Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The mysterious ruins of the Peruvian 'warriors of the clouds'

Living in Peru
19 January, 2007

by Wolfy Becker

Centuries ago the mysterious people of the Chachapoya fought together with the Spanish conquistadores against the Incas, before they were destroyed by epidemic diseases such as the measles and smallpox. A new discovery of ancient ruins could disclose the secret of the "cloud warriors".

Only little is known about the Chachapoya. The first worldwide publication came from the American scientist Gene Savoy in 1965 when he discovered one of their city ruins. The Chachapoya are a civilization that flourished in the upper Amazon, between its Huallaga and the Marañón tributaries, from about the ninth to the fifteenth century AD.

They resisted the Incas and after the arrival of the Spaniards they fought side by side with the colonial rulers against their joint rival. Because the Chachapoya lived in the misty rain forest of present day Peru, they are now referred to as the "cloud people" or "fog warriors" - according to the name's origin which derives from Quechua, Peru's second official language spoken mainly by the indigenous population.




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