Religion & Calendar
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gods / religion
Ai Apeac - monster demon, primary god of the Moche. photo. Alva

Apurimac oracle - son of Pachamac. Staller. A female deity, which spoke through the idol at Saihuite. Apurimac means "speaking leader." It was also called Capac Mayu. Garcilaso / Reinhard. The temple at Ancocagua was also a sacred site near the head waters of the Apurimac. Reinhard

Ayar brothers - Ayar brothers and their sister-wives emerged from the caves of Paccritambo and journeyed north to Cusco in search of good land. Only Manco Capac and his sister-wife, Mama Ocllo, remained in the end and started the rule of the Inca. Three of the brothers turned into birds: Ayar Uchu Ayar Awka, Ayar Kachi. Steele/Christie. Ayar Auca was transformed into stone at Huanacuri. This became a very important religious site to the Inca. The stone probably represented the Inca's huanca. Dean

Caccha Inca - "a statue carried into battle." Huayna Capac placed its care to Cusi Yupanqui, son of Yamqui Yupanqui, jr. Betanzos / Niles

camasco - priests struck by lightning, given spectacular powers. Steele

Capac Cocha - See Copac Cocha.

Capac Raymi - see calendar

Catequil - Based near Cajamarca. Branch idols were moved to Quito by Huayna Capac and also Cuzco. Another, Catequilla was used in battle as a mascot. Considered to have the esteem equal to Pachacamac. The oracle predicted the death of Inca Tupa Yupanqui and favored Huascar over Atahuallpa. Steele. At Porcon near Huamachuco. Atahualpa disliked this god and had it smashed and the site burned. Hemming

Cavillaca - beautiful female huaca. She was weaving beneath a lucuma tree. As a bird, Cuniraya Viracocha put his semen into a fruit and dropped it next to her. She ate it and became pregnant. After the child was 1, she summoned all the huacas to find the father. The child crawled to a Cuniraya who was dressed as a beggar. She was so revolted she fled to the ocean. Coniraya chased after her. As he met various animals, he blessed or cursed them based on their news - giving them their characteristics. He then traveled around tricking huacas and people. Huarochiri Manuscript

ccoa - k'owa, choquechinchay. Cat of the apus who lives in sky. Creates storms by slashing its tail and causes eclipse. Steele

ceque system - siq'i, ceq'e, zeq'e, zeque. 328 huacas within 12km of Cuzco, the number of days in the lunar calendar. 41 ceque lines, each associated with a panaca, both royal and non-royal ayllus. Pachacutic created system. Has 3 parts Collana, Payan, Collao - each with a different status. Some of the huacas are horizon markers of celestial beings. See capachucha and the Cuzco square, Caritampucancha. Steele. Ceque is calendaric, an organization of time and space. Zuidema. See Ceque map.

chasca - star or planet. Bauer and Dearborn/Gullberg

Cha'aska Mayu - Milky Way Galaxy, seen as connected to Vilcanota R. Steele

Chasca Qoyllur- Venus. Pacaric Chasca, Pacari Cuylor, Auquila, Pachahuarac, Chachaquaras, Atungara. Morning Star. Youth with long and curling locks. The page of the Sun, because of its closeness. Used to order the calendar. Steele.

Citua - festival where warriors from the different panacas teamed with a non-royal ayllus and ran outward from Cusco to the four suyus.
Chima (Manco Capac) and Raurau (Sinchi Roca) teamed with Quesco and Masca and ran toward the Kuntisuyu.
Hahuanina (Lloqe Yupanki) and Usca Mayta (Mayta Capac) and Apu Mayta (Capac Yupanki) teamed Cuycusa, Sutic, and Maras and ran to Collasuyu.
Aucayli (Yawar Capac) and Sucsu (Viracocha Inca) teamed with Sanoc and Tarpuntay and ran to Antisuyu.
Vicaquirao (Inca Roca) and Hatun (Pachacuti) and Capac (Thupa Inca) teamed with Uro, Arayraca, and Chavin Cuzco and ran to Chinchaysuyu. Molina/Bauer/Christie

Collca - tail of the constalation, Scorpio. Burger

constellations - Most constellations were near the Milky Way - Mayu, river. It matched the Urubamba R and met at the edge of the known universe, the cosmic sea. The tail of the constellation Scorpius was a giant serpent. The head of Scorpius was a condor. Pleiades was very important, a colca (storehouse), determined planting and harvesting. Yanaphuyu - “dark cloud”. The black areas that cut across the Milky Way. These formed many animals - snake, toad, tinamou, mother llama with nursing baby underneath, and a fox. Best seen when the Milky Way is directly overhead and no lights. Urton, Frost.

