Guatavita

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Guatavita
Municipality and town
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Coliseum of Guatavita
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Location of the municipality and town of Guatavita in the Cundinamarca Department of Colombia
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Guatavita
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 4°56′4″N73°50′4″W / 4.93444°N 73.83444°W / 4.93444; -73.83444 Coordinates: 4°56′4″N73°50′4″W / 4.93444°N 73.83444°W / 4.93444; -73.83444
CountryFlag of Colombia.svg  Colombia
Department Flag of Cundinamarca.svg Cundinamarca
Province Guavio Province
Founded18 March 1593
Founded byMiguel de Ibarra
Government
  MayorRobeth Yamit Peña Romero
(2016-2019)
Area
   Municipality and town247.3 km2 (95.5 sq mi)
  Urban
6.84 km2 (2.64 sq mi)
Elevation
2,680 m (8,790 ft)
Population
 (2015)
   Municipality and town6,898
  Density28/km2 (72/sq mi)
   Urban
1,960
Time zone UTC-5 (Colombia Standard Time)
Website Official website

Guatavita is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Guavio Province of the department of Cundinamarca. Guatavita is located 75 km northeast of the capital Bogotá. It borders Sesquilé and Machetá in the north, Gachetá and Junín in the east, Guasca in the south and in the west are Tocancipá and Gachancipá. [1]

Contents

History

Before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, the central plateau in the Colombian Andes, the area was inhabited by the Muisca organized in their Muisca Confederation. Guatavita was ruled by a cacique who was a powerful figure consulted by the zipas of Bacatá and the zaques of Hunza. Guatavita was specialized in gold working. [1] An important temple honouring Sué, the Sun god in the religion of the Muisca was constructed in Guatavita. [2]

In the Guatavita Lake the new zipa was inaugurated in rituals performed by the cacique of Guatavita, represented by the famous golden Muisca raft. Around 1490 the Battle of Chocontá took place where zaque Michuá was supported by the cacique of Guatavita and lost with their outnumbered army of 60,000 guecha warriors against the zipa Saguamanchica. Both Muisca rulers died in this battle. [3]

Modern Guatavita was founded on March 18, 1593 by Miguel de Ibarra. [1]

Guatavita was rebuilt on higher ground in the mid 1960s due to the construction of the Tominé Reservoir, which intentionally flooded the area of the town.

Etymology

In the Chibcha language of the Muisca, Guachetá means "end of the farming fields" or "point of the mountain range". [1]

Economy

Main economical activities in Guatavita are agriculture, mining and tourism. In terms of agriculture most common are potatoes, maize, barley and peas. Tourism is mainly in the weekends when craft markets open in town. [1]

Guatavita Lake

The sacred and ceremonial Lake Guatavita, of the pre-Columbian Muisca is located nearby, within the Sesquilé municipality of Almeidas Province.

Guatavita Panorama.jpg
Panorama of Guatavita and Tominé Reservoir

Related Research Articles

Muisca Ethnic group, Colombia

The Muisca are an indigenous people and culture of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia, that formed the Muisca Confederation before the Spanish conquest. The people spoke Muysccubun, a language of the Chibchan language family, also called Muysca and Mosca. As one out of four advanced civilizations of the Americas, they were encountered by conquistadors ordered by the Spanish Empire in 1537 at the time of the conquest. Subgroupings of the Muisca were mostly identified by their allegiances to three great rulers: the zaque, centered in Hunza, ruling a territory roughly covering modern southern and northeastern Boyacá and southern Santander; the zipa, centered in Bacatá and encompassing most of modern Cundinamarca, the western Llanos; and the iraca, religious ruler of Suamox and modern northeastern Boyacá and southwestern Santander.

Sesquilé Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Sesquilé is a town and municipality in Almeidas Province in the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia. Sesquilé in the Chibcha language of the Muisca means "hot water".

Lake Guatavita Lake in Cundinamarca Department, Colombia

Lake Guatavita is located in the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes in the municipality of Sesquilé in the Almeidas Province, Cundinamarca department of Colombia, 57 km (35 mi) northeast of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.

