Monday, December 23, 2019

The Fall of the Inca Foretold by Lehi

According to the uninformed and most South America tourist guides, the Inca were responsible for all the ancient artifacts, development and building found in the Andean area throughout Chile, Peru, Ecuador and western Bolivia. However, as we have repeatedly said in this blog, the Inca were late comers to the many cultures that inhabited this area, and though extremely capable and effective in managing and enlarging the territory they overran, they were not particularly effective in building or erection of cities, defenses, or outstanding walls with blocks weighing many tons.
    Much of what has been credited to them by these ill-informed people was not created by them, but by the cultures that long preceded them, since the Inca were nothing more than a small, inconsequently tribe prior to 1400 AD. It is well established that they were in power when the Spanish conquistadors arrived and much misinformation has arisen about that, as well.
    What is little known about the Inca is the history of the so-called civil war which had been raging since the death of a previous Sapa Inca, Huayna Capac, around the year 1527, and how it was pivotal not only in the outcome of the arrival of the Spanish, but in the ending of the lineage of the Inca themselves.
    Huayna Capac was Sapa Inca (Sapan Inka: “the only Inca”) from 1493 to 1527, his demise came at the hand of foreign disease, most probably small pox, which had worked its way down the coast from Panama, an early Spanish colony and stronghold—in fact, these diseases not only would affect the Sapa Inca and people of Ecuador, but would rapidly work its way south.
Division of the Inca civilization by Huayna Capac for his two sons to rule

On his deathbed, Huayna Capac decreed that the Inca civilization should be divided between his two eldest sons. Tradition had been consistent, from the time of the first Sapa Inca Manco capac, that the first born son would become the heir. This process was supposedly evidently obeyed by the next nine Sapa Inca. Until 1527 and Huayna Capac, who, along with his first-born son, Ninan Cuyochi, also became infected with small pox and died before any issue. Thus, the next in line, Huáscar, was to be appointed Sapa Inca.
    Possibly in a state of illness induced delusion, or, with the situation of the line of succession being interrupted, Huayna Capac, who was the most powerful man in the Empire and who the people believed was descended from the sun god, decided to give the newly acquired area in which he lived (present day Ecuador) to Atahualpa, his son of an Ecuadorian noble woman. The rest of the Empire was given to Huáscar (Waskar Inka), and composed of all lands south of there, which was a territory that bordered the Pacific Ocean and edged the Amazon basin inland, as far south as Santiago de Chile.
    Huáscar was born as Inti Cusi Huallpa, which means “Sun of Joy.” The Huáscar was imposed by a ceremony ordered by his father to celebrate his birth; the ceremony consisted of more than 200 noble Indians to conducting a dance in the main square of Cuzco (Huacaypata), holding up a string of gold for 350 steps. The chain or rope, "huasca" as thick as a cuff-link chain, gave name to this Inca.
    After Huayna Capac’s death the two brothers lived in relative harmony for a few years, but then tensions began to appear. As it was always the duty of a Sapa Inca to expand the territory of the Tahuantinsuyu (four corners or quarters of the Inca world) during his time as ruler, Huáscar was in a quandary. He clearly could not expand north into Atahualpa’s land, for that had been given to him by their father. To the west was the Pacific Ocean, and to the east was problematic, as the Amazon was seemingly quite full of Indigenous people who were possibly not eager to join, by treaty or force, the Tahuantinsuyu. An attempt by the Inca to move in by force would have involved jungle warfare, and the natives would clearly have the upper hand in such a densely foliaged area. Also, a southern expansion perhaps would have meant that the military and other supply lines would be stretched beyond what was practical from the center at Cuzco. So this Sapa Inca was denied any ideas of territorial expansion.
    In addition, Huáscar was probably a little edgy about the intentions of his half-brother as well, since Atahualpa was a half-blood Inca, and it was not clear the two had ever had much contact face to face. Huáscar had grown up in Cuzco, with the other full blood children of Huayna Capac and his full blooded sister/wife. Atahalpa on the other hand had grown up in Quito, where Huayna Capac had chosen to live out the last years of his life by choice, surely unaware that a foreign disease would overtake he and his first son well before their natural time.
Inti Cusi Huallpa Huáscar

