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Father Bernabe Cobo - Inca Religion and Customs - The celebration of diversity

Identifier

011750

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

What a wonderful, kind, wise belief system this was, what a horrific loss. 

A description of the experience

Father Bernabe Cobo - Inca Religion and Customs [translated by Roland Hamilton]

It must be pointed out that these people customarily worshiped and offered sacrifices to any natural things that were found to differ somewhat from others of the same kind because of some oddity or extraordinary quality found in them.

Thus the Indians were moved to believe that there was a mystery in God's creation of all those things that differed somewhat from the rest, for it was not by chance that God marked these things and set them apart from the ordinary.

On the basis of this idea, any man whose birth was unusual would be considered a guaca.

An example would be when two or three were born together from the same womb or when someone was born with some mark or peculiarity.

Great care was taken with these individuals in order to show them due respect and support. They were provided with whatever they needed or with some occupation by which they could earn their living without needing to work.

They said that these special individuals were marked by nature through some sort of mystery. This was a figment of their imaginations, and they let themselves be deceived very easily.

For instance, if a woman declared that she had become pregnant through the action of the Thunder without any man having touched her, they believed her. The child she gave birth to was held in great veneration, and from an early age it was consecrated to the cult of their gods. Anything out of the ordinary that happened to these people …. was attributed to this mystery.

The source of the experience

Incas

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Birthmark

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References