Read CHAPTER XVII of History of the Incas , free online book, by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, on


Mayta Ccapac, the fourth Inca, son of Lloqui Yupanqui and his wife Mama Cava, is to those Indians what Hercules is to us, as regards his birth and acts, for they relate strange things of him. At the very first the Indians of his lineage, and all the others in general, say that his father, when he was begotten, was so old and weak that every one believed he was useless, so that they thought the conception was a miracle. The second wonder was that his mother bore him three months after conception, and that he was born strong and with teeth. All affirm this, and that he grew at such a rate that in one year he had as much strength and was as big as a boy of eight years or more. At two years he fought with very big boys, knocked them about and hurt them seriously. This all looks as if it might be counted with the other fables, but I write what the natives believe respecting their ancestors, and they hold this to be so true that they would kill anyone who asserted the contrary.

They say of this Mayta that when he was of very tender years, he was playing with some boys of the Alcabisas and Culunchimas, natives of Cuzco, when he hurt many of them and killed some. And one day, drinking or taking water from a fountain, he broke the leg of the son of a Sinchi of the Alcabisas, and hunted the rest until they shut themselves up in their houses, where the Alcabisas lived without injuring the Incas.

But now the Alcabisas, unable to endure longer the naughtiness of Mayta Ccapac, which he practised under the protection of Lloqui Yupanqui, and the ayllus who watched over him, determined to regain their liberty and to venture their lives for it. So they selected ten resolute Indians to go to the House of the Sun where Lloqui Yupanqui and his son Mayta Ccapac lived, and enter it with the intention of killing them. At the time Mayta Ccapac was in the court yard of the house, playing at ball with some other boys. When he saw enemies entering the house with arms, he threw one of the balls he was playing with, and killed one. He did the same to another, and, attacking the rest, they all fled. Though the rest escaped, they had received many wounds, and in this state they went back to their Sinchis of Calunchima and Alcabasa.

The Chiefs, considering the harm Mayta Ccapac had done to the natives when a child, feared that when he was grown up he would destroy them all, and for this reason they resolved to die for their liberty. All the inhabitants of the valley of Cuzco, that had been spared by Manco Ccapac, united to make war on the Incas. This very seriously alarmed Lloqui Yupanqui. He thought he was lost, and reprehended his son Mayta Ccapac, saying, “Son! why hast thou been so harmful to the natives of this valley, so that in my old age I shall die at the hands of our enemies?” As the ayllus, who were in garrison with the Incas, rejoiced more in rapine and disturbances than in quiet, they took the part of Mayta Ccapac and told the old Inca to hold his peace, leaving the matter to his son, so Lloqui Yupanqui took no further steps in reprehending Mayta Ccapac. The Alcabisas and Culunchimas assembled their forces and Mayta Ccapac marshalled his ayllus. There was a battle between the two armies and although it was doubtful for some time, both sides fighting desperately for victory, the Alcabisas and Calunchimas were finally defeated by the troops of Mayta Ccapac.

But not for this did the Alcabisas give up the attempt to free themselves and avenge their wrongs. Again they challenged Mayta Ccapac to battle, which he accepted. As they advanced they say that such a hail storm fell over the Alcabisas that they were defeated a third time, and entirely broken up. Mayta Ccapac imprisoned their Sinchi for the remainder of his life.

Mayta Ccapac married Mama Tacucaray, native of the town of Tacucaray, and by her he had a legitimate son named Ccapac Yupanqui, besides four others named Tarco Huaman, Apu Cunti Mayta, Queco Avcaylli, and Rocca Yupanqui.

This Mayta Ccapac was warlike, and the Inca who first distinguished himself in arms after the time of Mama Huaco and Manco Ccapac. They relate of him that he dared to open the hamper containing the bird indi. This bird, brought by Manco Ccapac from Tampu-tocco, had been inherited by his successors, the predecessors of Mayta Ccapac, who had always kept it shut up in a hamper or box of straw, such was the fear they had of it. But Mayta Ccapac was bolder than any of them. Desirous of seeing what his predecessors had guarded so carefully, he opened the hamper, saw the bird indi and had some conversation with it. They say that it gave him oracles, and that after the interview with the bird he was wiser, and knew better what he should do, and what would happen.

With all this he did not go forth from the valley of Cuzco, although chiefs from some distant nations came to visit him. He lived in Ynti-cancha, the House of the Sun. He left a lineage called Usca Mayta Panaca Ayllu, and some members of it are still living in Cuzco. The heads are named Don Juan Tambo Usca Mayta, and Don Baltasar Quiso Mayta. They are Hurin-cuzcos. Mayta Ccapac died at the age of 112 years, in the year 890 of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Licentiate Polo found his body and idol guauqui with the rest.