Graham and I return to the Inca Museum for a deeper impression of this town’s culture and history, and seeing as how this museum also goes by the title of the Archaeological Museum of Cusco, we find ourselves surrounded by roomful after roomful of artifacts belonging to each of the various ethnic groups arising from this sacred valley.
We emerge brains full of revelations and chitter-chatter through what we find more salient, namely–
Did you know that Inca, first and foremost, isn’t an ethnicity or cultural group but a social standing? The term “Inca” denotes not a people but a segment of society, for Inca translates to “nobility.” So, when we speak of the Incas, or the people who we think of as Inca, we refer only to a segment of their society, Quechuan, and comprised of four federalist states meeting in the center–literally, Cusco.
And, these people are actually inherently conservative, their social eye turned to their ancestors, the preservation of their forefathers’ construction and legacy on the forefront, the recollection of the past trumping the future, if not also the present.
Riveting, really, and I think that I must add Conquest of the Incas and Plunder the Sun to my ever-expanding book list, for, unfortunately, there exists a major dearth in English literature about this fascinating civilization and corner of the world, which brings us to our final conclusion–
That, once again, our Eurocentric stance and insistence on ranking the world’s civilizations from most to least advanced is nothing more than a reflection of ignorance, for there truly is a black hole of information regarding South America’s legacies, and why should there exist any written relic given that the Inca language, Quechua, commits itself to memory and knots, breathed alive by the Inca descendants still here today, rather than to paper?