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Goldilocks and the Three Incas

You've heard of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," but what about Manco Capac and the Grand Temple of Coricancha? If you lived in Peru, you might here the tale of Manco Capac--the founder of the Inca royal family--before bed, not "Hansel and Gretel." It is said that Manco Capac arose out of the waters of Lake Titicaca with his brothers and sisters, and set off with a band of others to find the perfect site to develop a city.

The site of the city of Cuzco where Manco Capac turned to stone
After many years, Manco Capac along with his sister and wife, Mama Oqlyo, found the intersection of the Rio Tullamayo and the Rio Huantanay. At this very point, he plunged a golden staff into the ground and, declared this the site of the city of Cuzco, (which is where Coricancha now lies). However, at that moment, he turned to stone!

Life was peaceful and simple in this village throughout the Inca kings' reign, up until Viracocha Inca. Viracocha Inca's reign did not last long, however, due to the attack from the Chanca in the northeast. Although Viracocha Inca fled, his rebel royal son Yupanqui, resisted, and along with his friends defended their homes. The legend explains that during the battle, Yupanqui cried out to the stones to help and they turned into mighty warriors in his defense. They won the fight!

The eye of the puma
Yupanqui regarded himself as quite the popular one and named himself the imperial title of Pachacuti, or "Earthshaker," Inti, the sun god, became his inspiration and to show his loyalty, Pachacuti constructed Coricancha, or "House of the Sun" as a temple to Inti. This temple is the most elaborate temple in the imperial city, fully embroidered in gold.

Before it was melted down, each of the gold-covered chambers, were images of the gods including Inti, Viracocha, Illapa the Lord of Thunder, and Cuichu the Rainbow. Unfortunately today, only one golden ear of maize remains from the temple in a museum. This golden ear of maize is a relic of the temple that was the center of Cuzco, the center of Tahuantinsuyu, and the center of the four quarters of the Inca world.


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