Temas Variados / Diaguitas


Trabajos: Diaguitas
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Enviado por:  Rebecca  21 junio 2011
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l deformation, a common practice among the Diaguita, did not produce unattractive or negative effects.

The first ceramic vestiges of the Diaguitas were found at Las Animas creek in the Elqui Valley (IV Region), and correspond to the archaic period. The dishes from this stage are quite deep with thick walls and shaped like a half of an orange (semi-globular). The utensils were decorated with thick lines forming concentric circles, both in its interior and exterior.

Towards the end of the transition period, the Diaguitas began to innovate in the decoration of their pottery, new forms were incorporated: hooks, triangles and escalating traces, characteristic pre-Columbian decoration.

During the classical period, the so-called duck vessels and some ornamental chalice appeared. Most of these ceramics had vertical walls, inclined outwards, inwards or perpendicular. Drawings decorate the external part of the vessel, while the interior was red tinted. Geometric decorations became more common.

The so-called duck vessels along with caskets and anthropomorphous ceramic are the most outstanding work of the Diaguita culture.

The Diaguita´s teritory, mainly the valleys, was divided into two. The upper and middle part, and the lower part.

Each half recognized a chief or cacique who ruled over minor chiefs.

Gerónimo de Vivar, while refering to the Aconcagua valley, says:

«The Lords of this valley are two; one is Tanjalombo, who overlooks half of the valley down to the sea; and the other Cacique is Michimalongo, whose domain and rule covers the other half of the valley up to the mountains, overlooks and dominates half of the valley and reaches the mountains.»

Toward the XVIIIth century, the Diaguitas had been assimilated by the Hispanic Creole society. Nowadays, almost nothing remains of their beliefs, traditions or cultural values.

Language Kakan

Kakán was the Language of the Diaguita people, coming from the north of Argentina. They settled in the fertile Cross-sectiona

l Valleys.

The studies of Rodolfo Schüller maintain that in both sides was spoken this Language totally extinguished today.

At the moment only some words have conserved last names of Kankán origin, local toponymy (names of places), such as:


Antofagasta, Chalingasta, Elqui, Sotaquí, Atacama, Calama, Toconao, Ticnamar, Combarbalá, etc.

Last name of Diaguita origin are:

Alballay, Campillay, Sapiaín, Talinay, Chavilca, Tamango, etc.

Plants names:

Chañar, gualtata, chilca, yalipalqui, palqui, etc.


Spiritual World

Different grave-styles speak about their spiritual evolution and about their belief in a supernatural life and in divinities.

They had a very complex burial ritual, in which they sacrificed llamas or alpacas. These animals were buried with the deceased, evidencing the importance of livestock.

Basically, their burial sites consist on a rectangular enclosure, excavated below ground level, with two inclined stone blocks in order to protect the corpse. Also, some ...

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