The Viracocha God

Posted on Posted in Legends Peru


Viracocha or Wiracocha is a pan Andean god, revered by different name and represented in different forms from the Late Arcaic period. It appears represented on the Caral mate (dried out squash), the Raimondi Estela in Chavin, the Karwa textiles in Paracas, the Sun Gate in Tiahuanaco, the ceremonial urns in Wari and the Koricancha temple of the Incas.

On myths and legends it shows as creator or world ruler. One of the myths tells that at the beginning Viracocha created the sky and the earth and populated them with plant, animals and primitive men that lived in darkness and chaos.

One day Viracocha emerged from Titicaca lake along with some helpers and punished the first men for their foolish acts and turned them into stone. Then Viracocha wished to improve his work and divided the cosmos in three parts: Hanan Pacha (the world up), Kay Pacha (the world here) and Uqu Pacha (the world inside). In the Hanan Pacha he created the sun, the moon, the stars and the rest of the celestial beings: ordering their functions and paths. In order to populate Kay Pacha, he created a new generation of men and women modelling rocks and stones that came to life to found the different towns and kingdoms. This new founders came out of Uqu Pacha (the depths of the earth) through the pacarinas: caves, lakes and springs.

Then, after putting in order the functions of the towns, plants, animals, rivers and all the beings in the world, Viracocha and his entourage went to the ocean and left walking over the foam.

The Incas called them Apu Kon Ticci Pachayachachic Viracocha and built in his honor the beautiful temple of Raqchi, San Pedro de Cacha (Sicuani, Cusco). He was also revered on the sacred rooms of the Koricancha.

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