Inca Gold: Illapa

As a mostly agriculture-based society, the Inca worshipped what was important to them. They worshipped Inti the Sun-God who provided sunlight and enlightenment. Mama Quilla the Moon-god who provided the seasons, protection from the dark, and was a protector of women. The third God would be the essential piece missing for an agricultural society to thrive and that God’s name was Illapa, Master of Clouds Rain and Hail.

The Inca believed that when it rained it was because a jug of water had been spilled from a broken water jug high in the sky. This water jug contained water from the Milk Way Galaxy.

Works cited:

https://religionoftheinca.weebly.com/inca-gods.html

Inca Gold: Viracocha

Viracocha was considered to be the father of all other Inca gods. He created the earth, heavens, sun, moon, and all things living. After Viracocha finished his work he traveled the world teaching humanity and introducing civilized arts. It was believed that after Viracocha was finished creating the world that he traveled far and wide teaching and influencing his creations. His next step would be to move west across the Pacific. Never to be seen again but promising to return. In his absence, lesser gods were assigned to the duty of managing the human race.

Inca lore surrounding Viracocha states that humans were his second attempt at creating life. He originally created a race of giants , made of stone , in the age of darkness. The ogre race was found to be unruly and Viracocha found it suitable to punish them with a great flood. The giants that survived were eventually returned to their natural stone form. Some of these stone giants can still be seen today at sites such as Tiahuanaco and Pukara.

For his second attempt Viracocha tried using clay. He also gifted them clothes, language , agriculutre, and arts. It was during this time he created the Sun , moon , and stars. It’s believed that all of these creations were created from the islands in Lake Titicaca. Viracocha was satisfied and felt he could he continue this path around the world. It is believed he ended in Manta (near Ecuador), then Viracocha walked across the waters of the Pacific heading west. He promised to return one day to the Inca.

Works cited:

https://www.ancient.eu/Viracocha/

Inca Gold: Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo

Inti was concerned for the Tiawanako people. Living along the shores of Lake Titicaca, the Tiawanako people were mostly fishermen. Inti felt his people deserved more.

The son and daughter of Inti and Mama Quilla; Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo were created to civilize the Inca people and guide them to enlightenment. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo were told by their parents to search for fertile land upon which their empire would be built. Inti gifted Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo a golden stick. Inti instructed them that the stick would sink if the wielder was standing in the promised land. The promised land they found was a region near Lake Titicaca.

The shores of Lake Titicaca were inhabited by the Tiawanako people. Because of the gold stick, the fancy clothes, and jewelry Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo wore they were perceived as Gods by the Tiawanako people. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo taught the men how to create a society and worship the Sun God. Mama Ocllo taught the women domestic tasks such as textile and provisioning.

Works cited:

https://www.machupicchu.org/the_legend_of_manco_capac_and_mama_ocllo.htm

Inca Gold: Mama Quilla

Mama Quilla or Mother Moon governed the festival calendar of the Inca. She represented the seasonal cycles, health, prosperity, divination, and time. Mama Quilla was insightful to the Inca. She could warn of impending danger through the means of eclipses and provide guidance through divination. She was the sister and wife of Inti, daughter of Viracocha and mother of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo ( the founders of the Inca empire and culture). She was widely viewed as a defender of women and was the Goddess of marriage and the menstrual cycle.

Divination was common in Inca society. While the Sun is shining, sit beneath the shade of a tree and watch closely as the Sun’s light shines through the branches and leaves. While observing the shadows cast and the patterns it would make one should keep a question in their mind. Mama Quilla’s response would be written in the patterns and changes of light in the shadows. Another common divination ritual was for unfavorable weather. In the event of unfavorable weather, place any yellow-colored herbs on a fire source and watch what unfolds. Popping or flying indicates lots of energy and positive response. Smouldering indicated anger and an iffy response. Finally, if the flames died out completely then this was understood as a definite negative and one should not proceed.

