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Wechua people

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See alsos: The official wikiportal for the Wechua Nation and a list of pages relating to the Wechua people and their homeland, the Wechua Nation. Wechua
Wechua
Wechua flag.png
Flag of the Wechua people
Total population
~ 13-16 million
Regions with significant populations
Wechua Wechua 11,662,243
Alduria Alduria 3,287,198
Constancia Constancia 976,911
Natopia Natopia 698,231
Languages

Wechu,

the Common Tongue.
Religion

the Faith of Inti,

the Melusinian Faith.

The Wechua people may refer to any or all speakers of the Wechua languages, which originated among the indigenous people of central Keltia, mainly the area around Mount Lacara. Most Wechua speakers are native to the Wechua Nation, although there are some significant populations living in Alduria, Constancia, and Natopia.

The most common Wechua dialect is Lacara Wechu. The word for a Wechua speaker is runa or nuna ("person"); the plural is runakuna or nunakuna ("people"). Wechus living in the coastal enclave of San Francisco predominantly speak Coastal Wechu.

The ancestors of the Wechua people lived in the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the ancient nation of Attera. Over the centuries, as the hardships that followed the collapse of Attera grew, many Wechuas left for Hamland (later became Caputia).

Under Atteran rule, to ensure the Wechua could not rise against them, the Atteran Empire started transporting hundreds of thousands of Wechua to western Keltia, where they were ruled by the Vanderveer Reich and other nations. Western Wechuas have formed a distinctly different version of the old Wechua culture, called Coastal Wechu. In the centuries following the collapse of its Atteran overlords and the succession of other nations that settled the area, the communities of these Coastal Wechu speakers began to migrate to Caputia, settling around the city of San Francisco. Currently, the city of San Francisco is part of the Wechua Nation's small coastal enclave in Keltia, joining the Wechua Nation after the collapse of Caputia due to the White Plague. Smaller groups of these communities in western Keltia have moved out of its insecure and chaotic Green wastes and settled in Alduria, Constancia, and Natopia. Only abandoned ruins remain of the old Coastal Wechu communities outside of the borders of the Wechua Nation.

History

See also: History of the Wechua Nation.

Culture

See also: Mount Lacara.

Traditionally, Quechua identity is locally oriented and inseparably linked in each case with the established economic system. It is based on agriculture in the lower altitude regions, and on pastoral farming in the higher regions. The typical Wechua community extends over several altitude ranges and thus includes the cultivation of a variety of arable crops and/or livestock. The land is usually owned by the local community (ayllu) and is either cultivated jointly or redistributed annually.

Beginning with the Atteran era and intensifying after the first Wechua state was founded, large landowners and nobles appropriated all or most of the land. Harsh conditions of exploitation repeatedly led to revolts by the farmers, which were forcibly suppressed. The largest and last of these revolts occurred in 1664, which led to widespread early agrarian reforms. The agrarian reforms included the expropriation of many large landowners and redistribution of the land to farmers and some farming cooperatives.

The Wechua culture is extremely community-minded, containing mainly two primary types of joint work. In the case of mink'a, people work together for projects of common interest (such as the construction of communal facilities). Ayni is, in contrast, reciprocal assistance, whereby members of an ayllu help a family to accomplish a large private project, for example, house construction, and in turn, can expect to be similarly helped later with a project of their own.

The Wechua are known for their many traditional handicrafts, which are an important aspect of material culture and serve as a major export and meaningful source of income for families and communities. Many of these products are exported to large markets in the Raspur Pact, such as Alduria, Constancia, and Natopia. This includes a tradition of weaving handed down from ancient times, using cotton, wool (from llamas, alpacas, guanacos, vicunas) and a multitude of natural dyes, and incorporating numerous woven patterns (pallay). Houses are usually constructed using air-dried clay bricks (tika, or in adobe), or branches and clay mortar (“wattle and daub”), with the roofs being covered with straw, reeds, or puna grass (ichu).

Religion

See also: Faith of Inti

Practically all Wechua have been nominally Intians. Nevertheless, other religious forms persist in many Wechua communities within the Wechua Nation and abroad. Some communities have blended with Melusinian elements. Other communities, especially those Wechua communities in Alduria and Natopia have blended with Alexandrian Nazarene elements.

