Tiwanaku I: last moments of blue skies in the Heart of an Empire.

petrous obsession

Petrous obsession

Last year I went one day to Bolivia, living in the frontier has its advantages so actually to me is quite cheap to go to La Paz, the Bolivian capital, than to Lima, the Peruvian capital. Practically is like use public transportation, it’s in customs where one loses a little of time.

I wanted to go to Tiwanaku. Its the capital city of an old empire whose history probably spans from 2500 years ago to the year 1000 AD. Similar to Greece when it was under the attack of the People of the Sea it disappeared under the pressure of invaders from the south, the empire ended divided in several kingdoms and it seems that the invaders adopted the culture of the invaded. It’s probable that the Inca nobility would migrated or could have had bonds with the remains of that empire but the history is hard to tell. The tough weather and the extension of the empire made possible technological advances in agriculture, environmental control, architecture and metallurgy.

Even the name is not the original one, Spaniards asked to people the name of that city but because they couldn’t understand their languages they say just that was a dry shore, and is what is called now. The same happened with the name Peru because our empire was called Tahuantinsuyu but instead they used a word from the north to say river that was what they seemed to ask us when they pointed to a river in the frontier.

Kalasasaya
long and powerful walls

long and powerful walls

Tiwanaku has several temples and sections, I hadn’t time to visit the museum and Pumapunku (in quechua means Lion’s Gate) because I want to know with calm, so instead to run to see a glimpse of everything I took my time to see and appreciate better a little.

u

U

Kalasasaya is a temple that covers an hectare and in its top has the Gateway of the Sun and two monoliths.

a flower for the builders

a flower for the builders

See the photograph above, if you see the two holes in the extremes of the tilted stone those are the “female” side of an ashlar to connect with two “male” protuberances in the next ashlar. That technique would evolve across the centuries till the refined perfection of Imperial Style in the Inca Empire.

wood intruder

wood intruder

yellow america

Yellow America

In Aymara we call to our America “Aywi Yäla” I have to clarify that to English speakers America is the country of USA and well, that’s correct, instead to us in the South America is the name for the lands from the Chilean and Argentinian side to the north of Canada. I read that they don’t use America because South America and North America are different continents but I think then they wouldn’t recognize Europe or Asia but just Eurasia. In any case are different traditions.

kalasasaya sky

Kalasasaya’s sky

waiting rains

waiting rains

The dry lips of a gargoyle (above).

old man

old man

vandalism and desecration

vandalism and desecration

The figure above corresponds to the monolith “Fraile,” I don’t know why some people would damage it, there are some letters in Spanish language. Perhaps children from schools, perhaps just tourists in automatic mode, that don’t think the gravity of their actions.

Last moments of sun
face of a stone

face of a stone

Clouds of storm were traveling faster. It was clear that the sunny day was coming to an end.

wind and clouds

wind and clouds

apparatus

apparatus

The Gateway of the Sun

the future is at our back

the future is at our back

This threshold probably was part of a bigger temple. It’s believed to be related with astronomy. According to my traditions as native the only thing I can say for sure is that it represents a Lord of great power surrounded with a big amount of sacred symbols that multiply the meaning of his/her greatness. As an architect probably it was laminated with decorated metal plates and the door was not open but it had a wooden door to seal the interior. If I could get its original location I could calculate if it coincides with utilitarian sun positions, but it’s in a different position so if you read that it marks the sun as seen nine thousands of years ago it is based in distorted data.

puerta del sol desnudo

Puerta del Sol desnudo

In the holes there are marks like crosses, usually they are used to set metal, a frame perhaps.

door to another world

door to another world

lord pure and simple

lord, pure and simple

More clouds
a temple in the nature

a temple in the nature

happy kalasasaya

happy Kalassasaya

mind in the sky

mind in the sky

The photography above corresponds to the Ponce Stela. It is the frontier between the blue day and the storm clouds.The next week I’ll publish the stone temples under the clouds. But as a highlander I knew that it wasn’t to rain so I keep walking.

man and rock marching

man and rock marching

Sillustani

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Viking fires for King Arthur

 

Last year I lost several photos, hundreds, thousands perhaps. It doesn’t matter, I’ve my memories and what I lived is more important. Despite that it was a great relieve that not everything was lost. Indeed I copied before the end some of the photographs, so I think these photographs are survivors :-) I took hundreds of photos in Sillustani but now I have just less of fifty. I used the Olympus SP-500uz a bridge camera with a little sensor, that was before filters, nd grads, or even a tripod, but the place is so beautiful that it’s hard to not take a beautiful photograph.

The one I choose as first image is representative of Sillustani. Sillustani is an old cemetery used for the noble people, qhapaqs for example. But you have to take into account that in our world or culture the dead are not dead, they live, it’s just another way of life: they still have their family and their properties. I am not sure but probably their bodies were in home and the uta Amaya (what is called improperly chullpa) is just a symbol.

Is for that reason that I entitled the image with king Arthur, in a certain way these place, this singular cemetery, is the memorial for kings (qhapaqs) or nobles or wealthy people, that actually aren’t dead, just living another live. Dreaming.

Atuncolla:

Sillustani is half way between my city, Juliaca, and the capital of the region, Puno. You have to take a taxi to Sillustani that is preceded by Atuncolla. An old town I think considering the architecture.

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Lithic Times

 

Umayo Lagoon:

Sillustani has a view over the Umayo Lagoon. The water has a special meaning, and it’s venerated, it multiply the sacred character of Sillustani. Probably it was the pacarina of the nobles (pacarina is a special place with a lagoon, lake, mountain, or hill that it’s bonded with you the same way a grandfather with his grandchild)

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dead eyes seeing us

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between two oceans

The Road toward Sillustani:

You have to buy a ticket and that’s all, just walk the road and see with open eyes and hear the silence. Sillustani is a special place. I don’t like to take photographs to cemeteries, but Sillustani is something more than a cemetery, it’s a machine with other functions, with other meanings. There is a mystery and we don’t remember it yet.

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nervous Zig-Zag

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lands touching the sky

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Cartography of Islands of Greenland

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between realms

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Aymara EVA

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last stand

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eternal conversation

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blood fire flower

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surviving piece of magic machine

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stone angel wings

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symmetrical reflex

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prison of three stones

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watcher of the infinite waiting

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a hole where should be my heart

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together forever and one day more

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I was here, I am here

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I’ve seen things u wouldn’t believe

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skin

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you are me, I am you

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ruins of ancient telecommunicator

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spiral snail

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we’re giants too!

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Shall we play?

And that was a bit of my visit to Sillustani. You cannot see it in the photographs but the towers are truly giants. They were built with the nature in mind to the scale, but they don’t look threatening, a design with soft curves help to see them instead friendly. As I said the death in Perú has a meaning totally different from what the Spanish invaders believed. We have to care our dear relatives even in the grave because they still deserve our affection and respect.

It was always like this; and always  will be like this.