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House of the Sun: The Inka Temple of Vilcanota

Author(s): Johan Reinhard

Source: Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 340-349
Published by: Cambridge University Press
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Johan Reinhard

Although the ceremonial center of Vilcanota was called the third most important temple in the Inka empire in the sixteenth
century, its exact location and meaning have remained matters of conjecture. In this article I examine historical and archae-
ological information which demonstrates that the temple was located at the pass of La Raya. Ecological and ethnographic
data from the region support the conclusion that the temple was built at La Raya because of the area's association with
sacred rivers and mountains which were in turn linked with fertility concepts, the birth of the sun, and an ecological/politi-
cal boundary. Together these factors made the place of special significance in Inka religion.

Aunque el templo de Vilcanota fue nombrado durante el siglo XVI como el tercero de los mas importantes sitios ceremoni-
ales en el imperio incaico, su ubicacion y su significado han quedado inciertos hasta el dia de hoy. En este articulo exam-
ino los datos historicos y arqueologicos, los cuales demuestran que el templo fue ubicado en el paso llamado La Raya. Datos
ecologicos y etnograficos de la region apoyan la conclusion de que el templo fue construido en La Raya debido a la aso-
ciacion del area con rios y nevados sagrados, que a su vez fueron relacionados con conceptos defertilidad, con el nacimiento
del sol, y con un limite ecologico y politico. Estos factores juntos dieron al lugar un significado especial en la religion
. .


Writing in the mid-lSOOs, Cieza de Leon been some confusion as to whether or not the
(1977:106) identified five temples that name is also applicable to the mountain
were considered the most important in Ausangate, situated some 80 km to the north. One
the Inka empire; Vilcanota appears third in the list. reason for the confusion is that some chroniclers
Few Inka sites would seem so easy, yet prove so (e.g., Acosta 1962: 121; Contreras y Valverde
difficult, to locate as that of the temple of 1965:12) note Vilcanota as the highest mountain
Vilcanota. Its distance from Cusco was even noted in Peru, an easy mistake to make with regard to
by chroniclers in leagues, but its precise location Ausangate (6,372 m). This is less easy to under-
was otherwise left unclear and no physical stand, however, in the case of the Vilcanota range
description was made of the temple. Basic ques- (the Nudo de Vilcanota), where the highest sum-
tions remained unanswered: Where was it located? mit (called today Chimbolla) is 5,472 m 900 m
What was its purpose? lower than Ausangate.
The simplest solution to its location seemed to That Chimbolla is the mountain referred to by
be that the temple was built at the source of the the chroniclers seems clear; Guaman Poma
Vilcanota River, that is, at the pass now called La (1980: 1006), writing in the early 1600s, lists
Raya (Figure 1). However, no ruins of any signif- Vilcanota as a mountain and tambillo (small way-
icance currently exist at this location. station) on the route to Chungara, and Acosta
Furthermore, the distances provided by chroni- (1962: 121) and Contreras y Valverde (1965: 12)
clers are not conclusive, both because different describe the mountain Vilcanota as standing at the
ones are given and because the length of leagues source of two rivers, one flowing to Lake Titicaca
can vary depending on the writer. and the other to the lowlands via Yucay, i.e., the
Vilcanota is not only the name of a river, but Vilcanota River. The description fits Chimbolla
also that of a mountain at its source. There has and the pass of La Raya, and not Ausangate. The

Johan Reinhard * Field Museum of Natural History and The Mountain Institute, Box 907, Franklin, WV 26807

Latin American Antiquity, 6(4), 1995, pp. 340-349.

Copyright (C) by the Society for American Archaeology


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z (Lunumuyo1

* Paucortembo

,Tawosi < Anta Pac*Q

* Cuzeo> t. ^.. -$°52luepunku

* Ocongate

achan h

P atcant

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Figure 1. Map of the Vilcanota river system with towns and Inka sites indicated.

