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Well-preserved Inca Mummy (Photograph by Natacha Pisarenko)

Mummies of Sacrificed Inca Children Show History of Drug Use

Don’t do drugs kids. It’s a downward spiral to becoming a sacrificial victim of the Inca:

Three Inca mummies found near the lofty summit of Volcán Llullaillaco in Argentina were so well preserved that they put a human face on the ancient ritual of capacocha—which ended with their sacrifice.

Now the bodies of 13-year-old Llullaillaco Maiden and her younger companions Llullaillaco Boy and Lightning Girl have revealed that mind-altering substances played a part in their deaths and during the year-long series of ceremonial processes that prepared them for their final hours.

Under biochemical analysis, the Maiden’s hair yielded a record of what she ate and drank during the last two years of her life. This evidence seems to support historical accounts of a few selected children taking part in a year of sacred ceremonies — marked in their hair by changes in food, coca, and alcohol consumption — that would ultimately lead to their sacrifice.

In Inca religious ideology, the authors note, coca and alcohol could induce altered states associated with the sacred. But the substances likely played a more pragmatic role as well, disorienting and sedating the young victims on the high mountainside to make them more accepting of their own grim fates.

Story: Inca Child Sacrifice Victims Were Drugged

  1. Inca doper kids
    And yet another culture ravaged by the scourge of drugs….

    Actually it’s easy to see how even without drugs they could have persuaded children to commit a lingering and unpleasant suicide by talk of what an honor it was to so do. Which honor those adults somehow missed out on themselves.

    I’m reminded of an SNL skit from what had to be the first year of the show since it had Chevy Chase in it. Seems like it was Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Garret Morris and Elliott Gould. Aykroyd and Chase were Mississippi riverboat gamblers who got Yankee travelers Gould and Morris involved in a “gentleman’s game” of “pokuh”. Aykroyd played an Old South “Colonel” stereotype who was explaining their strange rules to Morris and Gould, which included odd antes and unusual payments by Gould and Morris. Chase was some kind of foreigner with an unintelligible language and style of play which consisted chiefly of him claiming to have won every pot on some arcane “rule” as explained by Colonel Aykroyd. The two Yankees accepted it because Aykroyd kept up a patter about courtesy, honor and gentlemanly behavior, and how much Chase was “honoring” the two Yankees by essentially stealing from them. Aykroyd’s catch phrase was “He’s honoring you with the taking of your stakes”. And this honor talk froze the Yankees into giving up all their money.

    And I had an image of the priests leading the drug-addled children up into the freezing mountains:
    “And now Jaguar’s Scrotum will honor you by slicing off your finger and piercing your penis with a huge thorn.”

    “And now Parrot Offal honors you by taking away all your clothes and leaving you just a reed mat for warmth.”

    “And now Dog Regurgitating is honoring you by tying a hemp rope to your leg and then securing it to the stone ring cut into the bare rock of the mountain. This is to prevent you from, uh, ah…from falling off the mountain, yes, that’s it. A high honor, yes.”

    “And now Chupacabra Droppings is honoring you by, uh, by leaving you, ah….overnight, yes, overnight, on this mountaintop, where we will return to pick you up, uh, tomorrow, yes, that’s the ticket, tomorrow. At which time we’ll bring you, uh, blankets…and beer…oh, and, and Mom’s roast guinea pig with blue potatoes that you like so much, too. Yeah, sure, that’s right, guinea pig. Plenty. You betcha. Oh my, what an honor! Mom and I are proud of you! See you, uh, tomorrow! Bye!”

    1. The scourge of drugs
      One thing I’m really liking about Graham Hancock’s new book War God –which deals about the conquest of Mexico in the 1500s– is how it shows that a culture actively using entheogens can still commit the most horrendous atrocities.

      Something the promoters of psychedelics should keep in mind, while they keep pushing for the legalization of all these substances…

      1. “Actually it’s easy to see
        “Actually it’s easy to see how even without drugs they could have persuaded children to commit a lingering and unpleasant suicide by talk of what an honor it was to so do. Which honor those adults somehow missed out on themselves.’

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