From his palace on the north-west side of the site, Pachacútec ruled when he was in Cusco. Also that was four-folded, delimited by the streets and with a single, small door opening so the access easily could be controlled. It was both his home and administrative headquarter. It was his panaca, and the residents were his family with servants. Everyone should have something to live on, and it was produced by the peasants who lived in the large areas belonging to the panaca.
Although Pachacútec had had a difficult relationship with his own father and rethought much, he asked his ancestors for advice, as tradition said, just as the ancestors mummies held consultations with each other.
The mummies were solemnly carried through the city and gathered around a good meal and further ceremonies were performed for them. Ancestral worship was important, and in relation to the ruling Inca, it was a decisive factor of power. It implied that the deceased Incas were given the opportunity to influence the ruling Sapa Inca, because everyone could refer to what they thought exactly their ancestor meant and had uttered. And this despite the fact that Sapa Inca was the sole ruler.
The panacas of the late Sapa Incas were centered around the Incas mummies and they were populated by the descendants of the deceased: children, siblings, cousins, and grandcousins, etc. With the sexual activity of Sapa Inca in mind, there must have been a crowd. Once they had fought for the Inca, now they should be respected as mediators of the deceased Incas opinions, and they did it by advising or interfering in the exercise of power. Envy, jealousy, intrigue, turbulence, fighting, yes assassinations flourished around the Inca.
Thus the system also had been before Pachacútec, but as time passed, there were still more panacas who tried to influence the ruling Sapa Inca. If he was to diminish the rivalry in the upper class and if the Incas plundering of neighbors were to be replaced by actual conquests for creating a real empire, then there should be fought for the whole society.
Pachacútec must have reached the conclusion that his lineage should take care of the ancestors interests by means of the existing possessions, and as ruling Sapa Inca, he should conquer new land. Some areas he wanted to conquer for himself, but the majority of the newly-conquered areas should be part of the realm and forever they should remain reserved for empiral projects. His own areas were only to be used for empire projects in his lifetime; after his death they would pass to his panaca. That’s how the inheritance, that for eternity should be used for worship of the mummy, expanded.
About Pachacútec, Garcilaso wrote:
He also left more than three hundred other sons and daughters, and it is even maintained that in the course of his long life with a multitude of wives, he had more than four hundred legitimate and illegitimate children. The Indians affirm that even this large number is little for the children of such a father.
Garcilaso distinguished between legitimate and illegitimate sons. The many sons should be loyal to Sapa Inca and listen to his mummy. Lineage councils and alliances could result in someone other than the first-born son of the Inca became heir. Therefore, it was important that Sapa Inca himself pointed to his heir.
This was not new; I have told of Mayta Cápac, the fourth Inca, who appointed Cápac Yupanqui as his successor at the expense of his eldest son Cunti Mayta, with his ugly face, who was instead highpriest.
Also Pachacútec himself had seized power even though he was not the fathers oldest legitimate son and the father had designated another son as his successor.
While Pachacútec lived, he designated his oldest legitimate son Amaru as co-regent. But when the son did not live up to Pachacútecs expectations, he left the succession to a much younger brother – probably on Pachacútecs cause.
Power struggles in Pachacútec lineage could also have other consequences. His brother, Cápac Yupanqui, led the Inca army victoriously into the rich Cajamarca, but it was farther north than Sapa Inca had ORDERED, and then this military success was rewarded with the DEATH!
Brothermurder or deathpenalty for not obeying Sapa Incas order. Perhaps Pachacútec feared that Cápac Yupanqui would use the victory to let the army make him Sapa Inca.
Pachacútec chose to highlight his new favorite candidate, a younger son, by delegating a still growing responsibility to him. If the son lived up to his expectations, he could become the supreme general, and if he, as supreme general victoriously led the Inca army, he would outshine everyone else.
That’s how it went.
This division of responsibility between the ruling father and the war-leading son can be traced back to the division of tasks between the peace-chief and the war-chief when the Inca tribe along with other tribes had begun their migration in search of a place to survive.
Pachacútec strengthened his young sons experience and position in order to determine his succession: both he and his son Túpac Inca Yupanqui were honored for the conquests 1463-1471. Thus, Túpac Inca Yupanqui’s inheritance was made almost indisputable.
Crucial to a future Sapa Inca was that he radiated enthusiasm so he could mobilize men around him to fight as an army that would conquer land with peasants who could work, so that the newly mobilized army could get something to eat. First the men willing to fight should be filled with enthusiasm and then fight for their own wages! Once sufficient was conquered, the Inca could establish a state administration to manage the distribution in the palace that was first to be built. That’s a kind of difficulty that the new Inca should start from scratch instead of inheriting a state apparatus.
Pachacútec had done even more for his heir. To protect him from intrigues of uncles, brothers and cousins and their descendants, they had been emphasized responsibility for the deceased Inca.
The arrangement could be a bit of a double-edged sword. They were supposed to protect the deceased Inca, but the mummy should not make too many alternative suggestions. It had to be considered! The lineage should take care of the late Incas panaca, ie. peasents in the conquered lands, where was produced so the growing family could live.
Whether Pachacútec chose that solution to avoid relatives from interfering too much in the decisions of the Inca or whether it was because he loved his many children and wanted to secure the future of them, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we can only guess.
Immediate, Pachacútec had strengthened the panacas when they had to take care of the interests of the deceased Inca. But then he issued an order that the mummy should no longer be kept in the panaca but be brought to Coricancha, where it was to be stored with the other important mummies. The mummies came under his control. In future, the panacas should instead protect the ancestors god image, his guauqui, the symbol, and this substitute could almost be assigned the same meaning as the mummy – but also only almost. The mummy itself and its advice should be controlled by Sapa Inca. A clear centralization of power.
Probably Pachacútec copied the Chimus system with split inheritance because he had learned how effectively it had created the foundation of the great neighbor realm, had protected their future ruler from intrigues and had ensured the other sons something to live on. Pachacútecs notions can of course not be reconstructed, but the consequence was that the new Sapa Inca could not sit back as a supervisor of what so far had been captured but had to fight. The inheritance system entailed that the Incas society had to expand. WAR!
The change implied that the Inca warriors were given increased power, and that skilled warriors from conquered tribes had opportunities for advancement. This worship of warriors was among others expressed in the trials young men had to pass, but also in the Inca inauguration ceremony.
For some time, the warriors manhood trials had been given less weight, but with Pachacútecs changes, the caste of warriors and the manhood trials were again gaining importance.
Conrad and Demarest conclude:
Hence the rights of dead rulers placed considerable amounts of land and labor outside a new emperors control and left him facing the question of how to create his own agricultural estates and have them farmed. There was one obvious solution to this problem: he could conquer new territories and exploit their wealth. Since his goals were ownership of land and control of surplus labor time, the old pattern of plunder and withdrawal would no longer suffice. Instead, a ruler would have to strive for permanent annexation, for the integration of the conquered regions into his realm. Accordingly, split inheritance emerges as a driving force behind the growth of the Inca Empire.
In short: to protect against family intrigues, Sapa Inca had to attack other tribes and expand the realm.
In twenty-five years, Pachacútec changed the kingdom of Incas to include many other tribes. He created the Tawantinsuyu that reached south of Titicaca. In the following eight years – his last years of life – the size of the realm was more than doubled as he conquered the Chimu Empire of northern Peru up to Quito, capital of todays Ecuador. This second conquest he undertook together with his son Túpac Inca Yupanqui, who, as general, was well positioned as the heir, as the coming Sapa Inca.
(pp. 222-227 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
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