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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.

    paint.tiff                         GLOSSARY NEVER TO BE SOLD

    tabaco (Span): (n) A mixture of liquid tobacco which is imbibed through the nostrils by everyone present during the curandero's ceremony prior to the drinking of the pure San Pedro infusion. The following ingredients are mixed: dried leaves of a black tobacco plant, San Pedro juice, sugar, sweet-lime juice, Tabu cologne, kananga water, florida water, and cane alcohol. Tobacco gives the power to visualize and very rapid sight, mind and imagination. It is taken through the nose because it is near certain motor nerves transmit to the brain. Its power is more rapid. WOFW Tobacco leaves macerated in cane alcohol. GOL  

    tabaquero (Span): A type of vegetalista who uses mapacho (a type of tobacco) to heal. AYV

    Tabu: (n) A fine fragrance made by the House of Dana. PGO

    Tahuantinsuyu: See, Tawantinsuyu.

    tahuari: (n) Bignoniaceae. The bark of this wide ranging tree is used in the treatment of urinary, hepatic and respiratory disorders, fevers, infections, gastric ulcers, gastritis, eczema and rheumatism. More recently, it has gained popularity around the world in treating different types of cancer, probably due to its moderate antineoplasic activity. AMC

    Tahuari leaves, flowers and bark.

    take: See, taqe.

    taki: (n) Singing. RS Song. QP

    taki onkoy: (n) (1) In Inca history the Taki Onqoy refers to the national Inca movement of the 1700's that nearly overthrew the Spanish. RS The name given to the Inka resurgence in the 18th century under Tupac Amaru II. ANON1 The literal translation of taki unquy from Quechua is "sickness of the chant" or "dancing sickness." The name comes from the Andeans contemporary to the Conquest, who believed that the huacas were annoyed by the expansion of Christianity. The huacas, Andean spirits, began taking possession of the aborigines, making them dance to music and announce divine will to restore the pre-Hispanic culture, mythology and politics. At the outset the movement was called "The revolt of the Wak'as." WIKI [Compare, the North American native ghost dance movement.] (2) A return to the huacas. JLH (3) Certain frequencies of sound have healing potential; certain sounds will neutralize energetic blocks in the body and reorganize discordant energy in alignment with the body's natural rhythms. Chanting, done in unison, creates energetic synergy between the ceremony participants and the ceremony leader which harmonizes the group energies with one unified rate of vibration, allowing the group to exist in a temporary state of unanimity. In this way the group may journey together experientially, functioning on a similar plane of consciousness. [This last entry was not used in the source material as a specific reference to taki onqoy. I paired them up. -- Patt] PSPM (See, onqoy.)

    takiy: (v) To sing. RS

    takuriy: (v) To disturb. QP

    taksha yakuruna: (n) Literally, little yakuruna, he comes out to feed between midnight and dawn. If he is captured by a vegetalista he must then stay and live here on the earth plane and teach how to hunt in the waters. AYV

    tambo (Span), tampu: (n) From Quechua, tampu. Lodging, house, temporary storage house. RS A place from which one sets out; govenment posthouses built at intervals of a day's journey along Inca roads. CSCR Traditionally, apachetas were built at tambos, which marked the spots where the ch'askis would stop to rest while on route via the ceke system. As the apachetas conveniently marked spaces containing an abundance of energy flowing through them by way of the ceke system, tambos were a great place for the chaskis to rest and recharge. PSPM An inn. DYE

    tambor huasca: (n) Uncaria tomentosa, also known as una de gato and cat's claw. It has a remarkable ability to cleanse the entire intestinal tract and help patients suffering from many different stomach and bowel disorders including Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, hemorrhoids, fistulas, gastritis, ulcers, parasites and intestinal flora imbalance. It may also be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, bursitis, allergies, ulcers, systematic candidiasis, diabetes, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, irregularities of the female cycle, numerous bowel and intestinal disorders and organic depression.


    Flower of the tambor huasca and an axil of the vine showing the cat's claws.

    Tambo Mach'ay, Tambomach'ay: (n) Temple of the Waters. There are three ceremonial water fountains at Tambomach'ay. The water found here is clean and crystalline; its source is unknown and it is conducted through an underground channel. Many people call this site Inca's Bath and say that these liturgical fountains are eternal youth fountains or fertility fountains, thus inducing visitors to drink the water (sp.). WAC


    Tambo Toco: (n) Place of windows, the mountain in Pacaritambo with three caves, the central one was the one from which the Inca ancestors emerged. The Temple of Three Windows at Machu Picchu mirrors Tambo Toco. MAN There were three caves: Maras Toco, Sutic Toco, and Capac Toco. Out of the first two came the lineages of the Maras and the Tambo, who failed to produce descendants. From the last cave came the Ayar brothers, the beloved children of the Sun. Since their mission was to populate the world, Inti gave each one of them a wife. Thus, Ayar Manco – the eldest – had as a wife his own sister Mama Ocllo; Ayar Auca had Mama Huaco; Ayar Ukhu had Mama Raura, and Ayar Cachi was paired with Mama Cora. NFL (See, tambo.)

    tampu: See, tambo.

    tangarana: (n) (1) Triplaris surinamensis or Triplaris peruviana. An Amazonian tree often used in ayahuasca mixes. (2) A dance of the Amazon that represents a couple of young people cutting wood in the jungle when suddenly they are bitten by fierce tangarana ants, the mama of the tree. [To see a video of this dance, click here.]

