Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Polleria, Cuzco, 2012



PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL, "Cuzco, part 9": So, three days after the start of the siege of Cuzco, after the Spanish had built rude ladders and mounted a secret, bloody, night-time assault on Saqsayhuayman, catching the Inca army asleep and successfully battling to the top of the highest terraces, there finally dislodging Manco's fighters from the strategic fortress, the siege of Cuzco attained a stalemate.  Manco withdrew himself to Ollantaytambo where defenses were even stronger than at Saqsayhuayman, commanding his generals to continue the assault on Cuzco, and he sent his best general, Quizo Yupanqui, to watch the valleys between Lima and Cuzco to intercept and destropy any reinforcements that might try to get through. 

Quizo understood that the only way to win against the Spanish was to trap them from above.  Three times Francisco Pizarro sent battalions to help in Cuzco, and three times they were demolished by boulders hurled from steep cliffs in carefully planned traps, crushing men, horses, armor and all, until there were no battalions for Pizarro to send. All might have yet gone well for the Incas had Manco not ordered Quizo to wipe out the tiny new settlement of Lima in the flatlands. In the surviving accounts, Quizo charged hard riding in a litter carried by soldiers at the head of his army, and he was one of the first to die.