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Chile - Santiago

The capital

9th Feb Arrival in Santiago

We left Heathrow in the evening for our LONG flight over the Atlantic, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and finally Chile. It's BA’s longest flight, 14 hours and 57 minutes and only began in Jan 2017! Actually it didn't feel too bad as we were served food at sensible times and we managed to sleep a fair bit. We arrived to glorious sun, only to have the disembarkation steps malfunction and we were stuck on board for an extra 40 minutes! Aghh! Anyhow we finally got off, queued for passport control and got to arrivals. Our patient guide collected us and gave us some history and local information as we drove into Santiago. Basically most people in Chile live in Santiago. There is no other city at all in the country and even the towns are small affairs. Interestingly they have a small slum area occupied by people from Venezuela (mostly), Columbia (hardly any) and Haiti (quite a
lot). Our guide was fine with Venezuelans, Peruvians and even Colombians (“because they work”), but was not keen on Haitians (“because they don't and they are not educated”). We were a bit surprised at Haitians rocking up and requesting asylum in Chile, given its distance (6,000km), but I suppose Chile is seen as a safe country. What was surprising was how much Santiago was surrounded by high hills, enclosing it into a sort of valley. We drove in along the Mapocho River to the Providencia district where our hotel, Conchita Flores was located. The hotel, http://www.conchitafloresbb.com is in an old red plaster seminary, beautifully restored. We were warmly greeted (and our host whom we met later was a bit of a character, very gay and very friendly) and given a small room with a cute private terrace. Maybe a bit small, but we were only here for 2 nights.
It was late morning and we really felt we needed a walk after being stuck in a plane for so long, so we set off down the Eliodoro Yanez street (grabbing a bottle of water en route) to arrive at the main Providencia road and Plaza a la Aviación and Parque Balmaceda. We walked through the park, a green oasis along the river and ended up at Plaza Baquedano, with its impressive statue. It wasn't clear where to go next, and we were in wander mode, so we continued along Av Liberator Bernardo O’Higgins (more on him later).
After a 10 minute walk we passed the Cheesegrater, or Centre Gabriel Mistral to give it proper name. Just after this we turned into a smaller road on the right, which turned out to be a good choice as it led to the restaurant area of Barrio Lastarria. We stopped at Casa Lastarria http://www.casalastarria.cl/ for lunch and sat outside to have our Pulmay Chilote (mix of seafood and chicken stew) and Chocolat Volcan with a nice local beer. After this late lunch we decided to go for a walk up the nearby Cerro Lucia, which is a lovely hill-park right in the centre of Santiago. We wandered up through the park, past the museum entrance, up to the central fountain, then up the rocks to Castillo Hidalgo sitting on top with a great view of the city and the Andes beyond. Having climbed to the top for a fantastic 360° view of the city and for a $100 peso coin to use a viewfinder to zoom in on the mountains. The rocky stairs were quite steep and worn so we were careful. On our way down we saw the chapel (Sepulcro) of Benjamin Vicunã (paternal family name) Mackenna (maternal family name) as in Spanish custom of naming. Mackenna 1831-86 was a Chilean writer, journalist, historian and politician of Irish and Basque descent. Having seen the chapel we carried on down the hill to the Neptune Fountain, then managed to find a way across the dual carriageway to Santa Lucia market opposite. We had an interesting time exploring the stalls, buying Steve a cap (he'd forgotten to bring a hat), and a pretty pair of heart lapis lazuli earrings as well as a hat for me (yep, I'd forgotten too!).
Cerro Santa Lucia
This cerro (hill) is an urban oasis. From any high point in the city you can see Cerro Santa Lucia poking through the buildings. The castle is a stark contrast to the glass and concrete buildings. There are 3 entrances, all with a lot of steps; the least, from Santa Lucia Metro side (Calle O’Higgins) has ramps up from the Neptune fountain to the largest terrace. Our entrance, on the corner of Calles Santa Lucia and Merced was all steps. Cannons are shot every weekday at noon, which we heard later in the week.
There are lots of paths around the park and we could have spent all afternoon wandering dead-ends and closed stairs, or finding statues hidden among the trees. There were lots of benches and kiosks selling drinks. http://castillohidalgo.cl/historia/

Santa Lucia market is in Barrio Italia, which used to be a hat manufacturing centre but is now tree-lined streets of designer stores and art galleries in the former workers homes. Having finished exploring the market it was getting late, and we were becoming tired, so we decided to find our way back to our hotel. We went past the Library and its amazing Chilean pine trees, through Barrio Italia, and retraced our steps back through the park and to the hotel. Knowing we were unlikely to want to go out again, we grabbed some salads and a cake (guess who!) from the Panaderías Castaño opposite. Panaderias is 2nd largest bakery chain in Chile http://www.castano.cl. We had a quiet meal on our room’s terrace followed by an early night.

History of Santiago
European conquest and colonisation (1540–1810)
About 800 AD, the first farmers began to settle along the Mapocho River, growing maize, potatoes and beans, with domesticated camelids. The villages established in the areas belonging to picunches (name given by Chileans), were subject to the Inca Empire in the late 15th- early 16th century. The Incas settled in the valley of Mitimaes, the main centre of the present city, with strongholds on Huaca de Chena and El Plomo hills. The area served as a base for the failed Inca expeditions southward from the Inca Trail. The first European to sight modern Chilean territory was Ferdinand Magellan, who crossed the Strait of Magellan on 1 Nov 1520. However, the title of discoverer of Chile is usually assigned to Diego de Almagro. Almagro was Francisco Pizarro's partner, and on the division of the New World, he received the Southern area (Nueva Toledo). He organised an expedition to central Chile in 1537, but found little of value compared with the gold and silver of the Incas in Peru. Left with the impression that the inhabitants were poor and the area of little interest, he returned to Peru, later to be garrotted following his defeat by Hernando Pizarro in a civil war. After this there was little interest from colonial authorities in further exploration of Chile. Diego de Almagro, (c. 1475 – 1538), aka El Adelantado/ El Viejo, was a Spanish conquistador and companion (and later rival) of Francisco Pizarro. He participated in the Spanish conquest of Peru and is credited as the first European to discover Chile. In 1515 De Almagro, Hernando de Luque and Francisco Pizarro undertook an expedition to Columbia and became friends. The Pizarro-Almagro friendship faded over arguments over who controlled the Incan capital of Cuzco. After splitting the treasure of Inca emperor Atahualpa, Pizarro and Almagro took Cuzco in 1533. However, De Almagro's friendship with Pizarro deteriorated in 1536 when Pizarro, in the name of the rest of the conquistadors, called the "Capitulacion de Toledo" law in which King Charles I had laid out his authorisation for the conquest of Peru and the awards every conquistador would receive. Long before each conquistador had promised to equally split the benefits, but now Pizarro managed to gain a larger stake and award for himself. De Almagro still obtained the noble title of "Don" and a personal coat of arms. Although he had already acquired wealth and a luxurious life in Cuzco, the prospect of conquering the lands further south was attractive. Almagro spent a great deal of time and money equipping a company of 500 men for a new exploration south of Peru. In 1534 the Spanish crown had split the newly conquered region into two, forming the governorship of "Nueva Castilla" (1°- 14° latitude), and "Nueva Toledo" (14°-25° latitude, in Taltal, Chile), assigning the first to Pizarro and the second to de Almagro. De Almagro promptly decided to discover the riches of Chile, following the Inca trail with 750 Spaniards questing for gold (as Pizarro had taken most of the ransom of Atahualpa).

After crossing the Bolivian mountains and travelling past Lake Titicaca, Almagro arrived at Desaguadero River, stopping at Chicoana, and turning southeast across the Andes. The expedition turned out to be difficult and exhausting; in crossing the Andean cordilleras the cold, hunger and tiredness led to the death of Spaniards and natives. De Almagro ordered a small group under Rodrigo Orgonez to reconnoitre the country to the south. By luck, these men found the Valley of Copiapó, where Gonzalo Calvo Barrientos, a Spanish soldier whom Pizarro had expelled from Peru for stealing, had established a friendship with the locals. There, in the valley of the river Copiapó, Almagro took official possession of Chile in the name of King Charles V. He began to explore the new territory, up the valley of the Aconcagua River, where he was well received by the natives. However, the intrigues of his interpreter, Felipillo, who had previously ‘helped’ Pizarro, almost thwarted his efforts. Felipillo secretly urged the natives to attack the Spanish, but they refused. De Almagro sent Gómez de Alvarado with 100 horsemen and 100 foot to continue exploring up to the confluence of the Ñuble and Itata rivers. The Battle of Reinohuelén between the Spanish and hostile Mapuche Indians forced the explorers to return to the north. The news of de Alvarado's encounter with the fierce Mapuche, along with the bitter cold winter that settled ferociously on them, confirmed the expedition’s failure. De Almagro never found the gold or cities which Incan scouts had told him lay ahead, only communities of indigenous people with subsistence agriculture. Local tribes put up a fierce resistance to the Spanish forces. The exploration of the territories of Nueva Toledo, which lasted 2 years, was marked by failure for De Almagro. Despite this, at first he thought of staying and founding a city, and some historians think that, but for the urging of senior explorers, De Almagro would have stayed permanently in Chile. He was urged to return to Peru and take possession of Cuzco, as an inheritance for his son. The withdrawal of Spanish from the valleys of Chile was violent: Almagro authorised his soldiers to ransack natives’ properties and leave their soil desolate. In addition, the Spanish soldiers took natives captive to serve as slaves. Back in Peru he was captured and killed by Hernando Pizarro.

Posted by PetersF 15:13 Archived in Chile Tagged history chile santiago Comments (0)

Chile - Santiago am

Museums and history

10th Feb Santiago in the morning

We had a reasonable breakfast in the hotel courtyard before setting off down Av Manuel Montt (and more on him later too) to catch the metro to Plaza de Armas. Great metro system:- cheap and easy to use. We changed from Line 1 to Line 5 (there are lines, 1,2,4 and 4a branch, 5,6- no number 3) and popped up at the Plaza. I wanted to see the guard changing ceremony at La Moneda so we went along the pedestrian streets of Bandera to the Plaza de Constitution. Unfortunately they had changed the days it was on (we watched it another day), so we walked back to the Museum of Pre Columbian Art.
Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda cultural facility under Citizen Square, southern façade of Palacio de La Moneda, built 2004-6 by Chilean architect Cristián Undurraga with 2 main exhibition halls and minor halls: Centro de Documentación de las Artes (Arts Documentation Centre), Cineteca Nacional (National Film Archive), Digital Laboratory, restaurants, café, small shop and an art and technology room.

La Moneda Palace/ Palacio de La Moneda is the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile and General Secretariat. It occupies an entire block in downtown Santiago, in the Civic District between Moneda (North), Morandé (East), Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins (South) and Teatinos street (West). La Moneda, originally a colonial mint (Moneda = coin) 1814-1929, was designed by Italian architect Joaquín Toesca. Construction began 1784 and it was opened in 1805. In June 1845 under president Manuel Bulnes, the palace became the seat of government and presidential residence. In 1930, a public square, Plaza de la Constitución (pic) was built in front of the palace. After the presidency of Gabriel González Videla it ceased to be a presidential residence. In the military coup d'état of 1973, the Chilean Air Force bombarded the palace. Reconstruction was completed 1981, although some bullet marks have been preserved. During the restorations, an underground office complex (bunker) was built under the front square to provide a safe escape for dictator General Augusto Pinochet. President Ricardo Lagos opened the inner courtyards to the public during certain hours of the day. Lagos also re-opened Morandé 80 gate (used by Chilean presidents to enter the palace, eliminated during the restoration as not being in the original plans, but restored for its symbolism as the gate through which Chilean Presidents entered La Moneda as ordinary citizens). It was also the gate through which the body of President Allende was taken out after the 1973 coup. Free guided tours of the palace are available at the La Moneda website and are given in several languages. The Palacio de la Moneda is neoclassical with Roman Doric influences. The building is listed by UNESCO.

Its main façade faces Moneda Street, and its rooms are distributed along the transverse and longitudinal axes forming several patios; Patio de los Cañones (entrance hall); a covered patio; Patio de los Naranjos (presidential ceremonies). To celebrate the bicentenary of Chile’s independence 2010, a public square, Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizens Square) was constructed on the south side of the palace down to the Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins or “Alameda”. Designed by Undurraga Devés Arquitectos, the Plaza has been called “one of the most important public works in the last century”. Paths leading down from the plaza give access to the underground Palacio de La Moneda Cultural Centre.
Some buildings on the way; Palacio de la Alhambra http://www.snba.cl/paginas/palacio.htm; Palacio de los Tribunales de Justicia de Santiago/ Courts of Justice of Santiago (right) is the building housing the Supreme Court of Chile, the Court of Appeals of Santiago, and the Court-martial Court of the Chilean Army, Chilean Air Force and Carabineros de Chile. It occupies a full block-front of Compañía Street between Bandera and Morandé Streets. The building diagonally faces the Palacio de la Real Aduana, which houses the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, and Montt Varas Square sits in front. The building, which is opposite the Ex Congreso Nacional, was built in two phases between 1905 and 1930 in the neoclassical style. The earlier, western portion of the building was completed in 1911. The main entrance to the building is framed by a two-tiered portico that is supported by one storey-high Doric columns on the lower level and two-story-high Ionic columns on the upper level. The portico is crowned by a triangular pediment containing the figure of a condor standing on an open book with the word LEX (Latin for law) sculpted over it. The building has a three-story arcade, which is parallel to the main facade and features a glass skylight. Ornamental details include caryatids holding bronze swords made by the sculptor Coll y Pi and a stained glass window made in Munich, Germany by Franz Mayer.

Museo Chileno De Arte Precolombino http://www.precolombino.cl/en/]
The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art exhibits the rich cultural history of Central and South America. Through rooms of art, sculptures, textiles, jewellery, and other artefacts, we got a great feel for Chile’s rich cultural past, and that of the Americas as a whole. The rooms are spacious, well lit, and the displays well constructed. At Bandera 361 it was centrally located in the heart of Santiago’s historical district, a block from the Plaza de Armas. Created by Sergio Larraín García-Moreno, a Chilean avant-garde designer, who after studying in Europe began collecting the art of the Americas and wanted to display it to the public, the museum officially opened in December 1981. The Museum is housed in the stunning Palacio de la Real Aduana. Beginning with the Paleo-Indians who first entered and inhabited the continent, migrating through the Americas, south to the lush landscapes of Central and South America, the museum traces the Americas through its various cultures. Prior to European colonisation, these Pre-Columbian cultures and civilisations flourished and established urban settlements and complex societal hierarchies, including notable civilisations such as Aztec, Maya, Inca, Toltec and Olmec. On a side note, knowing Machu Picchu, we noted the figurines of Coqueras (Coca chewers). Although some civilisations had long since ceased by time Europeans arrived, archaeology has uncovered their history. With the Europeans, starting with Christopher Columbus, came the decline of native populations, mostly from disease, but also murder and exploitation. The museum displays artefacts by Cultural Area; Mesoamerica, Caribbean, Amazonian, Central Andes, Southern Andes. We started at the top floor (Mesoamerica) and worked our way down to the textiles room, then the bottom floor, which is ancient Chilean artefacts, organised by Northern and Southern Cultures.
Highlights included the Chinchorro mummies of Northern Chile, and elaborate quipus.
We enjoyed the darkened textile room through revolving doors. This impressive room had interactive drawers to open and view the contents. The room has a timing system for lighting, to preserve the textiles. $4.500 CLP The museum was excellent, well laid out and with informative labels in Spanish and English. I found the artefacts relating to Chilean cultures particularly interesting, especially the “power” or chieftain symbols. As it was arranged, we began with the Mexican peninsula.
Olmec culture 1200 – 200 BC (Middle Formative 900 - 400 BC La Venta phase)
Nayarit Culture 500BC-500AD.
Chupícuaro far north 500 BC-200 AD
Guerrero ‘Culture’ c400BC-1AD
Colima culture 200 BC-500 AD
Veracruz 100-500 AD
Maya- Maya Jaina 300-600 AD, Maya Ulua 600-900 AD; Maya Classic 1100-1600
Zapotec 500BC-150AD, then Mixtec 900-1500 AD “Cloud people”
El Arbolillo and Zacatenco led to Tlatilco 1500-500 BC, then Teotihuacán culture 1-700 AD (Early Classic c200 AD; Classic 300-500 AD; Late Classic 650-750 AD), Toltec 800-1100 AD (Classic Period 900 AD) and Aztec 1200-1520 AD (all around Lake Texacoco)

