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


As the Collas were one of those nations which most desired their freedom, they entered upon attempts to obtain it whenever a chance offered, as has already been explained. Tupac Inca Yupanqui resolved to crush them once for all. Having returned from the Antis, he increased his army and nominated as captains Larico, the son of his cousin Ccapac Yupanqui, his brother Chachi, Cunti Yupanqui, and Quihual Tupac. With this army he advanced to the Collao. The Collas had constructed four strong places at Llallaua, Asillo, Arapa, and Pucara. The Inca captured the chiefs and the leader of all, who was Chuca-chucay Pachacuti Coaquiri, he who, as we have said, fled from Anti-suyu. Afterwards these were the drummers of Inca Tupac. Finally, owing to the great diligence of Inca Tupac, although the war occupied some years, the Incas conquered and subdued all [perpetrating great cruelties on them].

Following up his victories, in pursuit of the vanquished, he got so far from Cuzco that he found himself in Charcas. So he determined to advance further, subduing every nation of which he received notice. He eventually prosecuted his conquests so far that he entered Chile, where he defeated the great Sinchi Michimalongo, and Tangalongo, Sinchi of the Chilians as far as the river Maule. He came to Coquimbo in Chile and to the banks of the Maule, where he set up his frontier columns, or as others say a wall, to show the end of his conquests. From this campaign he returned with great riches in gold, having discovered many mines of gold and silver. He then returned to Cuzco.

These spoils were joined with those of Uturuncu Achachi, who had returned from the forests of the Antis after a campaign of three years. He was at Paucar-tampu, awaiting the return of his brother, who entered Cuzco with a very great triumph. They made great feasts to commemorate the conquests, presenting gifts and granting many favours to the soldiers who had served with the Inca in these campaigns. As the provinces of the Chumpi-vilicas saw the power and greatness of Tupac Inca Yupanqui they came to submit with the rest of Cunti-suyu.

Besides this the Inca went to Chachapoyas, and crushed those who had been suspected, visiting many provinces on the road.

On his return to Cuzco he made certain ordinances, as well for peace as for war time. He increased the mitimaes which his father had instituted, as has been explained in the account of his life, giving more privileges and liberty. Besides, he caused a general visitation to be made of all the land from Quito to Chile, registering the whole population for more than a thousand leagues; and imposed a tribute [so heavy that no one could be owner of a mazorca of maize, which is their bread for food, nor of a pair of usutas, which are their shoes, nor marry, nor do a single thing without special licence from Tupac Inca. Such was the tyranny and oppression to which he subjected them]. He placed over the tucuricos a class of officers called Michu to collect the taxes and tributes.

Tupac Inca saw that in the districts and provinces the Sinchis claimed to inherit by descent. He resolved to abolish this rule, and to put them all under his feet, both great and small. He, therefore, deposed the existing Sinchis, and introduced a class of ruler at his own will, who were selected in the following way. He appointed a ruler who should have charge of 10,000 men, and called him huanu, which means that number. He appointed another ruler over 1000, and called him huaranca, which is 1000. The next had charge of 500, called pichca-pachaca, or 500. To another called pachac he gave charge of 100, and to another he gave charge of 10 men, called chunca curaca. All these had also the title of Curaca, which means “principal” or “superior,” over the number of men of whom they had charge. These appointments depended solely on the will of the Inca, who appointed and dismissed them as he pleased, without considering inheritance, or succession. From that time forward they were called Curacas, which is the proper name of the chiefs of this land, and not Caciques, which is the term used by the vulgar among the Spaniards. That name of Cacique belongs to the islands of Santo Domingo and Cuba. From this place we will drop the name of Sinchi and only use that of Curaca.