We suggest to approach the eccentric natures of earth-beings by borrowing the Quechua word tirakuna, which Marisol de la Cadena translates as “earth-beings” (Earth Beings. Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds, Duke UP 2015).

Tirakuna are for Andean societies what colonists considered huacas, that is “idols” and “pagan fetishes”. When European missionaries encountered tirakuna in South America, they were shocked at their heterogeneity: locals called tirakuna built structures and natural formations, associating shapes and forces, small plants and high mountain tops.

Also the earth-beings in the Upper Valais are infrapolitical natures that fascinate and call for attention, action and speculation. They challenge research domains and vocabularies, methods and “idées reçues”. They hold complex webs of relations, act independently of human control and shape their own political ecologies.