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Huánuco, department in the north-central highlands of Peru. At an altitude of 6,273 feet, its capital city of Huánuco (1999 population 170,588) is a commercial center and traditionally the gateway to the colonization of the jungle region to the east. The canyons and valleys of the Huallaga and Pachitea rivers, tributaries of the Marañón and Ucayali, which eventually form the Amazon River, provide two of the few access routes to the jungle, connecting with the easternmost towns of Tingo María and Pucallpa.

Prior to the founding of Huánuco Viejo, the first Spanish settlement and missionary post not far from contemporary Huánuco, the Inca state controlled the administrative center of Huánuco Pampa, just north of the city of Huánuco. Recent archaeological studies have determined that Huánuco Pampa was part of an infrastructural system that facilitated ritual reciprocities between the state and the local ethnic groups. Prior to the Incas, a Chavín-influenced culture built what are today known as the ruins of Kotosh. In 1742–1753 the region and the city were the scene of the Indian messianic rebellion led by Juan Santos Atahualpa.

See alsoAtahualpa (Juan Santos); Pampa.


Craig Morris, "The Infrastructure of Inka Control in the Peruvian Central Highlands," in The Inca and Aztec States, 1400–1800, edited by George Collier et al. (1982).

Additional Bibliography

LeVine, Terry. Inka Storage Systems. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992.

León Gómez, Miguel. Paños e hidalquía encomenderos y sociedad colonial en Huánuco. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2002.

                                   Alfonso W. Quiroz