Inca General Ruminahui

Inca General Ruminahui

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Rumiñawi (Inca warrior)

Rumiñawi, born late 15th century in present-day Ecuador, died June 25, 1535, was a general during the Inca Civil War. After the death of Emperor Atahualpa, he led the resistance in 1533 against the Spanish in the northern part of the Inca Empire (modern-day Ecuador). According to tradition, he ordered the city's treasure to be hidden and the city burned to prevent looting by the Spaniards. Although captured and tortured, he never revealed the treasure. Since 1985, December 1 is celebrated as a day of commemoration of his acts.

Born in Pillaro in modern Tungurahua Province in Ecuador, his given name was Ati II Pillahuaso. Inca historians tend to believe that he was Atahualpa's half-brother, born from a native noble woman.

Later in life, after becoming an important warrior and military leader, he was called Rumiñawi (Kichwa rumi meaning stone, rock, ñawi meaning eye, face, [1] "stone eye", "stone face", "rock eye" or "rock face", [2] : 269–270 (Hispanicized spellings of his name include Rumiaoui, Ruminavi, Ruminagui, Rumiñagui, Rumiñahui.)

When Francisco Pizarro imprisoned Atahualpa and held him in the Ransom Room, Rumiñawi took forces to Cajamarca to deliver a huge amount of gold for his release.

After the Spaniards executed Atahualpa, Rumiñahui returned to Quito. He is believed to have ordered the Treasure of the Llanganatis thrown into a lake or buried in snow. [2] : 270

Sebastián de Benalcázar headed to Quito, intent on any treasure he could recover. The forces of Rumiñawi and Benalcázar met at the Battle of Mount Chimborazo, where Rumiñawi was defeated. However, before the Spanish forces captured Quito, its treasures were secreted away. [3] : 226

To prevent the Spanish soldiers from looting the city, Rumiñawi had ordered it to be burned. He also ordered the principal ladies of the temples who refused to flee, to be killed, to prevent their being captured and assaulted by the foreign soldiers. [2] : 322–325 Rumiñahui was eventually captured by the Spanish, who tortured and killed him. But he never revealed the location of the treasure. [2] : 390–393

The Meeting in Cajamarca:

Atahualpa happened to be in Cajamarca, where he was waiting for the captive Huáscar to be brought to him. He heard rumors of this strange group of 160 foreigners making their way inland (looting and pillaging as they went) but he certainly felt secure, as he was surrounded by several thousand veteran warriors. When the Spanish arrived in Cajamarca on November 15, 1532, Atahualpa agreed to meet with them the next day. Meanwhile, the Spanish had seen for themselves the riches of the Inca Empire and with a desperation born of greed, they decided to try and capture the Emperor. The same strategy had worked for Hernán Cortés some years before in Mexico.


By November 14, 1532, Pizarro had reached the outskirts of the city of Cajamarca and saw an Incan army with between 50,000 and 80,000 soldiers. His men were frightened as they marched towards the Inca camps but knew that any sign of weakness would result in their deaths. He asked his brother, Hernando, and a trusted officer, Hernando de Soto, to walk to the middle of the camp and speak to the emperor. It is said that the two conquistadores were imposing figures as they boldly marched into Atahualpa&rsquos camp in full armor.

Contrary to popular belief, Atahualpa was not intimidated by the soldiers or their horses. The Spaniards invited him to meet in Cajamarca the following day and the Sapa Inca agreed. Pizarro knew that luring the Incas into a trap was their only chance of victory so he ordered his entire cavalry unit and most of his men to hide in the town&rsquos buildings. A couple of small cannons, named falconets, were used to offer cover in the square and the Spaniards waited for several hours before the Inca Emperor and his retinue showed up.

Initially, Atahualpa announced that he wouldn&rsquot be coming for another day but Pizarro, through a messenger, persuaded the Sapa Inca to come after, telling him that a great banquet had been prepared in his honor. He left most of his army behind and was accompanied by around 6,000 unarmed nobles. Atahualpa was naïve and had no idea of the character he was dealing with. When they arrived at the town square, the Inca were surprised to see no Spaniards present and called out an inquiry.

Eventually, Friar Vincente de Valverde arrived with an interpreter. He carried a missal and a cross and approached Atahualpa while announcing that he was an emissary of the Spanish crown and God. Valverde demanded that the Inca Emperor accept Catholicism as his faith and Charles V of Spain as his ruler. The friar gave him either a book (which they said was the writing of God and the King) or a letter. Either way, Atahualpa was infuriated and tossed it to the ground. Little did he realize it, but he was just moments away from losing everything.

