Machu Picchu: Myths and Legends (2/2)


The legend continued

There was a poor old man, tired and without cover, who could barely stand. An old Incan comes and covers him with his cloak, sitting together on a massive rock. The old man told the Incan “I await Inti,” and the Incan replied, “but he has not come.” The old man requested patience, as Inti always keeps his promises, to which the Incan man made a food and drink offering to Inti. After this, the Incan man offered to take the valley when he saw that the old became a strong and richly dressed man. He was the Inti god!

The Inti god said, “now I realize that compassion and humility have returned. I promise not to leave the Cusco sky and to build a temple here for selected women, in honor of the goddess Quilla, who interceded for you, and in the exact place where you and I ate.” He then built an altar to serve as a symbol of his promise.

Thus, this mountain is called “Machu Picchu,” which means ‘Old Mountain,’ and within the village is the flat rock called “Inti Huatana”, which means ‘place where the sun is tied.’

Other legends: “The Virgins of the Sun”

The city of Machu Picchu, very closely linked to the Sun cults, was a great necropolis, as various sacred women were buried within the sacred precinct.

The virgins of the Sun were in charge of maintaining the sacred fire Power, and, it is also said that on some nights, using a large green stone (emerald), these women captured the power of the stars and that gave them the gift of clairvoyance.

Apparently in Cuzco there was a sort of priestesses school, where the sacred women were initiated in special rituals and sacred ceremonies, as is the case in the production of fermented corn liquor, which is consumed during the “fiestas del Sol” (‘parties of the sun’).

According to some studies, the Inca king could choose his wife from these sacred women. The chosen women priestess would become the companion of the Living God.


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