Wak’as (also spelled waqa, huaca, or guaca) are important in understanding elements of Inka ritual practice, ordering of space, and statecraft. Wak’as are also part of contemporary folk relationships with the physical and spiritual world of the Andes. While the title of this volume emphasizes the archaeological, most of the essays also make use of linguistic analysis, archival research, and ethnographic analogy to understand wak’as. The book contains three main sections: contemporary examples, wak’as in the time of the Inkas, and wak’as in the pre-Inka past.

So what is a wak’a? They are places or things of spiritual importance and embody spiritual force—more or less. The first two chapters of Part II highlight the difficulty of wrestling with what is essentially a problem of ontology: Catherine Allen’s chapter envisions wak’as through a parsing of “Andean animism,” while Bruce Mannheim and Guillermo Salas...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this content.