THE CULTURE CHACHAPOYAS
In the year 1535 the first Spaniards arrived to the territory of Chachapoyas, an enormous region located among the rivers Huallaga and Marañón, located between 2,000 and 3,000 mts. of height and cover permanently for clouds. From the century IX, the area was populated by an important culture, until it was invaded by the Inca in the XV, and incorporate century to the Incan empire during Túpac's Inca times Yupanqui.
The town Chachapoyas or Sachapcollas (residents of areas boscosas) were integrated by kindred diverse ethnic groups that moved for the territory that extends from North to South (about 300 kms.), from Marañón in the area of Bagua and for the South until the basin of Abiseo.
Some hypotheses assure that Chachapoyas descended of culturally Andean immigrant cordilleranos that modified their ancestral culture in the new mean, taking some traditions of the residents of amazon origin. They transformed the wild landscape in wilderness as they went depredating the forests, and as a result of you burn them annual to those that subjected their lands.
The unit of social organization was constituted by controlled big counties each one for a powerful cacique and completely independent to each other. They were small Kingdom or dominions seated mainly beside the river Utcubamba. All had the same language, the same customs and forms of cultivating and, very occasionally, they joined for some religious ceremonies or to defend of the attack of an enemy town, always maintaining their autonomy.
According to the chronicles related by Pedro Cieza of León, Chachapoyas was the whitest and favored in all the inhabitants from Peru. They dressed wool clothes and they took in their heads some "llautos" like sign of their origin. After their annexation to Incario adopted the customs imposed by the cusqueños.
The social organization was based on the domestic production and in the agricultural subsistence with storage facilities. Inside the region of Chachapoyas, they developed the exchange of foods (as the salt) and services, based on the social relationships where the populations unite in a work net.
The central area of the development of the culture Chachapoyas was the basin of Utcubamba. There we can find the architectural groups of Olán, Yalapé, Purunllacta or "Mount Peruvia", Congón (rebaptized as Great Vilaya), Veers it Veers, Pajatén and others. But Kuélap is, without a doubt, the most grandiose monument, of almost 600 meters long and walls that reach 20 meters of high.
The residence and monumental constructions are circular with high bases, cornices of big stones and flat stones standing out on the surface of the bases. They possess inclined ramps or stairways, directed toward the entrance.
Chachapoyas developed a symbolic language common with geometric reasons in form of triangles, rhombuses, wound and square ornaments that you/they appear in the friezes of stone of the circular housings. These symbols had an ethnic and social value, and it was good to demonstrate the force of local identity, maintained through the Inca period.
The funeral architecture also characterizes to the culture Chachapoyas and it includes two types of sepulchres: the sarcophagus and the mausoleum. The sarcophagus is an evolution of the funeral bale that is expressed in spaces cordilleranos and coastal of the times Tiahuanaco-Huari.
MUMMY OF THE CULTURE CHACHAPOYAS
Next you can appreciate a sample of the images captured in an exibicion carried out in the Museum of Nation, in the city of Lima, on the Mummies of Leymebamba.
Page created web March 30 of the one 2005.
© Copyright 2005 Gualberto Valderrama C.