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Viracocha: Christ among the Ancient Peruvians?

TitleViracocha: Christ among the Ancient Peruvians?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHoyt, Scott
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsAncient America; Mesoamerica; Peru

Viracocha was the principal deity of ancient Peru. According to the cronistas (Catholic historians, mostly priests, arriving in Peru shortly after Francisco Pizarro and the conquistadors in the 1500s), he was called the "creating God of the Andes." This article examines various aspects of the Incan myths recorded by the cronistas and draws parallels with accounts of Christ's visit to the Americas in the Book of Mormon. Similarities in descriptions of Viracocha's appearance, powers, and interaction with the people lead the author to ask whether the Viracocha myths are evidence that Christ also visited the ancient Peruvians.