Horizon of the New Sun

5 min


Circa 1533 AD, Cusco, the Inca capital.

The High Priest of the Sun,*Villac Umu was worried when summoned by *Sapa Inca in the middle of the night. He hurriedly wrapped his robe and wore his elongated earlobe ornaments, the one which distinguished him from the ordinary mortals and headed towards the sacred gold-covered and emerald-studded Coricancha complex, the Temple of Sun.

Sapa Inca, Atahualpa was seated on his Royal Thorne. The emblem of the Sun, carved out of pure gold behind him was illuminating the whole Chamber. His embroidered chequered, orange colour *quompi robe and the two gold feathers in his crown made him appear like a golden Sun.

In 1438 AD – 1471 AD, *Pachacuti Inca had built the empire with terrace farming, revenue system, roads, and landscape effigies of constellations like Llama, Condor, Pyramid. He refused to accept the prophecy by *Viracocha which said, ‘They will dip our land in your own blood’. Pachacuti wanted to develop study of astronomy to avert this tragedy.

His descendant, Atahualpa was facing the disintegration and the doomed fall.

The opulent Sapa Inca is not supposed to wear same cloth twice? Aren’t the weaving women providing the fabric on time or it’s because something is so urgent that he forgot to change.” Villac Umu thought.

“Come Villac, Our royal astrologer Huanaca has something to tell.”

“The son of God, Sapa Inca and the honorable Villac Umu, I have a piece of grave news for the Incas. The prophecy is going to come true. The *Miyu is going through great upheaval.   The constellation Grand Llama and Fox are in transcending position.

The Viracocha had predicted that Jupiter and Saturn would align their paths with Earth and when this would take place, Gods will return to their planets bringing an end to our civilisation.”

“Sapa Inca, the *mamaconas of the temples are worshipping the Lord with full rituals. With their beauty and devotion, they would succeed. However, the situation is grave. We have enemies at the foothills and a mysterious disease is causing deaths at the Sapa Inca’s religious retreat Machu Pichu.*Qhapaq hucha is the need of the hour. The pure souls from the kingdom should be sent as messengers to the planets of Gods.” Villac Umu tried to pacify Atahualpa.

“So be it…Send the message to all the *Suyus. Those chosen ones for the sacrifices will be rewarded with gold, wealth and the best of fabrics.” Sapa Inca ordered.

*********************************************************************************

Nyra’s shepherd husband Supay hadn’t returned since last one month. It was a trial marriage. However, they had begun to feel compatible as a couple and planned to make it legal in presence of their parents and the tribe, which was nestled in the Andies in Kuntisuyu region of the magnificent Inca Empire, *Tawantinsuyu

The messengers from the capital city of Cusco had brought the news of the Spanish Invasion. A mere 168 Spanish soldiers had killed 7000 Inca people. They were plundering and ravaging the Inca Empire. Supay had gone missing soon after the Spanish soldiers reached the foothills.

The innocent natives thought them to be Gods. The tall, fair and well built men with a strange four-legged animal called ‘Horse’ were creating miracles with their weapons. They soon realized that their acts were not like that of the Gods.

Following Supay’s disappearance, Nyra would wander in the terraced maize fields like a lost soul.

She patted the sweat on her forehead with her *chusi scarf. She had seen the Zaramama, daughter of the chief wearing the *quompi scarves. The nobles were destined to enjoy all luxuries of the world. As for commoners, they were tied up by the law and not even allowed to wear finer fabrics to maintain the class difference.

The sun was at its peak. Nyra’s lips felt dry. As she knelt down to scoop out some water from the pond, she noticed a face behind her in the reflection.

“Ahh,*Apu!” she gasped.

Her soft curls peeking out from an elongated hat and silver ornaments which adorned her sharp-featured face captured his attention. Her dry skin was speaking about the harsh climatic conditions.

“*Sayaniki”, the tall, fair and handsome Spanish soldier’s voice halted her. Augustin was lucky that he had befriended two young kids who taught him the native language.

She was surprised hearing *Quechua in his foreign voice. With a lot of gestures along with noise like pronunciation in Quechan, he succeeded in making her understand that he was injured and was lost in the woods of Andies and he didn’t mean any harm to her.

“Can you help me to find my way back?”

“I wish I could take you to Sapa Inca and hear your screams…just the way Supay must have screamed all through the torture…But I know how it feels to be lonely…”

The Spanish camp was a two-day journey on foot through the Andies. She washed his wounds and applied a paste made from indigenous herbs having antiseptic qualities. Augustin was awed at her effortless navigation through the rough terrain. He enjoyed her companionship and followed her instructions. She would giggle at his inability to keep his pace with her. With her unadulterated innocence, Augustin wished to remain lost in the jungle forever.

‘She is kind.’ He thought to himself… ‘And beautiful too.’

