The chacana, the andean cross.

The symbol itself represents the southern cross in May and is a reference to the Sun and the Southern Cross, although its shape, which suggests a pyramid with stairs to the four sides and circular center, would also possess a higher meaning, in the sense of pointing out the union between the low and the high, the earth and the sun, the human being and the higher. Chakana, then, is understood not only as an architectural or geometrical concept, but takes the meaning of “ladder towards the highest“.

Chacanas have been found in various works of architecture, petroglyphs, fabrics, ceramics and sculptures throughout the South American plateau, for the first time in the Caral culture, the mother civilization of America, then in Seshin Bajo and later in the Aymara constructions of Tiahuanaco , in the high plateau of Bolivia, where exclusive astronomical observatories were also built to observe the southern cross, since the whole culture depended on the movement and position of the constellation to schedule its annual activities. They are also observed in Paracas, in the department of Ica, in Chavin in the north of Peru. Also chakanas have been found in Ecuador, Argentina and Chile, since they were part of the Inca Empire. In fact, a temple of the Late Archaic in the north of Peru, in the Archaeological Complex of Ventarrón, district of Pomalca, in Lambayeque possesses the form of oldest chacana found until today. The temple has an antiquity not yet exactly determined, but that would be between 4000 to 5000 years.

In fact, chakana is not a form found at random, but is a geometric form resulting from astronomical observation. The ancient men “brought heaven to earth” and represented it with this symbol that contains opposing components that explain a vision of the universe, thus being represented the masculine and feminine, heaven and earth, the up and down , energy and matter, time and space. The shape of the chakana encloses in its geometry the concept of Number Pi and the real number twenty-seven. Many of the typical forms used by Andean artisans enclose the geometric relations marked by the chacana. The choice of their number (‘region’ in Quechua) or Qollasuyos (‘region’ in Aymara) or regions of the Empire, as well as the dual definition of Hanan and Hurin (for example in Hanan Cuzco and Hurin Cuzco) would also be based in the astronomical observations symbolized in the chacana, these calculations were also used as a basis for the architectural design and of roads.

The Qhapaq Ñan, Camino del Inca or Way of the Lord, central axis of the road system of the Inca Empire, is also consistent with the geometry of the chacana. This road marks a line that crosses several cities of the Inca Empire like Cajamarca, Cuzco, Tiahuanaco, Oruro and Potosí (these last two, are colonial cities, with previous Quechuas and Aymara settlements). This line can be calculated taking center to the city of Cuzco, navel of the world, according to the Inca conception.Chacana is a Quechua term meaning “ladder” or “object as a bridge”, (in Aymara: pusi chakani, ‘that of the four bridges’)? “Andean cross” or “cross square ‘. Chakana is an aboriginal multi-millennial symbol of the indigenous peoples of the central Andes in the territories where Inca culture (Southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) and pre-Inca cultures (Peru, Bolivia) developed. It is possible that in pre-Columbian Ancash, Huánuco and Nor Lima it was named as tsakana. The chakana has an antiquity of more than 4,000 years, according to the architect Carlos Milla. Today, the Aymara culture continues reproducing the chakana graphic on its canvases. Similarly, the Aymara still maintain the lunar calendar of 13 months with 28 days each month, used by the ancestors: 13 by 28 leaves 364, day 365 was considered day zero, something like a kind of the initial of the Andean New Year. That day is May 3, when the Southern Cross takes on the astronomical (geometric) form of a perfect Latin cross.

Did you know ?

The word Chakana is of Quechua origin, since it was a symbol widely used by the Inca culture, it clearly refers to the concept of “ladder”, the symbol itself is a “tawa chakana”, ie a four- . In quechua chinchay, tsakana means useful or material to use as a bridge or union between two separate elements or parts. In the Andean provinces of Huánuco, at twilight they meet tsakaana in the afternoon; and in the morning, Tsakasaka, implying the link between the ‘world’ of the night and the ‘world’ of the day. The link between clarity and darkness. This symbol of “four stairs” has become popular in the Andean countries under the name of “chakana” or “chacana”. The etymology of the word “chakana” would be derived from the Quechua chaka (bridge, union) root and the suffix “-na” (instrument), and “chakana” as a symbol would represent a means of union between the human world and Hanan Pacha what is above or what is great).

The digital version on the web of Chaski Wayra magazine explains: The tradition of Quechua, Aymara and Puquina languages, give insight into the meaning of the word “Chakana”. Chaka, currently in Puquina village, is the stone that stops the irrigation water in the furrows, so that it does not erode the “chakra”. And chakana in the Quechua dictionary of Jorge A. Lira, means textually: An instrument to put crossed, be it of wood or other material, generally to anchor, which serves as a crossbar. Ladder or series of transoms in two parallel transportable, used to facilitate the rise or fall at the time of making constructions.

To summarize the chacana is a symbol of the religion inka and preinka of the ancient Peruvians, from the tiawanakos to the culture inka singinifia mainly the three worlds in which our ancestors believed as it is the first step means the uku pacha or subterranean world below where the serpent reigns , the kai pacha or world where we now live, where the puma reigns and the third step is the hanan pacha or world above where are the gods astros where dominates the heavens in condor.

Also is the inka code of rules:

Ama Sua: (Do not be a thief):

I must express to you that the things we want to achieve in life will become reality, with a spirit of sacrifice and many desires of overcoming, being always honest and transparent.

Ama Llulla: (Do not be a liar):

Lying is a common anti-bullying in people: we lie very easily without thinking about the consequences it causes: Disrepute, family and friends disappointed with who may be the model person to follow, suffering relatives, wife, friends, etc.

The opposite of Liar is to be exact, truthful, clear, true …… and it is that it costs us so much to be so …. telling the truth however hard it is will always give us freedom, but the most important thing is that without looking for it we will always have prestige to be sincere and we will definitely reach excellence.

Ama Quella: (Do not be idle):

What a precept so important and so difficult to follow by many people. Many times we do not meet our commitments of work, study or family for idleness and laziness. So me just put effort in every aspect of our lives, and remember the devil will always find work for idles hands to do.