Only a few decades after the Spanish conquest of Peru, the third Bishop of Cuzco, Sebastián de Lartaún, called for a report on the religious practices of the Incas. The report was prepared by Cristóbal de Molina, a priest of the Hospital for the Natives of Our Lady of Succor in Cuzco and Preacher General of the city. Molina was an outstanding Quechua speaker, and his advanced language skills allowed him to interview the older indigenous men of Cuzco who were among the last surviving eyewitnesses of the rituals conducted at the height of Inca rule. Thus, Molina's account preserves a crucial first-hand record of Inca religious beliefs and practices.
This volume is the first English translation of Molina's Relación de las fábulas y ritos de los incas since 1873 and includes the first authoritative scholarly commentary and notes. The work opens with several Inca creation myths and descriptions of the major gods and shrines (huacas). Molina then discusses the most important rituals that occurred in Cuzco during each month of the year, as well as rituals that were not tied to the ceremonial calendar, such as birth rituals, female initiation rites, and marriages. Molina also describes the Capacocha ritual, in which all the shrines of the empire were offered sacrifices, as well as the Taqui Ongoy, a millennial movement that spread across the Andes during the late 1560s in response to growing Spanish domination and accelerated violence against the so-called idolatrous religions of the Andean peoples.
After long weeks of boring, perhaps spoiled sea rations, one of the first things Spaniards sought in the New World was undoubtedly fresh food. Probably they found the local cuisine strange at first, but soon they were sending American plants and animals around the world, eventually enriching the cuisine of many cultures.
Drawing on original accounts by Europeans and native Americans, this pioneering work offers the first detailed description of the cuisines of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Inca. Sophie Coe begins with the basic foodstuffs, including maize, potatoes, beans, peanuts, squash, avocados, tomatoes, chocolate, and chiles, and explores their early history and domestication. She then describes how these foods were prepared, served, and preserved, giving many insights into the cultural and ritual practices that surrounded eating in these cultures. Coe also points out the similarities and differences among the three cuisines and compares them to Spanish cooking of the period, which, as she usefully reminds us, would seem as foreign to our tastes as the American foods seemed to theirs. Written in easily digested prose, America's First Cuisines will appeal to food enthusiasts as well as scholars.
The Cuzco Valley of Peru was both the sacred and the political center of the largest state in the prehistoric Americas—the Inca Empire. From the city of Cuzco, the Incas ruled at least eight million people in a realm that stretched from modern-day Colombia to Chile. Yet, despite its great importance in the cultural development of the Americas, the Cuzco Valley has only recently received the same kind of systematic archaeological survey long since conducted at other New World centers of civilization.
Drawing on the results of the Cuzco Valley Archaeological Project that Brian Bauer directed from 1994 to 2000, this landmark book undertakes the first general overview of the prehistory of the Cuzco region from the arrival of the first hunter-gatherers (ca. 7000 B.C.) to the fall of the Inca Empire in A.D. 1532. Combining archaeological survey and excavation data with historical records, the book addresses both the specific patterns of settlement in the Cuzco Valley and the larger processes of cultural development. With its wealth of new information, this book will become the baseline for research on the Inca and the Cuzco Valley for years to come.
By examining the stunning stone buildings and dynamic spaces of the royal estate of Chinchero, Nair brings to light the rich complexity of Inca architecture. This investigation ranges from the paradigms of Inca scholarship and a summary of Inca cultural practices to the key events of Topa Inca’s reign and the many individual elements of Chinchero’s extraordinary built environment.
What emerges are the subtle, often sophisticated ways in which the Inca manipulated space and architecture in order to impose their authority, identity, and agenda. The remains of grand buildings, as well as a series of deft architectural gestures in the landscape, reveal the unique places that were created within the royal estate and how one space deeply informed the other. These dynamic settings created private places for an aging ruler to spend time with a preferred wife and son, while also providing impressive spaces for imperial theatrics that reiterated the power of Topa Inca, the choice of his preferred heir, and the ruler’s close relationship with sacred forces.
