At the beginning, the Inca were only a tribe of many others, who lived in the Sacred Valley between Pisac and Ollantaytambo. They were in constant rivalry with the surrounding peoples and waged war to obtain monopoly on this arable lands. The dynasty founder could have been Manco Inca, during the 13th century. The legend wants that his wife Mama Oclla and he would have emerged from Titicaca Lake waters, sent by the major God Viracocha to find a site where they would making grow a great and powerful civilization. Finding it, his golden baton would have sink into the land by itself. It was Cusco birth.
Historians agree to say that the Inca were a tribe came from Titicaca Lake and who had installed in the Sacred Valley. The seven first Inca emperors, until Pachacutec, were in reality historic half-truths and what we know about them is quite unclear. For these safety reasons, the Inca tribe were part of a local military union, first in a subordinate status and then a status more important: the 4 Incas who followed Manco Inca move up and took importance in the common military decisions until they reached a large domination on the surrounding peoples. Manco Inca’s son, Sinchi Roca were a chief relatively peaceful, promotor of the agricultural technic of irrigation (which allowed a certain demographic growth). He established some nobility signs, like the pierced ear that will living on during the whole Inca hegemony. After him, his son Loque Yupanqui also kept good diplomatic relations with the surrounding peoples and a relative peace. Then came Mayta Capac, too young to assume power at the moment of his father’s death, he had to manage the local rebellions and some wars against the Ayamarcas, the major local enemy. When he died, Capac Yupanqui took the power from his cousin’s hands, the legitimate Inca, forcibly, murdering him and his 9 brothers and sisters. He signed a union with the Ayamarcas against the Chanca, people which became too dangerous. Finally, Inca Roca, who ruled the military alliance after a coup against Capac Yupanqui. He built Hatun Rumiyoc Palace and submitted more and more ethnic groups but he didn’t extend the Inca domination territory.
Yahuar Huacac reign was short and marked by his kidnapping when he was young. He almost has been executed but he cried blood (maybe a sign of conjunctivitis?) and has been released. His reign get shorter because he has been victim of a rebellion from the “submitted” people. Then, Viracocha Inca improved the agricultural and textile technics and despite the Chanca threat, who asked for the Inca submission, he kept his relative local domination. And it was like this until a battle, particularly stiff against the Chanca in 1438. Viracocha Inca left his troupe and fleet but his son, Pachacutec, will take the army rules and rout the Chancas army. Taking the opportunity of this unexpected victory, this military strategic thinker moved up the conquest to regions more and more distant, with few resistance.
Pachacutec organized the empire he was building; the Tahuantisuyu, he divided it into 4 suyus and named close relatives to rule it. He started to build communication routes between the different administrative divisions, construct structures to improve agriculture (waterworks, irrigation canals, terraces…), renovate and urbanize with a good organization Cusco city in order to face the population growth (“imperial city”). He was who built drains for water evacuation and the great Qoricancha. He was the first one they called “Son of the Sun” and he was the emperor who stayed the longest ruling the Inca dynasty. He died a natural death, at the high point of Empire.
His descendants will continue the work of their predecessor and in 100 years, an empire was built with an amazing organization, functioning for this period and the difficult geography. Tupac Yupanqui was a very brilliant Chief military and during his reign, the territorial expansion reached his maximum level. He strengthened administration of the kingdom and created the whole administrative elite. Huayna Capac achieved the expansion through the North until Ecuador before to die of disease.
After Huayna Capac, the empire came into a huge crisis with the succession war between Atahualpa (son from the province of Quito, which army was particularly feared) and his half-brother Huascar (son of the province of Cusco, legitimate heir designated by his father). With the internal fight for power, Spanish people came, ambushed and executed Atahualpa, who just before had murdered his brother.
The invaders put in place a puppet Inca, Ma,nco Inca, half-brother of Atahualpa and Huascar. He left Cusco to the Spanish but came back with a better army laid siege of Cusco. 8 months later, this is a failure, he is rejected from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and from Ollantaytambo to the dense and protector jungle. The last heirs of the royal line leaved few years more, protected in the citadel of Vilcabamba and nicknamed the Kings of Vilcabamba. To Manco Inca, murdered by a Spanish conquistador, succeeded his son, Sayri Tupac. This last one, after long negotiations with Spanish, left Vilcabamba and converted himself to Christianism in return for lands and proprieties in the Sacred Valley. Sayri Tupac’s brother, Titu Kusi Yupanqui became the new supreme commander of what remains of the Inca Empire. He has an aggressive nature and conquered surrounding lands and became wealthier.
The Spanish, annoyed by this renascent power, made a treaty of voluntary capitulation and made him baptized. Finally, Tupac Amaru¸ brother of Sayri Tupac, is the last of the Kings of Vilcabamba. More rebellious than his brothers, he killed several Spain ambassadors in sign of non-submission. This last ones attacked Vilcabamba and destroyed everything. The even go to murder the fourth generation of Inca’s family members to avoid the transmission of power.
Two hundred years later, in 1781, a man who named himself Tupac Amaru II, told he was the last heir of the royal Inca line, tried to lead a rebellion against the colonial order and was caught and quartered on the Main Square of Cusco (Plaza de Armas), in order to avoid any future tentative of rebellion.
Nowadays, there are rumors about the existence of a family descendant of the royal Inca line, hidden and quiet, but this still be a rumor…
Another unveiled mystery of Peru!