Essay on The Lost Inca Indian Culture

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The Lost Inca Indian Culture

Most historians recognize the fact that the empire of the Incas in Peru was one of the great civilizations that was lost due to the expansion of the Europeans into the New World. The Incas were once an empire boasting with riches and controlling a large portion of the west coast of South America. Until the arrival of the Spanish, the Incas did their own thing within their culture, with few outside sources affecting them. This paper focuses mainly on the role that the Spanish played in changing and eventually eliminating the culture that was the Incas. Facts drawn from outside sources will illustrate the changes the Incas made from the pre-Columbian age to their unfortunate downfall. Also mentioned will be
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This supreme Being is what the Incas relished in and tried to understand, (Markham, 97). There was a great temple in Cuzco dedicated to Viracocha where he is depicted on an oval piece of gold as resting higher than the sun and moon. The sun was considered by some to be the second most important god in the culture, but its powers of heat and movement across the sky are the work of Viracocha.

It is thought by some that only the higher intellects of the Incas actually recognized an almighty creator. They were better trained for thought and reflection than the common people. The commoners would look toward visible objects such as idols for their worship. Hymns have been written to Viracocha, and prayers said to him. Most dealing with an expression to know the invisible god and to have him reveal himself to the people, (Markham, 99).

The popular religion of the peoples was not that of Viracocha however, most of the population worshipped the founder or ancestor of the clan. Each clan had an ancestral god that was worshipped along with the sun and moon and other inanimate objects.

The religious leaders of the Incas were on a pedestal by themselves. The High Priest was the highest ranking official, generally the brother of a sovereign. He served as the judge and arbiter for all religious questions relating to the temples. His life dealt completely with religious contemplation and included such ideas as abstinence and vegetarianism. He
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