The Incas worshiped various deities, among them the INTI or SOL; but they had only one main god, WIRACOCHA, the creator of all things in the universe. Wiracocha becomes a parallel god, even equal to the Christian God, revealed through Jesus Christ.
Who was Wiracocha?
Sometimes also called Viracocha, he is the great God, the creator in pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andean region of South America.
What does Wiracocha mean?
It is possible that its great diffusion was due to the Catholic religious searching for a name to explain the concept of Viracocha God to the Incas. In addition, they added other words to his name in order to emphasize his quality of being supreme, in this way the name in Quechua of: Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqucha Pachayac was formed
The word wiracocha is Quechua and means:
- wira: fat,
- cocha: lake, sea, lagoon.
Other historians have another theory and say, that if the correct thing is WAIRACOCHA, in Quechua:
- waira: wind
- cocha: lake, sea, lagoon
Then wairacocha, it would be the god who came from the sea pushed by the winds, hence his two rods that he wields in his hands, which they say are oars.
It is very likely that wairacocha came from Asia in a boat pushed by the sea currents and winds and thus reached the Peruvian coast.
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa pointed out that Viracocha God was described as “a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white tunic, like a bow secured at the waist, and carrying a staff and a book in his hands.”
Did you know?
- Viracocha is the great God, the creator in pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andean region of South America… Wiracocha in Perú was worshiped as God of the sun and of storms
- He was represented using the sun as a crown, with rays in each hand, and tears in his eyes in the form of rain.
The things that Viracocha God created:
He is credited with creating all things between them: the universe, the sun, the moon, the stars, time (ordering the sun to move only through the sky) and civilization on earth.
Viracocha was as important as the sun god and the god of storms. In some representations you can see Wiracocha using the sun as a crown, with a ray in each of his hands and tears in his eyes in the form of rain.
The Myth of Wiracocha
According to the myth recorded by Juan de Betanzos, Viracocha God came out of the waters of Lake Titicaca (you can visit it with one of our tours) and according to other sources, it refers to the fact that this god came out of the Pacaritambo cave in times of darkness bringing with it the light.
He created the sun, the moon, the stars, he also created humanity by blowing on the stones and from this first creation, giants without brains resulted, which he disliked a lot; so he destroyed them with a flood and from the smallest stones created a better humanity. Finally, Viracocha disappeared into the Pacific Ocean (by walking on water) never to return. He traveled the world disguised as a beggar, teaching his new creation the fundamentals of civilization, as well as performing numerous miracles. Some sources indicate that he wept when he saw the suffering of the creatures he had created. It was believed that Viracocha would reappear in times of difficulty.
One of the legends of Wiracocha in Perú says that she had a son whom she named Inti, and two daughters, Mama Quilla and Pachamama. In this legend, he destroys the people of Lake Titicaca with a great flood called Unu Pachakuti, saving only two humans to bring civilization to the rest of the world; These two beings are Manco Capac, son of Inti (sometimes taken as the son of Viracocha), whose name means “splendid foundation”, and Mama Ocllo, which means “mother of fertility.”
The two looked for a suitable place where the golden rod called ‘Tapac-Yauri’ would sink to found the Inca civilization. In another legend, it is related that he was the father of the first eight civilized human beings. In some stories, he has a wife named Mama Cocha.
Representation of the God Wiracocha in Perú:
He was represented using the sun as a crown, with rays in each hand, and tears in his eyes in the form of rain.
Of the Inca gods, the largest is Viracocha. Regarding its appearance there are also different versions. With the arrival of the Spanish explorers, a version similar to that of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, a 16th century explorer, began to spread. He described the deity as a white-skinned man of medium height, whose clothes consisted of a long white robe and a belt.
Besides, it was also described with a staff and a book, each in one hand. From now on, Wiracocha began to be spoken of as a white-skinned deity, although in the authentic legends of the Inca and pre-Inca culture, no detail of the skin is mentioned. Part of this also derives from the fact that the Incas received the Spanish as gods with luminous skins because of their light color.
Sometimes he is represented as an old man with a beard. He is also seen dressed in a long cassock and endowed with a staff.
The icons of the door of the sun-Tiawanaku, where this deity originates and Machupicchu, the highest representation of the Inca culture; These symbols are found in architectural constructions, its builder Pachacuteq, left clues such as: double stepped, double spiral, double face; These would be works dedicated to their god Wiracocha for his intervention in the war with the Ckankas, when they tried to invade Cusco.