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The origin of the Incas
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Legends of the origin of the Inca Empire

Like all great civilizations of the world (Egypt, Greece, China, Rome, Mesopotamia, etc.), the Inca civilization also try to explain its origins with myths and legends, generating some controversy about historical facts; myths and legends that basically contain some truth.

We know of two legends about the origin of the Incas.
The first is the legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, collected by the chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega;
and the second collected by the chronicler Juan de Betanzos, is the legend of the Ayar brothers. It should be noted that both were collected from oral sources. 

leyendas inca Machu Picchu
Staging of the Legend Inca of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo

Inca legend – The brothers Ayar

This account that after the great flood that devastated the villages, the god Viracocha ordered to leave the cave Pacaritambo located on the hill Tampu Tocco, four men brothers and four women; Ayar Cachi and Mama Huaco, Ayar Uchu and Mama Ipacura, Ayar Auca and Mama Rahua, Ayar Manco and Mama Ocllo.

These brothers when see the deplorable state of the land and poverty of men decided to travel the country in search of fertile land where they could settle, and with 10 members ayllus walked in a southeasterly direction. Ayar Cachi, strong and brave man, caused the envy of his brothers who decided to kill him, and with deceit persuaded him to return to the caves of Pacarina (in Quechua means place of origin). When Ayar Cachi returned to the cave on the hill Tampu Tocco, the servant who accompanied, placed a large stone at the entrance so he could not get out more.

The other brothers continued their search followed by ayllus, and came to the hill Huanacauri, at the scene found a stone idol of the same name. Full of respect and fear before the idol, they entered the place where he was worshiped. Then Ayar Uchu jumped into the back of the statue and froze, becoming part of the sculpture. His brothers continue their road and on his memory they made held Huarachico ceremony or initiation of young people.

In the pampa of sun, Ayar Auca would also be turned into stone. Ayar Manco accompanied by four women, came to Cusco where his rod sank, being a symbol that the land was fertile; excited about the place decided to found a city in honor of God Huiracocha and the Sun God, this would be the capital of the Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, Cusco.

Legend recorded by the chronicler Juan de Betanzos.

Inca Legend – Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo

The Sun God, seeing the sadness in which men on earth were sunk, created a couple, the man Manco Capac and his wife and sister Mama Ocllo. He gave them a golden scepter, ordered them to civilize the world and founded an empire that surrender cult to the Sun.

Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca, heading north. The golden scepter would sink until disappear, in the ideal place for the foundation of the Empire. They decided to march separately, Manco Capac went to the north and Mama Ocllo went to south valley, subjecting and calling to the people on their way; the valley residents, recognized them as divine beings.

After a long journey, the scepter sank in the Huanacauri hill. Manco Capac and those who followed him were installed in the upper valley, then called Hanan Cusco; and Mama Ocllo placed to hers in the lower valley so called Hurin Cusco. Manco Capac taught men to cultivate the land to plant corn, make irrigation canals and build their homes. Mama Ocllo taught women to spin and weave wool and cotton dresses.

Legend gathered by the mestizo chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.


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