It is considered that there were four main advanced civilizations of the ancient Americas: the Aztecs, Mayas, Incas and Muisca. The Muisca are the Chibcha-speaking people that dwelled in the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia's Eastern Range. Their territory spanned an area of around 47,000 square kilometres - a region slightly larger than Switzerland - from the north of Boyacá to the Sumapaz Paramo, and from the summits of the Eastern Range to the Magdalena Valley. Scholars agree that the Muisca migrated to the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the Formative stage (between 5500 and 1000 BC). The most ancient settlement of the highlands dates to 1270 BC.
The culture of the Muisca was centred around their two main deities:
Sué, (also Suá, Zuhé or Xué) - The Sun god. He is the father of the Muisca. His temple was in Suamox, the sacred city of the Sun. He was the most venerated god, especially by the Confederation of the Zaque, who was considered his descendant.
Chía - The Moon-goddess. Her temple was in what is today the municipality of Chía. She was widely worshipped by the Confederation of the Zipa (see below), who was considered to be her son.
They developed their own vigesimal (meaning ‘based on 20’) calendar, and knew exactly the timing of the summer solstice (June 21) - It was then the Day of Sué, the Sun god.
The Muisca used gemstones and gold as currency. Tunjos were small figures made of gold (or sometimes tumbaga, a gold-silver-copper alloy) picturing people, deities or animals. They were used as ritual offering figures in the sacred lakes and rivers of the Muisca, and to adorn the entrances of temples, shrines and graves.
The Zipa used to offer gold and other treasures to the Guatavita goddess. To do so, the Zipa covered himself with gold dust and washed it off in the lake while tossing gold trinkets into the waters. This tradition was well-known outside the Confederation, as far as the Caribbean Sea. The origin of the legend of El Dorado (‘The Golden One’) in the early 16th century may be located in the Muisca Confederation.
Footnote: Today the Muisca population has almost died out, although their descendants are still present in certain municipalities and districts. A census by the Ministry of Interior Affairs in 2005 showed a total of 14,051 Muisca persons in Colombia.
Credit for Both Images Above: Wikipedia.org