This careful study of architectural details also exposes several false paradigms that have profoundly misguided how we understand Inca architecture, including the belief that it ended with the arrival of Spaniards in the Andes. Instead, Nair reveals how, amidst the entanglement and violence of the European encounter, an indigenous town emerged that was rooted in Inca ways of understanding space, place, and architecture and that paid homage to a landscape that defined home for Topa Inca.
Inca constructions, designed to conform to a state aesthetic, reveal the worldview of these masters of social and architectural engineering. In her meticulous analysis of Callachaca—the fifteenth-century estate of the royal Amaro Topa Inca and his retainers near the ancient capital of Cuzco—Susan Niles shows us that the physical order seen in this planned community reflects the Inca vision of an appropriate social order.
Callachaca: Style and Status in an Inca Community will be valuable reading for archaeologists, art historians, geographers, architects with an interest in pre-Columbian cultures, landscape architects, anthropologists, folklorists, and historians with a special interest in the Andes. Since she focuses on all the varied architectural remains at one site in the Inca heartland, Niles provides a unique model for examining royal Inca architecture and society.
Early Andean historiography reveals a subaltern history of indigenous gender and sexuality that saw masculinity and femininity not as essential absolutes. Third-gender ritualists, Ipas, mediated between the masculine and feminine spheres of culture in important ceremonies and were recorded in fragments of myths and transcribed oral accounts. Ritual performance by cross-dressed men symbolically created a third space of mediation that invoked the mythic androgyne of the pre-Hispanic Andes. The missionaries and civil authorities colonizing the Andes deemed these performances transgressive and sodomitical.
In this book, Michael J. Horswell examines alternative gender and sexuality in the colonial Andean world, and uses the concept of the third gender to reconsider some fundamental paradigms of Andean culture. By deconstructing what literary tropes of sexuality reveal about Andean pre-Hispanic and colonial indigenous culture, he provides an alternative history and interpretation of the much-maligned aboriginal subjects the Spanish often referred to as "sodomites." Horswell traces the origin of the dominant tropes of masculinist sexuality from canonical medieval texts to early modern Spanish secular and moralist literature produced in the context of material persecution of effeminates and sodomites in Spain. These values traveled to the Andes and were used as powerful rhetorical weapons in the struggle to justify the conquest of the Incas.
The Inca empire was the largest state in the Americas at the time of the Spanish invasion in 1532. From its political center in the Cuzco Valley, it controlled much of the area included in the modern nations of Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. But how the Inca state became a major pan-Andean power is less certain. In this innovative work, Brian S. Bauer challenges traditional views of Inca state development and offers a new interpretation supported by archaeological, historical, and ethnographic evidence.
Spanish chroniclers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries attributed the rapid rise of Inca power to a decisive military victory over the Chanca, their traditional rivals, by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. By contrast, Bauer questions the usefulness of literal interpretations of the Spanish chronicles and provides instead a regional perspective on the question of state development. He suggests that incipient state growth in the Cuzco region was marked by the gradual consolidation and centralization of political authority in Cuzco, rather than resulting from a single military victory. Synthesizing regional surveys with excavation, historic, and ethnographic data, and investigating broad categories of social and economic organization, he shifts the focus away from legendary accounts and analyzes more general processes of political, economic, and social change.
Who was in charge of the widespread provinces of the great Inka Empire of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: Inka from the imperial heartland or local leaders who took on the trappings of their conquerors, either by coercion or acceptance? By focusing on provinces far from the capital of Cuzco, the essays in this multidisciplinary volume provide up-to-date information on the strategies of domination asserted by the Inka across the provinces far from their capital and the equally broad range of responses adopted by their conquered peoples.
