Pachacútec left his father for returning to the victory parade in Cusco, and he was accompanied by his illegitimate brother Inca Urco. On the way a quarrel emerged in the backs between Inca Urcos and Pachacútecs warriors. Some argued that it was an ambush and that there was a fighting, but Pachacútec ignored the tumult.

Fame made people from all directions flock to Cusco, also many from Caquia Xaquixahuana, the fort where Inca Viracocha was located. Surrounded by the victorious, Pachacútec felt that he no longer would wait for his father to designate him as the next Inca or that the father died. Instead, he made a great sacrifice to the Sun, and then asked who should be the next Inca.

The oracle – and in Spanish Sarmiento wrote the demons oracle, which Markham translated into English as the devils oracle, although at that time the Incas did not know the devil, so here I think Markham makes Sarmiento a little ‘worse’ than he was – or a human inside the oracle – replied that Pachacútec was chosen as the next Inca.

People prostrated for Pachacútec as their new ruler, and they formed a wreath of gold and emeralds for crowning him. The following day, Pachacútec was led to the Sun Temple, where the image of the sun, which was made of gold and of human size, also bore a wreath. It had to be the Suns own coronation. The highpriest performed the traditional ceremony, took the wreath from the sun and put it on Pachacútec. Everyone greeted him with Intip Churin Inca Pachacuti, Child of the Sun Lord, Overturner of the Earth.

That’s how Sarmiento refered Pachacútecs violent start to adulthood. He was now crowned as Sapa Inca. The year was 1438. This year is set as the beginning of the actual Inca Empire.

A displacement of power had happened from the amautas, the storytellers and the priests, to the sinchis, the warriors and the generals.

The displacement may be perceived as a repetition of that which had occurred around the year 1200. At that time, the wandering tribes had been led by an elders council which had chosen a peace-chief, a spiritual leader, but then the council had appointed a temporary war-chief who had gradually been given or had taken the office of permanent war-chief.

The warriors had definitely won over the priests.

Although Pachacútec was hailed as victor, he still had only limited power and only a meager work force to undertake his development of Cusco and its surroundings, not to mention power to conquer the huge Inca Empire Tawantinsuyu that emerged in the following century. But the tracks were laid.

Pachacútec decided to establish a system of mutual assistance and summoned all the chiefs of the area. First, he enjoyed them with gifts and shared the spoils from his victory over the Chancas. Then he let his guests – male guests – entertain with lavish parties and ceremonies, including offers of women. Finally he formulated his first requirement: in Cusco warehouses had to be established with guaranteed access for all the chiefs who participated in establishing the project.

If Pachacútec’s great project – the creation of a real empire – was to succeed, he had to give his partners co-ownership and convince them of the mutual benefits. It should become his decisive principle. That’s how Cusco grew into a thriving city.

In order to make sense of the guaranteed access to the citys warehouses, they should first be filled! This there were two sources for: The Incas land, animals and spoils, as well as the work of the inhabitants. The actual work organization I will explain later, but the work results became consumer goods, which were stored and could be used when needed. Stocks represented the states assets, but they also became the tangible pivot of reciprocity, which was the basis of state organization. Filled stocks depended on the territorial expansion and the filled stocks ensured that the regime could work. By ensuring that stocks grew, Pachacútec was able to sustain the flow of gifts he was obliged to give to continue the reciprocity.

Pachacútec must have explained his system when he visited a chief of a strange tribe and suggested him peacefully to join his tribe to him and his Inca Empire. If the strange chief was convinced, it was celebrated with a party. If the strange chief opposed the proposal, Pachacútec showed his military muscles. The intention was clear, and Pachacútec got his will.

As Tawantinsuyu grew, Pachacútec could not personally visit everybody, give gifts, drink, party, negotiate or threaten, so he appointed administrators who could represent him.

Sarmiento was conflict-oriented in his writing of history. It can hardly wonder when one remembers his agenda: he wanted to present the Incas as warlike as an argument for the legitimate conquest of the Spaniards, and when one remembers that he had listened both to Inca descendants and perhaps especially to descendants of those who had lost land, property, power, reputation and lives as a result of the Incas abuse:

Pachacútec found himself so powerful with the companies he had got together by liberal presents to all, that he proposed to subjugate by their means all the territories he could reach. For this he mustered all the troops that were in Cusco, and provided them with arms, and all that was necessary for war.

Affairs being in this state Pachacútec heard that his brother Urco was in a valley called Yucay, four leagues from Cusco, and that he had assembled some people. Fearing that the movement was intended against him the Inca marched there with his army. His brother Inca Roca went with him, who had the reputation of being a great necromancer.

Arriving at a place called Paca in the said valley, the Inca went out against his brother Urco, and there was a battle between them. Inca Roca hurled a stone which hit Urco on the throat. The blow was so great that Urco fell into the river flowing down the ravine where they were fighting. Urco exerted himself and fled, swimming down the river, with his axe in his hand. In this way he reached a rock called Chupellusca, a league below Tampu, where his brothers overtook him and killed him.

From thence the Inca Pachacútec, with his brother Inca Roca marched with their troops to Caquia Xaquixahuana to see his father who refused ever to speak with or see him, owing to the rage he felt at the death of Inca Urco.

 But Inca Roca went in, where Viracocha was and said: Father! It is not reasonable that you should grieve so much at the death of Urco, for I killed him in self defence, he having come to kill me. You are not to be so heavy at the death of one, when you have so many sons. Think no more of it, for my brother Pachacútec is to be Inca, and I hold that you should favour him and be as a father to him.

Seeing the resolution of his son Inca Roca, Viracocha did not dare to reply or to contradict him. He dismissed him by saying that that was what he wished, and that he would be guided by him in everything. With this the Inca Pachacútec and his brother Inca Roca returned to Cusco, and entered the city triumphing over the past victories and over this one.

Garcilaso de la Vega stayed away from the violence of the kind that Sarmiento reproduced. Instead, Garcilaso wrote:

Inca Viracocha died in the height of his power and majesty, and was universally mourned throughout all his empire, and worshipped as a god, a child of the Sun to whom they offered many sacrifices. As his heir he left Inca Pachacútec and many other sons and daughters, both legitimate ones of the royal blood and illegitimate.

And the harmony he repeated in the description of Pachacútec:

On the death of Inca Viracocha, he was succeeded by his legitimate son, Pachacútec, who after having solemnly observed the obsequies of his father, devoted three years to governing his realms without leaving his capital. He then visited his provinces one by one in person, and although he did not find any faults to punish, since the governors and royal officials tried to deal justly with their people at peril of their lives, the Inca kings were always glad to make these general progresses from time to time less their ministers should become careless and tyrannical because of the long absence and neglect of their prince.

Another reason was to allow their subjects to present complaints about injustices to the Inca himself, face to face – they did not permit themselves to be addressed through third parties, lest the latter should understate the guilt of the accused or the wrongs of the complaint out of friendship for those concerned or through bribery. Certainly the Inca kings took great pains to see that no one should be wronged in the administration of justice, which was dispensed according to natural law to great and small, poor and rich. Because of the rectitude they observed they were so greatly beloved, and will remain so for many centuries in the memories of the Indians.

About the conquests, Garcilaso wrote:

Soldiers were never allowed to rob or sack provinces or kingdoms that were reduced by force of arms to surrender: their natives who surrendered were quickly appointed to peaceable offices or entrusted with military commands, as if the latter had been long and trusted soldiers of the Inca and the former his most faithful servants.

The burden of the tributes imposed by the king was so light that what we are about to say may well appear to the reader to have been written in jest.


(pp. 211-216 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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