Sarmiento wrote that Sinchi Roca married Mama Cuca from Zañu. One generation before, Pedro Cieza de Leon had written that Sinchi Roca had been married to his sister and that their son Lloque Yupanqui had been married to the leader of Zañus beautiful daughter.

Whether both Incas were married to a woman from Zañu is thus unclear, because Cieza had also written:

During that time, the descendants of Zapana were very powerful and wanted to rule the entire region with tyranny. Manco Cápac married his sons with good women.

But he had stated:

The king had to marry his sister who was born of his own mother and father.

The rule of Sapa Incas, the leading Incas, sister-marriage has often been repeated. Cieza has been quoted because he had stayed in the Andes for a long time, because he as one of the first had written a work on the Incas and because he had written less than twenty years after the Spanish conquest. Therefore his work was assigned decisive source value.

The talking of sister-marriage, the leading Incas incest, was able to confirm Spaniards allegations of Incas lack of morality, but it did not necessarily make Ciezas allegation historically correct. And his allegations cannot be left alone.

From Sarmientos information it appears that it was not just a single time that the Inca had entered into marriage with another woman than his full sister and thus made a stranger to his coya, queen.

He also provided information that the third Inca married a woman from Omo, the fourth with one from Tucucaray, the fifth with one from Ayarmacas, the sixth with one from Pataguyllacan, the seventh with one from Ayarmacas, the eighth with one from Anta and the ninth with a woman from Choco.

These informations from the present Indian witnesses could Sarmiento use to question the legitimacy of the rulers: since they had not practised incest – good God, thank you! – the Inca then could not trace his kin back to the Sun!

Thus the question of sibling-marriage was powerful: Had it happened, it had been deeply immoral. And if it hadn’t happened, the Incas could not claim to be the Children of the Sun.

Juan de Betanzos had written his account on the Viceroys wish and completed it in 1557 – in the time between Cieza and Sarmiento wrote theirs. And in Betanzos you can read:

The Inca who is lord has a principal wife, and she has to be from his family and lineage, one of his sisters or first cousins.

They call this woman piuiguarmi and by this other name mamanguarme. As the principal wife of their lord, the common people call her in their greetings Paxxa Yndi Usus Çapaicoya Guacchacoyac, Moon and Daughter of the Sun, Unique Queen and Friend of the Poor. This lady had to be a direct relative of the Inca on both the paternal and the maternal sides without the least trace of guacchaconda.

Publisher of the manuscript, Roland Hamilton, concludes:

The Betanzos Narrative indicates that the tenth Inca, Túpac, was the first to marry his sister, Mama Ocllo. Whether she was his full or half-sister is not clarified. Túpacs successor, Huayna Cápac, seems to have done the same.

The US-American historian Prescott finds:

The fiction of Manco Cápac and his sister-wife was devised, no doubt, at a later period, to gratify the vanity of the Peruvian monarchs, and to give additional sanction to their authority by deriving it from a celestial origin.

Clements R. Markham, publisher of Inca litterature summarizes the lineage of the Inca queen, from the 2nd to the 9th ruler:

There was no rule about marrying sisters when Pachacútec succeeded.

Apparently, the rule of the Incas sibling-marriage was first introduced or reintroduced in the time of Pachacútecs reign. As the empire expanded, the narrative of the rulers incest should strengthen the notion of Sapa Inca as the Son of the Sun. And the story was so curious that it was repeated for centuries. Yes to our days.


(pp. 148-150 in volume 2, reproduced without notes and illustrations):

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AZTECS AND INCAS: MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU. Edited, translated, retold and commented by Mikael Witte. Volume 1 + Volume 2

476 pages + 540 pages. Richly illustrated in colors

Published by Selskabet for smukkere Byfornyelse

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