YACHAY WASI revolves around the culture of the descendants of the Inkas, personalized by its President who resides in Qosqo (Cuzco), Peru. The Inka civilization is very much alive in this ancient city. The name of Qosqo in Quechua means the Navel of the World, and in the article below, you will have a glimpse why it was called this way. Mayor Daniel Estrada, Mayor of Cuzco 1990-1995, officially returned the name of his city to its Quechua name, Qosqo.
|When the city of Cuzco was the capital of the Inka Empire Tawantinsuyu (the Land of the Four Quarters), it was called Qosqo and represented the center of these four regions or suyus, with Chinchay Suyu & Anti Suyu in the Northern part or Janan and Kunti Suyu & Qolla Suyu in the South or Urin, taking as a point of reference the corner of the principal plaza or Uaquaypata(see photo right), site from where originated the four principal paths which divided the Empire in four suyus.|
Uaquaypata was the belly of a puma which was the shape of the urban nucleus of Inka Qosqo, delimited by the rivers Saphi (Watany) and Tullumayu, of which this triangular union was called Pumaq-Chupan or Tail of the Puma. The neck of the grand puma was between the Barrio de Qolqampata, today San Cristobal, and the Barrio de Puma-curcu or trunk of puma. The head was higher in altitude and was the site of the fortress of Saqsaywaman.
This shape of 2,000 meters long and 600 meters wide which resembled a puma contained 6 streets lengthwise and 12 streets sideways: 6 in the high sector Janan and 6 in the low Urin, from the neck to the tail, streets which irradiated in 36 rays from the urban center. Most of these streets still exist today uniting the center to the periphery. Twelve of these streets leave the principal plaza, between the four paths which lead to the four suyus.
Inka Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616), in his Royal Commentaries, mentioned 13 sectors around Qosqo, in the following order: Colcampata, Cantupata, Tococachi, Munaisenca, Rimacpampa, Pumaqchupan, Qoripata, Cayaucachi, Chaqilchaca, Pijchu, Qillipata, Carmenca y Huacapunco. Today, the 13 surrounding neighborhoods have Inka or Christian names: 1-Pijchu, 2-Santa Ana, 3-Saphi, 4-San Cristobal, 5-Choquechaca, 6-San Blas, 7- Santiago, 8-Belen, 9-Qoripata, 10-Estacion de Wanchaq, 11-Rimacpampa, 12-Recoleta and 13-Killki.
From the writings of Father Cobo (1890) , we know that 12 barrios or neighborhoods were the charge of 12 families or Ayllus, related to the royal families of the Inka. Each of these 12 barrios were divided in 3 " Ceques ", also the responsibility of other families or secondary ayllus. There was principally a hub of 36 Ceques, but in time, the number grew to 360 containing huacas, centers of worship. These ceques and their Huacas could be reached from Qorikancha (the Temple of the Sun in Qosqo) following the paths of each suyu to the four cardinal points, The Four Directions.
This division of Inka Qosqo, first by 2, then by 4, furthermore by 3 and then by 9, being followed by decimal divisions may have been a way to divide time, space and population, for a more effective control by the government.
One theory is this: The town of Qosqo of the Inkas, with its shape of a puma, its barrios, Ceques and Huakas, represented a solar calendar of 360 days, with 12 months of 30 days with 3 weeks of 10 days, which left 5 extra days at the end of each year (6 each leap year). The months have names related to agricultural activities and the weeks are called Qollana (first), Payan (second), Cayao (third). The royal families are in charge of the 12 months along with the 12 main barrios. The secondary families who are in charge of smaller barrios take charge of activities on a weekly basis.
The ayllus in Urin (South) are in charge of the rainy months and the dry months are the responsibility of Janan (North). Principal festivals take place during the equinoxes and solstices. Solar and stellar observations are made from special points such as Qorikancha, Uaquaypata, Saqsaywaman, measuring the rising and setting of the sun, with the numbers of 4, 7 or 8, to determinate the months for planting, harvest and irrigation. Testimonies of astronomical studies can be verified today in archeological sites in Qosqo mentioned above, but also in Pisac, Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo.
from Qosqo (Cusco) de los Incas-Dr. Manuel Chávez Ballón
In 1983, Qosqo was added to the list of UN / UNESCO World Heritage Sites and attracts many visitors hoping to recapture its illustrious past. It has been named the Archeological Capital of the Americas.