Tren Andino
Tours Tren Ecuador



8 * TAMBO,, TAMPU, TOPO, CHUCLLA (hostel / inn) is described as a RESTING PLACE / REFUGE. They were also for storage and where Chasquis (the Quechua/Inca name) or postillones / correones (Spanish name) would arrive and be relieved by the next running messenger.

...They were originally conceived of as military vantage points for preventive surveillance and defense.

...Scholars will find it useful to realize that, although TAMBOS (...the Spanish spelling), seem to have been conceived of and developed EXCLUSIVELY BY THE INCA CULTURE, since they were established on flat places (and buildings) of a permanent nature in predetermined place, basically for strategic military considerations.
I feel that the concepts of TAMBO and SETTLEMENT mean the same; they are synonymous even through from different cultures / languages*...!

*Although people felt that a TAMPU was a temporary way station on the way, whereas a SETTLEMENT was generally a place occupied on a fixed basis...

…TAMBOS... Chroniclers who first circulated around these areas, and made reference to them, included Cieza de León (1543-47) who described the "Small Tambo of HAMBATO" (present-day 'TAMBILLO'); calling these tambos superlatively as "very big, numerous and more luxurious than those in MOCHA*" and also mentioned the importance of their "great pucará lookout", a true fortress, almost unassailable. (... what was left of them, because a retreating Rumiñahui had them burned...!).

...Also found in the area, are many remains of corpses, which must be the bodies of the warriors of RUMIÑAHUI, which were never buried, nor ever will be…

"...Tambos currently made are in the same places or elsewhere; according to whim, the season, or the kind of pack animals...”. (1*)

...The TAMBO site put up for public auction, with Francisco de Santa Cruz bidding for usage rights (The "mill” Tambo, Ref. A. Clavijo) in 1573, was located at the intersection of the present-day Guayaquil and 12 de Noviembre streets in what is now Ambato, alongside the original “Royal” road, now part of the downtown area of the city of Ambato, and known by the combined Spanish-Quichua name of: “Yahuira ('YAVIRAC' (K)) Hill”.

...Next to this Tambo the first TIANGEZ* (*Market, by the Indians of San Bartolomé... ) was held, in what is now "Urbina" square. It was also the arrival and departure area for Indians carrying merchandise on their backs, generally from / to Babahoyo*  
*("The Embarkation Point")....-

…Then, about 1680, these bearers were replaced by plowmen, with considerable teams of oxen to cultivate pasture (Alfalfa / ‘Medicago Sativa’) in the area, to feed horses, donkeys and mules. This turned the TAMBO into what would be called a "centavería"*, which lasted well into the 20th century.

...Later, when the “Police Force” was created, as a precursor for the present-day National Police, this was their headquarters...

*"Centavería": shelter, resting place and feed station for mule teams, charging ONE CENT a day, for the animals and to set down the load of products to rest before starting out on the lengthy trips. These groceries were usually bartered or simply purchased in the TIANGEZ (23*Glossary) next-door...; or marketed the next market day...

...Although these TAMBOS stayed through space and time, this term and concept has become synonymous with a resting-place: "...Taking a tambo "(nice / long rest / stop...),"...Taking a tambito" (small / short rest / stop...).

...So, these 'Tambos' were established anywhere geography allowed, so they were not always permanent...
(Not constructions, nor any “tambo factories”). This now means rather taking a break, a rest stop along the way, during the workday, etc.…
(1*)...Writes Manuel Villavicencio in 1856, for his book "Geography of the Republic of Ecuador", (New York ,1858)

8a* LITTLE TAMBO; (Concept) descriptive translation of a concept, now a mix of Spanish and Quichua:: TAMBILLO' (Spanish diminutive of the Quichua word).



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