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Glossary of Terminology
of the Shamanic & Ceremonial Traditions
of the Inca Medicine Lineage

as Practiced in the United States

CAUTION: The inclusion of herbs, symptomatology and treatments for disease within this glossary
is not meant for diagnosis of, nor prescription for treatment of, any medical condition.
This information is included for anthropological and historical study only.


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Ch, Ch' & Chh
F & G
K' & Kh
N & Ñ
P', Ph
Q', Qh
T' & Th


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    caballo piripiri: (n) (Cyperus sp.) Whoever ingests this plant acquires great strength. It is prepared in a mixture with huito. The huito is mixed in exact proportions with the piripiri and in the morning it is poured over the entire body. One then avoids the sun, salt, sweets, garlic, liquor, and pig fat for eight days, while also abstaining from sex nor socializing with anyone who is sexually active. The day after this mixture is poured over the body, the skin will turn black as if dyed with black ink. By the eighth day this coloration is gone (sp). AYV


    caca: (n) Mother's brother; wife's brother or father. ICC

    cacakuna: (n) Male relatives of the wife and the mother. ICC

    cacicazgo (Span): Hereditary chiefdom. BLC

    cacique, cacica (Span): (n) From Spanish for Indian chief; political boss. SEES Indigenous leader (cacique: male, cacica: female). GOL  Hereditary chief, a member of the indigenous nobility. BLC The corresponding Quechua word is curaca (see, below). SIH

    Cacica at prayer. Mural in Church of San Juan Bautista,

    artist unknown, ca. 1620, Sutatausa, Cundimarca. BLC

    Cacha: (n) Ancient name of the current village of Raqchi which is the location of the Wiracocha Temple. MAN

    caeccapaycachani: (v) To talk nonsense. DYE

    Cahuide: An Inca warrior who participated in the Battle of Sacsahuaman. When defeat was imminent, he jumped from the top of one of the three towers of Sacsahuaman called Muyuq Marka (round place) to avoid falling into the hands of Spanish enemies. Some chroniclers call him Quispe Tito, others Culla or Surihuamán. We do not know his exact name, but he is popularly known as Cahuide which comes from the Quechua word kawiri which means lookout. (See, kawak .) Cahuide was an orejon. It was said of him that he was a man of singular temper and combative character, who fought with indomitable and exemplary courage in the ranks of the Inca army. In 1536, to end the siege of Cusco (see, below), the Spanish decided to storm the walls of the fortress of Sacsahuaman, a strategic location from which Manco Inca's troops directed their attacks on the city. WIKI Armed with a war club, a vicious weapon in hand-to-hand combat that could smash a skull with a single blow or crush a chest or break a backbone. Armed with one of these, the legendary Cahuide held at bay several dozens of Spanish soldiers while defending, single handed, the fortress of Sacsahuaman. DYE

    Cahuide defending Sacsahuaman against the

    Conquistadores. “This orejón walked like a lion from

    one Spanish soldier to another, clubbing the Spanish

    who wanted to come up the stairs to the top of the tower.”

    -- Chronicler Pedro Pizarro (1515-1602)

    A five soles coin minted to honor Cahuide.

    caja, cajón: (n) (Span.) Literally, box. A small drum. (Quechua, tinya.) ROR

    Cajatambo: A town in the highlands of central Peru remarkable for the Idolotrías recorded there by the Extirpator of Idolatries in the 17th Century, that serve as an example of the intimate connection between Inca communities and their local huacas. MAN

    cala (AYM): (n) Stone. ASD

    cala hufnutha (AYM): (v) To bury a stone completely or partially for memory. ASD

    calicanto (Span): (n) The accumulated spiritual essence of humans who lived and died at that place -- on the mountain, in the cave, or at the lakeshore -- in previous eras. (See, also, encanto.) GOL

    calpa, kallpa: (n) (1) A ceremony of divination. HOI (2) Power or force. (3) A hurry. RS See, kallpay, kallpachay, kallpasapa.

    calparicu, calparicuc: (n) Literally, those who bring good fortune or one who gives strength. Term used for a wizard or shaman specializing in divination. HOI  A shaman who would divine by looking at the entrails of animals. DYE See, calpa, above, and see, kallpay, kallpachay, kallpasapa..

    calpay: See, kallpay, kallpachay, kallpasapa.

    Calvario: (n) (1) The Southern Cross. (2) The axis point of the Southern Cross. (See, Mayu.) ACES

    callarani pacha (AYM): (n) Beginning of the world. ASD

    callari: See, qallana.

    callarirucuguna: (n) Beginning times-places, embraces the period of transformation from unay to times of destruction and times of the ancestors. The future is thought of both as a continuation of the past and present and as a pending transformation of the initial chaos of unai. WCE

    Callawaya: See, Qollahuaya.

    callifaa (AYM): (n) Lightning. ASD

    camachipayak: (adj) Obsessive. DYE

    camahuakhlli (AYM): (n) Enemy of the peace. ASD

    camalonga, kamalonga: (n) The Peruvian name for yellow oleander, Thevetia peruviana.  An infusion containing camalonga is commonly used along with ayahuasca.  Seeds identified as "macho" and "hembra" (male and female) are placed in a bottle of aguardiente (distilled sugar cane juice) along with camphor, garlic, and white onion.  The resulting extraction is used externally as a pre-ceremonial ointment for protection, and an ounce or so is often drunk immediately following the ayahuasca drink.  Camalonga has a most disagreeable taste requiring considerable will to drink it. BOA A bush to which sorcerers attribute divinatory powers. THIM  CAUTION: The oleander, or Nerium oleander, is considered by many to be the most poisonous plant in the world. All parts of the beautiful oleander contain poison -- several types of poison. Two of the most potent are oleandrin and neriine, known for their powerful effect on the heart. An oleander's poison is so strong, in fact, that it can poison a person who simply eats the honey made by bees that have digested oleander nectar. HSW1  

    Camalonga seeds. BOA

    camalonguero: (n) A type of vegetalista specializing in the use of the seeds of the camalonga plant. AYV MSIN

    camay: See, kamay.

    camayoq: See, kamayoq.

    camac: See, kamak.

    camelid: (n) A camel-like animal such as the llama and alpaca, common Andean herd animals, and the vicuña and guanaco, their wild cousins.

