In mythology of Andean civilizations of South America, the amaru or amaro is a mythical serpent or dragon, most associated with the Tiwanaku and Inca empires. In Inca mythology, the amaru is a huge double-headed serpent that dwells underground. Illustrated with the heads of a bird and pumas, amarus can be seen emerging from a central element in the center of a stepped mountain or pyramid motif in the Gateway of the Sun at Tiwanaku, Bolivia. When illustrated on religious vessels, the amaru is often seen with bird-like feet and wings, so that it resembles a dragon. The amaru was believed capable of transgressing boundaries to and from the spiritual realm of the subterranean world.
- ↑ Steele, Paul R. (2004). "Encyclopedia of Mythic Narratives, Themes, and Concepts". Handbook of Inca Mythology. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 95-98. ISBN 1576073548. http://books.google.com/books?id=6Wa9RwqdqEkC&pg=PA95#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Smith, S. (2011). "Generative landscapes: the step mountain motif in Tiwanaku iconography." (Automatic PDF download). Ancient America 12: 1-69. http://www.precolumbia.com/bearc/CAAS/AA12.pdf.
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