Lore suggests that Mama Quilla cried tears of pure silver and that Lunar eclipses were caused when Mama Quilla was under attack by an animal ( usually a supernatural jaguar, mountain lion, or serpent ). The Incas feared lunar eclipses as they believed that during the eclipse if Mama Quilla was not protected by the Inca and the attack was successful then the entire world would be left in total darkness. The method of defending Mama Quilla was to make as much noise as possible. This would frighten the attacker and ultimately save the entire world. This tradition continued even after the Inca were converted to Catholicism by the Conquistadors. Unfortunately for the Inca, the Spanish could predict when eclipses would take place; thus using it to their advantage against the Inca.

To be continued..

Works cited:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mama-Quilla

Inca Gold: Inti

Inti God of The Sun and Patron of Empire and Conquest was all-powerful. Inti was married to the goddess of the moon Quilla ( or Mama Quilla ). The original leader and founder of the Inca civilization, Manco Capac and his wife Mama Ocllo were believed to be guided by Inti or may have even been the son and daughter of Inti and Mama Quilla. This connection to humans allowed Inca rulers to claim divinity and act as translators between the Gods and the Inca people.

It wasn’t until the Wiraqocha Inca (1425 CE) or the 9th Inca ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (1438-1471 CE) that the cult of Inti really became established and helped promote Inti to an all-powerful ruler. Inti was not the divine ruler though. This burden weighed on Viracocha. Viracocha was higher in status than all the other Gods and lived on a private island in Lake Titicaca. Viracocha usually remained in the background regarding worldly affairs and allowed the other gods to govern the Incas. With the expansion of the Inca empire and a fixation on Inti and sun worship; It was not long until every city in the Inca empire contained a shrine to Inti. Sun worship was quickly integrated into the religions of the conquered peoples and used as imperial propaganda that the Inca were the people with a divine right to rule.

The greatest of these temples dedicated to Inti was the Coricancha Temple or “House of The Sun”. The temple was located in the sacred district of the capital of Cusco. It was at the Coricancha that the most senior High Priest of The Sun (Villac Umu) presided over rites in honour of Inti. The High Priest of the Sun was exclusively assisted by young virgin priestesses. Both female and male priests were allowed to carry out sun ceremonies but only virgin priestesses were allowed to assist The High Priest of The Sun.

Inti was usually represented through art. A gold statue, a sun disk, or a golden mask. Gold ( or the sweat of the sun as sun worshipers believed ) was his gift and he should be honored through it. The Temple of The Sun interior was exactly that. It’s walls lined with a thick gold plate ( 700 half-meter panels of beaten gold whilst outside the temple was a life-size scene of a field of corn with llamas and shepherds all made from gold and silver. Inside the shrine held the most sacred statue of Inti. The statue was of Inti but as a small seated boy, called Punchao (Day or Midday Sun). From head to shoulders sun rays protruded from him. His head wrapped in a royal headband and also had snakes and lions coming out of his body. The stomach of the statue was hollow and used to contain the vital organs of previous Inca rulers. Every day this statue would be moved outside and into the golden field so that Inti could absorb the sun’s rays.

To be continued..

Works Cited:

https://www.ancient.eu/Inti/

https://www.ancient.eu/Inca_Civilization/

Inca Gold: A Brief History

It’s important to understand that the Andreans (Aboriginal inhabitants of the area of the Central Andes in South America) didn’t have a written language, they hadn’t developed the wheel, money, buying and selling, or even the concept of an economy. Imagine a world with no economy and a strong religious presence but with an excess of gold.

The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. The Inca created one of the largest and cohesive empires the world has ever known in under a century. Every aspect of Inca culture was encompassed by religion. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. Success or failure in any form was considered to be directly influenced by their gods. For the Inca, Gold was a gift from the Inti and it should be used to honor him along with the other Inca gods. If Inti was not honored there could be severe consequences.

