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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


    Use the Firefox browser with the CoolPreviews add on. CoolPreviews will give a magnifying glass icon at every link when you put your cursor on the link. Click on the icon and it will open a separate, smaller window with the definition of the term in it. You can either lock the window by clicking the padlock icon in the top bar of the little window, or move your cursor off the window and it will automatically close. This is almost as good as mouseovers.


    paint46.tiff          Ch'              Chh

    chaca, chaka: (n) A bridge. RS Inca rope bridges were simple suspension bridges over canyons, gorges and rivers to provide access for the Tawantinsuyu. Bridges of this type were useful since the Inca people did not use wheeled transport — traffic was limited to pedestrians and livestock. The bridges were an integral part on the Inca road system [see, ñan] and are an example of Inca innovation in engineering. They were frequently used by ch'aski (see, below) runners delivering messages throughout the Inca Empire. The Incas used natural fibers found within the local vegetation to build bridges. These fibers were woven together creating a strong enough rope and were reinforced with wood creating a cable floor. Each side was then attached to a pair of stone anchors on each side of the canyon with massive cables of woven grass linking these two pylons together. Adding to this construction, two additional cables acted as guardrails. The cables which supported the foot-path were reinforced with plaited branches. This multi-structure system made these bridges strong enough to even carry the Spaniards while riding horses after they arrived. The design naturally sags in the middle. Part of the bridge's strength and reliability came from the fact that each cable was replaced every year by local villagers as part of their mit'a public service or obligation. The repair of these bridges was dangerous, to the degree that those performing repairs often met death. The last remaining Inca rope bridge is the Q'eswachaka (see). WIKI

    chacana, chakana: (n) (1) Stairs; ladder. RS (2) The Andean, or Inca, cross that reflects the three worlds (see, Hanaqpacha, Kaypacha, Ukhupacha) with a central disc representing the Hatun Inti. IGMP The Incan representation of the Southern Cross constellation described as symbolic power to bridge between heaven and earth. SXHUA cross, specifically the Andean cross; a symbol of divine symmetry and equilibrium. ANON1

    Huge Chacana found at Tiwanako.

    chacanana, chakanay: (v) To cross; to make ladders; to construct stairs; to build bridges. RS

    chacapa: See, schacapa.

    chacara: See, chacra.

    chacaruna: (n) Literally, bridge person. A chacaruna is the one who helps others to cross from one state of consciousness to other states of consciousness, from the mind to the heart, from the present to the past or to the future. A chacaruna is always exploring this reality to connect with the beauty and perfection of creation. They help people connect to the spirit world and can walk between the upper, middle and lower worlds (respectively, Hanaqpacha, Kaypacha and Ukhupacha). (See, pacha, def. 4). IGMP


    chacay: (n) Discaria trinervis. In Chile, an infusion of the bark is valued in treating internal tumors and abscesses. REPC


    chacchar: (v) To chew coca leaves. THIM(v) To consume coca leaves. Coca leaves are not chewed, per se. Rather they are held in the mouth. DYE See, Appendix G for a description of the process and more information on coca and its history.

    chacpa: See, breech birth.

    Chachapoyas: (n) (1) A city in the Amazonia region of Peru. (2) Also called the Warriors of the Clouds, the Chachapoyas were an Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazon in Peru. The Incas conquered their civilization shortly before the arrival of the Spanish in Peru. Their incorporation into the Inca Empire had not been easy, due to their constant resistance to the Inca troops. WIKI (See, also, Carajía, Revash, and Kuelap.)

    Map showing location of Chachapoyas civilization. WOTC

    chakana: See, chacana, above.

    chacra, chakra, chacara: (n) Land; farm; field. RS A slash-and-burn field in the Amazon jungle. AYV The translation of the word is a field, but it refers to a field that has a crop growing in it. For the people, their chacra includes the fields, the animals, the house, and the family. IGMP

    chacruna (Amaz): (n) Psychotria viridis, the companion entheogenic vine to ayahuasca. The tryptamine alkaloid N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and beta-carbolines are present in the leaves of this vine. BOA AYV


    chacha (AYM): (n) Male, husband. ASD

    chachacoma, chachacomo, chachakuma: (n) Andean tree that is used to cure altitude sickness, cold and toothache.


    Chai-Cullkimama: (n) Literally, mother of silver, she spreads white silver plates. Her icaro is chanted to help a person prosper in business and become rich. Her chant also cures the mal aire de difunto. AYV (See, qolqe, mama.)

    chaicuni (Panoan): (n) Spirit.  AYV

    chakhllatpacha tutiri (AYM): (n) Virgin. ASD

    challa: See, ch'alla, ch'allay.