Contributors to this cutting-edge volume incorporate the interaction of archaeological and ethnohistorical research with archaeobotany, biometrics, architecture, and mining engineering, among other fields. The geographical scope of the chapters—which cover the Inka provinces in Bolivia, in southeast Argentina, in southern Chile, along the central and north coast of Peru, and in Ecuador—build upon the many different ways in which conqueror and conquered interacted. Competing factors such as the kinds of resources available in the provinces, the degree of cooperation or resistance manifested by local leaders, the existing levels of political organization convenient to the imperial administration, and how recently a region had been conquered provide a wealth of information on regions previously understudied. Using detailed contextual analyses of Inka and elite residences and settlements in the distant provinces, the essayists evaluate the impact of the empire on the leadership strategies of conquered populations, whether they were Inka by privilege, local leaders acculturated to Inka norms, or foreign mid-level administrators from trusted ethnicities.
By exploring the critical interface between local elites and their Inka overlords, Distant Provinces in the Inka Empire builds upon Malpass’s 1993 Provincial Inca: Archaeological and Ethnohistorical Assessment of the Impact of the Inca State to support the conclusions that Inka strategies of control were tailored to the particular situations faced in different regions. By contributing to our understanding of what it means to be marginal in the Inka Empire, this book details how the Inka attended to their political and economic goals in their interactions with their conquered peoples and how their subjects responded, producing a richly textured view of the reality that was the Inka Empire.
Lamana’s redefinition of the order of things reveals that, contrary to the conquerors’ accounts, what the Spanairds achieved was a “domination without dominance.” This conclusion undermines common ideas of Spanish (and Western) superiority. It shows that casting order as a by-product of military action rests on a pervasive fallacy: the translation of military superiority into cultural superiority. In constant dialogue with critical thinking from different disciplines and traditions, Lamana illuminates how this new interpretation of the conquest of the Incas revises current understandings of Western colonialism and the emergence of still-current global configurations.
One of the most fascinating books on pre-Columbian and early colonial Peru was written by a Peruvian Indian named Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. This book, The First New Chronicle and Good Government, covers pre-Inca times, various aspects of Inca culture, the Spanish conquest, and colonial times up to around 1615 when the manuscript was finished. Now housed in the Royal Library, Copenhagen, Denmark, and viewable online at www.kb.dk/permalink/2006/poma/info/en/frontpage.htm, the original manuscript has 1,189 pages accompanied by 398 full-page drawings that constitute the most accurate graphic depiction of Inca and colonial Peruvian material culture ever done.
Working from the original manuscript and consulting with fellow Quechua- and Spanish-language experts, Roland Hamilton here provides the most complete and authoritative English translation of approximately the first third of The First New Chronicle and Good Government. The sections included in this volume (pages 1–369 of the manuscript) cover the history of Peru from the earliest times and the lives of each of the Inca rulers and their wives, as well as a wealth of information about ordinances, age grades, the calendar, idols, sorcerers, burials, punishments, jails, songs, palaces, roads, storage houses, and government officials. One hundred forty-six of Guaman Poma's detailed illustrations amplify the text.
Surrounded by the peaks of the Andean cordillera, the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca have long provided refreshment and nourishment to the people who live along its shores. From prehistoric times, the Andean peoples have held Titicaca to be a sacred place, the source from which all life originated and the site where the divine manifests its presence.
In this interdisciplinary study, Verónica Salles-Reese explores how Andean myths of cosmic and ethnic origins centered on Lake Titicaca evolved from pre-Inca times to the enthronement of the Virgin of Copacabana in 1583. She begins by describing the myths of the Kolla (pre-Inca) people and shows how their Inca conquerors attempted to establish legitimacy by reconciling their myths of cosmic and ethnic origin with the Kolla myths. She also shows how a similar pattern occurred when the Inca were conquered in turn by the Spanish.
This research explains why Lake Titicaca continues to occupy a central place in Andean thought despite the major cultural disruptions that have characterized the region's history. This book will be a touchstone in the field of Colonial literature and an important reference for Andean religious and intellectual history.
The Historia del Nuevo Mundo, set down by Father Bernabe Cobo during the first half of the seventeenth century, represents a singulary valuable source on Inca culture. Working directly frorn the original document, Roland Hamilton has translated that part of Cobo's massive manuscripts that focuses on the history of the kingdom of Peru. The volume includes a general account of the aspect, character, and dress of the Indians as well as a superb treatise on the Incas—their legends, history, and social institutions.
