Titu Cusi

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Titu Cusi
Sapa Inca
Reign 1563 – 1571
Predecessor Sayri Tupac
Successor Túpac Amaru
Born 1529
Died 1571 (aged 41–42)
Father Manco Inca Yupanqui

Don Diego de Castro Titu Cusi Yupanqui (1529–1571) was a son of Manco Inca Yupanqui, and became the Inca ruler of Vilcabamba, the penultimate leader of the Neo-Inca State. He was crowned in 1563, after the death of his half brother, Sayri Tupac. He ruled until his death in 1571, probably of pneumonia.[1]:10-11

During his rule at Vilcabamba, the provisional governor-general Lope Garcia de Castro wanted to negotiate with him. The negotiations were about Cusi leaving the Vilcabamba and accepting a Crown pension. After negotiations escalated, around 1568, Titi Cusi was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, as Diego de Castro.[1]:xiv,14-15

Titu Cusi made Túpac Amaru a priest and custodian of Manco Inca's body in Vilcabamba.

Túpac Amaru became the Inca ruler after Titu Cusi's sudden death in 1571. Titu Cusi's close companion Martin de Pando, who had worked as a scribe for the Inca for over ten years and the Augustinian Friar Diego Ortiz were blamed for killing Titu Cusi by poisoning him. Both were killed.[1]:16

Titu Cusi is the "narrator" and source of An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru, a firsthand account of the Spanish invasion, narrated by him in 1570 to a Spanish missionary, Fray Marcos Garcia and transcribed by a Martin Pando, his mestizo assistant.[1]:12

The resulting hybrid document offers a unique Inca perspective on the Spanish conquest of Peru. The confusion and misunderstandings of first contact are described in the account, including mistaken beliefs that the Spaniards were gods. The section which describes the moment when Manco Inca, the father of the author and the brother of Atahuallpa, receives the first news of the Spaniards' arrival from coastal tribesman is of particular note.[1]:64

'When my father heard this, he was beside himself and said, "How dare those people intrude into my country without my authorisation and permission? Who are these people and what are their ways?" The messengers answered, "Lord, these people cannot but be gods, for they claim to have come by the wind. They are bearded people, very beautiful and white. They eat out of silver plates. Even their sheep, who carry them, are large and wear silver shoes. They throw thunder like the sky...Moreover, we have witnesses with our own eyes that they talk to white cloths by themselves and that they call some of us by our names without having been informed by anyone and only looking into the sheets, which they hold in front of them...Who could people of this manner and fortune be but gods?"'

Titu Cusi Yapanqui (1570), 'An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru'


  1. ^ a b c d e Titu Cusi Yupanqui, 2005, An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru, Boulder: University Press of Colorado, ISBN 9780870818219

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sayri Tupac
Sapa Inca
As ruler of the Neo-Inca State

Succeeded by
Túpac Amaru