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.
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.
Offering an alternative narrative of the conquest of the Incas, Gonzalo Lamana both examines and shifts away from the colonial imprint that still permeates most accounts of the conquest. Lamana focuses on a key moment of transition: the years that bridged the first contact between Spanish conquistadores and Andean peoples in 1531 and the moment, around 1550, when a functioning colonial regime emerged. Using published accounts and array of archival sources, he focuses on questions of subalternization, meaning making, copying, and exotization, which proved crucial to both the Spaniards and the Incas. On the one hand, he re-inserts different epistemologies into the conquest narrative, making central to the plot often-dismissed, discrepant stories such as books that were expected to talk and year-long attacks that could only be launched under a full moon. On the other hand, he questions the dominant image of a clear distinction between Inca and Spaniard, showing instead that on the battlefield as much as in everyday arenas such as conversion, market exchanges, politics, and land tenure, the parties blurred into each other in repeated instances of mimicry.
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.
Inca archaeology has traditionally been intimately tied to the study of the Spanish chronicles, but archaeologists are often asked to explain how Inca civilization relates to earlier states and empires in the Andean highlands-a time period with little coinciding documentary record. Until recently, few archaeologists working in and around the Inca heartland conducted archaeological research into the period between AD 1000 and AD 1400, leaving a great divide between pre-Inca archaeology and Inca studies.
In How the Incas Built Their Heartland R. Alan Covey supplements an archaeological approach with the tools of a historian, forming an interdisciplinary study of how the Incas became sufficiently powerful to embark on an unprecedented campaign of territorial expansion and how such developments related to earlier patterns of Andean statecraft. In roughly a hundred years of military campaigns, Inca dominion spread like wildfire across the Andes, a process traditionally thought to have been set in motion by a single charismatic ruler, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. Taking nearly a century of archaeological research in the region around the Inca capital as his point of departure, Covey offers an alternative description of Inca society in the centuries leading up to imperial expansion. To do so, Covey proposes a new reading of the Spanish chronicles, one that focuses on processes, rather than singular events, occurring throughout the region surrounding Cusco, the Inca capital. His focus on long-term regional changes, rather than heroic actions of Inca kings, allows the historical and archaeological evidence to be placed on equal interpretive footing. The result is a narrative of Inca political origins linking Inca statecraft to traditions of Andean power structures, long-term ecological changes, and internal social transformations. By reading the Inca histories in a compatible way, Covey shows that it is possible to construct a unified theory of how the Inca heartland was transformed after AD 1000.
R. Alan Covey is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University.
In this volume, R. Alan Covey and Donato Amado González present an archaeological and historical introduction to the Yucay Valley, as well as the complete transcription of the first volume of documents in the Betancur Collection.
This edited volume offers new perspectives from leading scholars on the important work of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539–1616), one of the first Latin American writers to present an intellectual analysis of pre-Columbian history and culture and the ensuing colonial period. To the contributors, Inca Garcilaso’s Royal Commentaries of the Incas presented an early counter-hegemonic discourse and a reframing of the history of native non-alphabetic cultures that undermined the colonial rhetoric of his time and the geopolitical divisions it purported. Through his research in both Andean and Renaissance archives, Inca Garcilaso sought to connect these divergent cultures into one world.
This collection offers five classical studies of Royal Commentaries previously unavailable in English, along with seven new essays that cover topics including Andean memory, historiography, translation, philosophy, trauma, and ethnic identity. This cross-disciplinary volume will be of interest to students and scholars of Latin American history, culture, comparative literature, subaltern studies, and works in translation.
Nigel Davies University Press of Colorado, 1995 Library of Congress F3429.3.P65D38 1995 | Dewey Decimal 984.01
The Inca Empire's immense territory spanned more than 2,000 miles - from Ecuador to Chile - at the time of the Spanish invasion, yet Inca culture remains largely a mystery. The Incas did not leave pictorial codices and documents in their native language as the Maya and Aztec did and they narrated to Spanish chroniclers just a few of the multiple alternative histories maintained by descendants of various rulers.
In this classic work, Nigel Davies offers a clear view into Inca political history, economy, governance, religion, art, architecture, and daily life. The Incas has become a classic in its many years in print; readers and scholars interested in ancient American cultures will relish this paperback edition.
