In the northeastern region of Peru is the city of CHACHAPOYAS, here the MALLQUI MUSEUM was founded after a fortuitous discovery of mausoleums belonging to a culture called CHACHAPOYAS, in LAGUNA DE LOS CÓNDORES. The site, a victim of looters and treasure hunters, was discovered fairly recently in 1997. Thanks to the cooperation of the international community (Austria, Finland, Italy, and the United States) CENTRO MALLQUI was founded.
The recovered contents of these mausoleums, which is composed of mummies and other archeological objects, are studied by the archeological community with much attention. The main reason is that they have discovered that the CHACHAPOYAS, culture existed at the same time as the INCA culture. There are no signs that the Inca culture extended their territories into the Peruvian jungle, where this area called CHACHAPOYAS, is located. The Inca culture was found mainly in the high mountains of the region where Peru now is. So, some interesting questions arise. Was this CHACHAPOYAS, culture part of the INCA culture at any time? Were they an independent culture? When and how was the culture formed? What happened to them? What made them disappear?
Recent discoveries place the CHACHAPOYAS culture in the Amazon and San Martin region of Peru. Its beginnings, thanks to the findings of a sarcophagus found in the Laguna de los Cóndores, place the CHACHAPOYAS Culture between AC 800 – 1470; as a CHACHAPOYAS – INCA culture between AC 1470 – 1532, time of arrival of the Spanish conquistadors; and COLONIAL ERA between AC 1532 – 1570.
Peru is a vast territory full of archeological surprises, and the remains found of the CHACHAPOYAS culture like tools, a sarcophagus with the human form, artisanal objects some made of gold, and textiles, now in the MALLQUI MUSEUM are formidable testimonies that much more is still to be discovered. More than 200 FARDOS FUNERARIOS found in the LAGUNA de los CONDORES is the source of the previously mentioned information.
In July of 2006, these 200 mummies were returned from the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna) and are now in permanent exhibition at the site Museum of LEYMEBAMBA. These mummies were found in mausoleums built on the sides of rocky mountains. The unipersonal sarcophagus with human form is as high as 3 meters (12 feet tall.) The ethnic features of these people found in these sarcophagi show them as people of much whiter color of skin, and their women of great beauty. They also indicate that the CHACHAPOYAS people practiced agriculture and produced textiles with considerable expertise, but their ceramics were dull and mainly applied for domestic use.
The Mallqui Center is responsible for the administrative and professional management of these sites with the collaboration as well with the people of the local community. Looting has now stopped but the irresponsible attitude of tourists visiting these sites contributed significantly to the loss of much-appreciated articles and valuable data.
The MALLQUI Museum holds only part of the rich history of the CHACHAPOYAS Culture, which also includes discoveries made in Kuélap and The Grand Pajatén.
For further information on our CHACHAPOYAS programs please