Chuqui Hupa

Incan flag from the time of Chuqui Hupa. Image Credit: WikiCommons.

By Gabby Storey

Chuqui Huipa was a sixteenth-century princess and later coya (queen or empress consort) of the Incan Empire through marriage to her brother Huáscar.

Born to the Incan emperor Huayna Capac and his wife Rahua Ocllo, little is known of her early life. Upon Huayna’s death in 1527, Chuqui’s illegitimate half-brother Atahualpa was meant to inherit the empire.  

However, her full brother Huáscar had the will overturned and took the Incan throne for himself. He requested his father’s harem, as well as his mother and sister, to be taken to Cuzco, as he desired to marry his sister.

Huáscar required his mother’s permission to marry Chuqui, and Rahua initially refused to consent. Eventually she was forced to give her consent, and the marriage of Chuqui and Huáscar took place.

Their marriage was reportedly unhappy, fuelled by Huáscar’s suspicions of Atahualpa and his attempts to take the throne. Huáscar placed his wife and mother under guard and ordered them to be spied upon.

There were no children born of the couple. Civil war erupted between the two brothers and in 1532 Atahualpa was victorious and deposed Huáscar. It is not known if Chuqui survived the civil war, as her date of death is unknown.

Recommended Reading

Ananda Cohen Suarez, Heaven, Hell, and Everything Inbetween: Murals of the Colonial Andes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016)

Susan A. Niles, The Shape of Inca History: Narrative and Architecture in an Andean Empire (Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 1999).

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