Many observers in colonial Spanish America—whether clerical, governmental, or foreign—noted the large numbers of forasteros, or Indians who were not seemingly attached to any locality. These migrants, or “wanderers,” offended the bureaucratic sensibilities of the Spanish administration, as they also frustrated their tax and revenue efforts. Ann M. Wightman’s research on these early “undocumentals” in the Cuzco region of Peru reveals much of importance on Andean society and its adaptation and resistance to Spanish cultural and political hegemony. The book thereby informs our understanding of social change in the colonial period. Wightman shows that the dismissal of the forasteros as marginalized rural poor is superficial at best, and through laborious and painstaking archival research she presents a clear picture of the transformation of traditional society as the native populations coped with the disruptions of the conquest—and in doing so, reveals the reciprocal adaptations of the colonial power. Her choice of Cuzco is particularly appropriate, as this was a “heartland” region crucial to both the Incan and Spanish empires. The questions addressed by Wightman are of great concern to current Andean ethnohistory, one of the liveliest areas of such research, and are sure to have an important impact.
In Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ Carolyn Dean investigates the multiple meanings of the Roman Catholic feast of Corpus Christi as it was performed in the Andean city of Cuzco after the Spanish conquest. By concentrating on the era’s paintings and its historical archives, Dean explores how the festival celebrated the victory of the Christian God over sin and death, the triumph of Christian orthodoxy over the imperial Inka patron (the Sun), and Spain’s conquest of Peruvian society. As Dean clearly illustrates, the central rite of the festival—the taking of the Eucharist—symbolized both the acceptance of Christ and the power of the colonizers over the colonized. The most remarkable of Andean celebrants were those who appeared costumed as the vanquished Inka kings of Peru’s pagan past. Despite the subjugation of the indigenous population, Dean shows how these and other Andean nobles used the occasion of Corpus Christi as an opportunity to construct new identities through tinkuy, a native term used to describe the conjoining of opposites. By mediating the chasms between the Andean region and Europe, pagans and Christians, and the past and the present, these Andean elites negotiated a new sense of themselves. Dean moves beyond the colonial period to examine how these hybrid forms of Inka identity are still evident in the festive life of modern Cuzco. Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ offers the first in-depth analysis of the culture and paintings of colonial Cuzco. This volume will be welcomed by historians of Peruvian culture, art, and politics. It will also interest those engaged in performance studies, religion, and postcolonial and Latin American studies.
In the spirit of justice Blas Valera broke all the rules-and paid with his life. Hundreds of years later, his ghost has returned to haunt the official story. But is it the truth, and will it set the record straight?
This is the tale of Father Blas Valera, the child of a native Incan woman and Spanish father, caught between the ancient world of the Incas and the conquistadors of Spain. Valera, a Jesuit in sixteenth-century Peru, believed in what to his superiors was pure heresy: that the Incan culture, religion, and language were equal to their Christian counterparts.
As punishment for his beliefs he was imprisoned, beaten, and, finally, exiled to Spain, where he died at the hands of English pirates in 1597.
Four centuries later, this Incan chronicler had been all but forgotten, until an Italian anthropologist discovered some startling documents in a private Neapolitan collection. The documents claimed, among other things, that Valera's death had been faked by the Jesuits; that he had returned to Peru; and, intriguingly, while there had taught his followers that the Incas used a secret phonetic quipu-a record-keeping device of the Inca empire-to record history.
Far from settling anything, the documents created an international sensation among scholars and led to bitter disputes over how they should be assessed. Are they forgeries, authentic documents, or something in between? If genuine, they will radically reform our view of Inca culture and Valera. The author insightfully examines the evidence, showing how fact and fiction intertwine, and brings the dimly understood history of this author-priest to light.
Sabine Hyland is Co-director of a multidisciplinary project studying the Chanka people of Peru. She holds a doctoral degree in anthropology from Yale, and is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at St. Norbert College.
Cerro Azul was a late prehistoric fishing community on the south-central coast of Peru. It was one of several communities that belonged to the region of Huarco before falling to the Inca. This volume is the preliminary report of an interdisciplinary project carried out at the site from 1982 to 1986. The remains of many buildings exist on the site. During this project, crews excavated four of these, as well as middens and burials.
New World Postcolonial presents the first full-length study to treat both parts of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's foundational text Royal Commentaries of the Incas as a seminal work of political thought in the formation of the early Americas and the early-modern period. It is also among a handful of studies to explore the Commentaries as a "mestizo rhetoric," written to subtly address both native Andean readers and Hispano-Europeans. As Fuerst demonstrates, by blending both Andean and European discourses to represent Incan history, Garcilaso further proposed restoring indigenous sovereignty by adopting a new mestizo governing body via the political alliance and intermarriage of encomenderos (estate holders) and Incas. This policy extended to education, missionary practices, and others, reflecting Garcilaso's hopes of forming a peaceful coexistence among native Andeans, mestizos, and first generation Spaniards.
