What is a Sacrifice?
We have often come across the term sacrifice at different moments of time in our lives and associated it with the process of giving up something for other’s consideration. Then again many of you will talking about ritual sacrifices when I remind you of this word but are you really sure that you know what ritual sacrifices are?
Not to frown because I will start with that today.
Sacrifices are considered to be certain religious rites where an object to presented or gifted to the divine forces to restore or maintain order, peace and a relationship between the human civilizations and the divinity based on the sacred order.
Well, you must have heard of animal sacrifices and vegetable sacrifices for pleasing different types of deities as per the requirements of the rituals or the religious beliefs. Some of you might suggest that in many rural areas, stories have come up about human sacrifices too.
Yes, it is pathetic and inhumane and such incidents are gradually reducing from the modern society because of awareness. Now, my question is simple but it can give you a chilling sensation down your spine. Have you ever heard of Child sacrifice?
What is a Child Sacrifice?
In many tribal group or older civilizations, children were taken away as sacrificial things and they were killed to appease the divine forces or the supernatural beings that the civilization believed in. This type of ritualistic killing was a form of human sacrifice where people believed that the importance level of the sacrificial object of being will increase the effectiveness of the sacrifice.
In the pages of history of civilization, child sacrifice rituals in Europe and the Near East are notable till the rise and proliferation of Christianity. After that, people changed their mind and the religious transformation also stopped them from performing such nasty rituals.
Inca Child Sacrifice:
In the Andean region of South America, a vast and civilization existed 15th Century AD known as the Inca Civilization. It is during the rule of Inca empire that America witnessed impressive agricultural techniques, geometrical stonework and other innovative art and architecture. The people of the Inca Civilization were polytheistic. They were the worshippers for multiple Gods and Goddesses and religious festivals and rituals were of prime importance to them.
The ritualistic human sacrifices meant so much to them that they sacrificed their own children to please the mountain and the other gods. Yes, you heard it right. Some children from all parts of the land were collected for this human sacrifice and they were taken together to prepare them for the purpose. The Inca people then clothed these children with proper clothes and tied them up few days before the sacrifice was performed.
Many of the sacrificial children were paired up as female and male before they are sacrificed. They used to give drugs to these children before the act so as to stay calm and numb and combat with the anxiety to being the sacrificial object. In many cases, these children were not given food also for numerous days before the horrific act.
Why the Incas indulged in Child Sacrifice?
The Inca civilization was agriculture based empire and huge amount of agricultural materials were stocked in their storehouses. Time to time they started facing difficult situations due to various natural calamities like draught and famine. This further heightened their fears of the supernatural forces and the unknown. They realized that sacrificing their own and their most prized possession might satisfy the supernatural forces and calm them down. Despite the pain and the loss, the people of the Inca civilization agreed with this ritual of child sacrifice. To know more please read this article.
Close to the summit of in Volcan Llullaillaco Argentina three Inca mummies were found of three children in 1999 from where the archaeologists got to know about the ancient ritual of Capacocha. At the end of this ritual the preserved children were sacrificed. The mummy of a 13 year old girl found at the site is considered to be one of the best naturally preserved mummies of all time.
From further research on the three mummies, this information was gathered that their death was not natural and that it was commissioned and prepared for. Initially, it was thought that the victims were drugged to ease the process of establishing a connection between them and the supernatural forces. It was quite later on after the toxicological analysis that it was noted to be the combating factor for depression and anxiety. They were made to consume a hallucinogenic drink with chemicals found in coca leaves and ayahuasca.
Most often female children were selected for performing this ritual by the Incas because of their beauty and virginity. In the Inca culture these children were killed by either hitting them hard on their head or strangulation or hypothermia.
To widen your knowledge about naturally preserved mummies, please read this Blog.
Other Cultures where Human Sacrifices were Performed:
- Maya Culture
- Moche Culture
- Timoto –Cuica Culture
- Aztec Culture