Rahua Ocllo

Map of the areas under control of the Incan Empire during Rahua Ocllo’s marriage. Image Credit: WikiCommons

By Gabby Storey

Born in the sixteenth century and daughter of  Topa Inca Yupanqui. She married her brother, Sapa Inca Huayna Capac, and was the mother of Huascar, one of the contenders for the imperial succession.

We do not know much of her reign, although she was known to have accompanied Huayna Capac in a campaign in Cuzco.

Contemporary evidence suggests that Huascar made land grants to his mother upon his father’s death, and this was for the support of her whilst she was alive, rather than as a memorial site after her death as seen with her predecessor coyas.

She held estates in Challahuasi and Pomaguanca, alongside households of workers for these lands. During the civil war between her son and his half-brother Atauhalpha, it has been alleged by historians that she supported either side, though evidence does not demonstrate a strong preference.

Atauhalpha defeated Huascar in 1532, and executed him. Atauhalpha reigned briefly before the Spanish conquest of the empire and his later execution. We do not know what happened to Rahua or a date of death, to indicate if she died soon after the civil war, or survived the early years of the conquest.

Recommended Reading

Burr Carwright Brundage, Empire of the Inca (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963)

Catherine Julien, Reading Inca History (Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2009)

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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