Descent of the Sun
OIL ON CANVAS. ORIGINAL SIZE 46x52 in
- In most cultures, the sun is a symbol of creative energy as well as of the chief deity looking down with radiant love.
- The ancient Incas claimed to be the children of the sun. For them, the sun was the creator and ruler of the universe, as well as the travel agent who arranged people's affairs through training in arts and crafts and agriculture, and then disappeared to the west, having accomplished its mission.
In every Peruvian village the sun had considerable possessions. His estates
resembled those of a territorial chieftain, and consisted of a dwelling
house, a chacra, or portion of land, flocks of llamas and pacos, and a number
of women dedicated to his service… The Women of the Sun prepared
the daily food and drink of the luminary, which consisted of maize and
chicha. They also spun wool and wove it into fine stuff, which was burned
in order that it might ascend to the celestial regions, where the deity could
make use of it.
Lewis Spence, The Myths of Mexico and Peru: Aztec, Maya and Inca
The sun is a missionary wanderer making its way across the sky and
setting in the west, where heaven and earth meet. The day's work is done,
everyone is given their share of warmth and light for the home fire. Even in
ancient times, people knew how to make a fire by using a concave mirror
to focus the sun's rays on tinder.
And so, the sun disappears for the night only to continue providing us with
its saving grace in the morning. It vanishes in the dark to resume the Big
Game at the break of day.