    Camino Real (Span): (n) The most important Inca road was the Camino Real (Royal Road)  with a length of 5,200 kilometres (3,200 mi). It began in Quito, Ecuador, passed through Cusco, and ended in what is now Tucumán, Argentina. The Camino Real traversed the mountain ranges of the Andes, with peak altitudes of more than 5,000 m (16,000 ft). WIKI See, ñan.

    campo (Span): (n) Literally, field or, metaphorically, scope or sphere of influence. Unequal divisions of the first level of abstraction (see, for illustration) of the curandero mesa whose function is to achieve balanced dualism. This reconciliation of opposites is achieved through ritual. Two larger campos are separated by a smaller one in the center. The left hand one is called campo ganadero (see, below), the center one is called campo medio (see, below). The largest field, the right hand one, is campo justiciero (see, below). WOFW See, also, curandero mesa, below.

    campo ganadero, banco ganadero (Span): (n) Ganadero, literally, means cattle rancher. The campo (see, above) ganadero is associated with the forces of evil, the underworld and black magic. A sorcerer would use this negative zone for witchcraft or in curing for financial gain: a benevolent curer needs it for consultation in cases of witchcraft, adverse love magic, or bad luck, since this is the realm responsible for such evils and consequently is also capable of revealing their sources. The number 13 is magically associated with this field. WOFW Ganadero is also a nominative reference to one who wins or dominates, from the verb ganar, to win or dominate. Given the many animal and natural referents of the left side of the mesa, “herder” could be taken to indicate the ability of the curer to control or manage “animallistic” or subhuman forces. SSCC Ganadero may be associated with the power of the colonial overlord (the Spanish brought cattle and other European livestock to the New World) and may represent the domination of the European oppressor with the occupation of “herder.” Additionally, the conflation of ganadero (as “herder” and as “one who dominates”) may reflect the post-conquest demonization of all things pre-Columbian. When asked to explain the term ganadero, many contemporary healers correlate that which dominates with Satan, and that which is dominated with the human soul. Many healers interrogated by colonial officials and ecclesiastic judges reported their profession as ganadero. During the colonial period, itinerant merchants and livestock-herders were among the few Indians who could legitimately live and travel outside the villages where Catholic indoctrination was strongest. GOL  See, campo justiciero, campo medio and curandero mesa, below.

    campo justiciero, banco curandero (Span): (n) This is the field of the divine judge containing artifacts related to the forces of good or white magic. This zone is governed by Christ, who is considered the center or axis of the mesa and lord of all three fields. The powers of this zone are concentrated in the crucifix at the center of the mesa as well as in the staffs. These staffs are placed upright in the ground behind the artifacts of the campo justiciero. The sacred number 12 (for the 12 apostles and the signs of the zodiac) is magically associated with this field. The crucifix at the center of the mesa is the ritual storage place for this number, which symbolizes the 12,000 accounts of the campo justiciero. The sacred number 7, the perfect number of Christianity -- symbolizing the seven justices, or miracles, of Christ -- is also stored in the crucifix. WOFW  See, campo ganadero, above, and campo medio and curandero mesa, below.

    campo medio, centro campo (Span): (n) The razor's edge. This middle campo (see, above) [of the mesa] contains mediating artifacts in which the forces of good and evil are evenly balanced. This zone is governed by Saint Cyprian whose balanced powers are focused in staffs. The sacred number 25 -- 12 for campo justiciero (see, above) and 13 for campo ganadero (see, above) -- is magically associated with this campo (see, above). The artifacts of this campo are symbolic of forces in nature and the world of man that can be used for good or evil depending on the intention of the individual. (The commitment to good is shown by the fact that the campo justiciero is the largest field of the mesa.) The opposing forces of the universe are not conceived of as irreconcilable; rather, they are seen as complementary, for it is their interaction that creates and sustains all life. The campo medio symbolizes the concept of balance, or the complementarity of opposites. This is also the zone that helps the curandero to concentrate his supernatural vision, activated by the San Pedro infusion, allowing the curandero (see, below) to divine and cure. The campo medio is where the chiefs, the guardians, those who command, those who govern present themselves, since it is the neutral field between two frontiers where a war can occur. This is the place where one has to put all perseverance so that everything remains well controlled. It is also the zone used to charge patients' amulets and seguros. WOFW  See, also, curandero mesa (below) and mediation of opposites.

    campucassa, huircacassa: (n) Solanum stellatum. The partially toasted leaves have the property of drawing out splinters from any part of the flesh and of helping to suppurate infected ulcers, according to native belief. Another folklore belief holds that the spines produce blisters full of lymph, if they penetrate the flesh. This lymph turns to pus, but the blisters break open and are cured by applying the partially roasted leaves of the same plant to the affected areas. REPC


    cananga: See, kananga.

    canaza: (n) A strong alcoholic beverage distilled from sugar cane and used by tragoceros. MSIN  

    canca: (n) A maize bread or pudding used in ceremonies. ACA

    cancer of the Andes: See, uta.

    cancha: (n) An enclosure that may contain several rooms. AEAA

    canelilla, rosewood: (n) Aniba canelilla. Canelilla means little cinnamon, alluding to the aroma of the roots, which are used in infusion or decoction as an apperative and resolutive. Some people keep pieces of the root in the mouth to counteract the unpleasant smell often engendered by decaying teeth. REPC Documented uses: analgesic, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, bactericidal, cephalic, deodorant, stimulant, tonic, acne, colds, coughs, dermatitis, fevers, frigidity, headaches, infections, nausea, nervous tension, skin, wounds. Ethnic uses: arthritis, catarrh, edema, leucorrhea, nerve, venereal. WRT


    canero (Amaz): (n) (Vandelia plazai.) A type of fish often invoked by evil sorcerers. AYV

    cannibalism (Eng): (n) The eating of human flesh by other humans. The practice was widespread among rain forest tribes and was always ritualistic, rather than for nourishment. Cannibalism was either (1) exocannibalism, in which remains of an enemy killed in battle were eaten to humiliate the enemy and confirm the martial triumph, or (2) endocannibalism, in which a dead kinsperson's bones were ground and mixed with local drink and consumed to preserve his or her essence and abilities within the kinship group. MAN (See, qhapaq hucha.)

    canopa: See, conopa. Canopa is a minority spellling.

    capac: See, qhapaq.

    capa cocha, capacocha: See, qhapaq hucha.

    Capac Raymi: See, Qhapac Raymi.

    Capac Toco: (n) Literally, rich window, one of the caves at Tambo Toco. MAN The cave of bounty. NFL Represented as a chamber in the Ukhupacha where the shaman goes to find riches and gifts for the client; what is necessary for the client to live fully; promises and their fulfillment. JLH  (See, Cave of Refuge, Sutic Toco, Maras Toco and Tambo Toco.)

    Capac Yupanqui: The legendary fifth Inca emperor, probably ruling sometime in the first half of the 13th century. MAN

    Capac Yupanqui, drawn by
    Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala.

    capullana: (n) A pre-Hispanic female leader, so called because of her hood or veil. GOL  

    capybara: (n) The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest rodent in the world. Its closest relatives are guinea pigs and rock cavies. Native to South America, the capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water. It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10­20 individuals. The capybara is not a threatened species, though it is hunted for its meat and hide and also for a grease from its thick fatty skin which is used in the pharmaceutical trade. The capybara has a heavy, barrel-shaped body. Its sweat glands can be found in the surface of the hairy portions of its skin, an unusual trait among rodents. Adult capybaras grow to 107 to 134 cm (3.51 to 4.40 ft) in length and typically weigh 35 to 66 kg (77 to 150 lb). Capybaras are herbivores, grazing mainly on grasses and aquatic plants, as well as fruit and tree bark. The capybara's jaw hinge is not perpendicular and they thus chew food by grinding back-and-forth rather than side-to-side. Capybaras are coprophagous, meaning they eat their own feces as a source of bacterial gut flora, to help digest the cellulose in the grass that forms their normal diet, and to extract the maximum protein and vitamins from their food. They may also regurgitate food to masticate again, similar to cud-chewing by a cow. Like its cousin the guinea pig, the capybara does not have the capacity to synthesize vitamin C, and capybaras not supplemented with vitamin C in captivity have been reported to develop gum disease as a sign of scurvy. They can have a life span of 8­10 years in the wild, but live less than four years on average, as they are a favourite food of jaguar, puma, ocelot, eagle and caiman. The capybara is also the preferred prey of the anaconda. WIKI  

    A group of capybaras. WIKI

    cara cara: (n) Birds of prey in the family Falconidae indigenous to Central and South America. Unlike the falcons, cara cara are not fast-flying aerial hunters, but are comparatively slow and are often scavengers. WIKI

    A mountain cara cara. WIKI

    Carachupa Mama: (n) One of the mythical beings believed by some Amazon tribes to be responsible for the river reclaiming huge pieces of land. AYV (See, mama, yangunturo.)

