Quechua Belief’s and Religion
The present religion and beliefs of the Quechua are composed by two systems which are Catholicism and the traditional Andean religion. The influence of Christianity led them to include the idea of heaven (hanan pacha) and hell (ukhu pach). Christianity also led to a change in their conception of the nature of the world. An important aspect of this change concerned the perception of the nature of time. Prior to the influence of Christianity they conceived of time and space as a series of independent cycles; after the impact of Christianity they conceived time as a serious as interdependent spiral cycles. The Quechuas believe in a God more organizer then creator, a God that gives, but that punishes as well. This God organized the world in three eras divided into five periods. The three eras are the eras of the father, of the son and of the Holy Spirit. In the first era god organizes the earth and the first people who lived there, the "Ñaupa Machulas. Unhappy with the first era, he created the second era whose span was from the Inca Empire to the present time. The third is yet to come.
Despite their belief in God, the Quechuas worship rather the saints of the Catholic Church. The identity of these saints are frequently blended with that of the apus or wamanis that are the intermediaries belonging to the Andean pantheon.
The act of worshipping can be considered the most important part of the Quechua religious life. On one hand there is the cults of the saints, which includes the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, who although is recognized to be the son of God, is represented in different forms to such an extent that sometimes the Quechuas believe that different representations of Christ are not the same Christ, but brothers. The cult to the saints happens basically in the feasts of the saints that are generally celebrated at the day of that saint. The feast that sometimes might take more than one day is composed of vespers, mass,...