The History of the Incas may be the best description of Inca life and mythology to survive Spanish colonization of Peru. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, a well-educated sea captain and cosmographer of the viceroyalty, wrote the document in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire, just forty years after the arrival of the first Spaniards. The royal sponsorship of the work guaranteed Sarmiento direct access to the highest Spanish officials in Cuzco. It allowed him to summon influential Incas, especially those who had witnessed the fall of the Empire. Sarmiento also traveled widely and interviewed numerous local lords (curacas), as well as surviving members of the royal Inca families. Once completed, in an unprecedented effort to establish the authenticity of the work, Sarmiento's manuscript was read, chapter by chapter, to forty-two indigenous authorities for commentary and correction.
The scholars behind this new edition (the first to be published in English since 1907) went to similarly great lengths in pursuit of accuracy. Translators Brian Bauer and Vania Smith used an early transcript and, in some instances, the original document to create the text. Bauer and Jean-Jacques Decoster's introduction lays bare the biases Sarmiento incorporated into his writing. It also theorizes what sources, in addition to his extensive interviews, Sarmiento relied upon to produce his history. Finally, more than sixty new illustrations enliven this historically invaluable document of life in the ancient Andes.
One of the great repositories of a people's world view and religious beliefs, the Huarochirí Manuscript may bear comparison with such civilization-defining works as Gilgamesh, the Popul Vuh, and the Sagas. This translation by Frank Salomon and George L. Urioste marks the first time the Huarochirí Manuscript has been translated into English, making it available to English-speaking students of Andean culture and world mythology and religions.
The Huarochirí Manuscript holds a summation of native Andean religious tradition and an image of the superhuman and human world as imagined around A.D. 1600. The tellers were provincial Indians dwelling on the west Andean slopes near Lima, Peru, aware of the Incas but rooted in peasant, rather than imperial, culture. The manuscript is thought to have been compiled at the behest of Father Francisco de Avila, the notorious "extirpator of idolatries." Yet it expresses Andean religious ideas largely from within Andean categories of thought, making it an unparalleled source for the prehispanic and early colonial myths, ritual practices, and historic self-image of the native Andeans.
Prepared especially for the general reader, this edition of the Huarochirí Manuscript contains an introduction, index, and notes designed to help the novice understand the culture and history of the Huarochirí-area society. For the benefit of specialist readers, the Quechua text is also supplied.
Massive yet elegantly executed masonry architecture and andenes (agricultural terraces) set against majestic and seemingly boundless Andean landscapes, roads built in defiance of rugged terrains, and fine textiles with orderly geometric designs—all were created within the largest political system in the ancient New World, a system headed, paradoxically, by a single, small minority group without wheeled vehicles, markets, or a writing system, the Inka. For some 130 years (ca. A.D. 1400 to 1533), the Inka ruled over at least eighty-six ethnic groups in an empire that encompassed about 2 million square kilometers, from the northernmost region of the Ecuador–Colombia border to northwest Argentina.
The Inka Empire brings together leading international scholars from many complementary disciplines, including human genetics, linguistics, textile and architectural studies, ethnohistory, and archaeology, to present a state-of-the-art, holistic, and in-depth vision of the Inkas. The contributors provide the latest data and understandings of the political, demographic, and linguistic evolution of the Inkas, from the formative era prior to their political ascendancy to their post-conquest transformation. The scholars also offer an updated vision of the unity, diversity, and essence of the material, organizational, and symbolic-ideological features of the Inka Empire. As a whole, The Inka Empire demonstrates the necessity and value of a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates the insights of fields beyond archaeology and ethnohistory. And with essays by scholars from seven countries, it reflects the cosmopolitanism that has characterized Inka studies ever since its beginnings in the nineteenth century.
