PERU: THE FIRST PEOPLE, THE FLOOD AND THE DEVIL

I will start with a creatorgods difficulties:

At the beginning of the world came from north a man called Con. He had no bones but flew agily wide. To make his way short he smoothed the mountains and filled the valleys solely by his will and his word, and he presented himself as Son of the Sun.

He populated the earth with men and women who he created and provided abundantly with fruits and corn and whatever else they needed for the maintenance of life.

But when some people annoyed him, he changed the fertile land he had given to humans to dry, lean sandy deserts, which they still find along the Peruvian coast, and took away from them the rain; in fact, it has never rained there ever since.

Merely by mercy, he allowed the humans to keep the rivers so that they could maintain life through irrigation and field work.

This is how the priest Francisco López de Gómara recounted the beginning of the world and the creation of the first people in America.

Admittedly, López had never been to America himself, but in Spain he had noted some of that the returning conquistadors had told they had heard with their own ears, and then the author published his book. How many conquistadors he had spoken to and how many people in Peru they had talked to and how is not known, so of course the source value can be discussed.

When the book was published in 1552, it was criticized for being inaccurate. Worse, it was not of good taste according to Prince Philip, who later became King Philip 2nd. Maybe it was because the author had been pastor of Hernán Cortés, Mexicos conqueror, who had been dismissed from his sovereign office. The year after López bookrelease, Philip issued a decree that the books should be withdawned – MUST BE DESTROYED! – and anyone who reprinted the book was threatened with a extremely fine.

However, the book was printed abroad and the stories retold.

López had written that Con was a flying man, that Con had presented himself as Son of the Sun and could change landscape and weather, and create people who annoyed him. The propagation of such blasphemy of Gods creation work – remembrance of the Bibles account of creation and description of Adam and Eves expulsion from Paradise – had to spark anger at a Spanish prince who expected to become Europes next Catholic Emperor. The right faith should be defended by all means.

Although it was a story of creation, readers did not get to know how Con had created. Lack of knowledge of the creation process is a point in many religions: Shh! Of the divine we can for good reasons know nothing. You must believe!

The power of priests is based on peoples faith, blind faith and impotence.

That Con was termed a man can be due to López’ imagination, conquistadors memories and explanations of Indians. However, this is how López wrote, and although Con had no bones, Con was added remarkable human qualities: to shorten the road by leveling mountains and filling valleys. Con had had a brain of an engineer in both creation and punishment!

Well, there could be many reasons why Prince Philip raged.

It is remarkable that it is told that Con is said to have presented him self as Son of the Sun, for that relationship links Con to the Inca civilization that sprouted nine hundred years ago. In the Inca civilization, there were also notions of the first earthly Incas brother who, after his violent death, had been seen flying over the mountains and who had been worshipped as a god. The Spanish conquistadors had listened to Incas who had not forgotten old Con.

Con is one of the oldest known gods in the Andes. Already 3,000 years before our era, Con was worshipped in the northern and central coastal areas of Peru, but was abandoned for the benefit of the earthquake god Pachacamac.

About two thousand years ago, people from the Nazca culture in Perus southern coastal area formed polished ceramic vessels, and some were decorated with mixed animals that were interpreted by archaeologists as a flying god representation that could be Con.

Con could also have been the floating god who could have been worshipped with huge line drawings in the sand, the Nazca lines, which best is enjoyed from above, and created by the toplayer of red sand and gravel has been pushed aside, so the underlying greyish layer – and the drawings – are seen.

López also related returning conquistadors who had told about Pachacamac:

Then Pachacamac came, also a son of the Sun and the Moon, and whose name means Creator. He chased Con away and transformed Cons people into those cats with black faces which are in the country. Then he started over, created new men and women as they still exist, and provided them with all they still own. As a thank for this welldoing, the people chose Pachacamac as their god.

Now it was the creator god Con, who was chased away and his people made to cats. So there had been another creation. This second creation account can be a belabouring of a conflict, a civilization breakdown for the surviving people and their transition to another faith.

The earthcreatorgod Pachacamac had been worshipped around the mouth of the Lurin River at the Pacific south of Lima, where a temple town emerged on the edge of desert and sea.

Pachacamac was possibly introduced at the expense of Con, because this had not fulfilled mens need of and prayers for rain. The temples still exist as ruins in the desert, and as the god the place is called Pachacamac.

When the Incas in the 15th century conquered this area from the Ichma civilization – which had evolved after the Huari Empire had declined – the Incas could have pushed Pachacamac aside just as Con had been pushed away. But the Incas were not like that. On the contrary, the Incas included the gods of others as part of their realm building. Pachacamac became part of their world of gods and they made him a sustaining god but also to the earthquake god and an important oracle.

The Incas built a Sun temple in the desert town of Pachacamac, so that no one would doubt their divine hierarchy. The earthcreator god Pachacamac held out the time of the Incas.

In January 1533, the Spaniards reached Pachacamac. At the head of forteen Spaniards, Francisco Pizarros brother Hernándo de-manded that all silver and gold should be handed over as well as the god statue, a very dirty idold made of wood, and they say that this is their god who created them and sustains them, wrote Miguel de Astete, one of the conquistadors who had participated in the assault with orders for the shrine to be overthrown and the image of the god to be destroyed in front of all those present.

The Catholic Spaniards did not only destroy Pachacamac because he was a pagan idol.

They also did it with the support of the Inca leader Atahualpa, who the Spanish conquistadors at that time held hostage. Atahualpa had become furious with the oracle Pachacamac. It had predicted that Atahualpas father, Sapa Inca Huayna Cápac, would survive his illness if he was brought out in the sun, yet he died. It also had predicted that Atahualpas hatred brother, Huáscar, would win over him in their War of Brothers and that Atahualpa would kill the Spaniards. As result of these false predictions, he now was the helpless hostage of the Spanish!

In short, the fault of the Pachacamac-oracle had been unforgivable and it had to be punished: Destroy Pachacamac!

So the Christian Spaniards did – also hoping to get the oracles silver and gold.

——————————

(pp. 32-35 in volume 2, reproduced without notes and illustrations):

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AZTECS AND INCAS: MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU. Edited, translated, retold and commented by Mikael Witte. Volume 1 + Volume 2

476 pages + 540 pages. Richly illustrated in colors

400  Dkr. for each volume (Danish tax is included) + shipping

Published by Selskabet for smukkere Byfornyelse

Sale: selskabetfor@outlook.dk

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