View of the City of Cusco

When the Inca Pachacutec Yupanqui, the great architect of Cusco, ordered the old city to be redesigned in the form of a puma as the imperial capital of Tawantinsuyo, “the empire of the four quarters”, he ordered the builders to reserve a space for all the mitimaes who would come from the four corners of the known world. The mitimaes were groups of pilgrims who travelled guided by the principle of the creator god: the principle of sharing, or “ayni”, and this reserved space has now transformed into the bustling San Blas district.

From that time on every tribal group or community of the great empire would send its best craftsmen and wisest elders on the long pilgrimage to Cusco, the sacred city. Their duty was simple: “to share all they knew and to learn all they could”.

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