INFO PERU

ºQosqo, the most important pre-Columbian metropolis in the American Continent, is heir of a cultural tradition developed all over the Peruvian territory since 18 thousand years B.C. It is a living museum where it is still possible to perceive grandeur of remote epochs. A total description or interpretation of Qosqo would be a gigantic work requiring thousands of books. This "Navel of the World" has developed one of the most advanced old civilizations on the earth. The name "Qosqo" is used the way our authorities and our consciences state it; I believe that it is a moral duty of every son of this sacred land to recover its past.

what is outstanding in the city and its region, trying to present information that is precise or at least as close as possible to historic and present truth, and unspoiled from prior prejudices and knowledge that normally mark in our lives. Having been born and lived my whole life in this Holy City gives enormous value for this purpose; its air is poor in oxygen but is pure and invigorating, intermingled with glory, passion, suffering and discouragement. I feel myself as a child of the "Pachamama", engendered by the sacred "Willkamayu" that drags the limpid water from thaws of imposing glaciers like the "Apu Ausangate" that forever protects the city and its children.

the Andean Man, the heir of a great past and creator of peculiar culture. Until now some social segments unjustly, prejudiced and contemptuously call the Andean Man as "Indian"; they fail to recognize that this disdained race forged modern Peru. Peru is complex and although many in this country of "Indians", "Cholos" and "Mestizos" boast themselves having "blue blood", what is great in this land is a product of the creative ability of the same Andean Man. It is contradictory that while by the beginning of the XXI century thousands of intelligent and cultured people of the planet admire fervently works of Ancient Peru, but human dignity is denied to the heirs of their authors.

 in assimilated academic subjects in the Tourism and Anthropology faculties of the three centuries old San Antonio Abad National University of Qosqo. I remember my professors with special affection and gratitude. Special mention is made to doctors Victor Angles, Manuel Chavez, Luis Barreda, Jorge Flores, Demetrio Roca, and many other illustrious scholars that in our formation taught us to love Qosqo with passion and nourish ourselves with its glorious past. Gathering experience as a full time professional local tour guide for a decade was also a great help. I also express my gratitude to the visitors arriving to these lands because their interests make present-day Peruvians become more aware and preoccupied about our legacy

Moreover, another aim is to offer information about this "Peruvian Source" from the point of view of a common Peruvian Andean Man. Interpretations given by outsiders are sometimes mistaken or even darkened with racial, social and economic prejudices.

On the other hand, I apologize if somebody gets offended by my very "Peruvian" English. Many thanks to Hope Thibodeau in Canada for her great help and patience.

GENERAL INFORMATION

NAME OF THE CITY.- There is some uncertainty about the correct name of the city. According to some chroniclers, in the first centuries of the existence of this most important city in pre-Columbian South-America, its name was Akamama that according to Guaman Poma de Ayala means "chicha's mother" (chicha is a fermented corn beer). Possibly it was Aqhamama -in the modern Quechua spelling- or "chicha mother". Surely that name became useless by the beginning of the Inkan development. When this was the ancient Capital of the Tawantinsuyo, it was named as Qosqo, word that is translated as "navel" or "center". That is the regular name for any Quechua speaking Andean Man. After the Spanish invasion in 1533 the name was transformed into Cuzco, word that according to the Spanish language dictionary is contemptuous, meaning "hypocrite", "humpback" and "small dog". This was a way to minimize or satirize the name of the city. Later the name was changed into Cusco, because over here "z" is not pronounced as in Spain. By the end of the XX century a very strong social movement is willing to preserve the original name of this ancient city; thus since June 20, 1990, the City's Municipality by means of Town Council Agreement Nº 078-A/MC-SG-90 stated that the official name is Qosqo.

POPULATION.- The population in Qosqo City by the beginning of the XXI century is projected to be 300,000 inhabitants. The annual growth rate is approximately 4%. In 1821 after 3 centuries of Spanish colonial administration, this city had about 40,000 people. In the Tawantinsuyo's apogee it should had between 225 to 300 thousand inhabitants.

