Inca religion tried to be in harmony with the surrounding nature. They believed that nature, man and the Pachamama (Mother Earth), lived in harmony and perpetual interrelation.
Tools to Communicate with the Supernatural World
The objects called "conopas" or "illas" were used in dedicated rituals to the gods in order to propitiate the fertility of the animals, particularly the herds of llamas and alpacas. The offerings included fats, coca leaves, and corn among other things that were placed in the "illas" or "conopas", and then buried with chica and prayers.
Corn and Religious Inca Rituals
More than being a basic food staple, corn was considered a sacred plant and various rituals were associated to their cultivation and harvest. Representations of corn plants in natural size existed in the Coricancha, the principal temple of Cusco. There is no other crop as represented in the religious Inca art as the corn.
Precious metals had significant meaning for the Incas: gold was associated with the sun and silver with the moon. The noble Inca officials of high hierarchy and other individuals dressed with jewelry made of precious metals and used little cups and other gold and silver objects in their feasts. The special objects for religious rituals were also made from the same sacred materials.
Animals, including llamas and guinea pigs, were favored as sacrifices to the gods. The ceremonial knives were produced for these sacrifices. In many cases, the handle of the knives were punched in order to be worn around the neck like a pendant. The majority of the ceremonial knives from Cusco were in the form of a “T”, but knives with only one sharpened side were popular in northern coast of Peru.