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Father Bernabe Cobo - Inca Religion and Customs - Titicaca Temple of the Sun and Moon 2

Identifier

011747

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

 

Hilarious, what a judgemental old bigot he was to be sure ............... it sounds idyllic to me.

A description of the experience

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

The size, form, and location of the sanctuary of Titicaca, after the Inca enlarged and enhanced it, was as follows.

The crag that was so venerated was out in the open, and the temple was next to it, located in such a way that this crag was about where the cemetery would be, or to put it more properly, within the main chapel, even though it was out in the open; actually it was the most sacred place. The front of it faces north, and the back faces south; there is not much to the concave part of it, which is what they worshiped.

The altar of the Sun was inside. The convex part is the living stone, whose slopes reach out as far as the water, where there is a cove made by the lake. The adornment was a covering over the convex part, a curtain of cumbi, which was the finest and most delicate piece [of this cloth] that has ever been seen. And the entire concave part of it was covered with sheets of gold, and they threw the offerings into some holes that can still be seen now.

Ahead of this crag and altar a round stone can be seen which is like a basin, admirably wrought, about as large as a medium-sized millstone, with its orifice; the stone is used at the foot of a cross now. The chicha for the Sun to drink was tossed into this orifice.

The temple was located to the east, about forty paces from the crag. In it the image of the Sun was worshiped, and along with it the images of the Thunder and the other gods that the Indians worshiped. And in the windows, cupboards, or niches along the walls, many idols were placed. Some of the idols were in human form, others were shaped like sheep [llamas], and others were of birds, and other animals. All of the idols were made of copper, silver, and gold. Some of them were large, and others small.

Near the temple the ruins of a storehouse of the Sun can be seen, and the chambers of this place look like the labyrinth of Crete. The skillful workmanship that characterized the construction of this superstitious shrine can be seen in the large walls and other traces of it that remain standing today.

In addition, the outline of a garden with its walk lined with alder trees is visible, and under the shadows of these trees there were some very well made baths of stone that were constructed on the Inca's orders…………………

There was constant communication between the priests and attendants of this shrine [on the Island of Titicaca] and those of Coata, and there were frequent missions from one island to the other with large groups returning the visits. The attendants of both sanctuaries pretended that the Sun's wife [the Moon] sent him messages, however this might have been done by the Moon in the Indian's estimation.

The Sun answered these messages with caresses of tender fondness and mutual love, and this took up a great deal of time. For this purpose a great many rafts were used that went back and forth from one island to the other. And in order to show a live representation of this, the chief attendant at the site of the shrine took the part of representing the person of the Sun, and at the site of the other one, an Indian woman took the part of the person of the Moon.

They would drink to each other's health, and the lady who represented the Moon caressed the man who had the part of the Sun.

She would beg him with her caresses to shine brightly every day, never hiding his rays, so that they would make the fields fruitful until the time when the rains were necessary. In addition to this she would ask him to keep the Inca alive, in good health, and rested. She also asked the same for the others who with so much faith and devotion took care of the services and rites of the Sun.

And the person who pretended to be the Sun would respond with enough flowery words to fit the occasion. In this delirium these wretched people wasted their lives in such mindless and idle pursuits [sic]. And everything ended up in a drinking bout, which was their greatest satisfaction in life……………..

The source of the experience

Incas

Concepts, symbols and science items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References