situation is made more complicated, however, 1984:222) discusses the temples of Vilcanota and
because Garcilaso de la Vega (1967 v.3:35) uses Ausangate (Auzancata) as being in separate loca-
the name Villcanuta (Vilcanota) to refer to a tions, the former near Chungara and the latter in
mountain that is unmistakably Ausangate. Even the region of the Cavinas Indians (i.e., west of the
today the mountains that make up the Ausangate provinces of Canchis and Canas). These locations
range are included with those near La Raya as the would, respectively, have been close to the moun-
Cordillera Vilcanota (Neate 1987: 122-124). tains called Nudo de Vilcanota (Chimbolla) and
It is clear that the name Vilcanota was applied Ausangate today (see Rowe 1946:map 3).
in some cases both to the mountain above La Raya Let us turn now to the distances provided by
and to Ausangate. This is understandable, if one chroniclers. Cieza de Leon (1977:106) places the
takes into account the present-day belief that peaks temple of Vilcanota 20 leagues from Cusco and
in this region are closely related to Ausangate and junto (near) the village of Chungara. The chroni-
even occasionally called by that name despite the cler Lizarraga wrote that from Vilcanota one has
fact that they are completely separate from it (see to drop down to the tambo (way-station) of
Gow and Gow 1975:148). Curiously, the belief Chungara (Aparicio 1982:91 ftn.17). Hacienda
about Chimbolla's altitude persisted into the late Chungara is still listed on maps near the town of
1800s; Middendorf (1974:339) wrote in 1895 that Santa Rosa, about 25 km southeast of La Raya
the mountain Vilcanota just above La Raya was along the Santa Rosa River that flows down from
one of the highest in the Andes. it (Figure 1). Ruins have been reported near it, and
In any event, there is support for differentia- this fact together with Cieza de Leon's comment
tion between the two mountains in some cases. has led some scholars (e.g., Luis Barreda, personal
For example, Guaman Poma (1980:248) lists the communication 1988) to believe that the temple is
mountains of Vilcanota and Ausangate as if they located there. One would, however, expect ruins of
were separate, and Cieza de Leon (1977:106, the tambo to exist at Chungara, and hence the ones

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342 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 6, No. 4, 1995]

ple of Vilcanota, an omission that surely would

not have occurred if the important temple had
been located there.
The data cited above are not the only support for
La Raya as the location of the temple of Vilcanota.
Guaman Poma (1980:1006) lists Vilcanota as a
cerro (mountain, i.e., not a village) and tambo
located after Cochachi and before Chuncara
(Chungara), which was a tambo real (royal, or
large, way-station). He also identifies Cacha
(Rajchi) as a village and a royal tambo and lists
three other tambos between it and Vilcanota, with
Sicuani the next one after Cacha. Vilcanota is the
Figure 2. Drawing of a tambo at the pass of La Raya by
only place in the area that is described as unpopu-
George Squier, published in 1877.
lated and identified as a cerro. This is in accord
reported need not be those of the temple. with the high elevation of the pass of La Raya (ca.
Furthermore, the word junto is used loosely in the 4,350 m) and its domination by the snow-capped
chronicles to mean the closest place, which might mountain Chimbolla. When all the evidence is
in fact be several kilometers away. Bertonio (1984 examined, there is little doubt that the temple of
v.2:386) notes that "Villcanuta" was a very impor- Vilcanota was located at the pass of La Raya, but
tant adoratorio (temple) between Sicuani this then leaves us with the question of why signif-
(Sicuana) and Chungara, and this also conforms icant ruins have not been found at the pass.
with the La Raya location. Ruins, although not especially impressive
In 1575 Molina (1959:38) wrote that Inka ones, are mentioned in historical sources at or
priests would traverse 26 leagues on an annual pil- near the pass. In the mid-nineteenth century
grimage to the temple of Vilcanota. The length of Squier (1977:400-401) reached a small lake on
a league could vary depending on the terrain and the pass from which streams flowed in both direc-
the writer's estimates, but on flat land it was about tions. He observed the remains of several tambos
5.57 km (see Agurto 1987:277; Hemming around the lake, along with traces of a fortifica-
1970:518). Molina's estimate would place tion. He describes one tambo 180 feet in length,
Vilcanota 145 km from Cusco, which is very close and its main front contained three rooms, each
to the distance to La Raya. Finally, Polo de about 60 feet long and with niches (Figure 2).
Ondegardo (1916:51) wrote in 1571 that there was Squier also saw a "great pile of votive stones" on
a temple at the pass which was widely worshipped. one side of the lake.l Even if his account proves
Aside from Chungara, another possibility for to have been exaggerated, it is clear that at least
the location of the temple of Vilcanota is the well- one complex of ruins with typical Inka architec-
known Inka site at Rajchi (Oscar Nunez del ture existed at the pass.
Prado, personal communication 1985 ). However, Middendorf (1974:339) describes in the late
Betanzos (1987:13-14) places Rajchi (Cacha) 18 1800s a mound 15 feet high on the right side of
leagues from Cusco, and Garcilaso de la Vega the road, which was at the high point of the pass
(1967 v.2:95) gives the distance as 16 leagues. At near a small lake. Although he says nothing
5.57 km per league Rajchi is about 19 leagues remained to be seen of the temple, he did see
from Cusco, a distance reasonably close to the some ancient walls at the pass that were remains
chroniclers' figures. The distance is also close to of an Inka tambo. The fact that ruins along the
Cieza de Leon's estimate for Vilcanota, but he road have not been noted since Middendorf's time
notes that the temple is near Chungara, which is probably the result, at least in part, of the use of
Rajchi clearly is not, and it appears that he was the stones in the construction of the railroad.
simply wrong in his estimate. In addition, no In 1983 I encountered ruins south of the railroad
chronicler identifies Rajchi (Cacha) with the tem- tracks (Figure 3). Unfortunately, guerillas had been