Copac Cocha - ritual of the Inca, complex festival where major huacas are visited and typically featured child sacrifice. Bauer. Elaborate, rare. Performed when new Inca or at times of great need. Maybe annual. Molina. The transportation of offerings from Cusco to important huacas in empire. Priest did not follow roads, but walked in straight lines. Molina. Chillon valley of the Canta and Chaclla tribes has markers visited during festival. Albornoz

corequenque - Incan mythological bird. Garcilaso said Pachacuti wore a headdress with feathers from the bird. Alva

Coropona Urco - shrine, offerings made of blood and flour. Poma

Cross of Carabuco - legend. St Bartholomew preached the gospel to Incas and Colla. This cross was left as evidence. Poma

Hana Pacha - sky or celestial world. Steele

huaca- See waka.

Huallallo Carhuincho - Defeated Yana Namca and Tuta Namca. The man eater, families were allowed only 2 children, and one was to be eaten by HC. Lived at Mullo Cocha, part of the Yuncas tribe. See Paria Caca for more. Steele

Huanacauri - Wanakawri, Guanacauri. Name of idol worshiped by first Inca, Manco Capac. Poma. Also mountain along south side of Cuzco. The stone was unworked and "somewhat tapering." The Spaniards found the site to took the gold and treasure. They left behind the stone idol. Paullu Inca took the idol and built a temple next to his own home in Cusco. Polo and Spaniards found it and removed it. Dean

huayra - The wind. It lives in a cave in the high cold puna. Steele

k'uychi -
rainbow - “beautiful emanation” of the Sun. Prescott. Connects earth to the heavens. A double headed serpent dragon - amaru. Steele. United sky, earth, and underworld. A way to communicate with the Sun. Burger. Rainbows rose from one spring and descended into another. Urton/Gullberg
This was also the term used for solar and lunar haloes. A bright halo foretold of rain coming soon. A dull halo foretold of rain in the future. Urton/Gullberg

Illapa -
Lightning, dreaded ministers of the Sun. Prescott. Also called Libiac and Paria Caca - north central. Tunupa and Khuno - Aymara. Cuzco - a man with his war club in left hand and sling in right. Number 3 in importance to Incas. Steele
. Cult names included Catequil, Catequilla, Catoylla. quauoui - brother, wayque - alter ego. Huacas and ushnus to lightning at hilltops and water sources. Lightning strikes were enclosed. Cross put at apus. male oriented. Illapa - faceless gold statue. Followers followed moon and lunar eclipses. Ligntning united heaven and earth. Celebrated during Capac Raymi. Illapa was a trinity - lightning, thunder and thunderbolt. Accepted human sacrifices. Soldiers of Santiago wore a red cross - same symbol as Inca Illapa. Revered - cleft pallets, twins and 4 banded rainbow at Chan Chan. Staller

Inkarri - Inka Rey, Inka king. A modern belief that the Inkarri was able to control stones with a whip and the stones would move and place themselves into buildings. This ease of moving stones and limited human interaction contrasts with the reality and what the Inca actually projected - showcase of human endeavor. Dean. The legend of Inkarri began in during the Colonial period, after the beheading of Tupac Amaru. The head of Tupac will be reunited with his body and rule the Andes.

Inti - sun god and his sister wife, the moon. Steele. The Sun. In the Coricancha was the idol of gold and precious stones of a great size. It was attended by mamaconas and the High Priest. Every morning it was processed to the main square along Loreto St. and offered food and chicha. Hemming. see Sun
Inti had a huaque. It was a stone shaped "like a sugarloaf pointed on top and covered with a strip of gold." It would be placed in the main Cusco plaza so that normal people could access it. Dean

Lanzon - at Chavin, feline and snake god, in old temple. Possibly passed from Olmec or jungle. photo. Alva

Libiac - thunder god. Drew water from the Milky Way river and would then release upon the earth as rain and thunder. Steele

Mama Cocha - goddess of the sea. Yamqui/Niles. There's a lake near Yucay with this name and a related huaca in Cusco - Ch Ex.1. Cobo/Niles.

