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THE CHACANA


Native from the indigenous villages of the Central Andes, where both, the Inca and Pre-Inca cultures were developed. The Andean cross has three steps was a sign widely used by the Inca culture. But it was also used by the Pre-Inca cultures of Peru and Bolivia as the Chavin, Paracas and Tiawanaco.

 Cruz Andina 

Within the mentioned countries, especially in indigenous areas, they still conserve the lunar calendar of 13 months with 28 days each month. What is said is that 13 multiplied by 28, is 364; the 365 day is considered the zero day, something like a kind of beginning of the Andean New Year. Each corner of the chacana indicates an exact date within the Andean year. Thus, at the two vertical ends, on June 21, day of the winter solstice, and on December 22 the day of the summer solstice. In the horizontal ends appears September 22 day of the spring equinox and March 22 (day of the autumn equinox).

 Calendario de Solsticio 

It is a symbol that reflects the great knowledge of the Incas on the Andean worldview. The cross has 3 steps and these represent the three levels of existence in the way that the Andean people understand life. In this cross every step has a meaning, each step is a world, we have three:
First we´ll talk about the world above or Hanan Pacha. It is the upper world inhabited by heavenly gods. Where is the god Wiracocha, Inti, the Mama Cocha and Illapa. As we know that each step is an animal that represents it, here it is the Kuntur (condor).
The middle step is the Kay Pacha, which is our level, where we are humans, where we live and develop our common everyday activities. Pacha is a Quechua word that means land, time and space. When we do the payment to the Pachamama, it is a tribute to the land for all the good fruits that gave us during the year ago. The animal that represents this level is the Puma.
Finally there is the Uku Pacha, the world below, world of the dead, not born. It is the world of all that is under the land or water surface. The sacred animal for this level is the serpent or Amaru.