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The Incas of the Andes

Summary and Keywords

The Inca (also Inka) Empire, called by the Andeans themselves “Tawantinsuyu,” referred to its four parts: the Chinchaysuyu, the Antisuyu, the Collasuyu, and the Cuntisuyu. Inter-disciplinary research pictures an assemblage of ethnic groups under a dynasty of rulers, believed to have supernatural origins. This multi-cultural state, overseen by a decimally-defined administrative system, was united by kinship ties; the worship of the sun, the moon and ethnic ancestors; negotiation; reciprocity; and force. At its height, it spread from Northwestern Argentina, through Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, and included about half of Chile and the southern frontier of Colombia. Troubles began in the 1520s as a strange disease decimated the native population, claiming the emperor himself. Yet, the Inca’s jurisdiction continued to expand until circa 1532, the date when Francisco Pizarro and his followers and allies marched across the Andes and confronted the Andean emperor Atahualpa in the plaza of the highland ceremonial center of Cajamarca.

Keywords: Incas, empire, ancestor worship, Cuzco, Chanka War, Ayar brothers, decimal system, hospitality, imperialism

In the last half century or so, the image of the Inca Empire has changed. Scholars once characterized it as a tightly centralized, omnipotent state with formidable armies and fortresses. This physical power enabled a dynasty of emperors to rule peoples from what is today southern Colombia, down through Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, and inland into Bolivia and northwestern Argentina. The Incas, as their ethnic group of origin was thought to have been called and who were also referred to in early sources as the Cuzcos, had built an efficient system of roads, bridges that spanned chasms of great depth over roaring rivers, and large administrative centers, marked by palaces, plazas, and temples. Gold and silver objects filled these ceremonial centers and sometimes covered the ruler himself. But, the use of new sources and methods has refined this representation, resulting in a much more nuanced picture of the empire and how it functioned.

To better contextualize this portrait of the dominant native power on the western side of the Southern Hemisphere in the 16th century, this entry will briefly review the history of the empire, called by the people themselves “Tawantinsuyu,” referring to its four parts: the Chinchaysuyu, the Antisuyu, the Collasuyu, and the Cuntesuyu. In the early 17th century, Fray Martín de Murúa’s chronicle showed these parts as four natives with distinctive headdresses and clothing (see Figure 1), representing four overarching ethnic groups. This history will be followed by the characteristics of imperial rule as of circa 1532, the date when Francisco Pizarro and his followers marched across the Andes and confronted the Andean emperor Atahualpa in the plaza of the highland ceremonial center of Cajamarca.

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Figure 1. The Inca carried by natives of the four suyus. From Wellington Manuscript by Fray Martín de Murúa, c. 1615, f. 67, Getty Museum.


Because the Incas or “los Cuzcos,” as they are called in the earliest sources, had no writing, the story of their origins relies on oral traditions as heard and recorded mostly by 16th-century Spanish chroniclers. The most often-told origin story indicates that four siblings, the Ayar brothers, named Ayar Manco (or Ayar Capac or Manco Capac), Ayar Auca, Ayar Kachi, and Ayar Uchu, emerged with their sister-wives from the caves of Tambotoco Hill near Pacariktambo (also Pacariqtambo).1 From there they migrated in search of arable land. Along the way, one brother, Ayar Kachi, harassed the peoples they encountered. So the other three brothers invented a ruse and sent him back to the cave of Tambotoco to retrieve some forgotten items; while there, they rolled a bolder across the entrance, entrapping him forever. Further along, when the remaining party topped a ridge, they saw beyond a fertile valley where a rainbow ended—a favorable sign. There, another brother, Ayar Uchu, turned into stone. His figure and the mountain on which he stood became known as Huanacauri, a place that would be revered ever after. Eventually, a staff thrown from a distance sunk into the soil indicating a suitable, productive place to settle. At this point, the third brother (Ayar Awka) sprouted wings and flew to a nearby rock, where he became a stone that signaled possession.2 But, this transformation was premature, because other ethnic groups, including the Sauaseras, the Guayllas, and several other farming lineages already inhabited the valley. The newcomers attacked the Guayllas, killing everyone. Then, they threatened the Sauaseras and defeated their captains. The Incas negotiated with the other original inhabitants, making them serve them. Nearby, they built a ceremonial center, known to this day as “the city of the Cuzco” (la ciudad del Cuzco).

There, the last of the brothers, Manco Capac, founded a chieftainship or curacazgo, claiming to have been sired by the sun, his father, in union with his mother, the moon. In time, his descendants became kings and claimed direct descent from this celestial couple. Their direct relationship with the supernatural made this lineage divine with the right for one of the male descendants to rule over subjects. The first few emperors married daughters from neighboring prominent lineages as a way to solidify their power over additional populations and build their kinship networks. Members of a lineage related by marriage to the descendants of Manco Capac and his wife were addressed as “cacacuzcos.” The last few emperors, in contrast, married their own biological sisters to concentrate better the supernatural essences of their royal bloodline.

Eventually, another group, the Chankas, living to the north, challenged these “children of the Sun” for this title. Both the field marshals of the Incas and the Chankas carried their respective deities into battle, believing that their ancestral heroes’ powers would bring them victory. Both enemies fought vigorously, but the Incas eventually emerged triumphant, claiming that the Sun had favored them over their foes. The Chankas, following custom, acknowledged their defeat in a “good war” and accepted the obligation to serve the victors.


Oral histories relate that after this victory, the Incas claimed that the sun had given them a mandate to continue to seek new subjects. They did so in two ways, either through diplomacy or by force of arms. The former involved sending messengers ahead, bearing rich gifts with an invitation to join the Incas’ alliance, promising to help them in times of crises, be it with warriors to fight their enemies or with food in times of drought and blight or blankets should an earthquake level their homes and bury their belongings. The Inca ruler rewarded compliant lords with finely-woven tunics of vicuña wool, the finest fiber then in use; the privilege of being carried in a hammock or a litter; a distinguishing headdress; confirmation as a privileged lord; and/or (as a specially-prized consideration) a sister or daughter of his own royal lineage to take as a principal wife. In return, the Incas expected that their allies would help them, when requested, be it in fighting a war, in terracing a mountain-side, in cultivating surplus foodstuffs, or in building a ceremonial center. The Incas also obliged subject peoples to worship the sun and moon, the Cuzcos’ ancestors, in addition to their own lineage ancestors, and to learn to speak Quechua, the lingua franca of the empire, if it was not their native language (a requirement that had not been widely implemented by the early 16th century).3

