Make your own free website on


Home | Origin | History | Traditions | Beliefs & Customs | Family & Child Raising | Women & the Social World | The Arts | Governing Structure | The Afterlife | The Decline | Children's Page | Bibliography

The Afterlife


Funerals were sacred for the Inca's. They believed that people lived in either heaven or hell after death. Very important people like chieftans and emperors were buried in above ground chambers. Others were buried in pits, caves, and other types of graves.
The Incas believed in reincarnation. Those who obeyed the Inca rule; ama sua, ama llulla, ama chella which were "do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy," went to live in the Sun's warmth. Those who did not obey this rule spent their eternal days in the cold earth.
The Incas would mummify deceased Incas. The mummies would be provided with a various assortment of objects which were to be taken into their final resting place known as the pacarina. Upon reaching the pacarina, the mummies or mallqui would be able to mingle with the ancient ancestors that were also buried there. The mallquis were also used in various rituals or celebrations. They buried the deceased in a sitting position.
When Pizarro arrived was extremely disturbed by the Inca’s worship of their dead ancestors. He ordered the mummies to be burned. Because of this we don't know how the Inca prepared their mummies.