The Inca empire of Tawantinsuyu spanned almost 2,000 miles of enormous environmental variety, from coastal deserts to high-altitude grasslands. In less than a century, without wheeled vehicles or animals that could be ridden, the Incas conquered cultures that differed as tremendously as their environments. From agriculture-based politics with an elaborate material foundation like the Chimu of the north coast of Peru to marginal communities of fisherfolk like the Uru of the Lake Titicaca region, all were incorporated into a strongly hierarchical system as the empire spread during the Late Horizon, from A.D. 1438 to 1532.
The essays in this distinctive, multifaceted volume combine the two principal sources of information on the Incas and the peoples they conquered—ethnohistorical accounts and archaeological research—to produce a single vision of a flexible, heterogeneous empire. The essayists' analytical focus evaluates the means by which we understand the Inca empire and its relationships with its conquered peoples; their empirical focus provides specific archaeological ways of identifying the Inca presence in provincial areas. Important contributions include the presentation of new data on Inca administrative policies and the merging of ethnic groups into the empire and the documentation of the many ways used to differentiate Inca from non-Inca material remains.
Encompassing a wide range of environmental conditions and many kinds of provinces,Provincial Inca tests archaeological data against ethnohistorical descriptions to illuminate the variability in Inca state policies with regard to the incorporation of different provinces. It should be read by anyone interested in Andean archaeology, ethnohistory, culture, ethnicity, and the formation of state.
Reading Inca History
Catherine Julien University of Iowa Press, 2002 Library of Congress F3429.J85 2000 | Dewey Decimal 985.019072
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.
Dean Arnold takes readers on a journey into the Andes, recounting the adventures of his 1960s research in the village of Quinua, Peru. Arnold’s quest to understand how contemporary pottery production reflected current Quinua society as well as its ancient Inca and pre-Inca past is one of the earliest studies in what later became known as ethnoarchaeology.
This first-person narrative reveals the challenges of living and working in another culture and the many obstacles one can encounter while doing field research. Arnold shares how his feelings of frustration and perceived failure led him to refocus his project, a shift that ultimately led to an entirely new perspective on pottery production in the Andes. Masterfully weaving details about Peru’s geography, ecology, history, prehistory, and culture into his story, he chronicles his change from small-town Midwesterner to a person of much broader vision, newly aware of his North American views and values.
Retracing Inca Steps is an excellent read for the lay person wishing to learn about the environment, prehistory, history, and culture of Peru as well as for students wanting to know more about the joys and rigors of fieldwork.
In The Shape of Inca History, Susan Niles considers the ways in which the Inca concept of history informed their narratives, rituals, and architecture. Using sixteenth-century chronicles of Inca culture, legal documents from the first generation of conquest, and field investigation of architectural remains, she strategically explores the interplay of oral and written histories with the architectural record and provides a new and exciting understanding of the lives of the royal families on the eve of conquest.
Niles focuses on the life of Huayna Capac, the Inca king who ruled at the time of the first European incursions on the Andean coast. Because he died just a few years before the Spaniards overturned the Inca world, eyewitness accounts of his deeds as recorded by the invaders can be used to separate fact from propaganda. The rich documentary sources telling of his life include extraordinarily detailed legal records that inventory lands on his estate in the Yucay Valley. These sources provide a basis—unique in the Andes—for reconstructing the social and physical plan of the estate and for dating its construction exactly.
Huayna Capac's country palace shows a design different from that devised by his ancestors. Niles argues that the radical stylistic and technical innovations documented in the buildings themselves can be understood by referring to the turbulent political atmosphere prevalent at the time of his accession. Illustrated with numerous photographs and reconstruction drawings, The Shape of Inca History breaks new ground by proposing that Inca royal style was dynamic and that the design of an Inca building can best be interpreted by its historical context. In this way it is possible to recreate the development of Inca architectural style over time.
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.
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.
More than 600 years before the Inka empire ruled the Andean region of South American, during the period known as the Middle Horizon, there were two complex societies: the Tiwanaku and the Wari. In this volume, Katharina J. Schreiber explores the problem of the Middle Horizon through archaeological research in two specific areas: the Carhuarazo Valley and the Jincamocco site. Foreword by Jeffrey R. Parsons.