Those who spurned such proposals and negotiations faced war, extermination, and at the very least loss of subjects to relocation. Pabur (also spelled Pavor), a once self-described mighty lord, complained to Pizarro that because he and his people had not come out to greet the Guayna Capac (translated as the Young Ruler) as he passed nearby, the emperor killed the population of twenty lineages under his protection:4

[T]he governor [Pizarro] and his people left, and having walked that day until the sun was at its height and was beginning to go down, the governor arrived at a large plaza, surrounded by walls, of a lord named Pavor, who lived there with his people. And it became known that this lord was a great authority and he had many subjects not too long ago, and his influence was destroyed at present, because he said that the lord of the Cuzco, father of Atabaliba [Guayna Capac], had burned and devastated twenty of his towns [pueblos], and he had killed the people there because he had not received him peacefully.5

Pabur was lucky. The emperor had summarily dispatched and replaced other recalcitrant lords, appointing men of his choosing, as appears to have happened with the indigenous lords of the Colliques on the coast. Those killed in battle or executed might also have their flayed skin made into a drum or their de-fleshed skull repurposed as a cup. The image of the defeated people’s ancestral god, which had been carried into battle, was taken hostage and held in a building in the southern ceremonial center of the Cuzco, where descendants might sometimes be allowed to come to worship it.

Once defeated, the ethnic group and the lineages that constituted it might be split up. Some of a kin group might be sent to distant locations in a divide-and-conquer strategy. After the rival Chimús were overpowered, the Inca emperor balkanized this advanced coastal state, which extended hundreds of miles along the Pacific coast. Worse from a kinship point of view were the lineages from many ethnic groups who were relocated far away. These were labeled mitimaes or mitmaqkuna and tasked, as in the Cochabamba Valley (in modern Bolivia) case, with cultivating corn for the emperor. Metalworkers from the Pacific Coast were sent to work in the main Inca ceremonial center, where they made objects of silver (regarded by Andeans as the tears of the moon) and gold (regarded by natives as the sweat of the sun). Collique ceramicists left the coast as mitimaes bound for highland Cajamarca to make pots. Five hundred Wanka families from the central highlands wove cloth for the ruler in the southern Yucay Valley.6 The remaining subjects remained in their homes, but answered requests of their overlords to cultivate fields; build or maintain roads, terraces, or monumental architecture; answer muster calls to join seasonal armies; or carry provisions and cloth to storehouses. These diplomatic and armed strategies explain how the various Inca rulers expanded their jurisdictions to eventually encompass the peoples who lived in the areas of the modern countries of southern Colombia to northwestern Argentina.

No one knows for sure why the Incas expanded from their southern base. One theory is that they needed new lands.7 An ethnohistorian has posited that they went north to control trade and especially the source of the Spondylus shells (originating in the warm waters off the coast of what is now Ecuador) that were so needed for native worship of their many gods.8 Still another believes that the emperors wanted to incorporate more people into their growing domain for the labor they represented.9

Whether the motivation was additional resources or labor or some combination of these, that might have changed over time, an archaeologically apparent institution, dubbed “split inheritance,” must also be considered as a cause for expansion. Split inheritance refers to the practice of leaving all a king’s worldly possessions (except those that were buried with him) to his descent group (called a panaca), headed by his sister-wife, while his successor assumed his position.10 Thus, subsequent emperors would have found it necessary to seek more subjects to one day leave enough behind to support his lineage, which was charged with perpetuating his memory by caring for his mummified body and remembering and periodically publicizing his deeds.

Early Spanish chroniclers heard the oral traditions of the Andean kings. Pedro Cieza de León, a soldier who traveled in the Andes in the late 1540s, and Juan de Betanzos, who worked as a translator of Quechua about the same time, who was married to a royal princess, and who wrote the first history of the native empire in the 1550s, provide the names of the kings, the last few of whom were the mighty heroes of the expansion. Their names are listed in Table 1. Chroniclers often heard confusing stories. But, eventually, they realized that a ruler, as others, acquired several names over a lifetime: at or shortly after birth and at their initiation into adulthood. A new name might also be taken after an admired accomplishment. The emperor furthermore took a new name upon ascendance to power. But, the personal names of an emperor could not be uttered aloud except in ceremonial contexts, so they were most often referred to by praise names. Table 1 shows the praise names or ceremonial names of the rulers, the translation of that name, and the given name of the person, if it is known.

Table 1. The Traditional List of Inca Kings

Ruler’s Praise Name


Given Name

Manco Capac

Creator or Original Omnipotent (King)

Sinchi Roca

Warrior Roca

Lloque Yupanqui

Left-Handed (Ruler) of Incalculable Peoples

Mayta Capac

Omnipotent Mayta

Capac Yupanqui

Omnipotent (Ruler) of Incalculable Peoples

Inca Roca

King Roca

Yawar Guacap

He Who Cries Blood

Inca Yupanqui, Mayta Yupanqui, Titu Cusi Gualpa

Viracocha Inca

Creator King

Hatun Tupa Inca

Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui

Reforming King of Incalculable Peoples

Inca Yupanqui, Cusi Yupanqui

Topa Inca Yupanqui

Ruler of Allied Incalculable Peoples

Guayna Capac

Young King

Tito Cusi Gualpa

Huáscar Inca

King of the Golden Chain

Thupa Cusi Gualpa

Ataubalipa or Atahualpa or Ticci Capac

Victorious Warrior or Cock

Note: (*) This spelling and the translation come from Alejandro la Torre, Atahualpa: El vergonzoso sobre nombre del último inca del Perú (Lima: Ojo Prodigo, 2015).

Although the early primary sources are riddled with contradictory claims, most agree that Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui was the first to conquer peoples outside the immediate area around the capital. His name is identified with the subordination of the Chankas, the Soras, the Lucanas, the Cotabambas, the Collas, the Lupacas, the Atuncondes, the Parinacochas, the Camanas, and others. Topa Inca Yupanqui, either as a commander of his father’s army or as general in his own right after assuming the rulership, is associated with incursions onto the coast and into the northern sierras toward Quito. One chronicler, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, writing in 1572, lists the peoples he or his field marshals subordinated as if it had been read off a quipu (a native mnemonic recording device made up of colored knotted strings), an example of which is shown in Figure 2. Among the ethnic groups mentioned are the Quichuas, the Angaraes, the Guaillas, the Chachapoyas, the Paltas, the Chimús, the Cañares, the Guancabilicas, and the Túmbez. Guaina Capac tightened the hegemony over the previously incorporated and pushed north to the Pastos (located in modern southern Colombia). This expansion is summarized in Map 1.

