The Disappearance Of The Children Of Viracocha (cont.)
By Brien Foerster
During Huayna capac’s reign, in 1527, both he and his first born son Ninan cuyochi became infected with small pox, and Ninan cuyochi died first. Thus, the next in line, Huascar, was to be appointed Sapa Inca ( remember, this was a first.) Possibly in a state of illness induced delusion, or, with the situation of the line of succession being interrupted, Huayna capac decided to give the newly acquired area in which he lived ( that of present day Ecuador ) to Atahuallpa, his son of an Ecuadorian noble woman, and the rest to Huascar, which was composed of all lands south of there, a territory which bordered the Pacific Ocean and edged the Amazon basin inland, as far south as Santiago de Chile.
After Huayna capac’s death the two brothers lived in relative harmony for a few years, but then tensions began to appear. As it was always the duty of a Sapa Inca to expand the territory of the Tahuantinsuyu (four corners or quarters of the Inca world) during his time as ruler, Huascar was in a quandary. He clearly could not expand north into Atahuallpa’s land, for that had been given to him by their father to care take. To the west was the Pacific Ocean, and to the east was problematic, as the Amazon was seemingly quite full of Indigenous people who were possibly not eager to join, by treaty or force, the Tahuantinsuyu. An attempt by the Inca to move in by force would have involved jungle warfare, and the natives would clearly have the upper hand in such a densely foliaged area. Also, a southern expansion perhaps would have meant that the military and other supply lines would be stretched beyond what was practical from the center at Cuzco. So this Sapa Inca was denied any ideas of territorial expansion.
Huascar was probably a little edgy about the intentions of his half brother as well. Atahuallpa was a half-blood Inca, and it is not clear the two had ever had much contact face to face. Huascar had grown up Cuzco, with the other full blood children of Huayna capac and his full blooded sister/wife. Atahallpa on the other hand had grown up in Quito, where Huayna capac had chosen to live out the last years of his life by choice, surely unaware that a foreign disease would overtake he and his first son well before their natural time.
So Huascar sent a message to Atahuallpa, trying to suss out the latter’s state of mind and level of contentment.
“You are certainly aware of the fact that, according to the laws of the first Inca, Manco Capac, the kingdom of Quito and all of your provinces belong to the crown and to the Empire of Cuzco. By rights, therefore, I was in no way obliged to relinquish the government of this kingdom to you, and if I did so, it was not because I was forced or compelled, but merely no to oppose our father’s wishes. Now that he is no longer with us, I am willing, out of respect for his memory, not to go back on this decision, but on two conditions. These are: first, that you will make no attempt to add so much, as a particle of land to the extent of your kingdom, since any newly acquired land belongs by rights to our Empire; the other is that, leaving everything else aside, you will swear allegiance to me and acknowledge that you are my vassal.”
The above is quoted from the Inca descendant Garcilaso de la Vega, in the 17th century, in his book “The Royal Commentaries of the Inca.”