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Figure 3. View to the north with ruins (possible chullpas) in the foreground and the mountain Chimbolla
in the background.

active in the area that year, attacking the nearby preserved of these buildings has measurable
Granja La Raya, and I was limited in my stay. I dimensions (1.9 x 2.4 m and wall height of 1.6 m)
climbed Chimbolla, the adjacent peak of Collque that appear to duplicate those of all the other
Cruz, and investigated the area to the south of the structures. The buildings stand in a rough
pass, including an ascent of the mountain called east-west line approximately 110 cm apart. Each
Incacancha, on which I observed two apachetas structure has a low opening (ca. 40 x 40 cm) that
(mounds of stones) (see Figure 5). However, there faces toward Chimbolla. Aguilar (1986:63)
was not sufficient time for an ascent of Yahuarcota reports finding Inka ceramics among the struc-
or for a detailed investigation of the pass itself, tures. These may be the chullpas that Squier
with the exception of the shore of a small lake (1977:389) mentions seeing near the pass.
across from the church. Prior to my trip the archae- It is interesting that Guaman Poma (1980:244)
ologist John Rowe informed me that he had not depicts a mummy in a cave on the mountain called
observed ruins at the pass, and I felt my time would Vilcanota (Figure 4), which is in keeping with pre-
be better spent exploring mountains bordering it. Inka, Inka, and present-day custom found in sev-
Trinidad Aguilar, who conducted an archaeological eral areas of the Andes of burying people on the
survey of the area, later informed me that she also slopes of sacred mountains or facing them (see
had not found major ruins at the lake(s). Aldunate and Castro 1980:80, 133, 157; Bastien
The ruins south of the tracks include the 1978 :47, 174; Dominguez 1986: 11; Romero
remains of walls of structures behind the church 1918:188). However, I saw no ruins eithernearthe
and eight more visible buildings about 30 m base of the mountain or on its summit. This is not
above it, which appeared to be chullpas (funerary surprising in the latter case because the summit is
towers) (see Aguilar 1986:63). One of the better permanently covered with snow.

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lVol. 6, No. 4, 1995]

structures on another platform. She found

IDoLoSIVACAS and "Qollao" ceramics at the latter sites,
she noted were situated relative to the

;_tv - -
capped peak of Cunurana (Aguilar 1986:40
The dating of several of these ruins is unc
and some could postdate the Inka presence
* ;
_ .

region. The platforms and associated stru

... . , _ .

