Mesoamerican and South American Mythologies: Maya, Aztec, Inca

The Inca

What was the Inca pantheon?

The Inca creator and high god, who had many characteristics of the ubiquitous storm god of world mythology, was Viracocha. His wife was Pachamama, the Great Mother and earth goddess, or, according to some, Mamacocha (Cochamama), a sea goddess. Their son was the sun god Inti, the patron of Cusco, the Inca capital, known also as the “Sun City.” Inti’s semi-historical son was the first Inca emperor, Manco Cápac, sent to the earth as a culture hero to lead the Inca and to teach them the ways of survival and civilization. Manco was married to his sister Mamaoello (Mama Kilya), a fertility and moon goddess. It was she and the culture heroine Mama Occlo who taught the people how to work with wool and to spin and weave. Other Inca deities included the rain god Apu Illapu, Kuychi the rainbow god, and Yakumama, a water goddess in the form of a snake.


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