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Figure 2. A quipu being shown to the Inca at a storage site. From Guaman Poma de Ayala, Nueva corónica y buen gobierno, Paris: Institut d’ethnologie, c. 1613/1936, f. 335.

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Map 1. Expansion attributed to different rulers. From Pärssinen, Marti, Tawantinsuyu: The Inca State and Its Political Organization (Helsinki: Societas Historica Finlandiae, 1992), 128.

The Religio-Political Ruling Structure

To help consolidate the empire, the newly allied or subjugated were counted and then organized into categories. A hierarchy of ethnic lords, headed by a chief or curaca, aided by lesser lords (called by the Spaniards “principal(es)”; see Table 2), helped rule. This structure ordered a nested set of jurisdictions, based on a decimal division of the population. A curacas’s (chieftain’s) status was reckoned by the size of the demographic group that responded to his bidding: the greater the number of his subjects, the higher his rank. Thus, the hunus each had influence over ten thousand able-bodied males and their families. Curacas de guarangas (lords of a thousand able-bodied males and their families) had a higher standing than a curaca de pachaca (lord of a hundred families).

Table 2. Hierarchy of Authorities by Size of Following, Inca Empire(by Households)



Pisca guaranga




Pisca pachaca




Pisca Chunga




The trappings of power varied accordingly. Higher-status lords might have the privilege of being carried in a litter, lesser lords might be carried in a hammock and those with small jurisdictions walked. Likewise, the higher and more elaborate a lord’s seat, the higher his status. A prominent lord might sit on a high stool; a lesser lord might sit on a lower one. The emperors often sat on a bench or throne carved out of rock on top of hills (as in Cajamarca) or on stepped-pyramid–like platforms (called ushnus) in the plaza (see Figure 3). Commoners squatted or prostrated themselves on the ground before high authorities. Rank could also be judged by the fiber and fineness of the weave of tunics and by their headdresses.

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Figure 3. The Inca sitting on his ushnu. From Guaman Poma de Ayala, c. 1613/1936, f. 398.

Large numbers of followers became essential to an authority’s reputation and anticipated largess. Followers judged the emperor or a lineage lord by the magnificence of his hospitality and bountiful generosity. Expectations were high for a ceremony presided over by the emperor. Because of his divine status, persons expected god-like hospitality and the redistribution of precious goods. He had chosen women (aclla) who lived segregated from the general population to weave, brew maize beer, and serve him. They produced some of the goods that he distributed to meritorious followers. They helped supply the food and drink that persons in attendance at ceremonies and festivals consumed. Archaeologists excavating at Huánuco Pampa found ample evidence for brewing maize beer on a massive scale that provided for the attendees at ceremonial gatherings. Curacas de guarangas with their multiple wives and numerous subjects provided a more sumptuous feast, but a less extravagant one than the emperor. A curaca de pachaca, who was limited by the number of his supporters, could not match such displays. The fact that the emperor hosted resident or semi-resident artisans meant that he also controlled the production of luxury, prestige items that he gave away as incentivizing rewards for loyalty and exceptional service that simultaneously publicized his generosity and power.

Succession could be a problem since there was no one rule that established who had legitimacy to follow a given native authority. The fact that the king and high lords had many wives and offspring resulted in a keen competition to succeed the last ruler, be he the Inca or a man of lesser rank. Although the primary sources contradict one another on this point, the preponderance of the evidence, especially outside of the royal lineages, states that brothers succeeded brothers until the entire age grade was exhausted before the next generation of sons and nephews had the right to the stool. The only universal requirement was that the potential successor be “apt” or capable.

In some instances, the primary sources indicate that two or more contenders underwent an ordeal to determine who held the gods’ favor. This is indicated at the imperial level by the civil war between two half-brothers, the sons of the Guayna Capac, by different mothers: Huáscar (also called “el Cuzco joven,” the young Cuzco) and Atahualpa, which was ongoing as Pizarro and his band moved south in 1531–1532. Both brothers sacrificed and prayed to their ancestral gods for victory as their armies clashed. Both identified the invading Spaniards as gods who were arriving to aid each of them, respectively. Atahualpa’s field marshals eventually captured Huáscar and executed him, leaving Atahualpa to claim the title. The Inca’s person became the center of the court and realm that, because of the jurisdictional, relational nature of the empire, was often on the move.

The realm was united (in theory) by the personal relationships built by each ruler as he moved across the Andes, visiting the various ethnic groups under his dominion. Hospitality, featuring feasts with abundant food and maize beer, gifts of tunics and headdresses, and pageantry with music and songs and dances, highlighted great reunions at such ceremonial centers as Huánuco Pampa, Tomepampa, Quito, Hatuncolla, Charkas, and Incahuasi, also called cities of the Cuzco (or “new Cuzcos”), when the emperor was in residence. Lesser lords and their lineages sometimes traveled great distances to attend. The marriage of an ethnic lord to a female relative of the sitting emperor attracted more solemnities. Such unions marked the creation of consanguineal ties between the ruler and lineage leaders through the birth of the next generation and the construction of a common kinship history. Such occasions and the kinship ties they created also helped foster loyalties.

Other factors promoting unity of the empire’s diverse and widely-scattered multi-ethnic subjects were the hundreds of storage silos built at strategic sites throughout the Andes, testimony to the fact that the emperor was ready to help his peoples in times of drought, flood, famine, or other crises. Goods and messages could be carried along an exceptional system of roads (the capac ñan) and bridges (some built by previous cultures) that facilitated communication and rule. Furthermore, the emperor established the requirement that all subjects worship the sun and moon and speak Quechua, as mentioned above. When necessary, the imperial ruler sent personnel to teach newly-integrated subjects in the proper ceremonies for propitiating and venerating his heavenly ancestors in Quechua, as attested to by Sun temples in such locales as Túmbez and Huamachuco. This was an uneven and ongoing process at the time of the Spanish invasion.

