The Disappearance Of The Children Of Viracocha, Part 2: Inca Epilogue, Chachapoyas, Rapanui, Aotearoa And Hawaii (cont.)
By Brien Foerster
Most tour guides in the area will say that the local villagers carved this monumental face, complete with beard, to honour the teacher Viracochan, but that is like saying that slaves with mud ramps and wooden rollers made the pyramids in Giza, Egypt; completely presposterous.
Carved stone head of Viracochan; Ollantaytambo Peru. Photo by Brien Foerster
Another ancient group of people who lived in what is now called Peru and possibly had reddish blonde hair and fair skin were the Chachapoyas. Their main center of habitation was at a site called Kuelap, approximately 750 km north of Lima. The conquest of the Chachapoyas by the Incas took place, according to the Inca descendant and chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, during the government of Tupac Inca Yupanqui in the second half of the 15th century.
The Chachapoyas were not receptive to Inca expansion and annexation, and fought long and hard battles but eventually surrendered. When civil war broke out within the Inca “empire,” the Chachapoyas were located on middle ground between the northern capital at Quito, ruled by the half blooded Inca Atahuallpa, and the southern capital at Cuzco, ruled by Atahuallpa's brother Huascar, who was Inca of full blood. Many of the Chachapoyas were conscripted into Huascar's army, and heavy casualties ensued. After Atahuallpa's eventual victory, many more of the Chachapoyas were executed or deported due to their former allegiance with Huascar.
Once the Spanish had murdered Atahuallpa in 1533, and had taken over what is now present day Peru, the last of the Chachapoyas succumbed to disease and starvation, thus their bloodlines if present at all today, would rarely display the much debated reddish blonde hair and light skin characteristics.
They had no written language, and since none survive to this day, the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors are the principal sources of information on the Chachapoyas. Indeed, so little is known, that the name that they called themselves is lost. The name Chachapoyas was one given, or more likely imposed upon them by the Inca, and loosely translates as the “warriors of the clouds.” 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.
Writings by the major chroniclers of the time, such as the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega were based on fragmentary second-hand accounts. Much of what we do know about the Chachapoyas culture is based on archaeological evidence from ruins, pottery, tombs and other artifacts.