Mexican peninsula
Olmec. ‘Baby’ figurine (left) 1200 - 900 BC. Human figure in obsidian (centre) and stone baby (right) Middle Formative 900 - 400 BC La Venta phase.
1. The Olmec culture (1200 BC – 200 AD) developed in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco, a humid area with rivers, lagoons and marshes in a leafy tropical forest, and animals such as jaguars, tapirs, wild boars and monkeys. At its height, the influence of this culture extended through Mesoamerica. Agriculture was of maize, beans and pumpkins, using slash and burn. Olmec statues, particularly the monumental heads of stone and the ceramic figures known as "baby face" demonstrate great mastery, in addition to establishing key points of the art style that characterises this culture; sinuous and straight lines, faces with ripped and almond eyes with flat noses and open nostrils. In some cases the mouths have deformations similar to the "cleft lip" or feline characteristics, such as a jaguar snout. The finishing techniques were polishing, and incision, often with red or white pigments. They achieved remarkable mastery in mural painting, probably used ritually, of people with the face profile and body front, holding objects and surrounded by symbols. Not much is known about the Olmec social organisation. It is likely it was a theocracy in which priests held political and religious power over a large mass segregated between nobles, skilled artisans and peasants. The Olmec worshipped ancestors, natural elements, like the sun and rain and various animals (especially the snake and jaguar). The cult of the jaguar is shown in human figures with feline features. Human sacrifice was common, based on a cyclical vision of the processes of life in which it was necessary to destroy something to create something. Olmec society developed as the first urban society of Mesoamerica. Initially, settlements were small towns of peasants, without social complexity, but numerous. Around 1200 BC the urban centres San Lorenzo, La Venta and Tres Zapotes developed, characterised by villas and satellite centres with monumental architecture and art that represents a complex social hierarchy. Possibly each town functioned as a city-state, relatively independent, but with features in common. Olmec origins were probably the highlands of Oaxaca, south of Veracruz or north Tabasco. Olmec influence can be seen in almost all Mesoamerica, especially in societies that lived in the same period, which implies a fluid exchange of both resources and aesthetic concepts. Olmec was undoubtedly the most influential culture in all of Mesoamerica's cultural development, since it laid down both aesthetic and ideological foundations used and reused by later societies, up to Spanish times.
Nayarit “The Guard” 500BC-500AD. A ceramic tomb statue from Mexico’s western coast; these statues served as guardians for the dead, with weapon in hand and trance on face.
2. Nayarit Culture 500BC-500AD. The Nayarit developed on the western coast of Mexico in tropical rainforests with abundant rivers, streams and lakes. Nayarit ceramics were made with a variety of production and finishing techniques. Negative and positive paintings were used for decoration. Human images are quite life-like, but body shapes are often elongated or stylised. The figurines point to some aesthetic aspects of Nayarit culture, such as cranial deformation, nose ornaments, pendants, necklaces, and ornate clothing. Notable figures include females holding ceramic vessels, sitting down, crouching, or reclining. Animals are rare, but those that have been found are often of dogs. Little is known of their social organisation, but they are thought to have lived in local chiefdoms with shamans holding positions of respect. Nayarit elite were buried in complex tombs of a chamber at the bottom of a deep pit. Family members were buried in the same chamber, accompanied by grave goods of ceramic vessels and sculptures. Of particular note are the Nayarit’s statues of warriors and dogs left to protect and guide the deceased to the afterlife. Archaeological evidence in the Ixtlán area suggests that the Nayarit lived in small villages of several families. Clay models of dwellings attributed to this culture show densely populated settlements containing structures ranging from simples designs with two walls and a ceiling to two-storey houses with multiple rooms. The Nayarit had close ties with the neighbouring Jalisco and Colima people, as shown by the many similarities among their ceramic traditions and burial rites. The present-day Huichol people are their descendants. Related to later Aztecs.
Guerrero, Mixtec and Aztec masks; lower left is Mixtec (c.300 AD), top right from related Aztecs, in Early Classic Teotihuacan style c200-500 AD, bottom right from Teotihuacan Classic 300-1000 AD. At the top left is a mask of the related Guerrero culture c400-0 BC (from the signature site of Guerrero).
3. The territory of the Guerrero ‘Culture’ (c400BC-1AD) was the southwest coast of modern-day Mexico, flanked by the Western Sierra Madre. The region consists of isolated valleys, making communications difficult. It is an area of frequent seismic activity and landslides. The Guerrero people were not a specific culture, but a number of groups that shared characteristics. It is believed the peoples of the Guerrero region lived in small settlements of farmers, inhabiting each valley independently. The Guerrero produced a large quantity of ceramics. Vessels with stirrup handles were common, suggesting links with cultures in Central and South America. They produced ceramic figurines with Teotihuacan influences. They worked with gold, silver, and copper, but are best known for their sculptures, masks and architectural models made of the local hard rock of various colours. The most characteristic figures are those of the Mezcala style, consisting of small, highly stylised and delicately crafted human figurines. Other common stone subjects included animals such as dogs, turtles, frogs, coyotes, birds, felines and insects; tools, such as axes, awls, and knives; and body ornaments, such as nosepieces, rings, bracelets, and chest pieces. Standing or prostrate humans are common, and some representations of human body parts, such as arms, hands, legs, heads, and fingers with fingernails. Although groups of the Guerrero culture developed independently, they shared many cultural elements. They displayed influences from the Olmec, Teotihuacán, and Mayan cultures.
Colima Culture. Female (mujer) statue from Colima, Mexico Formative Period 200 BC-300AD and Dancing circle 300 BC-300 AD (Formative-Classic period) from Colima, Mexico
4. Colima Culture. Little is known about the early history of the Colima area except the Otomi, Nahuatl, Tolteca, Chichimeca and Tarasca cultures flourished there 2000 BC- 1000 AD. When the Spanish arrived in 1525, most of West Mexico was controlled by the Kingdom of Tzintuntzan. The Purépecha (Tarascans to the conquistadors), occupied the area 1100-1530 AD along with Colima Indians, who are closely related. King Colimán, leader of the Colimas, waged a successful war against the Purépechas just before the Spanish arrival. The Colima culture 500BC- 500AD occupied a rugged, low-lying coastal region carved by valleys, each with its own ecology and a humid climate. Little is known about their subsistence, as most information comes from the excavation of cemeteries, not residential sites. They practiced irrigation farming, which allowed them to live in large groups in relatively independent villages and urban centres. Colima ceramics display a wide variety of figures and shapes, but little variation in technique. Most pieces have a burnished red finish and some are decorated with orange or white incisions. Moulded figures are common, especially of plants, animals (mainly dogs) and seashells. Humans typically feature dwarfs and hunchbacks, and a few female forms. Many figures have “coffee-bean” eyes and are dressed in finely detailed traditional attire. Little is known of Colima stonework; only a few mace heads, small masks and figurines have been found. They practiced weaving, and used metallurgy to make needles, axes, rattles, nose rings and ear ornaments. Little is known about the Colima’s social order, but shamans or priests may have occupied positions of importance. Figurines resembling warriors and prisoners with hands tied point to ceremonial war. The majority of ceramic pieces are grave goods found in tombs of high rank. The Colima buried their dead in family tombs up to 30 m deep, some with multiple chambers, accompanied by a wide variety of grave goods, including ceramic statuettes of armed men, which served as symbolic guardians. Ceramic sculptures of dogs were common grave goods, and are believed to be the emissaries of Xolotl, the god of death. Some larger villages had ceremonial centres that also served as trading hubs/ markets. Their dwellings were made of perishable materials such as palm leaves, wood, and mud but their temples had foundations of earth and stone. The history of the Colima people is not well known, but, like many Mesoamerican cultures, the Colima displayed some stylistic elements that link them with the ancient Olmecs.
Maya. Pedestal Censer of a Mayan noble AD600-900, used to ritually burn incense or copal resin. Often found interred in walls. Many were found at the ceremonial centre of Palenque depicting the sun god Kinich Ahau (large eyes, aquiline nose, T-shaped tooth); platter Late Classic period 600- 900 AD Coyotlatelco-Texcalac Phase; Centre- female figurine Late Classic 700-900 AD Coyotlatelco-Texcalac phase; at back part of female figurine Classic 600 - 700 AD; to right a fat man Late Classic 700 - 900 AD; Clay man from central Veracruz Late Classic Period AD 800-900, left at rear beaker Classic 600-800 AD Copador style; front left beaker Late Classic Coyotlatelco-Texcalac 700- 900 AD; far right pot Classic 300- 700 AD. Central beaker 300-900AD shows Popol Vuh
5. Maya. The upper segment of these Maya polychrome ceramic vessels contains glyphs that characterise the depicted scene, but the signs merely enunciate a set of symbols that confound immediate comprehension. Pictorial representations of this nature are inscribed in Mayan funerary art and often allude to mythical episodes related to life after death. Other times, however, scenes refer to facts or characters. On the central beaker are four young men in a war or ritual hunting, with strokes that evoke the skin of the jaguar or chacbolay. In Mayan mythology, Hunahpu is the Blowgun and Universal hunter, who brings food to men. The number and age of the characters refers to accounts in the sacred book. "These are the names of the first men created and formed: the first man was Balam Quitzé, the second Balam Ahab, the third Mahucutah and the fourth Iqui Balam". In the Popol Vuh, there are numerous allusions to the number 4 and to 2 pairs of young people or twins.
Teotihuacan; central figure is from the Late Classic period 650- 750 AD Metepec phase. The smooth bowl in background is Mixtec.
6. The valley of Teotihuacán culture (1-600 AD) is northwest of Lake Texcoco, in the highlands of Mexico. In the Teotihuacán valley, previous cultures, Cuanalán and Tezocuya developed, giving rise to a certain social complexity with astronomical and agricultural knowledge, as well as to an agricultural warrior economy that laid the foundations for the emergence of Teotihuacán. Teotihuacan influence was strongly felt throughout Meso-america, as far as to remote Veracruz, Guerrero, Oaxaca and the Mayan region. It is thought that the city gained migrants from different villages, becoming a cosmopolitan nucleus. The name of Teotihuacán in Nahua means "place where the gods are born", which demonstrates the relevance this culture had in later periods. Despite the relative aridity this territory is well endowed with water from three rivers that flow into the lake and are still used to irrigate the fields. The Teotihuacan economy was based on extensive agriculture, especially of maize, beans and chillies, to support a large urban population. Extensive irrigation systems were built that included dams to store water and the first chinanpas (artificial islands) used as areas of cultivation. Along with agricultural production, trade was an important activity for the economy of this society, accessing resources from great distances. The presence of nearby volcanic hills allowed them to exploit raw materials such as obsidian for knives, razors and projectile points, as well as other stones for building or tools. The architecture reached astounding levels of perfection, not only because of the astronomical orientation of its buildings and streets, but also in its shapes and settings. Stone heads of gods, columns of bas-reliefs with symmetrical designs and decorations of monumental size, are examples. Delicate masks with inlays of semi- precious stones or representations of animals with mythical characteristics are important. Stone braziers with the image of the god Huehueteotl (the old God of Fire) are common and despite their schematic lines, reach great expressiveness. In pottery they achieved mastery in the decorated polychromatic incensario and braziers with lids. The representations of heads of gods or priests with huge headdresses are characteristic and indicate the perfection acquired by master potters. Among the techniques used are moulds, pastillage, modelling, incision and post-firing painting in bright red, green blue and yellow. Teotihuacans mural art is a faithful reflection of the flora and fauna, including insects. The state was governed by nobles and priests who possessed knowledge of astronomy, economics, religion, war and art. Further down were traders and skilled artisans, who produced goods of high value for the upper classes. At the base were peasants, who lived in modest sectors of the city or small villages near the fields. Teotihuacán was the first city of America with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Each street and temple was aligned with certain astronomical dates, giving the entire urban complex a ritual and cosmic order. The city possessed different ceremonial centres crowned by pyramids to the gods. There were merchants or artisans quarters. The growth of the city made it a meeting point for many towns that also formed their "ethnic neighbourhoods”.
Figure of a god (?Xipe-Totec) dressed in a male flayed skin from central Veracruz Classic Period (AD 300-900).
7. Toltec. Later inhabitants of Teotihuacan and Monte Alban worshipped a flayed skin fertility god (Xipe Totec= Our Flayed Lord) and an earth goddess (Toci) of which this was an earlier incarnation. Xipe-Totec was a god of spring, fecundity and perpetual renewal of the earth. At times, he was represented in a human skin, symbol of the renewal of nature and god of sacrificed warriors. The Toltec culture (800-1100 AD) rose on the high plains of central Mexico. Their civic and religious centre was at Tula, 100 km northeast of Lake Texcoco. The Toltec covered a region of wide valleys watered by large rivers, with two climate zones, one semi-arid, and another more humid (Eastern Sierra Madre). The Toltecs had an agricultural economy of staples such as maize in large fields, watering them with a complex network of irrigation canals. Like other Mesoamerican cultures, they engaged actively in trade to obtain goods and raw materials from distant lands. Stonework was their most developed art form, many stone sculptures depicting military scenes and images of human sacrifice. A typical Toltec subject is the Chacmool, a figure seated in a relining posture, cup resting on stomach and head facing one side. The architectural friezes of Tula are noteworthy for their representations of warriors, and powerful animals such as the jaguar, coyote, and eagle, as well as the mythical feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl. Human body parts such as skulls and crossed long bones are found alongside these scenes. Toltec architecture featured columns carved as warriors with atlatls (spear-throwers), spears, shields, and butterfly-shaped breastplates. The earliest Toltec ceramic style, Coyotlatelco style, predates the founding of Tula. Classic elements of this style include red and dark brown for decorating ceramic vessels. The Mazapa ceramic style developed later and spread throughout Mesoamerica as the Toltecs expanded political dominion. Characteristic Mazapa vessels are bowls decorated in the interior with straight or wavy lines and painted bright red. Toltec potters worked in Plumbate style, which originated in Guatemala and is one of the few New World ceramics that featured glazing, achieved by firing pieces with mineral paints in high temperature kilns. The Toltec State was formed from a number of tribal groups, principally the Toltec- Chichimec group. Toltec society was highly stratified, but its most powerful leaders were not priests, as in earlier cultures, but military chiefs organised into orders named after their totem animals; coyote, jaguar, eagle. Gods such as Quetzalcoatl were important and human sacrifice was performed to slake his thirst for blood. Prisoners of war were the usual sacrificial victims, and their skulls were later put on public display in a wooden structure called a tzonpantli. The Toltec inhabited fortified towns built around civic- ceremonial buildings, a main square with a central altar, surrounded by palaces, stepped pyramids and ballcourts. Tula city was built on a promontory overlooking the river, easily defended. The city was divided by streets, and social differences reflected in the size, distribution, and building materials used in homes, which ranged from those built on residential platforms near the ceremonial sector to three-room dwellings set around a central L-shaped patio, where domestic and daily ritual activities were conducted. Toltec culture is thought to have emerged from the amalgamation of several ethnic groups from northern Mexico. The Toltec-Chichimec group (from modern Jalisco and Zacatecas) marked the boundaries of the ancient Teotihuacan world. Their conquests gave them dominion over Mexico up to Guatemala/ Yucatan, and marked the birth of militarism in Mesoamerica. The reasons for the decline of the Toltec culture are unclear, but it is known that Toltec groups later emigrated, intermingling with local groups and bringing their ideas to prominent cultures including the Mayas and Aztecs.

Top of South America (from Nicaragua to Columbia/ Ecuador)
In Columbia: Capulí c500 BC-500 AD, Bahia 500BC-500 AD, Jama-Coaque 600 BC-400 AD cultures
In Ecuador: Valdivia Culture c6000-3300BC, Tuncahuán 3500-1800 BC, Machalilla c.2300-1800 BC heirs of Valdivia, Chorrera c1800-300BC (Late classic 1000-300 BC) descended from Machalilla, La Tolita culture 500 BC- 500 AD heirs of the Chorrera, Vicus culture 0-500 AD also from Chorrera, Veraguas 700-1530 AD Manta culture 800-1532 AD
Capulí. Masks c500 BC-500 AD. Desarrollos Region.
1. The Tolita, Jama-Coaque and Bahia cultures flourished along Ecuador's coast c1500 AD, worshipping feline-like deities. The people of the Capulí culture (500 BC-500 AD) inhabited the highlands of Ecuador and Colombia, a mountainous region over 3000 m high with a temperate climate and abundant rainfall during the wet season, feeding many rivers from its high peaks. The Capulí economy was based on the cultivation of maize, complemented by hunting. Guinea pig bones at some sites suggest that they may have domesticated it for food. Trade played an important economic role, allowing them to obtain goods and resources from distant regions, including the coast and Amazon rainforest. Capulí chiefs sold coca leaves, a significant source of wealth. Artistically, the Capulí are best known for ceramics, relatively simple in design but elaborately decorated. Vessels were decorated with black on red relief painting with repeated geometric designs such as rhomboids and triangles; incisions and modelling were also used. The most common vessels are pedestal plates, dishes with anthropomorphic figures integrated into the base (as bearers), anthropomorphic vessels, and anthropomorphic figures seated on stools with flat bases. Their life-like ceramic figures give an idea of the clothing, hairstyles, headdresses, and body paint used by the culture. Animal figures were also made, often with anthropomorphic features. Particularly noteworthy are the Capulí clay masks, remarkable for their detailed features and subtle expressions. Many figures take the form known as coqueros (coca-chewers), with one cheek puffed out from the wad of coca in the mouth. The Capulí also worked with metals to make nose rings, nipple covers, and musical instruments, decorated with geometric or zoomorphic figures such as monkeys or felines. The level of expertise achieved by some craftsmen suggests that specialists worked full time on such tasks. The Capulí may have been organised into a number of chiefdoms, each controlling a defined territory. The Capulí used two forms of burial. Some individuals were buried in shallow graves with grave goods of little value, while others were buried in tombs up to 40 m deep, with a lateral chamber containing three or more bodies accompanied by a rich array of grave goods, including high quality ceramics and gold artefacts. Some tombs were covered with large artificial mounds known as tolas, made from layers of earth packed down and burned, perhaps during the funeral rites. Music is believed to have played a key role in Capulí ceremonies, judging by the large number of gold bells and rattles found, and ceramic ocarinas that reproduce the shapes of seashells. Capulí dwellings were made of perishable materials and located on the summits of the artificial hills (tolas), widely separated by open areas and situated around a larger mound that may have held a temple. The mounds were built in stages and took a variety of forms and sizes. The Capulí were descended from groups that inhabited the same territory in earlier times. During the 15th century, the Capulí made contact with the Inca, and in the 16th century with Spanish conquistadors.
Chorrera. Funerary pot Late Pre-classic 1000-300 BC.
2. Valdivia CultureThe oldest American ceramics appeared 6000 years ago in the tropical lowlands of Intermediate/ Amazon area, generally associated with the start of sedentary agricultural life. Villagers from Ecuador's Valdivia Culture c3300BC made domestic vessels imitating plant shapes and the first statues. Their Machalilla (c.2300BC) and Chorrera heirs c1800-300BC perfected the craft.
3. The Chorrera culture inhabited south Ecuador. The Guayas River and its tributaries provided them with both resources and transport. The Chorreras grew maize, gathered shellfish, hunted and picked wild fruit and nuts. Judging by ceramic images, they collected seafood from reed rafts and wooden canoes. Trade over water and land routes played an important role in their economy, especially the exchange of exotic stones such as obsidian, lapis lazuli, and rock crystal, from which they made bead necklaces and other artefacts. Some raw materials may have been brought from regions as distant as Peru. The Chorrera produced highly polished ceramics with a mirror-like sheen, decorated with red, black, smoked, and yellow-white designs, separated with dots and incisions. These negatively painted pieces had an iridescent finish. Their vessels have realistic, life-like representations of animals, plants, fruit, buildings, and humans. The humans are represented in round, voluminous shapes, with headdresses or turbans (maybe a status symbol in Chorrera society). Many ceramic forms were inherited from the earlier Machalilla culture, but new forms included the whistle bottle, which makes a sound when air is blown over the neck or when the liquid inside is swirled around. Small, smooth, solid ceramic figures are ascribed to this culture, as well as larger hollow figures with asymmetrical decorations. The Chorrera probably lived in relatively small groups of 100-200 individuals related by kinship or reciprocity. The restricted use of earpieces and the presence of particular types of ceramics in certain gravesites, suggests a society with ranks. Little is known about the rituals of the Chorrera, although coca chewing played an important role, as containers have been found that were used for storing llipta, an alkaline substance that was mixed with the coca leaf. Chorrera settlements were located on bluffs overlooking tributaries of the Guayas River, but houses were built from perishable materials. Chorrera culture was descended from the Machalilla culture, but certain features of their ceramic style such as colours and motifs suggest a link with the Ocós culture of Mesoamerica.
La Tolita. Female figurine Tolita culture 500 BC- 500 AD
4. The La Tolita culture (500 BC- 500 AD) extended along the coast of Ecuador to Colombia, at the southern edge of the tropical coast, beyond which the landscape becomes arid. It is an area of dense rainforests, high rainfall and abundant wildlife, crossed by broad, navigable rivers with many islands at their mouths. La Tolita’s economy was based on growing corn and yucca, hunting and using marine resources. Being located at the mouths of large rivers flowing from the Andes positioned them favourably for trading with mountain groups, even those in the jungle on the other side of the Andes. La Tolita potters used sandy, greyish clay to make jugs, pitchers, cups, tripods and yucca graters. The many figurines they made were finely crafted and realistically detailed, almost all having nose rings, ear ornaments, and other bodily ornaments. Notable are their statues of mythical beings, including some half human-half animal. Incense burners are a distinctive item, some very large. They worked with semiprecious stones (emeralds, quartz, agate and turquoise), which they mounted in gold and silver pieces. The metalworkers of La Tolita were the first in the world to work with platinum. La Tolita society was probably divided into classes; peasants, metalworkers, craftspeople and at top a ruling elite, who governed the group’s different districts from urban centres. Judging by images on ceramics and metalwork, they worshipped a wide range of mythical beings, notably big cats, serpents, primates and frogs. Ceramic representations of erotic scenes may have been associated with fertility and sexual initiation rites. They buried their dead with jewels, clothing, and implements. Little is known about their settlements, although at least two major centres have been identified, at Bahía de Tumaco (Colombia) and Isla de La Tolita (Ecuador). The latter contains many man-made mounds, known as tolas, which gave rise to the name La Tolita. They built their dwellings and temples on the top of these mounds. Many of them lived along the coast and riverbanks, building homes of perishable materials. The origins of La Tolita are strongly rooted in local traditions, especially the Chorrera. They were in contact with the Jama-Coaque, Bahía and other cultural groups of Ecuador/ Colombia, and helped disseminate metallurgy and metalworking to Central America.

