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Orejones, a term used by the Spanish conquistadores to refer to the Inca and other native nobility of ancient Peru. The term, which literally means "big ears," derives from the custom of noble males wearing very large, cylindrical spools or plugs in their pierced earlobes as a badge of rank. These plugs were often made of wood, gold, or silver, depending on rank, and measured as much as two inches in diameter. The Inca equivalent of orejones was the Quechua term pakoyoq, which means literally "earplug man." The custom of wearing earplugs as a badge of nobility or rank is an ancient one in Peru, going back to at least a millennium before the time of the Incas.

See alsoIncas, The .


See John H. Rowe, "Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest," in Handbook of South American Indians, vol. 2 (1946), pp. 236, 261.

                                 Gordon F. McEwan

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