Dreamy Tours
logo dreamy tours

Inca Huayna Cápac

Inca Huayna Cápac is supposed to have been born around 1467 in Cuzco (in present-day Peru), although he was probably born in Tumipamba, present-day Cuenca.

Son of Sapa Túpac Yupanqui and Coya Mama Ocllo. In his childhood and youth he was called Titu Cusi Huallpa.

During his mandate, the Inca Empire reached its greatest extension, due to the wars that he personally led to the north; Likewise, the city of Tumibamba or Tumipampa (Quito) gained great importance, from where it is assumed that it undertook its policy of conquests. In 1525, the Inca Empire stretched from the Pasto region in present-day Colombia to the Maule River in Chile. But, who was Huayna Cápac?

General data

  • Names: Tito Cusi Huallpa, Huayna Cápac.
  • XI Inca.
  • Government: 1488 – 1525.
  • Huayna Cápac: Meaning in Quechua: “Young Powerful”
  • Huayna Cápac was a prince born outside of Cusco.
  • Born in Tomebamba, also known as Tumipampa (Ecuador).
  • He was the youngest of the legitimate children of Túpac Yupanqui and the coya Mama Ocllo.
  • He received the name of Tito Cusi Huallpa, during the Rituchicuy ceremony.
  • From an early age he showed qualities that earned him the preference of his father.

Who was Huayna Cápac?

Many people ask who was Huayna Cápac? Well, he was the third to last Inca. He ruled the Inca Empire between 1493 and 1525 after inheriting it from his father Túpac Yupanqui. He led the empire to its maximum extent, conquering territories near Cajamarca and Quito. The Incas came from Pasto (Colombia) to the Maule River (Chile). While he was in charge, the Incas lived a period of peace. Huayna Cápac dedicated herself to traveling. He learned of the arrival of the Spanish and of a disease that was running through the Empire.

To learn more about this Inca, here is the biography of Huayna Cápac.

Biography of Huayna Cápac

Inca Huayna Cápac was a prince born outside of Cusco, in Tomebamba (Ecuador) during the military campaigns of his father Túpac Yupanqui.

He inherited the Inca Empire from his father, Túpac Inca Yupanqui, in 1493. After fighting against his brothers to settle on the throne, Inca Huayna Cápac developed several military campaigns in the north, which led the empire to its maximum extension, incorporating large territories around to Cajamarca and Quito.

To establish his rule over that area, Inca Huayna Cápac married a woman from Quito and moved the Imperial Court from Cuzco to Quito, thus moving the political center of the Empire to the north. Although he had to quell several revolts, in general the reign of Huayna Cápac was a period of stability, which allowed the construction of large temples and public works. However, he facilitated the decomposition of the Inca empire by dividing the inheritance between his legitimate son Huáscar (to whom he bequeathed the southern part, with capital in Cuzco) and his favorite son Atahualpa (whom he made king of the northern part, with capital in Quito).

From 1523 he had news of the presence in South America of the Spanish, led by Alejo García; it was probably they who spread the epidemic of European origin for which the Inca himself died. Seven years later, the confrontation between his two sons allowed the domination of Peru by Francisco Pizarro’s small army.

Acoording to biography of Huayna Cápac, when he was in the north and faced with the alarming ravages of a smallpox plague. There he died for some of bronchopulmonary and for others of smallpox fever, after 40 years of reign in 1527, anguished by the information of the arrival of white and bearded men by the rafters (1524), in the Gulf of San Miguel, Panama , who had been approached by Alonso Martín de Don Benito, the first Spaniard who sailed the Pacific Sea, in Balboa’s expedition, full of bad omens he had predicted the disintegration of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire as Huiracocha had told him before he died: ” Very soon men of different races will dominate the Empire and make it disappear. “

When Inca Huayna Cápac felt in a trance of death, made his will on a cane, dividing the Empire between his two sons, Huáscar remained as emperor in Cusco and Atahualpa in Quito.

The embalmed body of Inca Huayna Cápac was taken to Cusco, without the accompaniment of Atahualpa. This shows the imperial intentions of this big ear. Thousands of servants died so as not to suffer the absence of the beloved monarch and accompany him to the afterlife.

Inca Huayna Cápac Facts

Túpac Yupanqui appoints him heir

Huayna Cápac, in his acts gave evidence of effortful spirit, magnanimity and intelligence; which is why Túpac Yupanqui chose to designate him as heir, despite his young age.

Initiation of Huarachicu

The young Tito Cusi Huallpa went through the traditional initiation of the huarachicu; and, already recognized in his condition as sovereign, he was called Huayna Cápac, to signify the circumstance of having achieved wealth and power in his youth.

Mighty Young Man

Huayna Cápac was still very young when he inherited the throne (hence his name: “Young Powerful”). At first there were conspiracies against him. Overcome these resistances, he assumed both political and religious power.

