Inca Gods and Goddesses Information


The Inca's were a primeval civilization that lived in what is now present day Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Columbia, and Argentina. This kingdom lasted from 1800 B.C. to the early 1500s. The Inca's living grounds consisted of mountainous regions and dry scorching deserts along the Pacific Coast. The region suffered from devastating earthquakes, calamitous volcanoes, and horrifying hail storms. The Inca's believed the gods caused these ghastly events when they disobeyed them.

The Incas had a polytheistic belief, which means they believed in many gods. God's were very imperative to the Incas. The Incas believed that everything that happened for a reason and was caused by the gods. They believed the gods guarded everyone and everything and because of this they tried to please them. In order to please the gods, the Incas habitually performed sacrifices. The sacrificed foods, animals, and even people. Over a hundred kids were sacrificed to the rain god every year. Gods were a fundamental aspect to the Inca religion.

Like the Mayas and Aztecs, the Incas believed in previous creations and destructions of the universe. However, the separation of cosmological time into major epochs of creation was not an essential concern of Incan religion. Instead, the Incas emphasized the arrangement of space into a sanctified geography.

A crucial facet of this sacred geography was the concept of huaca. This term referred to any person, place, or thing with supernatural power; almost anything unusual was considered a huaca. Examples ranged from major features of the landscape (mountain peaks, stone outcroppings, springs) to oddly formed or colored pebbles and plants. There were countless huacas in the Incan world, and major ones defined the organization of sacred space.

As in other pre-Columbian religions, Incan gods and goddesses actually represented a number of shifting and overlapping celestial powers. The upper pantheon contained a creator-sky-weather complex with three principal components: Viracocha, the creator; Inti, the sun god and ancestor of the ruling dynasty; and Illapa, the thunder or weather god.

The most important female supernaturals were Pachamama, the earth; Mamacocha, the sea; and Mamaquilla, the moon. The core of Incan religion was predecessor worship. Ancestors were venerated as defensive spirits, and the bodies and tombs of the dead were treated as sacred objects. Many other important huacas were also explicitly acknowledged with the ancestors. For example, some of the most important shrines around Cusco were believed to be the alarmed forebears of the Incas.

The bodies of dead rulers were among the holiest huacas in the Inca realm. As sons of Inti and embodiments of Illapa, the mummies of past rulers were the direct, visible links between the Incas and their pantheon. Maintaining these links, and through them the proper order of the universe, required perpetual care of the royal mummies.

Religiously, the Incas were quite tolerant of the beliefs of their conquered subjects as long as the worship did not interfere with the new obligations laid upon them by Incan religious leaders. The Incan pantheon was also forced upon them over the pre-existing deities and was considered of greater importance. The prime deity of the Incas, as you may have guessed, is Viracocha, the Creator God. Although he is the prime deity, he was considered not among them and invisible. No temples were created for him. Inti, the Sun god, was thought to be his representation in the physical world.



This site covers several articles on ancient mayan, aztec histoty and Inca civilization. It also covers the differences and similarities between these cultures.
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