Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu by Martín Chambi

The Incas

The Inca Empire was the biggest civilization in South America. The integrated territory was called Tahuantinsuyo “land of the four sections.”
Power was not concentrated in a single man, the Inca civilization had a dual government, the power should be divided in two people, one that managed the civic, politics, economic, social and military life and the another person had in his hands all the religious function.

The Inca or King was not necessarily the elder son, but was chosen the most capable and prepared person. All that entered in contact with the Inca was considered as sacred. It was not allowed to see for people. It was carried in his litter, because according to beliefs if his power entered in contact with the land it could produce catastrophes, due to his divine force.

For the Andean population the space and the time were sacred, therefore, they had a mythical explanation and a ritual representation.
The three levels were:
Hanan Pacha (higher world)
Kay Pacha (this world)
Urin Pacha (the world below)

The incas thought that the gods could communicate with the men through the oracles. The representations in wood, clay or stone charged life and they could express their desires and also respond the questions. The gods could not make a mistake in their predictions, if this happened they were destroyed.
Regarding death, they had fear to die burnt, because they thought that the vital force disappeared when a person died burnt or his body was incinerated.

The Inca Empire Inca was divided in four suyos or regions:
Chinchaysuyo, (region of the chinchas),territory of the north.
Antisuyo, (region of the east).
Collasuyo, (province of the collas) territory located to the south.
Contisuyo, (occident region).

The Kings of the Inca Empire

According to a legend of the origins of the Incas, Manco Cápac was the founder of the Empire, sent by his god The Sun. He emerged from the Titicaca lake accompanied by his wife Mama Ocllo Huaco. His father the Sun had ordered him  to establish the capital where the golden staff sunk into the earth. Arriving to the valley of the Urubamba, in the hill Huanacauri, the staff sank and it disappeared forever. So with this event the city of Cusco was founded.
Manco Cápac was a sinchi or military boss of the Tiahuanaco culture that decided move on his town to another more fertile valley when this civilization declined.

Manco Capac
Manco Capac by Wilfredo Loayza

It is considered the second Inca. He got married with Mamma Coca, daughter of Sutic Huaman, Lord of the town of Sañuc, with them they established an alliance to maintain the control of the region.
It is affirmed that he was who established the habit of perforate the ears to use earrings like symbol of nobility.

Sinchi Roca
Sinchi Roca by Martín Murua

When Sinchi Roca died, the new King or Inca was not his elder son Manco Sapaca, but Lloque Yupanqui, who was designated by his physical qualities and his military dexterity. He got married with Mamma Caua, daughter of the curaca of Oma, town near to Cusco.

Mayta Cápac headed a war against the alcauizas, who were defeat. This allowed the domination of all the area of Cusco. Mayta Cápac died victim of a strange illness; his successor apparently was not his son but one of his brothers.

Cápac Yupanqui directed a military campaign toward the Antisuyo to submit the towns of Ancasmarca and Cuyosmarca. According to versions one of his concubines Cusi Chimbo gave him a beverage with poison. It was probably part of a plot organized by the Hanan Cusco, because when Capac Yupanqui died, his home was attacked for a group of warriors led for Inca Roca. After this event Cusi Chimbo became the wife or Coya of Inca Roca.

Inca Roca was the first person in showing the title of Inca and the first Hanan Cusco in the power. In his government the war began against the Chancas. Inca Roca changed the royal residence from the Inticancha, traditional place of the Hurin Cusco, to the high part of the city. For the future each Inca would build his own palace.
Inca Roca co-governed with his son Titu Cusi Gualpa.

His name means “Man that cries blood.” The name is associated with the episode where being boy and being prisoner for the ayarmarcas, he cried blood, what frightened to his captors that planned to murder him.
Finally Yahuar Huácac was victim of a Huanca conspiracy that finished with his life, for that reason was elected a new successor who was called Huiracocha.

His true name was Hatun Túpac, but he was designated with the name of the Inca God Viracocha that means “sea scum.”
His government was in danger before the advance of the Chancas. When he was already old decided to rest away from the government, designating to his son Inca Urco like his successor. It was in this time when the Chancas threatened to take  Cusco, Huiracocha abandoned the city next to Inca Urco. The city was at the mercy of the Chancas, but it was courageously protected for Cusi Yupanqui, his younger son who organized the army that finally obtained the triumph against the invaders.
After this success, Cusi Yupanqui was called Pachacutec “who transforms the world.”

He was designated by Viracocha who encircled him with the royal tassel. The same day Pachacutec took like wife Mamma Anahuarque.
He was the true organizer of the Inca Empire and the person that change Cusco to be a grandiose city, He rebuilt the Temple of the Sun or Inticancha, that was called Coricancha. The territory was divided in four sections that began in the Main Plaza.
His brother Cápac Yupanqui lead the military expansion, he advanced until Jauja and Huarochiri, the Alley of the Conchucos, arriving until Cajamarca where was taken prisoner Guzmango Cápac.

Túpac Yupanqui ascended to the throne around the year 1471 and he died toward 1485. He had like wife to his sister, Mama Ocllo. According to the tradition he had more than 150 children.
Túpac Yupanqui was the Inca that achieved the great territorial expansion. He conquered the Chimús, taking to the king Minchacaman to Cusco. It was also subjected the Chachapoyas territory. Other groups conquered were the yarovilcas, cañaris, huancavilcas and caranguis.
His mummy was kept in Cusco until 1531; when was burned by the generals from Quito, Quisquis and Challcuchima for orders of Atahualpa.

Huayna Capac was son of Túpac Yupanqui and from he was very young participated in the government. He got married with the ñusta Cusi Rímay, but they didn't have children. In his second wife, Rahua Ocllo, had a son called Huáscar.
Huayna Cápac organized an expedition to the north, arriving until Quito where he died victim of the pock. His mummy was taken to Cusco by members of the nobility; however, they left Atahualpa in Quito who took advantage of his military condition to take the power.

When Huayna Cápac died the nobility designated Huáscar like his successor, however, his brother, Atahualpa, incited for some nobles that stayed with him in Quito organized a rebellion against Huáscar.
Huáscar won the enmity of the nobility cusqueña, being surrounded for strange noblemen, maybe for the fear of being betrayed. For this reason, many experienced military bosses passed to the Atahualpa army.
While Atahualpa was prisoner of the Spaniards in Cajamarca ordered to kill Huáscar. This produced the end of the Inca history, because after that it was impossible to preserve the royal lineage.