ALTITUDE.- The altitude is 3,400 meters above sea level (11,150 feet). Some persons not used to the high altitude get problems as a consequence of the oxygen scarcity. There is an inverse relationship: the higher the altitude, the smaller the amount of oxygen. That phenomenon makes changes in people who live in high altitudes; they develop their hearts and lungs bigger. Their blood contains a higher amount of red cells too. Scarcity of oxygen produces in some people the altitude sickness that is also known as soroche or sickness of Monge. The symptoms include sleeplessness, headaches, increased excitability, shortness of breath, and a lower threshold of pain and taste. Tendon reflexes slow down and there may be loss of weight, thyroid deficiency, lung edema, or infections. Women may experience dysmenorrhea or amenorrhea, and many people experience psychological or mental disturbances. For some people it may take days, weeks or even years to adjust to some altitudes.

LATITUDE.- 13° 30' 45". Our latitude indicates that we should have a tropical or equatorial weather, but it is not like that. Qosqo is cooler because of its high altitude.

LONGITUDE.- 71° 58' 33". We are 5 hours later than the Greenwich Mean Time.

TEMPERATURE.- It is relatively cool. The annual average in the city is between 10.3° to 11.3° Celsius (50.54° to 52.34° Fahrenheit). Over here there is some uniformity in temperature between summer and winter. Normally it is somewhat cold at nighttime and during the first hours in the early morning while that at midday temperature increases considerably. During the early mornings in June and July temperature frequently drops to 5° and 7°C below zero (23° and 19.4°F).

RAINFALL.- The altitude in which Qosqo is found and its proximity to the equator make the city's climate so special. There are just 2 well-defined seasons: a dry season and another rainy one. The dry season is from May to October and the rainy season from November to April. Generally, rainfall fluctuates between 600 to 880 mm. per year, that is between 31.5 to 34.5 inches.

HUMIDITY.- In the lower section of the Qosqo Valley there is an annual humidity average of 64 %.

AREA
-
Peruvian Republic: 1'285,215 Km² (496,221 mile²)
- Inka Region: 175,280 Km² (67,676 mile²)
-
Qosqo Department
: 76,225 Km² (29,430 mile²)
- Qosqo Province: 523 Km² (202 mile²)

FLORA.- The original landscape of the valley in which the city is located has suffered some important changes. Pre-Columbian civilizations were ecologist cultures that learned to respect and live along with nature. In ancient times the grounds have been covered with sparse grasses, ichu (Stipa ichu) a native bunch grass, bushes and low trees. Among the most important native plants and bushes are: ñucchu (Salvia oppositiflora), yerba mora or ccaya-ccaya (Solanum nigrum), cow's tongue or llaque (Rumex crispus), male llanten or waqa kallo (Plantago hirtella), minor nettle or quisa (Urtica urens), yawar ch'onka (Oenothera rosea), ch'iri-ch'iri (Grindela boliviana), cancer herb (Stachys bogotensis), trinitaria or wallwa (Psoralea mexicana), q'eto-q'eto (Gnaphalium spicatum), wild tobacco or qhamasayri (Nicotiana paniculata), supai karko (Nicotiana glauca), dog thornbush or alkoquiska (Xanthium spinosum), dandelion or pilli-pilli (Taraxacum officinale), muña (Minthostachys spicata), chicchipa (Tagetes mandoni), verbena (Verbena litoralis), t'ankar quiska (Solanum pseudolicioides), llaulli (Barnadesia horrida), kantu (Cantua buxifolia) -a bush having red or yellow flowers that are considered as the Peruvian national flowers-, marqhu (Ambrosia peruviana), q'era (Lupinus condesuflorus), manca p'aki (Eupatorium sternbergianum), rata-rata (Abutilon arboreum), runto-runto (Calceolaria cuneiformis), angel's trumpet or floripondio (Datura arborea), red angel's trumpet (Datura sanguinea), roq'e (Colletia spinosissima), panti (Cosmos peucedanifolius), mountain ginger (Canna iridiflora), achupalla (Pitcairnia ferruginea), kcayara (Puya herrerrae), aguaimanto (Prunus), chunta paqpa (Fourcroya andina), century plant or paqpa (Agave americana), prickly pear or tuna (Opuntia ficus indica), p'ata quiska (Opuntia exaltata), jawaq'ollay or giant cactus (Trichocereus cuzcoensis), atoq-wakachi (Opuntia tunicata), niwa (Cortadería rudiuscula), ch'illca (Baccharis polyanta), maych'a or árnica (Senecio pseudotites), begonia or achankarai (Begonia sp.), etc.

