10 Amazing Inca Myths You May Not Have Known About

Inca myths are composed of stories, violent, exotic and unique. Discover in this article all the stories that will surprise you.

There is no doubt that the Inca myths are one of the most popular and richest of the American continent, like the Aztec Myths. There are countless legends based on their beliefs. We have stories of love, sacrifice, revenge and kindness in equal parts, undoubtedly a whole legendary universe.

Inca Myths
Inca Myths

Amazing Inca Myths

Inca mythology is very rich and complex, and is based on the idea that everything in the universe is connected and interdependent. The Incas believed in a wide variety of gods and spirits that controlled the different aspects of nature, and that they should be honored and respected in order to maintain balance and harmony in the world.

Among the Inca Myths one of the most important gods is Viracocha, the creator of the universe and humanity. Other important gods include Inti, the sun god; Pachamama, the earth goddess; Mama Quilla, the moon goddess; and Apu Illapu, the god of rain and storms. In addition, the Incas believed in the existence of guardian spirits of nature, such as the apus, the wakas and the huacas, who were to be venerated and respected.

Inca mythology also includes many stories and legends that explain the origin of the world and humanity, as well as the traditions and customs of Andean culture. These stories often involve mythical gods and heroes who fight monsters and evil forces to protect humanity and maintain balance in the universe. Overall, Inca mythology is an essential part of Andean culture, and continues to be revered and respected today as a way of honoring the sacred connection between humanity and nature.

1. The creation of the world by Viracocha

In the Inca myths, the creation of the world by Viracocha is one of the most important stories of this culture. According to the legend, in the beginning there was nothing in the universe, only chaos and darkness. Then, Viracocha, the creator god, emerged from the primordial waters of Lake Titicaca, and began to create the world through his word and thought. First, he created the sun, the moon and the stars, and then he made the mountains, the rivers and the animals. Finally, he created human beings from clay and gave them life.


In this story, Viracocha is represented as an omnipotent divine being who has the power to create and mold reality at will. In addition, it is said that after his work of creation, he retired to Lake Titicaca to rest and meditate. The Incas venerated Viracocha as their creator god and considered him one of the most important in their pantheon. His influence on Inca religion and culture is evident in many aspects of their society, including architecture and iconography.

2. The marriage of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo

The marriage of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo is another of the most important mythological stories of the Incas. According to legend, the Sun God sent his children, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, to the earth to found a new civilization. They arrived in the valley of Cuzco, where they found a rich fertile land and decided to stay there to found the Inca Empire. Before beginning their work, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo were married in a sacred ceremony, thus becoming the founding fathers of the imperial dynasty.

Manco Capac Mama Ocllo
Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo

This myth has great significance in Inca culture, since Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo are considered the founders of their civilization and the marriage is seen as a sacred act that united the two divine beings in the task of creating a new society. In addition, it is said that Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo taught the Incas how to build houses, cultivate the land and worship the gods. In this way, their legacy endures in Inca culture to this day.

3. The Maiden Sacrifice

The maiden sacrifice is an important myth in Inca culture and refers to the practice of sacrificing a young girl in honor of the gods. According to legend, the Incas believed that in order to maintain balance and harmony in the world, it was necessary to offer a human sacrifice to the gods every so often. The one chosen for the sacrifice was a beautiful young virgin, who was carefully selected by the priests. It is said that this maiden was treated with great respect and honors before her sacrifice.

Inca mummy
Inca mummy

In the sacrifice ceremony, the maiden was dressed with the best clothes and jewels and taken to the temple to be offered to the gods. It is believed that her sacrifice symbolized an offering of life to ensure the continuity of the universe. In addition, it is said that the maiden was taken to heaven to become a divinity and be worshipped by the Incas. Although this practice seems very cruel and barbaric by modern standards, it was seen as a way to honor the gods and maintain harmony in Inca society.

4. The birth of the sun in Inca myths

In the Inca myths, the birth of the Sun is one of the most important mythological stories of the Incas. According to legend, the Sun God had two sons, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, whom he sent to earth to found a new civilization. Before leaving, he left them instructions to find the perfect place to found the new civilization, which would be marked by a sacred object buried in the earth.

Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo set out into the earth and finally reached the region of Cusco. There, they found a sacred object in the form of a golden rod and knew that this was the place chosen by the Sun God to found the new civilization. When they planted the golden rod in the ground, the first corn shoots began to grow, signifying the beginning of a new life and a new civilization.

Symbol of the Sun
Symbol of the Sun

This myth is important because for the Incas, the Sun God was the most important divinity, and his birth symbolized the creation of the world. In addition, the search for the sacred place to found the new civilization and the use of the sacred object to mark that place, shows the close connection between religion and politics in Inca culture.

5. The legend of the Inca flower

The myth of the Inca flower is a love story that tells how the Cantuta flower (Cantua buxifolia) originated. According to the legend, the Inca and his wife deeply loved nature and especially flowers, so their garden was the most beautiful in the kingdom. However, the Inca’s wife became seriously ill and the doctors could not cure her, which caused great sadness in the Inca.