Guasca Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Guasca is a Colombian town and municipality in the Guavio Province, part of the Cundinamarca Department located approximately 55 km from Bogotá passing through the town of La Calera, Cundinamarca or 65 km passing through Sopó. Guasca borders the municipalities Tocancipá and Guatavita in the north, Junín in the east, in the south La Calera and in the west Sopó.

Turmequé Municipality and town in Boyacá Department, Colombia

Turmequé is a town and municipality in the Colombian Department of Boyacá, part of the subregion of the Márquez Province. Turmequé is located at 105 kilometres (65 mi) northeast from the capital Bogotá. The municipality borders Ventaquemada in the west, in the east Úmbita, in the north Nuevo Colón and in the south the municipality Villapinzón of the department of Cundinamarca.

Gámeza Municipality and town in Boyacá Department, Colombia

Gámeza is a town and municipality in the Colombian Department of Boyacá, part of the Sugamuxi Province, a subregion of Boyacá. The town center is located at 18 kilometres (11 mi) from Sogamoso and the municipality borders Tasco and Corrales in the north, Tópaga and Mongua in the south, in the east Socotá and westward of Gámeza Corrales and Tópaga.

Gachancipá Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Gachancipá is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Central Savanna Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca. The urban centre is located on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense at 42 kilometres (26 mi) from the capital Bogotá. The municipality borders Guatavita and Tocancipá in the south, Sesquilé and Guatavita in the east, Nemocón in the west and Suesca in the north.

Junín, Cundinamarca Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Junín is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Guavio Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca. The urban centre is situated at an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) in the east of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense. Junín borders Gachetá and Guatavita in the north, Gama and Gachalá in the east, Fómeque in the south, and La Calera and Guasca in the west.

Suesca Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Suesca is a town and municipality in the Almeidas Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia. It is located on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense at 59 kilometres (37 mi) north from the capital Bogotá. Suesca forms the northern edge of the Bogotá savanna and is a scenic countryside town which is well known because its landscape attracts devotees of rock climbing, trekking, and rafting. It is surrounded by dairy farms and flower plantations. The municipality borders Cucunubá and Lenguazaque in the north, Sesquilé and Gachancipá in the south, Chocontá in the east and Nemocón in the west.

Bogotá savanna

The Bogotá savanna is a montane savanna, located in the southwestern part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the center of Colombia. The Bogotá savanna has an extent of 4,251.6 square kilometres (1,641.6 sq mi) and an average altitude of 2,550 metres (8,370 ft). The savanna is situated in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes.

Bacatá Main seat of the zipa in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Bacatá is the name given to the main settlement of the Muisca Confederation on the Bogotá savanna. It mostly refers to an area, rather than an individual village, although the name is also found in texts referring to the modern settlement of Funza, in the centre of the savanna. Bacatá, alternatively written as Muequetá or Muyquytá, was the main seat of the zipa, the ruler of the Bogotá savanna and adjacent areas. The name of the Colombian capital, Bogotá, is derived from Bacatá, but founded as Santafe de Bogotá in the western foothills of the Eastern Hills in a different location than the original settlement Bacatá, west of the Bogotá River, eventually named after Bacatá as well.

Sagipa Ruler in pre-Spanish Colombia

Sagipa or Zaquesazipa was the fifth and last ruler (zipa) of Bacatá, currently known as the Colombian capital Bogotá, as of 1537. He was the brother of his predecessor Tisquesusa but the traditional faction of the Muisca considered him an usurper as his nephew Chiayzaque, the cacique of Chía, was the legitimate successor of Tisquesusa. His zaque counterpart in the northern part of the Muisca territory was Aquiminzaque, the last surviving ruler of the Muisca. The daughter of Sagipa, named as Magdalena de Guatavita, married conquistador Hernán Venegas Carrillo, one of the first mestizo marriages in the New Kingdom of Granada.

Michuá Zaque

Michuá or Michica was the second zaque of Hunza, currently known as Tunja, as of 1470. His contemporary enemy zipa of the southern Muisca was Saguamanchica.

Nemequene Tribal ruler

Nemequene or Nemeguene was the third ruler (zipa) of Bacatá, currently known as the Colombian capital Bogotá, as of 1490. His zaque counterpart ruling over the northern area of the Muisca territory was Quemuenchatocha.

