Cusco at inca times

There are two legends about the founding of Cusco, we will talk about Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. This legend attributes to his first head of state or emperor, a legendary character named Manco Capac, with his wife Mama Ocllo, some say that it was his sister but they procreated I doubt very much that it would be his sister. it is said that the place was revealed by the sun god named Inti, the founders after a pilgrimage started south of the city, said characters emerged from Lake Titica with a Golden Barreta given by his sun god to found the Inca empire.

Archaeological and anthropological data have been studying the true process of occupation of the city of Cusco. The consensus suggests that, due to the collapse of the kingdom of Tiahuanaco occurred the migration of its people. This group of about 500 men would have gradually established themselves in the valley of the Huatanay River, a process that would culminate with the founding of Cusco.

It is not known exactly what approximate date would have happened, but thanks to vestiges it is remembered that the location where the city is located was already inhabited 3000 years ago. However, considering only its location as capital of the Inca Empire (mid thirteenth century) Cusco appears as the oldest inhabited city in all America.

Ancient chronicles of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa affirm the existence of ethnic groups in the valley of Cusco before the emergence of Inca Empire. Said author mentions the Guallas, Sahuasiray and Antasayas as the oldest settlers; while the Alcavizas, Copalimaytas and Culunchimas are considered more recent residents. We also know that the Ayarmacas inhabited the region, being the only ones that were not bent by the Incas, becoming their main rivals in the domain of the region.

Cusco was the capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of the Incas and it continued being it at the beginning of the imperial time, becoming the most important city of the Andes and of South America. This centralism gave rise to it and became the main cultural focus and axis of religious worship.

It is attributed to the ruler Pachacútec to have made Cusco a spiritual and political center. Pachacútec came to power in 1438, and he and his son Tupac Yupanqui dedicated five decades to the organization and conciliation of the different tribal groups under his rule, among them the Lupaca and the Colla. During the period of Pachacutec and Tupac Yupanqui, the domain of Cusco reached Quito to the north and to the Maule River to the south, culturally integrated with the inhabitants of 4,500 km of mountain ranges.

It is also believed that the original design of the city is the work of Pachacútec. The plane of the Ancient Cusco has a puma-shaped outline, with the central square Haucaypata in the position that would occupy the animal’s breast. The head of the feline would be located in the hill where is the fortress of Sacsayhuamán.

The Incas organized their administrative division so that the limits of the four regions of the empire coincided in the main square of Cusco.

Legend of the Ayar Brothers

Another legend tells that from “Capac Toco”, one of the three windows of the Pacaritambo cave, on the mountain Tampu Tocco (northwest of Cusco), appeared four strong young men and four very beautiful young women, sisters and their wives. Ayar Manco and his wife Mama Ocllo; Ayar Cachi and Mama Cora; Ayar Uchu and Mama Rahua and finally Ayar Auca and his wife Mama Huaco.

They acted upon a need, they saw the state of the devastated lands and the poverty of their town, they decided to leave in search of a more propitious and fertile place. And with them, they took ten Ayllus by going to the southeast, this is how their journey begins.

Ayar Cachi was the strongest and from each hondazo that cast formed a ravine or toppled a mountain, alarmed the brothers by its power. Fearful then, they convinced him to return to Tampu Tocco in search of gold vessels called topacusi and seeds. They followed him surreptitiously and once Ayar Cachi entered the cave they closed it with blocks of stone, telling him that he would be locked in there forever. Hearing them, Ayar Cachi cried so loud that the earth shook, the mountains opened and the heavens trembled.

They continued on their way until they found a winged Ayar Cachi with wings that perched like a giant condor on the summit of the hill Tampu Quiro and ordered them to found Cusco.

They continued walking up Huanacaure Hill, one day seeing a rainbow whose ends rested on the same hill. Ayar Manco then said to his brothers, which meant good omen and that from that hill would see the place to settle.

On the way the brothers saw a huaca and sent Ayar Uchu to destroy it, but in doing so it was turned into stone, having asked his brothers to remember it at the Huarochico ceremony.

Sadly the brothers continued their journey and descended to the foot of the hill, near the valley of Cusco. Ayar Manco sent Ayar Auca to take possession of the place to be inhabited. Ayar Auca, who is said to have gotten wings, flew to the indicated place and when he arrived and stood he was also petrified.

Only Ayar Manco and his sisters remained who settled in Cusco, where the powerful and admirable Inca Empire was founded.