Back on the road heading to the Inca ruins another personal problem reared its head. I was becoming motion sick. I soon had to find cold air to flow over my face. I had to stop looking at the vista views passing by the van. I needed to focus on something other than the movement of the van and just close my eyes. Lucky for me after a short enough time we soon stopped at the ruins. I jumped out of the van and started to walk around. The cool mountain air, walking instead of being driven, and the guide informing us about the Inca ruins all help me to refocus. Soon I was enjoying the beauty of this place. Our guide explained that the layout of the ruins was in the shape of a lion? Because the Incas thought this animal was sacred. On one side of the village was a temple to the moon and on the other side was a temple to the sun.
I could go on but instead I will let you view some photos taken by Marti. However if you would like some information about the Incas you may want to read the following:
The Inca or Inka First Nation began as a tribe in the Cuzco region. The legendary first “Sapa Inca”, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco in approximately 1200 AD. Under the leadership of the descendants of Manco Capac, the Inca state grew to absorb other Andean communities all along the Andean mountains of South America from the north most extent virtually down to Terra-Del-Fuego (land of fire). As a civilization, the people adapted to high altitudes and built the city Machu Picchu. They also perfected raised bed and terraced agriculture.
It was in 1442 AD that the Incas began a far-reaching expansion under the command of Patchacuti. He founded the Inca Empire, Tahuantinsuyo, which became the largest empire in prior to Columbus’ arrival in 1492 AD. It vastly exceeded all other First Nations empires in size at that time. The civilization was advanced in other ways too. They built thousands of miles of road infrastructure. The social setting of Inca politics was a mix of Aristocracy and primitive communism. It was a society that had a ruling king, but otherwise had a collectivist approach state wide where the people shared the values they had found and worked on. It was a collectivist society where everyone had equal access to housing, food, water, work if able and could retire with full state support at 50 years of age. Their pension included food, clothing and shelter, as there was no money.

The one fatal weakness was the fact that a king was appointed to head the whole empire and the ultimate authority rested upon his shoulders. As the Spanish were arriving, there was a competition for ruler-ship that ended up causing a civil war. Two brothers contested for ruler-ship.

The Inca managed to run the entire empire because of roads and trained runners who would carry messages with specially knotted ropes that the Inka had devised as a type of record. The infrastructure ran the length of the Andes with plenty of side branches. There were thousands of villages where dispatches could be sent back and forth. As they had no horses or other suitable transportation, runners were trained from an early age. They would be selected from the best over the entire empire. It is thought that these super athletes were capable of running up to 70 miles a day. Thus news could spread around the kingdom in mere weeks, a much faster turn over than in almost any other part of the world at that time. When the Spanish arrived, the Inca in the far reaches of the kingdom were aware of them long before they actually arrived on horseback in distant regions, thanks in large measure to the runners.

When the Spanish arrived in 1533 AD, the empire was split by a civil war to decide who would be Inca Hanan and who would be Inca Hurin, which represent the families of the higher and lower parts of the kingdom by altitude. It is believed that one of the brothers was from Hanan Cuzco and the other was from Hurin Cuzco. The brothers Huascar and Atahualpa were pitted against each other. Spanish Conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro, took advantage of this situation and conquered much of the existing Inca territory. In the following years, the invaders consolidated power over the whole Andean region, repressing successive waves of Inca resistance due to their prior knowing, preparation and culminating in the establishment of the Vice-royalty of Perú in 1542 AD. The militant phase of Inca liberation movements, which began at the virtual outset of the arrival of the Spanish, ended with the fall of resistance in Vilcabamba during 1573 AD.

Though indigenous sovereignty was lost, Inca cultural traditions remain strong among the surviving indigenous descendants. These traditions include the dress, the myths, agricultural techniques, their traditional reed boat building, the collectivist approach to life, the language and to a great extent, their sheer physical prowess at high altitudes that would leave the average person winded just to walk.

Ingapirca firmly stands at 3230 meters as Ecuador’s most impressive and most significant site of Inca ruins. These ruins are set in the hills of the Southern Andes region of Ecuador, about 90km north of the major city of Cuenca. A complex network of stone structures that surround a circular sun temple, Ingapirca displays both the Inca and Canari cultures’ mastery of stonework and their awareness of solar patterns. Set in an agricultural zone with a rich indigenous history, Ingapirca also evidences the fertility of the soil and the interaction between the warring Inca and Canari peoples during the pre-Spanish 15th century.

The Ingapirca ruins provide a glimpse into the culture of the area. The site is accompanied by a modest museum, detailing the history of this important archaeological preservation. Archaeologists determined that the original foundation of the Ingapirca city was constructed in the late 15th century. The Canari, the relatively small indigenous tribe that populated the Southern highlands of Ecuador, are thought to have originally inhabited the site. As the Inca empire expanded, it made its way up Ecuador’s coast from what is now Peru and east into the mainland Andes. When they came upon the modest but formidable city of the Canari, the Inca attacked.

A proud people, the Canari stood their ground in their stone outpost and fought relentlessly with the invading Inca. After an intense battle, the Inca were able to overcome the Canari. The Inca did not force out the original inhabitants nor did they force them to completely assimilate. The two groups instead formed a joint community, both calling Ingapirca their home.

Despite this cooperation, the Inca were the dominant force in the city. They made significant structural advances to the simple framework the Canari had established, displaying both their dominance and ability through architecture and science. The Inca implemented their now legendary stonework in which smooth, chiseled stones fit perfectly into one another without a speck of mortar. They also developed a complex network of underground irrigation, essentially providing the entire area with running water.

It was the Inca in large part that established the well-preserved sun temple that overlooks the Ingapirca network of buildings. This circular structure features windows in its walls that let in sunlight at particular stages in the solar calendar. The altars are naturally illuminated during the Inca new year, Inti Raymi. This temple is thought to have been the centerpiece for religious ceremonies and celestial observations.

With the invasion of the Spanish not long after the cohabitation of Ingapirca had been established, the advances to the city were halted and the structure was essentially destroyed. After the conquest over the Inca empire, Spanish settlers ransacked the city and took the smooth chiseled stones to use in the construction of their own houses in nearby developing cities. Ingapirca was abandoned and fell into disrepair until the Ecuadorian government took control of the restoration process in the 20th century.

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