Saguamanchica Zipa

Saguamanchica was the second ruler (zipa) of Bacatá, currently known as the Colombian capital Bogotá, as of 1470. His zaque enemy ruling over the northern area of the Muisca territory was Michuá.

Battle of Chocontá

The Battle of Chocontá was one of a series of battles in the ongoing conflict between the northern and southern Muisca of pre-Columbian central Colombia. The battle was fought c. 1490 in the vicinity of Chocontá. An army of 50,000 southern Muisca guecha warriors, led by their ruler, or zipa, Saguamanchica, attacked 60,000 northern Muisca troops commanded by Zaque Michuá, who was supported by the Cacique of Guatavita.

Muisca Confederation Loose confederation of different Muisca rulers (zaques, zipas, iraca and tundama) in the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia before the Spanish conquest of northern South America

The Muisca Confederation was a loose confederation of different Muisca rulers in the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia before the Spanish conquest of northern South America. The area, presently called Altiplano Cundiboyacense, comprised the current departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca and minor parts of Santander with a total surface area of approximately 25,000 square kilometres (9,700 sq mi).

Muisca economy

This article describes the economy of the Muisca. The Muisca were the original inhabitants of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, the high plateau in the Eastern Ranges of central present-day Colombia. Their rich economy and advanced merchant abilities were widely known by the indigenous groups of the area and described by the Spanish conquistadores whose primary objective was the acquisition of the mineral resources of Tierra Firme; gold, emeralds, carbon, silver and copper.

Spanish conquest of the Muisca Part of the Spanish conquest of Colombia

The Spanish conquest of the Muisca took place from 1537 to 1540. The Muisca were the inhabitants of the central Andean highlands of Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. They were organised in a loose confederation of different rulers; the zipa of Bacatá, with his headquarters in Funza, the zaque of Boyacá, with his headquarters in Hunza, the iraca of the sacred City of the Sun Sugamuxi, the Tundama of Tundama, and several independent caciques. The leaders of the Confederation at the time of conquest were zipa Tisquesusa, zaque Quemuenchatocha, iraca Sugamuxi and Tundama in the northernmost portion of their territories. The Muisca were organised in small communities of circular enclosures, with a central square where the bohío of the cacique was located. They were called "Salt People" because of their extraction of salt in various locations throughout their territories, mainly in Zipaquirá, Nemocón, and Tausa. For the main part self-sufficient in their well-organised economy, the Muisca traded with the European conquistadors valuable products as gold, tumbaga, and emeralds with their neighbouring indigenous groups. In the Tenza Valley, to the east of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense where the majority of the Muisca lived, they extracted emeralds in Chivor and Somondoco. The economy of the Muisca was rooted in their agriculture with main products maize, yuca, potatoes, and various other cultivations elaborated on elevated fields. Agriculture had started around 3000 BCE on the Altiplano, following the preceramic Herrera Period and a long epoch of hunter-gatherers since the late Pleistocene. The earliest archaeological evidence of inhabitation in Colombia, and one of the oldest in South America, has been found in El Abra, dating to around 12,500 years BP.

Muisca warfare

This article describes the warfare of the Muisca. The Muisca inhabited the Tenza and Ubaque valleys and the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, the high plateau of the Colombian Eastern Ranges of the Andes in the time before the Spanish conquest. Their society was mainly egalitarian with little difference between the elite class (caciques) and the general people. The Muisca economy was based on agriculture and trading raw materials like cotton, coca, feathers, sea snails and gold with their neighbours. Called "Salt People", they extracted salt from brines in Zipaquirá, Nemocón and Tausa to use for their cuisine and as trading material.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 (in Spanish) Official website Guatavita Archived 2016-01-30 at the Wayback Machine - accessed 05-05-2016
  2. Ocampo López, Javier. 2013. Mitos y leyendas indígenas de Colombia - Indigenous myths and legends of Colombia, 1-219. Plaza & Janes Editores Colombia S.A..
  3. (in Spanish) History of the Muisca - Banco de la República - accessed 05-05-2016