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Inca Empire

Mythology and Religion

History >> Aztec, Maya, and Inca for Kids

The religion of the Inca was closely tied into the everyday life of the Inca as well as with their government. They believed that their ruler, the Inca Sapa, was part god himself.

The Inca believed that their gods occupied three different realms: 1) the sky or Hanan Pacha, 2) the inner earth or Uku Pacha, and 3) the outer earth or Cay pacha.

Inca Gods and Goddesses
A god of the Inca
Inca god Viracocha (artist Unknown)

Inca Temples

The Inca built many beautiful temples to their gods. The most important temple was the Coricancha built in the heart of the city of Cuzco to the sun god, Inti. The walls and floors were covered with sheets of gold. There were also gold statues and a huge gold disc that represented Inti. Coricancha means "Golden Temple".

The Inca Afterlife

The Inca believed strongly in an afterlife. They took great care in embalming and mummifying the bodies of the dead before burial. They brought gifts to the dead that they thought the dead could use in the afterlife.

The Inca felt so strongly in the afterlife that when an emperor died, their body was mummified and left in their palace. They even kept some servants to watch over the dead emperor. For certain festivals, such as the Festival of the Dead, the dead emperors were paraded through the streets.

Pic of Inti the Sun God of the Inca
Symbol for Inti the Sun god by Orionist

Inca Heavens

The Inca believed that the heavens were divided into four quarters. If a person lived a good life they lived in the part of heaven with the sun where there was plenty of food and drink. If they lived a bad life they had to live in the underworld where it was cold and they only had rocks to eat.

What were Huacas?

Huacas were sacred places or objects to the Inca. A huaca could be manmade or natural such as a rock, a statue, a cave, waterfall, mountain, or even a dead body. The Inca prayed and offered sacrifices to their huacas believing that they were inhabited by spirits that could help them. The most sacred huacas in the Inca Empire were the mummies of the dead emperors.

Interesting Facts about the Mythology and Religion of the Inca Empire

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