Rumiñawi (Inca warrior)

Rumiñawi (Kichwa rumi stone, rock, ñawi eye, face, Ώ] "stone eye", "stone face", "rock eye" or "rock face", hispanicized spellings Rumiaoui, Ruminavi, Ruminagui, Rumiñagui, Rumiñahui), born late 15th century, died June 25, 1535, was a general during the civil war, who after the death of Emperor Atahualpa, led the resistance against the Spanish in the northern part of the Inca Empire (modern-day Ecuador) in 1533. Born in Pillaro in the modern Tungurahua Province in Ecuador, his given name was Ati II Pillahuaso. Inca historians tend to believe that he was Atahualpa's half-brother, born from a native noble woman. When Francisco Pizarro imprisoned Atahualpa and held him in the Ransom Room, Rumiñawi marched towards Cajamarca to deliver a huge amount of gold. But when the Spaniards broke their word, executing Atahualpa and slaughtering his troops, Rumiñawi returned to the kingdoms of Quito and is believed to have ordered the Treasure of the Llanganatis thrown off a cliff into a lake or crater. Learning of Rumiñawi's resistance, Pizarro sent his lieutenant Sebastián de Benalcázar North to take Quito and bring whatever treasure he could recover. The forces of Rumiñawi and Benalcázar met at the Battle of Mount Chimborazo, where Rumiñawi was defeated. However, before the Spanish forces captured Quito, Rumiñawi ordered to burn it to the ground and to kill the ñustas (temple virgins) to preserve their honor. Rumiñahui was eventually captured, tortured and killed by the Spanish but never revealed the location of the treasure.

Biography of Rumiñahui (1482-1534)

Chieftain and general Ecuadorian indigenous, brother of the Great Emperor Atahualpa, and successor of this after his capture and execution by the Spanish. He/She was born in Píllaro towards the year 1482, and died in 1534. His real name is Pillahuaso, as his grandfather. Recently it has started to be called le Ati II Pillahuaso, name that was also named some schools the Ministry of education. For the incas quiteños was stone face, the Cuzco stone eye, and his soldiers Great Lord and leader. When the civil war over the succession to the imperial throne between Atahualpa and his brother Huáscar erupted, Rumiñahui militated in favour of the first. It was as well as in 1532 Rumiñahui entered Cuzco along with Quizquiz and Caracuchima, giving death Huascar, and achieving the pacification of the Tawantinsuyu under the command of the last inca Emperor. When Atahualpa fell prisoner of the Spanish Francisco Pizarro, Rumiñahui tried to free him, but unable to carry out this plan, addressed to Quito, dismissed his uncle Cozopangui, took over absolute power and organized the resistance against the Spaniards. In this clash two stages are distinguished: the first was a war opened, the second guerrilla war. In the first Rumiñahui fell to Tomebamba, where punished the canaris for having supported the Spanish, and harassed by these, then undertook the retreat to Quito. This trip brought some memorable episodes: the reception of the body of Atahualpa in Liribamba (Riobamba) and the burial of the same never revealed somewhere the defection of thousands of indigenous people before the eruption of the Tungurahua the death in combat of the first four horses, which helped him to Rumiñahui to demonstrate the vulnerability of the Spaniards. Before Quito falls into the hands of foreigners, the inca general became a knife more than 4,000 Indians for having received amicably intruders, burned the town and fled with the treasure of Atahualpa who hid somewhere unknown - perhaps in the Llanganati-. The second phase of the resistance was in the form of guerrilla: Rumiñahui attacked from the West of Pichincha from the mountains of Pillaro, he/she joined Quijos and hid in the Llanganati, achieving thus delay the second entry of Benalcázar Quito, until December 1534 (the first entry had taken place in July of the same year). Finally took refuge in the pucara of Sigchos, in Cotopaxi. There he/she came chasing after him Benalcazar, forcing the inca leader to flee, wounded and alone, up to the mountain that today bears his name. But there captured by the Spaniards, was tortured in an attempt to make him confess where he/she had hidden the treasure of Atahualpa, unless they attain to tear out the secret. He/She died at the stake. For his courage and military skill, Rumiñahui is considered a hero of the indigenous national resistance.