Mama Huaca - Urcu Mama, Achikee, Chificha. An old hag is used as a symbol of the wildness beyond civilization. She consumes children and men fit with greed. She is Pachamama out of balance and out of order. She is destructive not procreative. Dan

Mamaquilla - Pacsamama. Moon. A female diety. The first Inca wife was the daughter of the Moon. The moon first rose out of the Island of the Moon/Coati in Lake Titicaca. A building in the Coricancha was dedicated to the Moon. There was a silver image of the god. Mummies of dead queens were kept here. Gullberg. Like the Milky Way, the dark areas on the moon were important and given names: llama, woman, woman holding daughter. Urton/Gullberg. pura - lighted portion of the moon. wañu - dark portion of the moon. Urton/Gullberg

Mama Namca - a firey female demon ally of Huallao Carhuincho. Paria Caca defeated her and expelled her to the ocean. Steele

Mayucati - ceremony at night, ash was used to blacken the river at Cuzco and then followed to Ollantaytambo. Represented death and end of rainy season. Steele. Ritual in January. The peak of flooding season, dams were released on rivers.  The Huatanay R would serge at Coricancha. Ashes from all the year’s burnt sacrifices were tossed into the waters. Young incas would chase the ashes down the river all the way to Ollantaytambo, 100km. Frost

Milky Way - One day it rises in the SE and sets in the NW. The next day it rises in the NE and sets in the SW. This creates 4 quadrants for organizing the sky. Urton /Gullberg
The Milky Way was seen as a spiritual river, a reflection of the Vilcanota R. When it sets into the ocean, it drinks up the water and later disperses it as rain. Urton/Gullberg.
Constellations were made of the dark areas in the Milky Way. These are most visible at March Equinox at midnight. Gullberg
Mach'acuay - Serpent. Serpents represent the Ucu Pacha, the underworld and ancestors. It is first seen at the beginnning of the rainy season. Urton/Gullberg
Hanp'atu - Toad. Toads were a bad omen. Urton/Gullberg
Yutu - Tinamou. An Andean bird, it is near the Southern Cross. Urton/Gullberg
Yacana - Llama. This llama animated the llamas on earth. It is between Centaurus and Scorpio. Alpa and Beta Centauri are the eyes. Urton/Gullberg
Uñallamacha - Baby llama. A baby llama suckling its mother. Urton/Gullberg
Atoq - Fox. It is between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Urton/Gullberg
Yutu - Tinamou. A second tinamou. Urton/Gullberg

Muruurca - ceremony where everyone blackened their faces and carried a long rope that spiraled around the king, similar to Purucaya. Steele

Nylamp god - Sican, god / king that arrived from the sea. Descended from birds. photo. Alva

Pachacamac - Powerful idol and temple near Lima. Belief spread from Coast to far east jungle. Steele. Pachamac - Atahualpa was very angry with this god, it had made 3 very wrong predictions: Huayna Capac did not recover from illness, Huascar did not win the civil war, and Atahualpa did not defeat the Spaniards. He had concluded there was no god at the temple. Hemming

Pachamama - mother earth. Prescott.

Pachayachachic - creator god. Niles (maybe the same as Viracocha)

paqarisqa - places of origin for a group of people. These were often springs, caves, rocks, or a tree. If the Inca forced a group to move, they would take the wanka with them or a some water from the spring and pour into a spring at their new location. The Inca would typically honor local paqarisqa, and by doing so they often showed control over the holy place. Dean

paqcha - paccha. Typically these were wood cups with an extension featuring a zig zag channel. A liquid offering was poured along the channel and it's flow was analized. Dean

