The Tawantinsuyu

Andean Cosmology is organized around the concept of inclusion. The Inka built their famous roads to bring peoples of the Andes together. They believed that with full participation there is the greatest, inherent strength.

The Inka civilization, and its smaller, component parts, were each based on four-section, equally important areas: the Tawantinsuyu. In Quechua, the language of the Inka, “Tawantin” refers to four and “Suyu” is portion or section of the whole. The entirety of Inka realm, itself referred to as the Tawantinsuyu, connotes the essence of this principle of inclusivity and fullness.

The Suyus are named, Anti, Colla, Cunti, and Chinchay. They are each referred to in reference to Cusco, the center or umbilical cord of the civilization. This is the place that feeds and receives its own nourishment from all the others.

Antisuyu – The Wild
Located in the northeast the jungle area, this Suyu represents wildness and nature in its all its glorious, untamed forms.

Collasuyu – Emergence
To the southeast, this is the place of Lake Titicaca and of the origin myths of the great Inka civilization. This is the place, by legend, that the sun, moon,and stars were born. It’s the place of emergence of a new, inclusive civilization.

Cuntisuyu – Lifting/Perspective
Located to the southwest, this Suyu is the place of the Nasca Lines, where gigantic forms were traced in the sand that could only be perceived from the air. This is the place of lifting and perspective.

Chinchaysuyu – Mastery
This is the place, to the northwest, of the Inka’s final signature; it embodies the pinnacle of Inka civilization. This is the location of the Sacred Valley, of Machu Picchu, and Choquequirao. Here were left the final imprint of the Tawantinsuyu and the one least touched by the Spanish invasion.

With these Suyus as the embodiment of the Inka Experience, these people of energy,  have left a lasting impression on subsequent civilizations of the world; not in isolation, but inclusion, not dismissing differences, but bringing them to the belly of the world.