There Was Some Collusion

A.Skromnitsky / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Although many of the Indigenous people fought back fiercely, others allied themselves with the Spanish. The Inca were not universally loved by the neighboring tribes they had subjugated over the centuries, and vassal tribes such as the Cañari hated the Inca so much that they allied themselves with the Spanish. By the time they realized that the Spanish were an even bigger threat, it was too late. Members of the Inca royal family practically fell over one another to gain the favor of the Spanish, who put a series of puppet rulers on the throne. The Spanish also co-opted a servant class called the yanaconas. The yanaconas attached themselves to the Spaniards and were valuable informants.

Trail of Clues

Many generations of adventurers have sought Atahualpa’s gold, but the mountains of the Llanganates have refused to surrender their secret.

Here is a short timeline of clues that may lead you to the treasure:

Several decades after the death of Atahualpa, an impoverished Spanish adventurer named Valverde marries an Inca princess from the area. She is said to have led him to the treasure, because Valverde becomes unaccountably wealthy and returns to Spain, supposedly having removed only a small amount from the hoard.

When he lay dying Valverde writes an itinerary which has come to be know as Valverde’s Derrotero – Valverde’s Path. The document describes various Llanganates landmarks which will lead one to the treasure.

On his death, Valverde bequeaths the document to King Charles V of Spain.

King Charles sends Valverde’s Derrotero to provincial authorities in Latacunga, a town near the Llanganates mountains. These officials then undertake an expedition and apparently stumble onto something extremely promising.

But their leader, a Franciscan monk named Father Longo, mysteriously vanishes one night. The hunt is abandoned for the next hundred years.

In the late 1700s, a miner named Don Atanasio Guzmán, who worked the old Inca mines in the Llanganates, manages to draft a detailed treasure map. But before he can claim his prize he too disappears in the mountains.

The treasure is forgotten until….

1860 when a British botanist named Richard Spruce, while doing research in the archives at Latacunga, stumbles upon Valverde’s Derrotero, and the map drawn by Guzman.

Spruce publishes this information in the Journal of Royal Geographical Society in 1860.

This article, entitled Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes, rekindles the treasure fever. The accumulated weight of Guzmán’s map, Spruce’s notes, and a translation of Valverde’s Derrotero into English set off a small stampede of English-speaking explorers.

In 1886, working with Spruce, a pair of treasure hunters from Nova Scotia reportedly solve the riddle of Valverde’s Derrotero and find the treasure. Their names are Captain Barth Blake and Lieutenant George Edwin Chapman.

Blake makes maps of the region and sends letters to a friend. In one of the letters Blake writes…

It is impossible for me to describe the wealth that now lays in that cave marked on my map, but I could not remove it alone, nor could thousands of men….There are thousands of gold and silver pieces of Inca and pre-Inca handicraft, the most beautiful goldsmith works you are not able to imagine, life-size human figures made out of beaten gold and silver, birds, animals, cornstalks, gold and silver flowers. Pots full of the most incredible jewelry. Golden vases full of emeralds.

Captain Barth Blake

So, why didn’t Blake and Chapman claim the treasure? Because Chapman didn’t survive the journey out of the mountains and Blake fell overboard on a trip to North America to sell the gold they’d taken from the cave.

Where is the lost treasure of the Inca buried? How about Atahualpa’s mummy? 400-year-old book may have the answers

The historian carefully leafs through pages of a 400-year-old, leather-bound book until she finds the shaky signature. It’s a faint scrawl that has consumed Tamara Estupiñan for more than 30 years, led her to find forgotten Inca ruins and sparked an academic firestorm.

Does this 400-year-old book hold Inca answers?

The signature, she says, is the key to unlocking two of archeology’s greatest mysteries: What happened to the body of Atahualpa, the last king of the Incas? And what became of his fabled treasure?

Estupiñan thinks she has the answer to both questions. And while she hasn’t found gold, she may have uncovered something considered even more precious.

The story begins in 1532 when Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured Atahualpa — pronounced ah-ta-WAL-pah in Peru.

Pizarro demanded a room full of gold in exchange for Atahualpa’s release but the impatient Spaniard garroted the ruler before the ransom coming from Ecuador ever arrived. Atahualpa’s body disappeared and his faithful generals were thought to have stashed the treasure they were hauling in secret caves.

For centuries, scientists, scholars and wild-eyed adventurers have been scouring Ecuador’s misty mountains and water-logged jungles looking for the Incan hoard. Perhaps no treasure but El Dorado, the lost city of gold, has sparked so much interest and intrigue in the Americas.