    Carajía, Karijia: (n) An archeological site in the Utcubamba Valley northeast of Chachapoyas, Peru, where eight Chachapoyan mummies were discovered on the cliffside, referred to by local residents as ancient wise men. The seven (originally eight) sarcophagi stand up to 2.5 meters tall, constructed of clay, sticks and grasses, with exaggerated jawlines. Their inaccessible location high above a river gorge has preserved them from destruction by looters. However, an earthquake toppled one of the original eight in 1928. They have been radiocarbon dated to the 15th Century AD, coincident with the Inca conquest of the Chachapoya in the 1470s. The sarcophagi are of a type peculiar to the Chachapoya called purunmachus [meaning literally wild old men]. The construction is painted white and overlaid with details of the body and adornment in yellow ochre and two red pigments, such as the feathered tunics and male genitalia visible on the Carajía purunmachus. Often the solid clay head will boast a second, smaller head atop it. The purunmachus of Carajía are peculiar because of the human skulls that sit atop their heads, visible in the photograph below. WIKI

    Sarcophagi at Carajía.

    The image of one of the sarcophagi on a Peruvian sol coin.

    cardo: See, huachuma.

    cardón: See, puya.

    cargo (Span): (n) Community office. THLH The burden or duty that members of an Indian ayllu assume in order to serve their community [i.e., membership on a planning committee]. ROR

    carguyoq: (n) Someone who holds a cargo (sp). ROR

    carpunya: (n) The leaves of Piper carpunya Ruiz & Pav. (syn Piper lenticellosum C.D.C.) (Piperaceae), are widely used in folk medicine in tropical and subtropical countries of South America as an anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-diarrheal and anti-parasitical remedy as well as an ailment for skin irritations. Certain flavonoids contribute to the anti-MPO activity, as well as to their anti-Helicobacter pylori activity. [Helicobacter pylori cause stomach ulcers. -- Patt] NCB2 The aromatic leaves become more fragrant when dried. The natives drink one or two cups of an infusion as an aid to digestion. They prefer it to real tea. REPC

    casarakuy: (n) Church wedding.  Also called runachakuy or warmichakuy.

    casha-cushillo : (n) A porcupine of the Amazon from whose quills virotes are made by sorcerers. AYV


    Catachillay: (n) (1) The name of a sacred spring on a ceke running from the Qoricancha in Cusco, past two stone pillars on the western skyline. These pillars were used for observation of the April setting of the Pleiades; thus (2) Catachillay is an alternate name for the star group, a constellation near Lyra that represents a llama and her lamb. MAN AEAA: (3) Pre-Spanish name for the constellation of the Southern Cross. ACES (See, also, Mayu.) [The name confusion between the Southern Cross and the pachatira constellation of the Llama seems to stem from a lack of clarity in historical sources and the fact that the Llama is very near the Southern Cross as seen from the ground. - Patt]

    catahua, catahua negra: (n) Hura crepitans, a tropical tree with a spiny trunk and spreading branches. The grey bark is covered with conical spines. It has red flowers and secretes a yellowish milky juice used to poison darts. The juice contains two lectins, which have haemagglutinating activity that inhibits protein synthesis. The pumpkin-shaped seedpod explodes with a loud bang so that the flat seeds are dispersed over a wide area. These seeds are emetic and, when green, very purgative. Oil extracted from the dried seeds are also used as a purgative. The leaves are also used against eczema. TCH Catahua is considered to be a very strong and even dangerous plant teacher. It is possible to learn from this tree if a few milliliters of its latex are consumed after a good vegetalista has cooked it carefully and sung a powerful icaro during the preparation. A strict diet of several months is required, otherwise the tree can kill the person. Even emanations from the fermenting latex are said to be the sources of illnesses. The kapukiri produced by this tree gives the person a very dry mouth with cracked lips. The nerves contract and the person shrinks. There is fever and a stutter develops. AYV (See, catahuero.)


    catahuero: (n) A type of vegetalista who specializes in the resin of catahua (Hura crepitans). AYV

    catas, machinparrani: (n) Embothrium emarginatum, Embothrium grandiflorum. The leaves are crushed and applied to contusions by the Indians; powdered, they are said to dry up ulcers and help the growth of new flesh. REPC

    Catas. WIKI

    Catequil: See, Apocatequil.

    caupuri: (n) Virola surinamensis (Rol) Warb. Considered to be a plant teacher and can be used as an ingredient in ayahuasca. MSIN The Amazon Indians Waiãpi living in the West of Amapá State of Brazil, treat malaria with an inhalation of vapor obtained from leaves of Viola surinamensis. NCBI The resin obtained by cuts on the stem bark is a reputed folk remedy in its natural form for the treatment of ulcer, gastritis, inflammation and cancer. WSDC

    Caupuri tree leaves and flowers .


    Close-up of caupuri seed.

    caviacoc: (n) Shamans who ingested alcoholic beverages to enter trance that allowed them to diagnose disease. MHP They would get silly drunk with alcoholic beverages. DYE

    Cave of Refuge (Eng): (n) The name of Capac Toco, the cave from which the Inca ancestors emerged.  (See, Tambo Toco.)

    Cavillaca: In pre-Inca and Inca legend, a female virgin huaca wooed by Coniraya Wiracocha, as related in the Huarochirí Manuscript.  MAN  Virgin goddess who became pregnant from eating a fruit made from the sperm of the Moon God, Coniraya.  GM  When she gave birth to a son, she demanded that the father step forward. No one did, so she put the baby on the ground and it crawled towards Coniraya. She was ashamed because of Coniraya's seemingly low stature among the gods, and ran to the coast of Peru, where she changed herself and her son into rocks. WIC

    cay: See, kay.

    caymarayan simiy: (v) To have a tasteless, insipid palate, not able to enjoy tasty dishes. DYE

    ccachu puma (AYM): Puma. ASD

    ccana (AYM): (n) Light. ASD (See, illa and k'anchay.)

    ccanau ri (AYM): (n) New moon. ASD (See, killa.)

    ccantata pacha (AYM): (n) Hour, or time. ASD

    ccapkhomi haccha ttalla (AYM): (n) Queen. ASD

    ccarinocatha (AYM): (v) Dismember. ASD

    Ccoa: (n) The Kauri spelling of Koa.

