_________________________________________________________________ Subject: Re: Inca traditional narrative From: email@example.com (Yuri Kuchinsky) Date: 1998/05/10 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: sci.archaeology,alt.mythology,sci.archaeology.mesoamerican In this post I will introduce some new material in support of the idea that the narrative about the Inca contained significant historical elements. Also, this account is supported further by other traditional narratives, this time from Mangareva (Gambier Islands) that are the next in line after the Easter Island towards the rest of Polynesia. Here's the source I'm using: AUTHOR: Heyerdahl, Thor. TITLE: American Indians in the Pacific: the theory behind the Kon-Tiki expedition. PUBLISHED: London, Allen [and] Unwin 1952] DESCRIPTION: xv, 821 p. illus. (part col.), maps (part col.) This thick book contains huge amounts of info on this general subject. The Inca narrative is preserved in two Spanish historical chronicles, by Sarmiento, and by Balboa. Here's what Heyerdahl writes about Sarmiento: ... Sarmiento is ... known for his attempts to glorify the actions of the Spanish conquerors, and he is very careful not to give the overthrown Inca dynasty more credit than was absolutely necessary. His HISTORY OF THE INCAS ... was the result of the seven years (from 1559) in which he devoted himself to the study of native Peruvian history. His information was obtained from the best educated native historians in Peru, who still had personal memories dating from the days before the Europeans arrived, and 42 of them, specified by name and representing all the twelve Inca _ayllus_ were assembled at one time to give the rendering of names and event their final approval. (See Markham 1907, pp. 197-201.) We learn from Sarmiento (1572, p. 135) that when Tupac Inca travelled on the Pacific coast of N. Peru and Ecuador, "He conquered the Huancavelicas although they were very warlike, fighting on land and at sea in balsas [ocean-going rafts], from Tumbez to Huanapi, Huamo, Manta, Turuca and Quisin. (pp. 558-9) So it is clear from the above that the Inca already had a large fleet of balsa rafts assembled for his conquests of the Pacific coast. He didn't have to build this fleet from scratch. Also, it needs to be kept in mind that the narrative about the Pacific journey is only a part of a much larger narrative that deals with the great conquests of the Inca all along the coast and in the highlands. These conquests continued for about 7 years. The journey was launched after all the other conquests were done. And Heyerdahl continues to quote Sarmiento, later including this about the trophies that the Inca brought back from his journey: These trophies were preserved in the fortress of Cuzco until the Spaniards came. An Inca now living had charge of this skin and jaw-bone of a horse. He gave this account, and the rest who were present corroborated it. His name is Urco Huaraca. I am particular about this because to those who know anything of the Indies it will appear a strange thing and difficult to believe. (p. 559) We have discussed these trophies before in sci.arch. Clearly there's no agreement what they were exactly and where they may have come from. Some may have come from Polynesia, and some from Central America which was most likely a stop on the return journey (because of the ocean currents in the area). But the evidence is pretty persuasive that these trophies were preserved and seen by many. Later Heyerdahl quotes from Fr. Miguel Balboa who came to Peru in 1566, and who also wrote about the journey of the Inca in 1586. At that time no good information about various Pacific islands was known to the Spanish. (First recorded European visit to EI was in 1722.) He wrote: I dare not confirm this deed, however, nor determine which are the islands in question, but the Indians report that the Inca brought back [prisoners and various trophies] ... One is quite ignorant of where in Peru or the ocean washing its coasts he could have found such things. ... I have mentioned all these facts so that the reader may feel whether it is possible that Topa-Inga-Yupangui discovered any of these islands ... What remains certain is that he returned victoriously from his maritime expedition. (Pp. 561) So Balboa apparently had no doubts that some historicity was there in this narrative. And here's a commentary from P. A. Means (PRE-SPANISH NAVIGATION OFF THE ANDEAN COAST, American Neptune, Vol. II, No. 2, 1942, p. 17): The whole problem