The Inca Empire

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In 1438 AD the Inca Empire started to flourish throughout South America. Over the next 50 years it spread to places that we now know as Peru, Bolivia, northern Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Earlier, contemporary Andean traditions, in particular the Wari civilisation and ancient Tiwanaku civilisation, influenced the Inca religion immensely. But the Inca empire was very short lived as it only lasted from 1438 to 1532 AD, just short of 100 years.

The Incan people believe that out of lake Titicaca the god Con Tiqui Viracocha rose and brought humans with him. Viracocha created the sun, moon and the stars. Manco Capac and his siblings were sent to the earth by Inti the god of the sun and were instructed to create a Temple of the Sun in the spot
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They believed that if the deceased had lived a wholesome and noble life then the would go and join the sun in the sky. But if the deceased had an evil spirit then they would live the lonely, cold underworld for eternity.

People: The Incan people had a hierarchy that was organised into four different sections. At the top of the hierarchy was the Sapa Inca. The Sapa Inca was the ruler of the Inca empire and was viewed as a god. The second social class was composed of the Sapa Inca’s close family. The third social class was the nobility, the Sapa Inca’s distant relatives, priests and chiefs. The bottom social class was the majority of the population, which they called the ayllu. These were the people who worked the land, took care of the cattle, prepared clothes and food, mined or weaved.

Beliefs: The Incan’s believed that there were three realms of which different deities belonged to. There was Hanan Pacha, the sky realm, its deities included Init, the sun god and Mama Quilla, the moon goddess. Uku Pacha, the inner earth realms deities included Pachamama, the Earth mother, and Kanopa, the God of Pregnancy. And Cay Pacha, the outer earth realm, was home to the humans. The Incan people believed that the god Con Tiqui Viracocha created the three realms and everything in them. These beliefs gave the Incan peoples lives meaning and sense of
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Capacocha was a sacrificial ritual, where children from across the empire are chosen as offerings to the gods Init and Viracocha. This was done to prove the Incas lordship or to renew the bond between the Incan’s and the gods.

Symbols: The Inca’s main and most significant symbol is the Chakana or the Inca cross. In the middle of the cross is a hole that represents Cruzco, the centre of their empire. Each of the three steps on every corner of the cross represents one of the three realms. The symbol of a sun is also very sacred to the Incan’s as it represents the god Init who is the sun god.

Place: The Incan’s most sacred space was the temple of the sun in Cuzco. This temple was made for the god of the sun Init. The temple of the sun united all Incan people as Init was one of the most highly regarded gods making this space an extremely sacred place of worship.

I think that it is extremely important for schools to study ancient or indigenous religions because through these studies we can learn about the diversity of all religions. We can discover what types of rituals and what types of beliefs have changed and which have remained the same. We can also find out how and why these religions have shaped the modern day religions that we have
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