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Ancient Aymara Burial Towers

Ancient Aymara Burial Towers

This fall, when I travel to Peru, one of the places I hope to visit is Sillustani, near the shores of Lake Titicaca roughly between Juliaca and Puno. When I arrive in Puno by bus from Arequipa, I will have a couple of days to adjust to the 12,500-foot (3,810 meters) altitude around the lake. On one of those days, I hope to take a half day tour to visit the chullpas at Sillustani. These are Aymara burial towers, presumably for noble families, of the pre-Inca Aymara people who lived here.

One of the things I am beginning to learn is that Peru consists of many more pre-Columbian peoples than just the Incas. Before 1400, the Incas were a relatively small tribe who created a large empire, largely due to Pachacuti, a.k.a. Yupanqui, whose reign rapidly spread north to Ecuador and south to Chile.

Below are two local indigenous women photographed at Sillustani:

Two Aymara or Quechua Women

Two Aymara or Quechua Women Working on Their Handicrafts

Notice the spindles in their hands. From what I understand, both men and women spend much of their spare time creating the textiles for which the area is famous.

2 thoughts on “Sillustani

  1. I don’t know if you are going to Sillustani with a touristic group, if not the homes of the near town have their rooms to rent, be aware that Sillustani is open just till 5 pm.
    By the way please don’t use “Indians”, that’s a word for people born in India, we are Peruvian (or ashaninkas, aymaras, quechuas, etc), indian is derogatory (the same as “cholo” or “chola” that word was used by Spaniards from nahuatl and means dog…) Goodspeed.

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