The plunder which the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was carrying out in this self-sufficient and God-fearing civilization had no justification.

“Don’t you want to go back to your home Nyra? Your people must be worried about you.”

She looked grim. Her eyes welled up.

“Soon everybody would be dead. The bridge between Gods and the ancestors had broken. The Prophecy would to come true.” She murmured.

“Nyra…what if I show you the world beyond this secretive civilization of yours?” He drew her closer. She was melting. He made her feel safe, protected and beautiful.

Nyra pulled herself from his muscular grip.

“This is a sin.”

“Nyra, this is not a sin. This is a choice to live and take your roots to the outer world. Trust me and the fear will be gone.”

Their fingers enclasped and the bodies entwined to embrace the love which bloomed on the deadly Spanish Invasion over Incas.

*******************************************************************************

“Apaca…not in my life! How could you say yes?” Cavillica cried out. She pushed Apaca out of their hutment. The three children innocently looked on.

Eleven-year-old Thonapa picked up his mother. Nine-year-old Quilla and her Seven-year-old brother Uraca were playfully examining the ornaments and the shiny fabrics which the priest had gifted.

Apaca was a religious peasant. In the absence of a script and numeric system, the remarkable Incan knot system of accounting in the rope reflected that he had been dutifully paying his revenues and prayed for health and long life of Inca ruler.

He had never envied the noble class men who were allowed to have more than one wife as he loved Cavillica more than his life. A devoted wife and a doting mother, Cavillica brought all the prosperity to his home.

“They should fight the enemies rather than killing innocent children.”

“Cavillica…it’s not killing. They are sending Thonapa to our Gods.”

“No, I am not sending my child to any God. Are you with us or not?”

“Where will we go? What will we feed them? We need to save our race.”

“I will find a way. If you try to stop us, not only Thonapa, but you will lose all of us to death.”

She filled in some pitchers and pots with maize and packed some ornaments.

“Mother, where are we going?” Quilla was curious.

“To a beautiful world…To the God’s planet where we all will be safe.”

In the moonlight, Apaca looked at the three tiny figures moving faraway clutching their mother’s hand. At that instant, he knew he had to take this leap of faith. He looked at his terraced fields for one last time and untied the Llamas.

**********************************************************************************

Cavillica and the children slept inside a cave while he kept a watch. He heard some footsteps.  As he stepped forward to hit the intruder he saw a young girl with the tall man.

Seeing the Inca girl, Apaca eased down but the tall man kept his suspicions alive.

“Hey you, stay away!” Apaca’s shout alerted Augustin. He pulled out his gun and was getting ready to shoot.

“Stop…they are my people,” Nyra screamed.

Though strangers, bonded by circumstances they decided to choose the same path.

As the golden rays of sun kissed the Andean peaks, the seven commoners took their first step against the anarchy and inhuman rituals. With them, they carried the secrets of Incas to the outside world and passed on the prophecies and myths to the next generations.

One of the prophecies mentioned that after five hundred years another Pachacuti will resurrect Inca culture. This Pachacuti shall not be a single person but a collective force of hard-working people with the legacy of Incas and revive their history that had lay hidden for thousands of years.

******************************************************************************

Author’s note-

The Inca civilization flourished in ancient Peru between c. 1400 and 1533 CE, and their empire eventually extended across western South America from Quito in the north to Santiago in the south, making it the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that time. 

The Incans had beliefs set in the movement of stars and the way it affected the happenings on the earth.  The studies of Incan myths and prophecies had shown the accuracy in their astronomical knowledge. They believed that they had to return to their parent star after death and the Milky Way was a bridge between the Ancestors and God’s planet.

The story is based on such myths depicting the end of Inca civilization, predicted according to the celestial movements of the planets.

 

Glossary:-

 

Villac Umu – The Highest/ Royal priest

Sapa Inca – The Inca Emperor  

Quompi- A fine fabric, the highest quality soft clothes which only Inca royals and nobles were allowed to wear.

 

Virococha- Great creator deity in pre-Inca and Incan mythology

Pachacuti- “He who overturns space and time”. He was one of the greatest Inca rulers.

Miyu- The Milky Way

Momaconas- Chosen woman,In Inca religion women who lived in temple convents under a vow of chastity.

Quaphac Hucha- Child sacrifice

Suyu- District, region, zone

Tawantinsuyu- Union of four regions

Chusi- A low quality fabric

Apu- Lord

Sayaniki- stop

Quechua- Inca language


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Piya Gajbe

Bhavna Gajbe is a Nagpur based Freelance writer. She is a lawyer by educational qualification and a writer by choice. Being a mother to a seven-year-old son, writing comes to her as a medium to keep herself rooted and at times sane, expressing all the emotions. The digital space allows a great platform for writers like her to express on varied topics of social relevance and reach out to a greater number of readers. Other than writing, she loves reading a lot, movies and painting.
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