Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quellqa: Ancient Written Language of Peru – Part V

Continuing from the previous posts regarding the so-called secret written language of the early Peruvians. 
    As stated in the last post, this brings us to the second point of there being a written language, and finding that written language in Peru. And that is why there is such a resistance to thinking that somewhere in the Andean past there was a written language in Peru since all the visual evidence of the accomplishments of an early civilization accomplished so many things that rival our world’s accomplishments of today.
    It also might be asked why the Inca, whose known existence (not their own claims of history), was just under 100 years (beginning in 1438 to 1533, according to the Spanish chronicles based on Quechua oral traditions), were the builders of construction techniques unrivaled even today, roads that rivaled  those of ancient Rome, irrigation canals and terraced planting systems beyond most things in Europe, textiles and metallurgy that were as good as Europe’s, while at the same time conquering all of Peru, large portions of modern Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and central Chile, and a small part of southern Colombia, a territory of 300,000 square miles, comparable to the historical empires of Eurasia, with a central government that controlled some 12-million people and more than 100 ethnic groups, reaching its peak between 1493 and 1527 (a period of 55 to 89 years), and stretching along the continental coast for 2485 miles.
It might also be considered how long it took to march entire armies some thousand to two thousand miles on foot from one point of the empire to another, to move the resettlement of conquered peoples, to carry supplies from one conquered area to another in support of the military juggernaut, to put down possible revolts, and continually be overseeing hundreds of conquered cultures.
    Since they were at war their entire expansionist period, leaving manned military garrisons in all lands and areas conquered and forcing the resettlement of many conquered peoples, at the same time governing their conquered states and people from Cuzco, one might wonder in those 55+years, how and when they could find the time to build hundreds of unparalleled fortresses, temples, and huge cities along with some 24,000 miles (about 3 times the diameter of the Earth) of mostly paved roads, a hundred rope bridges spanning deep chasms (which had to be rebuilt every two years), cutting numerous tunnels through sheer mountain rock and steps up sheer stone mountains.
    It might also be wondered how this once tiny pastoral tribe in Cuzco that formed the small city-state Kingdom of Cuzco (Qusqu’ or Qosqo), which was little more than a tiny community of connected family members that were not even considered important by their neighbors until they defeated the Chanca (Apurìmac) in 1438, and whose domain did not extend many miles around their capital city, Cuzco, were able to build the likes of Sacsahuaman, Ollantaytambo, Macchu Picchu, Tiahuanaku, Llactapata, Pisac, Kuelap, etc., some of the most beautiful and technically amazing structures on the planet.
According to Anthropologist and Andean scholar Gordon McEwan of Wagner College on Staten Island, the “Inca cities were as large as those of Europe, but more orderly and by all accounts much cleaner and more pleasant places in which to live” (The Incas: New Perspectives, Norton, 2008). McEwan, has spent twenty-six years working with archeologists in the Cuzco Valley studying the Pikillacta and Chokepukio, who built their civilization on the cultural foundations of the Wari, Tiwanaku, and Pukara civilizations of the Lake Titicaca regon, covering more than a 2000 year history, dating back to 200 B.C. (about the date Mosiah left the city of Nephi)
    In attempting to push their empire further north, east and south, the Inca were pushed back by stronger tribes, including the Shuar, an indigenous people of Ecuador and Peru and members of the Jivaroan, called the jívaros or jíbaros (meaning “savage”) by the Spanish. These peoples were Amazonian tribes living at the headwaters of the Marañò River—an area between the Andes Occidental Cordillera and the tropical rainforest and savannas. It was the Muraiya Shuar that put up a strong resistance to the Inca (who they called inkis) penetration along the eastern foothills, aided by the Achu Shuar from the lowlands. Later, these Shuar, who became famous for their elaborate shrinking of heads of defeated foes, drove the Spanish out of their lands in 1599.
Upon ascending to the throne in 1471, Topa Inca Yupanqui pushed the southern border of the empire to the Maule River in modern-day Chile, defeating the Diaguitas and Promaucae (Picunches) and to the Quillota in Aconcagua Valley to Mapuche territory and instituted a tribute system in which each province provided women to serve as temple maidens or brides for celebrated soldiers. His successor, Huayna Capac, embarked on successful northern campaigns that carried to the Ancasmayo River, the current boundary between Ecuador and Colombia. However, both in the north and the south, as the had in the east, the Inca juggernaut met extremely strong resistance that stopped their expansion in its tracks.
    While the Inca would not have had time during these few, short years to accomplish the military expansion they did plus build all that is foolishly credited to them, it is obvious that someone before them actually built the buildings and the roads and developed the Andean culture whose ruins we see everywhere today. And reason alone tells us that they certainly would have had some type of written language to have designed and built the magnificent edifices they did that rival the ability in many ways of the construction experts of today. 
    Every modern engineer and builder who has weighed in on the subject agrees with this single point—a written language would have been absolutely necessary to have built Sacsahuaman, Cuzco, and other such edifices. While the Quipu is a marvelous recording instrument the Inca used to keep track of their vast empire, supplies, taxes, tributes, populations, etc., it was not a design tool, which, as any engineer will tell you, would have been an absolute necessity to have designed and built the walls we seen in and Cuzco, and all the Peruvian constructions throughout the land, since they were so well planned and thought out before being constructed.
    As an example, according to one engineer “At Machu Picchu, the whole system is a marvel—not just the water system or the most beautiful wall—but how everything fits together, ranging from the foundations, which would be geo-technical engineering, to site layout, which would be city planning, to trails that deliver people from one location to another without interfering with someone's privacy, to the huge plaza which provided the space for celebrations. When you look at Machu Picchu as a whole, complete with the temples and the solar observatories, you realize that it is a site that's well designed, well balanced, and somewhat of an engineering marvel” (Ken Write, a hydrologist and civil engineer has studied the waterworks and other engineering achievements of Machu Picchu since 1994, on National Graphic Television via NOVA on line, 2009).
Still the quipus were quite versatile, using over one hundred individual strings of different colors, which were held together by one main string. Where the knots were found, told the reader who was called a quipucamayoc (whose job was no easy task) what was being said. The knotted system was very sophisticated, and it involved the reading of hundreds of colors. Eyewitnesses claim that some of the knots stood for words, and that some quipus actually contained poetry. Unfortunately, but typical of the Spanish Inquisition invaders and their religious prejudices and superstitions who viewed the quipo as dangerous heresy, most of teh stringed marvels were destroyed by the Catholic clergy who believed that they were the product of the devil. 
    Today, there are only about 300 original quipus remaining out of many thousands.
    And, today, no one even has the remotest idea what the tocapu means, nor what happened to the written script writing of the early Peruvian, though Montesinos left us his record of it.
(See the next post in this series, “Quellqa: Ancient Written Language of Peru – Part VI,” on the demise and disappearance of the Peruvian and Inca script writing)

No comments:

Post a Comment