Chavín culture 1000-400BC, Cupisnique style (Horizonte) 700- 400 BC followed by Moche culture 1-800 AD subsumed by the Wari Empire, but followed by the Chimú culture 900-1400 AD.
Parakas people 700-100 BC; the Nazcas culture 100-700 AD were their heirs.
Tiwanaku culture 100-1100 AD., rivals to the Wari Empire 550-1000 AD
1. Chavin. Peru. The Chavín culture 100-400BC is named after the site of Chavín de Huántar, located in a fertile valley in Peru, at an altitude of 3135m. Chavín economy was based on agriculture. Although it is not known how sophisticated their irrigation systems were, the variety of domesticated plants (maize, beans, squash, potatoes, quinoa) shows a deep knowledge of agricultural techniques. They complemented their farming with marine resources, and hunting. Judging by their middens, llamas played an important role for both diet and transport. The word ‘Chavín’ also refers to an artistic style characterised by symmetry, repetition, curved lines, metaphorical imagery, and motifs such as crossed fangs, the “eccentric eye”, dilated nostrils, and claws. Much of the intricate, stylised imagery of the Chavín style was inspired by the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, crocodiles, felines, snakes, eagles, and plants. This style was expressed in different media with a high degree of complexity. It reached its highest expression in Chavín stonework; enormous temples, sculpted standing stones and obelisks with figures half man-half feline, including Lanzón, Estela Raimondi, and Obelisco Tello. This preference for working in stone is reflected in Chavín pottery, which is stone-like in appearance, grey and decorated by incision. Chavín ceramics are remarkable for their technical quality, as well as an emphasis on shaped decorations and in a few exceptional pieces, the application of coloured pigments. Vessels include fruit-shaped bottles with stirrup handles, bowls, and simple bottles. It is believed this was a mother culture (ie no outside influence), the first in the Andes. Chavín society was based on kinship bonds, bloodlines and clans, the status of which was linked to their closeness to a common ancestor, possibly mythological in origin. Individuals may have been skilled in particular tasks, but activities were organised by priests in a theocratic society, in which religious rituals endowed rulers with the privilege and prestige necessary to wield political control. Chavín deities spread through the Central Andes. A feline is a central figure, and its presence is seen in human forms that hold sceptres adorned with large curved fangs and serpents wound around their heads and waists and sporting the claws of birds of prey, giving snakes and eagles their place among the animals that lent their powers to these divinities. Calancha reports that the God Pachacamac sowed the teeth of his half-brother, whom he had killed in an act of jealousy and of them was born corn, whose seeds resemble the teeth. He then planted the ribs and other bones, from which came the cassava and other tubers. From the flesh came the cucumbers, pacaes and other fruits and trees. Hallucinogenic plants appear in Chavín iconography, suggesting shamanism played a role in rituals. Chavín burials range from simple trenches containing skeletons, to elaborate graves covered with stones. An increase in population is reflected in more villages, generally of 20-30 dwellings of perishable materials, or less often of adobe or stones cemented with mud. The shape of these dwellings varied by region, but were generally rectangular or semicircular. Ceramic models have been found depicting houses with pitched roofs, possibly a style used in the mountains, as the low rainfall on the coast would have made them unnecessary. The great innovation in this period was the monumental architecture of Chavín ceremonial sites, building complexes or temple-pyramids consisting of superimposed platforms of stone and/or conical adobe bricks. An outstanding example is the great ceremonial centre at Chavín de Huántar, which features several temples, passageways, plazas, sunken patios, and underground galleries with unusual acoustics. Some constructions were aligned with astronomical orientations. The Chavín culture represents the consolidation of several long-term cultural processes in the Andes; the invention of ceramics and agriculture, village life, and monumental architecture. The dissemination of the Chavín artistic style, mainly through textiles and ceramics, and the spread of their religious ideas, provided the cultural foundation of many societies that later arose in the Andes. Possibly Chavín de Huántar continued as a pilgrimage site until the arrival of the Spanish. Moche. Mythological beasts (begging animal centre left) and real (reclining feline which is a transition from Vicus to Moche culture), mainly Moche Intermediate Period 100-800AD
Moche. Bowl at back left with serpent, main is a fox (zorro) drinking cup. Intermediate 100- 800 AD.
2. The Moche culture 1-800 AD inhabited the coast of northern Peru, concentrating in the valleys of Lambayeque, Chicama, Moche and Virú. This desert region is crossed by several rivers that flow to the Pacific, where marine resources are plentiful. The Moche began as an agricultural-maritime culture, but after expanding inland they focused on farming and herding. They channelled river water to irrigate extensive crops, which included cotton, maize, peanuts and beans. They raised herds of llama and domesticated dogs and guinea pigs. From the coast they obtained marine resources to use and for trade. Surplus goods were stored in silos and granaries administered by Moche authorities. The Moche produced fine ceramic, textile and precious metal pieces. Their characteristic style is in a wide range of goods such as fire-engraved gourds, wall murals, featherwork, art, body painting and tattoos. Their ceramic decoration displays a level of skill rarely surpassed, and included such techniques as incision, bas-relief with stamps, and painting on smooth surfaces. Many were made in state-run workshops that mass-produced pieces from moulds. Their ceramics came in a variety of forms and decorative styles and displayed myths and ritual motifs as well. Notable are the “portrait bottles”, moulded with the face of a well- known Moche figure. These highly detailed facial portraits reflect the Moche’s use of face paint and/or tattoos, as well as elaborate headdresses. Their expertise can be seen in everyday scenes and erotic representations. They were skilful metalworkers, using gold, copper and silver to make ear ornaments, nose rings, bracelets, necklace beads, tweezers and a variety of tools. Especially notable is the tumi or ceremonial knife, restricted to Moche officials. At its zenith, the Moche culture appears to have been organised into two independent states that controlled the north and south respectively. Both were extremely hierarchical, in which warriors held a high rank. The highest political position in Moche society seems to have been a warrior-priest, frequently represented in Moche art. Beneath this official were several social classes, including artisans, merchants, peasants, herders and fishermen. Prisoners of war were treated as slaves and often sacrificed to the gods. Moche ceramics provide detailed representations of their supernatural world, including deities, myths, sacred animals and ceremonial practices. Their deities take the form of foxes, owls, hummingbirds, falcons and felines. These figures were servants of greater gods that held human form and sported elaborate outfits and ferocious faces with crossed fangs. Tombs of important individuals were rectangular and made of adobe, with niches for offerings. The elite were buried with metal masks and a rich array of grave goods, servants and animals accompanying them; the famous “Lord of Sipán” is the most notable example. To take full advantage of the little fertile land available, the Moche located their settlements and cemeteries on non-arable land, close to hills (considered sacred). Their dwellings were of woven reeds and branches built on stone or adobe foundations, with gabled roofs. Public buildings such as pyramid temples, official residences, and fortifications were made of adobe and decorated with murals, reliefs and paintings with complex symbolism. Among the most important Moche temples are the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon, trapezoidal adobe structures over 30m tall. Many of the motifs adorning early Moche ceramics were derived from the Recuay culture. These two peoples were certainly in contact, as all of the irrigation waters the Moche used flowed down from Recuay territory. In the early years, the Moche had contact with the Salinar and Gallinazo cultures. It is likely the Moche disappeared when taken by the Wari Empire, but it also suffered long periods of flooding by El Niño, which destroyed their farming infrastructure and helped precipitate their collapse. The final stage of the culture displays features that later appeared in Chimú culture.
Parakas and Chavin. Peru. The Monkey pot is Parakas culture Late Formative 200-600 BC, centre Chavin vessel, Cupisnique style 700-400 BC, right a Late Horizonte style Chavín vessel 900- 700 BC.
3. The Parakas people inhabited valleys in Ica and Pisco on the southern coast of Peru. This desert zone faces a seacoast rich in natural resources. The Parakas were an agricultural people, growing maize, squash, cotton, beans and yucca. However, they obtained most of their food from the sea by fishing and gathering shellfish, seaweed and other products. They are known for the expertise of their medicine men, who successfully performed complicated trepanations. Parakas ceramic bottles feature bridge-handles and double necks, and many were painted with resinous pigments after firing, giving vibrant blue, yellow, red, orange, green and brown colours. Parakas craftspeople were skilled in textile making, producing multicoloured cloth of excellent quality. Their early work includes double cloth textiles and gauze embroidered with animal motifs in light blue, yellow, brown, white and black. Later, human figures begin to appear, holding severed trophy heads and weapons. We do not know how Parakas society was organised, though funerary offerings give evidence of some degree of social stratification. The cult of the dead appears to have been important to them. The bodies were placed fully clothed in a squatting position inside woven baskets wrapped with alternate layers of plain and embroidered cloth, with some funeral bundles up to 20 such layers. Between the layers of cloth they deposited offerings such as musical instruments, feather fans, combs, miniature pieces of cloth, and other items. Many pieces were covered with images of fantastic beings with feline, serpent or marine animal features, or human figures spitting out mythological animals and bearing a variety of weapons (probably deities that occupied a central place in the rites and worship of the dead). A notable figure in Parakas iconography is “the Sacrificer”, depicted holding a severed head in one hand and an axe in the other. Most Parakas settlements are seasonal camps close to the coast and at the edges of valleys, with rooms built together to form groups of houses. The stone walls were mortared with seaweed and filled in with waste and shell rubble. Later, the Parakas built larger settlements around temples made of adobe mounds. Initially, the culture was heavily influenced by the Chavín culture, although over time it acquired its own distinctive features, notably the rich polychromy of its artistic work. This polychromatic legacy left its mark in southern Peru and reached its highest expression in the Nazcas, who were the direct heirs of the Parakas tradition.
Nasca Intermedio Temprano 400-700AD (Culture 100-700 AD)
4. The Nazca culture was located in the valleys and coast of southern Peru, around Pisco, Ica, Cañete, Acarí and the Nazca Valley. This coastal desert region is carved by narrow fertile valleys. The Nazca introduced major advances in agricultural technology, building underground aqueducts for groundwater that enabled them to water their fields in an arid environment, growing maize, squash, beans, chilli peppers and other crops. The Nazca are most famous for their geoglyphs, enormous drawings on the desert floor north. The Nazca were skilled ceramicists, renowned for their fine, complex painted imagery and especially their polychromatic motifs, some of which contain 6-7 different colours. The typical Nazca vessel was a bridge handled bottle with two spouts, often painted with domestic images such as flowers, fruit, birds, animals and insects, though some bear mythological figures or individuals with both human and animal attributes. Nazca society achieved a political complexity similar to that of Andean societies, but their central authorities were mainly priests, who organised community work and led ceremonies. A large number of skilled tradespeople served these officials, including ceramic and textile makers, astrologists, musicians and soldiers. People lived in small cities and ceremonial centres such as the Cawachi complex. The Nazca buried their dead in funerary bundles composed of several layers of blankets and clothing, inside of which they deposited ceramic vessels and other grave goods. High-ranking individuals had more complex bundles up to several dozen layers of textiles. Dismembered human heads have been found in many graves, indicating the importance of human sacrifice, apparently associated with fertility rites. The Nazca used adobe for their public buildings, especially their temples. Their dwellings were made of lengths of cane tied together. Their major centres included Cawachi in the Nazca Valley (probably ceremonial), which contains a stepped pyramid 20m high built upon a natural mound and surrounded by plazas, residences and tombs. The Nazca were direct descendants of the Parakas people, in the same territory. The Nazca copied the rich Chavín tradition, and itself had a major influence on the Wari people, who would form one of the most extensive empires of the Andean region.
Chimu vessels. Pottery in Peru emphasised single colours (black, grey, brown) in the Chavin culture, polychromatic in the later Moche Culture, and saw a return to monochromatic with Chimu (black, grey), a conscious return to the past.
5. Chimu culture 900-1400 AD. The Chimú on the north coast of Peru, reached 1300 km at its height. With its centre of origin in the Moche river valley, this state gradually incorporated territories/ populations from the Tumbes to the Chillón valleys. Most of this territory is characterised by a very arid coastal desert, crossed by a large number of rivers bringing water from the Andes. The rivers form fertile valleys that contrast with the surrounding desert. The sea, dominated by the Humboldt current, is one of the most productive in the world, becoming one of the main sources of resources, both for the Chimú, and those who preceded/ succeeded. Paradoxically, this arid territory sometimes suffers from the "El Niño", with its aftermath of torrential rains and floods. Through aqueducts that carried water from great distances and a wide network of irrigation canals, the Chimú gained large tracts of land in the desert to grow maize, pumpkins, chilli, beans, cotton, and cassava, as well as fruit trees to obtain pacay, papayas, chirimoyas and lúcumas. They collected molluscs, crustaceans and marine algae. The fishermen went to sea in small totora boats for fishing with hooks and large rafts with nets. They practiced scuba diving to access deeper water resources. In trade for the precious goods the Chimu artisans produced, the merchants obtained potatoes, wool, hides, meat and other products from the shepherds of the sierra; coca, wood, monkeys and feathers of tropical birds. Shells of the mollusc Spondylus, originally from the distant Ecuadorian coast, were among articles traded. In Chan Chan, their capital, there were two caravan terminals, where more than 600 individuals were in charge of transporting goods to and from the city. Chimu craftsmen were skilled in art, carving wood, making mats and working in semiprecious shells and stones. From the close relations with their neighbours, the Lambayeque, who they would eventually incorporate in their empire, their goldsmiths perfected techniques to produce prestige goods, such as glass, earrings or masks, in copper, silver and gold, used especially in ceremonials by the nobles. Textile making was a prestigious and influential handicraft. Chimu pottery, although it took elements of the preceding Moche, especially the preference for bottles with shaped figures of various species, stood out for returning to the older Andean traditions. Similar to the Chavín, Chimu potters preferred their pieces had only a shiny black appearance on their surface. Chimú society was rigidly hierarchical. Political, economic and social power was concentrated in an hereditary aristocracy, under which was a class composed by smaller officials, merchants and skilled craftsmen. These two classes lived in the urban centres, strictly segregated. The nobles lived in complexes separated from the rest of the city by high walls, with restricted access. Peasants and fishermen lived on the outskirts of cities and in small villages scattered throughout the territory. Chimú rituals revolved around crop fertility, a crucial aspect in a state that, in an arid environment, depended on agriculture. Many rituals consisted of the worship of the mummies of the ruling dynasties. These rituals ranged from large mass ceremonies held in large squares, with mummies carried in procession, to private rituals in smaller enclosures. In Chimu ideology, the only way to secure the fertility of their fields was by honouring the ruling dynasties embodied in the mummies of their predecessors. Probably this was also political, since near the places where the mummies were worshiped, were great warehouses where goods were ceremonially distributed to allies or defeated enemy chiefs. Chimú culture was highly urbanised, dominated by the city of Chan Chan, one of the most important cities of antiquity, 20 km2. Each successive Chimu ruler probably built the 11 citadels that form the nucleus. Each had a set of intricate corridors, squares and enclosures, surrounded by perimeter walls up to 11m high and 600m long that left only narrow access to its interior. Each of these monumental ceremonial/ political centres was built entirely of adobe walls, with smaller spaces where rites were performed. Many walls, especially those of the large squares, have friezes of waves, fish, birds and marine motifs. Outside these segregated spaces, officials and artisans lived in modest buildings of adobe surrounding the citadels.
Vicus. Peru. Typical Vicus architectural model of a house with a grotesque individual inside. Double roof (to deal with heavy rain) supported by posts around an airy space, diagonal lines on the body represent stairs to a hill or platform (the mounds in this culture's sites). Vicus AB (Phase Temprana); Vicus and Moche. The metal insect in front is Vicus Culture, the metal balls are Moche culture Intermediate Period 100- 800 AD (probably these were mollusc decoration for a necklace) and the shield-like piece is a Moche musical instrument c100- 800 AD)
6. The Vicus culture (0-500 AD) developed in Piura, mainly in highlands at the foot of the Andes, although it was also related to the coast and the mountain range. It is a desert area, but it has some rivers and lagoons with abundant land for cultivation and pastures for the cattle. The Vicus developed a complex hydraulic system with rainwater collectors and channels to irrigate the fields. They cultivated pumpkins, squash, corn and some fruits, as can be derived from the decoration of their pottery, complemented by livestock. They collected guano for use as fertilizer. The Vicus worked with metal to create earrings, masks, nose rings, necklace beads, rattles, plates, crowns and headdresses with sequins and feathers that produce sounds with the movement. Many items are adorned with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, geometric, and hybrid motifs. Vicús pottery stands out for its patterned decoration and depiction of local wildlife such as deer, rodents, felines, monkeys, ducks, parrots, owls, iguanas and snakes. Some representations have characteristics of two or more animals, alluding to a mythical character. Other vessels represent humans in different activities, such as warriors, weavers or characters in unique outfits interpreted as priests. Some have erotic attitudes, perhaps related to beliefs about fertility. Judging by their frequent representation in art, warriors played a central role in society. The existence of complex craftsmanship testifies to full-time artisans. Music played an important role in their ritual life, as their burial mounds contain a large quantity of instruments, such as drums, flutes or whistle bottles. In ceramics, musicians playing antaras are one of the most common representations, appearing many times in themes alluding to funeral rites. The population was concentrated in the highlands in settlements on the small hills that dominate the valleys, composed of about 100 houses of quadrangular shape, made of mud adobe, although there are stone bases too. From the ceramic models it can be seen that they had simple walls, doors, open windows, and a simple sloping roof on wooden beams. There are also structures with only ceilings, and more complex buildings with several rooms and domes. The origins of Vicus were in cultures like Chorrera, with whom it shares aspects of the pottery tradition (technique, form and decoration) and was also influenced by other contemporary groups, such as Virú and Moche.
Tiwanaku culture Llama, Jaguar and Vase 400-600AD (far right is most of an incense burner)
7. Tiwanaku. From the Tiwanku site, located a few km south of Lake Titicaca, the Tiwanaku culture 100-1100 AD extended its influence through Bolivia, Peru, north Argentina and north Chile. However, its nucleus was in the altiplano surrounding the lake, characterised by a hard climate and an altitude above 3400m. In spite of cycles of aridity, floods and frozen constants, the zone is rich in llama and alpaca pastures, as well as good for the cultivation of tubers. Tiwanaku grew thanks to its strategic location in the lake basin, where caravan routes converged. This position allowed it to control the trade in goods produced in zones of lower altitude, like coca, corn or ají. To deal with the impact of climate on agriculture, they built elevated crop fields, known as "ridges" or sukakollos, which avoided floods and, at the same time, gathered humidity, moderating abrupt changes in temperature and providing abundant crops. The artists of Tiwanaku were masters of stone. They constructed stone walls that fit perfectly, some with embedded or carved figures, such as the heads of Kalasasaya temple or Puerta del Sol, showing a high architectural and artistic level. Great statues carved in stone columns represent people standing in hieratic attitude. Among the most common designs that illustrate the worldview of Tiwanaku, are felines with wings, snakes with feline heads, animals with human attributes and vice versa. Particularly noteworthy is the Lord of the Sceptres' motif, a frontal figure, almost always on a stepped platform, bearing command symbols in his hands. The most typical ceramic is the kero vessel, narrow based and wide mouthed, used to make ceremonial libations, richly decorated in black, white, and orange on a red base, although some have incised motifs. Tiwanaku iconography suggests an "imperial aesthetic," an essential part of power relations, circulating abbreviated versions of these figures around the state. Tiwanaku society consisted of a ruling aristocracy leading social and political aspects, especially in the redistribution of goods produced by full-time skilled artisans and a mass of peasants. It is assumed that Tiwanaku was a theocratic state, which means that social life was dictated by rites and ceremonies. Many ceramic characters present sacred attributes that have a long-standing in the Andean world, such as intertwined feline tusks. The Lord of the Sceptres is represented in the Sun Gate and other sculptural works. Their artistic representations show the use of hallucinogens in Tiwanaku rituals, reflected clearly in their development in the San Pedro culture in the north of Chile during the period in which it had relations with Tiwanaku. Tiwanaku represents the full development of the urban pattern of life. It is a hierarchical system of settlement, from the capital, then secondary towns, such as Ojje, Pachiri or Lukurmata, then rural administrative centres and finally a large number of mounds on which peasant families made their homes. Among the most impressive architectural works of Tiwanaku, as a civic-ceremonial capital, stands the Kalasasaya, which covers an area of almost 2 hectares and includes a semi-underground temple, where the "heads claves" were embedded in the stone walls. There are two stepped pyramids, Akapana and Puma Punku. Within the motifs of Tiwanaku art, the llama occupies a place as important as the feline, falconid and caiman. The llama (back of picture) was often used in art by the indigenous artists in the region of San Pedro de Atacama.
Most pieces are Wari 700-1100 AD apart from the pot with stylised suns decoration (Nasca Intermediate 100 BC-700 AD).
8. Wari. The capital of the Wari Empire (550-1000 AD) was located in the highlands of Southern Peru, near Ayacucho. At its height, the empire stretched from Cajamarca in the north to Arequipa in the south, from the Andean highlands to the Pacific coast, making it one of the largest Andean states in history. Wari culture displayed a high level of urban development, although in areas further from the centre a peasant village lifestyle predominated. The Wari engaged in economic and cultural exchange with other states, particularly Tiwanaku, despite the fact that relations between the two were tense. Wari agriculture relied on staples such as maize, potato and quinoa and on raising herds of llamas and alpacas. Nevertheless, this was an urban culture that directed its economy with strategic planning, making its cities the driving force behind the production and distribution of agricultural goods and manufactured wealth. Wari ceramic crafts display influences from three styles. Many of their designs are similar to those of Tiwanaku and Pukara, such as the figure of the winged shaman or the Sceptred Figure, while their most notable ceramic vessel, the twin-necked bottle, is evocative of Nazca culture. Wari ceramics are polychrome, with a highly polished surface. Some large, elaborately decorated polychrome pieces were probably used for ceremonial purposes and display the high technical expertise achieved by Wari craftsmen in large-scale production. Being an urban military culture, the Wari maintained a rigid social hierarchy. Priests and warriors occupied an important place in society and exercised their authority from its towns. It is believed the Wari state was a secular society with a warrior caste, rather than a theocratic state. However, the culture did maintain a religious structure that it imposed on the peoples it conquered, along with its economic and political customs. The Wari probably worshipped gods similar to those of the Tiwanaku, as the same iconography is found in the arts of both. The Wari were the first to develop ‘cities’ in the Andean area, great urban complexes with massive walls that protected homes, storehouses, streets, and plazas. They raised buildings for civil administration and military garrisons and their urban centres had districts for different trades such as potters and weavers. Their buildings were wide and consisted of a single floor. As a large empire, the Wari maintained a number of enclaves in different regions, such as those in the valleys of Nazca and Moquegua. The most immediate local forbears of the Wari were the Warpa culture, in the Ayacucho highlands. The Wari benefitted from early contact with the Nazca culture. As with Tiwanaku, the motifs of the Chavin found in Wari artefacts may have been introduced through Pukara. The Wari Empire expanded rapidly through military conquest and reached its zenith c650 AD, but its fall was fast. In the area of Lima, the Pachacamac culture developed its own sphere of influence to became a major rival of the Wari, and by 800 AD the Wari capital was deserted.

