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Mamaquilla is a lunar deity in the Inca pantheon who served as the basis for the lunar calendar, which guided agricultural cycles. Because Mamaquilla was also the wife of the Inti, or Sun, she constituted one-half of a dual system that was gender based. The Inti and the Mamaquilla complemented each other as did the gold and silver that represented each of them respectively. Just as the Inca king descended from the Inti, the Coya queen was descended from the Mamaquilla. In the dualist structure of governance in the Andes, the moon was the goddess of all women, establishing a theological structure whereby, as Irene Silverblatt argues, the Coya held unquestioned governmental sway over all women.

See alsoIncas, The; Inti.


Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca. Royal Commentaries of the Incas (and General History of Peru). Translated by Harold V. Livermore and edited by Karen Spaulding. Indianapolis, IN: Hacket, 2006. See p. 17.

Silverblatt, Irene. Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 1987.

                                          Thomas Ward

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