    chamáiro: (n) Vegetable ash that replaces lime in chewing coca leaves. THIM

    chamico, chamiku, tonco-tonco, Jimson weed, loco weed: (adj) Chamico = small (disparaging). RS (n) Datura stramonium. Used by ancient Peruvian herbalists to produce anaesthesia, hallucinations or death, depending on dosage. During the night preceding torture, friendly hands furtively slipped chicha reinforced with concoctions of chamico seeds into the cells of prisoners. It is called stramonius by Western apothecaries. Its leaves, used as tobacco, control the symptoms of bronchial asthma. DYE This plant is known as chamico because of the criminal use that the Indians are accustomed to make of it: to intoxicate each other when they feel that they have been wronged or when they are overtaken by jealousy in their love affairs. This practice has given rise to the common Peruvian adage: “Está chamicado fulano o fulana.” (So-and-so is under the influence of chamico); this adage is used whenever a person is either pensive, taciturn, absent-minded or too tipsy from alcohol. The use of the crushed leaves, mixed with vinegar, is frequently made as a poultice for the spine or kidneys, in order to lower fevers and to lessen rheumatic pains and reduce the swelling of hernias. REPC For centuries, datura has been used as an herbal medicine to relieve asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bonesetting. It is also a powerful hallucinogen and deleriant, which is used spiritually for the intense visions it produces. However, the tropane alkaloids which are responsible for both the medicinal and hallucinogenic properties are fatally toxic in only slightly higher amounts than the medicinal dosage, and careless use often results in hospitalizations and deaths. WIKI [Caveat: all daturas are very toxic, even deadly, when abused.] (See, toé, brugmansia suaveolens.)


    chamisa, ch'akatea: (n) Dodonaea viscosa. Crushed and applied as cataplasms on contusions, this plant has very fast and excellent healing properties. REPC

    Chamisa, or the purple-leafed hop bush.

    chanca piedra: (n)(Phyllanthus niruri) (Ch'anchar = to chew noisily, in Quechua; piedra = stone, in Spanish.) Possibly the herb known as chancha-chancha.  It was named for its effective use to generations of Amazonian indigenous peoples in eliminating gallstones and kidney stones. In addition to kidney stones, the plant is employed in the Amazon for numerous other conditions by the indigenous peoples, including colic, diabetes, malaria, dysentery, fever, flu, tumors, jaundice, vaginitis, gonorrhea, and dyspepsia. Based on its long documented history of use in the region, the plant is generally employed to reduce pain, expel intestinal gas, to stimulate and promote digestion, to expel worms, as a mild laxative. Chanca piedra has a long history in herbal medicine systems in every tropical country where it grows. Its main uses are for many types of biliary and urinary conditions including kidney and gallbladder stones; for hepatitis, colds, flu, tuberculosis, and other viral infections; liver diseases and disorders including anemia, jaundice and liver cancer; and for bacterial infections such as cystitis, prostatitis, venereal diseases and urinary tract infections. It is also widely employed for diabetes and hypertension as well as for its diuretic, pain-relieving, digestive stimulant, antispasmodic, fever reducing, and cellular protective properties in many other conditions (sp). WRT Used for kidney problems, especially kidney stones. This is recognised as a gall bladder and liver tonic. It is also used for cleansing the urinary system and for dealing with intestinal parasites. This plant is only used for it's many pharmaceutical properties, not as a plant teacher per se. SCU

    Chanca piedra. One of its local names translates to seed-under-leaf.
    (Look closely to see the seeds. They look like green peas.)

    Chancas, Chankas: (n) A powerful political unity that attacked Cusco in the early 15th Century and were defeated by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. MAN See, Appendix N.

    Chan Chan: (n) The adobe city of Chan Chan, the largest in the world, was built around AD 850 and lasted until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. It was the imperial capital where 30,000 people lived. WIKI The Chimu Kingdom reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. Its capital Chan Chan, located in the once fertile river valley of Moche or Santa Catalina, was the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America. The remains of this vast city reflect in their layout a strict political and social strategy, emphasized by their division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming independent units. The planning of the largest earthen city of pre-Columbian America is an absolute masterpiece of town planning. Rigorous zoning, differentiated use of inhabited space, and hierarchical construction illustrate a political and social ideal which has rarely been expressed with such clarity.UNESCO

    In terms of its form and design, the archaeological site
    still expresses truthfully the essence of the monumental
    urban landscape of the former Chimú capital.

    Chankillo: An ancient observatory and ceremonial complex in Coastal Peru. It is the oldest solar observatory in the Americas, dating from 2300 years ago. Thirteen stone towers were used to mark the changes of the seasons. MSNBC2-07

    chanrara: (n) A little bell; handbell. RS (See, bell.)

    chapay: (v) To guard; to watch; to observe. RS

    Chaparrí: (n) Chaparrí, along with Yanahuanga, are great powers or “charms.” In local lore, the two mountains are opposites. Yanahuanga has the good herbs and Chaparrí the bad herbs.  Almost all of the curanderos make pilgrimages to Chaparrí and Yanahuanga to look for the magical herbs. There are no mountains as bare as these two. Thus the curanderos have to wait for the moment when the mountains induce a dreamy state causing them to fall asleep. Suddenly the curanderos wake up and their steps go directly to the site where the herbs are to be found. They pick only the herbs that they need -- those their temperament, their idea, their account has called in their dreams, showing where the herbs can be found. And they come down from the mountains in a tranquil state. And they return with the plants to cure others. They have to make a pact as curanderos in order to be able to make this pilgrimage. Otherwise it is not possible, because if they go the mountains begin to rumble and loosen boulders causing one to run away. WOFW  

