Monday, September 04, 2006

A Brief look at the Wanka


A Brief look at the Wanka (Advance): the Chavin culture is the oldest of the great Peruvian civilizations; it flourished between 1800 and 300 BC, approximately two millennia before the Inca Empire. The jaguar being a symbol to the culture; the Inca was perhaps the most cleaver and imperialistic of all the cultures that appeared in Peru, but the Wankas from Huancayo were perhaps the toughest of all the warriors that emerged in Peru’s history: located at 3’260 m (of altitude) in the fertile valley of Rio Mantaro.
The city of Huancayo is most famous for its Sunday markets, and two-2 km from Huancayo there is Torre-Torre, red-colored geological formations due to erosion. In a new park of the city, Wanka statues of stone evoke the culture of the old Huanca civilization.
The Wanka warrior lived between 800 to 1400 AD (Huanca: or Wanka) Waaka Michiq (or: Huanca Quechua: original). I have traveled all over the Mantaro Valley, and it is beyond description, its beauty, and spectacular views (vistas) from the top of nearby mountains. It was natural for the Wanka to deal with their differences by talking, not always war, and what usually followed the talking was “Kawagley”, or singing, dancing, drumming. The Wanka had a love for the earth (Quechua language, the word pacha is used to describe earth)) or allpa, which means ground or land; and Urqu Pacha, refers to the world of the dead.))
The Wanka
One must remember in the world of the Wanka, or in particular, Andean world, nothing is finite. Life and death is like water, a necessity, and part of creation. Pachayachachi (to live on this earth), one must accept the normal process of life and death, lest he be haunted his whole life with bewilderment.
WAR: I do not know of any specific word for War, in Quechua, or in the Wanka dictionary: the word: awqatinkuy, meaning to fight, is pretty close. Or wañuchina kushunchu, which means to cause death. Taking this to a more personal level: the word “warrior” in, Yupiaq; thus, a warrior is called: a warrior’s name that is, is anguyagta.

The Warrior used: bows, arrows, harpoons, and spears, a kayak, and lived in villages. They had a community house to talk things out; and they often fought among themselves. They also played games, games of skill, things like that. There was perhaps a period of time when the Wanka tried psychologically as well as a spiritual approach in dealing with a way to do away with war. And used dancing instead, as we see today, thus, holding together the culture and language, its revitalization efforts, you could say.

Waging War: The focus of this story is not so much about how one wages war, or its ability to wage war, but rather on the ability to look at war, to reflect the individual and the peoples actions—in this case, using tools as weapons to kill each other. As we see today in the Mantaro Valley of Peru, Harmony has replacement war, based on singing, dancing and drumming,

The Wanka Today: The Wanka today are much like any other group of people in many ways, they have their problems such as: alcoholism, domestic violence and suicides at the community level and self-governance and education rights at the institutional, political levels. There is no word for alcoholism in Quechua, no word for suicide, thus, it had to be invented for the 20th and 21st century (we can call it: hatun wasi or yatray wasi ((the learning house)).


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