Before the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century A.D., the Inka Empire stretched along the Pacific side of South America, all the way from Ecuador to northwest Argentina. Though today many Inka researchers focus on the imperial capital of Cuzco, Peru, and surrounding areas, ruins of Inka settlements abound throughout the vast territory of the former empire and offer many clues about how the empire was organized, managed, and defended. These outlying settlements, as well as those in the Cuzco area, form the basis for John Hyslop's detailed study Inka Settlement Planning.
Using extensive aerial photography and detailed site maps, Hyslop studies the design of several dozen settlements spread throughout the empire. In addition to describing their architecture and physical infrastructure, he gives special emphasis to the symbolic aspects of each site's design. Hyslop speculates that the settlement plans incorporate much iconography expressive of Inka ideas about the state, the cosmos, and relationships to non-Inka peoples—iconography perhaps only partially related to the activities that took place within the sites. And he argues that Inka planning concepts applied not only to buildings but also to natural features (stone outcrops, water sources, and horizons) and specialized landscaping (terracing).
Of interest to a wide readership in archaeology, architecture, urbanization, empire building, and Andean travel, Inka Settlement Planning charts one of Native America's greatest achievements.
The Inka empire, Tawantinsuyu, fell to Spanish invaders within a year's time (1532-1533), but Quechua, the language of the Inka, is still the primary or only language of millions of Inka descendants throughout the southern Andes. In this innovative study, Bruce Mannheim synthesizes all that is currently known about the history of Southern Peruvian Quechua since the Spanish invasion, providing new insights into the nature of language change in general, into the social and historical contexts of language change, and into the cultural conditioning of linguistic change.
Mannheim first discusses changes in the social setting of language use in the Andes from the time of the first European contact in the sixteenth century until today. He reveals that the modern linguistic homogeneity of Spanish and Quechua is a product of the Spanish conquest, since multilingualism was the rule in the Inka empire. He identifies the social and political forces that have influenced the kinds of changes the language has undergone. And he provides the first synthetic history of Southern Peruvian Quechua, making it possible at last to place any literary document or written text in a chronological and social context.
Mannheim also studies changes in the formal structure of Quechua. He finds that changes in the sound system were motivated primarily by phonological factors and also that the changes were constrained by a set of morphological and syntactic conditions. This last conclusion is surprising, since most historical linguists assume that sound change is completely independent of other aspects of language. Thus, The Language of the Inka since the European Invasion makes an empirical contribution to a general theory of linguistic change.
Written in an engaging style that is accessible to the nonlinguist, this book will have a special appeal to readers interested in the history and anthropology of native South America.
Since prehistoric times, Andean societies have been organized around the ayllu, a grouping of real or ceremonial kinspeople who share labor, resources, and ritual obligations. Many Andean scholars believe that the ayllu is as ancient as Andean culture itself, possibly dating back as far as 6000 B.C., and that it arose to alleviate the hardships of farming in the mountainous Andean environment.
In this boldly revisionist book, however, William Isbell persuasively argues that the ayllu developed during the latter half of the Early Intermediate Period (around A.D. 200) as a means of resistance to the process of state formation. Drawing on archaeological evidence, as well as records of Inca life taken from the chroniclers, Isbell asserts that prehistoric ayllus were organized around the veneration of deceased ancestors, whose mummified bodies were housed in open sepulchers, or challups, where they could be visited by descendants seeking approval and favors. By charting the temporal and spatial distribution of chullpa ruins, Isbell offers a convincing new explanation of where, when, and why the ayllu developed.
One of the earliest chronicles of the Inca empire was written in the 1550s by Juan de Betanzos. Although scholars have long known of this work, only eighteen chapters were actually available until the 1980s when the remaining sixty-four chapters were discovered in the collection of the Fundación Bartolomé March in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Narrative of the Incas presents the first complete English translation of the original manuscript of this key document. Although written by a Spaniard, it presents an authentic Inca worldview, drawn from the personal experiences and oral traditions told to Betanzos by his Inca wife, Doña Angelina, and other members of her aristocratic family who lived during the reigns of the last Inca rulers, Huayna Capac Huascar and Atahualpa. Betanzos wrote a history of the Inca empire that focuses on the major rulers and the contributions each one made to the growth of the empire and of Inca culture.
