For unlimited access to Class Notes, a Class+ subscription is required.
The Incas before the Empire
We know little about the pre imperial Inca society. The stories floated through ancestors and to
Killke – Pre Imperial.
Studies are limited so we still have lots to learn, especially on the pre imperial settlements.
Around 1400 the Incas emerged as the dominant polity. Initial place of change was gradual. But
as they started expanding, the population of about 100,000 asserted its rule over 10-12 million
people in just a few decades.
Tawatinsuyu did not fall due to the death of its founder, but stayed strong.
Inka Yupanki – First Prince, defended Cuzco against the aggressive neighbor. While his father
and most of the residence took shelter in a redoubt.
Early Inca history consisted of genealogies and fables.
Most historical records begin with the deified of Manqo Qhapaq (Their God). It then continued
through many rulers.
There was a cave called the house of windows (Tampu Toqo) at the inn of dawn (Pacariq
Tambo). The creator God summoned 4 brothers and 4 sisters that became the Inca ancestors,
from a central cave called Qhapaq Toqo (The Rich Window). The Maras and Tambo people
came from two adjoining caves (Mara Toqo and Sutiq Toqo).
The 8 Incas were then paired off. In Betanzos version, the richly dressed primordial ancestors
were coupled. The principle couple named Manqo Qhapuq and Mama Oqllu found a ready ally
in the Tambos which they grouped into two sets of 5 (Ayllu).
At one resting spot called Tamboqurio, Mama gave birth to Zinchi Roqa who would become the
second Inca ruler. The travelers were occasionally complicated by the belligerent Inca brother
named Ayar Kachi, who fought with the people along the way and smashed mountains with his
The other siblings tricked him into the origin cave, claiming they forgot items inside of it. When
Ayar Kachi fell for the ruse, he was sealed inside by a big stone.
They finally made it to the top of a valley, where they could see fruits and a rainbow, seeing their
Brother Ayar Uchu was turned into a stone before they could descend. Both the stone and the
mountain became known as Huanacauri, which became revered as a shrine.
At Matagua, Mama Waqo and some say Mama Qhapaq cast two golden rods into the valley.
The first did not stick firmly, they know the land was not fertile. The second went deep into earth