just as the world works, so do we. When the depths of our psyches meet the heights of our spirits in the land of our physical body, we become fully realized people. It is our duty, then, to not only understand the WAKOS and the powerful belief system they represent — we must listen, too.
The Dragon, the union of the spirits
When the WAKOS come together in union, offspring present dynamic energies. All three unite to create the Dragon. It has the claws of a Puma, the wings of the Condor and the tail of the Lizard. This gathering of great force produces an awe inspiring and terrifying creature beyond control. Drawing on the ceramics of the Moche people, Lanfranco designed the WAKO Dragon as a symbol for the allure and catastrophe of great power.
In another unity, the Puma and Condor come together to produce the Phoenix. Here, there is a combination of the Puma’s ability to act with the Condor’s heavenly transcendence.
The WAKOS represent a unique artistic mission: to unite the wisdom of the past with the forms of today. And through care, Lanfranco has used each to improve the other. What’s more, he has created a pathway for us to understand the spiritual legacy of Andean wisdom.