Ancestors of the Inka

Long before the Inkas reigned, there lived in these regions men like giants,
as large as the figures sculpted in stone reveal.

—Pedro de Cieza de León, chronicler of Peru, 1553

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    Inka trapezoidal doorway, Pisac, Peru, 2014. Photo by Doug McMains, NMAI.

Creation Stories

The Creator—Tiqzi Wiracocha

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    Select highlighted words to hear them spoken in Quechua.

    The Inka spoke the Quechua language, which is still spoken today in the Andes.


For ancient Andean peoples, the creator of the universe was Tiqzi Wiracocha. He created Inti (the sun), Mamaquilla (the moon), stars, plants, animals, and people. He laid out the main roads of the Qhapaq Ñan.