|Fig.1: The poor treatment of |
the Inca civilization gives me
an ugly, stinky llama face!
Like any other civilization, the Inca have a dumb origin story about people coming out of random caves and turning into stone for stupid reasons and something about a sacred llama (really they were just asking for this llama stuff). But I'm a historian, not a crap-people-made-up-ologist, so turn on the History Channel if you want to learn about sensationalized hoopla (or about Ice Road Truckers, for some reason). Anyway, the Inca grew around their capital of Cusco in present-day southern Peru around the 12th century. It was really a humble small-time operation, where the troubles are all the same and everyone knows your name, but this would change under the leadership of Pachacuti in 1438. Pachacuti meant "He who shakes the Earth," which was better than his previous nickname: "He who let the dogs out." But Pachacuti certainly did some Earth-shaking by conquering the lands around Cusco in Peru and Ecuador during his thirty-year-reign. It is also believed that the famous Machu Picchu (fig.2) was built as a lavish summer home for him, the ruins of which had delighted tourists since its rediscovery in 1912 until it was tragically stolen by one of Carmen Sandiego's nefarious henchmen.
|Fig.2: The ruins of Machu Picchu attract about 500,000 visitors per year, which is 499,999 more |
visitors than I want tromping around my personal vacation retreat!
|Fig.3: It's common knowledge that the AL Collasuyu |
is one of the stronger divisions in the league, and
almost always picks up that wild card spot.
Even the Inca religion was a patchwork of various beliefs incorporated throughout South America's western coast. The common deity promoted by the Inca nobility was Viracocha, who was the creator of all living things, and even some great non-living things like apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top. Like Zeus, Viracocha is depicted with lighting bolts in hand, and had a variety of female deities by his side with whom he could be "very good friends." These ladies include Pachamama, goddess of Earth; Qochamama, goddess of the sea, and Hoochiemama, goddess of smokin' hot babes. The Inca also believed in the afterlife: once a person died, they would be led down a dark path filled with obstacles to heaven by a black dog, who hopefully wouldn't get distracted by a squirrel or the mailman or anything. Even in death, a person's body needed to be preserved in order for their trip to the afterlife to go smoothly, so the Inca engaged in natural mummification by freezing bodies on top of the Andes Mountains (it's almost akin to "vegan mummies," as opposed to all that processed stuff those Egyptians do). Some Peruvian cultures continue this practice today, and even bring out the mummies for family gatherings and celebrations. And you thought meals with Uncle Bob was awkward when he was alive...
|Fig.4: No, Francisco. |
I don't want the stale
taffy in your coat
pocket. Stop asking!
Nonetheless, the Inca continued to rule in a remote area of the Amazon Rainforest called Vilcabamba, and would make motions to overthrow Spanish rule of their kingdom. Atahualpa's other brother, Manco, would temporarily retake Cusco in 1536 while distracting the Spanish by poking their one shoulder while heading the opposite way, but they eventually caught onto his ruse. Manco's son, Túpac Amaru, went the old-fashioned route by killing some Spanish ambassadors in 1572. But before you could say Tawantinsuyu (which, admittedly, takes a few attempts), the Spanish laid siege to Vilcabamba, captured Túpac Amaru and his generals, beheaded them all, and still had time to catch the second half of the Real-Barça game. This is considered the end of the Inca Empire, but some guy named José Gabriel Condorcanqui two centuries later didn't get the memo. He took up the name Túpac Amaru II (subtitle: The Reawakening) and started his own rebellion for the indigenous population in 1780. If you were looking for a happy ending here for the Inca, you're better off renting another movie where the uprising doesn't fall flat and the leading role doesn't get drawn, quartered, and beheaded.
|Fig.5: Taste the rainbow!|
Or can it?