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  • Muisca Pantheon

    Has anyone looked into the Muisca Pantheon of the Andes as a potential pantheon for the game? They seem like they have a lot of potential. Wikipedia's page on them is actually very detailed, though it's Wikipedia so I have no idea how accurate any of it is. It would be cool to have them as another pantheon for the ever-under-represented South America, in addition to the Inca, Guarani and (hopefully) Mapuche, though I've actually found more info on them than I have for the Mapuche (at least in English). What do you guys think? ​https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muisca_religion

  • #2
    Interesting!

    Any idea on the degree of cultural exchange going on with the Inca? I find the pantheon being ruled by a married Sun god and Moon goddess noteworthy given that they're also in the Andes - but then "sky fathers" are obviously common in the Ancient Near East without meaning that all the pantheons are so similar that they should be mantles of the same deities.


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    • #3
      I honestly have no idea, though I suspect it's probably a sky father/Coyote style issue. The Andes are a pretty massive place, and I know they have way more cultural diversity than just the Inca. No pantheon is wholely isolated though, so I'm sure there's a common root somewhere. So, maybe? I'd love to research these guys more but information is still pretty scarce.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
        Interesting!

        Any idea on the degree of cultural exchange going on with the Inca? I find the pantheon being ruled by a married Sun god and Moon goddess noteworthy given that they're also in the Andes - but then "sky fathers" are obviously common in the Ancient Near East without meaning that all the pantheons are so similar that they should be mantles of the same deities.
        It's hard to tell, but I think - but don't even pretend to be an expert - that the Muisca predate the establishment of the Incas in Cusco by a few hundred years. What I find interesting is that Bochica kind of reminds me of Quetzalcoatl. Huitaca sounds fun, and I love that they have a god of sports. This aids my goal of creating an all Scion soccer team.
        Last edited by No One of Consequence; 01-18-2019, 06:54 PM.


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        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
          Has anyone looked into the Muisca Pantheon of the Andes as a potential pantheon for the game? They seem like they have a lot of potential. Wikipedia's page on them is actually very detailed, though it's Wikipedia so I have no idea how accurate any of it is. It would be cool to have them as another pantheon for the ever-under-represented South America, in addition to the Inca, Guarani and (hopefully) Mapuche, though I've actually found more info on them than I have for the Mapuche (at least in English). What do you guys think? ​https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muisca_religion
          The Wikipedia page is seriously twisting some of the information there, just so you know. I've read the basic sources for the Muisca Pantheon (tentatively titled "Suetyba" by me) and I consider them an option for a project, but I can't promise anything yet They are definitely fascinating, though, offering a lot of complex themes that make them unique.
          As for their relation to the Inca, I haven't read anything about that in particular. They definitely had some long-distance trade going on, if I remember correctly, but you must remember that the actual "Inca" (and not the many populations subjugated and assimilated by them) are concentrated on a small area around Lake Titicaca, whereas the Muisca dwelled all the way over in Colombia. Furthermore, the Chibcha-speaking peoples, to which the Muisca belong, originally come from Central America (some of their northern outliers actually had relations with the Maya), whereas the ethnogenesis of the Inca and related peoples happened entirely in the Andes, one of the oldest cultural areas in the Americas. As for central sun gods, one shouldn't forget that that is probably the most common motif in American religions in general. Sun cults as the main religious activity are shared by everyone from the Mapuche to the Andine populations, to Mesoamerica, the Mississippian cultures, the Pueblo, and finally the Plains tribes, just to mention a few examples. So I wouldn't draw any quick connections there.

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          • #6
            It was Wikipedia, so I assumed there were inaccuracies to one degree or another. What are the major inaccuracies with it specifically, however?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
              It was Wikipedia, so I assumed there were inaccuracies to one degree or another. What are the major inaccuracies with it specifically, however?
              Oof, lots of things. The fact that they present them as "god/goddess of" is very misleading, especially in the case of figures like Huitaca. Also, they treat pretty much every name given in the sources as a separate deity, in spite of those very same sources usually grouping two, three or four of these names as synonymous apellations for the same figure. In general, everything about Wikipedia's Muisca articles is fishy, especially the insistence that they are "one of the four great civilisations of the Americas, alongside the Aztecs, Maya, and Inca". (Such rankings are nonsensical to begin with, of course, but also I have never seen the Muisca appear in any of those). Makes me think some Colombian patriot wrote a lot of this, reflecting more romaticised and nationalist bias than what is actually to be found in the sources and serious publications.

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              • #8
                Sounds like a mess. Just out of curiosities sake, which other South American pantheons, besides the Inca, Guarani, Mapuche, and Muisca, would you say are definite options?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                  Sounds like a mess. Just out of curiosities sake, which other South American pantheons, besides the Inca, Guarani, Mapuche, and Muisca, would you say are definite options?
                  No others I could think of as "definite", and even out of of the four you name, all but the Inca require a lot of special skills to do. If you count the Caribbean towards South America, there are of course the Taíno who I've talked about enough. Otherwise, there are myriad peoples, but none I know enough to call them substantial or even "definite" yet. My prime option beside these, however, are the Selknam of Tierra de Fuego, a hunter-gatherer people that has suffered genocide, but that we seem to have quite a bit of mythological material on.

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                  • #10
                    I'm familiar with the Selknam, and I know a little about their mythology (Xalpan and co. are pretty cool, from what I can find about them), so they would have been my next choice as well. It's such a shame South America has so little of its mythologies recorded.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                      I'm familiar with the Selknam, and I know a little about their mythology (Xalpan and co. are pretty cool, from what I can find about them), so they would have been my next choice as well. It's such a shame South America has so little of its mythologies recorded.
                      Hm, there are records. There's been a wonderful series of publications (though very scholarly), the "Folk Literature of the South American Indians" series. Not to mention all the other ethnographic data, the colonial records etc. It's just that we're speaking of a huge continent here, culturally different from our own ones, one that is rarely addressed in our popular culture, and so we don't really know where to begin. Like, yeah, there's that book series. I barely know the names of any of the peoples it treats. Where do I start? No clue.

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                      • #12
                        In that regard, I'm rather intrigued by the mythology of the Tehuelche. I know very little about the actual deities of the mythos, but there is a trio of presumed titans, Axshem, Kelenken, and Maip, who are exceedingly cool that I have heard of. I know the ​"Folk Literature of the South American Indians" covers the Tehuelche, but I haven't had much of a chance to research them in detail. Still, just based on their Titans alone, I'd love to see them in the game.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                          In that regard, I'm rather intrigued by the mythology of the Tehuelche. I know very little about the actual deities of the mythos, but there is a trio of presumed titans, Axshem, Kelenken, and Maip, who are exceedingly cool that I have heard of. I know the ​"Folk Literature of the South American Indians" covers the Tehuelche, but I haven't had much of a chance to research them in detail. Still, just based on their Titans alone, I'd love to see them in the game.
                          Hm, the Tehuelche are neighbours to the Mapuche, right? Somewhere to the South of Argentina? That's all I know about them, if even that much is accurate ^^'

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                          • #14
                            Yes. Information about them as a culture seems to be fairly scarce, unfortunately. They are also called "Aonikenk" though I'm not sure which name is correct.

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