Among the most important native trees are: chachacomo (Escallonia resinosa), molle or false pepper (Schinus molle), kiswar (Buddleia longifolia or incana), qolle (Buddleia coriácea), elderberry or sauco (Sambucus peruviana), capuli cherry (Physalis peruviana), lloq'e (Kageneckia lanceolata), tara (Caesalpinia spinosa), huayruro (Citharexylum herrerae), alder tree or lambran (Alnus jorulensis), cedar (Cedrela herrerae), coral tree or pisonay (Erythrina falcata), weeping willow (Salix humboldtiana), waranway (Tecoma sambucifolia), q'euña (Polylepis incana or racemosa), etc.

Since colonial days people from the city have been exterminating slowly many bushes and almost all of the valley's native trees for use as firewood. Today the trees that dominate our valleys are eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), imported from Australia in the 1880s. Another element that has changed the original landscape of the valley is the grass known as kikuyo (Pennisetun clandestinum), grass native from Eritrea and Abyssinia -present day Ethiopia- that was brought from Kenya and planted first in the Qosqo Valley in 1928. In the very beginning it was imported with ornamental purposes and as cattle pasture. Today it grows wildly even in the very high Andean Mountains as a pest that reduces the farmlands. It is appreciated by cattlemen but hated by farmers.

OROGRAPHY .- The Qosqo Valley is located by the mid-west of the Peruvian Andes, not so far away from what is known as the "Vilcanota Node". Mountains around it contain mainly sedimentary rocks. However, there is an important limestone formation and some "stocks" or outcrop igneous formations. Among the most important mountains surrounding Qosqo City, named clockwise are: on the northern side Saqsaywaman, Pukamoqo, Socorro and farther away Senqa (4400 mts., 14432 ft.) and the Fortaleza (4193 mts., 13750 ft.). Advancing to the east side are the Pikol (4482 mts., 14700 ft.) and the range of Pachatusan (4842 mts., 15880 ft.). Towards the Southeast are the Machu Loma, the mythological Wanakauri (4080 mts., 13382 ft.), Santa Ana; farther south is the Anawarque (4050 mts., 13284 ft.), Qachona, and closer the Choqo, Araja, Muyu-Orqo and the Condoroma which closer side to the city is named Araway Qhata where today the sign "Viva el Perú" ("Long life for Peru") is found; to the southwest are the Pukín, Waman Charpa and further away the Mama Simona (4300 mts., 14105 ft.). Dominating the western side are the K'illki and Picchu (3820 mts., 12530 ft.). On the top of the Picchu Mountain today many microwave antennas are placed.

Besides, in the Qosqo Region there are also some very important mountain chains, standing out the Cordillera (Range of Mountains) of Vilcanota towards the city's east and which highest peak is the Ausangate over 6372 mts. (20905 ft.); the Cordillera of Urubamba towards the northwest with its highest peak La Veronica over 5682 mts. (18641 ft.); and the Cordillera of Vilcabamba toward the west and which highest summit is the Salkantay over 6271 mts. (20574 ft.).

