the 9th Inca [1438-1471] is credited with planning Cuzco to lay within the simple
outline of a puma, or mountain lion, largely formed by the existing landscape.
He probably used clay models for the plan and chose the puma for its place in
Inca lore. Some Spanish chroniclers of the 16th and 17th centuries identified
the city with a puma and in the 1960s Dr.Chávez Ballón from the
National University of Cuzco, was the first to notice how the animal shape could
be traced in the surviving Inka walls. Certainly, some existing place names support
the idea. For example, the narrowest part of Inka Cuzco, today a lower part of
the city is still known as Pumajchupan or Puma's Tail. The head was the
hill with the monumental fortress-like walls of Sacsayhuaman.
of the two focal points of Inka Cuzco was the central square, the Haucaypata,
which in Quechua means 'Leisure pata'. Pata has no easy translation
and perhaps is best described simply as 'place'. This place formed the puma's
breast in Pachacuti's plan and was a great ceremonial centre where every day physically
perfect llamas were sacrificed at dawn, noon and dusk.
roads from the distant parts of the Tawantinsuyu - the four quarters of
the Inka realm converged on the Haucaypata which in the Inka mind was also
the spiritual heart of the empire. The city was a government and ceremonial centre
in which fewer than 4000 are thought to have lived. Outside the principal area
in the surrounding valley another 100,000 people worked the land and were available
for construction work such as the building of Sacsayhuaman.