    The tangarana tree, Triplaris surinamensis.

    tangarana ant: (n) A fierce ant, the mama of the tangarana tree and is a symbiote of that tree. AWW The tangarana tree's hollow stems teem with thousands of the black ants. Each ant is more than an inch long. When something bumps against the tree, the ants think it's an attack on their home and rush to defend it. They will even jump off branches into your canoe to sting you if they think their tree is threatened. PDA The tree produces extra-floral nectaries [glands on leaves or stems that secrete nectar] to feed them. In return, the ants aggressively defend their host tree by clipping off any vine, bromeliad or other unwanted visitor. If a person touches this tree, the small ants stealthily exit through pores in the branches, cover the arm, and wait until a chemical signal is released. When the signal is given, all the ants bite simultaneously. Their bite penetrates the skin and formic acid is sprayed into the wound, so that the pain escalates for hours afterward. The natives refer to the ants as piranhas of the trees. Ingenious at utilizing the Amazon's biodiversity, the natives have a use for the tangarana as well. Adulterers are tied up to a tangarana tree until they pass out with pain (this usually happens after about twenty minutes of blood-curdling screaming). DAJG

    tantakuy: (n) Meeting. (v) To meet, to come together. PSL

    tapuna: (n) A question. QP

    tapiactam-ricuni: (v) To see ghosts while awake. DYE

    tapunakuy: (v) To argue. QP

    tapuy: (v) To ask a question. QP

    taqe, take, taq'e, taqiy, taqey: (n) (1) The center of a wheel, where all spokes meet. ANON1 (2) Main vortex point of the energy grid known as the ceke system. PSPM A hub of an energy system (the ceke system, for example) or ayllu. ANON1 (3) Certainty. PSPM Passion. JLH RS (4) The sharing of abilities and fine energies. A joining that creates and synergizes energetic relationship. The third stage of the Inca concept of relationship. Consummation. JLH RS Fusion. TP The joining of forces or of energy bubbles, the confluence of and cooperation between cosmic forces. ANON1 (v) To join forces, or join energy bubbles. To bring together in harmony. QNO To accumulate, to join forces or join energy bubbles, to bring together in harmony. RS (See, tinquy and tupay.)

    taqque atipi (AYM): (adj) All powerful. ASD

    taque wawa: See, twins, below.

    taqui: (n) Dance in honor of the sun. ;HOI

    tarea (Span): (n) Task, chore, care. SEES An assignment given by the huachuma to be carried out in furtherance of the mesa (def. 5). GOL

    tarikuy: (v) To find something lost. QP To find. RS

    tarinakuy: (v) To be among those who seek each other. RS

    Taripaca: (n) One of the many names for Wiracocha. MAN

    taripachikuy: (v) To let find oneself

    taripanakuy: (n) Litigation; dispute. RS

    taripaña (AYM): (n) Judgement Day. ASD

    taripay: (n) Judgment. Justice. (v) To meet with; to come across; to catch up; to condemn; to judge. To inquire; to investigate. RS

    Taripay Pacha: (n) Literally, the Age of Meeting Ourselves Again in the Inca prophecies when humanity will have the chance to consciously evolve in an era of harmony. KOAK In Andean Prophecy this word refers to a new golden era in the human experience. It heralds a coming together again of the Andean people, and the recreation of a new and better Inca Empire. QNO A Quechua saying that means time to find yourself. This time is now. IGMP Alternately translated as the age of re-encounter, encounter of the universe, or encounter of oneself; refers to a prophesized golden age of human experience in which we encounter ourselves once more as being one with the universe and thereby re-create the dream of the Inka Empire in a new and better way (See, the words which begin with tari above and below this term, which may serve to “de-Catholicize” the concepts contained in taripay pacha so the traditional meaning is clearer. -- Patt)

    taripuy: (v) To recover; to regain. RS

    tariqay: (v) To discover. RS

    tariy: (v) To find; to meet with a person. RS

    tarjo (Span): A curandero's ritual songs/chants interspersed with whistling performed to the rhythmic beat of the curandero's rattle [chungana]. He learns the traditional rhythms, but as with the various power objects (see, also, artes) – positive and negative – he elaborates on the basic complex with his own particular talents and according to the inspiration he receives from a variety of extrapersonal and supernatural sources. WOFW Power song. GOL (Compare, icaro.)

    Tarpuntaes : (n) A kinship group of Cusco that held certain ritual responsibilities. AEAA An efficiently organized host of aides who not only occupied important religious offices in the capital of Cusco, but were personally appointed by the Willaq Umu to exert his power and authoritiy in all the populated centers [see, Willaq Umu for a list of these centers]. It was a competent and complicated organization to which it was considered the greatest of human dignities to be elected as a member of this institution. They were highly esteemed in the community and commanded respect everywhere. People recognized them by their long well groomed hair, their white cotton tunics and a black or brown cape knotted over the right shoulder and adorned with tassels of colored wool. Most of them led holy, celibate lives. During the official festivities, they painted their faces black and preached the basic truths of the religion of the Sun god. Besides their very active role as judges and overseers of the religious tax system and the organization of the official festivities, they were also in charge of communications with the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. These divinities were supposedly concerned with the general well being of the Empire but had little or nothing to do with the personal health of individuals, except perhaps important personages. They performed the sacrifices (see, qhapaq hucha and raymi yahuar) and divinations related to war, political deeds, climatological and agricultural events, and other occurrences of economic importance. Their activities concerning medicine were limited to matters of public health and general recommendations, with probably an occasional act of diagnosing and giving a prognosis on the health of a distinguished person. They were trained for the latter, since many of them were originally elected from the holy men who, for many years, had carried out active practice of magic medicine within the group of independent shamans who were professional healers and prominent in their communities. Their political influence was great. DYE See, priesthood.

    tarpuntay: (n) Literally, one who plants. A priest of the sun. ICC A priest who performs sacrifices (see, qhapaq hucha and raymi yahuar). ACA The name of the priest means planter and the sequence of different rituals were of concern to all phases of agriculture from before irrigation, through plowing, sowing and planting (tarpuy), till harvest and storage of the crops.The chroniclers recognized them as priests of the sun. RTZ1 Compare, Tarpuntaes above.

    tarpuy: (v) To plant. QP

    tata (AYM): (n) Master. ASD

    tata kura: See, tayta kura.