may have formed Inka ritual complexes suc
one found on a pass (and divide of major
north of Ausangate at Walla Walla (Franc
and noted elsewhere in the Andes (see Re
1985). Unfortunately, Aguilar provides few
about the structures she observed (for exa
is unclear where the ceramics were foundX
platforms were artificial, and if the highe
form was on the summit) and has not pu
plans of the ruins or a map of their location
Although I visited the area during a dro
few small lakes were still visible at the pa
fact that they were surrounded by marsh
indicates that they would be much large
rainy season and might even join to form
lake. The Inka origin of the ruins found nea
is supported by the distinctive Inka archi
depicted in Squier's plan and by the fact t
Figure 4. Drawing by Guaman Poma de Ayala (ca. 1613)
ceramics found at the ruins in the pass ar
of a mummy in the mountain of Vilcanota.
entirely of Inka origin (Aguilar 1986:56).
Aguilar (1986:54-55) observed a cancha The reasons
(cir- for Vilcanota's importance
not clearly
cular enclosure) 40 m in diameter, which presented in the chronicles. C
had cir-
cular and rectangular structures inside (1977:106-107)
behind notes only that pries
the modern-day cemetery at the pass.chosen women
According to served the temple (wh
Aguilar, the ruins are called "the idols in it), of
canchas and that people visited it to m
Inkariy" by people today; Inkariy (Inkarri, of animals and children and to he
is a deity who engaged in actions at cles.2 However,
the pass, as we references to Vilcanot
shall see below. Aguilar (1986:55) observed sources, as well as the site's
lar structures 10 m in diameter east of even
the its name, provide some clues tha
be compared
station, which she hypothesized were used as with legends and other ethno
places to store supplies for the tambos. to assist in the analysis.
She found
The Aymara
no remains of a temple at the pass, however. language was originally spo
the described
Several groups of structures are also region of La Raya before the Inkas co
by Aguilar (1986:38-40) on theit. In an of
slopes Aymara dictionary of 1612
Yahuarcota, bordering the pass to the as A
south. the sun or as a temple dedicate
sun (or
short distance from the pass she observed twoother idols) and villcanuta as the
of the sun"
semi-circular enclosures, one 30 x 10 m and the (Bertonio 1984 v.2:386). De
other 8 m in width. Close by she found anotherstates that the reason Inka pries
to Vilcanota during
enclosure with five small buildings adjacent to it. the June solstice wa
was believed
On the other side of Yahuarcota she followed a that the sun was born in th
Perhaps Vilcanota
road toward its summit and located two 10 x 5 m was so named because,
from Cusco,
structures on a platform. Farther on she observed it is aligned with Lake Titic

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Tiahuanaco, where Inka legend has it that the Vilcanota River still used in recent times (see
birth of the sun took place (Zuidema Celestino 1982:75; Sanchez 1984:266).3
1982:439h40). However, it should be added that One might ask why the temple of Vilcanota was
the sun does not rise from La Raya at any time as not associated with the deity Viracocha, if the tem-
viewed from Cusco, because the pass is located ples noted at Rajchi and Viracochan were devoted
too far south of east. to him and were located along the route he reput-
La Raya is also at the origin of the Vilcanota edly followed. Following Rowe (1960), I believe
River, which conceptually follows the path of the that this is the result of the identification of these
sun southeast-northwest. As seen from Cusco, the sites as places where creative acts occurred
sun reaches its southernmost point in the east according to local beliefs before the Inkas con-
when it rises from the southeast at the time of the
quered the region.4 However, there apparently was
December solstice; this is also the beginning of no pre-Inka temple at La Raya or at least none
the rainy season, when the river's level also associated with creative acts. A few sherds have
increases. Its northernmost setting point is to the
been found at the pass that may predate the Inka
northwest at the time of the June solstice, which(Aguilar 1986:55), but they have not been posi-
follows the end of the rainy season. tively identified and in any case would in them-
In current beliefs in the Cusco region, which selves be insufficient to prove that a pre-Inka
appear to reflect those of the Inkas, the Vilcanota ceremonial center existed there. It seems that
River is the terrestrial reflection of the daytime Rajchi and Viracochan were more appropriately
path of the sun (Urton 1981 :68). The sun then fol- incorporated under the generalized deity concept
lows the course of the Vilcanota River during the of Viracocha, the creator deity, whereas the temple
night to rise again in the east. The legendary jour- of Vilcanota was established under the sun god,
ney of the creator deity Viracocha is also believed Inti. The temple's fundamental rationale was, how-
to have taken place along the river, as he came ever, based on mountain and water worship, which
from Lake Titicaca and passed by Cusco on his also combined with the establishment of a politi-
way to the ocean (see Betanzos 1987: 13-15; cal/ecological/economic boundary at the pass.
Zuidema 1982:440). Whether or not a pre-Inka temple existed at the
It seems quite likely that among the Inkas thespot, La Raya is close to the boundary area
mountain of Vilcanota (Chimbolla), and thus the between the Huari and Tiahuanaco cultures (see
temple, had a perceived association with Mujica 1985: 109). Although the relationship
Ausangate. Although Ausangate was not noted in between Huari and Tiahuanaco is still being
the chronicles as being associated with the solstice, debated (see Isbell and McEwan 1991), its strate-
the fact that the sun rises behind it at the Decembergic location might have contributed to the percep-
solstice as viewed from Cusco is something the tion of La Raya as a cultural dividing line during
Inkas could hardly have failed to notice (Reinhard the Inka period.
1991 :80). Ausangate is also a principal provider of An additional reason for the great importance
water for the Vilcanota River. In current beliefs theof the area in Inka religion is provided by
Vilcanota River is viewed as a carrier of the fertil-Santacruz (1968 :304), who noted in the late
izing property of the snow mountains (see Gow 1500s that, as a memorial to the wars with the
and Condori 1982:60; Sanchez 1984:266), the Collas, the Inka emperor Topa ordered that two
principal one of which is Ausangate. sticks of gold and silver be put in Vilcanota along
Guaman Poma (1980:213) has vilca combined with "lines." These were probably lines or actual
with the word uaca (sacred place or object) and walls of stone, one of which was reported in the
applied to local deities, especially mountains. The late 1500s (de Murua 1946:215) and 1600s
word therefore seems to have had, at least in (Aparicio 1982:86) and noted in recent times (see
Quechua, a more general meaning of"sacred" Aguilar 1986:59; Posnansky 1937, Figure 6).
(see Garcilaso 1967 v.3:35). This also appears to I observed two walls of stones across the pass
have been the case with the word vilcamayu perpendicular to the road. The longer line extends
(sacred river), which was another name for the between two tributaries that diverge from the

