This is Rumiñawi, a 16th century Inca warrior who has pride of place on the facade of the Museo Antropológico del Banco Central in Guayaquil. I didn’t see a portrait more confident, fierce and proud in all of Ecuador, warranting this series of five images for today’s Pic du Jour.
Like Atahualpa, the final Incan Emperor, Rumiñawi was also tortured and killed by the Spanish after he led an unsuccessful resistance force against the conquistadors in the northern part of the Inca Empire in 1533.
According to his wikipedia entry, some scholars believe that Rumiñawi was the half-brother of Atahualpa, who conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured, held and killed in August 1533. When Pizarro demanded a ransom of gold in exchange for Atahualpa, Rumiñawi obliged. But when he learned that Pizarro broke his word, it’s believed that he had the gold thrown off a cliff. Despite his capture and subsequent torture, Rumiñawi never revealed where the treasure was located. He was killed on June 25, 1535.
The museum, which sits on the busy Avenida 9 de Octubre a few blocks south of the Plaza del Centenario was founded in 1974. In recent years it’s been overshadowed by the newer and much larger Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporáneo on the Malecon 2000 waterfront development. Short on time I opted for the latter but am very glad I at least took a few minutes to collect these shots.