    Tawantinsuyu: (n) The four regions of the Inca Empire. Tawa = four; suyu = territory. (See, Chinchisuyu, Kontisuyu, Antisuyu, Kollasuyu, Appendix D for more information and maps). Each region suyu has its own wiphala of corresponding color: Antisuyu: green, Kontisuyu: yellow; Kollasuyu: white; Chinchisuyu: red.

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    taya: (n) Baccharis scabra. Women apply this plant crushed as one of the best remedies to strengthen sprains and contusions. REPC

    tayca (AYM): (n) Birth mother, sister of mother. ASD (See, ipa.)

    taycani puchani (AYM): (n) Mother and daughter. ASD

    taycani yocani (AYM): (n) Mother and son. ASD

    Taypyquala: (n) The legendary name of the Sacred Rock on the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca. It was considered to be the house of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. IGMP (See, Appendix B, titicala.)

    taytacha, taytanchiy: (n) A supreme divine being, often seen as masculine, but exists as the embodiment of sacred androgyny equivalent to the Christ. In the Andes, the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i and Taytacha Temblores (see below) are examples of Taytachas. PSPM

    Taytacha Temblores: (n) Literally, Lord of the Earthquakes. This refers to an icon (statue) of the black Christ given to the city of Cusco by Charles V of Spain. It was paraded around Cusco during a terrible earthquake in 1650 and is considered by the people to have the power to stop earthquakes. This is a powerful guide for many paq'os (sp). QNO (2) A celebration held on Easter Monday in Cusco that is a fusion of Andean religions and Christianity. The Cusco Cathedral, where the image is kept, is built on the foundations of the ancient temple dedicated to Illa Ticci Wiracocha. The image of the Lord of Earthquakes is borne aloft in a procession through the streets of the city just as the Incas used to parade the mummies of their chieftains, high priests and supreme rulers. (See, Inti Raymi.) The dominating part of the celebration involves the ñucchu flower (salvia splendens) (sp). SIP

    A crucifix during the Taytacha Temblores festival. Note the ñucchu flowers strewn upon it.

    Tayta Inti: See, Inti Tayta.

    tayta kura, tata kura: (n) Priest. QP Catholic priest. PSL

    Taytallá!: (interj) My God! RS

    tayta mama, tata mama, taytamama, tata-mama: (n) Parents.RS PSL

    Taytanchis: (n) The father of us all, God the Father; the divine masculine principle. ANON1

    Taytanchis Ranti: (n) Equivalent to God on Earth. This term refers to the powers and capacity of the seventh level initiate in the Andean system of psychospiritual development. According to Inca prophecy, the seventh level priests will be capable of resurrecting their own physical bodies after death. QNO

    tembetá: (n) From Guarani tembe (lip) and ita (stone). A metal rod or other substance on the lower lip, used since the Neolithic as a means of body modification and to signal sexual maturity. The implantation is part of initiation ceremonies marking the entry of young people into adulthood. Men of the culture had to wear a tembetá. They had a hole and placed the tembetá with a stick. It was a very important amulet, rather than an ornament, used for protection. Therefore it stood near the mouth, the entry site of evil forces. Such cultures expressed a profound contempt for the people who did not use them. WIKI The piercing of the lower nasal septum in order to place an ornament. This rite was not very widespread at the time of arrival of the Spanish, but must have been quite frequent in early Inca and pre-Inca times, according to what we see in the ceramics. These [see, orejones and scarification] are the only ritual surgical acts of which we have a clear notion. DYE

    A hole made for the insertion of a tembetá in the upper lip of a
    man of Tiwanaku found at Pariti.

    Tembetás of the Bato tribe of Chile.

    Temple of the Sun: See, Qoricancha.

    Temple of the Three Windows: (n) At Machu Picchu, a wall with windows which mirrors the three caves at Tambo Toco. MAN

    The Temple of the Three Windows.

    therianthropy: (n) Refers to the metamorphosis of humans into other animals. Therianthropes are said to change forms via shapeshifting. Therianthropes have long existed in mythology, appearing in ancient cave drawings and carvings. WIKI  

    third attention: (n) (1) A term from nagualismo defining the largest portion of our consciousness which is immeasurable and which engages undefinable aspects of the awareness of the physical body and the luminous body. TEG (2) The interface of the active first and second attentions, each working harmoniously with the other, creates a state of consciousness outside of time known as, e.g., flow or guyana yoga. This is the razor's edge – using the intellect to go beyond the intellect. PGO DCGB TEG (See, first attention, second attention.)

    Third Sun: (n) This age was inhabited by the Purun Runa. Civilization was increasing in complexity. The population of the world increased, and people found it necessary to migrate from the Andes into the lowlands. They lived in towns, each with its own king, and there was conflict between towns and regions. How this era ended is not specified in the chronicles. MAN (See, pachacuti.)

    Three Inca Laws: (n) Today, the common statement of the Inca Laws is ama llulla, ama qilla, ama suwa. (Don't lie, don't be lazy, don't steal.) Ancestrally, however, they are (1) tukuy munayniyoc, (2) tukuy llank'ayniyoc, and (3) tukuy yachayniyoc. True Inca laws are positive, not negative. Human laws are created from fear by the mind. The ancestral Inca Laws come from the Divine Love of the Cosmos. IGMP

    three worlds (Eng): (n) Called in Spanish los tres mundos, these are the realms of consciousness entered into and interacted with by the shaman: the hanaqpacha, the kaypacha, and the ukhupacha. PGO

    thunder ayahuasca: See , ayahuasca trueno.

    tibemama (Amaz): (n) Pandion haliaetus. The osprey, a bird used in the science of the vegetalista. AYV


    tibe negro: (n) Any of several species of black birds used by marupa sorcerers as a mariri (sp). AYV (See, sarara, suisui.)

