The Chachapoya culture is thought to have existed in Peru between AD 500 and 1470. This tribe called themselves the “Warriors of the Clouds,” famous for their ability to build mausoleums, sarcophagi, and monuments out of large blocks of stone. The place of residence of the ancient tribe was modern-day Amazonas.
Secrets of the Kuelap fortress, built by the people of Chachapoya
Little information has been preserved about the traditions and culture of Chachapoya. There are few mentions of them in the chronicles of the Incas, where it is said that the “Warriors of the clouds” are fair-skinned and blond people.
This is strange because most of the Indians are dark-skinned and with dark hair. The existence of civilization was told to the world by American archaeologists who excavated in this area from 1927 to 2007.
When the fortress wall ruins were found in the highlands of the Amazon jungle, they realized that the ancient people were afraid of something. Both two and three-story houses were erected in hard-to-reach places, and the fortress itself stood on the edge of an abyss. This structure of polished stones most likely served as an observation post. There are also burial places of the Indians here.
The reasons why the Chachapoya civilization left its inhabited places
The first to be discovered was the ancient burials of Chachapoya nea rLaguna de los Condores. The unusual postures of the mummies surprised scientists: the embalmed bodies were bent, tilted forward, their heads were located between the knees, and some had their faces covered with hands.
Everything indicated that they were defending themselves against some kind of danger: tall, well-built figures and blonde curls. Before the discovery of these finds, the Chachapoya civilization was considered a myth.
The cause behind the civilization shrouded in secrets disappeared, who posed a threat to Chachapoya is a mystery for modern scientists. But their existence is a proven fact. Archaeologists have cleared the territory of an ancient settlement, which was carved into the rock at the top of Mount Pachallama.
The total area of the village is 5 hectares. Round structures deserve special attention. They are about 1,000 years old, but the buildings have been very well preserved according to preliminary estimates.
One of the assumptions says that the Kuepal fortress is the place of the confrontation between the Chachapoya people and the Incas, which lasted 4 days. After fierce battles, the ancient people disappeared from the face of the earth.
The Incas themselves would later call them “Cloud Warriors,” who fight to their last breath. Most of the artifacts were found in the places where Chachapoya lived, and information about them was presented at the Andean people’s exhibition in 2015 in the capital of Peru.
Interesting facts about the “Warriors of the clouds”
The Chachapoya people formed their civilization in 800 AD. The density of the territory in which the “pale-faced” Indians lived was very high. Agriculture became the basis of their culture. “Warriors of the clouds” became famous as farmers. They became the first to create special platforms in the form of terraces in the highlands, where they grew the crops necessary for their sustenance. Later, the idea was borrowed and developed by the Incas.
The tribe had its artisans: weavers and potters. Some finds of archaeologists confirm that the local population of that time mastered the art of forging and stone processing. Many Indians were involved in the construction.
According to some versions, the buildings were designed by architects. This explains how the ancient people managed to build multi-storey buildings and a reliable fortress. Indeed, without accurate calculations, they would not have created reliable defensive structures and residential buildings.
The Incas left information that the Chachapoya warriors were fearless, and their women were beautiful. The Inca tribe created their Empire by capturing foreign territories. They borrowed the experience and skills of the conquered tribes, which later became part of their culture.
As a result of the confrontation between the “Warriors of the clouds” and the army of the Incas, the first did not surrender to the last but fell under the onslaught of enemies.
To establish control over the people of Chachapoya, the Incas had to deploy a whole garrison of soldiers in their habitats. At the same time, some of the people were relocated to other regions controlled by the Empire.