Paria Caca - diety of the Yauyos. Born from 5 eggs, so he is 5 persons who fly. Brought hail with his bola sling shot. Challenged the fire of Huallallo Carhuinco with water. He created a dam and flooded HC. HC fled to the jungles of the Antis. Steele. Associated huaca was Maca Uisa, a boulder or portable stone from the mountain. The Inca caried the stone with them into battle. Yamqui/Dean

Pitucircay- with Savaciray, hill-top god of Antisuyu. Poma

Pleiades - Collca, Catachillay, Ch 8.10. Pleiades was used predicting El Niño. If it was bright at its rise near the June Solstice then there would be good rain and ample harvest. If it was dull (because of high cirrus clouds), then there would be drought to come. Orlove/Gullberg

Punchao - god, the Day. Bingham. Sacred name taken by the Sun/Inti. Burger. The primary god worshiped in Vilcabamba during Titu Cusi. It represents the day, specifically sunrise. It was gold disc. Other versions had been melted down. Hemming. Punchao was created by the seventh Inca. It was the size of a man and made of cast gold. It has a heart made of a dough made from a powder of þe former Inca's hearts. It is surroundedby meddalions that reflect sunlight so much it is difficult to look at. Sarmiento, Hemming. It was small, 6marks 6ounces of gold with a silver frame of 3.5marks for a total of 5.5lbs. The soldiers from capturing Tupac stripped off the medallions. It was sent King Phillip with a recommendation to send to the pope. It is unknown where it is. Hemming

puquio - springs where the amaru dwell. When it rains the spring swells and the amaru rises and crosses the sky. Steele

purucaya - ceremony to complete a time of mourning, began by Pachacuti's death. Deeds are declared and processions of wailing mamaconas was standard.. Four men entered the Aucaypata. Each man was attached to 10 women, a boy and a girl, who controlled the men. Later a group of warriors representing Hurin and Hanan Cusco had a ritual battle. Hurin would lose. Betanzos/Christie. The ceremony lasted for a month and involved many rituals, maybe including an event at Qenco. Christie

Purunauca - puruawqa, purunawka. The stones that turned into warriors and helped young Pachacutic defend against the Chancas. Garcilaso. Or the supernatural soldiers were turned into stone upon their death. Cobo, Acosta. Or stones were positioned in formation to look like soldiers. Pachacuti saw them and ordered them to follow him into battle. Yamqui. 15 stone huacas related to Chanca War - the Chancas attacked Cusco and #8 Inca Viracocha Inca flees Cusco. Pachacuti usurps his father and heir to fight back. The stones of Cusco rose up to fight with him. These were called Pururaucas. Most are in or near Coricancha, except stared: Ch4.1, Ch5.3, Ch6.1, Ch7.1, Co1.1, Co7.2*, Co9.2, Co9.12*, Cu1.1, Cu5.2*, Cu6.1, Cu6.3*, Cu8.1*, Ch2.2. Bauer See Ceque Map. Some were given names: Catonge, Sabaraura, Quingil. Dean. Some may have traveled with Huayna Capac while on campaign. Cobo/Dean.

Purucaya - ceremony where 4 blackened men performed as the spirit of the Inca traveled to its destination. Steele. Aji peppers and coca were used in the death ritual. Bathing was cleansing part of the ritual. Niles

rainbow - see k'uychi

quilla - moon, sun’s sister wife. Prescott. Feminine related, less divine than lightning. Steele

Quyllur Rit'i - Qoylloriti. A hybrid feast at Mt Ausgante celebrate just before the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi, May - June. Tens of thousands of locals gather at 16,000ft at a large boulder. The Christ child is said to have appeared here in 1785. Gifts are offered, often in minature of what they would like to receive in life. Some celebrants dress as ukuku, bears.

Raimondi Stela - staff god at Chavin de Huantar. photo. Alva

Runa Camac - creator of man. Poma

Salcantay Mt - male diety. Invoked to cure illness, increase crop yields and livestock fertility. Reinhard, Burger

Santissima Maria - first chew coca. Chewed on leaves to relieve the greif of loosing her child. Steele

Savaciray - with Pitucircay, hill-top god of Antisuyu. Poma

sonqo - sacred places on the landscape which are described as parents.

