The Incas had an immense amount of deities or gods. They lived in heaven and on earth and each of them had a purpose which determined its hierarchy. The Inca population believed that some gods specially the anthropomorphous gods had a human behavior pattern; they felt hatred, love, compassion or any other human feeling.
Inca deities occupied the three realms: Hanan Pacha, the celestial realm in the sky; Uku Pacha, the inner earth and Cay Pacha, the outer earth where humans live. The most important deities of Hanan Pacha were Inti, the sun god, and Mama Quilla, the moon goddess. Inti Raymi was the festival of the sun god, the largest and most important Inca festival. The lightning deity also resided in Hanan Pacha.
Incan Gods and Goddesses
As in other pre-Columbian religions, Incan gods and goddesses actually represented a number of shifting and overlapping divine 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 Inca religion had bishops call Vilcas; they travel around the kingdom to supervise the temples and the religion practice. Each Inca priest was specialize in particular divinities, like the Inticamaccuna, priest that exclusive worship the sun.
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.
Priests presided over sacrifices, an essential part of many rituals and ceremonies. The majority of the sacrifices involved animals, such as llamas or guinea pigs. However, in times of disaster or at very sacred ceremonies, a woman or a child might be sacrificed to the gods.
Religion in Inca Gods and Deities
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.
One of the main gods for the astral level was Inti the sun god. The royal people of the Incas claimed to be directly related to Viracocha through Inti, as he was the supposed father of the first Inca king. Inti was a male god, represented through icons such as the golden disk or seated boy (Punchao) with rays projected from his head.
Inca religion was rich with nature worship and festivals. In fact, festivals were held every month. With so many deities, it was onlynatural that divination was an important part of Inca religion. The Inca felt it was necessary to find out what the gods wanted in order to appease them.
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