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Inca Religion

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Introduction Into Inca Religion, Myths, Beliefs


The Incas were polytheists (they had more than one god).

Interestingly, the Incas have even considered their emperors as demigods, people with special connection with the gods.


There were many Inca gods and there was a main god, called Viracocha. He was above every other god, he had the biggest power.




Beliefs and Rituals


The Incas had used sacred objects, had held rituals on sacred locations.

Examples of sacred places, areas and objects: the Vilcanota or Wilcamayu, the "Sacred River", which is a section of the Urubamba River, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Intihuatana Stone, the Golden Sun Disk (a disk-shaped golden object representing the Sun - this was one of the most important Inca treasures that the Spaniards and many explorers and treasure hunters were looking for and some are still searching for.)


The sacred objects and elements of nature of the Incas were called "huaca". These could be rivers, mountains or even man-made objects, like temples, stones.

Periodically, ceremonies implicating the offering of huacas had take place during the Inca times.

For example, inside houses, the huacas were placed into wall niches (rectangular holes) and offerings were periodically brought to them. The Incas believed that these offerings will contribute to the balance of nature and society. The Incas believed that they can this way influence their well-being, happiness and even crop production.


The Incas believed in afterlife. They cared deeply for their dead, whom they had embalmed before burial, mummified and had placed into tombs. Afterwards, the relatives had brought food and various other objects to their beloveds' resting place. They believed that the dead could hear them and would use the multitude of objects that were brought there.

The bodies of the dead were also considered to be huacas.


After the death of the emperor, the priests would come to their resting place and talk to the dead ruler. It is believed that the priests had the ability to communicate with the souls of the dead rulers, who were in another dimension (another World, you might call it heaven).


Offerings were periodically brought to the dead ruler's tombs and servants also came to attend.


The colour of mourning was black, just like in the case of Christians


The Incas had periodically held sacrifices. These were mostly animal sacrifices, but sometimes human too.




Inca Gods


There were two main Inca gods: Inti and Viracocha (Wiracocha).


Viracocha was the supreme god. The word "Viracocha" meant something like "sea foam".

The Incas believed that after God Paricia had flooded the World, Viracocha had revived it. The flooding was created by Paricia because people had been unkind and unfaithful to him.


After the flood, Viracocha had created people out of clay and had created languages and songs for them.

The Sun, Moon and stars were also created by Viracocha, who has assigned them places on the sky.


When Viracocha wasn't venerated by its followers who has lost their faith, the god punished them by turning them into stone.


Viracocha has two sons. The Incas believed that his sons could walk on water.


The other important god was Inti, the Sun God.

The Incas believed that Inti had descendants on Earth, this was the royal Inca family.

Inti was often represented on gold-made Sun-representing disks. On those disks, the sun had a human face.

Inti had 4 sons and was believed to have been the ancestor of the Incas.




Here is a list of other important Inca gods:


Apu or Apo: the mountain god

Apocatequil: the god of lightning

Apu Illampu: the god of thunder

Apu Punchau: the "head of the day"

Ca Ata Quilla or Ka Ata Quilla: goddess of the Moon

Catequil: god of thunder and lightning

Cavillaca: virgin goddess, impregnated by the Moon God, Coniraya

Chasca: goddess of the planet Venus of the dawn and the dusk, protector of young girls

Chasca Coyllur: god of flowers and protector of maidens

Cocomama or Coco Mama: goddess of health, wellbeing, wealth and happiness

Con or Kon: god of rain and southern wind

Conira Viracocha or Konira Viracocha: Viracocha disguised as a traveler. He thought to have disguised himself into a traveler in rags and walked between people, observing and creating. He created the agricultural terraces (andinas) and he made the water flow.

Coniraya: the Moon god

Copacati: lake goddess

Ekkeko: god of personal property, wealth

Illapa: weather god (rain, storm, lightning, thunder)

Imahmana Viracocha or Imaymana Viracocha: son of Viracocha. Together with his brother, he was sent by his father to Earth to verify if people follow his commandments. He and his brother taught people essential things about life, like: which plants can be eaten and which are poisonous, they also gave names to the plants.
Mama Allpa: goddess of earth and harvest.

Mama Cocha or Cochamama: goddess of the sea, venerated by fishermen and sailors

Mama Oello: the mother goddess of the Incas, she taught the Incas spinning

Mama Pacha or Pachamama: earth goddess, venerated by those who planted crops

Mama Quilla: wife of Inti, linked to marriages and feast days, she was the protector of married women. She is represented on a silver disc with a human face.

Manco Cápac: god of fire, son of Inti. He is the youngest of Inti's 4 sons, he killed one of his brothers, closed one forever in a cave and exiled the third. He is believed to have created the city of Cuzco (Cusco).

Pachacámac: earth god, a creator god, son of Inti

Pariacaca: god of rain and water

Paricia: he had once flooded Earth because mankind made him angry

Punchau: sun god ,warrior

Tocapo Viracocha: son of Viracocha. Together with his brother, he was sent by his father to Earth to verify if people follow his commandments. He and his brother taught people essential things about life, like: which plants can be eaten and which are poisonous, they also gave names to the plants.

Supay: god of death and the greedy leader of the underworld

Urcaquary: god of underground treasures and buried riches

Vichama: son of Inti and god of death

Zaramama: goddess of grain and corn



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