Inca litters

In this article I present two illustrations from Huaman Poma's "Nueva cronica buen gobierno" which show litters being used. Litters could be used for both travel and during battle. While the Sapa Inca was usually carried in a litter, he could also give other nobles the privilege.

The first illustration shows the Sapa Inca and his Coya being carried in a covered litter called the quispi rampa or "crystal litter". The bearers are Carabaya natives, a mountainous region north-east of Lake Titicaca. The canopy was called an achihua, made of the feathers of rare and gaudy birds. The rampa could have had curtains to screen the occupants from sight.

The second illustration shows the Sapa Inca in battle being carried "swiftly" into battle in the pillco rampa, or "scarlet litter". A pillco was a bird with scarlet plumage. The bearers are Lucana natives, their tunic patterned with dark blue and light blue squares.

Naismith make the first of these litters while Minifigs make the second. All in 15mm.

Another type of litter was the huantu, which was a type of hammock. This would be the normal mode of transport for other Inca nobles.

John Garvey
Began: 04/07/2000
Last Revised: 09/07/2000

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