 

FESTIVITY CALENDAR

January

- 1st to 6th, exhibition of typical Nativities in Cusquenian churches and homes;
- 06th, "Descent of the Three Wise Men", important religious and folk festival in Ollantaytambo

February

- (movable date) Folk Carnival Festivals in different towns of the Sacred Valley of the Inkas

March

- (movable) Holy Week; procession of the Lord of Earthquakes on Holy Monday and some other processions during the week, Eucharist exhibitions too;
- 23rd, Spanish Refoundation of Qosqo City

May

- 02nd, "Cruz Velacuy", day of the Catholic crosses in Qosqo and in almost every Andean Village, the festivity goes on even until May 4th;
- (movable between May and June) Festivity of the Lord of Qoyllurit'i, in the Sinakhara Mountain that is nearby Ocongate; it includes pilgrimage and folk atmosphere

June

- (9 weeks after Holy Thursday) Corpus Christi. It has processions of Virgins and Saints from almost all the parishes of the city escorted by folk dances. Fruits and local dishes are displayed and sold at Plateros Street. The classical dish for this festivity is "Chiri Uchu";
- Sunday before the 24th, Folk Festival in the Wiraqocha Inkan temple of the Raqchi village, district of San Pedro, Canchis province;
- 24th,
Inti Raymi
. Performance in Saqsaywaman of the most important festivity of Inkan times: the "Sun Festivity"; it includes Inkan clothing and folk festival;
- 29th, Festivity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the parish of San Pedro in Qosqo and the districts of those names in the Canchis province;

July

- 16th, Virgin of Carmen; great religious and folk festivity in the Paucartambo village as well as in P'isaq;
- 25th to 29th, Coffee Festival in Quillabamba

August

- Last Sunday of the month. Performance of the "Warachikuy" Inkan Festival in Saqsaywaman;

September

- 14th, Festivity of the Lord of Huanca. It includes pilgrimage from Qosqo City as well as goods and cattle fair in the town of San Salvador;
- 30th, Saint Jerome's Festivity in the district of San Jeronimo;
- Tourist Week, with different sport and cultural activities.
Main day is the 27th;

October

- 04th, San Francisco Festivity in Tinta, Urcos and Maras.

November

- 01st, All Souls' Day. Visits to cemeteries;
- 02nd, All Saints' Day. Sale of bread with shapes of "wawas" (dolls) and "caballitos" (little horses), consumption of "Lechón" (roast pork) and "Tamales" (corn wet-bread)

December

- 19th, Gourmet Festival in Andahuaylillas;
- 24th, Santuranticuy Fair (Purchase of Saints). Craftsmanship exhibit and sale in Qosqo's Plaza de Armas;
- 25th, Cusquenian Nativity.

 

QOSQO IN HISTORY

It still remains in the past's obscurity the conditions and date when man began inhabiting this continent. However, the most accepted version says that the American man came from the Asian Continent and that taking advantage of the ocean freeze in the Bering Strait could cross to this side of the world. According to archaeology the Nevada Man in present day USA, must have lived about 30 to 50 thousand years ago. In the case of Peru, in 1969 Mac Neish revealed the oldest dates for the first Peruvians: 18 to 20 thousand years B.C. for the Pacaicasa Man around Ayacucho. That age is beyond the logical sphere because it was determined using the absolute date technique of Radiocarbon or Carbon 14. Since that remote time man moved himself through different spots in the Peruvian Andes. In the Qosqo region there were some pre-ceramic settlements, thus the oldest ones and still gatherers were the Men of Yauri and Chumbivilcas with an approximate age of 5 thousand years B.C. Later we had the shepherds of the Canas and Chawaytiri areas and even later as farmers the Men of Qorqa. It is in the Formative period when man appeared in the Watanay Valley (Qosqo Valley). The oldest sedentary settlement in a first phase in this valley was begun in Marcavalle on the eastern part of the present-day city with a relatively organized population of farmers and shepherds using pottery approximately since 1,000 B.C. Organized life in Qosqo City began practically with them. Today Qosqo City is considered the oldest living city in the American Continent with a continuous occupation of about 3,000 years until today. In a second phase, the Chanapata culture was developed about 800 B.C. Later, we had the Regional States and one of the first was that of Qotakalli around 600 A.D. Probably by 750 A.D. the Wari invasion happened, they constructed the buildings of what today we name Pikillaqta. Subsequently by 800 A.D. the Regional State of Killki was formed and later that of Lucre about 1000 A.D. What is traditionally known as the Inka civilization (empire or state) began approximately by 1200 A.D. in its initial phase, and later around 1400 A.D. in its expansive phase. One of the most difficult epochs in the city's life was begun in 1533 with the arrival and subsequent Spanish invasion and ethnocide.

