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Sayri Tupaq

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Sayri Tupaq

Sayri Túpac
Inca later Prince of Yucay
Viceroy Don Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza receives Sayri Túpac Inca, King of Peru, and honors him in Lima
Reign 1545-1560
Quechua Sayri Tupac
Spanish Sayri Túpac
Place of death Cuzco
Predecessor Manco Inca Yupanqui
Successor Titu Cusi Yupanqui
Consort Cusi Huarcay
Father Manco Inca Yupanqui

Sayri Túpac (c. 1535–1561) was an Inca ruler in Peru. He was a son of siblings Manco Inca Yupanqui and Cura Ocllo. After the murder of his mother in 1539 and his father in 1544, both by the Spaniard conquerors, he became the ruler of the independent Inca state of Vilcabamba. He ruled until 1560.

Sayri Tupac's father Manco, the last ruling Inca emperor, had attempted to reach an accommodation with the Spanish conquistadors. He was crowned emperor in 1534 by Francisco Pizarro. However, his cooperation was severely tested by mistreatment at the hands of Francisco's brothers Gonzalo, Juan and Hernando, whom Francisco had temporarily left in charge in Cuzco. Manco escaped from the city and raised a large army of Inca warriors.

During the civil war between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, Manco fought with the latter, besieging Cuzco for ten months but failed to take the city. After the defeat of Almagro, Manco retreated to Vilcabamba, inviting some of Almagro's supporters to take refuge with him. They did so, but then killed him, in front of Sayri Túpac and another of Manco's sons.

Sayri Túpac was five years old at the time. He became Inca in Vilcabamba, reigning for ten years with the aid of regents. This was a time of peace with the Spanish. Viceroy Pedro de la Gasca offered to provide Sayri Túpac with lands and houses in Cuzco if he would emerge from the isolated Vilcabamba. Sayri Túpac accepted, but during the preparations his relative Paullu Inca suddenly died. This was taken as a bad omen (or a sign of Spanish treachery), and Sayri Tupac remained in Vilcabamba.

In 1556 a new Spanish viceroy, Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, 3rd Marquis of Cañete, arrived in the colony. Although the Inca in Vilcabamba was no longer ruler of an Indigenous empire, he was still ruler of an independent native state. Like Viceroy Gasca before him, Hurtado believed it would be safer for the Spanish if Sayri Tupac could be enticed to live in the area of Spanish settlement, where the conquistadors could control him.

The negotiations took time, but Sayri Túpac did agree to leave Vilcabamba. He traveled in a rich litter with 300 attendants. On January 5, 1560, he was received amicably by Viceroy Hurtado in Lima. Sayri Túpac renounced his claim to the Inca Empire and accepted baptism, as Diego. In return he received a full pardon, the title of Prince of Yucay, and great estates with rich revenues. He became resident in Yucay, a day's journey northeast of Cuzco. Significantly, he left behind the royal red fringe, symbol of his authority. In Cuzco, he married his sister Cusi Huarcay after receiving a special dispensation from Pope Julius III. They had a daughter. Sayri Túpac never returned to Vilcabamba.

He died suddenly in 1561. His half-brother Titu Cusi Yupanqui took control of Vilcabamba and the Inca resistance to the Spanish. Titu Cusi suspected that Sayri Túpac had been poisoned by the Spanish.

Preceded by
Manco Inca Yupanqui
Sapa Inca
Succeeded by
Titu Cusi Yupanqui


  • Biographical information
  • Túpac Amaru
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