In the Andean sphere there is no concept of the creation of the world. Those who populated the Andes said they had emerged from their places of origin fully attired with head adornments and weapons. For the Incas, this place of origin was a cave; the Chancas said they had come from two lakes while others considered their pacarinas to be the sea, volcanoes or snow peaks.
Legend of the brothers ayar
One of the main myths about the origin of the Incas was the one about the Ayar brothers originating from a cave named Pacaritambo, Tambo of Production, Tambo of Dawn, or Hideaway House. This place was found on the hill Tambotoco, the same one that has three windows. From one of these windows, Maras Toco, the group of the Maras Sutic issued "without being generated by parents", like spontaneous generation. From the other window, Capac Toco, issued four brothers whose names were Ayar Uchu, Ayar Cachi, Ayar Mango and Ayar Auca.
They were accompanied by their four sisters, Mama Ocllo, Mama Huaco, Mama Ipacura or Cura and Mama Raua. Each chronicler, according to his informants' references recounts these episodes with small variations.
The legendary Ayar with their sisters began a slow walk through punas and ravines of the cordillera with the purpose of finding a proper place to take up residence. It is interesting to note that in Guaman Poma's version Mama Huaco is mentioned as the mother of Manco Capac and an incestuous relationship between them is alluded to.
"In the psychoanalytic analysis of the myth the two fundamental prohibitions, that of incest and that of parricide, are not found, rather the existence of a network of fraternal relationships is shown in which incest appears to be given. In this myth the conjugal couple does not exist, just the binomial mother/son. Within that system of relations the prohibition performed by the father inside the triangle is absent. From this perspective, the kinship system present in the myth of the Ayar seems to imply a dual relationship between son and mother" (Hernandez and others 1987).
According to the narrative of the chroniclers, the brothers lost no time in getting rid of Ayar Cachi out of fear of his magic powers, since with one single shot from his sling he could demolish mountains or make ravines rise up. With tricks they convinced him to return to Pacaritambo to bring the "napa", the insignia of nobles and some golden vessels called "topacusi" that they had left behind. Once Ayar Cachi went into the cave they closed it up with blocks of stone, and he remained trapped there forever. After this episode, the Ayar continued their route through the mountainous terrain.
It is important to emphasize that the brothers, in spite of not having a fixed settlement, did not stop being farmers. Thus it is that once they were established in a place they stayed for some years, and after achieving the harvest they once more took up their trek.
Sarmiento de Gamboa tells that in their pilgrimage, the brothers arrived at a place called Guanacancha four leagues from Cuzco.
They stayed there for a time sowing and harvesting, but were not content so they took up their trek until they arrived in Tamboquiro where they spent a few years. Later they arrived in Quirirmanta, at the foot of a hill. In that place a council was held among the siblings, in which they decided that Ayar Uchu should remain there transformed into a renowned huaca named Huanacauri.
In the Andean sphere, to adopt a lithic form was a way of perpetuating a divinity or making a personage sacred, therefore the stone form assumed by Uchu did not impede his communicating with his siblings.
The same chronicler mentions that Mama Huaco was one of the chiefs of the group and that in the town of Matagua, this "very strong, right hand" took two staffs of gold and threw them to the north, one fell in Colcabamba, but the hard earth did not let it to sink in. She threw the second to a piece of land named Guayanaypata where it penetrated smoothly. Other informants told Sarmiento de Gamboa that it was Manco Capac and not Mama Huaco who threw the magic cane that had to indicate the definitive settlement.
The nomadic ayllus tried to arrive at the indicated place, but met with resistance from the native people. They were forced to return to Matagua. While they remained there, Manco Capac ordered Ayar Auca to go populate the place indicated by the staff. Carrying out his brother's order, Auca flew to the place mentioned, but when his foot touched the earth, he turned into stone. According to Andean belief, the "guanca" or stones were cairns indicating the form for the possession of space. Thus it is that the lithic aspect of Auca was the first to occupy the chosen place, so long awaited, and ordered Ayar Mango from then on to be called Manco Capac. According to Sarmiento de Gamboa, in the language spoken then, "Cuzco" meant to occupy a space in a magical way. For Garcilazo, "Cuzco" was the "navel" of the world in the private language of the Incas.
Cieza de Leon uses similar terms to tell of the arrival of Manco and his people in Cuzco and adds that the neighborhood was densely populated, but that its inhabitants made a place for the recent arrivals.
The myths narrated so far, referring to the way ancient Cuzco was inhabited by the Incas, are totally different stories from the version given by Garcilazo. The legend of the Ayar, with the transformations of personages into stone or sacred "guanca", in addition to the long pilgrimage of Manco's group, are very Andean episodes which are also present in the myths of other ethnicities. The transhumance of the Incas was not of primitive bands of herders and hunters, but rather those of essentially agricultural peoples, exceedingly concerned in finding lands to cultivate.
In these narratives, one of Manco Capac's two women plays the special role we have seen in the version in which, in spite of being a woman, Mama Huaco was the commander who threw the founding staff for taking symbolic possession of Cuzco.
According to what the chroniclers say, Mama Huaco took hold of a "haybinto" (bolas) and, making it spin in the air wounded one of the Guallas, ancient inhabitants of Acamama, later she opened his chest and taking out his lungs, blew strongly into them. The ferocity of Mama Huaco terrified the Guallas who abandoned the town, giving way to the Incas.
In an earlier study we have analyzed the feminine figure of Mama Huaco and what it means and represents in the sociopolitical order of the Incas. She was the prototype of the mannish woman and warrior, in opposition to Mama Ocllo, second wife of Manco Capac. Cabello de Valboa recounts that Mama Huaco performed the function of valiant captain and led armies. This masculine characteristic was explained in Aymara with the word "huaco", which in that language represents the mannish woman who is not intimidated by the cold or by work and who is free.
According to Sarmiento de Gamboa, the four leaders who commanded the ayllus in the arrival at Cuzco were Manco Capac, Mama Huaco, Sinchi Roca and Mango Sapaca. It is important to stress that Mama Huaco is named among the four chiefs of the group.
It does not interest us to know whether the facts are true or mythical. With this coya we find women taking an active part in the conquest of Cuzco, fighting together with the men and leading an army.
In the Cuzco legends she is not a unique example, in the war against the Chancas, the curaca Chañan Curi Coca was the female chief of the ayllus of Choco-Cachona. In the same legend, through the long-eared nobles we know about the aid provided by the "pururauca", magic stones which in the heat of the moment of battle became transformed into soldiers and accomplished the Inca triumph. What is interesting in the myth is the existence of masculine and feminine "pururauca" or that the army was not an occupation reserved only for men.
These myths referring to the establishment of the Incas are basic because they reveal their worldview and sociopolitical structures. Manco Capac and his ayllus inhabited lower Cuzco and his dwelling was a temple of indicancha, while the followers of Auca were settled down and installed in the upper half or hanan. The division into halves has, in its context, a sense of gender and comprehends an opposition and complementarity between the moieties of Hanan and Hurin. Garcilazo de la Vega confirms that criterion on saying that the elder brothers populated the upper part and the followers of the "queen" were second brothers and populated Hurin Cuzco.
Through the news of Garcilazo we would have the men of Hanan were masculine/masculine and those of Hurin masculine / feminine. As for the women, those of lower were classified as feminine/feminine and those of above as feminine/masculine. The prototypes of these women would be the feminine/feminine of Mama Ocllo and the feminine/masculine Mama Huaco.
Extract from http://incas.perucultural.org.pe/