Filled with new insights into Inca politics, marriage, laws, the calendar, warfare, and other matters, Narrative of the Incas is essential reading for everyone interested in this ancient civilization.
The Inka Empire stretched over much of the length and breadth of the South American Andes, encompassed elaborately planned cities linked by a complex network of roads and messengers, and created astonishing works of architecture and artistry and a compelling mythology—all without the aid of a graphic writing system. Instead, the Inkas' records consisted of devices made of knotted and dyed strings—called khipu—on which they recorded information pertaining to the organization and history of their empire. Despite more than a century of research on these remarkable devices, the khipu remain largely undeciphered.
In this benchmark book, twelve international scholars tackle the most vexed question in khipu studies: how did the Inkas record and transmit narrative records by means of knotted strings? The authors approach the problem from a variety of angles. Several essays mine Spanish colonial sources for details about the kinds of narrative encoded in the khipu. Others look at the uses to which khipu were put before and after the Conquest, as well as their current use in some contemporary Andean communities. Still others analyze the formal characteristics of khipu and seek to explain how they encode various kinds of numerical and narrative data.
In perhaps as few as one hundred years, the Inka Empire became the largest state ever formed by a native people anywhere in the Americas, dominating the western coast of South America by the early sixteenth century. Because the Inkas had no system of writing, it was left to Spanish and semi-indigenous authors to record the details of the religious rituals that the Inkas believed were vital for consolidating their conquests. Synthesizing these arresting accounts that span three centuries, Thomas Besom presents a wealth of descriptive data on the Inka practices of human sacrifice and mountain worship, supplemented by archaeological evidence.
Of Summits and Sacrifice offers insight into the symbolic connections between landscape and life that underlay Inka religious beliefs. In vivid prose, Besom links significant details, ranging from the reasons for cyclical sacrificial rites to the varieties of mountain deities, producing a uniquely powerful cultural history.
At the heart of this book is the controversy over whether Inca history can and should be read as history. Did the Incas narrate a true reflection of their past, and did the Spaniards capture these narratives in a way that can be meaningfully reconstructed? In Reading Inca History,Catherine Julien finds that the Incas did indeed create detectable life histories.
The two historical genres that contributed most to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish narratives about the Incas were an official account of Inca dynastic genealogy and a series of life histories of Inca rulers. Rather than take for granted that there was an Inca historical consciousness, Julien begins by establishing an Inca purpose for keeping this dynastic genealogy. She then compares Spanish narratives of the Inca past to identify the structure of underlying Inca genres and establish the dependency on oral sources. Once the genealogical genre can be identified, the life histories can also be detected.
By carefully studying the composition of Spanish narratives and their underlying sources, Julien provides an informed and convincing reading of these complex texts. By disentangling the sources of their meaning, she reaches across time, language, and cultural barriers to achieve a rewarding understanding of the dynamics of Inca and colonial political history.
The Cuzco region of highland Peru was the heartland of the Inca empire, the largest native state to develop in the Americas. Archaeologists have studied Inca monumental architecture for more than a century, but it is only in recent decades that regional survey work has systematically sought to reconstruct patterns of settlement, subsistence, and social organization in the region. This monograph presents the results of regional surveys conducted (from 2000 to 2008) to the north and west of the city of Cuzco, a region of approximately 1200 square kilometers that was investigated using the same field methodology as other systematic surveys in the Cuzco region. The study region, referred to as Hanan Cuzco in this volume, encompasses considerable environmental variations, ranging from warm valley-bottom lands to snow-capped mountains. The chapters in this volume present settlement pattern data from all periods of pre-Columbian occupation—from the arrival of the first hunter-gatherers to the transformation of valley-bottom fields by the last Inca emperors. A chapter on the colonial period discusses how Spanish colonial practices transformed an imperial landscape into a peripheral one. Together, the chapters in this volume contribute to the archaeological understanding of several central issues in Andean prehistory.
