Among all the Inca sovereigns whose memory had been preserved by the Spanish chroniclers, Yahuar Huacac holds a unique position. He is famed for having shed tears of blood as a child when a foreign lord kidnapped and maltreated him. Surprisingly, his sufferings ended with matrimonial alliances binding the Inca and the main actors of this drama, all important figures of three foreign chiefdoms. Through both a historical and an anthropological approach, this article analyzes the narrative's structure of interwoven ritual events and kinship patterns. It examines how the stages of the heir's journey over many territories forged a distinctive relationship between the Inca elite and the provincial lords, enlightening the meaning of the final unions.
Isabel Yaya; The Importance of Initiatory Ordeals: Kinship and Politics in an Inca Narrative. Ethnohistory 1 January 2008; 55 (1): 51–85. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2007-046
Download citation file: