According to the Incas the sun was god and he was the father of their people. They believed in the theory that the great sun made one man and one woman and sent them to a special place on Earth. That place was on the shores of Lake Titicaca, high in the mountains of southern Peru. The man and woman married. Their children were the first class. That is why the Incas called themselves the "Children of the Sun."
The priests were very powerful because people believed they could read the signs. Priests saw signs everywhere. They could read signs in the flames of a fire, or in the way a plant grew.
There are many gods in the Inca pantheon. The Inca's worship of nature demanded that almost all natural phenomenon had a god associated with it. In addition, they also practiced ancestor worship. However, the sun god Inti was considered to be the most important god at the time.
The Incas had a more optimistic view of the afterlife than the Mayas or Aztecs. As protective ancestral spirits, dead Incas continued to play an active role in the world of the living. They revealed themselves through the huacas and were cared for and worshipped by their descendants. The Incas were strongly moralistic, and they believed the souls of virtuous people joined the sun in heaven.
Inca Religion Sacrifice
They practiced daily offering and sacrifices. However, human and animal sacrifices were held only on special occasions such as the enthronement of the Inca(the king), when 200 children would be killed, or in times of crises such as famine, or epidemics. Such critical situations were actually considered, most of the time, a result of disobedience to the Taboos and would therefore call for confession of sins.
The Incas believed in an afterlife. They mummified their dead. The family held a funeral for eight days. Women in mourning wore wore black clothes for about a year. They also cut their hair really short. The Inca also believed that they were direct descendants of their main god, Viracocha and used this reasoning as part of their cultural expansion.
The Incas believed in reincarnation. Those who obeyed the Incan moral code ama suwa, ama llulla, ama quella (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy) - went to live in the Sun's warmth. Others spent their eternal days in the cold earth. They also believed in mummifying prominent personages.
Inca Religious Practices
Most religious festivals were calendrically based and marked by processions, sacrifices and dances. The Incas were aware of lunar time and the solar year, although they generally used the blooming of a special cactus to gauge the correct time to begin planting. Sacrifices to the gods normally consisted of llamas, cuys or chicha - only occasionally were chosen women and other adults killed.
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