2023 Book Award, Society for American Archaeology
A dramatic reappraisal of the Inka Empire through the lens of Qullasuyu.
The Inka conquered an immense area extending across five modern nations, yet most English-language publications on the Inka focus on governance in the area of modern Peru. This volume expands the range of scholarship available in English by collecting new and notable research on Qullasuyu, the largest of the four quarters of the empire, which extended south from Cuzco into contemporary Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.
From the study of Qullasuyu arise fresh theoretical perspectives that both complement and challenge what we think we know about the Inka. While existing scholarship emphasizes the political and economic rationales underlying state action, Rethinking the Inka turns to the conquered themselves and reassesses imperial motivations. The book’s chapters, incorporating more than two hundred photographs, explore relations between powerful local lords and their Inka rulers; the roles of nonhumans in the social and political life of the empire; local landscapes remade under Inka rule; and the appropriation and reinterpretation by locals of Inka objects, infrastructure, practices, and symbols. Written by some of South America’s leading archaeologists, Rethinking the Inka is poised to be a landmark book in the field.
The Islands of the Sun and the Moon in Bolivia's Lake Titicaca were two of the most sacred locations in the Inca empire. A pan-Andean belief held that they marked the origin place of the Sun and the Moon, and pilgrims from across the Inca realm made ritual journeys to the sacred shrines there. In this book, Brian Bauer and Charles Stanish explore the extent to which this use of the islands as a pilgrimage center during Inca times was founded on and developed from earlier religious traditions of the Lake Titicaca region.
Drawing on a systematic archaeological survey and test excavations in the islands, as well as data from historical texts and ethnography, the authors document a succession of complex polities in the islands from 2000 BC to the time of European contact in the 1530s AD. They uncover significant evidence of pre-Inca ritual use of the islands, which raises the compelling possibility that the religious significance of the islands is of great antiquity. The authors also use these data to address broader anthropological questions on the role of pilgrimage centers in the development of pre-modern states.
Garcilaso de la Vega, the first native of the New World to attain importance as a writer in the Old, was born in Cuzco in 1539, the illegitimate son of a Spanish cavalier and an Inca princess. Although he was educated as a gentleman of Spain and won an important place in Spanish letters, Garcilaso was fiercely proud of his Indian ancestry and wrote under the name EI Inca.
Royal Commentaries of the Incas is the account of the origin, growth, and destruction of the Inca empire, from its legendary birth until the death in 1572 of its last independent ruler. For the material in Part One of Royal Commentaries—the history of the Inca civilization prior to the arrival of the Spaniards—Garcilaso drew upon "what I often heard as a child from the lips of my mother and her brothers and uncles and other elders . . . [of] the origin of the Inca kings, their greatness, the grandeur of their empire, their deeds and conquests, their government in peace and war, and the laws they ordained so greatly to the advantage of their vassals."
The conventionalized and formal history of an oral tradition, Royal Commentaries describes the gradual imposition of order and civilization upon a primitive and barbaric world. To this Garcilaso adds facts about the geography and the flora and fauna of the land; the folk practices, religion, and superstitions; the agricultural and the architectural and engineering achievements of the people; and a variety of other information drawn from his rich store of traditional knowledge, personal observation, or speculative philosophy.
Important though it is as history, Garcilaso's classic is much more: it is also a work of art. Its gracious and graceful style, skillfully translated by Harold V. Livermore, succeeds in bringing to life for the reader a genuine work of literature.
Part One covers the history of the Incas up to the arrival of the Spanish.
Garcilaso de la Vega, the first native of the New World to attain importance as a writer in the Old, was born in Cuzco in 1539, the illegitimate son of a Spanish cavalier and an Inca princess. Although he was educated as a gentleman of Spain and won an important place in Spanish letters, Garcilaso was fiercely proud of his Indian ancestry and wrote under the name El Inca.
Part Two covers the Spanish conquest of the Incas.