    Cerro Chaparrí in the Lambayeque region

    chaqra sepka, chaqra misarumi sepka: (n) A marble-like square stone with etchings used in a mesa. PSPM Compare, sepka and sepja. (See, illa (def. 5)]

    charango: (n) A small South American stringed instrument of the lute family, about 66 cm long, traditionally made with the shell of the back of an armadillo (not to be confused with a Cuban style of music called "charanga"). It typically has 10 strings in five courses of 2 strings each, although other variations exist. WIKI


    chaska: See, ch'aska.

    chaski, chasqui: See, ch'aski, below.

    chaskichiwaychis: (imperative) Receive us, welcome us, embrace us with your love. JLH

    chaspi: (n) Concussion; shock. RS

    chaucallas: (n) Ancient burial houses that contained the mummies and bones of “the beautiful grandparents.” AWE (See, mallquis.)

    chawpi, chaupi: (n) (1) The bridge between the right and the left sides. JNP (See, lloke and paña.) (2) Energy center or chakra. WAN (See, ñawi.) (adv) Among; between; in the middle of. RS

    chawpin: (n) The path of the master healer, encompassing, balancing, and transcending the lloke and paña paths. Center, one's spiritual center or core. ANON1

    chawpin hatun curandero: (n) Literally, [great healer of the center field of the curandero mesa]. In Quechua, chawpin means center. PSPM

    chawpinpi: (adv) In the middle. QP

    chawpinsuyu: (n) (1) Middle, center. PSPM (2) Central region of the Inka Empire [Tawantinsuyu], containing Cusco. (See, Appendix D.) ANON1 (adj) Central. PSPM

    Chavín: (n) See, Appendix N.

    Chavín de Huántar: (n) An archaeological site containing ruins and artifacts constructed beginning at least by 1200 BCE and occupied by later cultures until around 400-500 BCE by the Chavín, a major pre-Inca culture. The Chavin civilization was centered on the site of Chavin de Huantar, the religious center of the Chavin people and the capital of the Chavin culture. The temple is a massive flat-topped pyramid surrounded by lower platforms. It is a U-shaped plaza with a sunken circular court in the center. The inside of the temple walls are decorated with sculptures and carvings. Chavin de Huantar was constructed over many stages starting prior to 1200 BCE, with most major construction over by 750 BCE. The site continued in use as a ceremonial center until around 500 BCE, but prior to 400 BCE its primary religious function had ceased, and the site was occupied by casual residents of the highly distinct cultural tradition, Huaraz. During its heyday, Chavin de Huantar was used as a religious center for ceremonies and events, perhaps a home for an oracle. The site contains a number of major structures. WIKI See, Lanzón.

    Site map of Chavín de Huántar.

    Las Falcónidas portal, New Temple

    chayac rupha onccoy: (n) An illness characterized by a fever and which would recur periodically and which probably identified malaria. DYE See, chucchu, below.

    chayapuqueyok: (adj) Crazy by episodes. DYE

    chayay: (n) Literally, arrival. RS Baptism. JLH

    chayka: (n) The energy of fear. UNK

    chaykapay: (v) To startle; to frighten. RS

    chaywa: (n) The sacred whale, keeper of the ocean (Mamacocha) and symbol of mastery of the heart. ANON1

    checa pinihua (AYM): (phrase) It is truth. ASD (See, cheqak.)

    chej-pacha: (n) Cosmic order. CHAM

    cheqak, cheqa: (n) Truth. One of the major organizing principles. (See, saiwa , nuna, kawsay, yuya, ch'ulla, kallari.) JLH (adj) Real genuine. QP

    Chia, Huitaca: (n) Moon goddess of happiness and pleasure. DRB

    chicotea (Span): (v) From chicotear, to lash, whip. SEES As the curandero is discharging the mesa, he violently shakes the patient's staff. WPH

    chicua: (n) The squirrel cuckoo, Piaya cayana, one of the mamas of the ayahuasca vine. AYV


    chicha: (n) Corn beer offered to the mallquis of ancestors and drunk by priests in ceremony. MAN The ancient Peruvian drink of ritual sacrifice and celebration, was also the brew of choice as far north as Mexico when the conquistadores arrived. Passersby should look for a bit of red cloth or plastic marking the door to a chicheria indicating that the lady of the house has made a fresh batch of corn chicha. This ancient beer is best when fresh or laced with strawberries for a frothy frutillada. The alcohol content is determined by the length of fermentation—up to about three days and often spices are added to the milky concoction for flavor. Chicha isn't always made of corn. Quinoa is frequently mixed with ground peanuts in Bolivia. The Indian women of the Amazon Basin grind up manioc tubers for their version and sometimes add sweet potatoes. NGEO4 A hallucinogenic, fermented beer-like beverage used for rituals and ceremonies. ADN See, wilka.  When chicha is buried for some time, thus furthering fermentation, it acquires a greater intoxicating effect. There were various ways to modify chicha with concoctions of stupefying herbs, some of which we know about (see, anesthetics). DYE   [Also called aqha.]


    chichiccara, huanuccara, mastuerzo silvestre: (n) Lepidium foetidum. Crushed and slightly warm, it is poulticed to cleanse and cure cancerous ulcers. Crushed and mixed with lard, it is applied to the abdomen to relieve swelling brought on by retarded menstruation. REPC

    chilca: (n) Baccharis punctulata DC. Leaves of this low bush were heated in water and then applied as a poultice to joints or sprains into which the cold had made its way. ACA



    chillquenocaquikhama (AYM): (phrase) In good time may I see you walk well and healed. ASD

    Chimú: (n) See, Appendix N.

    chin: See, ch'in.

    chinacu: (adj) Gay, homosexual. RS See, wausay.

    chinca, chinka: (n) Loss. RS

    chincana, chinkana: (n) (1) A man-made tunnel, large enough for humans. These run underground throughout the Andes and some islands on Lake Titicaca. (2) The game of hide-and-seek. RS (3) A maze or labyrinth; a place to become lost. CSCR (See, chinca.)

    Chincana, La: (n) (1) The fabled subterranean city located beneath the former Inca capital of Cusco. WLC (2) Passages and semi-underground tunnels of an Inca palace that seem to form a labyrinth in the north part of the Island of the Sun at Lake Titicaca. WEB It is believed the akllas lived there. WCC

    La Chincana ruins at Lake Titicaca.

    chinchay: (n) In legend, refers to the jaguar. (See, Chocachinchay.)

    Chinchincalla: A hill with twin pillars that represented the third shrine of the thirteenth ceke of Kontisuyu. The approximate positions of these pillars include the locations where the sun is seen to set on the December solstice as viewed from the Qoricancha and from the central plaza of Cusco. AEAA

    Chinchisuyu, Chinchaysuyu: (n) (1) Northwest quadrant of Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu), comprising the Andes regions and the coast west and north of Cusco, encompassing most of modern Ecuador and stretching as far north as southern Columbia, limited in the west by the Pacific Ocean. ROR MAN (2) Mythically, it is the ability to articulate words, creation. The ability to detach and engage thru perceptual shifts beyond communication. The ability to speak to mountains. Corresponds to the West direction on a medicine wheel. JLH (See, chinchay.)


    chinchona: (n) Cinchona officinalis, better known as quinine, was given to the world by Peru. It is used to regulate heartbeat; stimulate digestion; calm nerves; treat malaria; relieve pain; kill insects, parasites, fungi and bacteria; and to reduce fever. WRT


    chinkachiy: (v) To mislead; to disorient; to mislay; to make lose; to lose. RS (See, chinca.)

    chinkakuy: (v) To disappear. RS (See, chinca.)

    chinkana: See, chincana.

    chinkapuy: (v) To disappear. RS (See, chinca.)

    chipchiy: (v) To shine (sun), illuminate. QP

    chiqanta: (adj) Straight. QP

    chiqaq: See, cheqak.  

    chirahuan: (adj) To be like dead from fear. DYE

    chiraopacha: (n) The dry season. AEAA (See, pucuypacha.)

    Chirao Sucanca: The name of solar pillars in the Cusco area marking the June solstice, the beginning of the dry season. AEAA (See, chiraopacha, sucanca.)

    chirapa: (n) Jungle Quechua for the rainbow, which acts as a bridging element between earth and water. The other bridging element is the marsh. These elements of rainbow and marsh are seen as iridescent and black, respectively, and can intervene in the lives of individuals. The rainbow is particularly conceived of as a sender of disease. AYV (See, k'uychi, sinchi amarun, yana puma, puka chirapa.)

    chirik-sanango: (n) (Brunfelsia grandiflora) An ayahuasca additive. AYV (See, chirisanango, which may or may not be the same plant as chirik-sanango.)


    chirisanango: (n) This plant is good for colds and arthritis and has the effect of heating up the body, so much so that the vegetalista advises a cold shower after each dose! This plant can be used in baths for good luck, and bring sucess to fishing, hunting etc. This plant also makes it possible for people to open up their heart to feel love for people and animals, and identify with other people as though brothers and sisters. The gift of chirisanango is self esteem. SCU A tonic prepared by shamans made by blending the energies and juice of several plants. THIM (See, chirik-sanango, which may or may not be the same plant as chirisanango.)

