Inca religion in Cusco

Because of their immediate defeat at the hands of the Spanish, a lot of information surrounding Incan religion has been lost. Many historians rely on the religious customs of conquered Incan subjects to gather information about Incan beliefs. The Incans adopted most if not all of their religious beliefs from three main groups that lived around the empire. These groups were the Huari, the Chavin and the Nazca. With the combination of all three of these ancestral societies’ religions, the Incas were able to create a religious system that dominated almost every aspect of life in the empire.

The Inca’s were profoundly religious, and so it makes sense that their religious structure was very complicated. The religion was centralized in the capital city of Cuzco. Within Cuzco, a highly complicated and organized calendar controlled the state religion’s festivals and holy days. This calendar was responsible for almost all of the religious ceremonies that took place throughout the empire. Within the city of Cuzco, there was also over three hundred and twenty eight huacas or sacred objects. Huacas were located throughout the empire with most of them happening to be around the capital city. Within the capital city there was also a quipa. The quipa described all the sacred places and how they are to be used during ceremonies and sacrifices. Each sacred place or huaca was organized into forty one different directions called ceques. These ceques started from the central temple of the Sun called Coriacancha or “the golden enclosure.”

There were ten groups of Incan nobility that were in charge of being priests within the city of Cuzco. These ten groups of nobility were called panacas. The panacas had a vital role to Incan society in Cuzco because they were in charge of worship for the deities. All of the religious aspects that took place around the city were organized and arranged by this special group of nobility. The members of these ten groups were said to have a first royal ancestor that had conquered the valley. The panacas were decided through mother’s rank, fraternal succession, choice, and the success and honor of the individual on the battlefield. These ten groups were then divided into two smaller groups, one representing Hanan who lived north of the valley river and also Hurin who lived south of the valley river. The Hanan and Hurin each consisted of five groups of nobility. It is known that the first group of each of the Panacas dedicated all their sacrifices to the sun. The remaining four were in charge of dedicating their sacrifices to Moon, Thunder, Virachoa, and the Earth. These groups of nobility made up the upper most tier of society and they were highly revered and respected throughout the empire.

These fives gods or entities that received the majority of sacrifices within Cuzco represent the most vital aspects of Incan life. The Sun God represented the institutional organization of the society because everything in Incan life revolved around the Sun. Virachoa is also known as Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra and is considered the creator of civilization. He is one of the most if not the most powerful gods in Incan mythology. The sacrifices done towards Virachoa represents how much the Incans relied on outside forces to explain events in their daily lives. The sacrifices towards Thunder represent the handling of transitions in life and society. The sacrifices towards Earth and Moon show the fertility of the Earth and nature. All ten groups of nobilities had the responsibility to explain and account for all the occurrences of the natural world in and outside of the Incan empire.

References

* Sullivan, E. Lawrence. "Native Religions and Cultures of Central and South America". New York and London: Continuum, 1997.
* MacCormack, Sabine. "Religion in the Andes". Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Press, 1991.
* [http://0-search.eb.com.tiger.coloradocollege.edu:80/eb/article-69447 “pre-Columbian civilizations."] "Encyclopædia Britannica". 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 19 Sept 2006.
* Conrad, Geoffrey W. "Religion and Empire: the dynamics of Aztec and Inca expansionism". Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Inca_Empire&oldid=76511951 "Inca Empire."] Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 19 Sep 2006, 02:06 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 19 Sep 2006.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Inca Empire — Infobox Former Country native name = Tawantinsuyu conventional long name = Inca Empire common name = Inca Empire continent = South America region = Andes country = Peru era = P Columbian status = Empire government type = Monarchy date pre = year… …   Wikipedia

  • Inca Garcilaso de la Vega — Garcilaso de la Vega, (b. Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, April 12, 1539 in Cuzco, Peru, d. 1616) was an illustrious Peruvian historian and acclaimed writer who is recognized primarily for his contributions to Inca history, culture, and society.… …   Wikipedia

  • Inca — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Inca (homonymie). Ville sacrée inca de Machu Picchu. Le mot inca désigne tout ce qui se rapporte à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Religión en el Perú — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El Perú es un país religioso. Raúl Porras Barrenechea, historiador, dijo que el peruano era probablemente el hombre más religioso del mundo. Y es que en el territorio del Perú, como en otras partes del mundo, la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • inca — [ ɛ̃ka ] adj. et n. • ynca 1633; mot quechua ♦ Relatif à la puissance politique établie au Pérou par les chefs de clans de certaines tribus andines (avant la conquête espagnole). L Empire, la civilisation inca. Les quipous incas. ♢ N. Les Incas …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Inca society — The society of the Inca Empire centered in what is now Peru, from AD 1438 to AD 1533. Over that period, the Inca used conquest and peaceful assimilation to incorporate in their empire a large portion of western South America, centered on the… …   Wikipedia

  • Inca civilization — The Inca civilization began as a tribe in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cusco around 1200. [ [http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=inca The Inca] ] Under the leadership of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Inca Garcilaso de la Vega — Existen desacuerdos sobre la neutralidad en el punto de vista de la versión actual de este artículo o sección. En la página de discusión puedes consultar el debate al respecto …   Wikipedia Español

  • Inca — (Voz quechua.) ► adjetivo 1 HISTORIA Del pueblo amerindio que en la época prehispana creó un vasto imperio que se extendía desde el norte de Ecuador hasta el centro de Chile: ■ imperio inca. SINÓNIMO incaico ► sustantivo masculino femenino 2… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Cusco — Not to be confused with Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, in Spain. The face of the ornate Cathedral of Santo Domingo, in Cusco, Peru. The Cathedral of Santo Domingo, also known as Cusco Cathedral, is the mother church of the Roman… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.