Mama Ocllo

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Mama Ocllo
Motherhood and Fertility
Mama Ocllo, Peru, circa 1840, San Antonio Museum of Art.jpg
Mama Ocllo, anonymous oil on canvas painting from Peru, circa 1840, San Antonio Museum of Art.
Other namesMama Cora Ocllo[1], Mama Ogllo, Mama Oello[2], Mama Oella, Mama Oullo, Mama Occlo[3][4], Mama Okllo or Mama Uqllu[5].
Personal information
ConsortManco Cápac
OffspringSinchi Roca
ParentsInti and Mama Killa or Viracocha and Mama Qucha
SiblingsAyar Uchu, Ayar Cachi, Ayar Anca, Manco Cápac, Mama Huaco, Mama Ipacura, and Mama Raua

In Inca mythology, Mama Ocllo was deified as a mother and fertility goddess.[6] In one legend she was a daughter of Inti and Mama Killa, and in another the daughter of Viracocha (Wiraqucha) and Mama Qucha.[7] In all of them she was the sister and wife of Manco Cápac (Manqu Qhapaq),[8]:28–36 whom she established the city of Cusco with.[9][10] In some variations, she also had a son, Sinchi Roca, with him, though all Incan rulers after Manco Cápac were believed to be their descendants.[11][12]

According to most stories, Mama Occlo and Manco Cápac were sent by Inti to help the Inca by expanding their knowledge after he saw how poorly they were living.[13] After their creation, most legends state they began journeying to find the perfect location to begin their task, and would know when they found it when the golden rod Inti had given both his children sunk into the ground.[11][14] Once the rod had sunk, they began educating the Inca people; together they taught the people to better construct homes; Mama Ocllo taught the Inca women the art of spinning thread, sewing, science, and household duties.[11][14][15]


There are multiple variations in Mama Ocllo's origination:

  1. One common version involves Mama Ocllo emerging with Manco Cápac from an island or cave in Lake Titicaca after Inti created them, though in some alternate versions, the rest of their siblings, as well as ten ayllus, rise from the lake, too, and they all journey together for a short time.[11][12]
  2. Some myths depict Mama Ocllo and Manco Cápac's place of origin to be from the Rock of Origins, which is a location described as sacred.[16]
  3. Another variant tells how Mama Ocllo and her siblings were all brought into existence by Inti, though this time they emerged from the middle of three windows on a cave known as Pacariqtambo, and were given a sign when they approached the land they were supposed to settle on rather than a rod to prod the ground with.[12]
  4. Instead of Inti, one legend says that Mama Ocllo is the daughter of Viracocha and Mama Qucha.[7]


  1. ^ "EL PRIMER NVEVA CORÓNICA". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20.
  2. ^ Bancroft, byHubert Howe (1980). The works of Hubert Howe Bancroft the native races : vol. IV, antiquities. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft. p. 296. ISBN 0665141556.
  3. ^ Edwardes, Marian (1912). A dictionary of non-classical mythology. London: J.M. Dent & Sons. p. 113.
  4. ^ Bingham, Ann (2004). South and Meso-American mythology A to Z. New York: Facts on file. p. 79. ISBN 0816048894.
  5. ^ Dean, Carolyn (2010). A culture of stone : Inka perspectives on rock. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780822347910.
  6. ^ Siquijor, Rom. Inkari : the sacred prophecy of the inca kings. [S.l.]: Palibrio. ISBN 1617648736.
  7. ^ a b Bingham, Ann (2004). South and Meso-American mythology A to Z. New York: Facts on file. p. 68. ISBN 0816048894.
  8. ^ de Gamboa, P.S., 2015, History of the Incas, Lexington, ISBN 9781463688653
  9. ^ Julien, Catherine (2000). Reading Inca history. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. p. 64. ISBN 9781587294112.
  10. ^ Coulter, Charles Russell; Turner, Patricia (2000). Encyclopedia of ancient deities. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. p. 304. ISBN 9780786403172.
  11. ^ a b c d "The Life of Pachacuti Inca Yupangui." Bilingual Review, vol. 26, no. 2-3, 2001, p. 149+. Academic OneFile,
  12. ^ a b c "The Rise of the Incas." Early Civilizations in the Americas Reference Library, edited by Sonia G. Benson, et al., vol. 1: Almanac, Vol. 1, UXL, 2005, pp. 155-177. Student Resources In Context,
  13. ^ Feld, Evelyn Dana. "THE INCA CREATION MYTH." Calliope, Mar. 2000, p. 36. General OneFile,
  14. ^ a b Editors of Salem Press. Critical Survey of Mythology and Folklore : World Mythology. Salem Press, 2013. EBSCOhost,
  15. ^ Stanton, editors: Janet Parker, Julie (2006). Mythology : myths, legends & fantasies. Cape Town, South Africa: Struik. p. 505. ISBN 1770074538.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Busque, Jordi. "Lifeline of a lake: since Bolivia and Peru share a common border with Lake Titicaca, both are working together to preserve the beauty of this natural wonder and enhance the lives of its inhabitants." Americas, Nov.-Dec. 2008, p. 38+. Academic OneFile,