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Incan Child Sacrifice
The Inca

A brief outline of the Inca people-believed to be the Ice Maiden's native tribe

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History and Background | Incan Sacrifice Discoveries | The Ice Maiden | The Expedition | The Inca | The Andes | Johan Reinhard | Maps | More Info

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>>>The Inca civilization consisted of South American Indians who ruled an empire during the time of the Spanish conquest in 1532. Their kingdom extended along the Andean highlands, and had an official capital established at Cuzco (Peru).

>>>As was common with other cultures from the Andes mountains, the Inca left no written records, so the larger part of their background remains still a mystery. According to tradition, this people originated in the village of Paqaritampu. Their founder, Manco Capac, led them to Cuzco, where they established a capital. They began as a small tribe, but as time progressed, so their reign expanded, as they conquered neighboring towns and other tribes. The rulers were careful to mix ethnicities throughout the empire; thus the organization of a revolt became very difficult.

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>>>The Inca empire was based on an autocratic form of rule. The political leaders had ultimate power and sometimes extracted force on their subjects to achive desired results. Their strong economy was concentrated on agriculture. It continued to grow as the Incas ruthlessly occupied the lands around them. This economy, as well as the empire, came to a shocking halt after the Spanish concquered them, and by 1535, the kingdom had been eliminated.

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RELIGION

The Incas had a very complex religion that consisted of many different beliefs. They combined worship of nature, gods, and various objects they believed were magical in intricate ceremonies and practices.


>>>GODS

The Incas worshipped many gods, all of which were sacred to their tradition and ways of life. Their creator was believed to be Viracocha, a god that substantiated earth, man, and animal. Viracocha is said to have created peoples, destroyed them, and then recreated them of stone. He taught the early Incas much about life and journeyed widely to spread his teachings throughout the land.

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>>>The reigning deity of the Incas besides Viracocha was the sun god, Inti. He was almost the basis of life for this ancient Andean civilization.

>>>Besides Inti and Viracocha, there were the rain giver Apu Illapu, and the Moon Mother, Mama-Kilya, who was also the wife of the sun god.

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RELIGIOUS PRACTICES



>>>DIVINATION
One major religious practice of the Inca was divination. Divination is defined as contacting the "unseen forces" for consultation. It was used to diagnose illnesses, predict the outcomes of battles, even decide the guilty party in trials. It was also sometimes appled in deciding what sacrifice should be made to which god.

>>>SACRIFICE
Sacrificing was another extremely important religious practice of the Inca peoples. This ritual included simply the giving of gifts to the gods. Sacrifices could be human, animal, plant, etc., as long as they were appropriate gifts that were thought to please the gods.

>>>In fact, the Ice Maiden is believed to have been a religious sacrifice to the mountain gods, as well as the two children that were found near her.


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Pictured at left are the ruins of the ancient Incan city Machu Picchu.