- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Southwater (December 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844765199
- ISBN-13: 978-1844765195
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.5 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,000,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Myths and Religion of the Incas: An illustrated encyclopedia of the gods, myths and legends of the Incas, Paracas, Nasca, Moche, Wari, Chimu and ... 240 fine art illustrations and photographs Paperback – December 16, 2008
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As a separate note, I'm not sure "the first peoples of South America" is accurate either. The oldest human remains found in South America have been in Chile and Argentina. This book deals primarily with what is now Peru and Ecuador.
The illustrations are beautiful and nicely printed on glossy paper, but they are not clearly tied to the subject of the chapter. Many, including photos of Lake Titicaca, seem to be included simply because they're nice photos. Lake Titicaca photos appear on nine pages in the book. The sunken courtyard at Tiwanaku appears on pages 20, 22, 36, 39, and 74. A photo of the textile with the winged figure carrying the staff appears on page 6 as a close-up and on page 12 as a more inclusive shot, but there is no guide to the reader to check the other page to get a fuller understanding of the textile.
This book has some stunning photos. I wish some had more close-up detail, and a roll-out of the vases would be helpful, but the photos themselves are very good.
However, I would not recommend this book for someone interested in learning about the Incas. It's very confusing to include a dozen other cultures from varying time periods. It also makes the subject impossible to cover well. It might work better as "Ancestors of the Incas" with a series of chapters covering specific aspects of earlier cultures that were later absorbed into Inca beliefs.
These people were not all Incas. They lived and developed their cultures at Chavin, Tiwanaku, Nazca, Chinchorros, Chimu, Moche. The time periods go from 5000BC till after the Spaniards in the 1500s AD, to some information about the people today.
The book does a good job on the continuity of religious beliefs: dualism, the Staff Deity, and ancestor worship. Some common features of Andean cultures were temple platforms, sunken courts, ritual sacrifices (animal and human), and the cult of death.
With the rise of the Incas came an advanced, unique calendar.
The book needs one good map of South America and many maps showing the rise and fall of different groups' influence through time.
The book is spectacular. The photos are beautiful and there are LOTS of them.
Like other cultures, the Andean cultures had:
a monkey god 12
a beheading god with multiple faces, multiple arms, holding up a knife and a head 60
a god with snakes on the head 67
a god with the head of a cow 15
navigation using reed boats 35, 62, 79, 82
Asian-looking eyes 14
A place called Sipan, lots of place names with Chin and Chan syllables
peacock themes 17
a god with a serpent tongue 59
diamond patterned wall construction 42, 80
checkerboard pattern wall construction 42
cayman/crocodile images 54
tiger images 55
human images wearing turban 65, 100
a rainbow serpent god 66
a god with weeping eyes 67
child sacrifice 68
giant stone statues 76
trapezoid doorways 84
litter with palm bearer 86
images of bearded old men 92
images of moustaches, Asian featured men 100