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Cura Ocllo

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Title: Cura Ocllo  
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Subject: Spanish colonization of the Americas
Collection: 1539 Deaths, 16Th-Century Births, Inca, Indigenous People of the Andes, Murdered Royalty, Spanish Colonization of the Americas
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Cura Ocllo

Cura Ocllo (died 1539) was the wife and sister of Manco Inca Yupanqui, puppet and later remnant ruler of the Inca Empire from 1533 until his death in 1544. Her husband was named Sapa Inca in October 1533 after the death of their common brother Túpac Huallpa, who in his turn had succeeded Atahualpa upon his execution by the Spaniards three months earlier.

Manco initially worked as a puppet ruler from the Cuzco branch of the Inca royal family of Huayna Capac, having challenged Atahualpa and the northern tribes from Quito in the Inca Civil War. He later turned against his Spanish lords and made rebellion, was captured in a failed escape attempt but later released. Once free, Manco started ingenious to free his land from the Spaniards. Attempting to regain the Inca capital of Cuzco in a ten-month siege in 1536, he failed, however, and had though victory over conquistador Francisco Pizarro's brother Hernando at Ollantaytambo in January 1537, had to withdraw.

Cura Ocllo likely followed her husband through these events and bore his son Sayri Tupac in 1535, during Manco's time in captivity. Guerilla war ensued as soon the Spaniards had solved their internal disputes, capturing Cura Ocllo in 1539. She endured gruesome torture and was repeatedly raped by her captors, before being executed, allegedly being pierced by the lances of the Spanish Cañari auxiliaries. According to legend, Her body was put in a basket, per her request, and carried by river to her brother/husband, in the Vilcabamba mountains. Manco followed her in 1544 and became the last symbol and leader of major Inca resistance towards the Spanish conquerors.

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