    Tiki: See, Kontiki.

    ticti: (n) The common wart. DYE

    tihue (Mapuche), Peruvian nutmeg, laurel de chile, Chilean sassafras: (n) Laurelia sempervirens. Warm baths of this plant are believed to strengthen the nerves and, because, of this virtue, the plant is used in treating convulsions, paralysis and rheumatic spasms. When drunk at each meal time, an infusion of the leaves is said to calm rheumatic pains. REPC The leaves of Laurelia sempervirens were used by Mapuche Amerindians for treating headache and as diuretic. WIKI


    tinguna: (n) (1) Electromagnetic emanations which may adopt any form -- such as plants, animals, or spirit helpers -- and which vegetalistas control with their songs. They are particularly useful as an active defense from supernatural attack. (See, hark'ana.) (2) The song that brings forth the electromagnetic emanations. The word probably comes from tinquy. AYV

    tinkapu: (n) An offering of alcohol. ACES

    tink'a: (n) A flick of drops of a beverage as a libation and toast to deities. ROR

    Tinku: (n) Every year, at the beginning of May, the country folk from the north of Potosi meet for the Tinku. The purpose of these festivities is to honor Pachamana. The most famous Tinku happens in Macha, where some 3000 villagers meet. For two to three days, they dance, sing, drink in excess and fight. First, each community, accompanied by charangos and zampoñas, meets in the streets. Women stand in the middle of a circle and as they start the huayños (very high traditional songs), the men turn in a circle around the women stamping the ground rhythmically with their feet. On the second day, fighting takes the place of the dancing. In these fights, two men fight surrounded by a circle of spectators. These often very violent fights can be judged in different ways. From a traditional point of view, Tinku is a ceremonial rite which unites more than separates. They fight to live, not to the death. From the physical confrontation of two persons arises life, which represents fertility and reproduction. The blood of the fighter is seen as a sacrifice to Pachamama to fertilize, obtain favors and the promise of good future crops. From a pragmatic point of view, Tinku is a space for social regulation, as it allows communities to solve disputes (personal rivalries or quarrels about land). WBT The ritual was once widespread throughout the Andean world, predating the arrival of the conquistadors. Anthropologists say it now tenuously exists just in this isolated pocket of Bolivia. IHT (See, tinquy.)

    Bolivian women settle their differences at the annual Tinku festival.

    tinku: (n) (1) The juncture of two rivers. PSPM (2) A way of uniting opposite sides. [See, text box below.] MOC The dialectical and generative power of creation. GOL See, also, curandero mesa, esp. campo medio, and coincidentia oppositorum.

    The Rangit River (left) meets the Teesta River (right)
    in West Bengal, India. The photo clearly shows
    the disparate nature of the two streams, a tinku.

    Tinku emphasizes the importance of contrasting pairs, and in the Andes almost everything is understood in juxtaposition to its opposite. Like life and death, each term explains the other; moreover, each leads to the other. It is a way of uniting opposite sides in a dialectic that clearly defines and recognizes the other as well as establishes their independence. MOC

    tinquy, tinku, tinkuy: (n) (1) To meet up with; the first encounter energetically. The first stage of the Inca concept of relationship. Finding oneself in a particular place, ready for a potential hostile encounter. (2) A confluence of streams. ROR KOAK AVO QP AYV (See, Tinku, take and tupay.)

    tinya: (n) A small drum, (Span., caja). ROR


    tiqsi,teqsi, ticci, tixsi: (n) Fundament; base; origin; foundation. (2) Dirt; dregs; sediment. RS

    Tiqsi Muyu, Teqse Muyu, Texemuyo, Tixsi Muyu: (n) Energy of the universe, the web of all creation. Earth, universe, space, time. QP Planet earth; world. RS A highly animated Cosmos; the living universe of creative light and love. PSPM Seed ring or circle of origin; the conscious universe or animated, divine cosmos; the universe, seen as a conscious force or being. ANON1 (See, Kontiki.)

    Tiqsi Muyu Amaru:(n) Tiqsi = source, origin, root or seed; muyu = round or spherical; amaru = great serpent. Like the archetypal symbol of the snake eatings its own tail [ouroboros], Tiqsi Muyu Amaru is an enlightening vision of the universe, an understanding of the living universe that is both circular and self-creating. It even exists in spiral form. It embodies the autonomous seed that continuously gives birth to our living universe. PSPM The universe serpent, or literally the serpent-seeded circle; divine principle of the universe as a conscious, mythic serpent circle or spiral (like the common symbol of the snake eating its own tail); the principle of autonomous self-creation and self-regeneration (self-seeding) that created and is continually creating the universe at every moment. ANON1


    tiqsina, teqsina: (n) That which is seeded or that which one founds; can be used to refer to Creation in general or to something specific for which one has laid the seed; for example, teqsina apacheta would be a seeded apacheta, or one for which the seed had been planted. ANON1

    tiqsiy, teqsey, t'eqsey: (v) To found or to seed. (n) The archetypal principle of the seeding of the universe and of individual and collective spiritual growth. ANON1 (Compare, muhu.)

    tirakuna, tiyakuykuna: (n) From Spanish tierra (earth) plus the pluralising suffix -kuna. The watchers of the spirit world who inhabit rock outcroppings, ancestral temple sites, burial grounds, deserts, and forests, entering into the kaypacha via subterranean chambers. They keep watch as a reminder that performing ritual offerings is necessary to foster healing and balance. If we do not maintain this balance, the tirakuna will take energy from us and give it to Pachamama to maintain balance. If a shaman neglects the practice of ritual, the tirakuna will give an inner nudging to do so, making sure human communities are ceremonially giving back. Tirakuna feed on energies associated with the animal kingdom; thus, despachos given to the tirakuna typically include untu, which is essentially stored energy, replete with kawsay. The most notable feature of the tirakuna are their eyes. Psychiatrists have frequently noted that many paranoid schizophrenic individuals are fascinated with, or troubled by, eyes; curanderos may interpret this as a misunderstanding of their relationship with the tirakuna. (sp) PSPM Tiyakuykuna means, literally, those who live with themselves, or those who live by themselves; also known as the tirakuna, these beings are characterized as watchers or vigilant beings that inhabit burial grounds, temples, rock outcroppings and other natural settings and enter into the kaypacha via subterranean passageways; they draw food from animal kawsay (life force), and are thus fed through animal-based offerings in despachos. ANON1

    titi: (n) Mother/sister jaguar.

