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Rethinking "apacheta"

Carolyn Dean
Ñawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archaeology
No. 28 (2006), pp. 93-108
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27977828
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

"Apacheta" are traditionally thought of as accumulations of small stones piled by travelers at high mountain passes, places of precarious crossing, or otherwise significant parts of a journey, such as crossroads. Two sixteenth-century watercolor depictions of "apacheta", featured in a late sixteenth-century manuscript by the Mercedarian friar Martín de Murúa, suggest, however, that prehispanic "apacheta" may have varied greatly in appearance. This paper explores some of the implications of the Murúa images, including the possibility that the piles of rock are not themselves the "apacheta", but rather are the offerings made to "apacheta". It also considers "apacheta" as the miniature embodiments of Andean topography designed to secure the aid of the sacred landscape for a traveler's journey. Por tradición, la apacheta se conoce como un montículo o una acumulación de piedras pequeñas creada por pasajeros monteños cruzando las alturas peligrosas o llegando a un cruze o alguna parte importante de su viaje. Sin embargo, dos aquarelas de apachetas publicadas en un manuscrito por el cura mercedario Martín de Murúa a fín del siglo dieciseis sugieren que la apacheta prehispánica puede haber variado bastante. Aquí se exploran las implicaciones de las imágenes de Murúa, tanto como la posibilidad que la apacheta no consistió del montículo mismo, sino que representaba una ofrenda. También se considera que la apacheta es una representación de la topografía andina, creada en miniatura para asegurar el apoyo del paisaje sagrado para el viaje del pasajero.

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