In the pre-Columbian era of the Americas lived a relatively vast civilization. It’s center rested in what is now known as Peru. This civilization was called the Inca empire. The empire was known for human sacrifice and cranial deformation rituals. The Capacocha ritual involved selecting children of the greatest health to sacrifice to appease their gods. Sometimes this would be in response to famine, major events, or the death of the Sapa Inca(ruler or emperor). Their rulers were believed to be of divine right to rule.
Inti their sun god was the patron deity of their polytheistic traditions. Inti is the brother of the moon,Mama-Quilla, and was the patron deity of the Cuzco their holy city. Also known as home of the sun. Inti was depicted in human form. His face would be a disc of gold with fire and bright beams of light extending out.
The Incas worshiped Inti in three forms as they represent the different stages of the sun during the year. A festival was held each year to celebrate Inti, during the winter solstice. Inti is attributed with building the Inca capital. This action involved a golden disc, said to represent Inti.
The worship of Inti, and their festival of Inti Raymi, involved sacrifices, fasting, and banquets of food. As part of this festival, the people would fast for three days and celebrate for nine days, presumably to represent the three aspects of Inti. The three parts of the deity are Apu-Inti, Churi-Inti, and Guauqui-Inti. Apu Inti, is the father and often is associated with the summer solstice. As the father, he is lord of the sun and acts as an overseer or guardian. Churi-Inti, is the son and is associated with the day or daylight. Because of this connection, the deity is associated with the winter solstice, as it is a time when the days are at their shortest. Guauqui-Inti is the brother. The brother is a representative of the sun and the practices associated with Inti and his followers, most importantly rulers or priests.
The brother may have been a figure that was included to represent the rulers as a means to justify their divinity. The Inca rulers were decedents of the gods and thereby entitled to rule over others. This was incorporated as a method of maintaining their hold on power within their own society and over captured citizens of other cities. Inti became a symbol of the Inca empire and their victory over other peoples. Natural disasters, primarily issues regarding the sun, were taken as a sign of Inti’s anger toward the people. Sacrifices to the god to please him in times of drought or during an eclipse. The god provided the Inca people with a motivation to conquer other nations and to remain dedicated to their divine rulers without question. Providing the people with this purpose, has proven effective in motivating citizens to rely on those in power and to follow without question.