    Titicaca: (n) Lake Titicaca should actually have been called Lake Titicala (Puma rock), but a transliteration error to Spanish resulted in the last part of the name being as it is. OWJ It means gray puma in Aymara. One of the legends of the lake is that a couple were sailing in a reed boat and came upon many dead gray pumas floating on the water, so the couple named the lake after the pumas. Another legend says that the Inca brought pumas to the island to guard the sacred rock, Taypyquala. The pumas liked the rock so much they would sit on it all day. Soon, the people began to call it titiquala (gray puma). The Island of the Sun, where the rock was located, was called Titiquala Island, and soon the lake took on the name. IGMP The meaning of the name Titicaca is uncertain, but it has been variously translated as Rock of the Puma or Crag of Lead. WBC (See, Lake Titicaca, Appendix B, qaqa).

    Titicaca water frog: (n) Telmatobius culeus, literally, aquatic scrotum. The Titicaca water frog only inhabits Lake Titicaca, which is the highest lake in the world, lying 12,500 feet above sea level. In this extreme environment, only the most well-adapted of species are able to survive the freezing temperatures, high levels of UV radiation and extremely low levels of oxygen. To combat this oxygen deficiency, the frog has taken to living a permanently aquatic life, gathering what little oxygen is in the water through its excessive amounts of saggy, drooping skin. These are big frogs reaching lengths of up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) in length with individuals weighing up to a kilo (2.2 lbs.). This amazing species is facing extinction due to over-collecting for human consumption, pollution, diseases, and predation of tadpoles due to introduced trout. TCF These are some of the largest exclusively aquatic frogs in the world. WIKI The key to their success is staying below the lake's surface. The sluggish, bottom-dwelling frogs manage this feat, despite the fact that they have very small lungs, because they evolved to absorb oxygen directly from the water through their semipermeable skin, which acts like gills. Being larger than a salad plate enhances this adaptation because it gives a frog a greater surface-area-to-body-volume ratio, creating even more efficient oxygen uptake. What's more, the ratio is maintained throughout a frog's life span, allowing it to survive as respiration demands increase. For years, Titicaca frogs have been revered as animals with special powers. Used as rainmakers during times of drought, a large frog would be carried in a ceramic pot to a hilltop where the gods would hear the frog's distressed cries and misinterpret them as calls for rain. Eventually the rain would fall and overflow the pot, allowing the sacred frog to escape back to the lake. NWFO

    The Titicaca water frog.

    Titicala, Titikala: (n) Located on the Island of the Sun, a significant ritual center of the Tiwanako culture was adjacent to the Titicala. TAI A large stone that nature roughly shaped like a wildcat. In Quechua, it was known as Titikala, the place of the puma. The lake was given the same name. WP (See, Lake Titicaca.)

    Tiwanako, Tiahuanaco, Tiwanaku: (n) An ancient cultural center of the Aymara people. It is believed the two pyramids were used for lunar (Puma) and solar (Akapana) ceremonies. The male and female energies were used in a balanced flow. The Puma Pyramid was placed near the edge of Lake Titicaca. The Tiwanako ruins reveal a dock and quay facility, as evidence of Tiwanako once being a port city. In present times it is 10 miles from Lake Titicaca, which has dropped 100 feet in depth since Tiwanako was a powerful city. (See, Wiracochas and Appendix N.) UNK

    paint5.tiff             tiwnako.tiff

                                                                         Artist's sketch of Tiwanako as it might have looked, showing Akapana Temples.

    tiyakuykuna:See, tirakuna, above.

    tobacco: The constant use of tobacco has a [shamanic] function, the smoke of the plant being a strong defense. MSIN Other types of tobacco [than Nicotiana tabacum, common tobacco] were known to the ancient Peruvians. Supay-ccarca (Nicotiana glauca, a.k.a. tree tobacco) and ccamasayri (Nicotiana paniculata). They used all these kinds of tobacco both as medicinal plants and in the preparation of stimulants and hallucinogenic brews. The ancient Peruvians did not smoke tobacco. DYE See, sayri, tabaco, and mapacho.


         Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco)   Common tobacco or sayri.                     Nicotiana paniculata
              © 1994 Gabi McLean                         (Nicotiana tabacum)                                 aka ccamasayri

    tocapo, tocapu: See, tukapu, below.(n)

    Tocapo Wiracocha: (n) The name of the youngest son of Wiracocha.

    toé (Amaz): (n) (Brugmansia Solanaceae) A member of the nightshade family, this plant is also known as angels trumpet and tree datura. It is an anticholinergic deleriant and is used by itself or as part of an ayahuasca brew. AYV Has been used by the medicine men of the transandean jungle since time immemorial. It produces a special type of catatonic state.. DYE (See, Brugmansia suaveolens.)
    [WARNING: all daturas are toxic.]


    toero (Amaz): (n) A vegetalista who uses various species of Brugmansia. (See, toé.)

    tonal (Mex): (n) (1) Consensual or ordinary reality. (2) The tonal is the counterpart of the nagual. The tonal is the social person and the organizer of the individual's world. Perhaps the best way to describe its monumental work is to say that on its shoulders rests the task of setting the chaos of the world in order. TOP (3) One of the two aspects of the shaman's relationship between man and beast. (See, nagual, def. 3.) Tonal describes the animal familiar spirits associated with most individuals from shortly after their birth. IAWS

    tonal axis (Mex/Eng): (n) North-South on a medicine wheel. AVO

    tonga: (n) A powerful narcotic drink prepared from the red angel's trumpet (Datura sanguinea), a close cousin of chamico. The Indians believe that by drinking the tonga they are brought into communication with the spirits of their forefathers. DYESee, puka campachu. [Caveat: all daturas are very toxic, even deadly, when abused.]

