Inca Mythology: Inca myths about the origin of the hummingbird

The Inca Mythology: Origin Stories of the Hummingbird

The Inca civilization, which thrived in the Andean region of South America from the 13th to the 16th century, had a rich mythology filled with captivating tales and legends. One such myth revolves around the origin of the hummingbird, a fascinating and enchanting creature that continues to captivate our imaginations today. According to Inca mythology, the hummingbird has its roots deeply intertwined with the celestial realms, symbolizing various aspects of the Inca worldview.

The Hummingbird and the Sun: A Divine Connection

In Inca mythology, the Sun held a prominent position as the supreme deity and the giver of life. The hummingbird, known as "Kuntur Wasi" in the Quechua language, was believed to have a divine connection with the Sun. According to legend, it was thought that the hummingbird could traverse the realms between the mortal world and the heavens effortlessly. This connection between the hummingbird and the Sun was further reinforced through the belief that the tiny bird served as a messenger, carrying the prayers and offerings of the people to the Sun God, Inti. This divine association bestowed upon the hummingbird a sacred and revered status in Inca society.

The Hummingbird and the Moon: A Symbol of Love and Beauty

The Inca mythology also attributes great significance to the hummingbird’s association with the Moon, which was considered a symbol of love and beauty. According to one myth, the Moon was believed to be a sister of the Sun, and thus, the hummingbird was considered a celestial messenger between the two siblings. Inca legends tell of a forbidden love affair between the Moon and the hummingbird, where the bird would visit the Moon in the darkness of the night. This tale symbolized the eternal dance of love and beauty that exists in the natural world. The delicate and vibrant feathers of the hummingbird were seen as a representation of the Moon’s radiance, while its ability to hover in mid-air was equated to the Moon’s gentle illumination during nocturnal hours.

In conclusion, Inca mythology offers a captivating perspective on the origin of the hummingbird, infusing it with divine and celestial qualities. The belief in its connection to the Sun and the Moon highlights the sacred role this tiny creature held in Inca society. The hummingbird’s association with the Sun as a messenger of prayers and offerings further emphasized its revered status, while its connection to the Moon symbolized love and beauty. These mystical tales continue to inspire awe and fascination around the world, reminding us of the rich cultural heritage of the Inca civilization.