    Ccoto (AYM): The Pleiades. IGMP See, Collca.

    cchiuu (AYM): (n) Shadow. ASD

    cchukhtataqui (AYM): (v) To listen in silence. ASD

    cchulu (AYM): (n) Shell. ASD

    cebil: See, wilka.

    ceke, ceque, seqe, zeque, seq'e: (n) (1) Line of living energy running through the earth, or between two ritual sites. QNO Sacred energy lines that connect places, people and things. Also called ley lines or axiotonal lines. There are three kinds of cekes: kollana, payan and kayao. JLH The cekes were an Inca concept interwoven with myth, astronomical oservation, architectural alignment and the social and geographical divisions of the empire.  There were 41 cekes emanating from the Temple of the Sun in the Qoricancha, uniting 328 huacas and stations equal to the number of days in 12 lunar months (328/12 = 27.3 days, the lunar cycle. Cekes were grouped as to hanan and hurin -- upper and lower, respectively -- Cusco and thus to the Tawantinsuyu.  One example of the Qoricancha-ceke-huaca system is the spring of Catachillay. The qhapaq hucha sacrifices also followed these cekes; the sixth ceke of Antisuyu on which lay the sixth huaca, known as the house of the puma was where the mummy of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui was kept and children were sacrificed to him. Even the movements of Mayu (the Milky Way) were linked to the ceke system and Tawantinsuyu. MAN Each of the 41 cekes was the responsibility of a clan that was expected to tend the huacas along the ceke and offer sacrifices on appropriate occasions. The attendant to whom the duties were delegated were usually old people past more active work. They could explain the significance of their particular huaca, acting as a kind of oral memory-bank. They knew the correct formulas for making sacrifices and the offerings that were to be given and would promise prospective worshippers good luck. IAWS According to ceke system theory, locations of spiritual or magical importance are commonly energetic vortex points that reside in certain geomagnetic spaces along cekes of the Earth's surface. A vortex is the place where the energies of two or more ceke lines intercept and create the conditions of an energetic whirlpool. (See, remolino.) These places of geomagnetic power often were marked by an apacheta (see, also, ceke apukuna apacheta, below). The smaller of these anchor points were supervised by groups of seven priests who would monitor the influx of energy emanating from the Qoricancha. The priests were chose for their extrasensory abilities; they were able to interpret the psychic information sent by the Inca from the Qoricancha. In this way, the transmission would be telepathically “downloaded” and subsequently woven into the community. In the rural, remote communities of the warrior priests or administrators who had not developed these skills, ch'askis would deliver messages. PSPM A spirit pathway; defined by Oscar Miro Quesada as “a shamanic landscape straight line which is the superimposition of inner space on to the outer landscape;” very loosely parallel to the idea of the ley line; energetic, electromagnetic, or geomagnetic line of harnessed Earth energy used to connect points of pilgrimage and relay etheric-psychic information in Inka times; the strands in the Inka geo-psycho-etheric-spiritual-electromagnetic web; for the second half of the Inka dynasty in the Andes, the Cusco region was governed and regulated by 40-42 seq'ekuna connecting to almost 350 sacred sites. ANON1(2) Alignment. CSCR (See, Appendix F and the amazing artwork of Alex Grey.)

    Artist Alex Grey's visualization of a human body surrounded by the poq'po
    and connected to the universe by the filaments of many cekes.

    The ceke system is similar to the web a spider weaves because the system itself is a ceremonial reticulum with a prescribed order. The Inca would sit in the center of the “web” [the Qoricancha] and everyday he would be attentive to any disturbances that occurred. If he felt a piece of the web break, or if a section of it was out of balance, he would gather the priests and [shamanically] journey to the area of disharmony in order to energetically repair any damage caused by improper use or neglect. PSPM

    ceke apukuna apacheta: (n) A type of apacheta used for distribution of ceke (see, above) energy within the context of a tribe, nation, or even planet; sometimes these manifest in the form of huacas, tambos, etc; used for collective visionary experiences and the balancing and interweaving of inner and outer landscapes of the soul. ANON1

    ceke rumi: (n) Stone of living energy lines. QNO A sacred stone used to harness ceke energy. ANON1

    Ceke Rumi: (n) A sacred shrine in Hatun Q'eros. QNO

    centering (Eng): (n) It is both a physical state and the awareness of being in that state. It's like being in the center of yourself and feeling and visualizing the confines of your being, watching it ebb and flow. Once you are able to center yourself, the very notion of confines drops away, and you exist in a state of undivided entirety. You can enter and exit this state (center yourself) at will. Moreover, knowing that this state exists and you are able to enter it allows you greater power in fending off the rigors and challenges of daily life. Not that the world around is shrinking; you become one with it and your being looms large in it. You feel yourself expanding, able to fend off any challenge. CSK  

    centro campo (Span): See, campo medio, above.

    chakra (Pali): (n) A word from the Hindu life energy system meaning wheel. These are energy centers; there are seven major chakras on the body in this system. The first three chakras would be encompassed by llank'ay. The heart chakra is munay. Yachay encompasses the fifth, sixth and seventh chakras. PGO JLH (See, ñawi.)

    chaos (Greek): Typically (and erroneously) referred to as unpredictability. The word χάος did not mean "disorder" in classical-period ancient Greece. It meant "the primal emptiness, space." (See, tiqsi.) Due to people misunderstanding early Christian uses of the word, the meaning of the word changed to "disorder." Chaos in physics is often considered analogous to thermodynamic entropy. WIKI

    childhood (Eng): (n) Tightly wrapped, head-bound and tied to his cradle, he was changed and bathed every day and carried on the back of his mother wherever she would go. When the child was ready to leave the cradle, he was let loose and was carried on his mother's back or taken care of by his older siblings. A common way to keep him out of trouble was to dig a hole in the ground deep enough to prevent him from crawling out, and place him there with his toys. The incorporation of the child into the community started with the rutuchicuy. Boys were immediately exposed to the arts and crafts of the men of the clan. If they were farmers, the young child was usually taken to the field and encouraged to take part in the agricultural activities, performing tasks which could go from shooing away the birds to indulging in play-work ventures mimicking his father's job. Family groups devoted to other crafts usually exposed their children to the work of the parents so that they would learn the family trade. And the boys of the nobility and leading class were sent to a yachaywasi, where they were taught by carefully chosen tutors. The girls of the lower classes were also promptly confronted with womanly chores. As soon as they could be trusted, they were charged with the vigilance and care of smaller children and were taught to handle household duties, weaving and cooking. To a limited extent, this was also done with the girls of the nobility, although it is obvious that these received a higher degree of education. In Inca culture the puberty rites were rather mild as far as physical suffering goes.  DYE

    chronicler: (n) Following the Spanish invasion there were many historians, mostly Spanish priests, who wrote extensively about what they observed. Although colored by religious bigotry, their accounts today are a valuable repository of information about the minutia of occurrences. Ironically, these chronicles are a mother lode of detailed data about Incan shamanic practices and daily life and are contributing greatly to the resurgence of Incan native beliefs spreading throughout the world. See, Appendix M for a list of the chroniclers quoted herein. PGO

    China root: See, purampsii.

    cierre de la cuenta (Span): Literally, closing of the account. See, descuenta for definition.