But Estupiñan says she knows why the loot will never be found. What Atahualpa’s followers were really hiding was no mere treasure but the future of the empire itself: the king’s corpse.

For a new Incan king to be crowned, she explained, the ceremony had to take place in front of the mummy of his predecessor.

“For the [Incas] the real treasure was Atahualpa’s body,” she said. “Without a mummy there is no coronation. Without a body there is nothing — it’s as simple as that.”

And she says the book helped her identify the site where Atahualpa’s body was taken.

Not everyone agrees with her conclusions — especially since no remains have been discovered during initial investigations at the site she identified.

Miguel Fernando Mejía, the head of the archeology department at Ecuador’s Institute of Patrimony, which safeguards national cultural treasures, says there’s no doubt that Estupiñan has made a significant archeological discovery. But he said the verdict is still out on whether the ruins are truly the resting place of the last Inca.

“There are several archeological sites that are fighting for that same title,” he said.

But Estupiñan says the evidence is clear — and it started with the book and the signature.

As a young historian in the 1980s, Estupiñan became fascinated with ancient economic texts (bills of lading, warehouse reports, real-estate transfers) that many researchers would find mind-numbing. One day, as she was meticulously making her way through a massive, 4,000-page tome, she stumbled across the last will and testament of Atahualpa’s son, Francisco Topatauchi, written on Dec. 16, 1582 — 50 years after his father’s death.

The document had been hiding in plain sight for centuries, as few had learned to read the intricate Spanish writing of the time. It took Estupiñan almost a year to transcribe the seven-page document into intelligible text.

The discovery was significant, though at the time it seemed mundane: a basic list of the son’s homes and land holdings, passed down from his father. Estupiñan wrote about it in academic journals and moved on.

But over the years, her research kept bringing her back to the will. In 2003, as she researched the life of famed Inca general Rumiñahui, she discovered a curious pattern. The general — who has always been rumored to have played a role in hiding the treasure — and other Incan officials all converged on a remote area of Ecuador called Sigchos, about 70 miles southwest of Quito.

“Why was everybody heading toward Sigchos, a place that was really in the middle of nowhere?” she asked. “Because that’s where they were taking what was most important to them, the body of Atahualpa.”

When she went back to the son’s will, Estupiñan found that Sigchos was part of Atahualpa’s landholdings.

Working on a hunch, Estupiñan began researching Incan death rituals and discovered that a ruler’s mummy was referred to as a malqui. And, sure enough, there was an area called Malqui near Sigchos. A few years later, Estupiñan was studying an old map when she found another piece of the puzzle: an area called Machay, an Incan name that refers to final resting places, also near Sigchos.

Estupiñan said the use of two such culturally-charged words — mummy and final resting place — in the heart of Atahualpa’s historic landholdings couldn’t be a coincidence.

“They weren’t going to name an area Malqui-Machay just because they felt like it,” she explained. “There had to be something there.”

In 2010, Estupiñan threw down the academic gauntlet. She led an archeologist to the region, convinced they would find the resting place of the last Incan king.

“It was terrifying because I was putting my academic prestige on the line,” Estupiñan recalls. “This was going to prove that I was either a charlatan or someone doing real scientific research.”

With the help of some villagers, they eventually stumbled on an area where thick brush concealed previously unknown Incan-style stonework.

“When I got to the top of the mountain, I started seeing walls and walls and walls,” Estupiñan said. “I got goose bumps…and started screaming ‘We’ve discovered Malqui-Machay, the last resting place of the Inca!’”

Heated debate

The 2010 discovery made news around the world and led the government of Ecuador to protect the archeological site. But it also ignited debate about exactly what Estupiñan had discovered.

The site sits in a wet and windswept area that isn’t typically associated with Incan construction. Built around a trapezoidal plaza with a network of stone walls and water channels, the complex was likely an Incan governmental or religious site, most academics agree. But they’re more wary about Estupiñan’s claim.

“It was easier for me to discover the site than to prove what I’ve discovered,” Estupiñan lamented.

David Brown, an archeologist and retired professor from the University of Texas who has done research at Malqui-Machay, calls Estupiñan a “world class” researcher who has found something that’s “undeniably important.”

“It’s an incredibly unique site and a unique area, and all the evidence suggests that it was an extremely late site, only begun, perhaps, as the Spanish were punching north up through the valley,” he explained. “It could be what she says it is, but as an archeologist, I would rather see physical evidence.”

