In Inca mythology, Inti was the sun god and the supreme god of the Inca pantheon. The Incas believed that Inti was the ancestor of their people, linking him with the Inca emperor who was known as the "Son of the Sun." From the early 1400s to the mid-1500s, the Inca empire included much of western South America.

The Incas generally portrayed Inti as a golden disk with a human face surrounded by rays and flames. Images of the god were often of gold, which was called "the sweat of the sun." His wife, Mama Kilya, was the goddess of the moon. Both deities were thought of as kind and generous.

Every June the Incas honored Inti in a raymi, or festival, that included dancing and the sacrifice of animals. Throughout the Inca empire stood stone posts or columns called intihuatanas, "hitching posts of the sun." These structures were probably solar calendars, like sundials, used for observing and predicting the sun god's motion through the heavens.

pantheon all the gods of a particular culture

deity god or goddess

See also Inca Mythology .

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