The Inca and his family
The Inca or the Sapa Inca was the emperor, head of state with unlimited powers. There was only one Inca and no other person was called Inca but overtime this name became the term for the society in general. The Sapa Inca was polygamous and he usually married his sister who was his most important wife, she was known as the Coya. Polygamy was common among the royalty and upper classes and for those who could afford it. The Sapa Inca and the Coya lived in separate palaces which were decorated grandly.
Inca dynasty from the Peruvian School Painting. Christie’s Collection
The first Inca was Manco Capac and the last one Atahualpa, there were thirteen Incas in all from the year 1198 to 1533 until their defeat by the Spaniards.
|Hanan Yahuar Huaca||1378-1408|
|Tupac Inca Yupanqui||1471-1493|
The Sapa Inca would choose his successor among his sons. Although the Sapa Inca might have many wives and sons only his sons who had the Coya as their mother could inherit the throne. It was not always the oldest son who would become the next Sapa Inca; sometimes the best son fitted for the job would become the next emperor.