The story of The Huancas

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Tunanmarca,  Junín

When hearing about Peru you will hear a lot about the Incas and their empire as it was one of the largest and was the empire that would confront the Spanish in the 16th century. According to some historians like Waldemar Espinoza Soriano the Spanish conquest was not only successful because of the technological superiority that the Spanish possessed but also due to one key alliance between the Spanish and the Huancas (also spelt Wancas, or Wankas). The Huancas emerged from the Jauja, Concepcion and Huancayo provinces at the end of the 12th century and according to the stories of the Huancas the nation came into being when sixty kinship groups (Ayllus) left the “Pacarina” (Pacarina is an ancient Andean term that refers to a location where the ancestors came from and the final destination of their ancestors) called Huari Huillca. They were known for their vast cities built on mountaintops, their capital Siquillapucara (or Tunanmarca) located in the district of Tunanmarca in Jauja at one point had a population of 1500. 


The nation continued to grow, cultivating maize and herding llamas and alpacas for over 500 years. One thing to note about the Huancas in their culture was the close relationship to dogs, this relationship is mentioned in some legends some which are disputed as being false. It all starts with a war of two gods Huallallo Carhuincho and Yanamka Tutamñaca. Huallallo defeated Yanamka, Huallallo then took the fertile lands and gave it to the Huancas however, Yanamka refused to accept defeat and organized a rebellion. On hearing about the rebel army Huallallo went to the Quinancaya plain to watch the rebel army and found that the rebels were far superior to the Huancas and feared for his people. Huallallo planned to destroy the rebels so he sent a hail storm, heavy rains and red soil that fell from the sky which lasted five days and to finish them off he sent thunder and lighting. After the storm had finished Huallallo was surprised to find that the rebel officers were still alive so in one final act of desperation he turned them into dogs. As the rebels were turned into dogs they howled which annoyed Huallallo who sent lighting to shake the Earth, as the Earth shook the dogs became mute and the dogs became hoarse and became reluctant to bark. It is said that the Huancas were known as Allcomicoc (dog eater in Quechua) to the neighbouring communities. Their God, Huallallo Carhuincho, ordered five dogs to be sacrificed and that the meat and blood should be presented to his soldiers who ate them with chicha. The skulls of the dogs were made into musical instruments by the God and were known to make a terrifying noise when played. Dogs also became faithful companions that helped with daily tasks such as sheep dogs and to keep birds from the crops and were trained to perform tricks to provide entertainment and some were painted and sacrificed. In some legends you may read that the Huancas started to eat dogs because before that they used to eat humans although, it is said this was a lie created by the descendants of the Gods Pariacaca and Yanamka. Now, at the same moment that the Huancas were expanding the Incas were also expanding and starting from app. 1438 A.D the Inca Manco Capac started a rapid expansion through war and peaceful assimilation, many nations were incorporated into the Inca Empire however, the Huancas fought hard against the Incas. It was in 1460 when the Huancas fell to the Incas, under the command of Inca Yupanqui a large Inca army invaded, fierce fighting over the course of several months ensued but due to hunger and the lack of water the Huancas surrendered to the Incas. The Incas then exiled the Huanca people to far off lands and destroyed the capital Siquillapucara. When the Huancas learnt of the Spanish arrival to the land they quickly allied themselves with them, supplying the Conquistadores with men, women, food and information. The Huancas were not the only ones to see the Spaniards as force that could release their lands from the Incas, others communities joined another well-known group called the the Chachapoyas also joined the Spanish. After the fall of the Inca Empire, the Huancas requested compensation for the help they provided to the Spanish Empire many of their requests were denied and the Spanish crown refused to allow them to take back control of their land. However, under Philip II, King of Spain the Huancas received recognition for their service and was provided with a coat of arms to symbolize the union.

Park of the Huanca Indentity

 The culture of the Huanca still thrives today, the language Jauja Wanka Quechua and Waylla Wanka Quechua is still spoken, these forms of Quechua are slightly different to the Quechua spoken by the descendants of the Inca and they have football team called Deportivo Wanka. If you are interested in some more information based on the Spanish-Huanca alliance read this great book below:


By: GringoPerú

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