For other uses, see Inti (disambiguation).
Inti modern depictions
Inti or Sun of May of the flag of Argentina, 1818
Inti in a provisory flag of Peru, as designed by José Bernardo de Tagle, 1822
Inti or Sun of May of the flag of Uruguay, 1828
Inti is the ancient Incan sun god. Worshiped as a patron deity of the Inca Empire, he is of unknown mythological origin. The most common story says that he is the son of Viracocha, the god of civilization.
1 Legends and history,
3 Inti Raymi,
4 In popular culture,
5 See also,
Legends and history:
Inti and his wife, Mama Quilla, the Moon goddess, were generally considered benevolent deities. Mama Quilla supposedly gave birth to the Earth. The founding Inca ancestor, known as Manco Cápac, was thought to have been the son of Inti. According to an ancient myth, Inti taught his son Manco Cápac and his daughter Mama Ocllo the arts of civilization and they were sent to earth to pass this knowledge to mankind. Another legend however states Manco Cápac was the son of Viracocha.
Inti ordered his children to build the Inca capital where a divine golden wedge they carried with them would penetrate the earth. Incas believed this happened in the city of Cuzco. The Inca ruler was considered to be the living representative of Inti. Pachacuti is often linked to the origin and expansion of the Inca Sun Cult.
The Willaq Umu was the high priest of the Sun (Inti). His position placed him as the second most powerful person in the kingdom. He was directly underneath the Sapa Inca, and they were often brothers. The emperor and his family were believed to be descended from Inti.
Inti was also known as Apu Punchau, which means "leader of the daytime". Inti is represented as a golden disk with a human face. A great golden disk representing Inti was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1571 and was sent to the pope via Spain. It has since been lost.
The Inca dedicated many ceremonies to the Sun in order to ensure the Sapa Inca's welfare. The sun was also important to the Incas, particularly the people of the highlands, because it was necessary for the production of crops like maize and other grains. The sun's heat was also thought to cause rain. During the rainy season the sun was hotter and brighter, while during the dry season it was weaker.
The Incas would set aside large quantities of natural and human resources throughout the empire for Inti. Each conquered province was supposed to dedicate a third of their lands and herds to Inti as mandated by the Inca. Each major province would also have a Sun Temple in which male and female priests would serve. The female priests were the mamakuna, who were chosen from the aqllakuna ("Chosen Women"), and they would weave special cloth and brew chicha for festivities and sacrafices to Inti.
The festival of Inti Raymi, which honors the sun god, now attracts many tourists each year to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire.
The festival of Inti was held during the winter solstice, which was around June 24 in the Incan Empire. The festival was held in Cuzco and was attended by the four sectors of Tahuantinsuyu. In Quechua, Inti Raimi, means "resurrection of the sun" or "the way/path of the sun." Military captains, government officials, and the vassals who attended were dressed in their best costumes, and carried their best weapons and instruments.
Preparation for the festival of Inti Raymi began with a fast of three days, where also during those days there was no fire lit and the people refrained from sexual intercourse. This festival itself would last nine days, and during this time the people consumed massive amounts of food and drink. There were many sacrifices as well which were all performed on the first day. After the nine days everyone would leave with the permission of the Inca back to their mayan.
In popular culture:
A card in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, Sun Dragon Inti, is based on this sun god. This was not true.
Inti is also the name of one of five children in The Power of five. series written by Anthony Horowitz. He was from ancient Peru. The author is suggesting that the god is named after the boy.