January 15, 2013

Ingapirca - Incan/Canari Ruins in Ecuador

When we were in Cuenca, we took a daytrip one day to an ancient Incan-Canari ruins. The Canari (pronounced CA-Nya-ree) were an indigenous tribe that was from this region. There are still a few thousands around.

Moon temple/altar with terraces below
They actually rebelled against the Incas when the Incas came to conquer them. Eventually, the Incas won them over by marrying their women to Canari chiefs and the Incas also influenced building and culture in Ingapirca.

Their building stones, which are different from the Canari, can be seen throughout the site. Incan stones were more square and Canari used river rocks with mortar between them. The Incans did share the same Moon and Sun gods with the Canari.

The wind was blowing in our faces, but this was the best pic we got
Although most of the ruins had been destroyed (rocks were found miles away, used in other people's buildings), it has been restored somewhat to the way archaeologists believed the site to look like. From above (although of course we didn't see it from above), it looks like a giant puma with the most important sites as the "head" of the puma.

Giant Incan stones used for building - no mortar was used between the stones.

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