Chavin Religion


          Historians can conclude through Chavín art that there were deities worshipped in Chavín culture and religion. The primary deity is a large animal with snakes as hair and long fangs. He was considered to balance out opposing energies. There were several other deities that were worshipped by the Chavín’s, including a deity for food represented through a cayman, and a deity of the underworld illustrated as an anaconda.


            Another popular deity, which is commonly associated with several other cultures, such as Ancient Egypt, was the cat-god. Little can be determined about the cat-god according to Chavin culture because of the many portrayals of felines in other ancient religious societies.

Religious Ceremonies

         Chavín artifacts suggest that religion was an elaborate and significant facet of Chavín culture. Carvings found in a large temple, Chavín de Huántar, show men in intricate headdresses, which indicates the involvement of religious leaders. Sacrificial burnings and ceremonies are also depicted at the site. Small mortars were decorated in which different hallucinogens were ground for use during religious ceremonies. Music and dancing contributed greatly to the unique ceremonial traditions of the Chavin people.

Below is an image of inside the second table, a reconstructed imitation of the first, built only years after the original's destruction.