Lightning in the Andes and Mesoamerica: Pre-Columbian, by John E. Staller

By John E. Staller

Lightning has evoked a numinous reaction in addition to robust undying references and logos between historical religions in the course of the international. Thunder and lightning have additionally taken on a number of symbolic manifestations, a few representing fundamental deities, as on the subject of Zeus and Jupiter within the Greco/Roman culture, and Thor in Norse fable. equally, lightning veneration performed an immense position to the traditional civilizations of Mesoamerica and Andean South the United States. Lightning veneration and the spiritual cults and their linked rituals signify to various levels a worship of nature and the forces that form the wildlife. The inter-relatedness of the cultural and normal setting is expounded to what can be referred to as a frequent cultural belief of the wildlife as sacred, a type of mythic panorama. Comparative research of the Andes and Mesoamerica has been a ordinary subject lately partially simply because of the parts of "high civilization" within the Americas have a lot in universal regardless of great ecological alterations, and partly simply because there's a few proof, of various caliber, that a few humans had migrated from one quarter to the opposite.

Lightning within the Andes and Mesoamerica is the 1st ever learn to discover the symbolic parts surrounding lightning of their linked Pre-Columbian spiritual ideologies. furthermore, it extends its exam to modern tradition to bare how cultural perceptions of the sacred, their symbolic representations and formality practices, and architectural representations within the panorama have been conjoined within the old earlier. Ethnographic debts and ethnohistoric files offer insights via first-hand money owed that increase our figuring out of degrees of syncretism because the ecu touch. The interdisciplinary examine awarded herein additionally offers a foundation for tracing again Pre-Columbian manifestations of lightning its linked spiritual ideals and formality practices, in addition to its mythological, symbolic, iconographic, and architectural representations to prior civilizations. This targeted learn should be of serious curiosity to students of Pre-Columbian South and Mesoamerica, and should stimulate destiny comparative reviews through archaeologists and anthropologists.

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Extra resources for Lightning in the Andes and Mesoamerica: Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Contemporary Perspectives

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Archaeological evidence suggests that vast networks of roads geographically linked parts of the Andes. Scholars have documented such earlier roads in the context of Wari expansion in the Middle Horizon period. Roads also connected different regions of the coast. Certain regions of the southern highlands of Ecuador and northern highlands of Peru also appear to have road networks that predate Inca expansion (Hyslop 1990; von Hagen and Morris 1998; Covey 2006). Such road systems not only facilitated travel and communication across the Andes cordillera and along the coast, but also served as physical links to 37 38 Lightning in the Andes and Mesoamerica huacas and their conceptual links between different Andean centers, their hinterland, and support populations (von Hagen and Morris 1998:186–189).

As mentioned above, the encounter documented by Cieza de León was a result of an overheard conversation between Cristobál de Molina and Francisco Pizarro regarding an Inca “fortress” along what is today the Tumbez coast. Speaking of this “fortress,” which was no doubt an Inca palace estate, Cieza de León (2005 [1553]) observed that when it was finished Huayna Ccapac ordered a temple of the sun to be built, and two hundred virgins, from amongst the most beautiful daughters of the chiefs of the province, to be collected together in it.

The indigenous perception would have seen major quakes moving from one valley to another as empirical indications that the various huacas were “speaking” to one another through their vitalizing force or animating essences. The appearance of distinct ceremonial centers and modifications of “sacred places” in the natural environment, commonly referred to as huacas, were the focus of veneration to Illapa (Espinosa Soriano 1988a; Staller 2007, 2008b, 2010b; Topic et al. 2002). Huaca refers to sacred and extraordinary things, but can have a number of meanings: it is generally used by scholars to refer to shrines or sacred places or built landscapes modified by architecture, rock art, artificial terraces, and so on (see Garcilaso de la Vega 1966 [1609]:76–77).

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