Most Wechua communities, particularly in the Wechua Nation, share a belief in Mother Earth (Pachamama), who grants fertility and to whom burnt offerings and libations are regularly made. Also important are the mountain spirits (apu) as well as lesser local deities (wak'a), who are still venerated especially in the southernmost regions of the Wechua Nation. The influence of the Alexandrian Nazarene faith led them to include the idea of heaven (hanan pacha) and hell (ukhu pach).

Foods and crops

The Wechua people cultivate and eat a variety of foods. They domesticated potatoes and cultivate thousands of potato varieties, used for food and medicine. The government has recently established strong and well-funded efforts to undertake conservation and adaptation efforts of potato and other traditional crops. More than 2,800 types of potatoes are known to have originated in the country. The existence of these varieties can be attributed to the high value the Wechua people place on their cultural traditions and biological diversity. There are nearly as many uses for potatoes as there are varieties, from food preparation to the treatment of illness, and for use in various cultural practices. In maintaining a wide variety of potatoes, the Wechua have also protected their people from widespread agricultural disaster. Due to the diversification of their most important crop, there has been no recorded agricultural disaster. The potato also plays an important role in multiple Wechua cultural traditions, including marriage. In many communities, if a man wants to marry a woman, the man’s mother presents her with a potato named for its ability to “make the daughter-in-law cry.” The daughter-in-law must carefully peel the knobby tuber, which resembles a pinecone in shape. If she removes more than is necessary, she will not be allowed to marry the woman’s son.

Quinoa is another staple crop grown by the Wechua. Quinoa has served the Wechua people as an edible cereal from the remotest times. It is generally grown alongside other crops such as potatoes and maize, while also serving as a fence-hedge for fields and as biological barriers. It is commonly regarded as a sacred food and was also used for medicinal purposes. The grain can be used in soups, sweets, beverages and for making bread and pastas. The leaves are ideal for salads. As a basic foodstuff and from a nutritional point of view, quinoa constitutes one of the main components of the Wechua diet. It is a powerful source of protein with an especially rich variety of amino acids.

Kiwicha or amaranth is a cereal that has been cultivated in the Wechua Nation for thousands of years. It is an annual, herbaceous, slightly shrub-like plant with exuberant foliage and bright inflorescences. The leaves, whether fresh or dried, and the grain, whether dried, popped like popcorn or ground into a flour are edible and can be combined with many combinations of foods.

Qañiwa / Cañihua or most commonly kaniwa or canihua in Istvanistani, is another grain that originated in the Wechua highlands. The plant is highly resistant to freezes, pests, blights and drought, qualities that make this a reliable source of food serving as a nutritional back-up or safety net when other crops fail. Its leaves are consumed as greens and make it a good fodder crop. It can grow at higher elevations than some of the region’s other traditional grains. The plants produce edible seeds in a variety of colors with some yielding taller more erect plants and others lower-lying and bushier in shape. The grain is used in a wide variety of food preparations. It is known for its high protein content and while it shares the high levels of essential amino acids found in its close relative quinoa. It is also much easier to prepare and process into flour that quinoa.

Ch’arki is a Wechua dried (and sometimes salted) meat. It was traditionally made from llama meat that was sun- and freeze-dried in the sun and cold nights, but is now also often made from beef, with variation among regions and cities.

Pachamanca, a Wechua word for a pit cooking technique, includes several types of meat such as chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and/or mutton; tubers such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yucca, uqa/ok’a (oca in Martino), and mashwa; other vegetables such as maize/corn and fava beans; seasonings; and sometimes cheese in a small pot and/or tamales.

Guinea pigs are also sometimes raised for meat. Other foods and crops include the meat of llamas and alpacas as well as beans, barley, hot peppers, coriander, and peanuts.

Notable people

  • Manco Capac, King or Sapa Wechua of the Wechua Nation;
  • Vicaquirao Alvarez, Prime Minister or Inkap Rantin of the Wechua Nation;
  • Ignacio Pancha, Wechua-Aldurian actor;
  • Lucinda Soler, Wechua actress.

See also