Sayri Túpac

Sayri Túpac (c. 1535–1561) was an Inca ruler in Peru. He was a son of siblings Manco Inca Yupanqui and Cura Ocllo.[1]:10 After the murder of his mother in 1539 and his father in 1544, both by the Spaniard conquerors, he became the ruler of the Neo-Inca State in Vilcabamba. He ruled until 1560.

Sayri Túpac
Sapa Inca, later Prince of Yucay
Viceroy Don Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza receives Sayri Túpac Inca, King of Peru, and honors him in Lima
PredecessorManco Inca Yupanqui
SuccessorTitu Cusi Yupanqui
ConsortCusi Huarcay
QuechuaSayri Tupac
SpanishSayri Túpac
FatherManco Inca Yupanqui
MotherCura Ocllo

Sayri Tupac's father Manco, the last ruling Inca emperor, had attempted to reach an accommodation with the Spanish conquistadors. He was crowned emperor in 1534 by Francisco Pizarro. However, his cooperation was severely tested by mistreatment at the hands of Francisco's brothers Gonzalo, Juan and Hernando, whom Francisco had temporarily left in charge in Cuzco. Manco escaped from the city and raised a large army of Inca warriors.

During the civil war between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, Manco fought with the latter, besieging Cuzco for ten months but failed to take the city. After the defeat of Almagro, Manco retreated to Vilcabamba, inviting some of Almagro's supporters to take refuge with him. They did so, but then killed him, in front of Sayri Túpac and another of Manco's sons.

Sayri Túpac was five years old at the time. He became Inca in Vilcabamba, reigning for ten years with the aid of regents. This was a time of peace with the Spanish. Viceroy Pedro de la Gasca offered to provide Sayri Túpac with lands and houses in Cuzco if he would emerge from the isolated Vilcabamba. Sayri Túpac accepted, but during the preparations his relative Paullu Inca suddenly died. This was taken as a bad omen (or a sign of Spanish treachery), and Sayri Tupac remained in Vilcabamba.

In 1556 a new Spanish viceroy, Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, 3rd Marquis of Cañete, arrived in the colony. Although the Inca in Vilcabamba was no longer ruler of an Indigenous empire, he was still ruler of an independent native state. Like Viceroy Gasca before him, Hurtado believed it would be safer for the Spanish if Sayri Tupac could be enticed to live in the area of Spanish settlement, where the conquistadors could control him.

The negotiations took time, but Sayri Túpac did agree to leave Vilcabamba. He traveled in a rich litter with 300 attendants. On January 5, 1558, he was received amicably by Viceroy Hurtado in Lima. Sayri Túpac renounced his claim to the Inca Empire and accepted baptism, as Diego. In return he received a full pardon, the title of Prince of Yucay, and great estates with rich revenues. He became resident in Yucay, a day's journey northeast of Cuzco. Significantly, he left behind the royal red fringe, symbol of his authority. In Cuzco, he married his sister Cusi Huarcay after receiving a special dispensation from Pope Julius III. They had a daughter. Sayri Túpac never returned to Vilcabamba.

He died suddenly in 1561. His half-brother Titu Cusi Yupanqui took control of Vilcabamba and the Inca resistance to the Spanish.[1]:10 Titu Cusi suspected that Sayri Túpac had been poisoned by the Spanish.


  1. Titu Cusi Yupanqui, 2005, An Inca Account of the Conquest of Peru, Boulder: University Press of Colorado, ISBN 9780870818219
Preceded by
Manco Inca Yupanqui
Sapa Inca
As ruler of the Neo-Inca State

Succeeded by
Titu Cusi Yupanqui
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