Rumiñawi (Inca warrior)

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Rumiñawi (Kichwa rumi stone, rock, ñawi eye, face,[1] "stone eye", "stone face", "rock eye" or "rock face",[2]:269-270 hispanicized spellings Rumiaoui, Ruminavi, Ruminagui, Rumiñagui, Rumiñahui), born late 15th century, died June 25, 1535, was a general during the Inca Civil War, who after the death of Emperor Atahualpa, led the resistance against the Spanish in the northern part of the Inca Empire (modern-day Ecuador) in 1533.

Born in Pillaro in the modern Tungurahua Province in Ecuador, his given name was Ati II Pillahuaso. Inca historians tend to believe that he was Atahualpa's half-brother, born from a native noble woman. When Francisco Pizarro imprisoned Atahualpa and held him in the Ransom Room, Rumiñawi marched towards Cajamarca to deliver a huge amount of gold.

After the Spaniards executed Atahualpa, Rumiñahui returned to Quito. He is believed to have ordered the Treasure of the Llanganatis thrown into a lake or buried in snow.[2]:270

Sebastián de Benalcázar headed to Quito, intent on any treasure he could recover. The forces of Rumiñawi and Benalcázar met at the Battle of Mount Chimborazo, where Rumiñawi was defeated. However, before the Spanish forces captured Quito, its treasures were secreted away.[3]:226

Rumiñawi had ordered the city burned, and the principal ladies of the temples who refused to flee, killed.[2]:322-325 Rumiñahui was eventually captured, tortured and killed by the Spanish but never revealed the location of the treasure.[2]:390-393


In 1985 the Ecuadorian Congress made December 1st of every year a day of remembrance for the personality of Rumiñawi as an indigenous hero and defender of the Kingdom of Quito.

Rumiñahui's portrait was the prominent image on the front of the 1,000 Ecuadorian sucre note.


  1. ^ Kichwa Yachakukkunapa Shimiyuk Kamu (Ministry of Education, Ecuador)
  2. ^ a b c d Leon, P., 1998, The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, Chronicles of the New World Encounter, edited and translated by Cook and Cook, Durham: Duke University Press, ISBN 9780822321460
  3. ^ Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Publishing, ISBN 9781420941142
  • Moya Espinoza, Reynaldo. La conquista en Piura.