One of the least understood ancient cultures in South America, the Chachapoya lived in a vast territory stretching between the Huallaga and Marañon rivers within the headwaters of the Peruvian Amazon.
Literally translated as ‘the people of the clouds’, the Chachapoya arose between AD 900 and AD 1450 in this region dominated by the humid cloud forests of the eastern Andean slopes. With their distinctive circular architecture and zig-zag artistic motifs, this strongly egalitarian society of over 500,000 people capitalized on their ability to control the trade routes between the cultures of the Amazon and Andes.
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