In 1532, integration was an unfinished process. The unity of the empire was more apparent than real. While the length of service and other factors made those living in the south relatively loyal, on the periphery, only the lords of the last-incorporated ethnic groups had learned enough Quechua to communicate effectively up the administrative hierarchy. The commoners continued to speak Aymara, Mochica, Sec, Colle, or another ethnic language. And the king had no permanent police force or full-time army to enforce his laws and establish his power on a permanent basis. Therefore, ethnic lords enjoyed a great deal of day-to-day authority and were able to act semi-independently. Provincial peoples honored the sun and moon when required, but still relied on their own ancestral heroes, the founders of their lineages, on a quotidian and continuing basis. Sabine Mac Cormack has shown that after Atahualpa’s capture and execution by the Spanish, the worship of the sun and moon quickly diminished and eventually all but disappeared in peripheral areas.11 Such unstable alliances explain why revolts, like those of the Collas and the Sañas, against increasingly centralized rule occurred often, and why each new ruler traveled the Andes re-introducing himself to peoples who may have succumbed to or allied with a predecessor.

Ancestor Worship

Predecessors mattered. Ancestor worship, whether at the imperial or provincial level, was central to the quotidian activities of most as alluded to above. Andeans believed that the dead lived in “another world” that was densely populated with hundreds from previous generations. It was so thickly populated that food and drink were sometimes inadequate. Therefore, the living had the obligation to sacrifice llama knuckles, corn cakes, maize beer, guinea pigs, and other items to the deified ancestors to keep them happy and ensure the fertility of themselves, their animals, and their seeds. If neglected, the dead grew unhappy to the point that they might send hardship in the form of illness or blight, infertility, earthquakes, drought, or other problems to visit their descendants.

The emperor himself celebrated his ties to the sun and moon. This connection made the ruler capac, translated as “very much more than king.” From the time of Topa Inca, subjects treated the rulers as huacas or sacred objects. They were revered and worshipped. Like the mummies of his ancestors, the living emperor was carried, seated on a litter; he did not walk. Like a god, he sat to order the world and maintain harmony and equilibrium. On the November 1532 afternoon that Atahualpa encountered Pizarro and his band in the plaza of Cajamarca, the Inca, as a god or guaca, was being carried along a ceremonial causeway among as many as 50,000 soldiers and courtiers, singers and musicians. As he passed, observers adored him. His public world was a ceremonial.

Like the rigorously restricted access to other idols, an audience with the emperor was rare. Miguel Caballo Valboa, a priest writing in the 1580s, recorded that it was a crime to look directly at the ruling monarch. Cieza de León recalled that if a cloth was lifted on his litter and bystanders saw his person, they cried out in astonishment. Most persons approached the ruler through a subordinate. Under extraordinary circumstances when an audience with the king was allowed, those admitted had to enter the sacred presence, backward and barefoot, carrying a burden on their back, and only after having first revered him.12

On the rare occasion when the emperor appeared in public, he dressed as a god, resplendently, sometimes covered in hammered gold, symbolizing his intimate association and ability to communicate with the sun. Huáscar was once described as “wounding the eyes” when his gold-covered person was carried into the Andean sun. One 16th-century chronicler wrote that as Atahaulpa entered the plaza on that fateful November afternoon in 1532, his retinue wore so much gold and silver that they shined in the daylight.13

As a child of the sun, even his statues and images were worshipped and revered as gods. Sacrifices like those made before the statue of the sun were made before them. Some of the rulers had statues made that were considered brothers and that could predict the future and answer questions. Atahualpa, for example, had his nail clippings and hair encased in a statue or bundle that was sent to the provinces on a guarded litter so that his subjects could render obedience to it instead of his person. They performed great sacrifices and served and respected this representation as if the person of Atahualpa had appeared before them.14

Thus, the Inca became part of the greater imperial structure and pantheon, an articulating point of contact: a link between his celestial kin, the mummified remains of his ancestors, and his earth-bound relatives and followers. Only the king could drink with the sun (see Figure 4). He mediated between the sacred and the profane. As the center, he united all. His status guaranteed cosmic harmony.

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Figure 4. The Inca toasting the sun. From Graman Poma de Ayala, c. 1613/1936, f. 246.

As a guaca, as supreme religious authority of the official cult of the sun, and as the sun’s kin and representative, messenger, lieutenant, and spokesman, the populace believed that the Inca was omnipotent and omnipresent. As the personification of sacred force and a god among men, who even spoke a sacred language, he was said to be capable of changing form. Atahualpa was rumored to have escaped Huáscar’s forces by turning into a snake and disappearing underground.15 He was like a god in that, it was said, he made sterile countryside fertile by establishing order, building or repairing infrastructure, and/or relocating inhabitants. As all-knowing, ceremonial leader, he signaled the passage of time and determined when the earth was ready to be planted. As a benevolent and protective god-king who wanted to increase “his republic” and conserve it, he also guaranteed subsistence with full storehouses scattered throughout the Andes. He also cured. Like a god, in short, he could be the font of hospitality, benevolence, and life, especially in periods of turmoil and crisis.16

After an emperor died, his descent group continued to occupy his palace. His heirs’ obligation was to carry his mummy along with those of his predecessors into the plaza on ritual occasions to be fêted and consulted. They conserved his memory, often in song, and became instrumental in instructing future contestants for power in the lore of the past.

Like imperial rulers, a lineage lord claimed descent from an apical ancestor or couple who founded the ethnic group or accomplished something extraordinary, often otherworldly acts that benefited it, such as creating or bestowing the gift of maize or building the irrigation infrastructure. Such a genealogy made the ruler legitimate and lent him an air of divine authority. Pierre Duviols’s transcription of primary sources on the polytheistic religious beliefs of rural peoples contains the genealogies of two lords that go back many generations, such as the one shown in Figure 5.17

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Figure 5. Genealogy of the native lords of the Ocros: Descendants of Huaca Carhua Huanca (Stone God Carhua). From the account transcribed by Pierre Duviols, Cultura andina y represión: Procesos y visitas de idolatrías y hechicería, Cajatambo, siglo XVII (Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Rurales Andinos “Bartolomé de las Casas,” 1986), 465–467.