Conspiracies against the young Inca

His appointment was not easily consented, as he was opposed by courtly ambitions and intrigues: first, of a concubine of his father, who tried to bring one of his sons to the imperial throne; and later, of Apu Huallpaya, uncle and tutor, who also wanted to favor his son. Both conspiracies were defeated by the influential concerns of Mama Ocllo and the loyalty of Huamán Achachi, the young Inca’s uncle; and then he began his personal government, to avoid the emergence of other illegitimate aspirations.

Wives of Huayna Cápac

According to tradition, he took as his wife his sister Cusi Rimay, who died in Quito without leaving any offspring; and contracted a second marriage with Rahua Ocllo, Huáscar’s mother.

Firstborn of Huayna Cápac: Huáscar

After the funeral of Túpac Yupanqui, which lasted a lunar month, Huayna Cápac had to cut the hair of his first-born son, Prince Huáscar, a fact that reached an unprecedented pomp. As a tribute, he had a 200-arm gold chain made, which could only be lifted by 200 aborigines. From there comes the name of Huáscar, (Quechua: “rope”).

Visited the Tahuantinsuyo in all its extension

Like his predecessors, Huayna Cápac had to undertake successive campaigns to quell the rebellions that arose in the most distant provinces of the Empire; and it is fame that in the course of them he visited the Tahuantinsuyo in all its extension.

Domain of Chinchaysuyo

First of all, he marched to Chinchaysuyo, where the Chachapoyas and the Bracamoros were once again reduced; and he rested in his native Turibamba, where he built the Mullucancha palace.

Domain of Collasuyo

Huayna Cápac returned to Cusco; and after some years he continued to Collasuyo, in whose wide valleys he established mitimaes.

Rebellion of the Cayambis and the Coranquis

When Huayna Cápac was heading towards Contisuyo, he was interrupted in his organizing task by the news about a rebellion of the Cayambis and the Coranquis, in the Quito region where he went with 40,000 men to continue his conquests.

Huayna Cápac marries the queen of Quito

Quito subdued in bloody battles that culminated in the death of Schiri Cacha Duchicela, and King Paccha’s daughter proclaimed queen of Quito, to prevent future rebellions, Huayna Capác chose to marry the queen, from whom his son Atahualpa comes.

Residence of Tumipampa (Tomebamba), Quito

The monarch established his residence in Tumipampa, Quito, where he established his center of operations and became a second capital of the Empire, building beautiful palaces and having Atahualpa as his pampered son, with whom he went to all campaigns.

Huayna Cápac dominates the bellicose Caras

Already settled in Tumipampa, Huayna Cápac was able to dominate the warlike “Caras” (Karas: Calatos, naked in Quechua). These for their bellicosity were transplanted by the system of the mitimaes, to the Callejón de Huaylas: today this fact can be verified by the name of Caraz, Capital of the Province of Huaylas; visited the sanctuary of Pachacámac, famous for the wisdom of its oracle.

Orejones abandon Huayna Cápac

In the course of one of their wars, Huayna Cápac was abandoned by the Orejones. They even tried to return to Cusco and politically “blackmailed” him. Huayna Capac, despite being so powerful, “was forced to beg and dislodge them by distributing large donations.” He gave them clothes, women, jewelry, and land.

Huayna Cápac leaves Huáscar in charge

Huayna Cápac left the Government of Cusco in charge of his son Huáscar, who, without worrying about the consolidation of the succession as legitimate heir, gave himself to life in the spring, in the middle of the gentleness and bacchanalia. This disinterest was his undoing.

Huayna Cápac headed north

Huayna Cápac penetrated to Pasto, at the cost of great losses; he was about to succumb to the fortress of Cochasquí, and even the orejones of his guard fell back; it took the forts of the Cayambis and when punishing their rebellion it caused more than 20,000 deaths; it carried its advance until the Angasmayo river, in the North; and while his lieutenants dominated the Chiraguanos in Collasuyo, he traveled the Huancavilcas provinces along the coast; He went to the island of Puná where the Huannucos – dying -, under the command of their chief, put up a stubborn resistance, causing a bloody retaliation; and he retired to Quito, or perhaps Tomebamba.

Maximum extension of the Tahuantinsuyo

During the reign of Huayna Cápac, the Empire of the Incas reached the pinnacle of its greatness: from the Ancashmayo River in Pasto – Colombia – from the North, to the Maule River – Chile – from the South, from the South – East to Tucumán – Argentina – and the entire plateau of Bolivia, and to the east the jungle region, and to the west the entire coastline.

Wrong decision of Huayna Cápac

Huayna Cápac’s decision to divide the Inca Empire was evidently wrong in the political aspect, he sacrificed the Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, making the victory of the Castilian conquerors easier, who encountered little resistance due to the bloody civil war that the two brothers were waging. . This is proven by the naive Atahualpa prison and his subsequent execution.

Tours in Cusco: