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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 CoolPreview add on. CoolPreview 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.

    paint6.tiff                         GLOSSARY NEVER TO BE SOLD

    oca, oqa, occa (n) Oxalis tuberosa. An Andean tuber crop. Oca has been a staple of rural Andean diets for centuries. WIKI The stems and leaves are called chullco (sorrel) and are said to be used as a cooling agent in high fevers and typhoid, in treating painful urination, choking, sore throat and jaundice. The roots are crushed and applied as a cataplasm to reduce the swelling of goiter and mumps. REPC  Also known as chullco-chullco, chullco, chulco, chchulcu. [See, oca tarpu, below.]

    Oca tubers. WIKI

    oca tarpu: (v) The shape of oca tubers leads to its use as a phallic symbol in Quechua jokes and the sexual act is sometimes referred to in Quechua as oca tarpu, literally, planting ocas. ODP

    ofrenda (Span): (n) Sacred offering. Also called despacho (Span), pago (Span), or haywa. ROR

    ofrenda quemada (Span): (n) Burnt offering. (See, ruphasqa haywa.) ROR

    ojé, hojé: Ficus insipida. Its latex has a marked antiparasitic and purgative effect. DYE  The white latex is taken to kill parasites, and its effectiveness is well documented by research. The latex was processed into powder in Iquitos and exported to many countries, especially for use by military forces. Many preparation methods exist. The latex is often fermented with sugar cane, orange juice or aguardiente, and then taken orally. If the latex is not fermented it will “burn” the insides of a person. The latex is toxic, and overdoses are dangerous. Despite its efficacy if correctly used, bad experiences make many people fear it and seek other methods to control parasites. Education programs have promoted ojé use in Peru. RFC Used by wajacas (shamans) of the Craós  tribe in Brazil as a memory enhancer. Its latex is toxic it must be used with care. WIKI


                              The white ojé latex is very                         Buttress roots of the ojé. WIKI

                            effective against parasites. RFC

    ojos de luz (Span): (n) Literally, eyes of light; energy centers of the luminous body. (See, ñawi.)

    oncilla (Span): Leopardus tigrinus, also known as the little spotted cat, tigrillo, cunaguaro or tiger cat, is a small spotted felid found in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America. It is a close relative of the ocelot and has a rich ochre coat, spotted with black rosettes. The oncilla is a noctural animal that hunts rodents and birds. Some melanistic [think black jaguar] oncillas have been reported from the more heavily forested parts of its range. WIKI

    Melanistic oncilla.


    oni (Panoan): Ayahuasca. There are three types of ayahuasca differentiated by the Shipibo according to color. AYV (See, panshin oni, josho oni, huizo oni.)

    oni xuma (Amawaka): (n) Ayahuasca. THIM

    Ono Pacakoti: See, Uñu Pachacuti.

    onqosqa: (adj) Sick. PSL

    onqoy, oncoy, unkuy, uncoy, onccoy: (n) Sickness. PSL Signifies a general clinical process equivalent to illness or disease. DYE

    Onqoy: (n) A name used for the Pleiades. AEAA See, also, Collca.

    onqoykuy:(v) To be sick. PSL

    opakuna: (n) Literally, deaf and dumb ones. Ritual baths in which an Inca subject, at the end of the ichuri, washed away hucha and were preferably done at the juncture of two streams (see, tinku). ICHB

    oqa: See, oca, above.

    oracionista (Span): (n) Literally, one who prays. A vegetalista who employs only prayers for performing shamanic tasks. MSIN

    oray: (v) To pray (sp.).PSL

    Orcochillay: See, Urcuchillay.

    ordinary reality (Eng): See, tonal.

    orejones (Span): Orejón can mean strip of a dried peach. SEES Big ears or boss ears, a Spanish nickname for the Inca nobility because of their practice of piercing their ears and inserting large gold spools. This was seen by the Inca as a divine sanction from Wiracocha for ruling the empire. It was a practice that actually pre-dated the Inca and was found in the Moche civilization. MAN Inca royalty. WIKI The ritualistic piercing of the ears was a very solemn occasion, as the Inca himself presided over the ceremony of initiation of the youth into the life of the warrior (see, huarachicuy). They used sharply filed metal to pierce the earlobes; then dilated the opening appreciably to hold earplugs of increasing size. Garcilaso tells us, “Besides being shorn, they had their ears pierced as women usually pierce them for their earrings; however, “they enlarged the hole with artifacts of rare size, incredible to those who never saw them, because it seems impossible that with so little flesh under the ear, this may grow large enough to harbor an ear ornament the size and shape of a round earthenware vessel.” This small but important ritualistic act of surgery took place at the great festival of Inti Raymi [here the author contradicts himself as to which festival; in the definition of huarachicuy he wrote it happened at Qhapaq Raymi]. The young men passed before the emperor and the latter used, according to Garcilaso, thick gold pins which they left in place so that by means of them the ear holes would heal and stretch to incredible size.” These [see, tembetá and scarification] are the only ritual surgical acts of which we have a clear notion. DYE


    Detail of a silver figurine [above, right] of a member of the Inca aristocracy. This man has the long, stretched ear lobes caused by the large cylindrical earspools worn by men of the Inca elite.  [See accompanying gold mask graphic above, left, with spools in place.] The figurine has a large akulli (see, for picture) in his left cheek. Such figurines were richly dressed and had feather headdresses. DYE

    organizing principles (Eng): (n) These are the patterns of the organization of the universe via energy. JLH (See, saiwa, munay, nuna, chekak, yuya, ch'ulla, kallari, kawsay.)

    orqhoy: (v) To take out, to extract. RSL

    ortiga (Span): (n) (Urtica dioica) Shrub with jagged leaves that have small hooks on them. Used for extractions of structural density to get kawsay moving again. JLH The plant also has many uses as an herbal curative.


    otorongo, uturunqu, uturunku, uturuncu: (n) Jaguar. Comes from a pre-Incan civilization, the Chavin, who had cat-like depictions all over their holy sites. MAN A symbol parallel to the puma but for jungle regions; in some historians’ view, Uturunku was originally far more important than Puma. ANON1 (See, fanged deities.)

    otorongo achachi: (n) Grandfather jaguar. PSPM See, otorongo, above.

    otra nación: (n) Literally, other nation. According to residents of Misminay, in addition to the kaypacha, there is another world directly below, the other nation, distinct from the ukhupacha. It is the place where the dead go. There everything happens just the opposite to the way it happens on this earth: our sunrise is their sunset, our day is their night, our earth is their sky. The beings who live there are red and have wings and are called condores. The only animal is the burro, which is the principal food animal of that world. The only plant food is the palm tree. ACES  

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