The Chakana : The Andean Cross  

 

Have you noticed this symbol on quite a lot of our vintage rugs and even some of our frazada rugs?

This is one of the most popular symbols in the Andean culture; the chakana, or Andean cross.

This symbol is over 4000 years old and it is found in various architectural structures, ceramics, textiles and petroglyphs in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, as these were all part of the Inca empire.

 

chakana architecture Peru

 

The Chakana is a cross. Each of its four edges represents the 4 directions and seasons.

Between each of the four edges, there are 3 steps, representing the underworld, this world and the heavens.

Inca cross Peru 

The middle represents emptiness, the unimaginable, lack of knowledge, the truth and sacred.

The Chakana symbolizes the union between the earth and the sun, mankind and heaven, or this life and the next. 

Can you imagine receiving a gift with such a powerful meaning? The rugs that feature this cross bring all these meanings to them as part of the stories that the weavers were meaning to tell. 

 

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