The central part of the second floor was dedicated to the Southern Andes, mainly Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay (although some spilled over into Chile). These were the Tafi in north Chile 300 BC-900 AD, the Ciénaga Culture of north Argentine and Chile 1-600AD, the La Aguada people of north-west Argentina to the arid far north of Chile (San Pedro de Atacama) 600-900 AD and the Santa Maria culture, again in northern Argentina / North Chile 1200-1470 AD.

South Andes
1. The Tafí culture 300BC-900 AD originated in the high plateau of Bolivia. It is probable that there were inter- ethnic contacts between Tafí and La Candelaria cultures. In the period of Regional Developments, the Tafi sites were supplanted by settlements of the Santamarian tradition, not as a cultural continuity, but as a rupture. Regarding religion, great monoliths, possibly in community ceremonies and linked to the ancestors, were located in ritual structures. However, there are also isolated monoliths inside dwellings, in fields and corrals, which could be testimony of a cult linked to agriculture. Stone and ceramic pipes with human or animal representations may have been used in these rituals to smoke psychoactive plants such as cebil. They were masters of stone sculpture, among which are large monoliths up to 3 m high, some decorated with motifs carved in bas-relief, such as stylised human faces that combine human and serpentine characters. The feline is heavily represented. Stone masks represent human faces. The pottery was monochrome and decorated with anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs using techniques such as incision, pastillaje and red slip. These ceramics maybe for rituals as they are sparse compared to simple domestic pottery.
2. Santa Maria culture 1200-1470 AD. The Santa María culture developed in a mainly dry and mountainous region, with large high plateaus. Agriculture that incorporated cultivated terraces and irrigation systems allowed Santa Maria to sustain a considerable population and even to generate surpluses that were kept in underground silos for exchanges or times of food shortages. They cultivated maize, potatoes, beans, quinoa and squash, and harvested the locust and chañar. They were excellent breeders, using different ecological niches to supply livestock forage. The availability of llamas as pack animals allowed them to develop economic and cultural exchanges. The metallurgy of copper, gold and silver were their most developed handicrafts, although this culture is especially known for quality bronze work used for the elaboration of ceremonial objects like decorated disks or bells. Copper tweezers, metal bracelets and pectorals, necklaces and badges decorated with human faces and snakes were made. The most notable pottery is the large funerary urn, profusely decorated with designs that reach a high level of abstraction and complexity, even though they insinuate figurative motifs, mainly characters with shields and serpentine designs. Santa Maria reached a great socio-political complexity, ruled by a hereditary family. There were warriors and priests, who occupied a high place in society. These characters appear to have been depicted in ceramics and metal pieces bearing distinct symbols of power, such as tunics, headdresses, weapons, or trophy heads. The designs on ceramics and metal pieces represent the symbolic importance of certain human figures and animals such as the toad, suri or Andean ostrich. Judging by their common representation, these motifs were an important part of funerary rites and worship of the dead. The first Spanish chroniclers report that the deceased were veiled for several days and then buried with costumes, ornaments, food, drinks and objects. Adult burials were in cylindrical funerary chambers, repeatedly opened to house new bodies. Many funeral urns were decorated with anthropomorphic faces with zoomorphic and geometric motifs. A few sites show urban development. The population settled on hills, plateaus or scattered along rivers. The dwellings, mainly of stone double walls, were 2/3 rectangular rooms that opened into a large courtyard. By 1430 the Inca had come into contact with this culture, bringing changes in material and socio-political aspects, although the fundamental cultural nucleus and language of these populations remained unchanged until the arrival of the European conquerors.
Funerary Urn Santa Maria c1270; ceremonial clava Mapuche c1500

Still on the main floor was the darkened textile room. Really well done too; you could pull open the drawers to find more examples and their information. We hadn't appreciated the archaeological/ cultural value of textiles before this exhibit!

Chilean Cultures
On the lower floor of the museum were the Chilean cultures; giant Mapuche wood statues, Râpa Nui artefacts, the famous Chinchorro mummies, some amazingly complex quipu, pottery and stone tools.
1. The Chincherro culture, 7000-1500 BC occupied the far north along the coast of north Chile/ south Peru, a region where the desert coast is extremely arid, but rich in marine resources (fish, sealions, gulls). Creeks that reach the sea bring fresh water, vegetables and shrubs. The name of this culture is from Chinchorro beach, Arica, where the first remains were found. The Chinchorro specialised in marine resources, for which they had a diverse set of tools, including hooks of cactus spine and harpoon tips with different ends for different prey. The ears of their mummies show they practised diving to great depths. They ate vegetables, and cultivated cotton and squash to make nets, bags and containers. Their art is reflected in their mummies. These had turbans of twisted vegetable or animal ropes, adorned with conch and malachite beads. The face was covered by a fine mud mask and the body wrapped with elaborate animal and/ or vegetable textiles as strips and cords, different colours at each date, but ochre and terracotta tones pre-dominate. Some mummies have totora skirts. The bodies rest on mats of vegetable fibre and animal fur, accompanied by instruments (bow, stoles, knives, harpoons) or sheets of native copper in a funeral bundle. They practised cranial deformation. They did not appear to have a social structure, living in small bands, although specialists in mummification existed. The Chinchorro Culture is the first manifestation of a cult of death / ancestor worship in arid South American, manifested in the complicated process of mummification which consisted of body dismemberment, the removal of muscles and viscera, replaced by vegetables, feathers, pieces of leather, wool fleeces and other materials. The body was reassembled with ash and clay and covered in black paint. The earliest techniques produced black mummies, with the later, simpler methods making red mummies. Then the body was covered with a layer of clay and human hair used to make a wig for the head. This process went through several stages: at first only newborns and children were mummified, using strong colours and accompanied with clay figurines. At the climax of culture (c3000 BC) all ages were mummified, mainly using red, black and coffee. In the twilight of this culture, only masks of mud were applied to bodies. In the latest phase only the innards and brain were removed and the body was reinforced with sticks rather than dismembered, then painted red. Repeated repairs to mummies suggest their use in rituals. The mummies were not buried but left flush with the surface and given their extended position, presumably were standing, forming an active part of life, perhaps as territorial marks to support the lineage from a common ancestor. A possible antecedent of this culture is Acha, c6000 BC, in Azapa valley, but they did not mummify. The Chinchorro culture is related to the Culture of Conch's Hook and Abtao, with which they share technological aspects, particularly the harpoon. The last stage of Chinchorro (c2000 BC) is intertwined with the Quiani Phase, who followed them, after a simplification of mummification.

2. The Mapuche culture (c1200-1900 AD) was the dominant culture in central Chile (and is now +90% of the indigenous population). For more on this culture see Lakes. Other cases contained Rapa nui artefacts from Easter island (For more see Easter Island), Horizonte Inka and the Diaguita Culture 1200-1470 AD.
Mapuche artefacts- Axe, Bolas stones, stone bowl with duck-head handles c1300, ceremonial clava (sticks) c1600; Mapuche chemamüll wooden statues used to mark a grave; Rapa Nui kavakava statue; Horizonte Inka quipu c1400;
The Diaguita, who may have come from Quechua or Aymara people (it means hill in both languages) live in the far north (Elqui) from c1000AD. Alternatively they may be descended from the Diaguita-Calchaqui people across the Andes in north Argentina, speaking Kakan (now extinct and the only dictionary lost). Most of their ceramics are small bowls, decorated in red, white and black with geometric designs and some stylised faces.

Posted by PetersF 15:17 Archived in Chile Tagged history museum chile bahia santiago archaeology nazca teotihuacan maya tiwanaku chavin chinchorro aztec nayarit veracruz valdivia moche zapotec olmec mapuche chimú guerrero toltec colima pre-columbian santa_maria chupícuaro mixtec capuli la_tolita chorrera vicus wari parakas tafi Comments (0)

Chile - Santiago pm

Plaza, Arts and Wine

10th Feb Santiago pm

After a coffee break in the museum, we headed round the corner past the Former National Congress Building of Santiago (ex Congreso Nacional), which is the former home of the Chilean Congress. Congress met in this building in central Santiago until Salvador Allende's socialist government was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet's military coup d'état on September 11, 1973.
During the Pinochet dictatorship, Congress was moved to new premises in Valparaíso; the old building was declared a national monument in 1976 and between 1990-2006 housed the ministry of foreign affairs. The Senate moved its offices in Santiago to this building in December 2000. On January 26, 2006 the Chamber of Deputies recovered its old offices. Work began on the original building under President Manuel Montt Torres (1851–1861), but the construction was not completed until 1876, during the presidency of Federico Errázuriz Zañartu. The building was destroyed by fire in 1895, rebuilt, and reopened in 1901, during the Parliamentary Era. It stands on Morandé 441 near the Blvd. Liberador Bernardo O'Higgins, partially surrounded by gardens that contain a variety of exotic trees and plant life. The eastern portion of the gardens was the former site of the Church of the Company. The building has a cross within a square plan, which creates four courtyards. It also features classical pedimented porticos with Corinthian columns on the north and east facades. The building and its gardens occupy a complete city block, which is adjacent to city blocks containing other nationally significant buildings such as the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palacio de los Tribunales de Justicia de Santiago and the building that currently houses the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino.
We went around the corner to arrive at the Plaza des Armas (lit Square of Weapons and originally a military training ground), which houses several important buildings. Our first port of call was the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago (Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago) is the seat of the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile. Four churches have stood on this site, each destroyed by a different disaster. Construction of the neoclassical cathedral took place between 1748-1800 (architects included Toesca and Celli); with further alterations (a splendid ornate facade by the Italian architect Ignazio Cremonesi in 1906) giving its present appearance. Previous cathedrals were destroyed by earthquakes. The cathedral, in the historic centre, faces the Plaza de Armas near Palacio Arzobispal de Santiago, and close to Parroquia El Sagrario, a Catholic temple and Chilean national monument. Its Baroque decoration rivals anything in Europe. There are ornate frescos on the ceiling, chandeliers, and gilded columns. It’s also rewarding to look down; there are intricate black and white patterns made of thousands of small tiles. The crypt below the main floor is starkly plain. The austerity seems fitting. The Metropolitan Cathedral stands on the northwest corner of the Plaza de Armas, the historic heart of Santiago. Its two towers stood tall when added in 1800, but are now dwarfed by modern office buildings next to it. As we were leaving the cathedral we headed right to the Museo de Arte Sagrado religious art museum, located behind the Cathedral, with a courtyard, colonial architecture and collection of Jesuit silverware, religious paintings, sculpture, and furniture.
Along the north side was a group of buildings. Palacio de la Real Audiencia de Santiago (Royal Court Palace or Palace of the Boxes) (centre of pic) is located in the north central area of the Plaza de Armas. The building was built 1804-07 to house the royal courts of justice. It was the work of Juan Goycolea, a pupil of Italian-born Joaquin Toesca who designed nearby La Moneda Palace and the east facade of the Cathedral in the last two decades of the 18th century. The courts sat here for 2 years until Chile's first government junta, in 1810, assembled to replace the Spanish governor. Eight years later the Chilean Declaration of Independence was solidified and the building served as the meeting place for the new congress and the seat of government until 1846, until President Manuel Bulnes moved to La Moneda Palace. The Chilean National History Museum (Museo Histórico Nacional or MHN) is located in the Palacio de la Real Audiencia. Next to (left) it is the historic Post Office or Correo Central, located on what was the land lot originally owned by Pedro de Valdivia and where he built his house. The site was occupied by a building that served as the Governor’s and later the Presidential Palace until 1846. Construction of the current building, by Ricardo Brown dates to 1881- 1908, with a rococo facade and roof. Just behind was the Cuartel de Bomberos, HQ of the city’s oldest fire brigade and the first public building in the capital to incorporate private commercial outlets in an effort to generate a more stable income for the firemen, who serve on a voluntary basis even today. We decided on a quick walk around the Plaza before lunch, finding several interesting buildings and statues, notably “Al Pueblo Indigena” by Enrique Villalobos. The impressive Municipalidad de Santiago (City Hall) caught our eye on the east side; and we spotted the famous Chess Club of Santiago (chess = ajedrez) which meets on the outdoor stage on the eastern side of the plaza. A group of dancers were busy dancing Cueca (traditional Chilean dance), quite different from any other Latin dance. Cueca is unique in its waltz-like rhythm. On the doorstep to City Hall was the equestrian statue of Pedro de Valdivia (founder of Santiago: see history). A central fountain made us feel cooler, as it was becoming quite hot. We could see a nice arcade (Galerias) along the south side, the Portal Fernández Concha, which contained a mix of cafes and snack shops. We chose one, El Rincon del Portal, to have a typical Chilean lunch of chicken and bean salad.
post-office-santiago-plaza-des-armas_33450190683_o.jpgplaza-des-armas-santiago-chile_34259983895_o.jpg large_plaza-des-armas-santiago-chile_34219831826_o.jpg

After lunch we decided to head up towards the quieter Barrio Belles Artes area. Interestingly, as we headed along Merced we passed the Casa del Presidente Manuel Montt (Calle Merced 738), a controversial 2-term president in 1851 and 1861 who managed to annoy just about everyone, conservative and liberal! The only useful thing he did was to encourage German immigration into central Chile (Lakes District), which is why Puerto Montt is named after him. Then it was up to the beautiful Museo Belles Artes (which includes the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo), based in the relaxing green Parque Forestal. The beautiful Beaux Arts museum was free to visit and had more in than we’d originally thought. The glass roof with its interior balcony was very impressive and the side rooms had an interesting selection of artworks from the good (a few masters), indifferent (some local dignitaries paintings), avant-garde (actually quite good) to the bizarre and disturbing (some modern photos of bottoms!).
Museo Belles Artes is open Tue- Sun 10-18.45 and is free. The Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Belles Artes or MNBA) is one of the major centres for Chilean and South American art. Established in 1880 (the oldest in South America), the current building, the Palace of the Fine Arts (Palacio de Belles Artes), dates to 1910 and commemorates the first centennial of the Independence of Chile. It was designed by the French-Chilean architect Emile Jecquier in full-blown Beaux-arts style and sited in the Parque Forestal which was designed by Jorge Enrique Dubois, who had been trained in the gardening school of Versailles. Behind it is located the Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo) of the University of Chile, also located the old School of Fine Arts (Escuela de Belles Artes). The Palacio de Belles Artes, the current home of the Museum is in Neoclassical Second Empire/ Baroque Revival, strongly reinforced with Art Nouveau details and touches of metallic structural architecture. The central entrance is through a gigantic enlarged version of Borromini's false-perspective window reveals from Palazzo Barberini, which encloses a pedimented doorway entirely surrounded by glass, a Beaux-Arts touch. Through a broken pediment the squared cupola rises to the top. The internal layout and the facade are modelled after the Petit Palais of Paris. The glass cupola that crowns the central hall was designed in Belgium and brought to Chile in 1907. The floor plan is a central axis marked by the entrance and a grand hall with a staircase to the second floor. In the grand hall, above a balcony from the second floor, there is a carving in high relief, which depicts two angels supporting a shield, located in the semi vault above the heads of two Caryatids that arise from the balcony, carved by Antonio Coll y Pi. Collections include works by Luis Vargas Rosas and Roberto Matta.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo http://www.mac.uchile.cl/museo/mision-y-lineamientos
Both venues of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Parque Forestal and Quinta Normal are run by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Chile. As such, the Museum assumes the mission of the University: collecting pieces of cultural reality, promoting discussion and reflection about fields of human knowledge. MAC is focused on modern/ contemporary art, and has the responsibility to explore new art production, national and international, from a contemporary perspective. Over 2,800 artworks represent a historical reference. MAC has 1,000 engravings, 600 paintings, 130 drawings, watercolours, and temperas, and 80 sculptures. This includes works of prominent national artists Roberto Matta, Nemesio Antúnez, Matilde Pérez, José Balmes, and international artists Guayasamín (Ecuador), Hundertwasser (Austria), Noguchi (USA), David Batchelor (UK), and Jesús Ruiz Nestosa (Paraguay).

We collected our bags and, as we were hot AND thirsty, we walked through the Parque Forestal towards Merced to find famous Emporio La Rosa, reputedly the best ice cream in Santiago and one of the top in the world. Obviously we ordered some helados (ice cream) and a refreshing lemon drink. We then realised we were in Lastarria, so we had a quick recce of where to find Bocanariz restaurant for the night, passing the Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro and MAVI Museo de Artes Visuales/ MAS Museo Arqueológico de Santiago. The Cultural Foundation Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro (Santiago Archaeological Museum and Museum of Visual Arts) aims to conserve and promote heritage and contemporary Chilean art. The Plaza became a cultural landmark in the early 80s; an abandoned house became the Art Restoration and Conservation Laboratory. Later, alongside the Contemporary Arts Institute, art galleries, bookstores, handicraft stores and cafés were established, giving new life to the Lastarria neighbourhood. Since then, cultural activities related to arts, literature and music have developed in Plaza Mulato Gil. The building that houses MAS/ MAVI was designed by Chilean architect Cristián Undurraga Saavedra, with 6 exhibition halls on different levels connecting through a central space. Its location in Lastarria is alongside the National Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Arts Museum, Gabriel Mistral Cultural Centre, and Telefónica Foundation. The “Chile Indígena” travelling initiative culminated with the foundation of Santiago Archaeological Museum (MAS). In 2012, the Foundation donated the collection to the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. MAS is now an exhibition space. Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre (GAM) was originally built as the headquarters for the 3rd UNCTAD conference, held in Santiago in 1972, and consisted of a convention centre and 22-storey building. The building was finished in 275 days by several thousand volunteers, part of a propaganda initiative by the socialist government of Salvador Allende. The complex was damaged by fire in 2006 and rebuilt as GAM in 2010, named after the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. It looks like a giant rusty cheese grater from the street, with little plazas, murals, cafes and more.

