Explaining the significance of Machu Picchu begins with remembering the Incan empire at its zenith, and its tragic encounter with the Spanish conquistadors. 378 years later an archeologist from Yale University, Hiram Bingham, rediscovered "Machu Picchu", a glorious mountaintop Incan city that had escaped the attention of the invaders. At the central high point of the city stands its most important shrine, the Intihuatana, or "hitching post of the sun", a column of stone rising from a block of granite the size of a grand piano, where a priest would "tie the sun to the stone" at winter solstice to insure its seasonal return. Yagisawa describes that magnificent citadel as three principal ideas dominate the piece:
1) the shimmering golden city of Cuzco set in the dramatic scenery of the Andes
2) the destructiveness of violent invasion
3) the re-emergence of Incan glory as the City in the Sky again reached for the sun.
Percussion instruments can be shared
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