In the highlands, descendants prepared the deceased bodies of ethnic rulers and common folk for internment in caves or structures and, likewise, removed them occasionally for rituals. These bundled remains were carried on the backs of their heirs, redressed, fed, and celebrated before they were returned to their burial places. These practices survived into the 18th century, though driven underground by the persecution of Catholic priests. When pressured, descendants reluctantly showed ecclesiastical extirpators where their fore-parents were hidden, naming the mummies and indicating their kinship relationship to the living. In one case, the highest-ranking lords’ mummy sat on a raised platform as he would have in life, surrounded by the mummified remains of his kin and subjects.18

Ancestor worship permeated everyday life. The emperor himself offered sacrifices to the sun, drank with him, and consulted with him. In the case of an imperial-succession question, the sun himself sent a sign or responded. Likewise, among the lineages, native priests with the help of hallucinogenic drugs communicated with the ancestors to obtain answers to pressing problems. They performed divining ceremonies, like the calpa, a Quechua word referring to the force of a body, spirit, or soul or the vigor or energy to work and act. It was during this ceremony that humans gained access to the power and accumulated knowledge of the ancestors. During the calpa ceremony, the lungs and entrails of a purified camelid or the organs of a bird were removed (see Figure 6). The interpreters looked at the lungs and heart for “omens” to determine the answer to a question, such as who might win an upcoming war. This was one way in which the ancestors participated in the lives of the living.

The Incas of the AndesClick to view larger

Figure 6. The calpa ceremony. From Guaman Poma de Ayala, c. 1615/1936, f. 880.

The Inca could also communicate directly with the idols and oracles of the empire. Mayta Capac was reputed to be able to speak to a bird image and oracle called Indi. While in the town of Urcos, Hatun Tupa Inca saw the vision of the god Viracocha, who announced his future and told of great and successful ventures; thereafter, he changed his name, becoming known as Viracocha Inca. Another example occurred when the oracle Pachacamac, the most important coastal creator god, asked the Guayna Capac to carry its image north to the Chimú peoples so that it might be worshipped even more than the coastal population idolized the god Viracocha. Visions and dreams where a god spoke and prophesied also were attributes that distinguished among the sometimes many male offspring of the king as a future contestant for power. To Topa Inca Yupanqui, there appeared a vision of a person in the air, like the sun, consoling him and animating him for battle. From the apparition, he understood that he would subdue his enemies and be greater than any of his ancestors. It was said that Topa Inca Yupanqui begged something from the sun, talking with him as he would to a family friend. Generalizing from such reports, Mariusz S. Ziólkowski believes that the “election” of a successor to the role of emperor is through such a “direct contact,” in the form of a vision or a dream during which the future sovereign communicated or “conversed” with the gods. This “divine election” was then confirmed by the priests.19

Andeans believed that through such consultations and transmissions, the ancestors supplied their leaders with special knowledge that remained unavailable to most. Mayta Capac predicted the civil wars that divided and weakened the Andeans in the 16th century. Garcilaso de la Vega writes that Viracocha Inca predicted a crisis, a pachacuti, after Guayna Capac’s days, caused by the arrival of “a white, bearded and very tall people with whom they would fight and in the end would serve.”20 Guayna Capac’s knowledge of this prediction made him predisposed to accept the landing of the Spanish as the return of the gods. He may have learned of the Spaniards while in Tomebamba in 1515, two years after Vasco Núñez de Balboa and his companions “discovered” the Pacific Ocean and approximately ten years before his death.21 While there, he heard of strange and foreign beings who came by boat along the coast, making inquiries. The early 17th-century chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega suggests that the intelligence was accepted because the news dovetailed with an old story. The news of that ship gave him much pause. An old story predicted that, after the reign of a future king, strange and never-before-seen peoples would arrive and defeat them, destroying their government and religion.22 Oracles and signs confirmed the veracity of the news. Such esoteric knowledge and the rituals and pageants they provoked made kings and other authorities more than just administrators and politicians.

Tribute Labor and Subsistence

Such beliefs were reflected in the daily habits of subjects. The commoners believed that the sacrifices and the pilgrimages they made to attend rituals kept their fields, scattered at different elevations of the Andean mountains or in various ecological niches, producing. Common folk cultivated lands for the emperor and the gods, as well as the ethnic lords to support their administrations. Lineages planted, tended, harvested, and then delivered produce to storehouses situated at many locations in the Andes. Lineages labored collectively to complete the tasks and then feasted and danced to music, making such tribute labor a festive occasion. Other plots were cultivated for the poor, the elderly, and the absent. Lineages relocated fields as the soil lost fertility, indicating that the “lands of the sun” and the “lands of the Inca” were not permanently fixed in one place for any long period of time. Since lands were “sapçi,” common and open to all, and the ground itself was conceptualized as a goddess (the pacha mama) who was unable to be permanently possessed, such movement of fields was customary and expected.

The same rule applied to individual family units. One family might seasonally cultivate dozens of plots to guarantee subsistence. Andeans could choose seeds from more than 600 species of potatoes and many varieties of corn. Such variety of plants meant that, should one field or species become blighted or freeze, a family could depend on another variety cultivated elsewhere to survive. Such a cultivation pattern explains why some families occupied multiple residences near their scattered fields, a phenomenon called “ocupación salpicadad” (scattered occupation or settlement). These fields were also replaced as they lost fertility.

However, peasants continued to depend on the ancestors for successful cultivation. The cultivators of newly cleared soil sometimes erected a stone (huanca) in the middle of the field, where they sacrificed to their forbearers. Subsequent users of that ground also left offerings there in recognition of the labor that had turned the plot into cleared land and the power of the ancestors to make the field fertile.

Peasants measured field sizes by the amount of land needed to feed a couple, a measure called topo. The topo was a flexible unit, bigger for some crops than others. More ground was needed to guarantee a couple subsistence if planted in potatoes at a high altitude in relatively poor soil; a much smaller field was needed for the same couple when planted in maize at a lower elevation in full sun in rich soil with ample water supplies. Families with more children cultivated more fields than those with fewer or none. Tenure was established through working common ground. There was no private ownership of land, until this concept was introduced during colonial times (1532 to independence in the early 19th century). A family owned what they sowed, because they provided the seed and the labor to tend it. A person who planted a tree had rights to the tree’s fruit and wood, but not the land where the tree was planted. When the land lost its fertility or the tree died, a family might abandon the land. In time, it reverted to its wild state, recuperated fertility, and was then deemed open and common, available to be used by another.