Staff God - seen at Chavin and Tiahuanacu. Alva

Sun - 3 gold statues of Sun. Inti or Punchao - golden boy age 10 sat on bench, brought out daily to the patio built to reflect light. Moved to Vilcabamba with retreat. Possibly captured and sent to Spain. Churi Inti - Son of Sun. Inti Huauque - Inti duplicate/brother. All were kept in Coricancha. The sun is also called Huayna Capac - young lord. Hesu Kristu - Jesus Christ. Inti Tayta - father sun. Taytacha - Jesus Christ and male saints. Steele

Taquis - drinking feast. During the Hatun Raimi, the drinking lasted 15 days. This kept the people happy and showed the Incas splendor. Hemming

Taqui Onqoy - quechua messianic movement preached during Titu Cusi's reign. It was led by Juan Chocne (Chono). It reinstated inca huacas and ceremonial festivals in town centers. The spanish clergy fought to suppress these. Hemming

Tello Obelisk - caiman is the central image, mixed jungle and coast animals / beliefs. photo. Alva

terraces - A symbol of the mountains. A symbol of the marriage between the Inca and the mountain. The terraces support the mountain and the terraces increase agricultural ability for the Inca. The dramatic terraces are display of Inca power to mobilize thousands of people. It also displays a concern for the terrain, often following the natural curve of the mountain. Dean

Tocori - huaca celebrated in July. Spirit watches over the irrigation of Cuzco valley. MacQuarrie

Tunupa - sometimes associated with Thunder god abnd St James (Santiago). Many stories areound Titicaca are very similar to Viracocha. Also associated with St Thomas - raising a cross, preaching, healing and baptizing. Steele

Tuta Namca - defeated by Huallallo Carhuincho. Steele

Ukhu Pacha - or Hurin Pacha. below or inner earth, domain of Pachamama, mother earth. Fertility. Daughters protected specific plants: mama-coca, mama-oca. Steele

Viracocha -
Con Tici Viracocha Pachayachachic. Steele. He had no name, but his title was Ilya-Ticsi Viracocha Pacayacacic (Ancient-found Creator Lord, Instructor of the World). Hemming. Wiracocha means fat/greasy lake. Sometimes translated sea foam. Quechua believe that "body fat and water are the primary substances of life, energy, and power." Duviols/Bray
- STORY. Emerged from L Titicacca and first created a race of giants who lived by moonlight. He destroyed them. Then he created the sun and mankind. And animals. Then traveled across the Andes calling forth more people. See Canas. It is also said that during his travels he shaped the people and gave them their innate characteristics. He then disappeared crossing the Pacific. The calling forth of people maybe a distant memory of the Wari relocating people and labor. Zuidema/Sillar
- Possiblity represented by the staff-bearing figures at Tiahuanaco. Aymarans call him Tunupa. The 3 persons of Viracocha - Imaymana V. - travels eastern side - Antisuyu- jungle, medicine, magic, priestly order, Inca Viracocha. Tocapu V. - traveled pacific coast and Cuntisuyu, weaving. Also called Cuniraya V. Viracocha traveled the highlands and left across the Pacific. Steele
. The Staff God of Tiahuanaco by oral tradition is call Viracocha - "he that arrived on the spray of the sea." Creator god and linked to water and fertility. Alva. Prayers usually began with a call to him before continuing with the huaca. Bauer.
Viracocha had a huaque called Turuca. It was "almost round stone." Dean

waka - huaca, wak'a, guaca. "A sacred site that is in the form of a natural or human made entity or idol." Acosta/Bryan. Or "any material thing that manifested the superhuman." Salomon/Bryan. "Energized matter...they act within nature, not over and outside it as Wester superanturals." Salomon/Bray.
The verb is wakay, "to cry". This is a "joyful action" displayed at the site. Some wakas could speak or cry. Santo Tomas / Bray.
Women were sometimes married to stone wakas. They also had children - mummified local ancestors. Arriaga / Bray. They had histories and were sometimes clothed. Albornoz, Arriaga/Bray.
Wakas began with the Wari and other pre-Inca groups. Golwacki/Bryan
Wakas are a "mythohistorical and physical expressions of a people's link to their ancestors" and proof of their ownership to the land. William Gustav Garner/Vranich
Waka worship/respect starts with small local hills and outcrops and expand to include area snowcap mountains. Vranich

Warachikoy - ritual huaca, held during the month of Capac Raymi, an elaborate ceremony iniating inca youth into manhood. It involved visiting various huacas. : C3.8, Ch5.7, Ch9.3, 6, An5.1, An6.4, Co6.8, Co7.5, Cu1.7, Cu2.4. Bauer See Ceque map.

