Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coporaque: place where the corn is given

by the Colca Specialist

Its name comes from two different quechua words: QHOTO that means a pile of corn,and RAKE that means to give,to distribute.
So Coporaque means: Place where the corn is given.
In Colca Valley and in Colca canyon there were many Qollqas or places for storage where our ancestors kept grains among other products in order to provide food to the people in the crisis periods.
Coporaque was the capital of the Inka empire during 20 years aproximatedly so that’s why there were many Qollqas in Coporaque area.
People of Coporaque are called CHATA QEROS or tied qeros.
Qeros are containers made of wood to drink chicha and with pass of the time the qeros get broken so in order to solve the problem the locals get a cord and they tied it up to avoid the chicha to come out of the container.

This is the church of Coporaque which is one of the oldest in Colca Valley.This one is dedicated to Santiago apostle which was one of the most important religious icons in the catholic religion.

This monument represents Inca Mayta Qapaq the inca conqueror that according to the tradition came here to Colca Valley and Colca Canyon to conquer these lands for the inca empire. They came to declare war but the people were friendly and besides they were farmers not warriors like the inca so the inca established an alliance through marriage.
The inca Mayta Qapaq married the Kollawa princess Mama Tanqaray Yacchi and the royal couple lived in Coporaque area.So Coporaque became the capital of the inca empire for aproximatedly 20 years until the death of the ruler.

Here in this picture we can see San Antonio de Chicjra which is an archeological complex located on the top of the hill.An extensive analysis was done and many burials were found around the house.Because of the burials this place was a "Huaca" "sacred place" in the past.In the case of this shrine it is oriented towards the sun rise whose totem was the andean condor which was associated to the sun god.The one that took the souls of the death to heaven.

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