Dejene Gemechu Chala: Blessing the Route, Striving for Peace and Success. Borana-Arbore Ritual Gift Exchange

Abstract. – The volcano Chimborazo, located in Ecuador, was mentioned in the early chronicles of the Spaniards as a sacred mountain for the people of the ancient Andean world. In this article I will analyze, for the first time, three main archaeological sites, two of them at the bottom of the glaciers of the Chimborazo and the other one at its foothill. One of the main archaeological sites located at Chimborazo’s glaciers is known as “Huauqui Chimborazo,” and we can find it at the west slope of the mountain. This site and the reason that might explain its location, 4,800 meters above sea level, is the relation it has with very ancient fragments of lava flows that characterize this place. Nearby this archaeological complex there are dozens of little archaeological structures which have been documented (locally known as yaathas) with significant visual contact with one of the Chimborazo hills. The second main archaeological site is located on the southern side of the Chimborazo at 4,600 meters above sea level. It is characterized by another group of yaathas and an inusual proximity to a cave which has been used as a meeting point for pilgrims in modern times. Finally, the third archaeological site is located at the southern side of the Chimborazo volcano, at 3,600 meters above sea level. It is a kancha or an Inca architectural construction, probably built to give assistance to the pre-Hispanic pilgrims who were climbing to this sacred mountain to give sacrificial offerings. [Ecuador, Chimborazo volcano, archaeological complex, sacrificial offerings]