In 1493, Huayna Cápac, the 11th Sapa Inca, took over the Inca dignity of his father, Túpac Inca Yupanqui. During Huayna Cápac, the number of revolts rose, and the main reason for this is believed to have been the extensions, that Cusco lay so far away that the original reciprocity – Pachacútecs principle of reciprocity, some-thing for something – had completely disappeared.
It was difficult or even impossible for newly conquered tribes to be loyal and feel as part of a society, they did not know and understood. In an ever-growing empire, Sapa Inca could only rarely reach to expose himself even though the road network was expanded.
Even a Sapa Inca couldn’t be in two places at once. The Son of the Sun became increasingly distant – and unrelated.
Tawantinsuyu had become a world empire. Huayna Cápac continued the expansions, hit rebellions and expanded the infrastructure. Roads were established for runners, chaski, who waited ready at a patahuasi, roadhouse, and could fast deliver messages to and from the center of power. And so that Sapa Inca could get the freshest supplies and in his litter be shown to the people.
One of the Spanish conquerors wrote: Such magnificent roads could be seen nowhere in Christendom in country as rough as this. Almost all of them are paved.
Bejder blames Huayna Cápac personally that the Inca Empire did not continue to expand: Huayna Cápac did not possess the same military capabilities as his father.
However, Huayna Cápac expanded the empire tremendously to the south. He did not lack military capabilities, but experienced such resistance so he must have recognized that the empire had limits to growth, that the reciprocity bond was broken, and that he needed other tools.
Huayna Cápac chose – in addition to harshly hit on rebellion – before 1500 to establish the symbols of power – palace, Sun temple, acclahuasi – in other cities of the empire: Quito (the capital of present Ecuador), Tumipampa (present Cuenca in Ecuador), Huánuco , Tumbes, Hatun Collao and Charcas.
The centralist Inca empire had become so huge that it was clear that something had to be done at Sapa Incas lack of proximity.
The new power centers should compensate. But the new constructions – created through knuckle work – did not solve the empires lack of cohesion. Geologists have found that stones from quarries in Cusco were used. People have dragged and pulled the heavy stones thousand miles in the mountainous country for establishing the symbolic relationship of the buildings.
But it was not sufficient.
Sapa Inca had to personally to show his affiliation with his subjects, often in the local dress and with a wig in the local style, to preserve the social contract.
But even a Sapa Inca had only 24 hours day and night, and even with the expanded, effective road system connecting the vast empire, he could not reach enough places and show up so frequent that people and chiefs were convinced and confident of his presence and thus the connection to the ancestors and the Sun.
The distance between the periphery and the center had become enormous. Tawantinsuyu should be centralized, because there was only one Son of the Sun. The new centers were a desk solution to accommodate the feelings of 10 million people, but they could not fulfill their religious faiths. In a centralized society, built around one person, who through his ancestors had the right to power from the Sun, there could be only one center.
The weakening came from within.
It had to go wrong!
The problem was far from the Incas lack of military capabilities. The problem was a system error that originated from 1438, from Pachacútec. The Inca ideology or more the -strategy with its split heritage had been the empires engine of growth, but it contained its own contradiction, the collapse, dissatisfaction, resistance and rebellion.
The fall of the empire was imminent.
Also, the growing worship of the royal mummies was undercutting the incumbent Incas power instead of strengthening him. He had to continue the expansion, showing his power to people who couldn’t see any benefits. It became increasingly difficult, virtually impossible, as the Inca Empire borders were pushed from Cuscos highland to the coastal deserts and the impenetrable rainforest below the Andes.
(pp. 306-307 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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