Who are the Hamawt’as?, Have you ever heard of the Hamawt’as? Who were these men?, Why is it important to talk about them? The word Hamawt’a comes from the original Quechua, or how some people may call them Qapaq Simi, not to say Runa Simi, wich means: “Man of great wisdom”, “Man of great prodigious knowledge”, “Speacial man who is consecrated in Inkan knowledge”
“The Hamawt’as were very wise men, the most cultured and respected in the Inkan impire. They were men who possessed the practical wisdom of the righterous path, men who represented and embodied Andean wisdom.
These illustrious men were consecrated in Andean knowledge, both on the spiritual and cosmic senses. They compiled the most important knowledge for the good and growth on the Inkan Tawantinsuyo. They also taught and spoke of their lessons in front of their Yachacuq Runakuna or young disciples and the nobles at court who were required to know everything by heart.
These unique men, due to their great prestige and social recognition, were part of the royal counsel of the Sapa Inka, which meant to be part of the royal court of “the only Inka in actual person”, They were privileged to teach in their areas of specialization to the aristocracy who in turn were delighted to listen to the Hamawt’as.
In regards to this, the sovereign “Inka Roca” founder of the Yachay wasis, or houses of the sacred knowledge or houses of wisdom of the Hamawt’as, said: “If I had to worship anything from here, I would certainly worship the wise man because it is him who has an advantage over all the things of this earth”. As our ancestor Inka Roca declared, the creative and originating men of the Inkan wisdom could see the future, prevent many disasters for mankind and could see ahead all things in the life of men.
The wisdom of the Hamawt’as is very advantageous for men who are willing to listen, their message is like honey that flows from their mouths, and like a melody of the gods for the ears of those who listen with cosmic attention. For this reason a Hamawt’a is a person or master who lives on a plane dedicated to truth and knowledge, a wise person who’s only interest is to propagate the practical knwledge for the common good and lives without the interest of personal gain.
Amongst their teachings were moral norms, Andean theology, ancestral history, and forms and strategies to govern the Inka impire. Also some Hamawt’as taught mathematical science and knowledge of the earth as well as the universe (Andean cosmology) These were the tools given to society to understand their surroundings, reality and the environment.
In the time of the Hamawt’as there existed two different types of education: the first was a high caliber education that was targeted toward the people who were in charge of the impire (the noble class). The second type was of a medium or lower level crafted for the genral population and suited to fit their necessities. The people in charge of providing these teachings were the “Hatunrunas” (Great common men) who taught to the Inkan societies and the families.
The sacred place where the Hamawt’as taught was called Yachay Wasi, which means “Sacred house of knowledge” or “house of wisdom” to avoid calling it directly “The sacred house of the wise Hamawt’as” and was centered at a place called Qorikancha of the contemporary city of Cuzco, which was the privileged spot of the Hamawt’as. In this manner started “the Andean school” or “House of Wisdom” where the Hamawt’as passed their knowledge for hundreds of years during the peak of the Inkan impire. In relation to this, the writer, Martin de Murrua said: “Education was provided at the Yachay Wasis or houses of knowledge, places of learning centered in Cuzco where noble students were enrolled for their formation,
These Andean schools or Yachaywasis were rooms exclusively dedicated to the education of the most important people throughout the empire, and their founder was the sovereign “inka Roca”. Inka Roca himself was extremely interested in the research and knowledge of the Andes and was familiar with the wise men of his times.
It was well known at the time that next to the Andean school of the Inkas there existed an Andean school for women as well, or a place where the feminine knowledge was kept and taught. The master women who shared their knowledge there were called Mamakunas and the place itself was named “Ajlla Wasi” which in the Quechua language means “The house of the chosen ones”. This was a school of practical knowledge and mainly domestic affairs. The principal center was in Cuzco but there also were some schools at the main towns throughout the Impire.
The Inkan civilization from the prehispanic period was the most prominent the Andean territory had ever seen and gave light to the Hamawt’as, who were a very important aspect in the life of the impire, since their minds and thoughts had been focused towards wisdom. Then, the whole Tawantinsuyo called them proudly “Hamawt’as”, given the fact that at one point or another secrets and prodigious knowledge was transmitted.
The Hamawt’as contributed their experiences and know hows of the different fields of human knowledge to help direct and organize the entire history of the ancient Inka civilization.
The new Inkan paradigm of “Sumaq Kausay” or Living Well, requiered the formation of people of great conduct and knowledge that possessed excellency and transparency, integrating ancestral wisdom with modern knowledge as was the case of the great philosophers of Greece, The Toltec masters, the Egyptians, Etc… In the same manner the ancient Hamawt’as executed their enormous tasks with mastery and a deep connection to nature and spirit.
We can imagine the Hamawt’as well dressed with white and color full detailed cloths that beared the sign or mark which made them easy to be recognized. Their language was like the sword and their attitude or conduct like the dove while at the same time it could be like the mountain lion.
The Hamawt’as could then be compared to the great sages of all times such as Socrates, Plato, Buddha, Lao Tse, etc… And within their teachings they had a vast array of knowledge about the cosmos, superior spirituality, and sacred symbology.