20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes

The Inca gods and their attributes Are recognized by the representation of the natural and cosmic environment that formed the religious pantheon of the ancient Inca empire, a South American civilization located in the Andes mountains .

This civilization was formed by a very religious population. Their beliefs were totally intertwined in everyday life. Everything the Incas did had a religious significance.

Image of Inca god

The most outstanding cultural features of the Inca myths centered on the description and worship of the natural world that surrounded them, where each aspect and element was animated by powerful spirits and ancestors that transcended the sacred plane.

The gods lived in both heaven and earth and each of them had specific functions that influenced every aspect of Inca life. The hierarchy in his pantheon was determined by the importance of each purpose.

Many of their gods were inanimate objects or elements of nature, such as mountains, rivers, plants, rain, lightning, and of course the sun and moon.

They also honored deities in the form of animals such as monkeys, jaguars and condors. The Incas believed that their gods had patterns of human behavior, especially the anthropomorphs; Were capable of feeling love, hate, compassion and more human emotions.

During their years of conquest, the Incas integrated towns near the territories of their great empire. This made the Inca society come into contact with diverse religious beliefs that were amalgamated within their own customs.

Like many of the mythologies of ancient civilizations, the Inca was particularly important in the stories about the creation of the world and of man. These histories were passed from generation to generation of oral form, since none of the Andean civilizations developed a system of writing.

Inca gods and their most characteristic attributes

Viracocha the god of creation

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes

It was the primordial god that created the sky, the earth, the ocean, the sun, the moon and the first race that inhabited Lake Titicaca.

The god, sent a deluge that killed everyone but two, a man and a woman, which in some versions are Manco Capac Y Mama Ocllo , Founders of the Inca civilization.

Another version of the creation of the men says that Viracocha tried a second time doing them of mud. After giving light and order to the world let them emerge from the caves to expand their civilization.

Finally he went to go through the creation and got lost in the ocean to never be seen again. He is considered a god of abstract form without exact representation in the nature.

Inti, the sun

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 1

Son of Viracocha, he was the most important god of his religion, the sun god. Inti felt compassion for the men who lived like barbarians naked in caves under the earth. He was then responsible for teaching them the arts of civilization such as agriculture, religion, textile processing and organization in society.

Its veneration extended throughout the empire and the city of Cuzco was its center of cult main. Gold was regarded as the sweat of the sun, which is why the walls of his temple were bathed in this material.

It ran directly on the crops, especially the corn for which festivals were held. Solar eclipses were attributed to the wrath of inti. All the Incas claimed to be descendants of the family of the sun god through his son Manco Capac.

Mama Kilya, the moon

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 2

Daughter of Viracocha and wife of Inti, was the mother moon and also associated with the rain. By its lunar phases it was the representative goddess of the passage of time. It governed the calendar and religious festivities.

In addition, it was considered protective of women, marriage vows and was attributed to fertility.

Ilyapa, the weather

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 3

He was the god of meteorological phenomena, especially storms. He was depicted as a man in bright clothes holding with one hand a pitcher full of water, where was the milky way, and with the other a sling.

Ilyapa, controlled the climatic elements firing a stone with its sling inside the pitcher. The whine of the sling was thunder, the projectile piercing the sky was lightning, and the water poured out of the pitcher was rain.

Pacha Mama, the earth

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 4

Goddess in the form of a dragon, was responsible for the life of everything on the earth. The success and abundance of crops depended on mother earth. The Incas used to offer coca leaves to this goddess to have a good agricultural production.

Going with the order of the crops or not following their signs in the seasons was a disrespect to Pacha Mama. It was believed that whenever this happened, the goddess caused earthquakes.

Mama Cocha, the sea

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 5

The goddess of life, also considered a protector of sailors and fishermen. She was responsible for ensuring that there were enough fish in the sea, which made her a supplying deity. He helped to prevent storms and was prayed to calm the waters.

This Goddess was wife and sister of the creator Viracocha, with which it gave life to Inti and Mama Kilya.

Pacha Camac, the sky

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 6

Invisible God who controls the element of the air and gives miracles to the people. He was also called lord of the land since he was the husband of Pacha Mama. It governed the arts, professions and oracles. He was the brother of Manco Capac, the founder of the Inca race.

Pacha Camac had the desire to create a race of humans, but his attempt failed. His race lived very little because he forgot to provide them with food and suffered the eternal rejection of people.

Trying to rectify his mistake, another failure, turned the first woman's son into a huge potato. Then Vichama in revenge transformed all his survivors into rocks, leaving the potato safe.

Manco Capac, the origin of the people

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 7

Son of the sun and moon, Manco Capac gave birth to the entire Inca race along with his sister wife Mama Ocllo, after surviving the great flood of Viracocha. He is also considered the god of fire.

Viracocha gave to Manco Capac a beautiful headdress and a great ax of war to settle its figure of leader and ruler of the men. From there he emerged from the nearby subterranean caves of Lake Titicaca with his brothers and sisters to find a place to settle.

