Viracocha or Wiracocha, who was this mythical personage, venerated with diverse names and represented of varied forms from the Late Archaic period? This enigmatic deity is represented in Caral’s mate, Chavin’s Raimondi Stela, Paracas’s Karwa weaves, Tiahuanaco’s Sun’s cover, Wari’s ceremonial urns, and the Koricancha Temple of the Incas.
Viracocha is the great god, the creator in pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andean region of South America. His full name is Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqucha and Con-Tici (also spelled Kon-Tiki ) Viracocha. Viracocha was one of the most important deities of the Inca Empire who was considered the creator of all things , or the substance from which all things are created; Was intimately related to the sea.
Viracocha created the universe, the sun, the moon, the stars, time (ordering the sun to move only by the sky) and civilization on earth. Viracocha was worshiped as the god of the sun and storms . He was depicted using the sun as a crown, with beams in each hand, and tears in his eyes in the form of rain.
According to the myth recorded by Juan de Betanzos, Viracocha left Lake Titicaca (from the cave of Pacaritambo according to others) in times of darkness bringing with it the light. He created the sun, the moon and the stars.
He created mankind by blowing on the stones and from this first creation turned out to be brainless giants which displeased him enough. So he destroyed them with a flood and from the smaller stones he created a better humanity. Finally, Viracocha disappeared in the Pacific Ocean (when walking on water) never to return. He traveled the world disguised as a beggar, teaching his new creation the foundations of civilization, as well as performing many miracles. He cried when he saw the suffering of the creatures he had created. It was believed that Viracocha would appear again in times of difficulty.
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa noted that Viracocha was described as:
A man of medium stature, white and dressed in a white robe, like a bow fastened to his waist, and carrying a staff and a book in his hands.
One of the legends of Viracocha says that he had a son, Inti, and two daughters, Mama Quilla and Pachamama. In this legend, it destroys the people of Lake Titicaca with a great flood called Unu Pachakuti, saving only two humans to bring civilization to the rest of the world; These two beings are Manco Capac, son of Inti (sometimes he is taken as the son of Viracocha), whose name means “splendid foundation”, and Mama Ocllo, that means “mother of the fertility”. The two sought a suitable place where the gold rod called “Tapac-Yauri” to sink the Inca civilization would sink. In another legend, it is related that it was father of the first eight civilized human beings. In some stories, he has a wife named Mama Cocha.
It is the image we appreciate the worldview of the Andean world that the Incas kept in gold plates on the walls of the Main Altar of the Temple of Coricancha in Cusco. In the sixteenth century, the chronicler Aymara – Kana Yamqui Pachacuti Salcamayhua, drawing the figure of said altar writing the meanings of each sign. The image represents the Order of Viracocha Pachayachachic, in which the human pair is part harmonic of the whole.
When the first chroniclers arrived in America, Spanish was in full evolution and its alphabet still lacked regulations. In such cases, it was common to use both the v and the u to represent the vowel (u) and the semiconsonant (w), today represented as uo hu. For this reason was mostly transcribed as Viracocha, although some also wrote, Huiracocha and Huiraccocha. Other versions were Ticci, Tiqsi or Tiksi.
According to the chronicler Sarmiento de Gamboa, Viracocha means “fat or foam of the sea” because when God came out of the land of Peru with his servants, they walked on the water like foam. This supports the hypothesis that “Viracocha” results from the combination of wira and qucha. In Quechua, qucha is “extension of water” while wira means “fat, greasy”.
However, Professor Jaime Salazar, a passionate student of Andean culture, maintains that “Wiraqochan” expresses “source of life”.
Viracocha according to the manuscript of Huarochirí:
The identity of Viracocha is combining with the idol Cuniraya in the first chapter of the Manuscript of Huarochirí. The addition of the name of Viracocha to worship that idol shows that it was invoked and respected. And people adore you before you start working hard in the fields.
The myth that follows explains the exploits of Cuniraya Viracocha and the way in which he deceives the beautiful huaca Cavillaca. All the huacos desire it but nevertheless she did not sleep with anyone. One day, Cuniraya Viracocha transforms into a bird and plants its male germ into a fruit. When she eats the fruit, she becomes pregnant without having sex. When Cavillaca tries to identify the father of his son, Cuniraya Viracocha appears as a poor beggar and tries to recover his son. She does not believe him and runs off to the sea where she and her son become islands. He tries to find her and asks several animals for help, but arrives too late. When it reaches the sea, it violates the youngest daughter of Pachacamac, another deity. When the mother tries to punish him, he escapes. Wandering the earth.
Other information about Viracocha
-In other legends it is also said that before leaving, he delegated the secondary tasks of creation in his two assistants, Toca pu Viracocha and Imaymana Viracocha, who immediately went east and west of the Andes, to give life and name To all the plants and animals that were making appear on the earth, in a beautiful auxiliary mission of the one realized before by Viracocha.
-It is also noted that he had a companion in the form of a golden hummingbird, knower of the past, present and future, his name was “Inti.”
-The chroniclers point out that Tiqsi Viracocha came from Tiahuanaco and created beings in his likeness. Some versions mention that he made the world; That on his pilgrimage he came to Cacha, where his inhabitants tried to kill him: he knelt, lifted his hands to the sky, and brought down a fire that burned the region. Then he went on his way and reached the sea, where he met his servants and embarked with them.
– Two anthropologists from the Field Museum in Chicago and the University of Northern Illinois in the United States found the fragment of a mate or zucchini with the figure of the god.
The finding occurred in a cemetery in Norte Chico, about 200 kilometers north of Lima.
The representation of the deity with tusks and claws engraved some 4,000 years ago in the fragment of a vessel would indicate that the cult of Viracocha is a thousand years older than previously thought.
The carbon 14 tests showed that the engraving on the vessel fragment dates from about 2250 BC.
The figure of Viracocha was apparently etched into the vessel with a hot punch.
-In the reign of Yawar Waqaq was ordered to build the temple of Viracocha in the city of Cusco, of which still some vestiges remain.