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Inca

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Beliefs & Customs

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All of the elements in nature were given a divine character. The Inca believed that all deities were created by an ever-lasting, invisible, and all-powerful god named Wiraqocha, or Sun god. The King Incan was seen as Sapan Intiq Churin, or the Only Son of the Sun.

The Inca were a deeply religious people. They feared that evil would befall at any time. Sorcerors held high positions in society as protectors from the spirits. They also believed in reincarnation, saving their nail clippings, hair cuttings and teeth in case the returning spirit needed them.

During this most important religious ceremony in Incan times, the High Priest had to perform the llama sacrifice offering a completely black or white llama. With a sharp ceremonial golden knife called "Tumi" he had to open the animal's chest and with his hands pulled out its throbbing heart, lungs and viscera, so that observing those elements he could foretell the future. Later, the animal and its parts were completely incinerated.

After the sacrifice, the High Priest had to produce the Sacred Fire. Staying in front of the Sun he had to get its rays in a concave gold medallion that contained some soft or oily material in order to produce the fire that had to be kept during next year in the Koricancha and Aqllawasi.