According to Inca beliefs, the good people went up to heaven after death and lived with the Sun. There they had ample food, chicha, and warmth. Men and women who were not good in life, such as witches, went to live inside the earth. It was cold and dark there, and they were given stones to eat instead of corn.

The nobility, however, always went to live with the Sun after death, regardless of what they had done on earth. When a man died, his wife and other female relatives cut their hair and kept their heads covered with shawls during the long period of mourning. 

Outside the home, while the body was being prepared for burial, mourners—men and women —moved in a slow dance. The body was placed in a sitting position on a mat inside a cave or in a shelter built of rocks. The knees were drawn up to the chest, and the body was wrapped in layers of cloth. Some of the dead person's belongings were burned, and the rest were buried with him. When a nobleman died, his funeral rites lasted longer than a farmer's, because some of his wives and servants were killed, to accompany him and serve him in heaven. For a time after the burial the family visited the grave with o food, drink, and clothing to help the departed on his journey heavenward.

After the death of a wife a nobleman was not permitted to take another wife for a year. A farmer was not permitted to remarry for two years. In a farmer's household, where everyone was so dependent on the woman for weaving, mending, and cooking, as well as helping in the fields, it was, indeed, a hardship to be without a wife. A man's brothers and the members of his ayllu tried to help him and his children as best they could until the man could remarry.


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