Ideally, each ethnic group would have been self-sufficient in basic subsistence needs. Thus, the ethnic or lineage lord would have subjects occupying many ecological niches at various altitudes to be able to eat both temperate and tropical fruits and vegetables. At the Pacific, people had access to fish, mollusks, seaweed, and seashells (burned for lime to activate chewed coca leaves, for example). Behind the beaches, natives made salt or hunted fowl in the inland lakes. Irrigated land east of the lakes provided a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber (cotton) for weaving. Ascending vertically into the Andes, peasants harvested the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus and other herbs in the intermediate mountain altitudes. In the highlands, a temperate to cold climate made land yield potatoes and quinoa and the all-important ichu grass, the pasture for camelids. Going farther east, one eventually descended into the jungle, where other groups of foodstuffs and items were available. Bees provided honey. Colored birds yielded feathers for cloth and other decorations. Perhaps most importantly, stimulating, cold-numbing coca leaves were harvested there. This range of foodstuffs, fibers and other items provided amply for subsistence, except in the occasional year of drought, flood, blight, or devastating earthquake.


In sum, the energies of Andean peoples exploiting available resources not only supported their lineages and folk heroes, but also proved the strength and support of the imperial edifice encountered by Pizarro in 1532.Genealogy linked rulers to the supernatural and explained tales of their wondrous deeds. Imperial rulers and lineage authorities mediated between their followers and the gods, promising a benign and stable future. Rulers might be stern, even cruel, when faced with resistance or disobedience, but since status was tied to the size of their followings, authorities favored negotiation more than previously thought. Furthermore, it is important to realize that this demographically-defined state was unfinished and not tightly centralized. The jurisdictions of individual emperors proved flexible, expanding and contracting, depending on alliances, conquests, and revolts. The emperor continued to seek new followers or retain those previously encountered, be it by threat, promises, negotiation, or ingratiation until cut abruptly short by the advance of the Europeans.

At the time when Francisco Pizarro explored western South America in the late 1520s and early 1530s, many native societies already were experiencing the indirect effects of Spanish explorations and invasion elsewhere. The many ethnic groups under the rule of the Incas suffered and died from a previously unrecognized disease that came from the Gulf of Mexico region that outpaced the advance of Pizarro and his band. Scholars speculate that messengers carried disease germs from one group to another, arriving in the Andes before 1532. Indeed, in the last years of the 1520s, the ruler, Guayna Capac, died of a terrible, unknown sickness while in the northern Andes. He was not the only victim. Some demographers estimate that 50 percent of the native population died before the landing of the Spanish forces in 1531. Based on historical data, by the end of the 16th century, some 90 percent of the late pre-Hispanic native population had died. Such a drastic demographic decline seriously undermined the legitimacy of the rulers as their prayers and sacrifices to the ancestors proved unable to ameliorate or eliminate the problem. Thus, population loss was one of the many factors that explain the Spanish domination in subsequent centuries.23

Discussion of the Literature

Archeologists, such as the Peruvian Julio C. Tello, pioneered the study of the Andean people.24 Their excavations yielded and continue to provide information on the extent and materiality of Inca hegemony. John H. Rowe was one of these who later also read published sources to write a classic work on the history of the Chimú as well as his more noted works on the Inca.25 A few years later, anthropologists such as John V. Murra and R. Tom Zuidema began reading published chronicles and unpublished administrative documents, drawing attention to such Andean institutions as reciprocity.26 Their articles and books on the importance of cloth, verticality, and sacred shrines continue to be read today. Historians such as Raúl Porras Barrenechea, Franklin Pease, and María Rostworowski de Diez Canseco overlapped these efforts.27 Their attention first concentrated heavily on the populations living in the colonial cities of Lima and Cuzco. More recently, scholars have also traveled to the Archive of the Indies in Seville and Peruvian provincial archives seeking information on peasant and mining populations that might have served the empire. In the process, published documents have been complemented and in some cases contradicted by rural perspectives found in manuscripts, such as inspection documents (e.g., visitas) and judicial records. This process has resulted in the general realization that the empire was not as centralized and omnipotent as described by the early chroniclers who undoubtedly had Roman paradigms in mind as they wrote.

Ecclesiastical accounts are also valuable sources, although access to those in the provinces is often restricted. Pastoral letters, especially the annual reports written by the Jesuits and the records of idolatry investigations, have proven invaluable in understanding native cosmology and recovering the native voice.28

Gains have been made of late by seeking the native point of view as evidenced in the transcribed testimony of native witnesses in court cases and petitions and ethnographic investigations where informants living in villages today are interviewed.29 The native voice is also recorded in the ubiquitous toponyms still current throughout the region.30 Translation and linguistic analysis of these and a few other manuscripts in Quechua by Alan Durstan and Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino are also providing new insights into the Andean worldview.31 This progression in type and use of the available documentation, complemented by ongoing archaeological and ethnographic investigations, has yielded new understandings on the last native empire in western South America in the early modern era. It has also reiterated the value of interdisciplinary approaches.

Primary Sources

Bauer, Brian S. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.Find this resource:

    Betanzos, Juan de. Narrative of the Incas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1551–1557/1996.Find this resource:

      Cabello Valboa, Miguel. Miscelánea antártica. Lima: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 1586/1951.Find this resource:

        Cieza de León, Pedro. The Incas of Pedro Cieza de León. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, c. 1554/1976.Find this resource:

          Cieza de León, Pedro. La crónica del Perú: Segunda Parte. Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1550/1985.Find this resource:

            Duviols, Pierre. Cultura andina y represión: Procesos y visitas de idolatrías y hechicería. Cajatamo, siglo XVII. Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Rurales Andinos “Bartolomé de las Casas,” 1986.Find this resource:

              Fernández de Oviedo, Gonzalo. Historia general y natural de las Indias. Madrid: Ediciones Atlas, 1535–1545/1559/1992.Find this resource:

                Guaman Poma de Ayala, Felipe. Nueva corónica y buen gobierno. Paris: Institut d’ethnologie, c. 1615/1936.Find this resource:

                  Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca. Los comentarios reales de los Incas. Lima: Librería e Imprenta Gil, S.A., c. 1602/1942–1943.Find this resource:

                    Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca. Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru. 2 vols. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1609/1966.Find this resource:

                      Murúa, Martín de. Codice Murúa—Historia y genealogía de los reyes Incas del Perú (Códice Galván). Madrid: Testimonio Compañía Editorial, S. A., 1590–1598/2004.Find this resource:

                        Pizarro, Pedro. Relación del descubrimiento y conquista de los reinos del Perú. Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1571/1986.Find this resource:

                          Sánchez, Ana, Amancebados, hechiceros y rebeldes (Chancay, siglo XVII). Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Regionales Andinos “Bartolomé de las Casas,” 1991.Find this resource:

                            Santacruz Pachacuti Yamqui, Juan. Relacion de antiguedades desde reyno del Piru. Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 1613/1993.Find this resource:

