Tag Archives: Friedrich Uhle

Sampaya stopped at the time of the Inca

Bolivia has great places to visit, and this is certainly one! I welcome Sampaya to The Hall of Bolivian Fame!! and thank La Prensa for sharing with us:

A relic of the pre-Columbian era

Sampaya stopped at the time of the Inca

The population is situated 15.5 kilometers from the city of Copacabana.

The community of Sampaya is situated 15.5 kilometers north of the town of Copacabana, following the path that runs parallel to Lake Titicaca, to the northern end of the peninsula. Sampaya is a pre-Columbian jewel hidden in one of the most charming places of the Lake.

In the 19th century, the famous Explorer and German archaeologist Friedrich Uhle reached Sampaya in search of a quipus, but instead bought a resalipichis from Serapio Chuquimira, Aymara chronicler of the town. The resalipichis were some leathers painted with simple sepia color figurines that conformed a hieroglyphic writing to display Christian prayers. That object is now preserved in the Ethnological Museum of Berlin.

IN SAMPAYA STILL CAN BE BREATH THE INCA AIR. Arriving at Sampaya, the visitor will be amazed with the road made entirely of stones that has approximately four meters wide, the Inca Trail. Beneath that picturesque route runs a stream, which was channelled in pre-Columbian times.

To enter through the narrow streets, admiring the houses and terraces of sown fields, it is as if time had frozen. Modernity has not been able to corrupt Sampaya, which is one of the last communities in Latin America that persists in the times of the Incas.

The houses are rectangular with walls of stone together with mud mortar masonry; roofs gabled structure of tree trunks and leather cords, covered with paja brava. These houses meander on the slopes of the mountains along topographical lines like the crop platforms.

Sampaya is a delight for the eyes of visitors; its platforms and terraces full of flowers in spring and its variety of shades of green appear to be a watercolor painting.

Sampaya settled by the Aymaras who live in the place, keeping alive traditions and ancestral rites until today.

Sampaya has a privileged view of the islands of the Moon (island of Koati), the sacred Lake and snowy cones of the royal mountain range of the Andes [cordillera Real of the Andes]. Sampaya cannot be described with words, is a magical experience of contact with our roots that we approaches us to the worldview of the people of the Andes.

August 16 is the date on which the community performs the feast of its Patron, San Roque.