In the religion and mythology of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, apus are the spirits of the mountains that protect the local people in the highlands. The term dates back to the Inca Empire.

Meanings of Apu

The word "apu" has several possible meanings, depending on context:

  • A god or supreme being. The spirit of the sacred mountain; the most powerful of all nature spirits.
  • The sacred mountain that is home of the ancestors.
  • A chief, boss, or figure of authority. One of four officials in charge of one of the four suyus of the empire. The four apukuna formed an imperial council for the Inca, and resided at court much of the time. The term has historically been used as an honorific, such as with Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra, and Atahualpa Apu-Inca.
  • (As an adjective) Mighty; powerful; rich; wealthy; supreme.
  • A light being that exists within special mountains. These spirits live in both the middle and upper worlds, and can intercede for humanity.

Apus of Cusco

The twelve sacred apus of Cusco are: Ausangate, Salkantay, Mama Simona, Pikol, Manuel Pinta, Wanakauri, Pachatusan, Pijchu, Saqsaywaman, Wiraqochan, Pukin and Senq’a.

Other Apus are: Akamari, Illampu, Lady of Illimani, Machu Picchu, Pitusiray, Putu Cusi, Tunupa, Wakac Willka, Wayna Picchu, and Yanantin.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Apu (god). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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