It is still very difficult to state exactly who were the first founders of the city or which would be the valid foundation of Qosqo. They could be the settlers of Marcavalle. Victor Angles suggests that they could be the Sawasiras, Antasayas and Wallas, tribes settled in the valley before the Tawantinsuyo development. Another foundation would be that of the first Inka Manko Qhapaq around 1200 A.D. It is also suggested that Pachakuteq, the ninth king did another foundation by 1438. Finally, after the arrival of the first Spaniards to the city on November 15th 1533, Francisco Pizarro refounded it for the Spanish King following the Spanish tradition on March 23rd 1534; with the name and title of: THE VERY NOBLE AND GREAT CITY OF CUZCO.

In 1535 Pizarro founded the new capital in Lima that immediately gained importance and power even until today. In 1536 Manko Inka began a long and bloody war against the Spanish invaders having a siege of 8 months over the city. Finally in 1572, after a war that lasted 36 years, Tupaq Amaru I, the last emperor of the Inkan dynasty was defeated, captured and executed cutting his head off in Qosqo's Main Square.

In 1650 the city was badly affected by a violent earthquake that destroyed almost every colonial building . Later in 1780 the city was once again shaken but this time by a social-quake: the Tupaq Amaru II rebellion (today, traditionally the Spanish form of his name is used; originally it was Jose Gabriel Thupa Amaro Inga, as it was signed by himself) He fought for the Peruvian emancipation but unfortunately was betrayed, defeated and then executed as well as his whole family and followers in the same city's Main Square. Between 1814-15, Mateo Pumakawa who was the chief of the village of Chinchero and in his youth had fought against Tupaq Amaru II; began once again another rebellion in order to emancipate the country along with the Angulo brothers and some other Peruvians. They were defeated and later executed by the Spanish army. In 1821 Peru got finally its independence from Spain at the end of a long, cruel and bloody process developed in all the countries of Hispanic America.

In 1933 the 25th Congress of Americanists performed in Ciudad de la Plata, Argentina, declared Qosqo City as the " Archaeological Capital of South America". In 1950 another bad earthquake of 7° in the Mercalli scale had shaken the old Inkan Capital that left just one quarter of its buildings standing. In 1978 the 7th Convention of Mayors of the World Great Cities, performed in Milan, Italy, declared Qosqo as " Cultural Heritage of the World". In Paris, on December 9, 1983, the UNESCO declared Qosqo as " Cultural Patrimony of Humanity". On December 22, 1983, by means of Law Nº 23765 the Peruvian government declared the city as " Tourist Capital of Peru" as well as " Cultural Patrimony of the Nation". Today Qosqo is capital of the department having the same name and at the same time the seat of the Inka Region formed along with the departments of Apurimac and Madre de Dios. The 1993 Peruvian Constitution declares Qosqo as the Historic Capital of the country.

MACHUPICCHU

Nowadays it is a Historic National Sanctuary, protected by the Peruvian Government by means of Law Nº 001.81.AA of 1981, that tries to conserve the geological formations and archaeological remains inside the Sanctuary, besides protecting its flora, fauna and landscape's beauty. The whole park has an extension of 32,592 Has.; that is 80,535 acres (325.92 km²; 125.83 mile²). Machupicchu (the Inkan City) is located on kilometer 112 (70 miles) of the Qosqo-Quillabamba railway; the train station is known as "Puente Ruinas" and lies at an altitude of 2000 mts (6560 ft.). From that station there are buses in order to get to South-America's most famous Archaeological Group that is found at an average altitude of 2450 mts (8038 ft.), and at 13°09'23'' of South Latitude and 72°32'34'' of West Longitude. The climate in that sector has also some characteristics that are found all over the region; thus, only two well defined seasons are distinguished: the rainy season between September to April, and the dry season from May to August. Nevertheless, Machupicchu is found by the commencement of the Cusquenian Amazonian Jungle, so the chance of having rains or showers is latent by any time of the year. In the hottest days it is possible to get even about 26° Celsius (78.8° Fahrenheit), while that in the coldest early mornings in June and July the temperature may drop to -2° C. (28.4° F); the average annual temperature is 16 degrees Celsius. Annually, there is an average of rains from 1571 mm. (61 in.) to 2381 millimeters (93 in.). It is obvious that the monthly relative humidity is in direct relationship to rains, so the humidity average is from 77% during the dry months to 91% in the rainy months.