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346 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 6, No. 4, 19951

Figure 5. View to the northwest from the summit of Incacancha over the pass of La Raya.

stream flowing down from Chimbolla to feed the dominate. The legend serves to express both the
sources of the rivers that flow in opposite direc- dualism in Andean thought and the ecological
tions (see Figure 5). This wall presumably gave rise facts, because the region of Collao is of high alti-
to the Spanish name of La Raya (';the line") (see tude and more suited for pastoralism than for the
Aparicio 1982:86). Topa Inka is said to also have growing of grain foods.
made mounds of stone, presumably boundary The area of La Raya also figures in present-day
markers or possibly apachetas, and to have ordered myths as the location where a competition took
colonists there to ensure the security of the area. place between two beings with supernatural pow-
According to a more recent legend, Ausangate ers Inkarri and Qollari. Inkarn was associated
gave one of his daughters in marriage to a man with the western side of the pass and Qollari with
from Collao and offered him livestock and agri- the eastern side. Inkarri threw a bar of gold that led
cultural products (Valderrama and Escalante to the founding of Cusco (Muller 1984:136; see
1978:126-127). His sons, one of whom was the also Valencia 1973:293). Hence the origin of
mountain Sahuasiray (Sawasiray), would not Cusco has become conceptually linked with the
allow the man to take the agricultural products, pass among some modern-day Quechua peoples.
but Ausangate did give him some maize. In La There is evidence that Chimbolla (Vilcanota)
Raya a bird stole the spirit of the maize, which fell would have been conceptually linked to
on the western side of the pass, whereas the Colla Ausangate, the most powerfill mountain deity of
man turned into a mountain near Ausangate. To the region. Many people perceive Ausangate to
this day maize is grown primarily west of La include not only the massif of that name but also
Raya, whereas to the east in Collao livestock pre- other mountains of the area all of which are con-

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cerned with the fertility of livestock (see GowStates,

and the National Geographic Society, and the Social
Gow 1975: 148-149) and many with the fertility of Research Council, with additional support provided
by Joseph and Sharon Richardson and Robert and Nancy
fields as well (Gow and Condori 1982:40).
Merritt. Research in the Department of Cusco was greatly
Although Chimbolla was not specifically named facilitated by the National Institute of Culture and its directors
in livestock rituals, the nearby mountain of Gustavo Manrique, Oscar Nunez del Prado, Danilo Pallardel,
Cunurana (Kunurana) was (Gow and Gow and Fernin Dias. Patagonia, Inc., kindly donated equipment

1975:148; see Gifford and Hoggarth 1976:41). used in the course of my investigations in the region. For the
past few years I have been a research associate of the Field
There is also the widespread belief that mountains
Museum of Natural History and The Mountain Institute. I
in the region, including ones as far away as would like to express my gratitude to all of these organizations
Salcantay, are relatives of Ausangate and none is for their support.
his superior (Nunez del Prado 1983: 158; see also It would be impossible to name all the individuals who in

Marzal 1971:251). It therefore seems highly likely one way or another contributed to my research in the Cusco
region over a period of several years. However, the following
that Chimbolla would also have been perceived in
people were especially helpful with regard to the topic of this
this way. This hypothesis is supported by the belief article: Trinidad Aguilar, Fernando Astete, Brian Bauer,
that Chimbolla has great powers like Ausangate, Joanna Burkhardt, David Dearborn, Jorge Flores, John
especially as the owner of llamas and alpacas in Rowe, Jeannette Sherbondy, Gary Urton, and Tom Zuidema.

