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A Catalogue of Quechua Stars and Constellations

Star-to-Star Constellations


Fig. 1: The Inca Milky Way showing both star and cloud constellations (from Urton, "At the Crossroads of Earth and Sky")

Name

Translation

Provenience

Identification

Remarks

+*11.Amaru contor

the serpent changing to the condor

Chumbivilcas

Scorpio

-

-12.Arado

(Sp.) "plough"

Lucre

Scorpio (?)

-

+13.Boca del Sapo

(Sp.) "mouth of the toad"

Misminay

The Hyades

The informant said that it is shaped like and that it rises about 8:00pm in mid-September.

-14.Cabañuelas

(Sp.) "small hut, cottage"

Cuzco

The Pleiades (?)

A group of small stars which rise on August 1 and are used for crop predictions.

+15.Calvario Cruz

(Sp.) "the cross of Calvary"

Misminay
Sonqo

(a) head of Scorpio

(b) Betelgeuse, Rigel, Sirius, and Procyon

(c) Procyon, Castor, Belt of Orion, beta Tauri

(d) Belt of Orion, tau Orionis, and Rigel

-

+16.Collca

"storehouse"

Misminay
Quispihuara
Sonqo
Yucay

(a) the Pleiades

(b) the tail of Scorpio

(c) the Hyades

Observed in weather and crop predictions.

?17.Contor

"condor"

Misminay

(a) the head of Scorpio

(b)
head= delta, epsilon, eta Canis Majoris

wing= alpha, beta, gamma Pyxidis

wing= alpha Monocerotis

tail= alpha Hydrae

no. 36.

+18.Chakana

"bridge, stair"

Misminay
Sonqo

(a) Belt of Orion

(b) Chacanuay= delta, epsilon, eta Canis Majoris

-

?19.Choque-chinchay

"golden cat"

Sonqo

Tail of Scorpio (or dark spot inside tail?)

-

+20.Hatun Cruz

"great, or large cross"

Misminay
Sonqo

(a) Betelgeuse, Rigel, Sirius, Procyon

(b) Procyon, Castor, eta and mu Geminorum

In Misminay, Hatun Cruz is the cross of the northern suyu ("quarter").

+21.Huchuy Cruz

"small cross"

Sonqo

The Southern Cross (Crux)

In Yucay, the Southern Cross is called Calvario.

?22.Khaswa Coyllur

"circle dance star(s)"

Sonqo

(a) gamma, delta, kappa, lambda Vela

(b) Corona Borealis (?)

The informant made a circular, spiraling motion when identifying khaswa coyllur on a star map.

?23.Llama Cancha

"Llama corral"

Misminay

?

Informant described Llama cancha as a group of 56 stars.

+24.Llamacñawin

"eyes of the llama"

Misminay
Yucay
Sonqo
Lucre
Quispihuara

alpha and beta Centauri

The "eyes" of the Dark Cloud constellation of the Llama; no. 40.

+25.Linun Cruz

Linun=Lat. lignum; "wooden cross" or " the crucifixion cross"

Misminay

The head of Scorpio

-

-26.Mamana micuc

"(the one who) eats his mother"

Misminay

greek symbol, pi, sigma, nu, tau Puppis

A zig-zag line of stars near the mouth of the Dark Cloud "Serpent" (Mach'acuay); informant's drawing

?27.Ñawin Cristo

"the eyes of Christ"

Misminay

alpha and beta Centauri (?)

One informant mentioned ñawin Cristo while discussing the Llama (llamacñawin = "eyes of the Llama")

+28.Papa Dios Cruz

(Sp.) "the cross of God the father"

Misminay

Head of Scorpio

Papa Dios Cruz=Calvario Cruz (no.15).

?29.Pasion Cruz

(Sp.) "the cross of the Passion"

Lucre

?

Informant's drawing:

?30.Pisqa Collca

"the five storehouses"

Sonqo

Located somewhere from the belt of Orion to the Hyades

See no. 32.

+31.Pisqa Coyllur

"the five star(s)"

Misminay

The Hyades

One informant said that Pisqa collca (no.30) = Pisqa Collyur.

+32.Qutu

"pile"

Sonqo

The Pleiades

The Pleiades in Sonqo are also called collca qutu ("storehouse pile").

?33.Sonaja

(Sp.) "tambourine, rattle"

Misminay

(?) Corona Borealis

Sonaja was said to set in the northwest about where the June solstice sun sets: Solstice set=296 degrees; Corona Borealis set=298 degrees.

+34.Yutucruz

"tinamou cross"

Chumbivilcas

The Southern Cross

Yutu= the Coalsack (no.47).

*Symbols in this column indicate the degree to which confidence in the reliability of the data is justified: +=confident; ?=questionable; -=not confident.

From Josh Marcy's, Topher Wilkins' and Adam Tarnoff's ID1 paper.