In the mythology / religious belief system of the Incas, Inti was the god of the Sun, and one of the most important deities in the Inca pantheon. As a solar deity, Inti is closely associated with agriculture, as this heavenly body provides the warmth and light needed for crops to grow. Hence, Inti was quite a prominent god amongst the farmers of the Inca civilization. Moreover, the Sapa Inca (the ruler of the Inca Empire) claimed direct descent from Inti, which further enhanced the prestige and status of this god.
17th century illustration by Martín de Murúa of the Inca Pachacútec praying to Inti, the sun god. (Public Domain)
Inti, Son of The Creator
Inti is believed to be the son of Viracocha and his wife, Mama Cocha. The Inca regarded Viracocha as their supreme deity, as he is the creator of the universe, whilst Mama Cocha was believed to be the goddess of the sea. As the creator of all things, Viracocha was the most important Inca deity, and his son, Inti, was the most important Inca deity after his father. In one version of Inca legend, Viracocha had two other children apart from Inti – Pachamama and Mama Quilla. The former was (and still is) worshipped as an earth goddess, whilst the latter was the goddess of the moon. Apart from being the sister of Inti, Mama Quilla was also considered by the Inca to be his wife.
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