BELLAVISTA Then, it was back over to Santa Lucia market (left) to buy shoes (Steve) and a vicuna cardi (me) before walking to Barrio Bellavista to visit the Lapis Lazuli shop http://www.lapislazulihouse.cl/eng/index.php (Bellavista 08. Second Floor) where we bought some Valentine Day earrings and cufflinks. From the foothills of the Chilean Andes, Lapis Lazuli House provides the world with fine lapis lazuli jewellery. Handcrafted in Santiago by expert artisans, its designs come from a three-generation family tradition of lapis lazuli jewellery. The natural stone, prized for its beauty and power, is mined from deep within the Andes, yet with its stunning shades of blue, one might believe it was pulled from the sky rather than beneath the earth. Located in Santiago de Chile, in the foothills of the Chilean Andes, Lapis Lazuli House has worked for over 40 years to provide fine, handcrafted lapis lazuli jewellery and ornamentation to clients worldwide. Their unique designs are individually crafted by Chilean artisans working with natural lapis lazuli, sterling silver, and semi-precious stones. Since it was founded, Lapis Lazuli House has supported dozens of local craftsmen in the design, manufacture, and promotion of their work, helping to reduce poverty in underprivileged areas. Lapis Lazuli House was founded by Luciana Celis in 1971. With encouragement from her father-in-law, Joseph Lamonica, Luciana established the first Chilean Lapis boutique in Bellavista, a well-known bohemian and artistic hub in Santiago de Chile. Lapis lazuli was declared the Chilean national stone in 1984. For their rich history and the quality of their fine Chilean handicraft, Lapis Lazuli House is recognised in prestigious travel guides such as Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and Baedekers. In 2014, Lapis Lazuli House strengthened its international presence by establishing its first US subsidiary in Washington, D.C. The gemstone itself is considered semi-precious, and its colour comes from a combination of several minerals. While the rock is mostly composed of lazurite, from which it gains the iconic blue colouring, the presence of calcite is responsible for ivory streaking, and the golden hues are a result of pyrite. Today, lapis lazuli is mined primarily in Chile and Afghanistan. The deposits within the Chilean Andes are widely appreciated for their deep blue colouring. With the high yield of lapis stone from the Flor de los Andes mine (3,600 m above sea level), Chile has become the most respected source of lapis lazuli in the world. Then it was a walk back to the hotel for a rest before dinner.

We ordered an Uber to get us to Bocanáriz Wine bar, José Victorino Lastarria 276 http://www.bocanariz.cl. Bocanáriz is situated in the heart of one of the most beautiful and historic neighbourhoods in the city. The menu was designed around flavours that aim to enhancing the taste of the wine. Since opening, they have focused on being The Showcase of Chilean Wine, with one of the longest and awarded lists in the country and with a wine list awarded for the third year in a row as one of the best in the world, by the prestigious international magazine Wine Spectator. They have a selection of nearly 400 bottles, showcasing wine production in Chile, from acknowledged wineries with vast productions to signature wines of very small artisan producers. We chose their “Flights” menu where the wine and food are chosen to complement each other. (Actually I’d say the wine comes first and the food was chosen second or consider this, of the 19-page menu, 15 were the wine list!)
The food/wine as below!!
To start: visit Chile from sea to mountain range in gastronomy and wines, showing products and diversity in terms of peaks and expressions.
Entree: Trilogy of Sea and Mountain: Abalone in green sauce / Biscuit with chopped meat / Mature goats cheese & quince on toast Pairing 3 tasting
glasses of 50cc each:
- Sauvignon Blanc from Concha y Toro Terrunyo (Casablanca) 2015. Just 25 years ago there was only grazing and fruit in Casablanca Valley. In
1982 Pablo Morandé, Concha y Toro’s winemaker, planted Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, as the valley was perfect for cool climate
whites. The first wines (late 1980s) prompted more planting, curtailed only by a shortage of water. As there is no river in the valley, irrigation
is from artesian wells; one can now only plant if water rights have already been acquired. It therefore remains a small area of production, less
than 5% of Chilean vineyards. Casablanca has a cool climate. As the valley is open to the Pacific it benefits from thick maritime fogs, which can
remain until the afternoon, and cold winds off the ocean. The only problem is frost, which can strike into November. It is a great region for
white wine, and over 2/3 of the vineyards are white grapes, mainly Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but it is also one the best sites in Chile
for Pinot Noir. The Concha y Toro Vineyard was founded by Don Melchor de Santiago Concha y Toro and his wife, Emiliana Subercaseaux, in
1883 with grapes from Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Merlot, Carmenère). The Concha y Toro family are connect-
ed to Chilean aristocracy; the director is Marquess of Casa Concha, a Chilean diplomat and ambassador; and the president Alfonso Larraín
Santa María is Marquess of Larraín in Spain. http://www.conchaytoro.com/descubre-vinos/fine-wine collection/terrunyo-sauvignon-blanc-en/
- Carménère Winemakers Black from Vina Carmen 2013 (Apalta). Winemaker’s Black expresses the energy and character of the Apalta Valley.
Deep and intense carmine red, the nose features ripe blackberries, blackcurrant, and cedar aromas that blend with light notes of paprika,
sweet spices, and lead. This wine of richness and volume with smooth, sweet tannins, has a lingering finish. Viña Carmen was founded by
Christian Lanz in 1850 and named in honour of his wife. In 1987 it became part of Grupo Claro, which has vineyards throughout Chile. In 1994
Vina Carmen was instrumental in rediscovering Carménère in their vineyards, specifically the Alto Maipo Valley, an event that returned this
variety, long thought extinct after the mid 19th century phylloxera infection, to the world’s wine heritage, becoming in 1996, the first winery to
create and sell Carménère wine. Winemaker is their premium label, produced by their winemaker, Sebastián Labbé. He was born in Chile, but
learned his craft at Margrain Vineyard, a boutique winery in Marlborough, New Zealand focused on producing white wines and Pinot Noir.
- Vinedos de Alcohuaz Grus (Syrah / Garnacha / Malbec / Petite Syrah) (Elqui) GRUS 2015 Viñedos Alcohuaz Grus, Elqui (Valley). Alcohuaz is the
name of the small village near the vineyard. Viñedos de Alcohuaz is a young project, the vines are 10 years old and planted on granite/ volcanic
soils in the semi-arid environment of the Elqui Valley. The vineyard is farmed organically-biodynamically. Marcelo Retamal of de Martino fame
is responsible for winemaking at this 18ha estate. GRUS is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Malbec, fermented in stone lagares and
aged 12 months in Nomblot concrete Eggs. The name GRUS comes from a constellation of stars - the crane bird. Elqui and Limari are out of this
world arid with less than 1 inch of rainfall a year (7 times less than the Gobi Desert!). The day-to-night temperature shift is about 16.1oC. Elqui
is unique because it has 3 distinct climate zones: Coastal (morning fog and less extreme temperature shifts); Mid-Valley (large temperature
swings (diurnal shift) and 330 days of sun a year); Andes (high elevation vineyards, up to 2133 m). Despite being within the Atacama Desert,
Elqui and Limari are ideally suited to vines. The valleys are actually considered cool climates because of the huge diurnal temperature shifts.
The Pacific Ocean breezes and morning fog, that appears along the coast around a 1⁄3 of the mornings through the year, help reduce the
intensity of the sun on the vines and make the valleys relatively cool for a richer, creamier Sauvignon Blanc, and dense, yet light, Syrah. The
Elqui Valley wine region is located 400km north of Santiago, at the southern edge of the Atacama Desert. Its latitude of 29° makes it Chile’s
northernmost wine region. Traditionally the region focused on producing Chile's trademark brandy, Pisco, but today Elqui Valley vineyards are
producing bright, aromatic wines. Elqui is famous for its bright sunshine, pure air and clear skies (the region is also home to a number of
astronomical observatories). Vineyards here receive far higher levels of solar radiation than any European wine region. The secret to
successful viticulture this close to the equator is altitude. Elqui's vineyards, some of the highest in the world, are up to 2200m above sea level,
which means warm, bright, days followed by cool, fresh nights. This diurnal temperature variation lengthens the grape growing season,
allowing the grapes time to develop intense varietal character, while retaining refreshing levels of acidity. There is no major north-south valley
here between the coast and the Andes, just a series of spectacular transverse valleys that deliver precious Andean melt-water to the vineyards.
Table wine was first produced here in the 1990s, when Chilean producers began to look beyond the Central Valley. The name Elqui means
'narrow valley' in the local Quechua language, which perfectly sums up the local geography as mountains line the valley on either side. Elqui
Valley features Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Carménère and Pedro Ximenez. http://vdalcohuaz.cl/
Main: We chose Strip roast in red wine with potato sweet potato and fried onion scales Pairing: 150cc Carménère 2014 Casa Silva Gran Terroir Los Lingues (Fundo Los Lingues, Valle de Colchagua), a smoky, savoury, black fruited Chilean Carménère. This is one of the finest examples of Chilean Carménère. The grapes are from vineyards planted in Los Lingues, 20km north-east of their Angostura site. Here the terroir gives the Carménère a smokier style with blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Emilio Bouchon arrived in Chile from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, in 1892, and his family has been making wine here ever since. They were pioneers in the Colchagua Valley, although it was not until 1997 that Mario Pablo Silva, the eldest son of the 5th generation, and his father, Mario Silva, shared the dream of making wines under their own label. The latter has dedicated much of his life to recovering the old vineyards and wine cellar and acquired a unique understanding of the terroir in Colchagua Valley. His other sons Francisco, Gonzalo, and Raimundo joined soon after. From the original vineyard site and winery in Angostura, new sites have been planted in Los Lingues, Lolol and Colchagua’s first coastal estate at Paredones. With the “Microterroir Project” and “Carménère Clone Project” now fully underway, the future is bright for Vina Casa Silva, which remains a family business. Vina Casa Silva is the most awarded winery in Chile. Located in the birthplace of rural Chilean tradition, Colchagua Valley has received more international awards and accolades than any other Chilean wine region. Colchagua Valley is divided into the Andean sector, influenced by the mountains, a central sector on the flatlands, and a coastal sector, influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Los Lingues, on the northeast border of Colchagua Valley at the foot of the Andes Mountains, has its own microclimate, which makes it a small sub-valley. Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon planted are of very high quality and character. Los Lingues Carménère has earned countless accolades at home and abroad. There is also a small amount of very good Petit Verdot grown here as well as an experimental garden. The soils are of alluvial-colluvial origin, composed of ancient terrace formations with low organic matter and low-medium fertility. The texture varies from fine sand, clay, and angulated granite stones with excellent drainage. Because the property is located at the foot of the mountains, it has a unique and irregular topography, making it a fascinating place to conduct micro-terroir studies. The climate is temperate Mediterranean. The influence of the Andes is felt in cool nights with day-night temperature oscillations up to 20oC, ideal for fruit concentration in grapes. The opening between the mountain ranges creates a breeze that keeps the temperature around the grape clusters uniform and ensures excellent health conditions. The average rainfall is lower here than in the rest of the valley. The wines are of exceptional quality with tremendous body and colour, natural sweetness and soft tannins. http://www.casasilva.cl/company.html

Dessert: Chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream Pairing: Tasting glass (50cc) Armidita Pajarete (Moscatel) (Huasco) 2013 http://armidita.cl/en A
lovely sweet muscatel from Viña Armidita, a family-owned company located in the heart of the Atacama Desert, in the high Huasco Valley. Sunlight and sweetness combine with a balanced sourness to produce unique wines that express the terrúa of an unparalleled geography. Pajarete is a sweet full-bodied wine, elaborated with muscatel grapes. Armidita distinguish themselves as a winery that rescues Denominations of Origin that seem lost, infusing them with new life through an artisanal winemaking process seeking to recapture the qualities of the Muscatel. The winery was established by Nicolás Naranjo, a lover of winemaking. In 1873 he built the Armidita canal, 14km long, to irrigate his 250hc estate. He invited a vintner from Spain to plant the first vines. In 1880, Nicolás named the winery Armidita, in honour of his daughter who died age 11, and in 1888 he produced the first Chilean wine to receive an award in France. Together with Domingo Concha y Toro, Ismael Tocornal and Domingo Errazuriz, Don Nicolas is considered a pioneer of Chilean winemaking. After Don Nicolas, the estate had two owners before Don Gudelio Ramirez Muñoz. Attracted by the fertile Huasco valley, he acquired the estate in 1972 with his wife, Violeta Ibarbe, who had worked with her father in the vineyard and winery, and started to make pajarete. Nowadays, Gudelio and his daughters Sandra and Cecilia run the winery. History of Pajarete- Around the site of the town of Vallenar, 17th century Jesuits brought wine production from Andalucía (Monte de Pajarete) to El Carmen valley, as a sacramental wine. Its legacy was passed through generations in Chile’s Huasco Alto valleys, with different types of pajarete. Originally of rustic production (sun dried, sieve-crushed) with issues of oxidation, poor fermentation or dirty casks, it was long considered an inferior wine. It was illegally made and sold for nearly 200 years before the Chilean government trained producers in better production and made a legal and quality wine. Over 90% of pajarete is made in the Atacama/ Coquimbo area, specifically Huasco.
After a very pleasant meal we ordered (with a little difficulty) an Uber back to the hotel.