    Chocachinchay, Choquechinchay, Chuqui-Chinchay, Choque Chinchay: (n) (1) The organizing principle of the kaypacha; maintenance of fertility and diversity. Awareness or peaking of the sense(s). (2) The rainbow jaguar, the bridge between heaven and earth. (3) A constellation that rises 30 days after solstice. JLH Also the name of the star or constellation that represented large cats. AEAA (4) An animal of many colors, said to have been chief of the otorongos. PYS A large animal that had all colors and was the guardian of the hermaphrodites. Chuquichinchay is the same name that some early chroniclers give to the constellation now called the Pleiades. DYE (4) From choque, gold, + chinchay, jaguar. Literally, golden jaguar. That which makes gold stand forth. ACA (See, chinchay.)


    chocho, tarwi, tarhui, altramuz: (n) Lupinus mutabilis is a species of lupin grown in the Andes, mainly for its edible  bean. There are different aspects why L. mutabilis could become an important international crop. But until now, the high content of alkaloids in the bean is the main reason why the crop is not very known outside the Andes. This content could be decreased by different processes. The plant has been domesticated for more than 1500 years, mostly because of its high protein content. WIKI The bitter bean becomes edible after soaking in water for several days. The water resulting from this procedure has a very potent insecticidal effect. DYE

    Chocho. WIKI

    chonta: (n) (1) (Iriartea deltoidea) A dark and extremely hard wood from the jungle. RS Used for important ritual tools such as staffs, crosses, and small idols of saints; noted and honored for its cleansing properties. ANON1 (2) A staff in the curandero's mesa made from the tropical hardwood of that name. This is a special wood that becomes impregnated by means of one‘s spirit, one's potency, with the spiritual form of the curandero, so that this artifact has all of the inherent characteristics of he who formed that cuenta. WOFW  (3) In vegetalismo, a magical dart. (See, virote.)

    One of the chonta palms, Iriartea deltoidea. WIKI

    chontero: (n) A sorcerer who uses chontas to cause harm. He takes one from his mariri and blows toward his victim. If not treated by a vegetalista, the chonta will cause great pain, even death. AYV

    choque, choqe (AYM): (n) Gold. ASD Raw gold, as opposed to qori (smelted or manipulated gold). ANON1

    Choque Illa: (n) A god of thunder and rain whose name means radiance of gold. He lived in the sky and wore a cape made of the stars. When he cracked the sling he carried, it made the sound of thunder. This also caused his great cape to flash, which was the lightning. He would crack his sling when he wanted it to rain, getting the water from the Milky Way, which the Incas believed was a river in the sky. (See, choque, illa, Mayu.)

    Choquequirao, Choqek'iraw: (n) A ruined Inca city in south Peru, similar in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu. The ruins are buildings and terraces at levels above and below Sunch'u Pata, the truncated hill top. The hilltop was anciently leveled and ringed with stones to create a 30 by 50 m platform. The site was built by Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1471-1493) and Huayna Capac (1493-1527). It was one of the last bastions of resistance and refuge. Choquequirao was probably one of the entrance check points to the Vilcabamba, and also an administrative hub serving political, social and economic functions. Its urban design has followed the symbolic patterns of the imperial capital, with ritual places dedicated to the Sun (Inti) and the ancestors, to the earth, water and other divinities, with mansions for administrators and houses for artisans, warehouses, large dormitories and farming terraces belonging to the Inca or the local people. Spreading over 700 meters, the ceremonial area drops as much as 65 meters from the elevated areas to the main square. The city also played an important role as a link between the Amazon jungle and the city of Cusco. WIKI Choquequirao has been called “Machu Picchu's sacred sister,” because of the striking similarities of design and ceremonial architecture to its famous counterpart above the Urubamba Gorge. Yet it remains an enigmatic place whose history is a matter of speculation. One theory of its origins holds that it was a royal estate built for the emperor Topa Inca, perhaps in an attempt to rival his father Pachacuti's spectacular domain at Machu Picchu. INC


    chori: (n) A mestizo or Quechua from the Andes. THIM

    chucchu, chayac rupha onccoy: (n) An illness characterized by intermittent chills and fever, probably malaria, in the Quechua dialect of Cusco. DYE

    chuchali: See , ch'uchali.

    chuchuwasha, chuchuwasa, chuchuwasi: (n) Heisteria pallida. A tree whose roots are chopped up and put in rum to make a medicinal drink, aphrodisiac, or tonic. THIM (See, palero.)

    Chucuito, Lake:  (n) Titicaca is the second largest lake of South America (after Maracaibo). A narrow strait, Tiquina, separates the lake into two bodies of water. The smaller, in the southeast, is called Lake Huiñaymarca in Bolivia and Lake Pequeño in Peru; the larger, in the northwest, is called Lake Chucuito in Bolivia and Lake Grande in Peru. WBC In an account from 1609, Bernabe Cobo states, “[Some of] the inhabitants of Callao hold that creation happened on the Island of Titicaca, which is located on the great Lake Chucuito. IRC See, Appendix B, bottom of page, for a map showing the two lakes.

    chukcha: (n) Hair. RS

    chukri: (n) A wound. DYE

    chukri hampicamayoc: (n) A surgeon. DYE

    chulu, cholo / chola: (n) A person at an intermediate stage of acculturation between indigenous and mestizo (sp). CSCR (2) Quechua (chulu). Hybrid. CSCR Indigenous who has adopted European habits. RS

    chullachaki: See, ch'ullan chaki.

