Inca mythology - Wikipedia
Inca mythology includes many stories and legends that attempt to explain or symbolize Inca Still, to date, all that is known is based on what was recorded by priests, from the iconography on Inca pottery and architecture, and from the myths . Religion de los mixtecos yahoo dating. It wasn't something negative. We can display our saints as comfortably in a cathedral as we do on. were the Nahuas, the Mixes, the Matlatzincas and the Mazatecs in addition to the Mixtecs, prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. . and although it is not possible to determine precisely the date and place of its elaboration, .. Plantas de los dioses. Jesús Pérez Moreno, e-mail: [email protected], [email protected] mx.
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She was also associated with willow trees. Pacha Kamaq "Earth-maker" was a chthonic creator god, earlier worshiped by the Ichma but later adopted into the creation myth of the Inca. Paryaqaqa was a god of water in pre-Inca mythology that was adopted by the Inca.
He was a god of rainstorms and a creator-god. He was born a falcon but later became human. Paricia was a god who sent a flood to kill humans who did not respect him adequately. Possibly another name for Pacha Kamaq. Supay was both the god of death and ruler of the Uku Pacha as well as a race of demons. Urcaguary was the god of metals, jewels and other underground items of great value.
Urquchillay was a deity that watched over animals. Viracocha was the god of everything. In the beginning he was the main god, but when Pachakuti became Inca emperor, he changed this god's importance, pointing out that the most important god was Inti. Important beliefs[ edit ] Mama Uqllu was the sister and wife of Manqu Qhapaq. She was thought to have taught the Inca the art of spinning. Mamaconas were similar to nuns and lived in temple sanctuaries.
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They dedicated their lives to Intiand served the Inca and priests. Young girls of the nobility or of exceptional beauty were trained for four years as acllas and then had the option of becoming mamaconas or marrying Inca nobles. They are comparable to the Roman Vestal Virginsthough Inca society did not value virginity as a virtue the way Western societies have done throughout history. In one legend, Unu Pachakuti was a great flood sent by Virachocha to destroy the giants that built Tiwanaku.
A Wak'a was a sacred object such as a mountain or a mummy. Inca cosmology was ordered in three spatio-temporal levels or Pachas. Uku Pacha "the lower world" was located within the earth's surface.
Kay Pacha was the world in which we live. Hanan Pacha "higher world" was the world above us where the sun and moon lived. Many prominent natural features within the Inca Empire were tied to important myths and legends amongst the Inca . For example, Lake Titicacaan important body of water on the Altiplanowas incorporated into Inca myths, as the lake of origins from which the world began .
Similarly, many of prominent Andean peaks played special roles within the mythology of the Incas. This is reflected in myths about the Paxil mountain, from which people were alleged to have been created from corn kernels that were scattered by the gods . Terrestrial environments were not the only type of environment that was important to mythology. The Incas often incorporated the stars into legends and myths . For example, many constellations were given names and were incorporated into stories, such as the star formations of the Great Llama and the Fox .
While perhaps not relating to a single physical feature per se, environmental sound was extremely important in Incan mythology. Additionally, myths were transmitted orally, so the acoustics and sound of a location were important for Incan mythology . These examples demonstrate the power that environment held in creating and experiencing Incan myths.
Inca symbols[ edit ] Chakana or tree of life Chakana or Inca Cross, Chakana is - according to some modern authors - the three-stepped cross equivalent symbolic of what is known in other mythologies as the Tree of Life, World Tree and so on. Through a central axis a shaman journeyed in trance to the lower plane or Underworld and the higher levels inhabited by the superior gods to enquire into the causes of misfortune on the Earth plane.
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The snake, puma, and condor are totemic representatives of the three levels. The alleged meaning of the chakana symbol is not supported by scholarly literature. Deployments[ edit ] Mythology served many purposes within the Incan Empire.
