IMG_2300 IMG_2296 IMG_2295 IMG_2288 IMG_2286The apacheta , Quechua : apachita , is a mound of stones placed in a conical shape on each other , as an offering made ??by indigenous peoples of the Andes in South America to the Pachamama and / or deities of the place, in the difficult slopes roads.

Origin. They are about real value indigenous sacred monuments , which were built at different points on the banks of the Inca Trail .
As old custom of leaving stones, became over time brands, fashion milestones , demarcating these roads . It is at these points where travelers ask and thank the Pachamama (Mother Earth ) and the Apus ( mountain deities ) .4
It was believed that leaving a stone protected the traveler passing through the place, which was offered by the ‘chew coca leaves , snuff and / or fermented drinks among other things.
Unlike a mound , the cairn was erected as not even cover burial chamber graves or grave . The vast majority appear alone and isolated , and is believed to remove the stones from the cairn is desecration , equivalent to sacrilege , because they are sacred for that rite.
Controversy in meaning. While not everyone agrees on its meaning as an offering and / or places orders to the Pachamama , some authors believe that apachetas born due to the concern of the Andean peoples for order : to divide , measure distances , mark and separate sectors or territories although other detail that was originally nothing more than a pile of building materials hauled usnos or lookouts at strategic points of the Inca roads .

Photography, Felix Barroeta . Contrastes de Atacama.