Exploring the Mythologies of Peru's Sea Peoples: Before the Solar Empires

Presented by Dr. Sharonah Fredrick
Assistant Director, ACMRS

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 6:30-8:30pm
Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 N. Goldwater Blvd. #101 Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Open to the public - $10 at the door

The cosmovision of medieval Peru, predating the Inca Empire by many centuries, focused more on the sea than on the Andes mountains. The gods and goddesses, shamans and seers who became the folk heroes of Peru’s Moche and Lambayeque peoples, were maritime figures. In these stories we encounter the prince Naymlap who rode the waves with his retinue and his statues of precious green stone; and the owl priestess of the Moche who represented the power of the moon deity, Sian. These beings belonged to a lunar culture. Moche and Lambayeque culture were conquered by the Inca armies in the 15th century, who established the solar cult of Inti in place of the earlier, aquatic and nocturnal spirits. The Spanish Conquest dismantled Inca power in the 16th century, and in the centuries that followed, the Spanish/Inca equation remained the one that defined-erroneously-the image of Peru. In this meeting, we will explore these other aspects of Peru’s rich heritage, through its lesser known mythologies, and focus on some of the reasons for the marginalization of this literature. These are the stories of Peru’s peoples of the sea.