    chullchu: See, chhullchu.)

    chullicuni: (n) The common head cold. DYE

    chullo: (n) A traditional Andean woven wool hat with earflaps, often sporting colorful tassles and intricate bead work. NND The hats of the Q'ero are always colorful with long tassels and beads in all the colors of the rainbow. In all of the Andes, you can identify each man's community by the colors and designs in his knitted woolen hat. You can also distinguish if he is married or single and what position he holds in the community by his hat. IGMP

    Peruvian wearing his chullo.

    chullpa: See, ch'ullpa.

    chullumpi: (n) An honorable address for llamas during ceremonies. ROR (See, napa.)

    chullu unccoy: See, chhaque unccoy, below

    chungana (UNK): (n) A curandero's rattle. WPH

    chunpi, chumpi: (n) Literally, belt. The Andean shaman has energetic belts as part of his/her initiation of the medicine body. Seven of the nine chunpis equate roughly in location to the seven chakras. There are belts at the base of the spine, navel, solar plexus, heart, throat, forehead and crown. There are eighth and a ninth chunpis which exist at a vibration above the top of the head. PSPM Refers to belts of living energy that make up the human energy field (see, also, poq'po). ANON1 Although the qosqo is the primary energy center, it is only one of four major and three minor energy centers in the poq'po. These seven centers comprise an energy system analogous to the Eastern chakra system. The four primary are called chunpis. These belts of power extend around the body and each has a point, or an eye, called a ñawi, as an opening. Each chunpi is also associated with a color and an element. At the base of the spine is siki ñawi, the eye of the black belt (yana chunpi) associated with the water element and with the Black Light, the most powerful energy of the Andean tradition. The qosqo ñawi, the primary energy center at the stomach/navel area that is part of a red belt (puka chunpi), associated with earth, with Pachamama. At the heart center is the sonqo ñawi, the eye of the gold belt (qori chunpi) associated with love, empathy and with fire and the power of the sun. Finally, there is the throat center, the kunka ñawi, the eye of the silver belt (qolqe chunpi) associated with creativity, communication, the wind, and the moon.The two physical eyes are the fifth and sixth centers. The third eye is the final, seventh, point called the qanchis ñawi. Sometimes a fifth belt is recognized as forming a band around the head encompassing these final three points. This is the kulli chunpi, or violet belt. Alarmingly, knowledge of these energy belts seems to be on the decline in the south-central Andes. KOAK In Andean mysticism this term also refers to the belts of living energy that surround the human body and make up the human 'bubble' or energy field. NND (See, wiracocha, karpay, chawpi, ñawi.)

    chunpi khuyas, mullu khuyas: (n) A set of stones used to give the chunpi karpay (bands of power initiation), which opens the energy centers of the luminous body. KOAK Also called mullu khuyas. A specific set of five stones, progressively carved with one to five humps, used to open the human energy belts, tools of the chunpi paq'o (see, below). RS

    Set of five chunpi khuyas. Although there are nine chunpis (see, above),
    currently only the first five are opened.
    AVO (Picture from KOAK.)

    chunpi paq'o, chumpi paq'o: (n) an Andean shaman who is empowered to give the chunpi karpay. KOAK A special designation of mystical priest initiated in the art of the chunpi's, or opening the energy belts. NND A rare, specific classification of shaman-priest initiated in the art of opening the energetic belts that make up the poq'po. ANON1

    chupa (Span): (n) From Spanish chupar (to suck, to draw in). SEES Sucking. One of the steps in a curandero ceremony. Chupas act to suck the daño (foreign substances including blood, worms, rocks, toads, snakes and other animals) from specific parts of the client's body. The healer places his mouth -- or the end of a staff -- against the body part to be sucked. The person performing this act holds in his mouth an infusion of water, either a special mixture of holy water that combines herbs, tobacco, perfumes, lime, honey, flowers, and other ingredients, and/or water from one of the sacred lagoons of Las Huaringas. The water acts as a kind of barrier that captures the daño so that it does not pass into the healer's body. He sucks the daño out of the victim's body and then vomits or spits, being careful not to swallow any of the liquid.  GOL    

    chupini (AYM): (adj) Honest. ASD

    chupinijaqui (AYM): (adv) Honorably. ASD (See, chupini.)

    chupu: (n) The common boil [skin lesion]. DYE

    chuqui illa: (n) Lightning. HOI. (See, hatun k'anchay, illa.)

    churafiña (AYM): (n) Offering. ASD

    Churi Inti: (n) Son of Inti. RMFA

    chusak sonqo: (n) Idiot. DYE  (See, sonqo, for an explanation of the conflation of mind and heart in Quechua healing.)

    chushllu: (n) An honorable address for alpacas during ceremonies. ROR

    chusi: (n) Blanket. QP

    chuyanchaki:  See, ch'ullan chaki.

