An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru by Titu Cusi Yupanqui, Ralph Bauer

By Titu Cusi Yupanqui, Ralph Bauer

To be had in English for the 1st time, An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru is a firsthand account of the Spanish invasion, narrated in 1570 by way of Diego de Castro Titu Cusi Yupanqui—the penultimate ruler of the Inca dynasty—to a Spanish missionary and transcribed by way of Titu Cusi's mestizo secretary.

Titu Cusi tells of his father's maltreatment by the hands of the Spaniards; his father's resulting army campaigns, withdrawal and homicide; and his personal succession as ruler. This shiny narrative illuminates the Incan view of the Spanish invaders and gives a huge account of local peoples' resistance, lodging, switch, and survival within the face of the Spanish conquest.

Ralph Bauer's remarkable translation, annotations, and advent supply severe context and history for a whole knowing of Titu Cusi's instances and the importance of his phrases. Co-winner of the 2005 Colorado Endowment for the arts booklet Prize.

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Titu Cusi’s Hybrid Account of the Conquest of Peru The brief summary of the main historical battles and events of the Conquest of Peru above conveys a sense of the extraordinary violence at the foundation of European empires and American nation states in the New World. It cannot do justice, however, to the whole story of Andean resistance and survival. Aware that their clubs, pikes, and slingshots were largely ineffective against the armored and mounted Spanish conquistadors, Native leaders soon learned to appropriate not only the foreigners’ use of swords, firearms, and horses but also the most powerful weapon that the invaders had brought: the written word.

The people of Anta were Incas but they had no claim to being descendants of Manco Capac. Although Manco Inca was a son of Huayna Capac, his pedigree was by Inca standards, as Julien points out, “less than ideal” (43). Yet, his pedigree was still the best among all of the living sons of Huayna Capac. Both Atahuallpa and Huascar were dead; and his brother Paullu’s mother was not Inca at all but a woman from the province of Huaylas. It is for this reason that Paullu was considered a “bastard” by Guaman Poma—based on the Andean understanding of the term (Julien, 43).

By Inca cultural norms, however, offspring such as Guaman Poma, as well as the offspring of an Inca man with a non-Inca woman, would not have been considered “legitimate” Inca nobility. Although those defined as “Inca” thus formed a privileged nobility in the empire—frequently called orejones (big ears) by the Spaniards because of their enlarged ears from wearing certain jewelry—not everyone in this nobility could make a legitimate claim to supreme rulership. As Catherine Julien has pointed out, legitimacy to rule was determined by an Inca noble’s closeness to the hereditary line of Manco Capac, the legendary founder of the Inca dynasty.

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