Yana Namca - defeated by Huallallo Carhuincho. Steele

Yaya-Mama - early L Titicaca. It crossed ethnic lines, but everyone in this area lived a similar life style. Begins around 400 BC and was used by both Pukara and Tiwanaku. Moseley


1 week had 10 days, months had 30 days. Months started with new moon and ended with waning. Poma

Equinoxes: Oct 30 and Feb 13. Frost.

Solstices: December: sunrise DSSR, sunset DSSS. June: sunrise JSSR, sunset JSSS. Zawaski

Zenith, the sun is directly overhead at noon in Cusco. Feb 13, Oct 30. Zenith sunrise ZSR, sunset ZSS. Zawaski

Antizenith. Apr 26, Aug 18 in Cusco. Anitzenith sunrise AZSR, sunset AZSS. Zawaski

Rise of Pleiades. Zawaski

1. Capac Raymi Camay Quilla - Supreme fast of penitence month. Sacrifices made, people and doors sprinkled with ash. Heavy rains, pruning plants. Poma. Offerings made during the month of Camay, about January. Ashes of burnt offerings of other huacas and put into the confluence of Saphi and Tullumayu R. The river was damned and then released to create a surge. Molina.
- Huacas: festival huacas: Cu10.2, Cu12.1. Bauer . See Ceque map. See Warachikoy above.

2. Paucar Huaray Hatun Pucuy - flowers, breeching, great rain. "Visits made to shrines above snowline where the Huancavilca idols were kept." Many floods. Yuyo, weeds, ate in times of desperation. Breeches worn as symbol of boys becoming men. Difficult time for traveling - snow and heavy rains. Poma

3. Pacha Pucuy - season of rain. Black llamas sacrificed, some fasting. Crops ripe. Ground prepared for sowing. Poma

4. Inca Raymi Quilla - Inca's feast month. Public celebration. The Inca performed a special song - sound of llama bleat. Inca's pierced their ears. Flowers in bloom. Poma

5. Hatun Almoray Quilla - great storage month. Harvesting, inspections. Poma

6. Cusqui Quilla - hard mother earth. Hot and dry weather. Poma

Inti Raymi - June solstice. The most important festival of the year. The festival lasted several days and culminated at the June SolsticeCitizens would chant all day, increasing in volume as the sun rose and then decreasing as the sun set. Zuidema/Gullberg. During the June Solstice, the Milky Way rises in the same area as the sun. Urton/Gullberg

Capa cocha - sacrifice of children, gold and silver. Poma

7. Chacra Conacuy - farm allotment. Poma

8. Chacra Yapuy Quilla - farm sowing month. Haylli - triumphant song to ensure good harvest. Ayamaran - dance performed during community sowing. Poma

9. Coya Raymi - September equinox. Festival of the moon, September. MacQuarrie. "Queen's Feast", festival of the moon, celebrated by women. Poma

10. Uma Raymi Quilla - hill top procession month, prayers and sacrifices for rain. Poma

11. Aya Marcay Quilla - corpse carrying month. Corpses brought out of tombs and put on display. Ear piercing and preparing boys to be men. Poma

12. Capac Raymi - December solstice. Alva. Important month that surrounds December solstice. // Initiation rites held during Nov fasting, sacrifices, prayers, flagellation. Ceremonies lasted for days. At the end ears were pierced and golden discs placed inside. Second most holy site. Cieza, Hemming. Ears pierced of noble boys as initiation into manhood. Burger. The festival celebrated "crop germination" and the start of a new year. Celebrated by nobility. Gullberg. During the December Solstice, the Milky Way rises in the same area as the sun. Urton/Gullberg photo

More information on the bibliography is available on the previous page.

Andy Roscoe :: andy@ :: :: ::