Inti was the God of The Sun and The Patron of Empire and Conquest. Inti was revered and held in prestige by his devoted. He gave and he took away as he saw fit. Every city had temples devoted to Inti. The most significant temple of the Inca empire was Coricancha in Cusco city. Coricancha means “house of gold” in Quechua ( Inca official language). Its walls were covered in thick gold layers. Innumerable amounts of gold coins, jewelry, and religious artifacts dedicated to Inti were inside. Where’s all the gold now? What happened to it? What happened to the people who supposedly recovered it? We’ll explore these topics in more in the following weeks!

To be continued..

Sources Cited:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/archaeology/lost-inca-gold/

https://nga.gov.au/exhibition/incas/default.cfm?IRN=227632&BioArtistIRN=91406&MnuID=SRCH&ViewID=2

On this Day, March 27…

Historical Events

  • 1513 – Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida
  • 1855 – Abraham Gesner patents kerosene
  • 1866 – Andrew Rankin patents the urinal
  • 1866 – US President Andrew Johnson vetoes civil rights bill; it later becomes 14th amendment
  • 1879 – Longest championship fight (136 rounds)
  • 1884 – 1st long-distance telephone call, Boston-NY
  • 1914 – 1st successful non-direct blood transfusion is performed by Dr. Albert Hustin in Brussels
  • 1915 – Typhoid Mary [Mary Mallon] is arrested and returned to quarantine on North Brother Island, New York after spending five years evading health authorities and causing several further outbreaks of typhoid
  • 1931 – Charlie Chaplin receives France’s distinguished Legion of Honor
  • 1939 – 1st NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: U of Oregon beats Ohio State, 46-33
  • 1941 – Adolf Hitler signs Directive 27 (assault on Yugoslavia)
  • 1948 – Just 11 days after being released from prison, Billie Holiday plays in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall
  • 1952 – “Singin’ in the Rain”, a musical comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
  • 1964 The Great Alaska Earthquake (9.2 magnitude) and resulting tsunami kill 139 people in the largest US earthquake and second largest ever recorded
  • 1973 – 45th Academy Awards: “The Godfather”, Marlon Brando & Liza Minnelli win. Marlon Brando then turns down the Oscar for best actor to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.
  • 1977 – 583 die in aviation’s worst-ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide at Tenerife airport in Spain
  • 1979 – US Supreme Court rules 8-1 that cops can’t randomly stop cars
  • 1980 – Mount St Helens becomes active after 123 years
  • 1984 – Beginning of “tanker war”: over the next 9 months, 44 ships, including Iranian, Iraqi, Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti tankers, are attacked by Iraqi or Iranian warplanes or damaged by mines
  • 1995 67th Academy Awards: “Forrest Gump”, Jessica Lange & Tom Hanks win
  • 1998 – Chicago Bulls – Atlanta Hawks matchup at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, draws a crowd of 62,046, largest in any game in NBA history; Bulls win, 89-74
  • 2134 – 32nd predicted perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet

Famous Birthdays

  • 1845 – Wilhelm Röntgen, German physicist who discovered X-rays (Nobel 1901), born in Lennep, Rhine Province (d. 1923)
  • 1963 – Quentin Tarantino, American director and screenwriter (Pulp Fiction), born in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 1971 – Mariah Carey, American singer (Love Takes Time, Hero), born in NYC, New York
  • 1975 – Fergie Duhamel, American pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), born in Hacienda Heights, California

Famous Deaths

  • 1916 – Susan Blow, American educator who pioneered kindergarten education and was known as the “Mother of the Kindergarten”, dies at 72
  • 1968 – Yuri Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut and 1st man into space (aboard Vostok 1), dies in a Mig-15 plane crash at 34
  • 2002 – Dudley Moore, English actor and comedian (10, Arthur, Bedazzled), dies at 66

Source:onthisday.com

On This Day, March 20th

This day was quite historically significant!