    cielo ayahuasca:: (n) Banisteriopsis caapi. Literally, sky ayahuasca (sp). Also called yellow ayahuasca, this is the type of ayahuasca most commonly used by contemporary mestizo curanderos in Amazonian Peru where it is widely cultivated.  It is a relatively gentle but powerful healing plant capable of vivid and highly transformative visions. It is considered to be the best type for initiation. BOA Also known as lucero ayahuasca. AYV EMM

    ciencia vegetalista (Span): (n) Literally, science of the vegetalista.  In the old days it was known as alquimia palística, the lore and formulas of the vegetalista. AYV

    cinchona, quina: (n) A genus of about 38 species in the family Rubiaceae, native to the tropical Andes forests of western South America. They are medicinal plants, known as sources for quinine and other compounds. The name of the genus is due to Carolus “Carl” Linnaeus, who named the tree in 1742 after a Countess of Chinchón, the wife of a viceroy of Peru, who, in 1638, was introduced by native Quechua healers to the medicinal properties of cinchona bark. Stories of the medicinal properties of this bark, however, are perhaps noted in journals as far back as the 1560s–1570s. The medicinal properties of the cinchona tree were originally discovered by the Quechua peoples of Peru and Bolivia, and long cultivated by them as a muscle relaxant to halt shivering due to low temperatures. A Jesuit Brother, Agostino Salumbrino (1561–1642), an apothecary by training and who lived in Lima, observed the Quechua using the quinine-containing bark of the cinchona tree for that purpose. While its effect in treating malaria (and hence malaria-induced shivering) was entirely unrelated to its effect in controlling shivering from cold, it was nevertheless the correct medicine for malaria. The use of the “fever tree” bark was introduced into European medicine by Jesuit missionaries, thus it is also called Jesuit's bark. WIKI  Cinchona has yielded quinine, quinidine, cinchonine and a host of other less known alkaloids. The first two are now incorporated as very useful remedies in the modern pharmacopoeia. Quinine has accompanied man in his conquest of the tropical jungles. Quinidine has also saved many lives as the best naturally-occurring pacemaker. The Peruvian bark is not that of a simple febrifuge, since it does not lower the fever of any origin, but has a direct, specific, exclusive effect upon the malarial germ and no other. DYE  

    There was a tremendous epidemic of malaria in the whole European continent at the end of the XVI and the beginning of the XVII centuries. Rome was the capital of malaria. Surrounded by marshes, its bad air (mal aire) gave its name to this terrible scourge. The unhealthiness of the Vatican almost caused the seat of Christianity to be abandoned after the death of several Popes and dozens of Cardinals due to malaria. The arrival of the Peruvian bark brought by the Jesuits changed the outlook. By 1650, the mysterious remedy from the New World had been fully accepted in the Holy See. DYE  

    circac, circcay-camayo: (n) Healers who bled their patients. DYE

    circca: (n) Blood veins, of which they had a fair anatomical knowledge. DYE

    circcacuy: (n) Bloodletting, which was used quite frequently, to the admiration and approval of the Western medics of the Renaissance. They had a fair anatomical knowledge of the most accessible veins. According to Garcilaso, “They took blood from the vein nearest the pain from which the patient suffered. When they had severe headache, they drew blood from between the eyebrows, above the nose. The lancet was a point of obsidian which they put in a split wooden handle, placing the  point over the vein and gave it a sharp tap and thus they opened the vein with less pain than with the ordinary lancets.” DYE See, Appendix L for a picture of such a lancet.

    circumcision (Eng): (n) Chronicler Father Acosta (see, Appendix M) writes that “the Indians were never circumcized and never made it a ceremony as in Ethiopia and the East.” This is confirmed by other writers of the time. But it can only be applied with certainty to the Inca culture. Many ceramic pieces of the Mochicas and Vicus show clear evidence that circumcision of the male was a common practice. DYE

    cities: (Eng): Beautiful, fantastic cities are common visions during ayahuasca sessions.  They are often places of learning where shamans are instructed in various disciplines by very advanced spiritual beings, they consist of subtle and purified matter. These cities can be located in outer space or underwater, particularly at the confluence of two rivers. AYV (See, picture at yakumama.)

    Citua: See, Situa.

    Ciyuwayis: (n) Medicine people between Lake Titicaca and Bolivia who bring medicine to the different villages. (See, Kollahuayas.)

    clavohuasca: (n) (Tynanthas panurensis) Also known clavo huasca, clove vine, white clove, cipó cravo, cipó trindade, it is prepared traditionally as a tincture. However, is also taken as a wine andas a decoction made from boiling the vine wood. Clavohuasca's main therapeutic actions are aphrodisiac, analgesic, digestive stimulant,febrifuge, and stimulant. It has been used for centuries in Brazilian and Peruvian medicine. The popularity of clavohuasca is spreading in Europe and North America, being used primarily as an aphrodisiac and stimulant. Clavohuasca is not a hallucinogen, but the ayahuasca brew often causes vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. Clavohuasca is sometimes added to the brew or taken simultaneously to help reduce these effects. WIKI See, palero.

    Cross-cut of the large, woody vine clavohuasca.

    climatology: (n) the Incan knowledge of medical climatology certainly excelled at that time any of the known cultures of the world. Even now, it has not been realistically surpassed by the exponents of our occidental culture. Out of their necessity for a condensed interpretation of all the variables of the climate and establishing the logical equation between man and his environment, they grasped the relationship of climate to man in a way which was apparently understood (but never put into use) by the Spanish conquerors. Populations were moved by the Spanish for labor with no consideration of the climate the worker came from. Thus one sees that the forced migration brought about by the imposed changes in the economy -- from agriculture to mining -- and by the cruel wars of the Spanish armies among themselves, produced a cataclysmal depopulation of the newly acquired land. In fifty years of Spanish domination, a population of fourteen million Indians was crushed into a meager million and a half. This annihilation was not produced by sword, cannon and musket, but by malnutrition, cultural shock and climatological impact. DYE See, yunka (def. 2), quechua (def. 2), colla, paqarina.

    The common citizen deified the mountains, the lakes, the rivers, the earth, the sea and all geographical features. And he established a very personal, indivisible connection between himself and the paqarina, his tribal geographical god. Through painful experience he knew that if he left these gods and carried his adventurous or warlike spirit to other lands, disease and perhaps death would come to him as punishment. DYE

    clinclín: (n) Polygala vulgaris [poly = many or much; gala = milk, in Greek]. According to Classical and Renaissance writers common milkwort was used medicinally as an infusion to increase the flow of a nursing mother's milk. WIKI In Chile, a warm infusion of this plant is valued as an excellent diuretic. REPC

    Clinclín. WIKI

    Coa: See, Koa.

