Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ruins other than Inca : Chan Chan

Chan Chan is a much larger and earlier ruin site than Machu Picchu. It is composed of so many structures including palaces and temples of the Chimor empire which was later conquered by Inca. The site was still being evacuated. We took a mini-bus from Trujillo downtown to the site. As we were back to the Pacific coast, the sky we saw was the same cloudy gloomy as it was in Lima. The first thing we saw was the high sand walls standing out of the deserted land. We kept walking around outside the walled city and saw workers evacuating the inhabitant areas outside the wall. Walking back to the main wall city, we were amazed by the vast structures, including a pone inside, and the different patterns (fish, bird, stairs etc).

Then we visited the museum. Before that we walked on among the fields and had been warned by a passing-by tour guide about the ease of robbery in that area. Luckily we were safe walking on the short-cut. In the museum, there were English descriptions about the Chimor civilization: their class system and cosmic views. They believed that they were the descendants of the four stars: those from the brighter two were in higher classes of noble people; those from minor two starts were of the common people and slave. In the beginning of time the world was in complete darkness. There were four divine characters in confrontations, when the light was created. The two main characters were Rem (the order, represented by the moon) and opponent Ramar (the chaos, represented by central star of the constellation of Orion). The latter was crude and gross, the other three organized themselves against him. Rem illuminated the darkness and became the moon. The trio decided to create human and Ramar was against that, then the opposition between Ramar and Rem continued. With creation of human, for permanent presence of light, Rem created Han (the sun). The process of creating human occurred when Rem the Moon God sent his fertilizing liquid to Nii (sea) through the previously mentioned four stars. When Taicanamo, the founder of the dynasty of Chimor kingdom, came to the land from the sea, enlightenment occurred. He directed the immigrant from marine to the beaches on the Moche Valley, placed a stone representing Rem his lord and father. Chan Chan was founded; the cosmic order was defined and the Chimor dynasty began.

 After Chan Chan, we went to a Chimor temple near the Trujillo downtown. La Huaca Esmeralda contained better patterns on the walls that were not re-created as Chan Chan and showed better originality. We also saw the Peruvian hairless dogs, of which the body temperature is higher than normal dogs and therefore it was used traditionally as body-warmer for people with arthritis. We ended the Chimor journey with our first trial of Peruvian beer and less costly cheviche (after much diarrhea and flu in earlier part of Peru trip).

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