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The Legend of Siblings Ayar

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on May 9, 2019 10:11:00 AM



The legend of the Ayar brothers is one of the best-known stories about the origins of the Inca Empire. The saga begins with Juan de Betanzos, a Spanish Chronicle who lived in Cusco around 1551. He married a princess that came from the Inca elite and used to speak the official language of the Empire (Quechua), so he heard about the legend.

A long time ago, four young men and four women (their wives) emerged from the Capac Toco. Located in the Tampu Tocco mountain, it is one of the three windows of the Paqariq Tampu cave. They were Ayar Cachi and Mama Cora, Ayar Auca and Mama Huaco, Ayar Manco and Mama Ocllo, and Ayar Uchu and Mama Rahua. They were the sons and daughters of Viracocha, meaning that they were also brothers and sisters.

World Heritage Site by UNESCO City of Cusco

The siblings decided to head out in the world to find a better place to live as they were looking at the poverty of their people and the devastated land. They were in search to find a place to build the Inca Empire. The strongest of the brothers was Ayar Cachi who knocked down a mountain or formed a valley with every slingshot he took. Others were fearful of his great strength, so they convinced him to come back to Tampu Tocco and search for food. They tricked him into going into a cave and locked him up for good with a massive stone. Ayar Cachi, enraged, screamed so loudly that he made the skies shiver and mountains in two.

The other three brothers continued on their path and eventually arrived at the Huanacaure Mountain. There, they found a stone idol that Ayar Uchu decided to destroy. However, he was turned to stone the moment he touched it. But before he did, he told his two brothers to continue their quest and celebrate Huarachico - a festivity in honor to adulthood.


In search of a place to live with his brother, Ayar Auca grew wings and flew over La Pampa Del Sol. Upon landing on this land, he turned into a stone. Ayar Manco was the only brother left, and along with his sisters, he continued their path. When he arrived at the city of Cusco, he decided that it was the right place to settle down after he sunk the golden stick delivered to him by His Father and the Sun God (Inti). There and then, he founded Tahuantinsuyo – the Inca Empire. Ayar Mance was the one who received the responsibility and honor of leading the foundation of this new civilization.

There are many legends and myths known around the Empire of the Incas. The stories are full of mysticism and magic, and the legend of the Ayar brothers is one of the oldest and most fantastic ones. It tells us how the battle for being the strongest is an eternal constant in the case of humankind. In the case of the Inca civilization, the one who remains intact received the responsibility of leading the foundation of Tahuantinsuyo.

For those who would like to visit the ancient city of Cusco and learn more about the legends and beginnings of the Inca Empire,

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Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: Local Traditions and Culture, history, The Legend of Siblings Ayar

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