Inti Huatana Tradition / Ritual in Four Quadrants | World Anvil
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Inti Huatana

by hughpierre

A combined entombment/enthronement commemoration


It is believed that the death of the Sapa caused the sun to stop moving. So it is necessary to tie the sun to the earth, until a new ruler can take his place.
— the priest who recounts

8 Day Preparations

Immediately after death, the body of the Sapa is embalmed and placed in a golden coffin along with his mummies from previous generations. The coffin was then taken to Qurikancha and placed in a specially prepared room where the mummies are venerated with offerings of fine textiles, jewelry, food and drink.   Children are also ritually killed by the priests and laid to rest in mountain graves to serve as emissaries between the living world and the mountain gods.


The ceremony, itself, begins with a grand procession led by the mummified remains of the previous ruler through the capital city. While the dead ruler is giving his final farewell, the next is being dressed in a ceremonial outfit and receiving the feathered pike and crown.   Following an oath to uphold law and tradition, he would be seated on a throne to receive the well-wishes and blessings of the attending nobles and officials. The last of whom would be his predecessor, who issues any final advice through a panaqa interpreter. After which, the previous Sapa's mummified remains, are placed next to him and a new series of speeches and tributes would be given in honour of the deceased.  
While the common person must pass from this coil to the under world; Sapas have a royal obligation to remain and maintain an active role in governance of the empire.
— Tokoyrikoq of Antisuyu to his son
  The ceremony then takes a more somber tone as the remains are carried on the King-Carrier to a sacred tomb; alongside previous rulers. The new Sapa would deliver a final eulogy, expressing their grief and vowing to continue on their legacy. He would then be left alone to contemplate his new responsibilities and begin their reign.  


They are not be officially crowned until after the Inti Huatana, when he can symbolically tie the red headband around his head and assume his leadership role. After the coronation, the new ruler would ride on the golden litter carried by four nobles and be accompanied by a large procession of soldiers and nobles towards the Sun Palace.

Components and tools


The well-preserved mummies of former Sapas dressed in fine, brightly coloured and intricate embroidery.   They are the visual representation of the social and political hierarchy within the empire as it is in the deceased man's name for which the panaqa exerts their will.

Feather Pike

Suntur páucar is a ceremonial and decorative standard used during the crowning of a new sapa.

Sapa Headpiece

Llawt'u is the emblem of his office. It is a turban woven from the wool of the vicuña with different-coloured plaits.

Alternative Name
Tying of the Sun
Primary Related Location
Important Locations
Related Organizations
Related Ethnicities
Item | Feb 13, 2024

Cover image: Lazy Guardian - EVROS by Bruno Barros


Author's Notes

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Tradition / Ritual | May 26, 2023

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Jun 1, 2023 19:55

Thank you for your article. Here is a small badge for your participation.  

  I thought it was a nice idea that the burial of the old ruler and the coronation of the new one take place almost simultaneously, which shows the ephemerality of the ruler.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.