The Machupicchu Historic National Sanctuary is found over a great granite orogenic structure baptized by Dr. Isaiah Bowman as the " Vilcapampa Batholith" that outcrops over about 400 km² (154 mile²). Its formation belongs in the scale of geological time to the Paleozoic or Inferior Primary and may have an approximate age of 250 million years. The Vilcapampa Batholith's white-gray granite is an intrusive igneous rock (magma cooled off in great profundities inside the earth); it is mainly compound in average by 60% of feldspar, 30% of quartz, and a 10% of mica. That granite has interlaced equigranular texture and possesses from 6° to 7° of hardness in the MOHS scale with a resistance of 1200 Kg/cm². Likewise, in this region there are some other rocks corresponding to the Inferior Paleozoic; such as schist, quartzite and metamorphic conglomerations that might have an age from 350 to 450 million years.

THE INKA TRAIL TOWARDS MACHUPICCHU

One of the most interesting, short and accessible treks in the region is the one leading to the enigmatic Inkan City of Machupicchu. The best time to do the Inka Trail is during our dry season between May to September; however, this does not mean that there is no possibility of getting rains or showers because they simply are unforeseeable even by this season. The first thing when getting ready is to get the necessary camping equipment. When dealing with organized excursions, normally the tour operators supply all that is necessary except for the personal equipment that may also be rented in the several specialized agencies by the Qosqo's downtown area. The elementary equipment items are a tent, a backpack, sleeping bag or blanket, insulating pad, rain gear, trekking boots, food for the 3 or 4 walking days, etc.

If the trek is carried out by the traveler's own, then he must be very careful about the equipment to be carried. Besides the items already indicated he must get the following elements: canteen, flashlight, matches, knife, cooking gear with stove, pots, jars, fork and spoon, candles. Food consisting of light products such as instant soups, noodles or spaghetti, fish cans, cheese, ham, rice, semolina, salt, pepper; dry fruits, oats, powdered milk, instant tea, coffee or chocolate; refreshment packs, jam, butter, candies, bread (kept in plastic bags it will be O.K. till the last day). Even more, it will be necessary to take a small personal first aid kit containing a bandage, sterile cotton, gauze, adhesive bandages, analgesics, antiseptic ointment or liquid, diamox or coramina for those who suffer altitude effects, insect repellent, sun screen, Vaseline. Coca leaves are also very useful since that they are used to make infusions or they could be chewed in order help people get adjusted to the altitude, as well as for mitigating tiredness, thirst or hunger. Normally, water is found in all the spots described in this book as campsites. However, it is always commendable to boil the water, or otherwise to use chlorine or any other purification device or tablets to make it drinkable. It is recommended to take light clothing for the sunny days as well as warm ones because in certain sectors the nights may be cold with temperatures under 0° C (32° F). Do not forget a sun hat or cap, towel, toilet paper; shoes must be preferably waterproof hiking boots with ankle protectors. Depending on your interests also carry a photo or film camera, binoculars, sun glasses, compass, a good trail handbook, etc. All the equipment including the food should have a light or moderate weight for the hiker; some few extra grams become heavy and unbearable on the hike. In order to sleep do not leave your belongings outside your tent since in some sectors, especially during the first hiking days some nighttime robberies were reported. It is not recommended to hike all alone, do it always along with some other hikers; there is a Safety Committee in order to grant help to travelers but which is seldom effective. Moreover, it is recommended not to move away from the trail or the signaled way; if you ever have doubts ask the other travelers coming after you.