    Cobo, Bernabé: See, App. M, the Chroniclers.

    coca, cuca, kuka: (n) The sacred plant of the Andean shamans. (Erythroxylum coca) Used by almost everyone to counteract the effects of altitude and in ceremonies, especially despachos. (See, k'intu.) Andeans have always used it for divination, as do some Amazonian sorcerers. If the coca bolus tastes sweet, expect good fortune and continue on your path. If the coca bolus tastes bitter, this is a bad omen and you should postpone your path. THIM It would never occur to mourners to visit a grave without bringing coca leaves. They say it protects them from the machu wayra and comforts them in their grief. Chewing coca together, they are drawn as a group into a shared communion with Pachamama, with the Tirakuna and with the machula aulanchis. THLH In the Andes coca is considered to be the medium between man and the supernatural, as well as the expression and maintenance of social relations. There is a legend that the coca plant sprang from the grave of a beautiful Indian woman who had been dismembered and buried in punishment for prostitution. WGRT Its leaves are chewed as a mild stimulant and used as a source of divination and diagnosis and in despachos. In a ceremonial context coca is often grouped into a k'intu, or fan of three coca leaves, which are used to carry prayers and to embody specific forces and energies. PSPM In leaf form, coca does not produce toxicity or dependence. Its effects are distinct from those of cocaine, which is but one of more than a dozen active compounds in the leaf. When the main active component, cocaine, is extracted, it becomes a powerful stimulant and addictive drug. Authentic shamans never use chemically altered or concentrated drugs derived from sacred plants. ACAI Coca, the sacred leaf of the Andes; chewed by millions of people daily, kuka contains some 180 chemicals (alkaloids), including (but certainly not limited to) a few dozen antioxidants (some of which are unique to coca), all major vitamins and minerals in considerable quantities, proteins, fatty acids, and cocaine; used in despachos and countless other forms of ritual offering and prayer, as well as in divination, three leaves are formed into a k'intu as the most potent and universal kuka offering. ANON1 (See, Appendix G for some early history of coca and Western Civilization.)


    When the divine son of the sun, Manco Capac, climbed down from the rocks of Lake Titicaca, he gave humans light, knowledge of the gods, and knowledge of the arts and of coca, a divine plant which satiates the hungry, gives new strength to the tired and exhausted, and helps the unhappy to forget their cares.

    -- Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616) EPP

    Cocamama is alive and powerful. Coca speaks the truth to man, reveals the unknown, and gives strength and health.
    -- Sebastian, a Q'ero
    pampamesayoc ACAI

    Cocamama: See, Mama Coca, mama.(See, Appendix G for some early history of coca and Western Civilization.)

    coca del Inca: See, incapcocam.

    coca mukllu, kuka mukkllu: (n) Literally, coca seed. ROR

    cocha: (n) A high mountain lake or lagoon. ROR Lake, lagoon, pond or ocean. THIM Waterfalls, deep streams. PSPM

    cochas bravas: (n) Isolated lakes in the jungle where there are enormous beasts (sp). AYV

    Cocha Supay: (n) Literally, devil's lagoon. This is a power spot in Aucayacu in the Amazon. (See, ayahuascero and supay.)

    Cocha Supay. EMM

    cochineal: (n) (1) Cochineal bugs are parasites that feed on cactus. They look like dusty white ladybugs. (2) A red dye from this insect. Cochineal was a valuable export to Europe. The uniforms of the British Redcoats were dyed with cochineal. Cardinals' robes had been purple before the discovery of cochineal red. Even in recent times, dried cochineal has sold for $120 per kilo. WFH


    coincidentia oppositorum (Latin): The spiritual process of transcending opposites, the union of contraries or mystery of the totality. A term coined by Nicholas of Cusa. WOFW

    colla (AYM): (n) People adapted to the life in the high, cold plateau of the Andean ranges and the southern part of the continent. Physically the strongest and apparently of the highest intellectual stamina, not much is known about their biological defense against disease. DYE See, climatology, below, and , yunka (def. 2), quechua (def. 2).

    collacamana (AYM): (n) Surgeon. ASD

    collaña (AYM):  (n) Surgery. ASD

    collari, Collari: (n) (Qoya rey, Inca queen) keeper of life and death; feminine principle, formless. The left side of the body (sp). JLH The first woman in the Inca creation myth. MAN (See, inkarri.)

    Collasuyu: See, Kollasuyu.

    collca, qollqa: (n) A storehouse or granary.

    Collca: (n) The Inca name for the Pleiades, one of the star groups within Mayu, the Milky Way, and believed to be the guardian of stored seeds and agriculture. MAN Many creation myths of indigenous cultures relate that humanity originated in the Pleiades and shamans are still in contact with beings from this region of space. PGO The Pleiades are one of the finest and nearest examples of a reflection nebula associated with a cluster of young stars. The cluster itself is a group of many hundreds of stars about 400 light years away in the direction of the northern constellation of Taurus. A handful of the brightest stars cluster together in space and have been recognized as a group since ancient times. All the visible stars of the Pleiades are in reality much more luminous than the Sun. WAGA See, also, Onqoy.


    comadre (Span): (n) (1) A midwife. SEES (2) Name by which mother and godmother address each other. SEES One who has a godmother relationship to a close relative of the speaker.  The masculine equivalent is compadre. GOL

    compadrazgo (Span.): (n) Fictitious relationship for the purpose of ritual. ROR Literally, copaternity. A system of ritual coparenthood that links parents, children, and godparents in a close social or economic relationship. 2B

    Con, Kon: (n) An early creator-god whose name later became Pachakamak<. MAN The god of rain and wind that came from the south. EFD  He is the son of the supreme god Inti and Mama Killa, and brother of Pachakamak. The latter drives him back to the north from which he came. However, with his withdrawal, Kon takes the rains back with him and this causes the land to wither. WPO  The god in this creation myth is named Kon Tiki (or Con Ticci Wiracocha. Thor Heyerdahl's voyage from Peru to Polynesia on the balsa raft Kon Tiki was intended to demonstrate commerce between the two cultures, as tiki is a term used by both the Polynesians and the Peruvians for "god." In the most ancient of times the earth was covered in darkness. Then, out of a lake called Kollasuyu, the god Con Ticci Wiracocha emerged, bringing some human beings with him. Then Con Ticci created the sun (Inti), the moon and the stars to light the world. It is from Inti that the Inca, emperor of Tawantisuyu, is descended. Out of great rocks Con Ticci fashioned more human beings, including women who were already pregnant. Then he sent these people off into every comer of the world. He kept a male and female with him at Cusco. Another story is that Con, the Creator, was in the form of a man without bones. He filled the earth with good things to supply the needs of the first humans. The people, however, forgot Con's goodness to them and rebelled. So he punished them by stopping the rainfall. The miserable people were forced to work hard, drawing what little water they could find from stinking, drying riverbeds. Then a new god, Pachakamak, came and drove Con out, changing his people into monkeys. Pachakamak then took earth and made the ancestors of human beings.  AMH As a child of the sun and the moon, he was brother to Pachacamac. IAWS

    condenados: See, kukuchi. ROR

    condor (Span), kuntur: (n) Vultur gryphus. The Andean condor is a raptor and the largest bird capable of flight. It is also known as the king vulture. DAJG The keeper of the Hanaqpacha and intermediary between that realm and the Kaypacha (along with siwar q'enti); the ultimate symbol of transcendence and of elevated, heavenly consciousness; sometimes seen as a symbol of purification, scavenging for carrion and transmuting that somewhat repugnant food-source into pure flight. ANON1 (See, Apuchin.) National Geo link to video of Andean condors. Here is a link to a very good HD Spanish language video. A camera was strapped to the back of a condor, so there is aerial footage, too.

    Andean condor feeding.

    Condor Cancha: (n) Another name for Machu Picchu.

    condor misha: (n) An herb that contains the essence of a sacred lagoon.  JLH

    congenital anomalies: See, birth defects.