With a gold rod, given to him probably by his father Inti, he hit the earth to test if the places were suitable to begin his great civilization: not very rocky, not very soft, not very humid, not very dry. In this way they found where to found the city of Cuzco.

Mama Ocllo, the mother of the people

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 8

Wife of Manco Capac with whom he founded the city of Cuzco. Goddess of the art of loom and family values, she was responsible for teaching Incan women to spin with their hands and knit to make woolen and cotton cloths.

Chuichu, the rainbow

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 9

He was the god of the rainbow who helped Inti and Mama Kilya with the sowing of the people. Since the Incas depended on both sun and rain for good and abundant crops, Chuichu appeared when both deities were unified for the benefit of the Incas.

Vichama, death

20 Inca Gods and Their Most Outstanding Attributes 10

Vichama was the god of death, considered vengeful and inclement. Son of Inti and half brother of Pacha Camac.

His mother was murdered at the hands of his half-brother, so in revenge he transformed the entire race of Pacha Camac into piety, so it is associated with petrification. Then, feeling alone, he laid three eggs from which a new breed was born.

Supai, lord of the underworld

Supai ruled the Uca Pacha, the Inca hell. Rig about the mines and the rituals of the miners. Considered as a greedy god, always desiring to increase the number of his followers.

It was believed that Supai had a fixation with the children, whom she liked to observe. In his name he will be accustomed to sacrifice at least one hundred children a year. He was a very feared god among the Incas and is associated with the devil, especially after the arrival of Catholicism.

Chasca, the long-haired star

Click the brightest star in the sky, Venus; The first to leave and the last to disappear. For that reason she was considered the goddess of dawn and sunset, and she was represented as a beautiful and adorable woman who liked much of flowers.

She was also the protector of princesses and virgins. It was associated with spring and renewal.

Urcuchilay, protector of animals

It was a God represented in the form of a multicolored flame that was worshiped by the Inca shepherds. Urcuchilay was an essential deity for the welfare and multiplication of herds. Usually it was associated in the firmament with the constellation of lyre.

Pariacaca, water

God of water and also associated with rains and storms. It was originally born as a hawk of an egg at the top of the Condorcoto to become later human. It was believed that he was responsible for the floods.

Apu, the mountain

He was the god or great spirit of the mountains. It was believed that all the mountains important to the Inca people had their own Apu, likewise some rocks and caves. These Apu were offered sacrifices to obtain the strong aspects of being.

The Apu were protectors of the territories; As imposing guardians above all the Inca lands, they looked after the people, the cattle, and the sowings.

Urcaguary, the treasurer

Urcaguary was the god of hidden treasures and buried riches. He was depicted as a serpent with deer's head and tail adorned with chains made of gold. She liked to crawl beneath the earth, searching for and caring for precious jewels.

Mama Zara, the corn

Mama Zara was the goddess of grains, especially represented as mother maize. When the sowing turned out to have strange or agglomerated forms it was believed that it was the presence of Mama Zara.

Usually they used to make dolls made of corn representing this Goddess, decorating them with long dresses and the characteristic and traditional Inca shawls. The women taught their daughters to dance with their wrists in honor of Mama Zara.

Kon, the wind

Kon is a god who is also associated with the rainy seasons but due to the wind controlling the wind blowing it from the south-where it is believed its home-to the north dragging the rain with it.

When the coast clears, Inti takes the rain home. More specifically, it would be the god of the south wind. It is another son of Inti the sun and Mama Kilya the moon.

Ekkeko, wealth

Ekkeko was the god of prosperity, abundance and warmth of home. He was represented as a cheerful little man of short stature or dwarf, plump and dressed in attire typical of the Andean mountain range.

It loads with a series of bottomless sacks where it carries objects and goods needed for living in homes. The ancient Incas made dolls symbolizing Ekkeko. They had the belief that by putting a small object inside the doll that represented something they wanted, God granted it in real life during the year. But if by chance the object was removed from the interior of the Ekkeko, the person would lose everything.

Today in Peru and Bolivia Ekkeko remains a valid tradition. Many types of Ekkeko dolls can be found among the populations of the Andean highlands.

References

  1. Sounders Chas, Peter J. Ellen (2014). Incan Gods A-Z List. God Checker - The legendary mythology encyclopedia. Godchecker.com.
  2. The White Goddess (2012). Inca - Gods and Goddesses. Thewhitegoddess.co.uk.
  3. Discover Peru. Inca religion, a religion of many gods. Discover-peru.org.
  4. Elick, L. Merchant. Gods and Goddesses of the Incas. Seanachaidh. Seanachaidh.com
  5. Peru Travel Diary - Machupicchu-Inca. Inca Gods: The Gods of Incan Mythology. Machupicchu-inca.com.
  6. Phillip Wilkinson (1998). Illustrated Book of Mythology. Incas (p.110). Dorling Kindersley Editorial. London.
  7. Encyclopedia of Universal Mythology (1999). South America (p.294). Editorial Parragon. Barcelona.

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