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Peruvian Chakana Necklace - Four Color Stone

SKU: j0460-Earth

 • Product Size: 1.25" L  x  1.25" W

Fair Trade
Hand Made

Product Origin

Abelardo & Luzmarina Mirano

Delightful chakana talisman necklace made of four different colored stones, shaped into the Andean symbol of the Incan civilization. Derived from the Quechua (traditional language of the Incas) word chakay, meaning to cross or to bridge, a chakana is a three-stepped symmetric cross with a hole through the center. Strung on a braided black cord with a silvertone bead. Stone color position may vary from photograph. Each necklace is handmade in Peru. Choice of styles.

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  • One of the most enduring symbols of the Inca civilization is the chakana, also called the Cruz Andina or Andean Cross. At the heart of the symbol is a circular hole which represents the city of Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire and navel of the Incan world. Surrounding this circle are four corners, ridged with three steps each. Each of these corners is believed to have meaning, although there is disagreement as to what those meanings are. 

    The significance of one of those corners is generally agreed upon. Each of the three steps of one corner is meant to represent one of the three worlds of the Inca belief system. This includes the lower or underworld, Uqhu Pacha, represented by the snake; the middle world, that of the humans, called Kay Pacha and represented by the puma; and finally the upper world of the gods, Hanan Pacha, represented by the condor. These three animals, along with the chakana, are consistently represented in Inca artwork. When a person died and the soul went to the underworld, it was believed that the puma would descend to collect it and bring it to the condor who would then take it to the upper world. 

    The other corners are believed by some to represent the values of the Inca culture. For example, one corner may represent love (munay), knowledge (yachay) and work (llankay). There are also the values that were set out by the empire such as respect or obligation to parents, to the Inca ruler and to the gods. One corner may also serve as a type of three commandments: do not lie, steal or be lazy. Additional possible interpretations are that the 12 corners of the chakana represent the 12 months that the Incas used for their yearly calendar. Also, the four main arms of the cross may represent the Southern Cross constellation which was important to the Incas. Those arms also stand for the four provinces surrounding Cusco. 

    Although these are some of the most common meanings attributed to the symbol, there are some who consider it to be far more mystical in origin. These people believe the symbol has mathematical and geometrical significance, holding within it the key to the Incan understanding of the secret of life. Whatever the actual significance of each point on the cross, there is no doubt that it held great meaning and importance for the Quechua people. It can be found in archaeological sites all over Peru and is still used today in many of the handicrafts made by the indigenous people. That it is sold everywhere as a souvenir should in no way detract from the sacredness it held and still holds for many. Most museums dealing with Inca history will have representations or (occasionally) actual Chakana artifacts. 

    Source: The Chakana: The Meaning of the Inca Cross by Maureen Santucci

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    Abelardo & Luzmarina Mirano

    Abelardo and his wife Luzmarina are master shamanic artisans. They have been creating traditional sacred stone carvings for many years and are well respected by shamans, teachers and practitioners both in Peru and abroad. Their art is infused with a deep understanding of Andean cosmology, ancient shamanic practices and a deep love for the apus and Pachamama. They live in Cusco, Peru with their three beautiful children Paola, Chaska and Sebastian.

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