of where the expedition went should be studied carefully to determine, if possible, whither the Inca's fleet of balsas went. Unless we discard the whole story altogether as merely fabulous, an impossibility in view of the two chronicles which relate it, the fleet must have gone somewhere. (Pp. 563) So Means considered it impossible that the whole story was an invention. Heyerdahl writes on the same page about where the "black prisoners" described by the chroniclers may have come from: The dark elements found by Roggeween among the mixed population at Easter Island, and by Beechey on Mangareva, would perfectly well satisfy the remarkable claim that "black" men were among the spoils of the Inca armada. All the above comes from the Peruvian side. The book contains more evidence that I'm not uploading as yet. Now, let's look on the Mangarevan side. F. W. Christian, a noted Polynesian scholar, wrote back in 1924: And the Mangarevans have a tradition of a chief called Tupa, a red man, who came from the east with a fleet of canoes of non-Polynesian model, more like rafts -- surely a memory of some Peruvian balsas, or raftships. (Pp. 564) And Heyerdahl adds that Christian was ... probably not familiar with Peruvian traditions, or he would apparently have suspected a connection with Tupac Inca's flotilla. Although many in these ngs would tend to doubt Heyerdahl's words, it is difficult to see Christian as a biased commentator on this legend, I would suppose. And now, about the chronology of the visit. As is well known, the Inca in question was the grandfather of the ruling Inca when the Spanish arrived to Peru. This was not ancient antiquity exactly. Now, from the Mangarevan side, the chronology is as follows. Tiripone manuscript, as quoted by Buck (1938 b, p. 22), says: An important visitor to Mangareva was Tupa. The native history states that he came in the period of the brother kings Tavere and Taroi. (p. 265) This manuscript was written in the last century by Mama Taira Putairi, son of a Mangarevan chief. And Heyerdahl writes: There had been twelve generations of kings on Mangareva before Tavere and Taroi, and Buck, judging the date of these brother kings from their place in the island genealogy, estimated that they must have lived at the beginning of the 14th century. This is somewhat earlier than Tupac Inca's 15th c. voyage from Peru, but none of these dates are fixed; both are based on flexible generations. (p. 565) I think the chronologies are way too close for this to be accidental. I wonder how Ross managed to miss this detail. This is what happens when traditional aboriginal narratives are not treated with respect. Further, Heyerdahl says that in spite of many mythological accretions, the legend of the islanders preserves clearly the _direction_ from which the visitors came, i.e. from the East. He writes: The map (on p. 566) shows the location of Tupa's passage, and thus the eastern direction whence he arrived. The fact that King Tupa's visiting fleet lay afloat in Te-AVA-nui-o-Tupa (AVA = channel) while he went ashore at Te Kava island is remarkable, since Tupac of Peru came back from the ocean to speak of his visit to an island with almost the same name: Ava-chumbi. (p. 565) As Heyerdahls writes, some linguists suggested that the Quechua suffix _chumbi_ may indicate an atoll or ring-shaped coral reef, as the word means "girdle". And Heyerdahl concludes: There's only one truly important Tupac (or Topa) in Peruvian history, and similarly only one Tupa in Polynesia. ... The probability that both references are to the same Tupa(c) seems large. (p. 566) Of course there's much more to indicate that the journey of the Inca was historical. All kinds of supporting evidence exists to show that Native S. Americans were expert shipbuilders and sailors before the Spanish came, much of this discussed already in sci.arch. There's too much bias in these newsgroups. I remember the poisonous vitriol of some of the posters who used to make fun of the Natives and their sailing craft. How could they ever be making long ocean journeys on their "primitive and silly rafts"? Too bad that these scoffers never bothered to learn how sophisticated and seaworthy that craft was really. It does seem to me that this traditional narrative of the Incas may preserve quite a bit of historicity. Regards, Yuri. Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku UPDATED Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away -=O=- Philip K. 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