World Events

  • 1602 United Dutch East Indian Company (VOC) forms
  • 1800 Alessandro Volta reports his discovery of the electric battery in a letter to Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society of London
  • 1815 Napoleon enters Paris after escape from Elba, begins 100-day rule
  • 1890 German Emperor Wilhelm II fires chancellor Otto von Bismarck
  • 1900 US Secretary of State John Hay announces that all nations to whom he sent notes calling for an ‘open door’ policy in China have essentially accepted his stand
  • 1933 Dachau the first Nazi concentration camp, is completed
  • 2016 Barack Obama becomes the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 3-day tour

Sports, Film, TV, and Music

  • 1952 24th Academy Awards: “An American in Paris”, Humphrey Bogart & Vivian Leigh win
  • 1973 Roberto Clemente elected to Hall of Fame, 11 weeks after his death in a plane crash

Famous Birthdays

  • Carl Reiner – 96 Years Old
  • Fred (Mister) Rogers – (1928 – 2003)
  • Spike Lee – 61 Years Old

On This Day (Tomorrow) March 14

Today’s post looks ahead to tomorrow, pi day!

Tomorrow, March 14 is Pi Day, an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi), which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The trillion-digit ratio is rounded to 3.14.

Albert Einstein was born and Stephen Hawking died on Pi Day. But of course, there is more than coincidences on this mathematically based holiday. There are savings on, you guessed it, pies of all varieties. The discounts range from coconut cream to deep dish pepperoni. More on some of the discounts are listed below.

Here are some fun Pi Day facts from PiDay.org.

  1. Since the exact value of pi can never be calculated, we can never find the accurate area or circumference of a circle.
  2. Although Pi day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14), the exact time for celebration is 1:59 pm so that the exact number 3.14159 can be reached.
  3. There is an interesting reason why the name ‘pi’ was coined. Before the name pi came, mathematicians had to say a mouthful. The only descriptive phrase they could use was “the quantity which when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference”. Pi was named pi by William Jones, a not-so-popular mathematician.
  4. There is an entire language made on the number Pi. But how is that possible? Well, some people love pi enough to invent a dialect in which the number of letters in the successive words are the same as the digits of pi. But it is not just another nerd quirk that nobody knows about. Mike Keith wrote an entire book, called ‘Not a Wake’ in this language.
  5.  The calculation of pi is a stress test for a computer. It works just like a digital cardiogram since it indicates the level of activity within the computer’s processor.
  6. William Shanks, a British mathematician, worked manually to find the digits of pi. He spent many years trying to calculate the pi digits by hand and found the first 707 digits. Unfortunately, the 527th digit he found was wrong, which made his efforts of finding the remaining digits useless because they were all wrong by default.
  7. Even comedians use pi to make people crack at their jokes. John Evans, a comedian, once said in his performances, “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π.”

We can geek-out all day for the math behind π but you probably want to know what deals are available for your pie cravings. Here are just a few from USA Today (link below to their complete list).

  • 7-Eleven: With the 7Rewards app, get one slice of pizza for 50 cents. Or buy a whole pie in-store and get 314 7Rewards bonus points. With 7NOW, the convenience store chain’s delivery service, get up to two whole pizzas for $3.14 each. 
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Get a mini one-topping pizza for $3.14 Thursday. Dine-in only. Learn more at www.bjsrestaurants.com/piday.
  • Cicis: Buy one adult buffet and large drink Thursday and get a second adult buffet for $3.14 with a coupon.
  • California Pizza Kitchen: Get a slice of Key Lime Pie for $3.14 Thursday.
  • Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen: Order the restaurant’s Homemade Chicken Pot Pie for dining in or to-go Thursday and get a free second pie to bake at home. No coupon needed, and Cheddar’s says it will provide the baking instructions. Learn more at www.cheddars.com/pieday.
  • Kroger: Select pies are $3.14 for Pi Day including apple, cherry, peach and pumpkin pies.
  • Schlotzsky’s: The fast-casual chain is celebrating National Potato Chip Day Thursday. Get a free bag of potato chips with entrée purchase. (So, the sandwich shop famous for round sandwiches is celebrating Potato Chip Day rather than Pi Day!? That’s ridiculous.)
  • Whole Foods Market: Large bakery pies are $3.14 off the regular price Thursday. Varieties vary by region.

Here is the full list from USA Today.

So throw your dieting plans out the window for just one day this month and indulge in some π!