Juanita the Ice Princess

Juanita the "beautiful Ice Princess" is anything but beautiful. She looks like a horse for Christ's sake! In fairness though, she is over 500 years old. Her frozen corpse was found on top of a snow-capped mountain in The Andes in 1995 before she started bringing tourists to the Museo Santury in Arequipa some three years after that.
Poor "Juanita" was sacrificed you see, just one of a couple dozen children who the Incas decided to send to the next world to improve matters on theirs. She was 12 or 13 at the time.
Apparently she knew long before of her impending fate. She had been selected from a wide pool of potential victims because of her outstanding breeding and good looks. Jaysus, I'd hate to see what the rest of them looked like! Anyway, she had been brought up in luxury (all the guinea pigs she could eat) in a fashionable part of Cusco until the fateful day came when she was told the time had come. There are no accounts of her reaction at the time, but I assume it's safe to say it was mixed.
Accompanied by an motley crew of high priests, porters and llamas, she was marched over 150 miles, 250 kilometres, to Nevado Ampato overlooking Cañón del Colca, soon to be her final resting place (or so they thought at the time).
Of course, then they had to climb the damned thing, no mean feat as its ice and snow-crowned summit reaches a lofty height of 6,380 metres. All the way to the top they went.
Just to help her along, to compound the unfortunate girl's misery, they starved her too, forcing her to undertake a fast as well as contend with decreasing oxegen levels as they climbed. Meanwhile, I'm sure the priests were stuffing their faces.
After reaching the summit, just before her death, the priests gave Juanita alcohol and a potent mix of herbs. Irish priests would employ similar tactics years later, with the blessing of the bishops.
So they exhaust her, starve her, get her pissed, and then inflict the fatal cruel blow. This was a sharp blow to the head with a pointy-staff, just above her left forehead, which crushed her skull.
They buried her with a load of Inca stuff, pottery and the like for the next world. I guess she could have sold it to tourists.
There she lay undisturbed for 500 years until the nearby volcano Sabancaya erupted, sending fire and brimstone into the air, melting snow and ice from Ampato, and releasing her from her icy grave. She tumbled down the mountain from her pottery, and in the two weeks she waited before being found by a quick-thinking adventurer, lost her eyes and acquired her horse-features after the sun dried all the moisture from her face. That same expedition also found another girl and a boy, who was just eight, buried in similar graves on the same peak.
In fact, loads of sacrificed children have been found in the Andes, over 24 so far, including three boys in a pit and three girls in another on Misti, the volcano which looms outside our bedroom window. The Incas also picked on animals; 100 llamas were slaughtered at one sitting in Cusco. Llamas to the slaughter, just like the children.
The Incas' descendants today claim Juanita lives again through the museum in which they house her. If being gawked at every day by tourists peering in through her glass cage is life, I'm she'd rather be dead again.

(Unfortunately, none but the last photo above are mine. Cameras are not allowed at all in the Museo Santuary as they sell books with all the photos you'd otherwise take yourself.)


  1. funny, one funny salute. mate that article was soooo long , fintans I mean not your gack...the shocking awe of the COI up your bum....what a shite hole of a country, nothing changes eh..I CAN'T even comment upon your gack right now I'm so disgusted and its your fault as you lniked the irishtimes...who the funk seriously reads the irish times..a rag if ever there was..Fo Toole is a such that a tool

  2. Yeah, I'm disgusted too. It makes me sick to learn of the shit that went on, for all we know still does, in that country. Really, it boils my blood to read about those bastards.
    I worked on the Ferns Report while I was working for The Echo. The unfathomable evil of those fuckers. Nothing can undo what they've done, no punishment is great enough.
    If I had the faith they pretend to have in God, at least I comfort myself with the knowledge they'd be punished in the next life. But I don't.
    From their actions it seems they know damn well they can go on with their twisted evil behavior, picking on society's most vulnerable, and that they will never have to face the consequences. Irish law and the bishops protect them on this world, whatever about the next. It makes me sick, sick to the pit of my stomach.

  3. I never read anything so irreverent as your comment. Clearly you haven't studied enough of those cultures, Inca or Pre-Inca to get into their minds. It is written in a typical American dimwit style...Have you tried to connect to the spirit of hers...you are only judging by what information you have from your contemprorary point of view you wer brought up with, as if you were describing a gig you went too and in poor taste too.

  4. @ Kiwicha...just look at the language YOU use. How civilised you are...maybe take a look of how your ancestors wiped out native AMericans in the name of your god, by swinging babies, hundreds, by the Black Pilgrims, with their scull against a brick wall because they wer heathens. how can you compare with bishops child abuse. Those people only governed a hundred years, teh Mochica and Chimu befor them probably a 1000 each. They saw el Nino effect but didn't know what it was, they beleived and still believe nowadays that stones, mountains and rivers are gods. Who are you to say what they had to believe in? In a corpse on a cross? In the Holy Inquisition? In lies...how many shamen and so called withches did you put at the stake in those day, barely a 200 years old, not to mention what your priests and pastors would want to to and do to teenage homosexuals. You had better not judge, or what Gandhi once said: I don't like your Christians they are so unlike thier Christ.

  5. Thanks for the comments Alann! Wow. I don't know where to start.
    You're right, I am only judging from my own contemporary point of view. I don't need to get into an Inca's head to decide I find it wrong to sacrifice children to gods who may or may not exist. Fuck it, even if they do exist, it's still wrong. Or that's my "contemporary point of view" anyway. If you feel differently that's up to you.
    In response to that comment you addressed to Kiwicha (as I was known when I was in Peru): I the blogpost I was only comparing the bishops and Incas in that they drugged their young victims before sexually abusing or sacrificing them respectively (not to be confused with respectfully in this case).
    I have no idea what my ancestors got up to - for all I know they were Incas throwing llamas off mountains - but I fail to see how their shenanigans affect my right to opinion.
    I'm not telling anyone they should believe in anything and I thought that was pretty clear.
    Actually, I think you may have misunderstood what I was referring to in the comment, which had nothing to do with the Incas but referred to the Irish bishops' ongoing cover-up of priests' sexual abuse of children.
    I can certainly judge those fuckers, no matter what Gandhi may have said.

  6. We all judge and are taught to judge, whtere we make the right judgements is another question...and if you are a Christian, then your god tells you, you have no right to judge but he. The Bible is filled with incest,and this sky god favoured a brother who farmed over one who was a nomad. He certainly allowed violence and anyone who did not worship he killed; tribe after tribe...


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