Every thing youever need to know about Capacocha

Aug 26, 2021 - 09:01

Capacocha or Qhapaq hucha (Quechua: qhapaq noble, solemn, principal, mighty, royal, hucha crime, sin, guilt Hispanicized spellings Capac cocha, Capaccocha, Capacocha, also qhapaq ucha) was an important sacrificial rite among the Inca that typically involved the sacrifice of children.

Children of both sexes were selected from across the Inca empire for sacrifice in capacocha ceremonies, which were performed at important shrines distributed across the empire, known as huacas, or wak'akuna. Capacocha ceremonies took place under several circumstances. Some could be undertaken as the result of key events in the life of the Sapa Inca, the Inca Emperor, such as his ascension to the throne, an illness, his death, the birth of a son.

At other times, Capacocha ceremonies were undertaken to stop natural disasters performed as major festivals or processions at important ceremonial sites. The rationale for this type of sacrificial rite has typically been understood as the Inca trying to ensure that humanity's best were sent to join their deities.

The children chosen for sacrifice in a capacocha ceremony were typically given alcohol and coca leaves and deposited at the place of the ceremony.

Sacrifice was primarily carried out through four methods:


a blow to the head,

suffocation, or

being buried alive while unconscious,

though if the ceremony was carried out in a particularly cold place, they could die from hypothermia. Some Spanish records tell of Incas removing victims' hearts, but no evidence of this has been found in the archaeological record; it seems more likely that this practice was witnessed by the Spaniards among the Aztecs and wrongly attributed to the Incas as well.

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