History of Santiago
European conquest and colonisation (1540–1810)
Pedro de Valdivia (right), a captain in the army, realising the potential for expanding the Spanish empire southward, and despite de Almagro’s failure, asked Pizarro's permission to head to the southern lands. With 200 men, he subdued the local inhabitants and in 1541 founded the city of Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, now Santiago. Valdivia could see the agricultural richness of the land and continued to explore west of the Andes, founding over a dozen towns and establishing the first encomiendas. The greatest resistance came from the Mapuche people, who opposed European conquest and colonisation until the 1880s; known as the Arauco War. Valdivia died at the Battle of Tucapel, defeated by Lautaro, a young Mapuche toqui (war chief), but European conquest continued. Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia was from Extremadura (an impoverished region of Spain, also the birthplace of Pizarro) and was sent by Francisco Pizarro from Cuzco, reaching the valley of the Mapocho on 13 December 1540.
4ad023b0-8f12-11eb-95ca-e74b71dc51f6.pngValdivia camped by the river in the slopes of the Tupahue hill and met with the picunches (natives) who inhabited the area. Valdivia summoned the local chiefs and explained his intention to found a city on behalf of King Carlos I of Spain, as the capital of his governorship of Nueva Extremadura. The natives recommended a small island between two branches of the river next to a small hill called Huelén (Santa Lucia). On 12 February 1541, Valdivia officially founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo (Santiago of New Extremadura) in honour of St. James (Santiago being the Galician evolution of Vulgar Latin Sanctu Iacobu, "Saint James") and entrusted the grid layout of the new town to master builder Pedro de Gamboa. Gamboa designed a Plaza Mayor, around which plots for the Cathedral and the governor’s house were selected. In total, 8 blocks north to south, and 10 east to west, were built. Each solar (quarter block) was given to settlers, who built houses of mud and straw. Valdivia left months later to go south with his troops, leaving Santiago unprotected. The indigenous hosts of Michimalonco used this to their advantage, and attacked. The city was destroyed by the natives, but the Spanish garrison of 55 managed to defend the fort, led by Inés de Suárez, mistress to Valdivia. When she realised they were being overrun, she ordered the execution of all native prisoners, put their heads on pikes and threw a few heads to the natives. In face of this barbaric act, the natives dispersed in terror. The city was rebuilt, giving prominence to the newly founded Concepción, where the Royal Audiencia of Chile was founded in 1565. However, the constant danger faced by Concepción, due to its proximity to the War of Arauco and a succession of devastating earthquakes, would not allow the definitive establishment of the Royal Court in Santiago until 1607, reaffirming the city's role as capital.
Inés de Suárez, defending Santiago against a Mapuche attack in 1541
Inés Suárez, (c.1507–80) was a female Spanish conquistador who participated in the Conquest of Chile with Pedro de Valdivia and successfully defended Santiago against a Mapuche attack in 1541. She was born in Extremadura, and came to America c1537 in search of her husband Juan de Málaga, who had left with the Pizarro brothers. After searching South America, she arrived in Lima in 1538. Her husband was already dead, so in 1539 she applied for and was granted, as the widow of a Spanish soldier, a plot of land in Cuzco and encomienda rights to some Indians. She became the mistress of Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia (1497–1553) after he returned from the Battle of Las Salinas (1538). Although they were from the same area of Spain and at least one novelist tells of a long-standing love affair, there is no evidence they had met prior to this. Valdivia was a Spanish conquistador and the first royal governor of Chile. He was sent to South America in 1534, as lieutenant under Francisco Pizarro in Peru. There he took part on the side of Hernando Pizarro against Diego de Almagro in the battle of Las Salinas in 1538, which saw Almagro defeated and captured. In late 1539, encouraged by his captains, Valdivia requested official permission for Suárez to become a part of the group of Spaniards he was leading south into Chile. After the failure of Diego de Almagro’s expedition of 1536, the lands south of Peru remained unexplored. Valdivia asked governor Francisco Pizarro for permission to complete the conquest of that territory. He got his permission but was appointed only Lieutenant Governor, and not Governor, as he had wanted. Valdivia had to sell the lands and mine that had been assigned to him to finance the expedition. A shortage of soldiers was problematic as they were uninterested in conquering what they were sure were extremely poor lands. Furthermore, while he was preparing the expedition, Pedro Sancho de Hoz arrived from Spain with a royal grant for the same country. To avoid difficulties, Pizarro advised the two competitors to join their interests, and in 1539, a partnership was signed, leaving Cuzco in 1540, with seeds, swine, brood mares, 1000 native Indians, a few Spaniards and Inés de Suárez. En route 150 more Spaniards joined. Valdivia resolved to avoid the road over the Andes, which had proved fatal to Almagro, and set out through the Atacama Desert, where Suarez found water. On the way, de Hoz, seeking sole leadership, tried to murder Valdivia but failed (due to Suarez), and had to accept subordinate status. The natives, having already experienced the incursions of the Spaniards, (Diego de Almagro, 1535/6) burned their crops and drove off their livestock, leaving nothing for Valdivia’s band and the animals which accompanied them. The natives were not pleased by the return of the Spaniards due to the maltreatment they had suffered under Almagro, but Valdivia was able to regain their trust. After 5 months, they arrived at the Copiapo valley, where Valdivia officially took possession of the land in the name of the Spanish king. Soon after they continued south and in 1540, reached the valley of the Mapocho river, where they established the capital of the territory. The valley was extensive and well populated with natives. Its soil was fertile and there was abundant fresh water and two hills provided defensive positions. Soon after their arrival, Valdivia tried to convince the native inhabitants of his good intentions, sending out delegations bearing gifts for the caciques (chiefs). In 1541, Valdivia officially founded the city of Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura. After arriving in Chile, Valdivia and his men went out of their way to restore the relationship between conquistador and Indian that had been so harmed by Almagro. At first, Valdivia was successful in his efforts to deal benevolently with the native population, but this peaceful coexistence did not last long. One of the first orders Valdivia gave was to have a ship constructed at the mouth of the Aconcagua River to send to Peru for further supplies and to serve as a courier service, but soon was obliged to return in haste to Santiago to subdue a mutiny.
4b0f4f90-8f12-11eb-95ca-e74b71dc51f6.pngBernado O’Higgins (the Liberator) portrait in National Museum
Valdivia tried to convince the natives of his good intentions, sending delegations bearing gifts for the caciques. The natives kept the gifts but united under the leadership of Michimalonco, attacked the Spaniards and were at the point of overwhelming them. Suddenly, the natives threw down their weapons and fled. Captured Indians declared that they had seen a man, mounted on a white horse and carrying a naked sword, descend from the clouds and attack them. The Spaniards decided it was a miraculous appearance of Santo Iago (Saint James). On learning of Francisco Pizarro's murder in 1541, Valdivia appointed himself governor of the territory by the council of Santiago, and removed Chile from Peruvian control, acknowledging only royal authority, an arrangement the Crown found acceptable. Secure in his own domain, he pushed exploration south and aided the development of the country by dividing the land among his ablest followers and parcelling out the Indians in encomiendas. Chile possessed minerals, but Valdivia subordinated mining to agriculture and stock raising. Still, the colony was not prosperous; gold was scarce and the Araucanians warlike. In August 1541, when Valdivia was occupied on the coast, Suárez uncovered another plot to unseat him. After the plotters were taken care of, Valdivia turned his attention to the Indians and invited seven caciques to meet with him. When the Indians arrived, Valdivia them held as hostages for the safe delivery of the provisions and the safety of outlying settlements. On September 9, Valdivia took 40 men and left the city to put down an uprising of Indians near Aconcagua. A young yanakuna brought word to Captain Alonso de Monroy, who had been left in charge of the city, that the woods around the city were full of natives. Suárez was asked if she thought that the Indian hostages should be released as a peace gesture. She replied that she saw it as a bad idea; if the Indians overpowered the Spaniards, the hostages were their only bargaining ship. Monroy accepted her counsel and called a council of war. The Spaniards rode out to engage the Indians, led by Michimalonco. The Mapuche forced the Spanish to retreat across the Mapocho River and by mid-afternoon, they were backed up to the plaza itself. All day the battle raged. Suárez recognized the extreme danger of the situation and offered a suggestion. All day the 7 caciques who were prisoners of the Spaniards, had been shouting encouragement to their people. Suárez proposed decapitation, followed by tossing their heads out among the Indians to frighten them. There was some objection to the plan, since several men felt that the fall of the city was imminent and that the captive caciques would be their only bargaining point with the Indians. Suárez insisted that hers was the only viable solution to their problem. She then went to the house where the chieftains were guarded by Francisco Rubio and Hernando de la Torre and gave the order for the execution. Mariño de Lobera tells that the guard, La Torre, asked, "In what manner shall we kill them, my lady?" "In this manner," she replied, and, seizing la Torre’s sword, she herself cut off the heads. After the seven were decapitated and their heads thrown out, Suárez donned a coat of mail and helmet and, throwing a hide cloak over her shoulders, rode out on her white horse as a brave captain. The Spanish took advantage of the confusion among the Indians, and spurred on by the woman who now led them, succeeded in driving the now disordered Indians from the town. Valdivia arrived shortly after, but all that was left of the town was 3 pigs and 2 chickens. Valdivia rewarded Suárez with an encomienda. Although there is a good deal of consistency in the accounts, given the passage of time and the Spanish tendency to embroider their reports, it is likely there was some exaggeration in the telling, but certainly Suárez played a crucial role in the salvation of Santiago in 1541. Had it not been for her, the city would have certainly fallen and the Spaniards most likely slaughtered by the Mapuche, ending, at least for a time, the southward colonial expansion. This event was a setback in the conquest of Chile. The resistance of the Indians became daily stronger, and as the ship he had constructed in Aconcagua was also destroyed by the natives, Valdivia sent his lieutenant Alonso de Monroy and five followers to seek reinforcements in Peru in 1542. However, on account of a civil war there following the defeat of El Mozo Almagro by Cristóbal Vaca de Castro, Monroy could not obtain much aid, and returned in September 1543, with only 70 horsemen, and a vessel with provisions and ammunition to the port of Aconcagua. In 1543 new arms and equipment arrived from Peru and Valdivia started rebuilding Santiago. He sent an expedition, led by Juan Bohon, to explore the northern region of Chile. This expedition founded La Serena halfway between Santiago and the northern Atacama Desert, in the valley of Coquimbo. Valparaíso, though used as a port by the Spaniards from the start, had no considerable population until much later.
Detail of cathedral floor
In 1544 Valdivia sent a naval expedition consisting of the barks San Pedro and Santiaguillo, under the command of Juan Bautista Pastene, to reconnoitre the southwestern coast of South America, ordering him to reach the Strait of Magellan. The left sail from Valparaíso and although Pastene did not reach his goal, he explored much of the coast. He entered the bay of San Pedro, and landed at what now are Concepción and Valdivia. Encountering severe storms further south, he returned to Valparaiso. In 1546 Valdivia set out, with 60 horsemen, native guides and porters, and crossed Itata River. He got to Bío-Bío River where he planned to found another town, but was stopped by Mapuche warriors at the Battle of Quilacura. Realising it was impossible to proceed in hostile territory with so limited a force, Valdivia returned to Santiago. Shortly after he found a site for a new city (now Penco) and the first site of Concepción, subduing the country between Santiago and Maule River. To secure further aid and confirm his claims to the conquered territory, Valdivia returned in 1547 to Peru, leaving Francisco de Villagra as governor in his stead. There he tried to gather more resources and men to continue the conquest. The Gonzalo Pizarro rebellion had begun in Peru, and the insurgents attempted unsuccessfully to win Valdivia to their side. In 1548 he joined the royal army of Viceroy Pedro de la Gasca, and his military experience counted heavily in the victory of Xaquixahuana. A discontented faction from Chile managed to have him tried in Lima, accused of tyranny, malfeasance of public funds and public immorality (as, though married, he was living with Inés de Suárez "in the manner of man and wife”). In exchange for his freedom and confirmation as Governor, he relinquished Ines and on his return to Chile in 1549 married her off to one of his captains, Rodrigo de Quiroga. As recognition for his services Valdivia was appointed adelantado and won royal assent to his coveted title of Royal Governor of Chile, returning with his position and prestige considerably strengthened. He was forced to bring his wife to Chile, who only arrived after his death in 1554. In Chile the Spaniards' greed quickly surfaced with rumours of gold at the Marga Marga mines, near Valparaiso, and settlers began forcing the natives to work there. Arauco War In 1549-53, after his arrival back in Santiago, Valdivia again undertook the conquest of southern Chile, but faced heavy resistance from the indigenous population. He clashed with the Araucanians beyond Bio-Bio River in 1550 when he defeated them but by no means broke their will to resist, a will that grew stronger when the conquistador established settlements in their territory. In spite of fierce resistance at the Battle of Penco, he founded Concepción in 1550 and more southern villages of La Imperial, Valdivia, Angol and Villarrica, in 1551/2. After a brief stay in Santiago, Valdivia returned to the south in December 1552.
View from Cerro Cristobal (by gondolas).View of Santiago from Cristobal.
To keep the connection between Concepción and the southern settlements, Valdivia built forts in Cordillera de Nahuelbuta, with one at Tucapel in 1553. On the advice of the cacique Colocolo, the Araucanians united their efforts choosing as toqui (general-in- chief) the famous warrior Caupolicán. Valdivia had earlier captured Lautaro, an Araucanian youth who became his groom. Lautaro secretly remained true to his own people and rejoined them to show Caupolicán a means by which Valdivia could be defeated. The Araucanians revolted and fell on the over- extended Spanish forces in the south. The first sign that a big rebellion was coming was the attack on the fort at Tucapel, where they destroyed the fortress in 1553. Valdivia was at Concepcion when he received notice, and, believing that he could easily subdue the uprising, hurried south with only 40 men to stamp out the rebellion. Near the ruins of the fortress Valdivia gathered the remnant of the garrison, but he was ambushed and the Battle of Tucapel would be Valdivia's last. As each attack was beaten off by the Spaniards, Lautaro sent another, until the entire Spanish company was massacred and Valdivia was captured alive along with a priest by the Mapuche.
Statue of Valdivia in Plaza de Armas
There are many versions of Valdivia's death. According to Jerónimo de Vivar, a contemporary author, the execution of Valdivia was personally ordered by Caupolicán, who had him killed with a lance and put his head, along with those of two of his companions, on display. Another contemporary chronicler, Alonso de Góngora Marmolejo writes that Valdivia to evacuate all Spanish settlements on Mapuche land, but this offer was rejected and the Mapuche cut off his arms, roasted and ate them in front of him before killing him and his priest. Alonso de Ercilla says that Valdivia was killed with the blow of a club, then a warrior cut open his breast and passed his still quivering heart to the toqui, who sucked its blood. The heart was passed round from one to another, and a drinking cup was made from his skull. Another contemporary chronicler, Pedro Mariño de Lobera, wrote that Valdivia offered to leave the lands of the Mapuche but was killed by a warrior named Pilmaiquen, who said that Valdivia could not be trusted to keep his word. Lobera adds that a common story in Chile at the time was that Valdivia had been killed by forcing him to drink molten gold. The fact remains that probably all the stories are apocryphal, since none of Valdivia's party survived the battle, and the only witnesses were Indians captured in subsequent battles. The site of his death is close to the modern city of Valdivia. Suarez led a quiet life in Santiago, held in great esteem as a valiant woman and great captain. After Valdivia’s death, her husband became Royal Governor, in 1565 and 1575. They both died in Santiago, within months of each other, in 1580.
The Spanish never subjugated the Mapuche; all attempts, military and peaceful, failed. The Great Uprising of 1598 swept away all Spanish presence
south of the Bío-Bío River except Chiloé (and Valdivia which was later re-established as a fort), and the great river became the frontier between Mapuche lands and the Spanish realm. North of the line cities grew up, and Chile became an important food producer for the Viceroyalty of Peru. Valdivia became the first governor of the Captaincy General of Chile, under the viceroy of Peru and, through him, the King of Spain and his
bureaucracy. Responsible to the governor, town councils known as Cabildo administered local municipalities, the most important of which was Santiago, the seat of a Royal Appeals Court (Real Audiencia) from 1609 until the end of colonial rule. Chile was the least wealthy realm of the Spanish Crown for most of its colonial history. Only in the 18th century did a steady economic and demographic growth begin, an effect of the reforms by Spain's Bourbon dynasty and a more stable situation along the frontier.
View of Sky Costanera and Giratorio, Casa Colorada, La Moneda Palace (and Constitution Square)

detail of metro system and front of La Moneda Palace

Posted by PetersF 15:28 Archived in Chile Tagged museum cathedral chile santiago wine plaza Comments (0)

Chile - Santiago

Parks, hills, La Chascona, winery

11th Feb Santiago BELLAVISTA

We woke to a beautiful sunny day, so we took the metro to Plaza Italia (again), crossed the bridge to Barrio Bellavista and walked up past the Bellavista market to Cerro San Cristóbal. There were a surprisingly large amount of dogs there lying in the sun, but not bothering anyone. As we were using the funicular from Calle Pio Nono we had to wait until it opened at 10.00. The stone station, designed by Luciano Kulczewski deliberately copies a medieval tower and the machinery was by Carlos Landa Tudor-hall. We bought our tickets (1 way CP$1500) as we planned to walk back down. Then we caught the first green funicular of the day. Half way up it stopped at the zoo stop, but no one got off and we proceeded to the top. The cyclists had beaten us, but otherwise we were the first ones there. The guide books were right; this big hill (300m) in the middle of the city afforded us one of the most incredible Santiago panoramas available. The view from here put the city in its surroundings: the Andes Mountains and the Cordillera de la Costa. There are many different spots from which to view the city, so we took some time to wander around and enjoy them. Having admired the view over Santiago from the first terrace, we followed the music (oddly enough some Christmas carols) to the summit with its statue of La Virgen (1908), and then down a few levels to the memorial for Pope John Paul II (1987). We passed some snack bars and tourist shops as we walked around the side of the hill, arriving at the entrance to the téléphérique. We decided to pay for a round trip to the other end of the hill and got on a poma. The telepherique had been closed since 2009 when its gearbox exploded and only reopened in Nov 2016. It was CLP1910 each, so very cheap and it gave an amazing view of the city, including views of the Costanara Tower shining in the sun. The cable car also gave a great feel for the park below with its Chagual Gardens (Mediterranean plants), Japanese Plantings, Mapulemu Gardens (Chilean plants) and swimming pools. At the far end at Providencia Teleférico (Pedro de Valdivia entrance), we simply turned round and went back!
On alighting back in the Virgin area we decided to try one of the famous street drinks we had been recommended by the hotel girl. This was Mote con huesillo, an amber coloured drink made of dried peaches (huesillo), cooked in sugar, water and cinnamon before being combined with cooked husked wheat (mote). Without the peach (which we had) it is a descarozados. The drink is not made commercially for sale, nor exported. It was an interesting taste! Having had our drink we attempted to find a way to walk down, but pedestrianway works prevented us, so we ended up taking the funicular down. Steve tried to pay them the single trip, but they insisted our ticket was fine, so we headed down to find lunch.
At the bottom we remembered we had walked around the corner of the lapis shop to try to find an ATM and discovered a whole restaurant area (Patio Bellavista), so we went back and chose La Fournil, which had a nice outdoor section. One nice salad and drink later and we were ready to continue.

It was a short walk up to La Chascona, the home of Chilean poet and Nobel prize winner, Pablo Neruda. In fact it is one of his three houses, each designed and decorated by himself, offering a glimpse into the private and professional life of a fascinating man. La Chascona is the Santiago home that he shared with his wife Matilde 1955-73. Neruda named the home “La Chascona” (“tangled-haired woman”) after Matilde. It was excellently restored, and full of his personal possessions, including a painting by Diego Rivera. We paid our $6,000 pesos (£7) and went in, starting at the lower level. The house is, in fact divided into several houses on several levels, accessed mainly by outdoor staircases.
1.Captain’s bar
2. Dining room
3.Secret stairs to upper floor
4.First floor lounge/ study
5.Guest room
6. Bathroom
7.Lighthouse lounge
8.Principal bedroom
9.Summer bar
10. Library
11. French room

The first, lower house was on 2 levels, covering a “Captain’s” Bar (1) with a nautical shape of a boat’s galley, through to the long dining room (2). The wood table was set for a meal, with copious use of coloured glassware. The walls were decorated with wooden African statues collected by Neruda. Carrying on through we arrived at the “secret” staircase (3), which led to the upper floor. A lower staircase led to the ground floor street entrance, apparently rarely used.
The upper floor was mainly a long room occupied by some of Neruda’s painting collection (he was great friends with Diego de Rivera, the Mexican artist) and at the end Matilde’s study (4). From here a turn right brought us the Guest bedroom, also Matilde’s bedroom (5) with its large fur dog and attached bathroom (6).
Exiting outdoors and climbing up a fairly rickety metal staircase accessed the “Lighthouse” bar (7), whose huge round bay windows gave a great view over the city and the mountains. This room was one of the more interesting. It included a large wooden cocktail table, comfy chairs, and. A large portrait of a double-headed Matilde by Rivera had a profile of Neruda cleverly hidden in her red hair (a reference to the open secret amongst his friends when Matilde was still his mistress). The centre of the room had a tree trunk from floor to ceiling, carefully constructed to appear as if it was holding the building up. Further wooden statues added to the decor. A mezzanine led to another bar area, and stairs to the Principal bedroom (8).
Leaving the top of this separate house we took some outdoor stone steps across a small garden with some nice artwork (notably the suspended eyes and a mosaic) to view the Summer Bar (9), which you can only view through glass but was originally an open-air gazebo. Another staircase, shorter this time led to a further building that housed the library (10) and French room (11), which also had a nice view of the city. These two rooms contained some of the best furnishings, including nautical instruments, globes, a variety of books and a brilliant table, inlaid with a montage of musical instruments.
History of the house. In 1953, Pablo Neruda started to build a house in Santiago for Matilde Urrutia, his mistress at the time, later his wife. He called the house La Chascona (Tangled hair woman), which was his nickname for her due to her abundant red hair. Walking through Bellavista, they found a property for sale at the base of Cerro San Cristobal, covered in blackberry brambles and a steep slope. They decided to buy it. In his poem “La Chascona”, Neruda evoked the “water that runs writing in its language”, and the brambles “that guard the site with their bloody branches.” Construction was by Catalan architect German Rodriguez Arias. He planned a building oriented toward the sun and facing the city, but Neruda wanted a view of the mountains, so he turned the house around in the drawing. Initially, only the living room and one bedroom was built. Matilde lived alone in the house as Neruda was still living with his wife, Delia del Carril, in Michoacán. Many of Neruda’s friends knew his secret, including Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, who painted a portrait of Matilde with two heads. In 1955, Neruda separated from Delia and moved to La Chascona, and architect Miguel Rojas Mix added more rooms. In 1973, just days after the military coup, Neruda died and La Chascona was vandalised. The stream was blocked and the house flooded, wood slabs had to be placed over the mud in order to bring in his remains, since Matilde Urrutia insisted on having his funeral there. Matilde fixed the damage, and continued living there until her death in 1985. La Chascona houses an interesting art gallery, with paintings by Chilean and foreign artists, an African carved wood collection and a collection of furniture and objects from designer Piero Fornasetti.

We had spent quite a while in the house and it was getting close to the time we were due to be collected for our flight (5pm), so we went back to the hotel and arrived with just 20 Minutes to wait. At the airport we had a bit of confusion as to where to check in, then found it and were very quickly through security (no need to start removing stuff from bags including, hooray, liquids). Then it was a wait for the flight to Easter Island.

Independence (1810–1827)
The drive for independence from Spain was precipitated by the usurpation of the Spanish throne by Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte. The Chilean War of Independence was part of a larger Spanish-American independence movement, and had far from unanimous support among Chileans, divided between independents and royalists. What started as an elitist political movement against a colonial master, ended as a full-fledged civil war between pro-Independence Criollos who sought political and economic independence from Spain and royalist Criollos, who supported the continued allegiance to and permanence within the Spanish Empire/ Kingdom of Chile. The struggle for independence was a war within the upper class, although the majority of troops on both sides consisted of conscripted mestizos and Native Americans. The beginning of the Independence movement is traditionally dated 18 Sept 1810 when a national junta was established to govern Chile in the name of the deposed King Ferdinand VII. Depending on definitions, Chile was independent by 1821 (Spanish expelled from mainland Chile) or 1826 (last Spanish troops surrendered/ Chiloé incorporated in Chilean republic). The independence process is normally divided into three stages: Patria Vieja, Reconquista, Patria Nueva. Chile's first experiment with self-government, the "Patria Vieja" (Old Republic 1810–14), was led by a young aristocrat, José Miguel Carrera (above). Carrera was a heavy-handed ruler who aroused widespread opposition. An early advocate of full independence, Bernardo O'Higgins, captained a rival faction that plunged the Criollos into civil war. For him and other members of the Chilean elite, an initiative for temporary self-rule quickly escalated into a campaign for permanent independence, although other Criollos remained loyal to Spain. Among those favouring independence, conservatives fought with liberals over the degree to which French revolutionary ideas would be incorporated into the movement. After several efforts, Spanish troops from Peru took advantage of the internecine strife to reconquer Chile in 1814, winning the Battle of Rancagua. O'Higgins, Carrera and many Chilean rebels escaped to Argentina. The second period was characterised by Spanish attempts to reimpose arbitrary rule during the Reconquista of 1814–17. The harsh rule of Spanish loyalists, who punished suspected rebels, drove more and more Chileans into the independence camp. Members of the Chilean elite became convinced of the necessity of self rule. Leader guerrilla raids against the Spanish, Manuel Rodríguez became a national symbol of resistance. In exile in Argentina, O'Higgins joined forces with José de San Martín. Their combined army freed Chile with a daring assault over the Andes in 1817, defeating the Spanish at the Battle of Chacabuco and marking the beginning of the Patria Nueva. San Martín considered the liberation of Chile a stepping stone to the emancipation of Peru and victory over the Spanish in America. He defeated the last large Spanish force on Chilean soil at the Battle of Maipú 5th Apr 1818 and then led his followers north to liberate Peru. Fighting continued in Chile's southern provinces, the bastion of the royalists, until 1826. A declaration of independence was officially issued by Chile on February 12, 1818 and formally recognised by Spain in 1840, when full diplomatic relations were established.
Virgen on Cerro Cristobal peak
Republican era (1818–91) Constitutional organisation (1818–33)
Bernardo O'Higgins ruled Chile as supreme director 1817-23. He won plaudits for defeating royalists and founding schools, but civil strife continued. O'Higgins alienated liberals/ provincials with his authoritarianism, conservatives/ church with his anticlericalism, and landowners with his proposed reforms of the land tenure system. His dictatorial behaviour aroused resistance in the provinces. This growing discontent was reflected in the continuing opposition of partisans of Carrera, who was executed by the Argentine regime in Mendoza in 1821. O'Higgins angered the Catholic Church with his liberal beliefs. He maintained Catholicism's status as the official state religion but tried to curb the church's political powers and encourage religious tolerance as a means of attracting Protestant immigrants and traders. Like the church, the landed aristocracy felt threatened by O'Higgins, resenting his attempts to eliminate noble titles and, more importantly, remove entailed estates. O'Higgins' opponents also disapproved of his diversion of Chilean resources to aid San Martín's liberation of Peru. O'Higgins supported San Martin because he realised that Chilean independence would not be secure until the Spanish were removed from the Andean core of their empire. However, mounting discontent in troops from the northern and southern provinces forced O'Higgins to resign. He departed for Peru, where he died in 1842. Civil conflict continued, focusing mainly on the issues of anticlericalism and regionalism. Presidents and constitutions rose and fell quickly in the 1820s. The harmful effects on the economy, and particularly on exports, prompted conservatives to seize control in 1830. In the minds of most members of the Chilean elite, the bloodshed and chaos of the late 1820s were attributable to the shortcomings of liberalism and federalism, which had dominated over conservatism for much of the period. Politics became divided by supporters of O'Higgins, Carrera, liberal Pipiolos and conservative Pelucones, the two last being the main movements that prevailed and absorbed the rest. The abolition of slavery in 1823, long before most other countries in the Americas, was considered one of the Pipiolos' few lasting achievements. One Pipiolo leader from the south, Ramón Freire, held the presidency several times (1823–27, 1828, 1829, 1830) but could not sustain his authority. With brief interventions by Freire, the presidency was occupied by Francisco Pinto, Freire's former vice president in 1827-31. In 1828, Chile abandoned its short-lived federalist system for a unitary form of government, with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches. By adopting a moderately liberal constitution in 1828, Pinto alienated both federalists and liberals. He angered the old aristocracy by abolishing estates inherited by primogeniture (mayorazgo) and caused a public uproar with his anticlericalism. After the defeat of his army at the Battle of Lircay, 1830, Freire, like O'Higgins, went into exile in Peru.
Conservative Era (1830–61)
Although never president, Diego Portales dominated Chilean politics in the cabinet and behind the scenes 1830-37. He installed the "autocratic republic", which centralised authority. His political programme had support from merchants, large landowners, foreign capitalists, church, and military. Political and economic stability reinforced each other, as Portales encouraged economic growth through free trade and put government finances in order. Portales was agnostic, but realised the importance of the Catholic Church as a bastion of loyalty, legitimacy, social control and stability. He repealed Liberal reforms that had threatened church privileges and properties. The "Portalian State" was institutionalised by the Chilean Constitution of 1833. One of the most durable charters devised in Latin America, the Portalian constitution lasted until 1925. It concentrated authority in the national government, and more precisely in the president, who was elected by a tiny minority. The chief executive could serve 2 consecutive 5-year terms and then pick a successor. Although Congress had significant budgetary powers, it was overshadowed by the president, who appointed provincial officials. The constitution created an independent judiciary, guaranteed inheritance of estates by primogeniture, and installed Catholicism as the state religion; in effect, an autocratic system with a republican veneer. Portales achieved his objectives by wielding dictatorial powers, censoring the press, and manipulating elections. For the next 40 years, Chile's armed forces were distracted from meddling in politics by skirmishes and defensive operations on the southern frontier, although some units got embroiled in domestic conflicts in 1851 and 1859. The Portalian president was General Joaquín Prieto, who served two terms (1831–36, 1836– 41). Prieto had 4 main accomplishments: implementation of the 1833 constitution, stabilisation of government finances, defeat of provincial challenges to central authority, and victory over the Peru-Bolivia Confederation. During the presidencies of Prieto and two successors, Chile modernised through the construction of ports, railroads, and telegraph lines. Prieto and his adviser, Portales, feared the efforts of Bolivian general Andrés de Santa Cruz to unite with Peru against Chile. These qualms exacerbated animosities toward Peru dating from the colonial period, now intensified by disputes over customs duties and loans. Chile also wanted to become the dominant South American military and commercial power along the Pacific. Santa Cruz united Peru and Bolivia in the Peru–Bolivian Confederation in 1836 with a desire to expand control over Argentina and Chile. Portales made Congress declare war on the Confederation, but was assassinated in 1837. General Manuel Bulnes defeated the Confederation in the Battle of Yungay in 1839 and after his success was elected president in 1841, serving two terms (1841-46, 1846-51). His administration concentrated on the occupation of territory, especially the Strait of Magellan and Araucanía. Political tensions, including a liberal rebellion, led to the Chilean Civil War of 1851 when conservatives defeated liberals. The last conservative president was Manuel Montt, who served two terms (1851-56, 1856-61), but his bad administration led to the liberal rebellion of 1859. Liberals triumphed in 1861 with the election of Jose Joaquin Perez as president.
Liberal era (1861–91)
The political revolt brought little social change, and 19th century Chilean society preserved the stratified colonial social structure, greatly influenced by family politics and the Catholic Church. A strong presidency eventually emerged, but wealthy landowners remained powerful. Toward the end of the 19th century, the government in Santiago consolidated its position in the south by suppressing the Mapuche during the Occupation of the Araucanía. The 1881 Boundary Treaty between Chile and Argentina confirmed Chilean sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan, but conceded western Patagonia, and a considerable fraction of the territory it had during colonial times. As a result of the War of the Pacific with Peru and Bolivia (1879–83), Chile expanded its territory northward by almost ! and acquired valuable nitrate deposits, the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence. In the 1870s, church influence started to diminish with the passing of laws that took some roles of the church into State's hands such as the registry of births and marriages. In 1886, José Manuel Balmaceda was elected president. His economic policies visibly changed the existing liberal policies. He began to violate the constitution and establish a dictatorship. Congress decided to depose Balmaceda, who refused to step down. Jorge Montt directed an armed conflict against Balmaceda, which extended into the 1891 Chilean Civil War. Defeated, Balmaceda fled to Argentina's embassy, where he committed suicide. Jorge Montt became the new president.

