Of Summits and Sacrifice: An Ethnohistoric Study of Inka Religious Practices

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Overview

In perhaps as few as one hundred years, the Inka Empire became the largest state ever formed by a native people anywhere in the Americas, dominating the western coast of South America by the early sixteenth century. Because the Inkas had no system of writing, it was left to Spanish and semi-indigenous authors to record the details of the religious rituals that the Inkas believed were vital for consolidating their conquests. Synthesizign these arresting accounts that span three centuries, Thomas Besom presents a wealt of descriptive data on the Inka practices of human sacrifice and mountain worship, supplemented by archaeological evidence.

Of Summits and Sacrifice offers insight into the symbolic connections between landscape and life that underlay Inka religious beliefs. In vivid prose, Besome links significant details, ranging from the reasons for cyclical sacrificial rites to the varieties of mountain deities, producing a uniquely powerful cultural history.

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What People Are Saying

Johan Reinhard
This is an important contribution. There is no equivalent book that brings together in such detail the historical sources dealing with the topic of Inka human sacrifice and mountain worship.
Johan Reinhard, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographical Society
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292719774
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Prologue Chapter 1: Ethnohistory and the Inkas Chapter 2: Qhapaq Hucha Sacrifice Chapter 3: Other Types of Sacrifice Chapter 4: Mountain Worship Chapter 5: Mountain Offerings Chapter 6: Reasons for Worshipping Mountains Chapter 7: Material Correlates of Mountain Worship Chapter 8: Conclusions Epilogue Notes Glossary of Andean Names and Terms Reference List Index
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