National Geographic : 1891 Mar 28
The Legend of the Incas. the Indians, sent two of his children, Manco Capac and Mama Oello Huaco, to gather the wandering tribes into communities, to teach them the arts of civilized life and to inculcate the worship of the Sun. From Lake Titicaca, this brother and sister, husband and wife, went down the valley to Cuzco, where they were bidden to found an empire. Manco Capac was thus the first Inca. There were ten or twelve Incas before the conquest of Peru. Their conquests extended through the entire valley of the Cordilleras, until over four hundred tribes, with a population of many millions, became subject to their dominion. The territory of the Incas extended from the southern part of Chili northward into Colombia, beyond Quito, a distance of two thousand miles, and west to the Pacific Ocean. On the eastern slope of the Cordilleras, toward the great plain of the Amazon, the Incas met a stronger and more savage people, with whom they were in constant warfare. In the several passes of the Cordilleras they constructed fortifications to protect their borders and prevent invasion. The capital of the territory, Cuzco, was situated in a beautiful valley ten thousand feet above the sea. Amidst the Alps, such a valley would be buried in eternal snow, but within the tropics it enjoys a perpetual spring. Here the Incas loved to dwell, and remains of immense fortresses, palaces and temples, testify to their power and culture, and to the number of their subjects. Tens of thousands of laborers must have been required to con struct such edifices. When we reflect that these people had no beasts of burden except the llama, which could only carry light loads, and no mechanical means for transporting the vast blocks of stone used in constructing these buildings, we are astonished at what they accomplished. The pyramids of Egypt are not more wonderful. Great highways were built, running north, south and west, connecting different parts of the Empire. One followed the valley between the Cordilleras and Andes to Quito, another crossed the Andes and followed the sea-coast north and south to the extreme limits of their country. All traveling was on foot. Large and comfortable tambos, or inns, were erected every few miles, and larger ones at the end of a day's journey. Couriers were stationed at regular intervals, each of whom had his allotted station, between which and the next it was his duty to run at a certain pace bearing his message, and on his approach to the -- NAT. GEOG. MAG., VOL. III, 1891.
1891 Apr 1