Apu (mountain deity)

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Apu or Wamani is the name of the mountain deities among the Quechua people in southern Peru , who are widely worshiped to this day. The mountains are also worshiped by the Aymara .

The term Apu means “Lord” in Quechua (cf. Apurímac and Apu Ollantay as well as Apunchik , “Our Lord, God” in the Kichwa of Ecuador ), but in some regions its meaning has been narrowed to the meaning “Lord Mountain”.

Some larger mountains, including z. B. the Apu Awsanqati ( Ausangate ) in Peru or the Apu Illimani in Bolivia, are - besides the Panandine deity Pachamama - worshiped over larger areas, for which they represent a protective deity. In the myth of Wiraquchapampa , told in the Quechua village of Q'ero , the united Apus defeat a Spanish army and thus save the last few surviving Inca , ancestors of today's Q'ero Indians, from total annihilation.

In the Huarochirí manuscript , the term Wak'a is used for the mountain deities (e.g. Paryaqaqa and Wallallu Qarwinchu ) , which today only describes smaller, local deities in southern Peru.


  • Thomas Müller and Helga Müller-Herbon, The Middle Children. The Q'ero Indians, Lamuv Verlag. Göttingen 1993, ISBN 3-88977-049-5
  • Elizabeth B. Jenkins "The Return of the Inca" ISBN 3-442-30689-2
  • Elizabeth B. Jenkins "Journey to Q'eros - Golden Cradle of the Inka" ISBN 0-9762387-5-6
  • Joan Parisi Wilcox "Masters of the Living Energy - The Mystical World of the Q'ero of Peru" ISBN 1-59477-012-3