Ingapirca - Cañar 1/3
archaeology ecuador ingapirca archaeological sites ecuador ingapirca archaeology archeology archeological sites ecuador ingapirca
Ingapirca is a Quechua word that means Inca wall. This name is used for a variety of archaeological areas in South America and Ecuador, but it has an almost unique use of the term to the Ingapirca wall in the Valley of El Cañar. This archaeological place is located in the province of Cañar, in the parish of Incapirca, in the southern mountains of Ecuador.
PHOTO CREDIT: bengarland

The province of Cañar is located in a plateau formed by the mountain knots of the Azuay, geographic and orographic features that marks a border or division between two mountainous and volcanic regions. The province is surrounded by the moors of Curuquinga and Bueran(at the East and South), and the slopes of the Cordillera Occidental (at the West).


This geographical richness made that ancient Cañari Kingdom settled this land with more than twenty-five tribes, whose capitals were: at the North, Hatum Cañar or Ingapirca and at the South Tomebamba or the current city of Cuenca in Ecuador.


All researchers agree intense migrations took place between these above mentioned tribes, especially for religious reasons that allowed them to organize the famous sanctuaries of Pachacamac (Peru) and Culebrillas (Ecuador).


By the presence of ceramics, it can be said that during the period of Regional Development (500 BC - 500 A.C) migrations or ethnic exchanges continued, leaving deep traces of tiahuanacoides cultures in these territories.


The Cañari nation had as a common feature a particular language called Cañari; also possessed cultural characteristics that distinguished them from other people and ethnic groups. They had particular customs and used a unique wardrobe that set apart them from other groups. The chronicler Cieza de Leon mentions the cañaris had the hair very long, just like women, as cultural distinction. The hair was entangled in the head and on them a Crown placed around more similar to very fineness ring. This outfit, as the chronicler pointed out before, was accompanied by cloth of wool and cotton, and the shoes were ojotas or flip flops.


The last period of the Ecuadorian prehistory was the Integration Period (500 AC. – 1534 A.C) with its two phases known as Cashaloma and Tacalshapa that were developed in this region. The migratory movements between North and South were gradually reducing. The cañaris go into an intense commercial activity especially with the coast. Also their different clans were involved in wars for hegemonic power.

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