Photos 1. a) Inqaychu in the form of a ram. One leg is broken, which may account for its having been sold in Cuzco, Peru, as discussed in the final section of the paper. It measures approximately 7 cm × 5 cm × 3 cm
b) Inqaychu in the form of an alpaca. The hole in its back would have been filled with fat. It measures approximately 7 cm × 4 cm × 2 cm
c) Small inqaychu in the form of a llama. It measures approximately 4 cm × 2.5 cm × .5 cm
© Catherine J. Allen
Inqaychu: the living one
In many Andean highland communities, tiny stone animals called inqaychu (Photos 1 a-c) slumber in beds of coca leaves, bundled in finely woven napkins and hidden away in the niches and rafters of adobe houses. At intervals these sleepers are roused and removed from hiding (on the first of August, during Carnival at the beginning of Lent, during the feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24, and often during a feast day in...