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Estudios atacameños

On-line version ISSN 0718-1043


OTERO, Clarisa; AKMENTINS, Mauricio Sebastián  and  QUINTEROS, Andrés Sebastián. Animals in action: ritual uses of wildlife and zoomorphic representations in inca contexts of Pucará de Tilcara (Quebrada de Humahuaca, Argentina). Estud. atacam. [online]. 2021, vol.67, 5.  Epub May 25, 2021. ISSN 0718-1043.

Inca religious beliefs and practices, with greater emphasis during its promulgation throughout the Tawantinsuyu, were consolidated with the articulation of ideas and rituals from the natural and supernatural environment. They get improved with the evocation of a mythical past that conditioned the present, and the veneration of a wide range of beings and elements of the stellar, human, animal and landscape order. In this work we analyze the evidence that refers to the religious manifestations of the inhabitants of Pucará de Tilcara, defined as the capital of the Inca province of Omaguaca. Among the set of materialities, through an interdisciplinary approach nourished mainly by herpetology, we study the archaeological contexts that involved the manipulation of wildlife, as well as the use of objects with varied zoomorphic representations. The interpretation of the archaeological record, also appealing to its correlation with anthropological and ethnohistoric sources, allowed us to say that certain animals, as well as their representations, functioned as active means of the natural environment to encourage fertility, promote the socioeconomic reproduction of communities, access to the germination power of ancestors and identify climatic and temporal marks.

Keywords : Andean religion; sacred animals; fertility; interdisciplinary approach; materialities.

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