Inca Mythology (Myths and Legends of the World)
The Inca civilization flourished in the Andes mountains of South America during the A.D. 1400S and early 1500s. At the center of Inca religion and mythology was the worship of the sun, believed to be the ancestral father of the Inca people. For this reason, sun worship was closely linked to ancestor worship, and many of the myths of the Incas focus on their origins. The Incas tailored their mythology to glorify their own culture and to reinforce the idea that they were a superior people destined to rule others.
Origins and Influences
Based in the city of Cuzco in what is now Peru, the Incas were one of many small groups who lived in the Andes mountains in the 1300s. Gradually, the Incas expanded and absorbed the surrounding peoples, peacefully at first and later by conquest. In 1438 a strong leader named Pachacuti became their king. He and his descendants made the Inca state into a vast empire that stretched from southern Colombia south into Chile and covered much of modern Bolivia and part of Argentina. Throughout this great empire the Incas built a network of roads as well as temples, fortresses, and other public buildings.
As the empire grew, the Incas absorbed the myths and legends of the cultures they conquered. They often reworked the old stories of others to give them a new, pro-Inca twist....
(The entire section is 2020 words.)
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