Plazuela Santa Ana # 141 / Telf: (051) (41) 47 - 7610 / Chachapoyas - Amazonas - Perú

The sarcophagi of Karajía

Brief description:

It pays to visit


The sarcophagi of Karajía, which were the tombs for the elite of the Chachapoya culture, are located in the Department of Amazonas, in the Province of Luya, 60 km (37 mi) to the northwest of the city of Chachapoyas.

These full-sized sarcophagi depict a sculptured head with a enormous jaw line.  Some of the headpieces are embellished with horns, imitating deer antlers, while others show encrusted human skulls, which are presumed to be trophy heads.

These sarcophagi were crafted on-site, on inaccessible perches on high cliff sides.  In their construction wild cane stalks were tied up with twine creating a cone-shaped structure.  Inside of the cone, the deceased were placed in the fetal position.  The structure was then covered up with a thick layer of clay and straw as a binding material.  Afterwards, the artificial head was sculpted and the headpiece was placed on top of the point of the cone.  The sarcophagus body was painted white, while the head and headpiece were decorated with delicately brushed ocher strokes.  Feathered tunics, also painted with ochre, adorned the body of the sarcophagus.  The gender of the deceased was also displayed on the cone-shaped body of each sarcophagus.





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  • Visits:

    May to November


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