Cura Ocllo

Cura Ocllo (died 1539) was an Inca queen, the wife and sister of Manco Inca Yupanqui,[1]:75,88 puppet and later remnant ruler of the Inca Empire from 1533 until his death in 1544. Her husband was named Sapa Inca in October 1533 after the death of their common brother Túpac Huallpa, who in his turn had succeeded Atahualpa upon his execution by the Spaniards three months earlier.

Manco initially worked as a puppet ruler from the Cuzco branch of the Inca royal family of Huayna Capac, having challenged Atahualpa and the northern tribes from Quito in the Inca Civil War. He later turned against his Spanish lords and made rebellion, was captured in a failed escape attempt but later released. Once free, Manco endeavored to free his land from the Spaniards. Attempting to regain the Inca capital of Cuzco in a ten-month siege in 1536, he failed, and despite a victory over conquistador Francisco Pizarro's brother Hernando at Ollantaytambo in January 1537, he had to withdraw.

Cura Ocllo likely followed her husband through these events and bore his son Sayri Tupac in 1535, during Manco's time in captivity. Guerrilla war ensued as soon the Spaniards had solved their internal disputes.

Cura Ocllo was captured by the Spaniards and taken to Pampacona, "where they tried to rape her." She was reportedly raped by Gonzalo Pizarro.[1] Pizarro reportedly demanded that Manco give them his queen; Manco attempted to avoid it by giving them other women dressed as queens, but the Spaniards rejected them, until Manco was finally forced to surrender her.[1] When she resisted the rape, the Spaniards "shot her with arrows."[1]:123–124

According to legend, her body was put in a basket, per her request, and carried by river to her brother/husband, in the Vilcabamba mountains. Manco followed her in 1544 and became the last symbol and leader of major Inca resistance towards the Spanish conquerors.


  1. Titu Cusi Yupanqui, 2005, An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru, Boulder: University Press of Colorado, ISBN 9780870818219
Preceded by
Coya Asarpay
Queen consort of the Inca Empire
Succeeded by
Cusi Huarcay
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