So Huáscar sent a message to Atahualpa, trying to determine the latter’s state of mind and level of contentment. He wrote to his half-brother: “You are certainly aware of the fact that, according to the laws of the first Inca, Manco Capac, the kingdom of Quito and all of your provinces belong to the crown and to the Empire of Cuzco. By rights, therefore, I was in no way obliged to relinquish the government of this kingdom to you, and if I did so, it was not because I was forced or compelled, but merely not to oppose our father’s wishes. Now that he is no longer with us, I am willing, out of respect for his memory, not to go back on this decision, but on two conditions. These are: first, that you will make no attempt to add so much, as a particle of land to the extent of your kingdom, since any newly acquired land belongs by rights to our Empire; the other is that, leaving everything else aside, you will swear allegiance to me and acknowledge that you are my vassal” (Garcilaso de la Vega, The Royal Commentaries of the Inca, 1609).
    Atahualpa sent word back, by Chasqui (royal messenger) that he agreed to these terms, and, in fact, if Huáscar so wished, Atahualpa would return all lands given to him in stewardship by their father, and would return to Cuzco to serve the Sapa Inca in whatever capacity he deemed suitable.
    Feeling a sense of ease, Huáscar confirmed the titles to Atahualpa that Manco Capac had bestowed on him, and invited his half-brother to Cuzco to pay his respects, and take the oath of faithful, loyal allegiance. To this Atahualpa agreed, and suggested that representatives from all of the districts of Quito could accompany him to Cuzco, in order to witness his pledge of allegiance, and to celebrate the life and works of their father, Huayna Capac.
    Huáscar was delighted by these ideas, and gave free reign to Atahualpa to bring whom he wished, and to depart for Cuzco at a date that he chose himself. In a plot against his brother, Atahualpa chose, as his representatives, experienced army personnel who were secretly armed—making the delegation a war party of 30,000 men, whose intent was to capture Huáscar and hold him prisoner. The elite of the Inca army had been stationed in Ecuador, both to protect Huayna Capac, and also that is where their last military campaign had been conducted.
Rumiñawi (Kichwa rumi ("rock face"), who after the death of Emperor Atahualpa, led the resistance against the Spanish in the northern part of the Empire

Just before Atahualpa`s forces were about to enter the Cuzco area, they were observed by Huáscar`s advisors, who warned the Inca that a delegation of 30,000 was far too large to be on a peaceful mission. They recommended that Huáscar form a defensive strategy, immediately, which he did in earnest. All fighting men were summoned to Cuzco from the Tahuantinsuyu, and though they numbered 30,000 in number, few if any of them was in a battle-ready state, as peace had been the norm in this area for years.
    Atahualpa`s forces destroyed Huáscar`s defenses in the course of a single day. Huáscar was captured and held prisoner under guard, day and night, and Atahualpa sent news of this throughout the Tahuantinsuyu in order to discourage any ideas among Huáscar`s loyal followers of rescuing their sovereign.
    His next moves were even more insidious. He summoned all Inca family members of full blood to hasten to Cuzco at once, in order to formulate new laws that would ensure peace and tranquility between the two kingdoms. However, as soon as these royal descendants arrived, all were murdered in heinous ways, from Huáscar`s uncles, aunts, and cousins, down to people of a fourth degree of familial relationship. Therefore, the majority of the bloodline of the Inca had been destroyed, forever, by the hand of one of their own, or at least a half blooded one.
The capture of Athualpa

All of this occurred while Atahualpa himself was out of harm`s way in the city of Juaja, some 530 miles from Cuzco. It is also possible that he was in the city of Cajamarca, farther to the northeast; accounts differ. Soon afterwards the Spanish conquistador Pizarro and his contingent of approximately 160 soldiers of fortune would in turn dupe Atahualpa into what Pizarro stated was to be a peaceful meeting—the result was the capture of Atahualpa, and the beginning of the further vicious and cruel destruction of the Inca state, killing many and making slaves in forced labor of the rest—only a few escaped into the high mountains.
It is well documented that the conquistadors were notorious for their cruelty and ferocity.
    Local populations were enslaved, abused and killed. In 1542, colonial laws were introduced to protect the Amerindians. In 1552 a book about the conquistadors' abuse was published by Bartolomé de las Casas. It was called a Short Account of the Destruction of the West Indies.
    It might be of interest to remember Lehi saying: “If the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them” (2 Nephi 1:10); and “Thus saith the Lord God: ‘Cursed shall be the land, yea, this land, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, unto destruction, which do wickedly, when they are fully ripe; and as I have said so shall it be; for this is the cursing and the blessing of God upon the land, for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance’” (Alma 45:16).
    Perhaps the most relevant is the statement made by Lehi of his eventual descendants, the Lamanites, when he said that the Lord, “will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten” (2Nephi 1:11).

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