“Where are you going, Tupac?” Marisól asked.
“Out,” he said.
“With whom?” She stepped in to block him from the door. The combination of her bulk and moral authority were impenetrable.
He sighed. “With Carlitos and Nando.”
“Always those boys with their spray paint and skateboards and slang.”
“They’re good guys, Mamá. Carlitos is at the top of our class in school.”
“They are Spaniards, Tupac. You are Inca. Your great-great-great-grandfather…”
“I know. Pachacuti Inca, king of the whole Andes. Like, five hundred years ago.”
“You must never forget his blood flows in your veins.”
“They’re my friends, Mamá. Can I go now? Please?”
She let out a long sigh, then stepped aside. The boy was out the door and down the street in an instant.
She locked the deadbolt. The neighborhood was not what it had been.
Crime and poverty and, worst of all, the lying Catholic priests.
The only things the Spaniards ever gave us.
Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui was the 9th Inca ruler (r. 1438 – 1471 CE) who founded their empire with conquests in the Cuzco Valley and beyond. Pachacuti is also credited with founding the site of Machu Picchu.
His title Pachacuti, which he gave himself on his accession, means ‘Reverser of the World’ or ‘Earth-shaker,’ and the same word was used by the Incas to refer to the epoch-changing event or ‘turning over of time and space’ which they believed occurred regularly through history.
An appropriate enough title, then, for a ruler who set his people on the road to prosperity and the creation of an empire which would eventually be the largest ever seen in the Americas.
In 1559 AD the Spanish discovered Pachacuti’s mummy, which had been secretly hidden by the Incas following the conquest. It was sent to Lima by Juan Polo de Ondegardo but was lost in transit or perhaps simply destroyed like so many other symbols of Inca culture.