Like their Mesoamerican counterparts
, Andean cultures also tend to be poorly understood
. Despite that, their beliefs are radically different and actually more in syntony with European sensibilities. The most important part of the myths tend to concern the foundation of the empire and the emperors, who were known as Sapa Inca (Sapa
means "Great" in Quechua).
For information on other cultures in the region, see:
One important thing regarding Inca society is that "Inca" is not actually the name that they used to refer to themselves. The actual name of the empire is actually "Tawantinsuyu" while Inca (Inka) actually refers to the ruling class of the empire.
While the Inca had various deities that they worshipped, the one that tends to be considered to be most important is Inti, the Sun God. The Sapa Inca claimed descent from him.
- Big, Badass Bird of Prey: The Andean condor, possibly the largest flying bird in the world. Associated mainly with Inti, the sun.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Inti (sun god) and Mama Quilla (moon goddess); Manco Capac (the first Sapa Inca) and Mama Occlo (fertility goddess), who are the son and daughter of the first two respectively.
- Creation Myth
- Everything's Better with Llamas: Urcuchillay is the llama god who guards over Inca farmers. He owns a multicoloured hide too.
- The Great Flood: Paricia (sometimes Viracocha) sent a flood to humans who did not respect him.
- Hot Goddess: Most of the Inca goddesses, but special mention goes to Mama Quilla, the goddess of the moon and patron of womanhood.
- Jerkass Gods: Pachacamac, one of Inti and Mama Quilla's sons and an earth/fertility god. He created the first two humans, but forgot to make them food to eat, so they starved. When the man starved to death, Pachacamac decided to answer her pleas... by dismembering her dead husband and creating food plants from his remains. This didn't sit right with her or the other gods, so Inti caused the woman to become pregnant, and her son, Wichama, drove Pachacamac into the sea.
- King Incognito: Viracocha typically shows up on Earth as a beggar, clutching a staff and looking humble. Anyone who gives to him gets a glimpse of his true glory.
- Manly Tears: Viracocha, the creator god, constantly weeps from the cruelty men commit against each other.
- Odd Job Gods: A number, as per usual. Namely, Cocamama, the goddess of the coca leaf. An important medicinal and ritual herb, yes, but given that now the leaf is used to harvest cocaine...
- The Power of the Sun: Inti.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Snakes were associated with the underworld, and with Supay, the hideous and fearsome death god.
- Top God: Inti is the king of the Inca deities, though his father, Viracocha, is the creator.
- The Trickster: Coniraya, a god of moon, fertility, and sorcery, who often was involved with some shenanigans (like impregnating a goddess via a fruit and disguising himself as an ugly beggar when she was interrogating everyone as to who the father was, which caused the goddess to jump into the sea and turn into a rock out of shame).