Monday, December 5, 2011

The Chachapoyas

Llamas at Kuelap. "And there were cureloms and cumoms" - I Nephi.

The entrance to the mountain fortress of Kuelap. "At a hidden retreat in the wilderness called the waters of Mormon, Alma baptized his listeners and organized the church of Christ among them. In time, King Noah found out where Alma's congregation was meeting, and sent his army to destroy them. Being warned by God of the army's coming, Alma quickly led his band of approximately 450 converts into the wilderness for eight days, stopping in an uninhabited area which they named the land of Helam. The people of Alma established the city of Helam there and prospered for many years, remaining faithful to God's commandments."

Location of Kuelap (red dot).

Gocta Waterfall - Chachapoyas
Gocta waterfall, 3rd highest in world, 2 1/3 times higher than the Eiffel Tower.

Kuelap, the ancient fortress that is the largest building structure of the Americas with 400 buildings inside the fortress.

Kuelap. the fortress of the Chachapoyas.

The chronicler Pedro Cieza de León offers some picturesque notes about the Chachapoyas:
“ They are the whitest and most handsome of all the people that I have seen in Indies, and their wives were so beautiful that because of their gentleness, many of them deserved to be the Incas' wives and to also be taken to the Sun Temple (...) The women and their husbands always dressed in woolen clothes and in their heads they wear their llautos, which are a sign they wear to be known everywhere. ”
Cieza adds that, after their annexation to the Inca Empire, they adopted customs imposed by the Cuzco-based Inca.
The name Chachapoya is in fact the name that was given to this culture by the Inca; the name that these people may have actually used to refer to themselves is not known. The meaning of the word Chachapoyas may have been derived from sacha-p-collas, the equivalent of "colla people who live in the woods" (sacha = wild p = of the colla = nation in which Aymara is spoken). Some believe the word is a variant of the Quechua construction sacha puya, or People of the Clouds.

Origin of the ChachapoyasAccounts such as that of Cieza de León indicate that the Chachapoyas had lighter skin than other South American peoples and blond hair. This poses an enduring mystery for scholars of the region as to their ultimate origin.

According to the analysis of the Chachapoyas objects made by the Antisuyo expeditions of the Amazon Archaeology Institute, the Chachapoyas do not exhibit Amazon cultural tradition but one more closely resembling an Andean one.

No comments:

Post a Comment