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A curaca was the indigenous elected authority in the Quechua communities in Peru.

The Inca Empire were splited into :
. four administrative regions,
. these into provinces,
. the provinces into peoples and
. the peoples into ayllus or parcialidades.
The curacas were the heads of the ayllus.

The curacas suffered a transformation during the first years of the colony. Although they kept on being the chiefs of the peoples and ayllus, they were no longer the ethnic traditional chiefs they had been in pre-Hispanic times. The curacas stopped controlling the communal administration and no longer had the workforce or human energy necessary for the making of networks of redistribution.

The curaca was no longer elected (as it was in pre-Hispanic times), but was chosen by the chief magistrate. His function centered principally on tax collection from the people, reduction or ayllu. This was problematic since they had to face the fury of the people when the taxes were too great. Of equal way it was facing the chief magistrate if it is that it had to protest for some abuse and was the manager of going even to the hearing if it is that the mistake of the chief magistrate seemed to him unjust.

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