    topa, tupa: (adj) Royal. AEAA (n) Something noble; something worthy RS

    Topa Cusihualpa Wascar Inca: The full name of Wascar (the 12th Inca). GPA

    Topa Yupanqui, Topa Inca Yupanqui: Almost certainly another name for Tupac Inca Yupanqui.

    tornillo, el (Span): See, huairacaspi..

    toro-vilca: (n) A black bull with twelve horns thought to be responsible for erosion of river banks. AYV RS

    torus (Latin):(1) (geom) A geometric solid, the surface of which is in the shape of a donut. (2) A representation of the Adam Kadmon, a graphic concept that the human body (spine, energy field, torus knot at waist) mirrors the planetary body (equator, revolutionary axis and electromagnetic field). WMOP (3) A stone of this shape used to travel to the Hanaqpacha (through the hole). AVO (See, apacheta, nierika.)

    The Adam Kadmon is the first figure to the left. A torus (bagel shape in upper center) is seen at Adam Kadmon's
    waist and the spiral energy flow shows the torus knot. At the far right, the figure depicts the axis mundi (spine)
    and the energy flow of the torus knot (see def. below). The earth plane is at the level of the waist and represents the kaypacha.

    torus knot: (n) It can be made on a torus tube, which looks like a donut or a sphere that turns in from one side and comes out the other in a perpetual motion. Also known as a Gordian knot. WMOP

    Torus knot

    torus tube: (n) The torus tube contains many mathematical formulas and equations. Science began using this model as a geometric/mathematical model of the universe. [Think inner tube to visualize. The emphasis is on the empty space inside (tube) vs. the solid outer shell (torus).]

    totora: (n) The reeds that grow at Lake Titicaca with which the Uros people construct their islands, huts and boats. The reeds swell in the rain, thus keeping the huts water-tight. Making for excellent insulation, the reeds are even used as mattresses. The Uros even eat the roots of the plant. IGMP (See, Uros for picture.)

    trabajado (Span): (adj) Literally, worked. Referring to something that was magically worked by a brujo to effect the daño. GOL

    trabajo (Span): (n) From trabajar, to work. SEES A job, work; an act of sorcery.  GOL  

    tracking (Eng): (n) Just like the hunter following an animal's trail, a shaman must learn to track, not only in space/time, but in the higher dimensional realms, including past, present and future, and the three worlds. Because all terminals stay connected by luminous fibers (cekes), and each fiber has its own individual vibration or note, once the shaman has calibrated her senses to this vibration, she can follow the thread to its end. Her prey may be a traumatic past incident, a lost soul part or a belief, a future probability, or even a person. As in following an animal, the shaman must have a starting point in order to calibrate. It then becomes a matter of focusing on her prey. This calibration is done according to the shaman's internal senses. Some will see a color, some a sound or odor, some a sensation in a particular part of her body, or any other ways that she receives intuitive information. PGO

    tragocero (Span): A vegetalista who uses canaza, a strong alcoholic beverage distilled from sugar cane. MSIN  

    transistoriality: A word made up by Eduardo Calderón. The curandero is like a small receiver and transmitter which catches and emits. Therefore, when an individual is in a dream state or asleep, the subconscious opens for him. Then it begins to emit its waves. Then the making or procreation of the principal of transistoriality occurs. In other words, the individual upon going to sleep, upon entering a dream state, emits waves. And he also receives. This is the moment in which the shamans realize their opening also, and their spiritual transmission through the cosmos to other beings who are attuned to this work. WOFW Compare, dreamtime.  

    transubstantiation (Eng): (n) The changing of one substance into another, i.e., the Christian Eucarist in which the wafer and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. Many transubstantiation myths exist in the Amazon regarding the entheogenic plants that make up the ayahuasca brew, as well as food plants, being transubstantiations of human beings. AYV

    trato: (n) (Span.) Covenant. PSL

    tratochay: (v) To make a covenant (sp.). PSL

    trawu: (n) Alcohol, liquor. QP

    trepanation (Eng): After a very prolonged and painstaking but fruitless search of all the literary sources of the XVI and XVII centuries, we can be quite certain that the Spaniards never witnessed any surgical act performed by Indian healers which had any relationship to skull or brain surgery. [However, there is evidence pre-Inca.] In the Formative Period, a center of trepanation appears in the Northern Highlands, harbored by the Recuay culture, and another surged around the Lake Titicaca area, probably in relation with the Tiwanaku civilization. It is from here that it spread to the Central Highlands, and centers appear in Tarmatambo, Tarma, Chulec and down towards the coast, in Yauyos, Huarochiri, Matucana, Santa Eulalia, Chaclayo, Pachacamac, Cañete, etc. All these later sites, with more or less defined cultures in different levels of development, render archaeological remains which were contemporary with the early Inca culture, at a time when the creators of the Tawantinsuyu were organizing themselves around the picturesque valley of Cusco. There, in those early times, many trephined skulls have been found in Yucay, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Calca, Huarocondo and other small subsidiary communities. There are no authenticated specimens belonging to the late Inca period, and we have never seen any proof that the Mochicas, the Chimus or the Chancays ever trepanned. DYE

    trial marriage : See , watanakuy.