    Coniraya, Coniraya Wiracocha: (n) Inca moon god. MAN Trees, animals, plants, humans -- life sprang from everything he touched. WGC (See, Cavillaca.)

    conopa, canopa, qonopa: (n) A llama figurine with a hole in the back, covered with llama fat and red dirt. Imprinted conopas are put in corrals for fertility. Only the fat from a white llama or alpaca's chest goes in the hole. The figurines are carried up on the glacier during the Qoyllur Rit'i festival by the Bear Clan (Ukukus). JLH Conopas are devotional objects that have cavities carved into their backs where offerings of llama fat and coca leaves are placed. Before the Spanish conquest and even to this day, these stone figurines are charged with protecting the house and bringing good luck and prosperity to the people living there. LCL Llama, alpaca and sometimes flowers carved from stone or crystal. They were and continue to be placed in prominent locations in the home as a protector. IGMP An amulet. TLD Usually quartz crystals or unusual pebbles in which the family ancestors were said to reside. Conopas shaped like corn, potatoes, and llamas were handed down from father to son and used to promote the fertility of crops and livestock. WOFW  Household gods. GOL  An important offering vessel khuya or illa; a stone carved into the shape of a llama or alpaka with a small bowl-like depression in the represented animal's back; used for daily, weekly, or monthly offerings of untu, which are placed in the little bowl and thereby passed through the archetypal principle of the llama, the highest Andean symbol of loving service, to Creator; it was pre- Conquest (and possibly pre-Inka) custom to have a yanantin (pair) of qonopakuna in every household; one of the pair would be light-colored (marble or alabaster) and the other dark (usually basalt); this term is most likely modern and is usually represented as in Spanish (conopa). ANON1 (See, napa.)


    conscious death: (n) A spiritual art form that utilizes the death process to transform consciousness toward enlightenment. DIA (See, nierika.)

    consensual reality: See, tonal.

    Contisuyu: See, Kontisuyu.

    Con Ticci Wiracocha: See, Con.

    Contiti Wiracocha Pachayachachic: (n) Name given to Wiracocha by the people of Cacha (see, above). It means god, teacher of the world. MAN

    contrahechizo (Span): Antimagic. An herb or charm used to dispel the effects of magic or sorcery. EPP

    contrayerba: See, bejuco de la estrella.

    Copacabana: (n) The town from where pilgrims approached the island of Titicaca, Copacabana, became the most important pilgrimage center in viceregal Peru. Today, the Virgin of Copacabana is the national Saint of Bolivia. The two dates of worship to the Virgin, February 2 and August 5 might derive from Inca and perhaps even pre-Inca times as the first date marks the time when in Titicaca and Tiahuanaco the sun goes through zenith and the second date is exactly half a year later. A chronicle recording the Catholic importance of Copacabana includes information on its use for pilgrimage in Inca times. People from Cusco (see, below) and 40 other locations representing the whole empire had been relocated around Copacabana. Apparently, they represented the 41 provinces from where people were ordered or allowed to visit the island. The imperial organization reminds of the local one in Cusco of its 41 directions or cekes (see, above) leading to so many locations in its province. RTZ1

    Copacati: (n) Lake goddess whose worship was centered in Tiwanako near Lake Titicaca. WMO

    coqueo: (n) The Andean practice of extracting the juice and flavor of coca leaves with saliva. MAAM

    coquero (Span): (n) A coca chewer. ACAI  See, akulliq.

    Coricancha: See, "Qoricancha.

    cosco: See, qosqo.

    cortapelo (Span): (n) Literally, hair cutter. An owl that comes to a mesa [def. 5] session and screeches near the patient because it is envious of the patient and wants to take his or her hair to use to effect a daño. GOL  

    cosmic web: (n) Our universe is a colossal "cosmic web" of galaxies strung into filaments [strings] and tendrils that are millions or billions of light-years long. When you look into a large telescope, the reality of the cosmic web hits you because you can see how galaxies are organized. The cosmic web filaments are held together by dark matter, unseen stuff that makes up 85 percent of all mass in the universe. The cosmic web is thought to funnel galaxies, gas and dark matter around the universe, something like a chaotic intergalactic highway. WSC4 (See, ceke, above.)

    Cotahuasi Valley: The deepest valley in the world, 11,600 feet, rich in minerals and soil for agriculture, was isolated enough to escape the worst of the Spanish Conquest. Hunting and agricultural use by humans can be traced back 12,000 years. JAR


    cotataura: See, saccropa.

    coto-máchacuy (Amaz): (n) Mythological giant serpent with two heads which inhabits the bottom of large lakes.  THIM

    coya: See, Qoya.

    creey: (v) To believe. (n) Belief, doctrine (sp.)

    Crucero: See, Southern Cross, Mayu.

    Cruz Calvario: See, Southern Cross, Mayu.

    cruz chonta: (n) A colonial crucifix made from chonta. Used to symbolize the masculine principle and the integration of the curandero's (see, below) biography and spiritual ascension. It is usually placed upon its female counterpart. PSPM

    Cruz Velakuy: Held mainly in early May, when the Southern Cross is at its zenith, the Festival of the Cross (La Fiesta de las Cruces or Día de la Chacana), is celebrated with all-night fiestas in the mountain villages, as it has been for centuries from pre-Incan times. This is really a festival of the Southern Cross, the bridge from one side of the Milky Way to the other side. It is a point of departure during this lifetime for the spirit and also a point of transition into the next life (sp). IGMP (See, Mayu.)

    Cruz Velakuy in a Bolivian village.

    cucacuca:  See, incapcocam. Cuca is another spelling of coca (see, above).

    cuenta (Span): (v) See, account for more definition. (n) Literally, account. (1) History, power relationship. Cuenta is used specifically in relation to power objects from a mesa and denotes their special magical relationship to the shaman's powers. The account of an artifact that we have on the mesa is related to the site from which it was brought. Cuenta is everything concerning history, geographic points, and, more than anything, the power that it contains. If one “accounts” an artifact for a certain magical end, one's spirit has to impregnate itself little by little into the artifact, into the material of the artifact, within the instrument. WOFW An account is the history of the healers relationship with spirit-entities. When this history is sung or chanted at the mesa ceremony, this narrative act both brings that spirit-power into the mesa objects and allows the healer to dominate that power. GOL ( 2) The reason for the sickness. WPH (3) The practitioner's temperament. An account is the history of the healers relationship with spirit-entities. When this history is sung or chanted at the mesa ceremony, this narrative act both brings that spirit-power into the mesa objects and allows the healer to dominate that power. GOL  An artifact must have cuenta for the curandero (see, below). (Compare, ceke (see, above), esp. kollana) There are also acquired cuentas given as gifts, but it must be accounted in a personal manner with the old and the new account of its new owner. It must be given the profound force of the person who is going to possess it. If one finds an artifact with an unknown cuenta, one has to submit it to a tracking or tracing, by which one discovers what it is for, where it is from and why. The artifact remains impregnated forever. WOFW  (See, magnetismo, power, huaca.)

    Knowing that your account [cuenta] is your own, nobody knows you, nobody can reach you, never will they cross you on your path because you have something that is your own, not picked up from someone else. Make your own account and nobody will be able to cross you or bewitch you. WOFW

    cuicamama: (n) Literally, mother worm, a mariri used in marupa sorcery as well as by healers to convey messages. AYV (See, mama.)

