After the events above, arrangements were made for the coming-of-age ceremony of the young Huayna Capac, which was to be as pompous and ostentatious as possible. It was a tradition that on the very same day the monarch received the "tassel" of office, he should get married. During previous reigns marriage had always been to a sister, but not necessarily one with the same father and mother.
The ņusta (bride) became a colla (first wife) regardless of the number of concubines the prince had previously possessed. This tale of the ceremony comes from the chronicler Santa Cruz Pachacuti and seems more authentically Andean than the others.
Cusco was lavishly adorned, and the humble thatched roofs were bedecked with multicolored blankets adorned with feathers and decorated with pictures of jungle birds. The golden eaves of the palaces shone in the sunlight making a contrast with the austere blocks of stone.
The bride and groom, each in a separate palace fasted, eating small quantities of unseasoned (with salt and garlic) food, while augurs carried out ritual sacrifices, examining the entrails of the sacrificed animals to predict the future.
On the great day, Huayna Capac left the palace of his grandfather Pachacutec in a richly adorned litter, accompanied by the Apu Curacas or great feudal lords of Collasuyo.
Meanwhile the ņusta called Cusi Rimay left the mansions of her father Tupac Yupanqui in a litter escorted by the great lords of Chinchaysuyo, Cuntisuyo and Antisuyo. No one knows why the young lady had the privilege of a three- suyo escort, while Huayna Capac was only escorted by one. Possibly she was a maiden of higher rank than her future husband.
Once he became the only ruler, Huayna Capac did not leave Cusco at the request of his mother Colla Mama Ocllo, whose favorite he was and who feared he might be absent for a long while if he left. For this reason he sent his uncle Huaman Achachi to travel to the extreme northern tip of the empire, along the long road of Chinchaysuyo, while he spent his time traveling to places near Cusco and Collao.
It was the Inca's duty to maintain his territorial conquests and continue extending his dominions. However, in the bordering areas of Tahuantinsuyo, both in Chile and in present day Ecuador, the most distant places from the ancient territories, the custom of reciprocity that had favored the expansion of the State did not exist. Other peoples, like the Chinchas accepted Inca domination without complaint because they wanted to protect their trade arrangements with other nations.
In his next absences from the capital, Huayna Capac headed south to Charcas, Cochabamba and Pocona, then on to Coquimbo and Copiapo. According to Cieza de Leon, the Inca remained for twelve moons pacifying the region and building roads and fortresses. His stay was interrupted by news of rebellions in Quito, Pastos and Huancavilca, that forced the sovereign to return to Cusco and gather his armies.
Each of the Inca's expeditions demanded special preparations. He had to gather the warrior mita, meet with the curacas to ask them for soldiers, collect provisions and arms, and carry out human sacrifices to please the gods. An important part of the preparations also were the public banquets to strengthen reciprocity links between the Inca, the chiefs of the different tribes and the lords of the kingdom.
At last, Huayna Capac set out with a numerous retinue of chiefs, lords and troops, a group which steadily increased along the road. Possibly the local curacas came to watch the sovereign go by, make their contributions and renew their vows of obedience.
During his stay in Cajamarca, Huayna Capac went to Chachapoyas, where local chiefs had rebelled and taken refuge in a fort. After they were defeated, a large number of Chachapoyas were sent to Cusco as mitimaes (forced workers), where they were still to be found during the Spanish virreinato (viceroyship).
After that, the Inca continued on his way up to Surampalli, in lands of Caņar, where he "became extremely joyful" as this was his native land. There and then he decided to change its name to Tumibamba, the term corresponding to his panaca or royal ayllu (clan).
The expedition to Raura
Huayna Capac spent many years in the northern part of his territories, and it is possible that, as he was born in Tumibamba, he preferred to reside there rather than in Cusco. Besides, there were many wars to be fought with the local tribes that he had set out to conquer.
Some time after these events, reinforcements were sent from Cusco. Heading this army was general Mihi, who due to his high rank was the bearer of the statue of Huanacauri. Huayna Capac, forgetting the tradition of reciprocity, ordered the general to engage in battle immediately. Indignant and deeply offended, Mihi decided to return to Cusco. When Huayna Capac was told of the general's reaction, he ordered that important gifts be sent to him according to ancient custom. Mollified, Mihi returned with his armies, marched to war and returned victorious.
This episode serves to illustrate the difference between the Andean and European attitudes. In Europe, Mihi's action would be considered treason, but in the Andes, the Inca was at fault for having forgotten reciprocity.
After some years news came from Cusco on the death of many of the Inca's relatives, causing Huayna Capac to go to Quito in order to prepare his return to the capital. At this moment, however, he became seriously ill and his body became covered with boils. Feeling near death, he called the priests to designate Ninan Cuyuchi as his heir. However, when the dignitaries arrived in the presence of the prince he was already dead. Meanwhile, the Sun priest, whose name was Cusi Topa Yupanqui, performed the calpa ceremony to discover the chances of success of the heirs-apparent, by sacrificing a white llama.
The augury was unfavorable both for Ninan Cuyuchi and for Huascar, the other pretender to power. In view of the ambiguity of this situation, at the bidding of the high priest the colla Mama Raura, left for Cusco to force the naming of her son Huascar. The lords decided to keep the Inca's death a secret, in order to avoid possible rebellions, and after mummifying his body, started out on the return to Cusco as though he was still alive.
While the court made slow progress southwards, Atahualpa, who had remained in Tumibamba, kept a low profile and stayed with his generals, who were trying to guard the country against possible rebellions by the natives of that area.