    trophy heads: (n) A common motif element in pre-Incan art of South America, especially the Chavin and Tiwanako cultures. The tunic in the illustration below has a nonrectancular shape that conforms to the outline of the design. The imagery features an anthropomorphic head with fangs and elaborate facial markings. From its nose and crown hangs a grimacing trophy head with flowing locks of real human hair [which is hanging upside down]. TAI The depiction of trophy heads is most prevalent in Nazca art. Whether or not the heads were obtained during violent wars or ritualistic ones, it seems clear that they were a significant part of the religion, specifically in relation to fertility, and agricultural success. The presence of a severed human head is undeniably intimidating and powerful. While warriors may have used trophy heads to display their ability and power, there is little doubt that the primary use was a form of gifts to the gods. Trophy heads were incorporated into the notion that gifts to the gods would result in more fertile land, more food, and happier people. There could be no greater sacrifice than the gift of a person, and the Nazca presented the sacrificed human in the form of a trophy head. SWCC The taking of heads for ritual use has a long history in the central Andes beginning in the Pre-Ceramic Period (prior to 1800 B.C.) and continuing through Inca times. Almost every major culture in the long sequence for this area practiced this tradition, although each of these cultures had its own unique ceremonies and different ritual context in conjunction with head-taking. One of the most distinctive features of the Nazca Culture is the frequent depiction of severed human heads in the ceramic and textile art. Referred to in the literature as "trophy heads," these objects can be displayed either as single elements, held in the hands or attached to the belts of warriors or shamans, or associated with a wide range of "mythical creatures" who represent spiritual forces in the society. (See, weeping god for another depiction. The trophy heads are hanging from the elbows, a common motif.)

    A Nazca trophy head.


                             Shaman with trophy head  SWCC                          Trophy head pot (note sewn lips) SWCC

    Tsugki (Shuar): The mythical first shaman whose home is at the bottom of whirlpools and rapids of great rivers and is the ultimate source of shamanic power. AYV

    ttaqquerijaquitha (AYM): (v) To be close to the death. ASD

    tucuna: (n) Conversion. RS Transformation. Crucial in understanding relationships among animate essences of inanimate substances and spiritual essences in interaction with soul substances. WCE

    tukapu, tocapo, tocapu: (n) The tukapu symbol system of Wari and Inca cultures belongs to the most impressive aspects of material culture of prehispanic South America. Although progress has been done in the past years, the meaning and function of the tukapu remain unclear. TRIB1 The iconography in the little illa stones. JLH (See, image at illa.) [Click here to download a partial glossary in .xls format (Microsoft Excel.]

    Examples of tukapu. The top left graphic is a tunic, with a slit for
    the wearer's head to go through and, top right, Guamán Poma's
    drawing of Wiracocha Inca wearing such a tunic.
    The bottom graphic is a weaving.

    Tucapu, Tocapo Wiracocha: Tucapu Wiracocha was the younger son of Ticci Wiracocha who ordered him to do the same as his brother Imay Maman, but in the plains and valleys of the coast. Without delving too deeply into complex Quechua linguistics, Tucapu is he who writes and records the facts.DYE [Could be a breadcrumb into the quest to find a written Incan system of writing.  See, tukapu entry preceding this one. -- Patt]

    You sit at a modern table and there are many things you could not enjoy were it not for the unrelenting search carried out by Peruvian agriculturalists at the of the dawn of the Andean civilizations. Corn, potatoes, all kinds of beans, sweet potatoes, quinoa, manioc, squash, hot peppers, tomato, avocados, peanuts, cashews, papayas, strawberries, pineapple, vanilla, tobacco or the Coke® you drink as a refreshment [see, Appendix G]. The credit for the development of the great quality of the best varieties must go to the ancient Peruvian agriculturers who later became personified as the mythological children of Wiracocha. DYE  

    tukay: (v) To play music. QP

    tukuy: (adj) Complete, fully developed. NND All, every, each, any, total. RS (n) All; everyone; everybody; everything. (v) (1) To be able to; to happen. (2) To stop; to end; to complete. (3) To consume; to spend. RS

    tukuy gustuwan: (adv) With pleasure (sp). RS

    tukuy hampiq, tukuy hampeq: (n) A healer of the fifth level, a level not yet manifested; part of the Andean prophecies. KOAK One having the fully developed or complete healing power; refers to the fifth level of psycho-spiritual development and the healing abilities of the Inca Mallku. RS A complete healer, one who has reached the fifth level of psycho-spiritual development and Andean initiation; refers to the healing abilities of the mallku. ANON1

    tukuy llank'ayniyoc: (n) It is in this state of consciousness that we manifest, or co-create, the abundance of love from the Cosmos into this world of experience. Work is experienced as ultimate service to the Divine. You express your power through your service to yourself, your family and the community. IGMP The fully developed power of the body, work/industry. ANON1 (See, Three Inca Laws, tukuy munayniyoc, tukuy yachayniyoc, llank'ay.)

    tukuy munayniyoc: (n) We are all one in the Divine Pacha's consciousness of love. An attitude of acceptance and appreciation toward your fellow man, as well as the Cosmos. Focus on the positive, and avoid holding on to anger and resentment. IGMP Universal, impersonal, unconditional love. JLH The fully developed power of the heart, love. ANON1 (See, Three Inca Laws, tukuy llank'ayniyoc, tukuy yachayniyoc, munay.)

    tukuy sunquwan: (adv) Literally, with all the heart. Attentively. RS

    tukuy yachayniyoc: (n) If you refine your intuition to inner knowing with the love of munay and the service of llank'ay, you will experience the wisdom of yachay. This inner knowing from the authentic self will take you to higher levels of consciousness within yourself and all creation. There is a sense of inner peace and joy regardless of what events are occuring. IGMP The fully developed power of the mind, wisdom. ANON1 (See, Three Inca Laws, tukuy llank'ayniyoc, tukuy munayniyoc, yachay.)