the area (Flores 1988:250) and that other snow- Luis Barreda and Manuel Chavez graciously made available
their personal libraries in Cusco. Of course, none of these
capped peaks, such as Sahuasiray (who played a
people is responsible for the interpretations and possible fac-
mythical role in marking the economic divide at tual errors that appear in this article.
La Raya), are perceived as Ausangate's children.
References Cited
Aguilar, T.
1986 Arqueologia del Paso de La Raya. Unpublished
It seems clear from the foregoing discussion that Bachelor's thesis, Universidad Nacional de San Antonio
the temple of Vilcanota became important to the Abad, Cusco.
Agurto, S.
Inka for several reasons. Chief among them was
1987 Estudios Acerca de la Construcecion, Arquitectura,
its location at the dividing point for waters flow- y Planeamiento Incas. Camara Peruana de la
ing east to the sacred lake of Titicaca, the Inkas' Construccion, Lima.
Aldunate, C., and V. Castro
mythological place of origin, and west to pass
1981 Las Chullpa de Toconce y su Relacion con el
through the sacred valley where so many impor- Poblamiento Altiplanico en el Loa Superior Periodo
tant Inka sites were located. The Vilcanota River Tardio. Unpublished Master's thesis. Universidad de
Chile, Santiago.
received its waters from the sacred mountains of
Aparicio, M.
Chimbolla and Ausangate (important for the fer- 1982 Historia de la Provincia de Canchis. In Kanchi. La
tility of livestock and fields), and the river's flow Provincia de Canchis a Traves de su IIistoria, edited by
V. Guerra, pp. 85-121. Editora Humboldt, Lima.
was in turn associated with the sun's origin and
Bastien, J.
passage and the route of a major Inka deity, 1978 Mountain of the Condor. Metaphor and Ritual in an
Viracocha. The place may also have marked the Andean Ayllu. West Publishing, New York.
Bertonio, L.
conceptual dividing line between agriculture to
1984 [1612] Vocabulario de la Lengua Aymara. CERES,
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myths suggest. Taken together, the data suggest it Celestino, P.
1982 [1792] Descripcion Corografica de la Provincia de
was its ecological and sacred geographical situa-
Tinta. In Kanchi. La Provincia de Canchis a Traves de
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site of particular importance in Inka religion. Humboldt, Lima.
Cieza de Leon, P.
1977 [1553] El Senorio de los lncas. 2nd ed. Editorial
Ackno"ledgnlents. This article was made possible by a fellow-
Universo, Lima.
ship (No. RO-22297-9 1 ) from the National Endowment for the
1984 [1553] La Cronica del Peru. Editorial Inca, Lima.
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de Acosta, J.
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The organizations that supplied the principal financing for the ed. Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico City.
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Valencia, A. from the Quechua word for blood (yakuar) and Aymara word
1973 Inkarri Qollari Dramatizado. In Ideologia Mesianica for lake (cota). The possibility exists that it received this
del Mundo Andino, edited by J. Ossio, pp. 281-298. name because blood sacrifices were performed at the lake, as
Edicion de Ignacio Prado Pastor, Lima.
is suggested by use of a similar name by the Inkas at Lake
Zuidema, T.
Titicaca for this very reason (Reinhard 1992:128).
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3. The temple of Ancocagua, which followed Vilcanota in
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Rosaldo, and J. Wirth, pp. 419-458. Academic Press, located near the source of the Apurimac River to the south.
New York. Cusco lies between the two river systems (see Reinhard
Notes 4. There is considerable disagreement among scholars con-
cerning the nature of Viracocha (see Demarest 1981; Duviols
l. Squier also described seeing hundreds of stone heaps
1977; Rowe 1960; Urbano 1981). Because this is a complex
about one mile to the east of La Raya. These were 1 foot to
issue that I have examined elsewhere (Reinhard 1994), I will
5 feet high and made for the spirits of the mountains (Squier
only state here my opinion that Viracocha was an evolving
l 977:399). Middendorf ( 1974:339) followed Squier's visit
deity concept, which, among other things, was used by the
some years later and noted seeing numerous apachetas
Inkas to integrate local places and gods associated with cre-
(mounds of stone) as he neared the pass from the east.
ative acts.
2. It may be more than a coincidence that the mountain on
the south side of the pass is called Yahuarcota ("blood lake"), Received September 17, 1993; accepted July 16, 1994.

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