At that moment, a warrior arrived at the palace and told the Inca that he knew a magic flower that could cure any illness. The Inca asked him to bring him that flower, but the warrior explained that the flower only grew on the top of a very high mountain, surrounded by dangerous cliffs and fierce beasts. Despite the risk, the Inca decided to go in search of the flower to save his wife.

Cantuta Flower
Cantuta Flower

After many days of travel and overcoming numerous obstacles, the Inca reached the top of the mountain and found the flower. However, just as he picked it up, a great storm broke out, causing him to lose his balance and fall into the void. As he fell, the flower fell from his hands and vanished into thin air, but when it touched the ground, it became the beautiful flower of the Inca, which is said to have the ability to heal the heart and fill those who see it with happiness. a good story of Inca myths.

6. The fight between Huascar and Atahualpa

The Inca myth of the fight between the brothers Huáscar and Atahualpa is a story that tells the conflict between two brothers, for the power and control of the empire. Huascar was the eldest son and legitimate heir to the throne, while Atahualpa was the younger son and the fruit of an extramarital affair.

Huáscar became the Inca after the death of his father, and began to exercise his power in a despotic and cruel manner, which generated the disapproval of many nobles and citizens of the empire. On the other hand, Atahualpa won the affection and respect of the people thanks to his humility and wisdom.

Huascar Atahualpa
Huascar and Atahualpa

Finally, Atahualpa and his followers started a rebellion against Huáscar and defeated him in a bloody battle. Huáscar was captured and executed by Atahualpa, who became the new Inca and ruled the empire with wisdom and justice.

7. The legend of Lake Titicaca

The legend of Lake Titicaca is a story that tells how the Inca gods created the first human beings. According to the myth, the god Wiracocha decided to create men and women from a sacred stone found in the depths of Lake Titicaca.

As the Inca myths indicate, Wiracocha sent two gods, Con Tiqui Viracocha and Conopa, to extract the stone from the lake. The gods succeeded in extracting the stone and took it to the top of a mountain, where Wiracocha blew his divine breath on it and turned it into the first human beings: a man and a woman.

Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca

The Inca gods taught the new humans everything they needed to survive and prosper, including agriculture, house building and social organization. According to the myth, the sacred stone that gave rise to humans is still found on the top of the mountain near Lake Titicaca.

8. The legend of the spectacled bear

The myth of the spectacled bear is an Inca legend that tells the story of a brave hunter who lived in the Peruvian Andes. One day, while hunting in the forest, the hunter encountered a spectacled bear, a species of bear native to the Andes that is considered sacred by the Incas.

As this Inca myth goes, the hunter decided not to kill the bear, and instead, decided to take it home. There, the bear became a member of the family, and the hunter treated it with great respect and affection. The bear helped the hunter in his daily chores, and also taught him about the medicinal plants and healing herbs of the region.

Spectacled bears
Spectacled bear

One day, the hunter decided to release the bear and let it return to its natural habitat. The bear left, but soon returned to teach the hunter about the balance and harmony that exists between all living things in nature.

9. The origin of the llama

The mystical origin of the llama tells the story of how this animal, so important to Andean culture, came to be domesticated by humans. According to legend, many years ago, llamas were wild animals that roamed free in the Peruvian Andes. At that time, humans hunted llamas for their meat and wool.

One day, however, an Inca herder named Urcuchillay came across an injured llama and decided to care for and protect it. Urcuchillay took it to his home and cured it, giving it food and water. In time, the llama recovered and became a member of the shepherd’s family.

llama inca
Llama Inca

According to Inca myths llama helped Urcuchillay in his work as a shepherd, and also provided him with wool to make clothes and other products. Urcuchillay realized that, by domesticating the llama, he had found a more sustainable and efficient way to obtain the resources he needed to survive. Over time, the Incas learned to raise and care for llamas, making them one of the pillars of their economy and culture.

10. The story of Pachacutec

The myth of Pachacútec is an Inca legend that tells the story of one of the most important rulers of the Inca civilization. According to the legend, Pachacutec was born in the 14th century and was the son of an Inca ruler. Despite his noble lineage, Pachacutec was not noted for his military or political skills, but was a dreamer and curious young man who was always looking for new ways to learn and explore the world.

One day, while sleeping on a mountaintop, Pachacutec had a dream in which the god Wiracocha appeared to him and gave him instructions to build a new city. With the help of his advisors, Pachacutec built the city of Cusco and became its first ruler. Under his leadership, the city prospered and became the political and cultural center of the Inca civilization.


Pachacútec is also known for leading a series of successful military campaigns that expanded Inca territory and consolidated the power of the empire. In addition, Pachacútec is said to have been a great defender of Inca culture and to have promoted art, music and literature in his kingdom. In legend, Pachacutec is considered a hero and role model for later rulers of the Inca civilization, and his legacy continues to be revered in Andean culture to this day.

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