LIKE PUMAS ENTWINED ON THE SANDALS OF HUASCAR
Now, returning five hundred years into the Tahuantinsuyo, the Inca Empire, we go to the palace to find the Inca... The last Inca... Huascar.
The Royal Palace, called Cuusmanco, has two magnificent gates, one at the entrance of the palace and one more inside, both well decorated with carved designs.
At the first door, at the entrance, there are two thousand soldiers guard with his captain. These soldiers are privileged and exempt from personal services; the captains that command them are important people, of great authority (1).
After the first door is a square. Those who follow the Inca, coming from outside, stop there, when he goes in with the four "orejones" of his council, passing by the second door, in which is also other guard, composed by people from the city of Cuzco (2). Beyond this door is another large courtyard, to the officials of the palace and those that have ordinary craft in it, which are there waiting for what is told, by virtue of his craft.
Along with this second door, where is the armory (3), with all sorts of weapons, are one hundred of the best captains of war, trained for war, who are entertained there, ready for any occasion.
Then the rooms and bedrooms, where the Inca lives days and nights full of delight and joy, because there is many trees, gardens with all kinds of birds singing, pumas, jaguars and other savage cats and all savage beasts and animals of all genres found in the Tahuantinsuyo.
The rooms, large and spacious, hand-worked with wonderful artifice, because the hangings or tapestries are not used, the walls are carved with rich work, adorned with much gold and much stamping of the figures and the deeds of the ancestors. Skylights and windows adorned with gold and silver and precious stones...
There is a treasure chamber in the palace, the capac marca huasi (4), where they keep the jewels and precious stones of the Lord. There are all the rich dresses of the Inca, of very fine cumbi (5), and all things pertaining to the adornment of his person - not just his jewels of inestimable value, as the pieces of gold and silver of crockery that are placed on the sidebords of the palace. With fifty chamberlains in charge, and the greatest of these is a tucuiricuc or cuipucamayoc, which is more as an overseer and accountant.
He is in charge of the keys to certain doors (6), but he can't open any door without being in front of his peers, who also have their keys...
There are twenty-five guards-clothes, from twelve to fifteen years, sons of chiefs and principals, very well treated and richly dressed, who take care of the clothes of the Inca, by preparing and separating according to color ordered. Also they take the dishes to the table when he eats.
The Inca crossed the threshold of the room with a stately air and proud. Like the other Incas, he is medium height, slightly tan skin, hair a little shorter than other people in the kingdom who use longer hair. Without having a beard (7), he is serious, severe, but also quiet and unobtrusive. As in general all the Incas, he speaks well. (8)
He is dressed as ordinarily does, with a blue shirt carved of cumbi, beautifully sculpted with a work of Tocapo (9), with subtle shades of green and purple. The blanket, the yacolla, of the same cumbi, but without any work, rests in the arms of a guard-rope, who is ready to dress it, if the Lord wants.
On his head he brings the llaitu (10), with the colors of the rainbow, the same colors of the Tahuantinsuyo, encrusted with precious stones. Hanging from the llaitu, the very fine crimson of cumbi of the imperial tassel, the mascapaicha - the royal insignia and crown, with its threads of gold and feathers of the sacred qoriqenqe.
He is shod with some sandals that cover the soles of the feet, and intertwine in the middle of the feet with its handles over the heels and where the loops are locked, there are some heads of pumas, made of gold and emerald stones, richly worked.
At this time, the butler, the ancosanaymaci, one of the main orejones, enters carrying a glass made of precious wood, perhaps full of chicha, to serve the supreme Inca of Tahuantinsuyo.
The last Inca... Huascar... remains silent, watching the sunlight coming from the gardens...
1) Every time that the Inca went to the Andean Mountains, they were with him, and in addition to the regular rations, they were payed with advantage, and they were usually accompanied by the sons of chiefs and leaders, that were dressed very lucidly. (Murua)
Cuando el Ynga iba a la Sierra, iban junto a su persona, y se les daban las raciones ordinarias y pagas aventajadas, y andaban de ordinario acompañados de los hijos de los curacas y principales, muy lucidamente aderezados. (Murtua)
(2) "orejones", relatives and descendants of the Inca, whom he trusted, and were those that were charged of raising and teaching children of the governors and principals of the whole kingdom, who would serve the Inca, and assist him in the palace when older.
(3) namely, arrows, bows, spears, macanas, champis, swords, helmets, slings, heavy shields, all set in good order and harmony.
(4) literally - rich treasure chamber - the treasurer, the chief accountant, had great salary and great benefit, because the Inca gave him many of his own dresses, cattle and lands, and of his own gifts, he took two parties and one was for his teammates.
(5) Cumbi - A superior kind of fabric made in Peru and Bolivia from alpaca wool.
(6) wooden doors.
((7) the Incas did not have any kind of beard, because they pulled it out with tweezers, called "tirana". (Murua)
(8) I described Huascar according to the characteristics of the Incas, described by Fray Murua in his book.
(9) The ñustas (Virgins of the Sun Temple), who spun subtly to weave the Inca dresses and sculpted on them wonderful works of Tocapo, that they say it means diversity of work, with a thousand shades of subtle way, great delicacy, and sometimes purple, sometimes green, sometimes blue, fine crimson other.
Tocapu: small figures of a large pattern repeat of certain patterns, they adorned the most luxurious garments with them. Clothing typical of Peru and blankets, often contain these abstract geometric symbols, that are discreetly within a rectangular or square. In apparel, each tocapu could be placed in a linear pattern across the waist or on a grid covering the entire surface. They were prerogative of the imperial clan members and individuals of the Inca elite, believed that it had privileges of the people that used these garments and they controlled a variety of ethnicities in the Empire (Rebecca Stone-Miller. Art of the Andes Chavin de Inca, New York. Thames and Hudson, 1995, p. 210).
(10) The llauto was a kind of turban with the colors of Tahuantinsuyo, woven of vicuna hair, (10) The llauto was a kind of turban with the colors of Tahuantinsuyo, woven of vicuna hair, which was five to six times around the head and that hold on in front a fringe of wool, called mascaipacha, that, together with feathers of the qoriqenqe (sacred bird whose symbol was on the front) and the topayauri (sort of scepter), were the private outfits of Sapa Inca.
Fray Martín de Murúa: Historia general del Perú. Origen y descendencia de los Incas (1611).
and for the tocapo:
Rebecca Stone-Miller. Arte de los Andes de Chavín de Inca, Nueva York. Thames and Hudson, 1995, p. 210).
* The sublines, as always, everything is mine.