Legends About The Beginnings Of The Manco Capau ayluu

There are two legends about the beginnings of the Manco Capau ayluu. One says that Manco Capac and his family of three brothers and four sisters came out of a cave in the southwest of Cuzco. According to the other version, Manco Capac and his sister, Mama Ojllo were children of the sun and were sent down by the sun to an island in Lake Titicaca.

After searching for a suitable place to live, they founded the town of Cuzco, which became the capital of Inca dynasty. They taught the people they found around Cuzco to raise corn and leave to weave cloth. Their first son, Sinchi Roca, began the conquest of Peru.

Legends have it that under the first three rulers who came after Sinchi Roca, Inca rule was extended to Lake Titicaca, to Tiahuanaco – which was then a very important town  - to the headwaters of the coastal rivers, and to some of the coastal fishing villages. The next three rulers continued the expansion of the Empire.

In the early days of the Inca, conquest and expansion were not accomplished by means of huge armies. Probably the small Manco Capac ayllu allied with a neighboring Inca ayllu and moved against still another neighbor. After conquering them, the Inca let the people remain on their land and allowed the craftsmen to continue their pottery making, weaving and metalwork.

 Inca soldiers returned at each harvest to collect an annual tribute of corn and llamas. The pottery, weaving and metalwork of some of these conquered people were superior to those of the Inca, but the Inca were ready to learn from them.

As the might of the Inca increased, they began to take advantage of each warring group outside their borders. Weaker nations often asked their help against a strong enemy aggressor and in exchange for this help, the Inca received tribute in produce from both the weaker nation and the newly conquered aggressor.

There were always struggles for power within the royal house – Manco Capac had found it necessary to kill his three brothers – and there were threats from the outside, too. As the territory under Inca control grew larger, the danger of rebellion among the conquered people increased.

Therefore, they were no longer permitted to live as they had before the conquest, merely paying tribute in men and produce. The Inca often issued orders to kill all the men in a newly conquered village and to escape this fate the defeated mean fled to the mountains or into the jungle immediately after battle.

Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth ruler of the Inca, is the first emperor for whose reign we have exact dates. By this time (1438 -1471) the Inca Empire was well established. To insure obedience to himself, Pachacuti ordered all the people of Cajamarca, a newly conquered province in the northern highlands, to move south.

He moved to Cajamarca people who had been living longer under Inca rule and could be trusted not to rebel. This was the beginning of enforced mass migrations. Any village that seemed rebellious or refused to turn over the produce tax imposed by the Inca was resettled elsewhere in the empire.

This was not done without struggle, since the farmers loved their homes and their land. But the Inca won, and the rebels were moved away from their relatives and friends and made to live among strangers. Indians do not trust strangers whose ways and language are unfamiliar to them, and Pachacuti knew that people who were suspicious of each other would not plan revolt together.


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