                              Sarmiento de Gamboa, Pedro. The History of the Incas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1572/2007.Find this resource:

                                Further Reading

                                Conrad, G. W., and A. Demarest. Religion and Empire: The Dynamics of Aztec and Inca Expansionism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.Find this resource:

                                  Cook, Noble David. Demographic Collapse. Indian Peru, 1520–1620. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press, 1981Find this resource:

                                    D’Altroy, Terrence. The Incas. Malden, MA: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., 2015.Find this resource:

                                      Durstan, Alan. Pastoral Quechua: The History of Christian Translation in Colonial Peru, 1550–1650. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.Find this resource:

                                        Guillén Guillén, Edmundo. Versión Inca de la conquista. Lima: Editorial Milla Batres, 1974.Find this resource:

                                          MacCormack, Sabine. Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.Find this resource:

                                            McEwan, Gordon F. The Incas. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.Find this resource:

                                              Murra, John Victor. “El control vertical de un máximo de pisos ecológicos en la economía de las sociedades andinas.” In Visita de la provincia de León de Huánuco en 1562: Iñigo de Zúñiga, visitador, 427–476. 2 volumes. Huánuco: Universidad Nacional Hermilio Valdián, 1972.Find this resource:

                                                Murra, John Victor. The Economic Organization of the Inka State. Greenwich, CT: Jai Press, 1980.Find this resource:

                                                  Pärssinen, Marti. Tawantinsuyu: The Inca State and Its Political Organization. Helsinki: Societas Historica Finlandiae, 1992.Find this resource:

                                                    Pease, Franklin. El Dios creador andino. Lima: Mosca Azul Editores, 1973.Find this resource:

                                                      Pease, Franklin. “La formación del Tawantinsuyu: Mecanismos de colonización y relación con las unidades étnicas.” Histórica 3, no. 1 (1979): 97–120.Find this resource:

                                                        Ramírez, Susan Elizabeth. The World Upside Down: Cross Cultural Contact and Conflict in Sixteenth Century Peru. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.Find this resource:

                                                          Ramírez, Susan Elizabeth. To Feed and Be Fed: The Cosmological Bases of Authority and Identity in the Andes. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005.Find this resource:

                                                            Ramírez, Susan Elizabeth. “Negociando el imperio: El estado Inca como culto.” Boletín del Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos (Lima, Perú and Paris, France) 37, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 5–18.Find this resource:

                                                              Ramírez, Susan Elizabeth. “Alternative Ways of Knowing: Place Names and Personal Titles as Indigenous Voice, an Andean Optic.” Perspectivas Latinoamericanas 10 (2013): 1–24.Find this resource:

                                                                Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, María. Etnia y sociedad: Costa peruana pre-hispánica. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1977.Find this resource:

                                                                  Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, María. Estructuras Andinas del Poder: Idolología religiosa y política. Lima: Instituto de estudios Peruanos, 1983.Find this resource:

                                                                    Rowe, John H. “Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest.” In Handbook of South American Indians. Edited by Julian H. Steward, 183–331. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946.Find this resource:

                                                                      Rowe, John H. “The Kingdom of Chimor,” Acta Americana 6, nos. 1–2 (1948): 26–59.Find this resource:

                                                                        Salomon, Frank. The Cord Keepers: Khipus and the Cultural Life in a Peruvian Village. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.Find this resource:

                                                                          Torre, Alejandro la. Atahualpa: El vergonzoso sobre nombre del último inca del Perú. Lima: Ojo Prodigo, 2015.Find this resource:

                                                                            Urton, Gary. The History of a Myth: Pacariqtambo and the Origin of the Inkas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.Find this resource:

                                                                              Urton, Gary. “From Knots to Narratives: Reconstructing the Art of Historical Record Keeping in the Andes from Spanish Transcriptions of Inka Khipus.” Ethnohistory 45, no. 3 (1998): 409–438.Find this resource:

                                                                                Zuidema, R. Tom. The Ceque System of Cuzco: The Social Organization of the Capital of the Incas. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1964.Find this resource:

                                                                                  Zuidema, R. Tom. “Una interpretación alternativa de la historia incaica.” In Ideología mesiánica del mundo Andino. Edited by Juan M. Ossio, 3–33. Lima: Editorial Ignacio Prado Pastor, 1973.Find this resource:

                                                                                    Zuidema, R. Tom. Inca Civilization in Cuzco. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.Find this resource:


                                                                                      (1.) Gary Urton, The History of a Myth: Pacariqtambo and the Origin of the Inkas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990); and Terrence D’Altroy, The Incas (Malden, MA: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., 2015), 71. Because the Andean people had no written records, the Spanish sounded out the words they heard. This accounts for the variations in the spelling of native words and names. These will be spelled uniformly throughout the text, except in quotes and titles to published works.

                                                                                      (2.) Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, The History of the Incas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1572/2007), 69.

                                                                                      (3.) Sabine MacCormack, Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), 98, 148, on the spread of Inca religious practices, especially the worship of the sun; and Gordon F. McEwan, The Incas (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006), 145. On the spread of Quechua as an administrative language and Inca aspirations that it become a lingua franca, see McEwan, The Incas, 180; and Sabine MacCormack, On the Wings of Time: Rome, the Incas, Spain, and Peru (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), esp. 175. See also the text below.

                                                                                      (4.) Also named in the earliest sources as “el Cuzco viejo” (the old Cuzco), referring to his status as an earlier king. I use emperor, king, and ruler as synonyms. Lineage and provincial ethnic lords are also identified as chiefs or curacas.

                                                                                      (5.) Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Historia general y natural de las Indias (Madrid: Ediciones Atlas, 1535–1545/1559/1992), v, 39.

                                                                                      (6.) D’Altroy, The Incas, 430.

                                                                                      (7.) G. W. Conrad and A. Demarest, Religion and Empire: The Dynamics of Aztec and Inca Expansionism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

                                                                                      (8.) María Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, Etnia y sociedad: Costa peruana pre-hispánica (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1977), ch. 2.

                                                                                      (9.) Susan E. Ramírez, “Negociando el imperio: El estado Inca como culto,” Boletín del Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos 37, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 5–18.

                                                                                      (10.) Conrad and Demarest, Religion and Empire.

                                                                                      (11.) MacCormack, Religion in the Andes.

                                                                                      (12.) Juan de Betanzos, Narrative of the Incas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1551–1557/1996), 193.

