Sabine Hyland is an anthropologist and ethnohistorian her work explores the little-known cultures of the Andes, both past and present. Her research has taken her to remote mountain villages in Central and Southern Peru to meet with native community leaders as well as with local healers and diviners. She also investigates archives in Peru and Spain, analyzing 400-year old manuscripts for the information they reveal about the Inka past.. Read More

Rite of passage for a young Chanka girl

This is me in the home of Yenifer, a young Chanka girl in the small village of Uranmarca, site of the Inka way-station for travellers crossing the Pampas River. Yenifer’s parents asked me and my archeologist friend, Brian Bauer, to give Yenifer her first haircut. This is an ancient ceremony — as god parents, Brian […]

Cook? Victim? Poisoner?

Is this young Andean woman a victim of Father Albadán’s abuse? Is she his cook, Francisca, whom he forced to work for him through fear? And if so, did she slip some fatal herbs into his soup one day? I chose this haunting image for the cover of The Chankas and the Priest to represent […]

New Discoveries about Khipus!

My recent fieldwork in the Andes has enabled me to understand the significance of the two most common colour patterns — colour banding and seriation — on khipus! Thanks to many people who helped me in the field, especially Mecias Pumajulka, the grandson of the last khipukamayoq in Anchucaya! Thanks also to National Geographic Society’s […]