Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
festations of their god, but they particularly adored a rock called Inti Karka, which is situated
on the largest island of the lake, this island being known today as the Island of the Sun. The
Aymaras, an ancient race of warriors, have made little or no progress for centuries, and they
seem entirely unaffected by civilisation, neither has the influence of religion proved benefi-
cial to them. They have preserved many of their ancient customs and ways, and show distrust
towards all who are strangers to them. On the other hand, the Quichuas (or Quichuas) are en-
tirely different, for they are peaceful and industrious, and there is but little criminality among
According to the old legend, the first Inca, Manco Capaj, and his wife, Mama Ocllo, first
appeared among the Aymaras. Some say that they rose out of the lake and that they foun-
ded Cuzco, the capital of the Quichuas. This legend, to a certain extent, shows that neither
Manco Capaj nor Mama Ocllo found acceptance among the rebellious Aymaras, who were
only conquered and subdued by the fifth Inca king. At a later period the Inca Tapaj-Yupanqui
visited Inti Karka, the Aymara sanctuary on the largest island, and ordered the temple of the
sun to be built, and minor temples to the lightning and thunder. Another island was consec-
rated to the moon, and was called Coya (the female, or wife of the sun).
The ruins of the Temple of the Sun and the house of the Inca show the magnitude of Incaic
buildings and the skill ofthe builders. There are many people who confuse the Inca ruins with
the idols and colossal remains of the temples of Tiahuanaco which I have already described,
and which are probably thousands of years older, and show a much more advanced degree of
culture than can be found in ruins of Incaic origin.
Today the Aymaras extend as far as Puno, on the northern end of the lake, and from there
on we were more among the Quichuas, who speak a slightly different language from those of
the south. The name Titicaca is derived from the old Aymara word Inti Karka . *
incredible quantities of gold. This metal had no commercial value among the Incas, and as it
was considered sacred, the gold was almost exclusively kept in places of worship. Soon the
Atahuallpa had been put to death, in spite of the fabulous ransom paid to the brutal invaders
for his release, the Indians stripped all the temples of gold and hid it away. This gold is said to
be the largest hidden treasure known, and is commonly known as 'Atahuallpa's treasure'.
Many people and even expeditions have spent their time and money searching for this and
valuables, and so did the Spaniards, on their hasty retreats during the War of Independence.
Many are the tales I have heard about such hidden treasures, and countless people have, off
to one American who had spent close on twenty years searching without success, but in spite
of all he was still as optimistic as he must have been the first day he started - 'Seek and ye
shall find.' (?)
Search WWH ::

Custom Search