This remarkable account describes the ceque lines, the hundreds of sacred lines that traversed the Inka landscape, many of them radiating out from the Korikancha, the most holy Inka temple in Cuzco. Along these lines were set wak'as, sacred entities that could be exceptional features of the landscape, sculpted forms, or mummy bundles. To this day, the ceque system—its logic and function—is still the source of inquiry. This account, one of the most important sources for understanding the ceques, was written by Bernabé Cobo (1580–1657), a Jesuit who lived in Cuzco from 1609 to 1613. It formed part of his expansive history of the Inka empire, which he wrote over the course of his long life, finishing it only three years before his death. Since the ceque system and its wak'as had been largely dismantled by the time Cobo lived in Cuzco, his account of wak'as was almost certainly drawn from a source by an earlier writer, who must have consulted closely with Andean religious specialists.
As part of a methodical account of the ceques radiating out of Cuzco, and the wak'as that lay upon them, Bernabé Cobo describes the wak'a of Huanacauri, (also spelled Guanacaure) a hill near Cuzco. This wak'a was so important that decades after its shrine had been despoiled, Guaman Poma de Ayala, a native Andean writer, would feature it prominently in his manuscript, The New Chronicle and Good Government (1615). Wak'as could take a wide diversity of forms; the locus of worship at Huanacauri is described as little more than an uncarved stone. Because the appearance of such an object was so foreign to Spaniards, who were more accustomed to figural representations of God and the saints, they overlooked it. The only index of the power of the wak'a of Huanacauri, and other wak'as, was the richness of the offerings that were made to it: gold and garments, and ornaments fashioned of the bright plumage of tropical birds.