Inca Religion

Religion among the Inca was highly formalized, based on obedience of laws. It was a very serious matter with no acceptance for disobeyed laws. An annual cycle of religious festivals was regulated by the extremely accurate Inca calendar.

Ceremonies in Inca religion

Inca ceremonies and rituals, monthly and frequently elaborate, primarily centered on agricultural and health concerns, particularly the growing and harvesting of food crops and cures for various illnesses. At especially important ceremonies live animals were sacrificed. The Incas also practiced human sacrifices, though only on occasions such as an emperor’s coronation or in times of crisis. The Inca produced a rich body of folklore and music, of which only fragments survive.


The golden lama of the Incans was used often for religious events.

This golden lama was often used for religious events.

Viracocha, the supreme deity in Inca religion

The supreme Incan deity was Viracocha, creator and ruler of all living things.

Another important deity was the Sun god, Inti, whom Incan emperors were believed to have descended from. Gold, the symbol of the Sun god, was extensively mined. The gold’s uses are for decorative and ritual purposes. Usually by the rulers and members of the elite. Inca religion practices included the consultation of oracles, the offering of sacrifices, religious trances, and public confessions. Other major deities are the gods of the stars, and weather. Also the goddesses of the moon, earth, and sea. 

Inca religion: Respect for their ancestors

Like many cultures, Inca religion had great respect for their dead ancestors. They believed the dead were still part of the community. As such, the living tried to include their ancestors in important celebrations and ceremonies. Family mummified and preserved the bodies. After the death of an important family member. They presented the mummified bodies with fine clothes. This to maintain the goodwill of these ancestors. Also in offerings of food and drink. Also, What is also quite astonishing is the following. What happened during the funerals of really influential or important deceased people? Interestingly, the families buried the deceased with houses and palaces complete with servants. 

The rituals

At important events, the people carried them through the streets in processions. During these processions, they were seated on golden chairs. Secondly, the people took them to parties. They feasted and the families kept them entertained. The Incas also believed that there was a heaven. But also a hell, and a resurrection of the body after death.

The gods of Inca religion. Also known as the Inca Pantheon

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