    Cuichu: See, k'uychi.

    cult of the dead (Eng): (n) The cult played an important role in the daily life of the ancient Peruvian. When the Spanish arrived, Cusco (see, below) was the site of an organized funeral cult which has not been excelled by any known culture in the history of man. During the previous 400 years, the ruling members of the powerful dynasty of the Incas, thirteen in total, had been embalmed and preserved in their own private palaces surrounded by a host of living wives, concubines, officers, relatives, entertainers and sycophants whose only duty was to care for the embalmed body of the ancient ruler. The panaca, which lived protected and entirely supported by the State, paraded in full regalia around the privileged mummy at every festivity. This, with minor emphasis, was carried down the social scale and it was in excellent good taste to be able to keep at home the mummy of dear old grandmother to revere her and take her as honored guest to the communal fiestas. The cult of the dead had a limit, however; although the body of a very important man was kept unburied for an indefinite length of time, the common man was only entitled to one year of remembrance. Usually on the anniversary of his death his relatives would come to his grave for the last time, and after performing a few rites, which usually ended in eating, drinking and general rejoicing, no more was said or done about him. In general, it was believed that the spirit of a common man could survive him for no longer than one year. Those who were buried were accompanied to the grave by many of their most cherished possessions as well as enough food and cloth to last for the trip to the ukhupacha. Among the cherished possessions which accompanied a man to his grave, some cultures included human beings. Usually the main wife and several concubines, with or without their children, and accompanied by servants in varied number, would be buried in the same or an adjacent grave. This was neither human sacrifice nor suicide. It was a social obligation accepted by women and servants. DYE See, paqaricu.

    cumpa-supay (Amaz): (n) One of the birds used in the science of the vegetalistas. AYV (See, supay.)

    -cuna: See, -kuna.

    Cuntisuyu: See, Kontisuyu.

    cunununu: (n) Thunder. SIMA (See, Con, Illapa, raio.)

    curaca, kuraka: (n) Members of the Inca nobility who collaborated with the Spanish in their attempt to root out idolatry. The second Manco Capac was said to have been the son of a curaca. MAN The Spanish continued to rule the Indians through the curacas until the great Tupac Amaru revolt of 1780, in which many curacas took part. CSCR (See, Idolotrías.)

    curakakulleq: See, kurak akulliq.

    curanderismo (Span), huachuma curanderismo: (n) From the spanishThe science and practice of the curandero. A holistic system of Latin American folk medicine. This type of folk medicine has characteristics specific to the area where it is practiced. Curanderismo blends religious beliefs, faith, and prayer with the use of herbs, massage, and other traditional methods of healing. It can be defined as a set of traditional beliefs, rituals, and practices that address the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social needs of the people who use it. The Spanish verb curar means to heal. Therefore, curanderismo is translated as a system of healing. The goal of curanderismo is to create a balance between the patient and his or her environment, thereby sustaining health. FACA

    Everything relating to curanderismo is discoverable simply through the study of natural forces applied to these so-called mysteries that are not mysteries. Rather, they are very, very susceptible to those persons who really feel the desire to learn. -- Eduardo Calderón Palomino  WOFW  

    curandero / curandera : (1) Male/female healer. RS (2) A practitioner in huachuma shamanism of the north coast of Peru. PSPM Contemporary counterparts of the pre-Columbian magico-religious healers who were highly skilled in performing cures with herbs and simples. The modern curandero also has a vast knowledge of herbs, including the use of several hallucinogens, especially the San Pedro cactus [huachuma] and datura, which serve as catalytic agents for psychic powers. Reputedly capable of curing more than physical illness, he is said to be able to locate lost or stolen property, divine certain events and circumstances, assure success in personal projects and business, cure alcoholism and insanity, and undo love magic and witchcraft. WOFW (3) An Amazonian vegetalista. They often refer to themselves as curanderos and this appellation has made it into the literature. Be aware of the context in which you find the word. (The terminology surrounding the curandero mesa within this glossary refers to the huachuma curanderos, not the vegetalistas.) PGO

    Don José Paz Chapañon and his assistants, Lambayeque, Peru, 1980. EMA

    curandero mesa (Span): (n) An altar-like arrangement of power objects laid on the ground for use in curing, fertility, and divination rituals. The objects of the mesa, taken as a whole, constitute a microcosm in which is represented all of the powers and mysteries of nature situated in that small space. The curandero (see, above) emits an influence over this microcosm in order to influence the macrocosm. Each object represents a particular force in nature. Psychologically, each is a projection of the healer's own inner spiritual power, which becomes activated whenever the mesa and its accounts are manipulated in conjunction with the drinking of the San Pedro infusion. The mesa objects are arranged according to two levels of abstraction (see, for illustrations) existing in the same space/time: (1) the level of the campos (see, above), representing balanced dualism); and (2) the level of the four winds or four roads seen as four triangles whose points converge in the center of the mesa forming a cross (see, Tawantinsuyu, Inca medicine wheel).[See, also, mesa, esp. def. (2) and level of abstraction for diagram.] WOFW The left side contains objects from below the surface of the earth (e.g., pre-Columbian artifacts from ancient burial grounds, or from the bottom of the ocean (e.g., shells) -- all associated with down, hurin. On the other hand, the right side contains materials from highland lagoons (e.g., herbs), or objects linked to the sky (e.g., saints' images) -- all associated with up, hanan . . .  The central section of the mesa, like the earth's surface, is the place where these dualistic forces are expressed in human life, in this case through the instructions of the curandero as he receives information from the right and left (for up and down) and then directs the concentrated forces of the mesa. SSCC

    A curandero mesa. SCU

    Taken as a whole, the [curandero] mesa symbolizes the
    duality of the worlds of man and nature -- a veritable microcosmos
    duplicating the forces at work in the universe. WOFW  

    curarse (Span): (v) To recover, get well, cure oneself, take treatment. (In Peru, it also means to get drunk.) SEES  A term which implies the cleansing and strengthening of the body. MSIN  

    Cusco, Cuzco, Qosqo: (n) The name of the capital city of the Inca Empire. It was known as the “City of the Solar Puma.” ACAI (See, Appendix D for more information.)

    cusco cara urumi : (n) Literally, uncovered navel stone. The mythical site of the foundation of Cusco, located in a swampy area with a sweet-water spring. At the cusco cara urumi, Manco Capac hurled the tupayauri into the marshy ground, and it disappeared, signifying the end of his search of a suitable location to found a great city. SIMA

    Cusco Huanca: See, Ayar Auca.

    cussiricuytamricuni: (n) Pleasant hallucinations. DYE

    cuti: See, kuti

    cuticuti: (n) Plant that grows over 14,000 feet and intoxicates llamas; seeds are added to wiska despachos. JLH (See, napa.)

    cuti despacho: See, kuti despacho.

    cutipar: See, kutichiy.

    cuya: See, khuya.

    cuyaiki: (phrase) I love you dearly. (See, khuya.)

    cuyiki: (n) Ceke lines that inform the khuya.

    Cuzco Huanca:  See, Ayar Auca.

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First Edition (c) 2007 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. This site was originally published 6-13-07
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