While mythology could often be used to explain natural phenomena, or to give the many denizens of the empire a way of thinking about the world, it was also utilized to support the social inequalities of the elite over the commoners within the empire.
For example, there is a well-known origin myth that describes how the Incan Empire began at its center in Cusco. In this origin myth, four men and women emerged from a cave near Cusco, and began to settle within the Valley of Cusco, much to the chagrin of the Hualla people who had already been inhabiting the land . The Hualla subsided by growing coca and chili pepperswhich the Incans associated with the peoples of the Amazonwhom were perceived to be inferior and wild .
The Inca engaged in battle with the Hualla, fighting quite viciously, and eventually the Inca emerged victorious. The myth alleges these first Inca people would plant corn, a mainstay of the Inca dieton the location where they viciously defeated the Hualla . Thus, the myth continues, the Inka came to rule over the entire Cusco Valley, before eventually going on to conquer much of the Andean world . While this mythical account of the settlement of the Cusco Valley may seem like an innocuous tall tale, myths like these reinforced social inequalities throughout the Inca Empire.
In creating this myth, the Incans were able to reinforce their authority over the empire. These myths were recapitulated in the many festivals and rites that were observed throughout the Incan Empire. For example, there were corn festivals that were observed annually during the harvest. During, these festivals the Inca elite were celebrated alongside the corn and the main deity of the Inca, Inti . In this way, the origin myths of the Inca were used to justify the elite position of the Inca within their vast, multiethnic empire.
The ability of the Inca to support their elite position was no small feat, given that less than fifty thousand Inca were able to rule over millions of non-Inca peoples. Mythology was an important way by which the Inka were able to justify both the legitimacy of the Inca state, as well as their privileged position with the state. The strategic deployment of Incan mythology did not end after the Incan empire was colonized by the Spanish.
In fact, Incan mythology was utilized in order to resist and challenge the authority of the Spanish colonial authorities.
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Many Incan myths were utilized to criticize the wonton greed and ignorance of European imperialism. There was widespread killing and rape of women and children in South America by the European soldiers. For example, there are myths amongst the indigenous people of the former Inca empire that tell the stories of foreigners who come into the Andes and destroy valuable objects . One such myth is the tale of Atoqhuarco amongst the Quechuawhich describes how an indigenous woman is destroyed in an act of rebellion against a lascivious foreigner, whom eventually is transformed into a predatory fox .
Powerful colonial institutions are also critiqued in some of these myths, with the Catholic Church being frequently lambasted. For example, the story of the Priest and Sexton highlights the hypocrisy and abusive nature of a Catholic Priest and his callous treatment of his indigenous parishioners .
As such, these myths show that Inka mythology was strategically deployed for subvert and rebel against Spanish rule in the former Incan Empire. Incan mythology continues to be a powerful force in contemporary Andean communities. After the nations that were once a part of the Incan Empire gained their independence from Spain, many of these nations struggled to find a suitable origin myth to support the legitimacy of their state . In the early twentieth century, there was a resurgence of interest about the indigenous heritage of these new nations.
While these references to Inca mythology can be more overt, such as the presence of Inti on the Argentine flagother references to the Inca mythology can be subtler . For example, in the late twentieth century the Peruvian Revolutionary government made reference to Inca myths about Pachamamaan Inca Mother Earth figure, in order to justify their land distribution programs .
Additionally, modern governments continue to make reference to the former Inca Empire in order to support their claims of legitimacy, to the point that there are municipally funded observances of rituals referencing Inca mythology, especially in and around Cusco . The power of Incan mythology resonates in contemporary politics, with politicians like Alejandro Toledo making references to Inca mythology and imagery during their candidacies and tenures .
While the Inka Empire may have ceased to exist hundreds of years ago, its vibrant mythology continues to influence life throughout South America today. Animals in Inca Mythology[ edit ] Like other Native American cultures, the Inca society was heavily influenced by the local animal populations, both as food, textile, and transportational sources as well as religious and cultural cornerstones.