Mama Sarpay: Part 3

Helen Pugh
2 min readDec 15, 2021

Mama Sarpay’s Foresight

During the civil war between Huascar and Atahualpa in the early 1530s, which will be analysed in depth in the next chapter, Mama Sarpay would’ve been part of Huascar’s faction. As a son of Rawa Ocllo and Huayna Capac, this guy was her half-brother and also, through her mother, her first cousin. Yet, as far as we know, her remote temple was removed from the bitter fighting.

Mama Sarpay was still working there in 1532–3 when the Spanish were conquering the Inca Empire. At an estimated age of 33 to 39, she was an experienced priestess. A justified fury surged in her soul towards the Spanish for destroying Inca temples and artefacts, raping women, murdering innocent people and seizing power away from the royal family.

It was said she had the gift of prophecy and could tell when the Spanish would arrive somewhere. Mama Sarpay used this gift to advise the Inca noblemen at each place to gather together and use up all their food supplies. That way, the Spanish wouldn’t be able to steal them. Pretty neat, I think!

As a side note, Mama Sarpay was not the only religious person to prophesy. Years before during Huayna Capac’s reign, three coloured rings were seen to encircle Killa in the sky. A priest saw this as a bad omen, a message from the moon goddess. Consequently, he predicted that disaster would fall on the Emperor. He declared that there would be a bloody war between Huayna’s descendants, which would put an end to Inca religion and laws. As we know, this prediction came true.

It is said that Mama Sarpay’s predictions came true, as well. This ability to prophesy meant that she knew when the Spanish were on their way to her temple…

Continued in ‘Intrepid Dudettes of the Inca Empire’:



Helen Pugh

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