The inka live on in chile through myths, place names and everyday words

Researchers are unsure whether the pronounced Inka influence on modern-day Chilean culture is due more to the Empire’s occupation of the region in pre-Hispanic times or to later events, such as the arrival of large number of Inka yanakonas, or servants, who were brought from Peru by the colonial Spanish. In any case, the influence is most clear in the innumerable place names found in Chile with clear Inka roots. Furthermore, modern Chileans pepper their Spanish with far more words borrowed from Quechua, the language of the Inkas, than words from Mapudungun, which is spoken by the Mapuche people who make up the bulk of the country’s indigenous population. Finally, Andean myths of the inkarrí assert that Atahualpa, the Inka emperor who was kidnapped and assassinated by the conquistadors, will return from the dead to usher in a new age of freedom and prosperity for the peoples of the Andean region that he once ruled. Such stories live on among the indigenous groups in Chile’s far north, but surprisingly have also been found as far south as the island of Chiloe, a territory that the Inka Empire of Tawantisuyu never reached.

 Quechua words in common usage in Chile today

 Cacho             :                       horn; small piece

Callampa         :                       mushroom

Cancha            :                       playing field

Cocaví            :                       food brought along for an outing

Cochayuyo     :                       seaweed

Concho           :                       small leftover piece

Chacra            :                       smallholding (single family farm)

Chala              :                       leather sandal

Champa          :                       plot of grass

Chancar          :                       crush, grind

Charqui           :                       sun-dried, salted meat

Chasca             :                       tangled hair, mop haired

Chasquilla       :                       hair fringes (UK) or bangs (US and Canada)

Chasqui           :                       messenger

Challa              :                      confetti or toast

Chico            :                       small (adj), young boy (n.)

Chicha            :                       corn beer

Chimba           :                       neighborhood, opposite side of the river

China              :                       servant

Choclo            :                       corn

Choro              :                       black mussell

Chúcaro          :                       untamed

Chuchoca        :                       ground corn

Chuño              :                       freeze-dried potato

Chupalla         :                       straw hat

Chupe              :                       stew, snack

Chupilca         :                       mixture of corn beer and toasted wheat flour

Guagua           :                       baby

Guano             :                       sea bird dung, used as fertilizer

Guaraca         :                       slingshot

Guata              :                       tummy, belly

Huacho          :                       orphan

Huaina            :                       young/inexperienced person

Huaquero      :                       treasure hunter

Huasca            :                       leather strap used for horses

Huincha          :                       tape measure, strap

Locro              :                      thick soup or stew

Mama           :                       Madam

Ñato               :                       person with a short nose, or without a nose at all

Ojota               :                       flip-flop, sandal

Pampa             :                       the plains

Papa                :                       potato

Paya                :                       rhymed verse, usually improvised

Palta                :                       avocado

Poto                :                       bottom (anatomy)

Quisco            :                       cactus

Tambo            :                       way-station

Tata                 :                       “Grandpa”

Yapa               :                       extra, bonus

Yuyo               :                       weed

Zapallo            :                      squash