Inca Pantheon

Once a mighty empire stretched over the central highlands of the Andes, way down South past Mexico. Ranging from Chile to Peru where the capital city of Cuzco prevailed. After 400 years and much personal sacrifice to keep the sun shining and the Gods contented there was not a lot they could not do. Mighty buildings without the aid of cement mixers, casting metals, weaving, pottery, paved roads, suspension bridges, amazing art and sculpture, some quite abstract, and a thriving music scene. Agriculture thrived although there were no horses. With all these skills they didn't bother with things like wheels, and reading and writing. All their records were done with knotted string. 

To a large extent a good time was had by all but naturally it couldn't last. The Spaniards came and under Pizzaro used all the cunning, treachery, greed and cruelty to seize power after the Incan ruler Huayna Capac had just died and there was a state of indecision as to who should be the next divine ruler. It wasn't long before all the Inc ran out. But just when you thought it was all over the Incas had one secret city Machu Picchu, hidden high in the mountains which the Spaniards never found. Or anyone else until 1911 when Hiram Bingham of Yale University stumbled across it, by which time it was deserted but still magnificent in it's desolation. Adventurers have been searching for other secret cities and El Dorado ever since. 

The founder of the first dynasty of the kingdom of Cuzco was Manco Capac. Manco Capac himself was worshiped as a fire and sun god. According to the Inti legend Manco Capac and his siblings were sent up to the earth by the sun god and emerged from the cave of Pacaritambo carrying a golden staff called tapac-yauri. Like the Romans and the English, the Inca permitted the cultures they integrated into their empire to keep their individual religions. 


Some Inca Gods;

Apo or Apu - a god or spirit of mountains. All of the important mountains have their own Apu, and some of them receive sacrifices to bring out certain aspects of their being. Some rocks and caves also are credited as having their own apu.

Apocatequil (aka Apotequil) or Illapa - the god of lightning.

Ataguchu - a god who assisted in creation myth

Catequil - a god of thunder and lightning

Cavillace - a virgin goddess who ate a fruit, which was actually the sperm of Coniraya, the moon god. When she gave birth to a son, she demanded that the father step forward. No one did, so she put the baby on the ground and it crawled towards Coniraya. She was ashamed because of Coniraya's low stature among the gods, and ran to the coast of Peru, where she changed herself and her son into rocks.

Chasca - the goddess of dawn and twilight, and Venus. She protected virgin girls.

Chasca Coyllur - the goddess of flowers,young maidens, and sex.

Kuka Mama or Mama Kuka (in quechua: Mother coca) - a goddess of health and joy. She was originally a promiscuous woman who was cut in half by her many lovers. Her body grew into the first coca plant, the leaves of which men were only allowed to chew (to bring health and happiness).

Coniraya - the deity of the moon who fashioned his sperm into a fruit, which Cavillaca then ate. When she gave birth to a son, she demanded that the father step forward. No one did, so she put the baby on the ground and it crawled towards Coniraya. She was ashamed because of Coniraya's low stature among the gods, and ran to the coast of Peru, where she changed herself and her son into rock huacas.

Copacati - a lake goddess.

Ekkeko - a god of the hearth and wealth. The ancients made dolls that represented him and placed a miniature version of their desires onto the doll; this was believed to caused the user to receive what he desired.

Illapa ("thunder and lightning"; aka Apu Illapu, Ilyap'a, Katoylla) - a very popular weather god. His holiday was on July 25. He was said to keep the Milky Way in a jug and use it to create rain. He appeared as a man in shining clothes, carrying a club (weapon) and stones. He was formerly the main god of the Kingdom of Colla after which the Collasuyu province of the Inca empire was named.

Inti - the sun god. Source of warmth and light and a protector of the people. Inti was considered the most important god. The Inca Emperors were believed to be the lineal descendants of the sun god.

Kon - the god of rain and wind that came from the south. He was a son of Inti and Mama Quilla.

Mama Allpa - a fertility goddess depicted with multiple breasts.

Mama Cocha ("sea mother") - the sea and fish goddess, protectress of sailors and fishermen. In one legend she mothered Inti and Mama Quilla with Viracocha.

Mama Pacha (aka Pachamama) - the wife of Pachacamac and a dragoness fertility deity who presided over planting and harvesting. She caused earthquakes.

Mama Quilla ("mother moon" or "golden mother") - a marriage, festival and moon goddess and daughter of Viracocha and Mama Cocha, as well as wife and sister of Inti. She was the mother of Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Kon and Mama Ocllo.

Mama Zara ("grain mother", aka Zaramama) - the goddess of grain. She was associated with maize that grew in multiples or were similarly strange. These strange plants were sometimes dressed as dolls of Mama Zara. She was also associated with willow trees.

Pacha Camac ("Earth-maker") - a chthonic creator god, earlier worshiped by the Ichma but later adopted into the creation myth of the Inca.

Pariacaca - a god of water in pre-Inca mythology that was adopted by the Inca. He was a god of rainstorms and a creator-god. He was born a falcon but later became human.

Paricia - a god who sent a flood to kill humans who did not respect him adequately. Possibly another name for Pachacamac.

Supay - both the god of death and ruler of the Uca Pacha as well as a race of demons.

Urcaguary - the god of metals, jewels and other underground items of great value.

Urcuchillay - a deity that watched over animals.

Viracocha - the god of everything. In the beginning he was the main god, but when Pachacutec became Inca, he changed this god's importance pointing out that it was Inti who allowed him to defeat the chancas (the Incas' main enemies at that time)


Pantheons Index