Origin of name Colca

The native chronicler Guaman Poma in his work Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno, bringd to light a very eloquent engraving entitled DEPOCITO OF INGA COLLCA. This engraving tells us that the Colca served as a warehouse (or a desposit) for food, wool, cotton dresses, among other products such as tools or weapons.These items that served as a reserve to supplement the needs of the population during times of droughts, wars, or other calamities. The engraving also shows that the administrator or "quipucamayocc", the person who reported driectly to the the Inca, used the instrument as an ancient form of accounting, or bookkeeping.

The collcas were tanks that served to store food or objects, and they were distributed throughout the territory of Tahuantinsuyo. They consisted of rows of tall, ventilated stone buildings, usually located in a cool area on the slopes of the hills. They look like turrets and were built in rows, but they are separated to prevent fires.

Some of the places where you can still find remnants of these “colca” structures are: Huanuco Pampa (Huanuco), Cajamarquilla in the valley of Rimac, Raqchi in Cuzco, Sanctuary of Pachacamac, and, of course, along the villages in Colca valley and canyon.

Precisely, the quechua villages that are located in the buttresses Colca and valley canyon, emerged as a synthesis of ancient customs and traditions of the Andean people. The preceding cultures like the Tiwanaku, Huari and served as a model civilizations; Tiahuanacu, with its mythology, monumental architecture, and Huari with centralized political organization, military conquest, and power.

During the Inca administration there was a lot of prosperity in the agriculture and farming villages of Colca. They built large warehouses or stores, for the conservation of corn and processed meat (jerky), fish, manufactured goods such as weapons, clothing, and dried fruit, among other products for use in times of hardship, times of war, or drought. Consequently, Colca the valley and canyon, is named for having been the pantry of the Andes.

Today these people stand out as being primarily an agricultural nation, who maintain the ancient terraces and use them currently for the production on agricultural goods. For example, the corn  grown in Cabanaconde “Maiz Cabanita”, is prized for its sweetness, softness and nutritive value. In antiquity herds of llamas and alpacas came from Puno and Cuzco to use to barter, in exchange the famous “Maiz Cabanita”.

Walter Tinta