In addition to worshiping the deities, the Inca worshiped the numerous huacas—sacred places —which were everywhere throughout the Inca Empire. Mountaintops were huacas, because man could not penetrate them. The emperor's palace, with all his goods, was sealed after his death and became a huaca. Battlefields, caves, springs, quarries, and even the roots of trees were huacas.

There always seemed to be room for more huacas in the religion of the Andeans. When the Inca conquered a village and introduced new huacas, the villagers gladly accepted them. A man would sprinkle a few coca leaves as he passed a huaca. If he had no coca leaves, he placed a stone near it, as many had done before him. Thus huacas were distinguished by piles of stone.

 If he had nothing at all to offer, he pulled a few hairs from his eyebrows and lashes and blew them toward the shrine. Many huacas had shelters nearby. A priest lived in the shelter, caring for the shrine and cultivating a small field beside it in honor of the huaca. 


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