                                                                                      (13.) Miguel Cabello Valboa, Miscelánea antártica (Lima: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 1586/1951), 458; and Pedro Pizarro, Relación del descubrimiento y conquista de los reinos del Perú . . . (Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1571/1978), 37.

                                                                                      (14.) Betanzos, Narrative of the Incas, 154, 185–186, 205, 220; and Sarmiento de Gamboa, The History of the Incas, 219–223, 230, 253, 258–259, 265.

                                                                                      (15.) Cabello Valboa, Miscelánea antártica, 257, 266; Franklin Pease, Los últimos Incas del Cuzco (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1991), 75–77; Pizarro, Relación del descubrimiento, 51; Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino, “El cantar de Inca Yupanqui y la lengua secreta de los incas,” Revista Andina 32 (1998): 417; and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru, vol. 1 (Austin: University of Texas Press, c. 1609/1966), 403; Los comentarios reales de los Incas, vol. 2 (Lima: Librería e Imprenta Gil, S.A., c. 1602/1942), 240.

                                                                                      (16.) Betanzos, Narrative of the Incas, 169–173; Cabello Valboa, Miscelánea antártica, 309; Pedro Cieza de León, La crónica del Perú: Segunda Parte (Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1550/1985), 35; Juan Santacruz Pachacuti Yamqui, Relacion de antiguedades desde reyno del Piru (Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 1613/1993), 24v; Luis E. Valcarcel, “El estado imperial de los Incas,” Revista del Museo Nacional 30 (1961): 6; and Mario Polia Meconi and Fabiola Chávez Hualpa, “Ministros menores del culto, shamanes y curanderos en las fuentes españolas de los siglos XVI–XVII,” Antropológica (1994): 11.

                                                                                      (17.) Duviols, Cultura andina y represión: Procesos y visitas de idolatrías y hechicería Cajatambo, siglo XVII. Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Rurales Andinos “Bartolomé de las Casas”, 1986.

                                                                                      (18.) Duviols, Cultura andina y represión: Procesos y visitas de idolatrías y hechicería Cajatambo, siglo XVII.

                                                                                      (19.) Mariusz S. Ziólkowski, “El Sapan Inka y el sumo sacerdote: Acerca de la legitimización del poder en el Tawantinsuyu,” in El culto estatal del imperio Inca, ed. M. Ziólkowski (Warsaw, Poland: Universidad de Varsovia, Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos, 1991), 60.

                                                                                      (20.) Santacruz Pachacuti Yamqui, Relacion, 12v; Betanzos, Narrative of the Incas, 131–132; and Liliana Regalado de Hurtado, Religión y evangelización en Vilcabamba, 1572–1602 (Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1992), 44.

                                                                                      (21.) Edmundo Guillén Guillén, Versión Inca de la conquista (Lima: Editorial Milla Batres, 1974), 137; Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries, vol. 1, 305.

                                                                                      (22.) Garcilaso de la Vega, Primera Parte de los comentarios reales de los Incas, vol. 3 (Lima: Librería e Imprenta Gil, S. A., c. 1609/1943), 148–149.

                                                                                      (23.) Noble David Cook, Demographic Collapse. Indian Peru, 1520–1620 (Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press, 1981); and Susan E. Ramírez, The World Upside Down: Cross Cultural Contact and Conflict in Sixteenth Century Peru (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996), 29–32.

                                                                                      (24.) Julio C. Tello, Introducción a la historia antigua del Perú (Lima: Sanmartí y Cia. Impresores, 1921), and Origen y desarrollo de las civilizaciones pre-históricas andinas (Lima: Librería e imprenta Gil, S. A., 1942)

                                                                                      (25.) John H. Rowe, “Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest,” in Handbook of South American Indians, vol. 2, ed. Julian H. Steward (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946), 183–331, and “The Kingdom of Chimor,” Acta Americana 6, nos. 1–2 (1948): 26–59.

                                                                                      (26.) John Victor Murra, “El control vertical de un máximo de pisos ecológicos en la economía de las sociedades andinas,” Visita de la provincia de León de Huánuco en 1562: Iñigo de Zúñiga, visitador, 2 vols. (Huánuco: Universidad Nacional Hermilio Valdián, 1972), 427–476; The Economic Organization of the Inka State (Greenwich, CT: Jai Press, 1980); Zuidema, R. Tom, The Ceque System of Cuzco: The Social Organization of the Capital of the Incas (Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1964; “Una interpretación alternativa de la historia incaica,” in Ideología mesiánica del mundo Andino, ed. Juan M. Ossio (Lima: Editorial Ignacio Prado Pastor, 1973), 3–33; Inca Civilization in Cuzco (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990).

                                                                                      (27.) Raúl Porras Barrenechea, Pizarro (Lima: Editorial Pizarro, S. A., 1978); Pease, El Dios creador andino (Lima: Mosca Azul Editores, 1973); “La formación del Tawantinsuyu: Mecanismos de colonización y relación con las unidades étnicas,” Histórica 3.1 (1979): 97–120; and Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, “La sucesión monárquica y el co-reinado entre los Incas,” Letras 49 (1953): 213–216; “Una hipótesis sobre el surgimiento del estado Inca,” III Congreso Peruano: El hombre y la cultura andina. (Lima: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 1978), I, 89–100; Estructuras Andinas del Poder: Idolología religiosa y política (Lima: Instituto de estudios Peruanos, 1983).

                                                                                      (28.) Polia Meconi, “Siete cartas inéditas del Archivo romano de la compañía de Jesús, 1611–1613: Huacas, mitos y ritos Andinos,” Antropológica 14 (1996): 209–259; Duviols, Cultura andina y repression: Procesos y visitas de idolatrias y hechiceria Cajatambo, siglo XVII; and Ana Sánchez, Amancebados, hechiceros y rebeldes (Chancay, siglo XVII) (Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Regionales Andinos “Bartolomé de las Casas, 1991).

                                                                                      (29.) Frank Salmon, The Cord Keepers: Khipus and the Cultural Life in a Peruvian Village (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004).

                                                                                      (30.) Ramírez, “Alternative Ways of Knowing: Place Names and Personal Titles as Indigenous Voice, An Andean Optic,” Perspectivas Latinoamericanas 10 (2013): 1–24.

                                                                                      (31.) Alan Durstan, Pastoral Quechua, The History of Christian Translation in Colonial Peru, 1550–1650 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press), 2007; and Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino, “Cuzco y no cusco ni menos Qosqo,” Histórica 21, no. 2 (1997): 165–170