    chuyki, chuiqui: (n) A bad omen (can be a person). RS

    chuyma: A welcome from the heart. IGMP

    chuyma churafitha (AYM): (v) Putting your heart or thoughts on something. ASD


    ch'aka: (n) Sore throat. (adj) Hoarse. QP

    ch'akataya: (n) Type of medicinal plant. PSL

    ch'aki: (adj) Dry. QP

    ch'akispa: (adj) Thirsty. QP

    ch'akiy: (v) To dry, to be thirsty. (n) Thirst. QP

    ch'alla, challa: (n) An offering performed by putting wine into a shell and throwing the liquid outward to Pachamama in the direction of the sun, first to the right and then to the left side of the place for the burning of the despacho. Repeat with pisco. IGMP Ritual spraying. PSPM The ritual spraying of perfume, holy water, “prayer water,” or alcoholic spirits used to cleanse an energy field or as an offering to Spirit. ANON1 Compare, kamay.

    Ch'alla performed. PSPM

    Ch'alla, El Tío: (n) Ch'alla is the guardian spirit of the mine/mountain: the devil who owns the mines and to whom offerings must be given. Part bull, part devil, and part white man, he requires weekly offerings of coca, alcohol and tobacco. A surprising attribute of Ch'alla is his large erect penis, which represents fertility and renewal. Miners eat the mines (earn their living from them) and are eaten by them (literally from health problems, but also socially and symbolically). Ch'alla has become a symbol of resistance and union organizing. WVU [To the miners, he is] the lord of the underworld. There are many statues of this devil-like spirit in the mines. El Tío rules over the mines, simultaneously offering protection and destruction. Miners bring offerings such as cigarettes, coca leaves, and alcohol for the statues and believe that if El Tío is not fed, he will take matters into his own hands. Villagers of Potosi ritually slaughter a llama and smear its blood on the entrance to the mines. WIKI


    Ch'alla, also known as El Tio.

    ch'allaska, ch'uyaska, ch'uyasqa: (n) Ritual of discharging, balancing, and imprinting with sacred water.  The spraying of liquid in a ritual of purification.  ROR (See, ch'allay.)

    ch'allay: (v) To give a splash of liquor as an offering to Pachamama. PSL To spray (spit). DQ

    ch'arki: (n) Dried meat. The origin of the English word “jerky.” CSCR

    ch'aska : (n) Star (usually Venus). PSL Star. QP Ch'aska was was the goddess of dawn and twilight. She protected virgin girls. EFD Personification of planet Venus, servant of the sun. WMO (See, Ch'aska-Qoyllur.)

    ch'aska despacho: See, Appendix J.

    ch'aska mayu: (n) Literally, star river. The Milky Way. ANON1 See, Mayu, for more info.

    Ch'aska-Qoyllur: (n) Literally, shaggy star; she was the Inca goddess of Venus, the guardian of young maidens and flowers. MAN The goddess of flowers. EFD The names perhaps mean “dawn” or “long hair dawn.” It is not clear if this is what the Incas thought or if the Spanish confused Aztec belief with Incan belief. (The Aztecs felt that Venus was a smoking star -- like a comet -- so that it had hair coming from it.) In any case, the same god (as planet Venus) is the morning and evening star seen at dawn and at twilight. WMO God of Flowers and Protector of Maidens. Could be the husband of Ch'aska, but there's no documentation apart from a similarity of names. WGC (See, ch'aska.)

    ch'aska ñawi: (n) Big, beautiful eyes. PSL

    ch'aska plata: (n) Literally, silver star (hair). Formed from the silver stolen by raio, the female lightning. (sp) UNK

    ch'aski, chasqi, chaski, chasqui: (n) Post boy, messenger on foot, a runner. PSPM Post runner bearing urgent advices and reports (quipu) from remote parts of the empire or perhaps fresh fish caught the day before in Lake Titicaca. EOTI Runner, messenger in the Inka Empire [Tawantinsuyu] under the administrative communication system developed by Pachakuteq. ANON1 Agile and highly trained runners that delivered messages, royal delicacies such as fish and other objects throughout the Inca Empire, principally in the service of the Sapa Inca. Ch'askis were dispatched along thousands of miles, taking advantage of the vast Inca system of roads and rope bridges in the Andes of Peru and Ecuador. On the coast of what is now Peru their route ran from Nazca to Tumbes. Ch'aski routes also extended into further reaches of the empire into parts of what are now Columbia, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. Each ch'aski carried a pututu, a quipu in which information was stored, and a q'epe on his back to hold objects to be delivered. Ch'askis worked using a relay system which allowed them to convey messages over very long distances within a short period of time. Tambos were constructed at key points along the road system, often consisting of a small shelter with food and water. Ch'askis would start at one tambo and run to the next tambo where a rested ch'aski was waiting to carry the message to the next tambo. Through the ch'aski system a message could be delivered from Cusco to Quito within a week. WIKI

