Pachacuti

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For the mountain on the border of the Arequipa Region and the Moquegua Region, Peru, see Pachakutiq (Arequipa-Moquegua). For the mountain in the Cusco Region, Peru, see Pachakutiq (Cusco).
Pachacuti
Sapa Inca (9th)
Pachacutec-small.png
Pachacuti as drawn by Guaman Poma
Reign 1438–1471/1472
Full name Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui
Quechua Pachakutiq Inka Yupanki
Predecessor Viracocha
Successor Túpac Inca Yupanqui
Consort Mama Anawarkhi or Quya Anawarkhi
Dynasty Hanan
Father Viracocha

Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui or Pachacutec (in hispanicized spellings) or Pachakutiq Inka Yupanki (Quechua) was the ninth Sapa Inca (1438–1471/1472) of the Kingdom of Cusco which he transformed into the empire Tawantinsuyu or the Inca Empire. Most archaeologists now believe that the famous Inca site of Machu Picchu was built as an estate for Pachacuti.[1]

In Quechua Pachakutiq means "he who shakes the earth",[2] and Yupanki means "with honor". During his reign, Cusco grew from a hamlet into an empire that could compete with, and eventually overtake, the Chimú. He began an era of conquest that, within three generations, expanded the Inca dominion from the valley of Cusco to nearly the whole of western South America.

Biography[edit]

He was the ninth ruler of the Inca state who, from ruling a simple chiefdom came to rule a great empire, the Tawantinsuyu. Although he had not been designated as successor by his father Viracocha Inca, he led a military defense against the warlike army of Chanka while his father and his brother Urco Inca fled the manor. The victory over the Chankas made Inca Viracocha recognize him as his successor around 1438.

Statue of Pachacuti, Aguas Calientes, Peru

As part of his vision of a statesman and warrior chieftain he conquered many ethnic groups and states, highlighting his conquest of the Collao that enhanced the prestige of the Inca Pachacutec. Due to the remarkable expansion of their domains he was considered an exceptional leader, enlivening glorious epic stories and hymns in tribute to his achievements. Numerous kurakas do not hesitate to recognize his skills and identify him as "son of the Sun". While still alive, his son and successor Tupac Yupanqui defeated Chimu and continued the expansion of Tawantinsuyo. Besides being a conquering warrior and emperor, various chronicles say he was also a great administrator, planner, philosopher, observer of human psychology and charismatic general.

Lineage[edit]

Pachacuti, son of Inca Viracocha, was the fourth of the Hanan dynasty. His wife's name is given as Mama Anawarkhi or Quya Anawarkhi (Coya Anahurque). He had two sons, Amaru Yupanqui and Tupac Inca Yupanqui. Amaru, the older son, was originally chosen to be co-regent and eventual successor. Pachacuti later chose Tupac Inca because Amaru was not a warrior. He was also the first one to retire.[3]

Succession[edit]

Pachacuti's given name was Cusi Yupanqui and he was not supposed to succeed his father Inca Viracocha who had appointed his brother Urco as crown prince. However in the midst of an invasion of Cuzco by the Chancas, the Incas' traditional tribal archenemies, Pachacuti had a real opportunity to demonstrate his talent. While his father and brother fled the scene, Pachacuti rallied the army and prepared for a desperate defense of his homeland. In the resulting battle, the Chankas were defeated so severely that legend tells even the stones rose up to fight on Pachacuti's side. Thus "The Earth Shaker" won the support of his people and the recognition of his father as crown prince and joint ruler.

Pachacuti rebuilt much of Cusco, designing it to serve the needs of an imperial city and as a representation of the empire. Each suyu had a sector of the city, centering on the road leading to that province; nobles and immigrants lived in the sector corresponding to their origin. Each sector was further divided into areas for the hanan (upper) and hurin (lower) moieties. The Inca and his family lived in the center, the more prestigious area. Many of the most renowned monuments around Cuzco, such as the great sun temple Qurikancha and the "fortress" of Saksaywaman were constructed during Pachacuti's reign.

Despite his political and military talents, Pachacuti did not improve the system of succession. His son became the next Inca without any known dispute after Pachacuti died in 1471 due to a terminal illness, but in future generations, the next Inca had to gain control of the empire by winning enough support from the apos, priesthood, and military to win a civil war or intimidate anyone else from trying to wrest control of the empire. Pachacuti is also credited with having displaced hundreds of thousands in massive programs of relocation and resettling them to colonize the most remote edges of his empire. These forced colonists were called mitimaes and represented the lowest place in the Incan social hierarchy. The Incan imperial government was highly authoritative and repressive.

Pachacuti was a poet and the author of the Sacred Hymns of the Situa city purification ceremony. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa attributed one poem to Pachacuti on his deathbed: "I was born as a lily in the garden, and like the lily I grew, as my age advanced / I became old and had to die, and so I withered and died."[4]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2009 the BBC television series Horrible Histories featured a comic song entitled Do the Pachacuti showing some of the violent techniques used by Pachacuti. Pachacuti is featured as the leader of the Inca in the video game Civilization V. He was also portrayed in the American documentary series Mankind: The Story of All of Us.

Gallery[edit]

1438 A.D.
1463 A.D.
1493 A.D.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rowe, John,1990. Machu Picchu a la luz de documentos de siglo XVI. Historia 16 (1): 139–154, Lima.
  2. ^ Cameron, Ian (1990). Kingdom of the Sun God: a history of the Andes and their people. New York: Facts on File. p. 58. ISBN 0-8160-2581-9. 
  3. ^ Rostworowski, María. "Inca Succession" – The Incas Peruvian Cultural Center.
  4. ^ Burger, Richard; Lucy C. Salazar (2004). Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-300-09763-4.  Nací como el lirio en el jardín, y ansí fui criado, y como vino mi edad envejecí y como había de morir, así me sequé y morí.
Preceded by
Viracocha Inca
Sapa Inca
c. 1471 CE
Succeeded by
Topa Inca Yupanqui