Religion in the Inca Empire

Religion In The Inca Empire

Religion in the Inca Empire

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In the heterogeneous Inca Empire several polytheistic religions were practiced by its different peoples. Most religions had common traits such as the existence of a Pachamama and Viracocha. The incas exercized a religion to give the empire cohesion by having conquered peoples had to add Inca deities to their pantheon.


Inca deities occupied the three realms:

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.

Ukase Paco was the domain of Pachamama, the Earth mother, who is universal to Andean mythologies. Kanopa was the God of Pregnancy.

Con-Tici Viracocha Pachayachachic, The first god, creator of the three realms and their inhabitants, was also the father of Inti.


Many ancient Andean peoples traced their origins to ancestral deities. Multiple ayllus could share similar ancestral origins. The Inca claimed descent from the Sun and the Moon, their Father and Mother. Many ayllus claimed descent from early proto-humans that they emerged from local sites in nature called pacarinas.

The earliest ancestors of the Inca were known as Ayar, the first of which was Manco Cápac or Ayar Manco. Inca mythology tells of his travels, in which he and the Ayar shaped and...
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