Posted by PetersF 16:40 Archived in Chile Tagged chile santiago pablo_neruda cerro san_cristobal la_chascona Comments (0)

Easter Island Rapa Nui

Birdmen and those moai

View Patagonia on PetersF's travel map.

11th Feb Easter Island and Tapati Festival
We arrived as expected at half past 10, but didn't expect to take over an hour to unload the cases! We were collected at the airport (very basic, car park was a field) and driven the 10 minutes to our hotel, Manavai, in the centre of Hanga Roa. www.hotelmanavai.cl. The hotel was very pretty and really well located, its only issue being their lack of English or even attendance. As it turned out it was the last day of the Tapati festival (not the penultimate as we'd been informed), so I whizzed out to Hanga Vare Vare field where it was being held, to enjoy the parade, music and fireworks. I watched the Tapati Queen being crowned, followed by traditional music (the Rui and Koro Hakka Opo competitions). Each year, two female candidates compete to become Queen of the Tapati. All the competitions carry points, and the candidate with the most points at the end is crowned Queen. Although the festival is actually not a traditional one, having been invented in the 1970s, during the week we were here we saw a variety of the Polynesian crafts it showcases. These included the Takona (body painting/tattoo competition), the Vaka Tuai and Ama (canoe making and racing), and Pora (swimming competition on a reed float (pora) dressed in only body paint). These are collectively called Tau’a Rapa Nui, along with Tingi Tingi Mahute (competition to make traditional costumes from Mahute, a plant introduced by the Polynesians). We didn't see the Haka Pei (Competition to slide 120m on plantain trunks on 45° slope of Pu’i hill at 80 km/h) or the Aka Venga (Running with bananas), but did see them practising, which was fine.
Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The nearest inhabited land (50 residents) is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 km away; the nearest town with a population of over 500 is Rikitea, on the island of Mangareva, 2,606 km away; and the nearest continental point is in Chile, 3,512 km away.

12th Feb Easter Island Birdman Cult and giant moai

We had a wake up of cockerels crowing! It was too early for breakfast, so we strolled the 3 minutes down to the bay at Caleta. There are two ports in Hanga Roa for small boats. We were at the larger, “Caleta” or Cove is where most of the fishing boats dock. There is a plaster statue of St. Peter, patron saint of fishermen, 2 moai (Hotake is on the next page) from the interior, scuba shops, restaurant/ cafes. We watched as the moon set over the sea behind the moais and the sun rose behind the volcanic interior. The Pacific rollers were surprisingly strong, with quite a few black jagged rocks in the bay. As it was time for breakfast we walked back to eat outside. Shortly after our minibus arrived to collect us for our trip. This was going to be split into two, a morning trip of Rano Kau Volcano, the Ceremonial village of Orongo and its birdman contest to Moto Nui, with various petroglyphs and Ahu Vinapu/Tahiri; then our own lunch; followed by an afternoon trip to Ana Te Pahu cave, Ahu Akivi, and finishing with a walk up Puna Pau quarry.
Having collected everyone the minibus set off up the hills towards Rano Kao (passing quite a number of road signs telling us this was the tsunami escape route). We soon arrived at the extinct volcano, about 15 minutes out of Hanga Roa. Rano Kau volcano with its crater lake is one of the three volcanoes (Terevaka and Poike being the others) whose eruption caused Rapa Nui to emerge from the sea. Rano Kau has the largest volcanic crater on the island, created in a spectacular eruption, 2! million years ago. The island has now detached from its original location, so the volcanoes are extinct. The crater is more than 1 km in diameter and forms a spectacular natural amphitheatre 200 m deep with a large freshwater lake, once one of the main sources of fresh water for the Rapa Nui people. Natives would climb down the 150 m high ridge, collect water and climb back up. Floating isles of grass covers the lake at the bottom of the volcano. Legend has it that this lake doesn't have a bottom and reaches the very core of the Earth. This volcano cauldron is a mini-ecosystem with a warmer climate than the rest of the island, so exotic fruits such as oranges and pineapples grow easily. Kari Kari or “crater’s bitten”. The top of the crater overlooking the sea is a fracture or “bite” called Kari Kari, produced by the ocean crashing against the base of the cliffs, destabilising them and causing landslides. It’s on this side that the birdman participants climbed down the cliffs to swim to Motu Nui.
Cattail plants in the lake inside of the crater
The lake’s surface is covered by cattail plants, interestingly the same species as found in the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru. The lake’s more or less stable levels, with a depth of about 10 ft below the reeds, has enabled sedimentary analysis to determine how the flora that once covered the island was like and when the deforestation by man started.
Rano Kau’s shape protects the plants from strong winds in the area (five times stronger than in Hanga Roa) and prevents access by grazing animals. Thanks to this, in 1950, the last Toromiro tree specimen was rescued from here and used to save the species from extinction. In the narrowest part of the western edge of the volcano, the Rapa Nui built the ceremonial village of Orongo, where the tribes and their priests would gather to celebrate one of the most important rituals of their culture, the Birdman Competition. From Rano Kau there’s a fantastic view of the coast and the whole crater. If you take the path to the left, you can walk around the volcano approximately 1.5 kms, allowing you to see this natural wonder from different angles, as well as the cliffs the Rapa Nui would climb down in the search for the first manutara egg. Through the Kari Kari, you can see the motus at a perfect angle. The most suitable time to visit is in the morning, when the sun reflects on the lagoon.
View of the motus and crater cliff
A little to the right of the crater’s viewpoint, we saw a fenced-in rock containing several petroglyphs of Birdmen. After admiring the view we got back on the minibus to drive the 5 minutes round to the entrance of Orongo. By car, from Hanga Roa, take the road to the airport and turn right. Pass the only gas station on the island and continue up. There were various petroglyphs as we drove through the entrance and a very informative Cultural centre showing the various sites throughout the island along with its history, geography and cultural activities. Our guide handed us our CONAF Rapa Nui National Park entrance ticket (CLP 30,000 for 5 days), which we had to keep safe, as we needed to show it at every site we were going to visit.

Orongo ('Oro"o in Rapa Nui) is the ceremonial village used by the Rapa Nui during the Birdman period, which succeeded the Moai period. It is located on the brink of Rano Kau volcano, looking out to sea. The houses are not the common wood/grass/reed hare vaka (boat houses), but instead made of kehu stone; a flat, solid stone (as opposed to the usual light volcanic stone), giving the houses the ability to survive the strong winds at the top of the volcano. In 1974 they were restored by American archaeologist Mulloy. Orongo, Rapa Nui for “The Call”, is majestically nestled on a narrow strip of about 250 m, between the edge of Rano Kau crater and a 300-m cliff that plunges steeply into the Pacific Ocean. Orongo enjoys the most spectacular environment in Easter Island and during the period of the moais ancestor cult, was a ceremonial centre where initiation rites and entry into adulthood were practiced. Orongo had no permanent residents, due to a difficult ingress and lack of direct access to the sea, so there are no moais, as there was no permanent village to protect, although a small platform (ahu) suggests there was at least 1 smaller moai at some time. Orongo increased in importance with the Tangata Manu (birdman) cult and the Make-Make god, in the late 17th century. The crisis due to lack of resources caused a decline in belief in the moais and their chiefs/ priests, and the warrior class (Matato’a) developed a new religion based on the Birdman Competition in which power was determined by physical prowess and not rank or status.
large_orongo-towards-moto-nui-and-moto-kau-easter-island_33209164396_o.jpgView of the motus from Orongo
One of the first images on walking across the cliff top to the village is of the three motus or islets, just off the coast. These are Motu Kao Kao (Narrow islet), shaped like a needle; Motu Iti (Small islet); and Motu Nui (Big islet), which is the most important as it was here that hopu manu or competitors would wait for the first manutara egg. Going up the trail, we got a complete view of Orongo with its 53 houses of basalt stone slab in the typical houseboat design found to throughout the island. Inside the houses, the walls are adorned with paintings and symbols of leadership, poultry and dance oars, primarily in red and white. To the left, behind the gazebo, were 2 unrestored 2 houses. The original structures were damaged by wind and early visitors, who took painted tablets as trophies.
Structure of rebuilt house.
Below we saw a partially restored house, with completed walls but a half ceiling, to appreciate the original structure. Built with basalt slabs (known as Keho) taken from inside the crater, they were made with double walls with mud between. The inside area consists of a single elliptical space used exclusively for sleeping; all other daily activities were performed in the open areas of the village. Finally, the structure is roofed with slabs that progressively lean forward and a large central stone, which held the weight of the roof. The top was covered with soil and grass to protect the
inside from rain and to strengthen the whole structure.
Houses with doorways looking to the sea
Almost all of entrances look towards Motu Nui and are really small, forcing people to enter on their knees. This ensured protection against inclement weather and as only one person could enter at a time, they were easy to defend. Some houses have multiple entrances and others are connected to each other, like warrens. On the left, before the descent, is a big house with four separate entrances, known as Taura Renga. In this house, in 1868, the crew of the English ship Topaze took the famous moai, which the natives now call Hoa Hakananai’a (stolen/ hidden friend), currently on display in the British Museum (see below). This 2.5-m high sculpture, unlike the majority, was carved of basalt and is a unique piece with important historical value. It has figures carved on its back representing the Birdman ritual and symbols of fertility, so it embodies the syncretism between the moai period and the period of the Tangata Manu cult. It is believed to have had an important role in the coronation ceremony of the winners of the competition.
Location of Orongo over Rano Kau

Tangata Manu
Orongo houses are spread over several levels up the area formed by the crater and the cliff, where the space gets so narrow that only one row of houses fits on the edge of the cliff. The last house of the village has a stirring location on the edge between the cliff and the crater rim. It is known as Mata Ngara’u, and was meant for the priests who ran the ceremonies and recited the Rongo Rongo tablets during the month-long Tangata Manu celebration. Unlike the other houses, it has several entrances arranged in a semicircle. On each rock in front of this house are petroglyphs representing Birdmen, Make-Make (creator god) and Komaris (female fertility symbols). It the most important petroglyph site on Easter Island, but access is forbidden as you would have to walk on the house roof.
Petroglyph of Make Make Notice the design of the eyes and nose of Make-Make has phallic connotations, natural for a god who represents fertility, reproduction and abundance. He became more important as the island’s resources became scarcer.

From here we could distinguish the route the competitors followed to reach Motu Nui. They came down the inside of the crater, following a narrow road up to Kari Kari, the crater’s “bitten” wall; from where they climbed down the cliff to the sea and swam 2km to the motu. The greatest dangers were the risk of falling, and the possibility of sharks. View from the crater to the motu. From Mata Ngara’u, we followed the path along the crater (where Steve got a slap on the wrist for going too close to the edge). There are a few steps, so we climbed these to the top, where there were several more rows of houses. No one knows for sure, but it is possible that the status of the tribe determined who had the right to occupy the houses with the best views of the sea and Motu Nui. On the journey back, right at the intersection of the two trails, we saw the remains of a small ahu, the only one in Orongo. Because of its size and simple design, it is a very old structure. The depressions in the rock in front of the platform had an unknown purpose- maybe astronomical reference points as the ahu aligns with Poike Peninsula, at the eastern end of the island. Due to the fragility of this site, weather, and irresponsible visitors, in the 1990s Orongo was one of the 100 most threatened sites in the world; but now there is a well defined trail and limited access to the most vulnerable areas.
Hoa Hakananai’a
Tangata manu competition- The annual "birdman" competitions took place here with a representative from each tribe, who would climb 200m+ down the cliff wall, swim out to Motu Nui islet, retrieve a newly laid egg of the manutara bird, swim back and climb back up the cliff. The first to return with an intact egg won and earned royal privileges for 12 months, including choosing a wife from the virgin girls of Ana O Keke (Virgin Cave) where the girls lived to obtain a white skin, considered a sign of beauty.

Petroglyph of Birdmen, Make-make and fish (Orongo entrance)
There were a lot of birds around Orongo, particularly seabirds. These were mainly native Frigate birds or Makohe (Fregata minor) far left, Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) far right, and Red-tailed Tropicbird or Tavake (Phaeton rubricauda) centre left, which can be seen in large groups emitting a characteristic squeal. There are two types of seagulls (Sterna lunata) and (Sterna fuscata) centre right, known locally as Manutara, which tend to nest in the nearby motus or islets and about which the ancient Tangata Manu or “Bird Man” cult and ceremony used to be based. Terrestrial birds were small-medium sized and pretty singers, such as the Common Diuca Finch below.

The site took a good hour or so to fully explore before we gathered together to drive back past the airport (most of our trips involved passing the airport as there aren't many roads) to the site of Ahus Vinapu and Tahiri. These two ahu on the wild coast, are known as the Inca ahu, due to an erroneous suggestion, by Thor Heyerdahl.
Vaihu was the tribal area in which this village was located. The remains of 3 platforms can be found, Ahu Tahiri to the left, Ahu Vinapu to the right, and a third one with almost no remains (located in the island’s fuel tank area).
We took the road from Mataveri airport to the end of the runway, passed the fuel tanks, and turned left to Ahu Tahira and Ahu Vinapu. Ahu Vinapu (the first one we arrived at) is a magnificent example of the building and carving techniques developed in the construction of ahu/platforms, and the better preserved. This way of working stone doesn’t exist elsewhere in Polynesia and gave rise to theories about Incan origins of the island’s population. 100m further is Ahu Tahira, the oldest ahu in the Vinapu ceremonial complex. There are remains of at least 5 moai and several head-dresses were scattered around the platform. The most prominent landmark is the great red stone monolithic column built in front of the ahu, reminiscent of pre-Inca statues/columns found in the Andes. A sketch by Linton Palmer in 1868 sketch showed it once had two heads arranged in a Y shape, so it may have been a funeral column above which rested a wooden platform where they put the bodies of the dead out to dry before their burial. It was unearthed in 1956 by Mulloy, who concluded it was a female moai based on the thin arms/ hands, small breasts and pronounced navel. Unfortunately, the sculpture is quite deteriorated. Ahu Tahira has 6 moai lying face down with 3 headdresses in front of them. The torsos of some statues were later used for shelter, which shows how respect had been lost for the once sacred sculptures.
However, what’s special about Ahu Vinapu is the platform’s back wall. It consists of large stones held together without mortar and finely carved,
similar to Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, a similarity that convinced the scientific community of contacts between Polynesia and South America. Possibly the Polynesians’ exploring voyages didn’t stop at Easter Island, but went further east until they made contact with the mainland. Sweet potatoes and squash, native to South America, existed in Polynesia c1000 AD, long before Europeans arrived, and are further evidence of possible cultural exchanges. It was discovered that some chicken bones from southern Chile had the same DNA sequence as samples from Tonga and Samoa, suggesting that chickens came to South America from Polynesia in approx 14th century. However, no Polynesian settlements have been found in South America, so it is assumed that these meetings were sporadic and brief. Peruvian historian del Busto suggests that Vinapu was built by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui during his expedition to the Pacific, based on 16th C chronicles by Spaniards Pedro Sarmiento Gamboa, Murua, and Balboa. According to them Tupac Yupanqui had noted the existence of distant islands and decided to conquer them. He prepared a large number of sailboats and with 20,000 warriors, arrived on the islands Ninachumbi and Auachumbi. Busto thought these two islands could be Mangareva (French Polynesia) and Easter Island, ‘proven’ by the fact that in Mangareva there is a legend about a king Tupa arriving from the east on a boat carrying gold, ceramics and textiles. A similar story exists in the Marquesas Islands. French historian Daude argues that the Vinapu platforms are made in the same way as the Sillustani chullpas near Lake Titicaca, built in the Tupac Yupanqui period. Gamboa’s chronicle comments that Tupac Yupanqui took black people back to Peru, where they were kept in Sacsayhuaman fortress. However, it is highly unlikely that Incans were involved with Vinapu in any way (or even influenced its building). It is more probable that it was both improving techniques and the local response to the lack of timber at that period. After the moais were toppled the resulting ruin was used by locals as a cave-like shelter. Archaeological work has ascertained that there was at least one large village behind Vinapu, and probably a second smaller one behind Tahira, although they may have been the same population moving over time. Unfortunately, the wall that forms Ahu Tahira’s platform was damaged by the USS Mohican crew in 1886, which blew up its foundations in an effort to discover how far they down they went and what was buried underneath. They failed to find anything and caused great damage to the structure. The half-buried moai behind the platform never stood on it, because it doesn’t have its eye sockets carved out. Possibly it belongs to an earlier period or was damaged during transportation and discarded. Island tradition states that the giant 21-m moai, still at Rano Raraku, was intended for this platform.
The minibus dropped us back in the town centre and we went opposite to have a Club Sandwich at Atamu Tekena bar with Easter Island rainwater to drink. We were lucky to get the last free table, as everyone after us had to wait.

