Manco Inca Yupanqui

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Manco Inca Yupanqui
Inca Emperor
POMA0400v.jpg
Manco Inca Yupanqui (drawing by Guaman Poma)
Reign 1533–1544
Predecessor Túpac Huallpa
Successor Sayri Tupaq
Consort Cura Ocllo
Issue Sayri Túpac, Titu Cusi, Túpac Amaru
Full name
Manco Inca Yupanqui
Quechua Manqu Inka Yupanki
Spanish Manco Inca Yupanqui
Father Huayna Cápac
Died Vilcabamba

Manco Inca Yupanqui (1516–1544) (Manqu Inka Yupanki in Quechua) was one of the Incas of Vilcabamba. He was also known as "Manco II" and "Manco Cápac II" ("Manqu Qhapaq II"[citation needed]). Born in 1516, he was one of the sons of Huayna Cápac.

Túpac Huallpa was a puppet ruler crowned by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Manco Inca then approached Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro in Cajamarca to negotiate a pact to rule the Inca peoples and Peru since all of the royal nobles were dead. The conquistadors agreed, and in 1534 Manco was crowned the ruler of the Inca in Cuzco by Francisco Pizarro, and allowed to rule his people. He did not realize that he too was being used by Pizarro as a puppet ruler for the Spanish conquistadors, who planned to conquer his country and its people.

At first, Manco cooperated with the Spanish, befriending them and offering them gold treasures and women as gifts. However, when Pizarro and de Almagro left Cuzco to explore the northern and southern parts of Peru, he left his younger brothers Gonzalo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro and Hernando Pizarro as garrisons in the city of Cuzco.

The Pizarro brothers so mistreated Manco Inca that he ultimately tried to escape in December 1535. He failed, was captured and imprisoned but released two months later by the Spaniards, to please their Inca subjects, dismayed by the fact that their de jure leader was imprisoned. Under the pretense of performing religious ceremonies in the nearby Yucay valley and recovering golden artifacts for the Spanish occupants, Manco was able to escape from Cuzco on April 18, this time with success.

To retake the Empire from the Spaniards, Manco gathered an army of 200,000 Inca warriors (some sources say this number might be hugely overrated). Attempting to take advantage of a disagreement between Diego de Almagro and Francisco Pizarro, he marched on the city of Cuzco in 1536 in an attempt to throw the Spaniards out. Although it lasted ten months, the siege was ultimately unsuccessful—even though Manco's forces were able to reclaim the city for a few days. Many of Manco Inca's warriors succumbed to smallpox and died (see the siege of Cuzco). The surviving armies retreated to the nearby fortress of Ollantaytambo, from which they had launched several successful attacks against the Spaniards and the Inca renegades, defeating them at the battle of Ollantaytambo. But Manco's position at Ollantaytambo was vulnerable due to lack of food because the Inca warriors were actually the same that used to cultivate the fields. The Spanish knew his location, and the region was one day's ride from Cuzco.

From 1536–1537, Manco split his forces, adopting a strategy to drive the Spanish invaders out of Peru with an army of 30,000 Inca warriors and attacked the fort of Lima, where Francisco Pizarro was residing. In their way to Lima, Manco's army, led by Quizo Yupanqui, defeated four expeditions sent by Francisco Pizarro to help his brothers in Cuzco killing nearly 500 Spanish soldiers and thousands of their native allies, sending some of the few Spanish prisoners to Ollantaytambo. Having heard those news, a fifth expedition decided to return. Once in Lima, Quizo Yupanqui met 300 Spanish soldiers and over 20,000 renegade warriors from the Empire. Without any reinforcement while the Spanish and their allies were increasing their numbers, Quizo launched his attack reaching Lima's main plaza but died in the fight and his troops were defeated. After the battle, Alonso de Alvarado launched an offensive and after some defeats and many victories managed to arrive to Abancay when he and his army were captured by Rodrigo Orgóñez in the Battle of Abancay beginning what will be known as the first civil war between the conquistadors.

Abandoning Ollantaytambo (and effectively giving up the highlands of the empire), Manco Inca retreated to Vitcos and finally to the remote jungles of Vilcabamba, which became the capital of the empire until the death of Tupaq Amaru in 1572. From there, he continued his attacks against the Wankas (one of the most important allies of the Spaniards), having some success after fierce battles, and to the highlands of present day Bolivia, where after many battles his army was defeated. The Spaniards crowned his younger half brother Paullu Inca as puppet Sapa Inca after his retreat for his valuable help in that last campaign. The Spanish succeeded in capturing Manco's sister-wife, Cura Ocllo, and had her brutally murdered in 1539. After many guerrilla battles in the mountainous regions of Vilcabamba, Manco was murdered in 1544 by supporters of Diego de Almagro who wanted Manco dead, despite his having granted refuge to them. He was succeeded by his son Sayri Tupaq.

Manco Inca had several sons, including Sayri Tupaq, Titu Cusi, and Túpac Amaru.

Preceded by
Túpac Huallpa
Sapa Inca
1533–1544
Succeeded by
Sayri Túpac

See also[edit]