    tumi: (n) A ritual knife of very ancient pre-Incan design. Although the tumi is commonly called a knife, it is much more analogous to an axe -- an axe with the  handle replaced by the forearm of the user. DYE The tumi has been the symbol of Peru, yet no decorated tumi has ever been found or documented scientifically. All known tumi knives were looted by grave robbers until archaeologists in 2006 unearthed 22 graves up to 33 feet below ground, more than 900 years old and belonging to the pre-Incan Sican culture, which flourished on Peru's northern desert coast from AD 750 to 1375. Ten tumi knives were found, including a 14-inch copper alloy tumi bearing the image of the Sican deity. AP1


    tunchis (Amaz): (n) Spirits of the deceased. AYV

    tupac, tupaq: (n) (1) A challenge. (2) The one who challenges. NND One who challenges, the initiator of a ritual battle (see, tupay, below.) Also can mean one who knows oneself or one who has met oneself; evolved to become an important title for several Sapas and countless nobles. ANON1

    Tupac Amaru: The last claimant to the Inca throne after the Conquest.  He led a revolt against the Spanish and was captured and beheaded, thus making him the leading contender to be the basis of the legend of the Inkarrí. MAN


    Tupac Cusi Hualpa: See, Topa Cusihualpa Wascar Inca.

    Tupac Inca Yupanqui: The name of the eleventh Inca king and son of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. MAN


    Tupac Katari: The leader of the Aymara in the same rebellion against the colonial government in 1779-1780 in which Tupac Amaru led the Inca. IGMP

    tupananchiscama: (expression) Until we meet again. This meaning includes meeting again on this level or on different levels of being. This is preferable to goodbye, which indicates an ending. IGMP (See, tupay.)

    tupaq: See, tupac.

    tupay: (v) (1) To meet up with. QP (2) To grind or rasp. SIMA (3) To disclose situations, thus changing them. JLH (n) (1) Shamanic confrontation. QNO Ritual battle. The spiritual sparring between two shamans, a shaman and a witch, or a shaman and an evil spirit; in common usage means to meet up with. ANON1 (2) The second stage of the Inca concept of relationship. QNO (3) Conflict. QNO (See, take and tinquy.)

    tupayauri: (n) A word combined from the Quechua word for royal (topa) and the Aymara word for copper (yauri). It was a wooden staff with a copper knife affixed to the top. The staff carried by Manco Capac when he went off with his brothers and sisters in search of a site to found his city. As they traveled he probed the ground with the staff, testing for arable land. At the cusco cara urumi he hurled the staff into the marshy ground and it disappeared. There he founded the capital city of the future Inca Empire -- Cusco. By this action, Manco Capac performed the godlike task of establishing the depth of waters, the irreducible task of any god who would claim the legitimate right to rule a new age. He did so by probing at the interface between this world and the world below, at a spring open all the way down to the sweetwater ocean of the underworld abyss beneath the celestial earth. In doing so, he replicated the foundation of the world at Lake Titicaca. Manco Capac established the axis mundi of a new age by driving the tupayauri into the earth. It is the talisman of Inca invincibility. Pachacuti Inca was knocked unconscious in a battle with the Chancas, their archenemies. A voice from heaven asks him why he does not have the tupayauri. Rousing himself, he takes the staff in hand and rallies his men to victory. SIMA

    Guaman Poma de Ayala's
    drawing of Manco Capac holding
    the tupayauri in his right hand.

    tura: (n) Male friend of a woman. QP

    tusuy: (n) Dance. (v) To dance. PSL

    tuta: (n) Evening, night. QP

    tuta mikhuy: (n) Dinner. QP

    tutallamanta: (n) Morning. QP

    tutamanta mikhuna: (n) Breakfast. QP

    tutaraq: (n) Early in the morning. QP

    tutayay: (v) To get dark. QP

    Tuti Cusi Yupanqui, Titu Cusi Yupanqui: (1529–1571) A son of Manco Inca Yupanqui [Manco Capac, def. 2] who became the Inca ruler of Vilcabamba, the penultimate leader of the neo-Incan state. He was crowned in 1558, after the death of his half brother, Sayri Tupac. He ruled until his death in 1571, probably of pneumonia. During his rule at Vilcabamba, the Peruvian Viceroy wanted to negotiate with him. The negotiations were about Cusi leaving Vilcabamba and accepting a Crown pension. After negotiations escalated, around 1568, Tuti Cusi was baptized into the Catholic Church. WIKI Father Diego was executed for failing to cure Tuti Cusi, such was the link between religion and healing in the Quechuan mind. DYE

    tuyuyo: (n) Jabiru mycteria, the wood stork or jabiru stork, makes its nest in the lupuna tree and is the visible mama, or guardian, of the tree. AYV

    The tuyuyo.

    twins (Eng): (n) In some regions, a twin birth was celebrated as a very fortunate event. Garcilaso says that the happy mother was honored “with garlands of flowers and dances and songs” because of her fertility. However, in most of ancient Peru such an occurrence was considered as a very serious disgrace. It usually was a bad omen for the whole community, and therefore both parents were punished in different ways according to tribal custom. The most common penalty was to remain imprisoned in their house, fasting and in the same position, for five days. Then, they were changed to another position in which they remained for the same period. Thereafter they were supposed to abstain from sexual relations for one year. In order to insure the immobility, Father Arriaga says “they would place  a lima bean behind the bent knee joint, where the warmth and sweat would make it germinate.” After this period of fasting and immobility, the relatives hunted a deer and made a cloak with its hide, under which the father was paraded with a rope around the neck and with no clothes on. Figurines showing a nude man with a rope around his neck were placed in the graves of those men who had sired twins. Usually these figurines show the man not only nude, but with very prominent genitals, as if the artist wanted to call attention to this part of the body, relating it to the cause for the punishment. And some pieces are still more specific (see picture below), since they show the rope ending in the head of a jaguar who is biting the penis of the chastised prisoner. After a while the unfortunate father was forgiven  and the mother, “if she was poor, she practiced the profession of midwife thereafter.” DYE They say they are not dogs to bring forth children in that way. [Also] Twin children born at the same lying-in cannot belong to the same father. They call them taque wawa. BRH See, pregnancy.

    Mochica ceramic showing a man being punished
    for a sexual crime.

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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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