INKAN RELIGION

As in many other Andean cultural elements, Inkan Religion is also a product of the evolution developed in this corner of the world through thousands of years living together with nature. It is in synthesis a general rule for religion all over the world that when man can not explain, demonstrate or dominate some phenomena or powers superior or uncontrollable by himself, he gives to them a supernatural explanation or origin. Thus, a snake that with just one bite could cause convulsions and death of a fellow was considered as sacred. A puma (cougar or mountain lion) that was the most powerful of all the Andean fauna, uncontrollable even by man was another god. Lightning and thunder that caused fires and destruction was another deity too. Like that, dozens and even hundreds of elements from which man was dependent had and still have a divine character. Religion is defined as the joint of moral beliefs and values that rule individual and social conduct; likewise, the practice of rituals that man establishes in order to keep in touch with all that is divine.

As a consequence of its social division, it seems that in the Inkan Society there was also a private cosmovision for the nobility and another for common people. A proof of that is that temples were very exclusive and used just by the Inka and priests. Therefore the temples were always protected and closed. Along with beliefs that Inkas tried to impose in their territory, symbolized by the Inti or Sun God, many pre-Inkan ones survived showing variations according to the regions with the same tradition.

In general terms, it was considered that all deities were subordinated and created by an invisible, eternal and all-mighty God that was named as Wiraqocha. Though it is argued that the real name of that god is Apu Kon Titi Wiraqocha or perhaps Illa Teqsi Wiraqocha. Some scholars believe that probably this same god was identified with other names like Pachakamaq and Tonapa. The Wiraqocha God was over the three worlds of the ancient Peruvian cosmovision. Therefore, his dwelling is not found in the Hanan Pacha or upper world identified with the sidereal space, neither on the earth's surface or Kay Pacha, nor in the Ukhu Pacha or lower world identified with the underground. Nevertheless, the Inti or Sun was the par-excellence deity among Quechuas. It is suggested that it was the most popular god. The Inka or King was considered the Sapan Intiq Churin or the "Only Son of the Sun". So it was necessary to confer importance to the cult of the Sun among the tribes he conquered. This is the reason why every city or village must infallibly have had temples dedicated to its cult. It is evident that the most important temple for this male deity, identified with gold, was the Qoricancha. That same temple is known by some others as Intikancha or Intiwasi. In the Quechua religion it was considered that the Moon or Killa was a female deity, identified with silver, and that the Sun's wife must unfailingly have had a temple near that of her male partner. The most important priest in the Inkan Society was the Willaq Uma (Foretelling head) that in normal conditions was a close relative of the Inka: his brother or uncle.

A Luis E. Valcarcel's study indicates that all the Gods, less Wiraqocha, dwelled in the "Hanan Pacha" and over there arrived the spirits of dead noble persons too. From that world came the Inkas as Sun's children. Two mythical beings established a regular communication between the different worlds of the pre-Hispanic cosmovision; from the "Ukhu Pacha" or underground world went over the earthly world or "Kay Pacha" and were projected through the "Hanan Pacha" or celestial world. These mythical beings were represented in the form of two snakes: Yakumama (mother water), that when arriving to the earth's surface was transformed into a "great river" and passing to the upper world into Illapa (thunder, lightning and thunderbolt; it was considered to be the god of waters). The other snake was Sach'amama (mother tree), it had two heads and walked vertically with slowness and the "appearance of an aged tree"; arriving to the heavenly world it was transformed into a K'uychi (Rainbow) that was a deity bonded with fertility and fecundity. Besides, the Earth or Mother Earth known as Pachamama, was a pan-Andean deity that was and still is the object of a cult all over the Andean Mountains, the same as in the coast the Qochamama or Mother Sea. Likewise, the stars occupied a preponderant place in pre-Hispanic religion. Many stars and constellations, such as the star Ch'aska or Venus, or the Pleiades constellation had divine characters. Today, the Andean peasant, follower of Inkan Religion and traditions still uses some constellations specially in order to foresee the future; according to the brightness of their stars it is possible to know for example if next year there will be rains, prosperity, happiness, disasters, etc.