Music and dance Most of the Easter Island music and dances are of Polynesian origin. Rapa Nui ancestral dances have been lost or merged, though it’s still possible to find indigenous music rooted in the legends with songs and dances dedicated to the gods, spirit warriors, rain or love. Among the most characteristic dances are:

  1. Sau Sau- a dance of Samoan origin that came to the island in the 1940s, modified with Rapa Nui music and lyrics. It's a love story on a boat rocked by waves, represented by undulating movements of hips and hands, especially by women with colourful feathers on their clothes. This has become one of the main Rapa Nui dances.
  2. Ula Ula- a dance of Tahitian origin, where couples dance separately to a vivid rhythm. It features soft undulating hip movements. Feet rest on the heel and toe tip, accompanied by gentle undulations by the arms.
  3. Tamuré-apredominantlymaledancefromTahiti,withspectacularstuntsandquickpelvicmovements,similar to the Haka, a spirited dance representing warlike activity.
  4. Kai Kai- a dance, song and game. Through the use of a thread or cord, in various shapes, women tell of legends and traditions, accompanied by slow and undulating body movement.

The Rapa Nui have ancestral instruments such as the Hio, a type of bamboo flute; or the Kauaha which is a horse jaw that is hit against the floor to make characteristic sounds. Also, other instruments have been incorporated, like the Ukulele or the Hawaiian guitar, the classic guitar or the Upa-Upa, a type of accordion.

Long ears and short ears
A Rapa Nui legend says that after the Polynesians, a different people arrived on the island. The newcomers were stout and sturdy and known as Hanau E’epe or “wide race”, differing to Hanau Momoko or “thin race”. Some versions say the Hanau E’epe had long earlobes (like the Inca), unlike the Hanau Momoko. Some suggest the difference was in physique and that the Hanau E’epe were the working class while the Hanau Momoco were the elite. The stretching of the earlobe (a characteristic trait of moai) is a common practice in many cultures and maybe the word E’epe mixed with the Rapanui ‘Epe or earlobe, birthing a legend of “long ears” and “short ears”.
Make-Make, the creation god
Make-Make, after creating the Earth, felt lonely and thought something was missing. He took a pot full of water and looked at his reflection. At that moment a bird came to rest on his shoulder and Make-Make was amazed by the their fused reflections, and thus decided to create us by making his firstborn son. But Make-Make wasn’t satisfied and wanted to make a being just like him, who could think and talk. His first attempt was to fertilise some stones, but he wasn’t successful. Then, he fertilised the water and the sea filled with fish. Finally, he fertilised the red clay earth and from it made a man. But the man was lonely, so he made him fall asleep and from his rib created the woman. Make-Make, with the god Haua, took the birds (manutaras) to the islets (motus) in front of Rano Kau volcano.
Moai Kava Kava
Legend states that on one fateful day, the ariki Tu’u Koihu, Hotu Matu’a’s oldest son, was on a midnight walk in Puna Pau when he found two spirits, or aku aku, asleep in front of him. He noticed their skeletal bodies and decided to leave them. However, as he began to run he woke them, so the aku aku chased him in fear he’d tell someone what he’d seen. Tu’u Koihu denied having seen them but the spirits didn’t believe him and kept watch on him for 2 days and 2 nights. Seeing that he wasn’t telling anyone, they left. Once free from the spirits, he returned to Tore Ta’hana, went into a hut, and carved a piece of toromiro wood into the figures he’d seen. Thus he could tell the world what he’d seen. This was, according to tradition, the origin of the Kava Kava moais (“statues with ribs”) that the islanders carved out of wood and hang on the inside of their front doors to keep away evil spirits.

After lunch we were collected again for our afternoon trip. Driving along the north coast we saw the important site of Ahu Te Peu, originally a large village nestled in the cliffs. On the side closest to the road are several manavais (stone circles within which food was cultivated), the remains of some elliptical houseboats (hare paengas), and a hare moa (chicken coop) to the left. A small path to the right leads to one of the biggest houseboats ever discovered, 40 m long. It is thought that, unlike the others that served only to sleep, this was used as a hare nui (big house) where meetings were held. From the front of the platform, once 70 m long and 3 m wide, several fragments of destroyed moai torsos and heads can be seen, as well as fragments of red headdresses. Unfortunately, the left side of the platform collapsed during excavation work by Heyerdahl in 1955.
Platform Ahu Te Peu; Manavais at Te Peu
The Ahu Te Peu ruins have remained virtually intact, which offers a great opportunity to study the old Rapanui way of life. The ruins of what was
once a large village stretch from the present coastal path to the edge of the cliff. In the strip of 200m, appear several typical constructions. Manavai are circular stone structures used to grow different plants sheltered from the winds and thus maintain humidity. It is believed that this method of cultivation was inspired by observing the ecosystem created in the craters of volcanoes like Rano Kau and Rano Raraku. Near the manavai is a
rectangular block of stones with a small opening, a hare moa (chicken coop), an important construction that served to enclose at night the precious birds, introducing them through its single hole. This avoided the theft of one of the main diet ingredients and supply of feathers used in the attire.
Remains of an old hare paenga.
Going right towards the sea, are the foundations of several hare paenga or boat houses, named because their long elliptical shape resembles that of a boat. Here is the largest boat house on the island, 43m long, which some relate to the Tore Tahuna, home of the famous Ariki (King) Tu’u Ko Ihu. Tu’u Ko Ihu is an important character in the oral tradition of the island, since besides being married to Ava Rei Pua, the sister of the first king Hotu Matu’a, he features in several legends. The most famous tells that after he observed strange spirits around the island, he returned to his house and carved their bodies in wood giving rise to one of the most famous and representative figures of Rapa Nui, the moai Kava Kava. In front of the cliff are the remains of two ahu with several moai, quite deteriorated and broken with half-buried heads.
Great megalithic wall; Half-buried moai head
The back of the platform on the right presents an imposing wall with enormous blocks of stone reminiscent of the technique used on the famous
wall of Vinapu, but without the same perfection. As part of the platforms, there are several stones with holes that belonged to the foundations of old boat-houses, reused as building material. There also are several demolished face down moai bodies. Tradition tells that shortly after his death, King Hotu Matu’a was buried in Akahanga. His sister Ava Rei Pua, wife of Ariki Tu’u Ko Ihu, was buried in Te Peu. Recent research has established an astronomical and geometric relationship between these two sites. These sites where the two royal siblings were buried are located at the ends of an axis between the dawn of the summer solstice and the dusk of the winter solstice, symbolically relating their resting places to the annual solar cycle. When watching the sunset of the winter solstice from Akahanga, the last ray of sun is in the direction of Te Peu. In the same way, from Te Peu, it is possible to see the sun rising in the direction of Akahanga at the dawn of the summer solstice. Perhaps this is only geographical coincidence, although it may show how the ancient Rapanui used their knowledge of geometry and astronomy.
Ahu Te Peu is the gateway to the island’s untamed northern coast, a solitary area, which remains almost untouched since it is hardly visited by tourists. Running along the lower slopes of Terevaka volcano, through Hanga Oteo to Anakena beach are many remains of ahu, moai, caves and petroglyphs, mostly ignored. Ahu Te Peu is 1km north of Ana Te Pora, and 1km northwest of Ana Te Pahu, the bananas cave.

Terevaka volcano dominated this part of the island. The volcano is the highest point in Easter Island at 511m above sea level. Located at the north end, Terevaka volcano is with Poike and Rano Kau, one of the three volcanoes whose eruptions gave rise and shape to what is now Easter Island. It has an irregular shape, occupies most of the surface of the island, and is the youngest of the three. It’s estimated that the last time one of its cones erupted was 10,000 years ago. This big volcano consists of several craters, the most important being Rano Aroi (southern end). There are several secondary cones such as Maunga Hiva Hiva, which was the last to erupt. Terevaka’s foothills hold about 800 caves formed by volcanic lava. The best known and accessible are Ana Te Pora and Ana Kakenga. Although we didn’t go into Ana Kakenga, we saw it from the sea later, a beautiful cave. Like the rest of Easter Island’s caves, it is a lava tube that upon cooling formed a crust that gave way to what today are the walls and ceiling of the cave. It has a length of approx 50 m and in ancient times served as a kionga or place of refuge. In Ana Kakenga’s case, lava flowed into the sea by two mouths or “windows” in the cliff, so it is also known as the Cave of the two windows. The entrance to the cave, opposite Motu Taurtara islet, is quite small and looks like a pile of stones, with steps best descended backwards, entering a rather narrow tunnel with a very low ceiling. After 4 m, the cave enlarges and you can walk upright. The path becomes brighter from the light of two “windows.”
View of the ocean and sun set.

Just beyond was Ana Te Pora (Cave of Reed Canoe), again used as an ana kionga (refuge cave) in times of war. A unique stone altar and grave is inside. Our stop was at the entrance to the trail that led to Ana Te Pahu. It was an interesting walk to the cave over what was essentially an ancient lava field, with the 216m ‘mountain’ of Vaka Kipo as the backdrop, and further away the highest point of the island, the extinct volcano Terevaka, 507m. The volcanic eruptions that led to Easter Island created lava channels extending throughout the island. Ana Te Pahu is a 7 km channel on the west coast in the foothills of Maunga Terevaka, halfway between Ahu Akivi and Ahu Te Peu. The size of this cave (the largest on the island) made it ideal housing in primitive times, but it was also used as a refuge during tribal war and to escape the slavers of the mid-19th century, as shown by the remains of umu pae (stone ovens). The ceiling openings caused by collapses of material prevented smoke from accumulating inside. The cave solidified thousands of years ago during the eruption of Maunga Hiva Hiva, a small crater that caused the last lava spill. The latest explorations have discovered that it is formed by several underground chambers whose total route exceeds 7 km.
Plantains near the entrance of Ana Te Pahu
The cave is known as “plantain cave”, because many of these trees were planted at the entrance. The warm moist air trapped in the entrance allowed a microclimate, where bananas, vines, avocados and taro could be cultivated. As we descended into the entrance Steve spotted a small lizard, the only type on the island. There are only two species of reptiles: a Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) known as moko uru-uru kau and a lizard (Cryptoblepharus poecilopleurus paschalis) known as moko uri uri. Going down the steps to the cave, go left, cross the plantains and taro trees, and forward a few hundred meters. The right path leads to the main cave where, slightly inside is a Polynesian style oven. Thanks to various natural openings, inhabitants could cook inside without smoke accumulating. You may continue within the inside of the cave, but bring a flashlight and good footwear. The path is not too rough, but it can be slippery when it rains. Ana Te Pahu could also be translated “ cave of the drum“, since pahu in Rapanui is a type of drum. This name comes from the thin layer of hardened lava that covers the cavity forming a gigantic natural drum of 1 ! km in diameter. If you hit the lava bark, a vibration resonates inside.
Having climbed down and walked through the cave, we climbed back up and walked back to the bus, ready to drive the short way to Ahu Akivi, a particularly interesting ahu as it is inland, which is unusual.

Ahu Akivi- The 1st excavation/ restoration of a ceremonial platform in Easter Island was performed at Ahu Akivi by William Mulloy and Gonzalo Figueroa 1960/1.
This platform, unlike the vast majority, is located inland 10km from Hanga Roa. It has a total length of 90m, with a central platform of 38m, in which stand 7 moais with an approx height of 4m and a fairly homogenous design, suggesting they were carved and erected at a similar time. There has been much speculation about the direction in which they face. They currently look toward the sea, rather than facing away as is the norm. However, the remains of a fairly large village lies behind the square (in very poor condition and covered by weeds, although we could see a boat house and pit) so the moai actually face, as customary, towards the village. Ahu Akivi is aligned to the equinox sunrises (22 Sept and 20 Mar), essential knowledge for an inland farming village. Bordering the platform on the left is a Rapa Nui dirt mound raised to divert the creek that appears in during heavy rains. Two cremation pits can also be seen. In one, large quantities of human ashes and mortuary offerings were found, such as small figurines, while the other is empty (unused). Since there are 7 moai statues on this platform, archaeologists originally thought they represented King Hotu Matu’a seven explorers who came to the island in oral traditions. However, these moais belong to a much later sculptural period, 1442-1600, leading in its turn to a theory they represent 8 kings. The best lighting pictures is in the afternoon. Just before entering Ahu Akivi, is the start of the trek to the highest point of the island, Maunga Terevaka volcano.

We spent a while exploring Ahu Akivi, before we went back to the minibus to drive to the last stop of the day, Puna Pau quarry. Two horses were in the field nearby, perhaps not surprising, as there are more horses than people on the island, in various degrees of wildness. We walked up, following the path right towards the top of the hill, passing some of the red headdresses en route. This group of huge completed headdresses, possibly waiting to be transferred, are cylindrical, but don’t yet have the carving of the impeller (smaller top bun) or the slot in the bottom to fit into the moai’s head. This was probably done once the pukao was at its final location. The pukaos vary according to the size of the moai for which they were intended, but many are 2m x 2m. We ended looking down into the crater quarry (with more headdress) one side and Hanga Roa on the other side. Some headdresses in the quarry measure up to 3m in diameter and were likely destined for the huge sculptures at Rano Raraku. We could see squares of forest and asked the guide, who explained that the Chilean government was financing the re-foresting in defined areas. Originally it was thought that the island was covered in the Chilean palm (although mixed woodlands were being replanted), but recently it has been discovered that it was actually the now extinct Easter Island palm, a close relative.
Puna Pau is the red scoria quarry for moai statue topknots or pukao. In the later Rapa Nui sculptural period of moai statue carving, a final decoration was build for the statues, a huge red block of stone for their heads. This red stone is called pukao and is probably the hair of the person the statue represents. Mana, magical power, was preserved in hair, so more hair meant more mana. All the moai topknots come from Puna Pau quarry because it has the most intense red colour. Puna Pau itself is a small extinct volcano whose name means dry spring, so it’s assumed at some point it did contain water or that there was water in its surroundings. Puna Pau has a red volcanic rock (scoria) characterised by being soft and easy to carve, with a high iron content, which gives its characteristic reddish colour.
The pukaos were a very late addition to the sculptures, possibly from the 15th or 16th centuries. In fact, approximately 100 headdresses have been found on the island, compared to almost 1,000 moai. Pukao were possibly added during the time of tribal warfare as a way of making the most impressive and elaborate ceremonial platforms. The prevailing idea is that these aren’t hats, but the representation of the hairstyles of that time, long hair curled and tied on top of the head. In ancient Rapa Nui culture, it was considered tapu (taboo/ prohibited) for high- ranking men to cut their hair, so they wore it long and tied in a bun. The stone was carved out almost entirely, once done it was detached from the bedrock and lowered to the base of the volcano where it was polished. In theory, the pukao were rolled to their final destinations and placed on the sculptures using dirt and stone ramps. The moai was placed on the ahu on once it had its headdress.http://imaginaisladepascua.com/en/

The bus drove us back to our hotel and after a brief rest we walked down to Bar Pea at Pea Beach. We sat on the terrace enjoying an amazingly beautiful sunset over the island and admiring the tenacity of the surfers who continued to the last drop of sunlight. Surprisingly the waves here are named; Papa (Rock in Rapa Nui) is the 3m wave that breaks at the rock 250m from Pea Beach (best for beginners) and Hava is the 5m wave 150m further out that goes right to the sharp rocks we could see (obviously for experts!).

Prehistory of Rapa Nui
The legendary first paramount chief of Easter Island is said to have been Hotu Matu‘a, who supposedly arrived c700 AD. Radio-carbon dating gives a range of 700-1100, with the later date more likely. Oral tradition puts the first landing at Anakena, but archaeological evidence suggests Tahai is older by a century or so. The island was most likely populated by Polynesians in canoes from the Gambier Islands (Mangareva, 2,600 km) or, less likely, the Marquesas Islands (3,200 km). Legend insists Hotu Matu’a (Son of Matu’a) was the chief of a tribe that lived on Marae Renga in "Hiva region", possibly the Marquesas Islands, but more probably the Pitcairn Mangareva zone, whose language is the closest match (90%) to Rapanui. A 1999 expedition made a crossing by canoe in 19 days from Mangareva to Rapanui. Some stories claim internal conflicts drove him to sail with his tribe for new land, while others blame a tidal wave. All the stories agree that a seer named Haumaka appeared to Ariki (King) Hotu Matu‘a in his dream. He claimed that Hiva was sinking and he had flown out to sea and discovered an island called Te Pito ‘o te K!inga, or "centre of the earth". Sending seven scouts, Hotu Matu‘a awaited their return. After many days of sailing, the explorers arrived on a small uninhabited island that seemed fertile. Besides yams, the explorers took a moai with them and a mother of pearl necklace, which was left when they returned to Hiva, leaving on the island a single explorer. Hotu Matu‘a took a large crew (his tribe), his family and everything needed to survive in the new land. They rowed a huge double-hulled canoe and landed at Anakena. Hotu Matu’a arrived on the island in two great ships with his entourage, which consisted of his wife, his sister and 100 people. Another individual named Tu‘u ko Iho (possibly his brother-in-law) may have co-founded the settlement on the island. A legend says Tu‘u ko Iho brought the statues to the island and made them walk. He was later Hotu Matu’a’s rival. Statue related to the mythology of Tu‘u ko Iho. Since then, the island has been called Te pito o te henua, “the world’s navel”. This legend is the reason why some say that when Hotu Matu’a arrived on Easter Island, it was already inhabited (the yams and standing moai statues). Alternatively, the 7 explorers represent 7 tribes that previously inhabited the island, of which only one survived and mixed with the people of Hotu Matu’a.
Children of Hotu Matu‘a
Shortly before his death, Hotu Matu‘a gave the island to his children, who formed 8 main and 4 smaller clans.

  • Tu‘u Maheke: firstborn son, received lands between Anakena and Maunga Tea-Tea.
  • Miru: received the lands between Anakena and Hanga Roa.
  • Marama: received lands between Anakena and Rano Raraku. Control of Rano Raraku quarry proved useful for those in Marama's lands. The quarry became the island’s main source of Tuff used to construct the Moai; 95% of moai were made in Rano Raraku.
  • Raa settled to the northwest of Maunga Tea-Tea.
  • Koro Orongo made a settlement between Akahanga and Rano Raraku.
  • Hotu Iti was given the whole eastern part of the island.
  • Tupahotu and Ngaure were left with the remaining parts of the island.

Over the years, the clans grouped into two territories. The Ko Tu‘u Aro were composed of clans in the northwest, while the Hotu Iti mainly lived in the southeast part. The Miru, who ruled the Ko Tu‘u Aro clans, are commonly regarded as the true royal family. Since then, leaders of Easter Island have been hereditary rulers who claimed divine origin and separated themselves from the rest of the islanders with taboos. These ariki controlled religious functions, and ran everything else, from managing food supplies to waging war. Since Easter Island was divided into two super-clans, the rulers followed a predictable pattern. The people of Rapa Nui competed to build bigger moai than their neighbours, but when this failed to resolve their conflicts the tribes turned to war and throwing down each other’s statues. According to oral traditions recorded by missionaries in the 1860s, the island had a strong class system, with an ariki (king/high chief) wielding power over nine other clans and their respective chiefs. The high chief was the eldest descendant through first-born lines of the island’s legendary founder, Hotu Matu'a.
Lists of paramount chiefs and historical kings

Posted by PetersF 17:31 Archived in Chile Tagged chile easter_island moai anakena birdman rapa_nui hanga_roa orongo akivi vaihu vinapu Comments (0)

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