The ceque system of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, was perhaps the most complex indigenous ritual system in the pre-Columbian Americas. From a center known as the Coricancha (Golden Enclosure) or the Temple of the Sun, a system of 328 huacas (shrines) arranged along 42 ceques (lines) radiated out toward the mountains surrounding the city. This elaborate network, maintained by ayllus (kin groups) that made offerings to the shrines in their area, organized the city both temporally and spiritually.
From 1990 to 1995, Brian Bauer directed a major project to document the ceque system of Cusco. In this book, he synthesizes extensive archaeological survey work with archival research into the Inca social groups of the Cusco region, their land holdings, and the positions of the shrines to offer a comprehensive, empirical description of the ceque system. Moving well beyond previous interpretations, Bauer constructs a convincing model of the system's physical form and its relation to the social, political, and territorial organization of Cusco.
Described in his lifetime as “mad,” “a dreamer,” “quixotic,” and “a lunatic,” Pedro Bohorques is one of the most fascinating personalities of Spanish colonial America. A common man from an ordinary Andalusian family, he sought his fortune in the new world as a Renaissance adventurer.
Smitten with the idea of the mythical cities of gold, Bohorques led a series of expeditions into the jungles of Peru searching for the paradise of El Dorado. Having mastered the Quechua language of the countryside, he presented himself as a descendent of Inca royalty and quickly rose to power as a king among the Calchaquíes of Tucumán. He was later arrested and executed by the crown for his participation in a peasant revolt against Spanish rule.
In Spanish King of the Incas, Ana María Lorandi examines Bohorques as a character whose vision, triumphs, and struggles are a reflection of his seventeenth-century colonial world. In this thoroughly engaging ethnohistory, Lorandi brings to light the many political and cultural forces of the time. The status of the Inca high nobility changed dramatically after the Spanish conquest, as native populations were subjugated by the ruling class. Utopian ideals of new cities of riches such as El Dorado prevailed in the public imagination alongside a desire to restore an idealized historic past. As the Middle Ages gave way to the new belief systems of the Renaissance, ingenuousness about mythical creatures became strong, and personal success was measured by the performance of heroic deeds and the attainment of kingdoms. Charismatic and bold, Pedro Bohorques flourished in the ambiguous margins of this society full of transition and conflict.
Ann de León's artful translation preserves both the colorful details of the story and the clarity of expression in Lorandi's complex analyses.
Download a corrected version of the map of the Lake Titicaca region.Download a corrected version of page 83.Download a corrected version of the map of the Huatanuay and Vilcanota-Urubama Valley region.Until recently, little archaeological investigation has been dedicated to the Inka, the last great culture to flourish in Andean South America before the sixteenth-century arrival of the Spaniards. While the Inka have been traditionally viewed through the textual sources of early colonial histories, this volume draws on recent archaeological research to challenge theories on the chronology and development of the Inka Empire and how this culture spread across such a vast area. The volume demonstrates the great regional diversity of the Inka realm, with strategies of expansion that were shaped to meet a variety of local situations beyond the capital in Cusco. Using a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, scholars from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities provide a new understanding of Inka culture and history.
A rich new source of important archival information, Voices from Vilcabamba examines the fall of the Inca Empire in unprecedented detail. Containing English translations of seven major documents from the Vilcabamba era (1536–1572), this volume presents an overview of the major events that occurred in the Vilcabamba region of Peru during the final decades of Inca rule.
Brian S. Bauer, Madeleine Halac-Higashimori, and Gabriel E. Cantarutti have translated and analyzed seven documents, most notably Description of Vilcabamba by Baltasar de Ocampo Conejeros and a selection from Martín de Murúa’s General History of Peru, which focuses on the fall of Vilcabamba. Additional documents from a range of sources that include Augustinian investigations, battlefield reports, and critical eyewitness accounts are translated into English for the first time.
With a critical introduction on the history of the region during the Spanish Conquest and introductions to each of the translated documents, the volume provides an enhanced narrative on the nature of European-American relations during this time of important cultural transformation.
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