Estupiñan says Atahualpa’s body — like the fabled treasure — might never be found.

The Incas, Estupiñan notes, didn’t bury their dead rulers. They kept them out in the open as “living oracles.”

And as the once mighty Incan empire collapsed, the body was likely lost in the chaos, she speculated.

For Estupiñan, there’s no doubt about what she found. But she also knows that what she needs to fully validate her discovery won’t be in a book.

“This mystery is a puzzle, and I have 70 to 80 percent of the pieces,” she said. “I’m still missing 30 percent of the puzzle — and in that 30 percent is the body.”

Inca General Ruminahui - History

When Pizarro initiated his conquest of the Inca empire in August 1530, he became obsessed with the newly found emeralds in America. He quickly started stealing every stone he could lay his hands on, including temples and ceremonial statues. He removed a huge Inca emerald, the size of an ostrich egg, from the forehead of the goddess Illa Jica, the goddess of creation, who was worshiped in Quito's sun temple. He directs Father Velasquez, who accompanied him, to search for the mines that produce such gems, driven by a morbid desire to own all that will increase his fortune.

But the reckless Pizarro had no idea where to look for these extraordinary mines other than a vague spot he had heard of, somewhere deep in the jungle northeast of Quito, near the current Colombian border. Pizarro's troops, who were also insanely fascinated with the yellow metal and this recently discovered brilliant green stone, tortured the Incas and interrogated them about where those mines could be found. Although being tortured, quartered, and dumped into boiling oil, they managed to keep the precious stone's identity secret. The Spaniards were never unable to locate these mines…

The centuries passed until the beginning of the XXth century. Stewart Connelly, a Red Cross American Volunteer during the WWI, read and reread Father Velasquez's notes who was accompanying Pizarro at the time. He spent the majority of his time in South America studying the history of the conquistadors, intrigued by their adventures and the immense treasures they brought back to Spain. Connelly was convinced that the gemstone mines were beyond his grasp.

One day, he then decided to discover the mines by himself. He flew to Ecuador, then boarded a banana transporter freighter bound for Guayaquil before transferring to a train heading for Quito. He traveled south after a few weeks, ascending the Andes cordillera and entering the dense jungle.

Nine months after Connelly's departure, two Spanish religious from the advanced mission of Ahuana on the Rio Napo saw him, fully naked, swimming desperately across a turbulent river. They noticed him passing out when he reached the shore and then decided to take him to the nearest mission.

When Connelly woke up, the first thing he did was reach for the small leather bag that had been slung around his waist. He opened the leather room and pulled out a spectacular dark green emerald weighing approximately 50 carats. He handed it to the mission's Superior, explaining that it was an offering to thank everyone for saving his life.

How did Connelly manage to survive in the jungle despite its dangers? According to his report, he came across members of a tribe armed with blowpipes after wandering for a long time. He'd read in Father Velasquez's book that even if strangers were white, Indians would never kill crazy people! As a result, Connely screamed, shrugged, and played his flute when he saw them for the first time (you may have heard of this "flute" legend). He seemed to be so delusional that the indigenous peoples took him in and adopted him. His new hosts told him that a neighbouring tribe, though very far away from their village, lived on land that concealed these green gems, which, however, piqued no one's interest. When Connelly arrived at this new destination, he "introduced" himself in the same way he had done before and was once again rescued by this new tribe.

He chose a new tribe companion and began hunting with him. During one of these hunting excursions, he discovered a vein of magnificent emeralds. Connelly picked up some stones of a vivid green he'd never seen before and placed them in the small pouch that Indians use to transport their hunted food. They returned to the village two days later with two hundred pounds of tapir. But Connelly had to return his valuables to the closest city and t o secure his new fortune, he had to convert some of it into cash and return with mules and appropriate equipment.

Connelly was surrounded getting close to Quito by an army of treasure hunters and adventure seekers who had all heard his story and wanted to accompany him when he returned to the mine. Connelly and his group of travelers set out from Quito, Ecuador, with six mules equipped with food and ammo for several months. They arrived in Puerto Najo ten days later, where they took a brief break before continuing on their journey. Years passed, and no one saw Stewart Connelly or his associates again. Their fate remains one of the Amazon's mysteries, as the savage Indians continue to menace foreigners who wish to enter their land.

Watch the video: Gran General Inca (July 2022).


  1. Tilman


  2. Gusho

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  3. Nathaniel

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  4. Athan

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