    A ch'aski portrayed carrying a qepe, a pututu and a quipu. WIKI

    ch'ikay: (n) Bee or wasp sting. QP

    ch'in: (adj) Quiet, silent. (n) Silence. PSL The voice of the mystery. JLH

    ch'in pacha: (n) Quiet place; desert. PSL

    ch'inyay: (v) To shut up, be quiet. PSL

    ch'iqmiy: (v) To bother. QP

    ch'isiyay: (v) To get dark. QP

    ch'uchali, chuchali: (adj) Debilitated, weak. RS

    ch'ulla: (n) (1) Everything is connected energetically through cekes. Oneness, communion with oneness. Absolute conciousness. One of the major organizing principles. (See, saiwa, munay, nuna, cheqak, kawsay, yuya, kallari.) JLH (2) (adj) Only one; only; alone; odd; unpaired; unequal; asymmetric. RS

    ch'ullan chaki: , chuyanchaki, chullachaqui: (n) Plant spirit, elemental that walks on one foot; the trickster; from the Amazon. JLH Literally,single foot. A mythical being, demon or goblin.  Legend has it that this being cannot disguise one of its feet. Usually the right foot refuses to assume human form and takes instead the shape of a deer's hoof or jaguar's paw. THIM

    Another very important mythological being, who is supposed to live in deep jungle, is the C'hullan Chaqui, known also under the names of Sacharuna
    . . . [or] Supay . . . . The Ch'ullan Chaqui is supposed to look exactly like a
    human being except for one of his feet, which is described as resembling that
    of a goat, a deer, a dog or some other animal. He is the lord of the animals, and "king of the jungle". On occasions it is possible to become his friend, and
    then he offers the ability to hunt with great success. Most often an encounter
    with a human being results in the person's becoming mad or ill. All my
    informants claim to have seen him, either in person or in their dreams.
    According to them, he has his
    chacra (small plantation), and very often lives
    in places where a tree called ch'ullan chaqui caspi (see, below) grows.

    The ch'ullan chaki.

    ch'ullanchaki-caspi: (n) Tovomita sp., Guttiferae. The ch'ullan chaki (see, above) very often lives in places where this tree grows. The association is due to the fact that the roots of this tree form a sort of "foot" growing out of the soil. This tree is, on the other hand, one of the plant teachers. MSIN See, palero.

    Ch'ullan chaqui caspi  EMM

    ch'ullanchaki garden: See, supay chacra, ch'ullan chaki.

    ch'ullpa, chullpa: (n) Ancient artifact, mummy, round tomb. PSL RS Burial tower of a shaman at Lake Titicaca. AVO


    ch'ullpa sickness (Eng): (n) Caused by the intrusion of a fragment of human bone into the body, performed by evil spirits inhabiting ruins or by witchcraft. WOFW  See, ch'ullpa above.

    ch'uncho, ch'unhu: (n) (1) A traditional hourglass design in Q'ero weaving, it is a symbol of the jungle dancer. NND The wild man from the jungle serves ... as a means of looking at Andean symbolic values. ... [T]his motif, which has been woven into textiles over the past centuries ... is of Inca origin and relates to pre-contact, culture-hero mythology. It continues to reflect the survival of a pre-conquest world view: textiles function as narrative. UTE A mythic figure from the border between the jungle and the highlands woven into Q'ero designs as an hourglass shape (see, also, qhapaq ch'unchu). ANON1(2) A jungle dancer. UNK

    droppedImage.pict droppedImage.pict
    Image 1: Pottery depicting a ch'uncho carrying a flag. Note the diagonal
    squares of the flag. (See, wiphala.) Image 2: Ch'uncho design in a Q'ero textile.

    ch'upuy: (v) To become infected. QP

    ch'uru: (n) Sea shell. PSL

    ch'usak: (n) Space, zero. (adj) Empty. QP

    ch'uspa: (n) A bag made of cloth or fur used to carry ceremonial coca leaves. RS A fur bag made of alpaca fetus used to carry ceremonial objects and coca leaves toted by a paq'o wrapped in a carry cloth. ACAI A small traditional bag used to carry kuka (coca) and, like a medicine pouch, is used to transfer hampi, or spirit medicine, into a patient. ANON1


    ch'uya: (adj) Clear; transparent; clean; crystalline; obvious; pure. To be energetically clear and pure, in a condition of readiness for ceremonial work. RS KOAK

    ch'uya sunqu: (n) Heart of clear conscience.  

    ch'uyayay: (v) To clear up; to get clear. RS


    chhakhlla (AYM): (n) Childhood. ASD

    chhaque unccoy, chullu unccoy, sucyay unccoy: (n) The terms signify wasting diseases which bring cough and sometimes hemoptisis or “blood which comes from the veins of the chest,” probably tuberculosis. DYE See, also, qhaqya (def. 2).

    chhullchu, chullchu: (n) A small bell. RS

    chhulli: (n) Influenza. QP

    chhullunku: (n) Ice. QP

    chhuqay: (v) To push. QP

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First Edition (c) 2007 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. This site was originally published 6-13-07
Second Edition (c) 2008 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. Published Jan. 2008.
Third Edition (c) 2014 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. Published April 2014
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