PERU: COMMON PEOPLE LIVED SAFELY

The Christian Indian Poma described and drew how the Incas year with work and feasts progressed.

In January they celebrated Capac Raimi, the feast of the lords, the rain month when some cultivated plants appeared on the fields. In February it was Pavcar Varai, where saint figures had new clothes and when new land was dug to grow corn, cereals and potatoes. Further to March, the month of Pacha Pvcvi, the perfect maturation of the soil. The year ended with December and Capac Inti Raimi, the month of the great sunfeast, when potatoes were put into the soil and quinoa and lupins were sown.

Pomas description can be read as a tribute to the Andean Indians former livestyle with sharp criticism of Spaniards:

I have not seen the Indians greedy for gold and silver, I have never met a lier, a cheater, a prostitute or a thief. On the other hand you have Spaniards who have led everyone to reject fathers and mothers, priests and the King. But you steal from the poor Indians and claim you will return what has been taken but nothing has been given back.

The Spaniard Mancio Sierra de Leguizamo, the conquistador who allegedly had owned the solar disk from Coricancha, wrote in 1585 in his will to Spains King:

His Catholic Majesty must know that we have found these lands in such a situation that there was neither a thief, a vicious man, a lazy person, nor an unfaithful wife or an easy virtue woman; any such behavior was forbidden, immoral persons could not exist, and the subjects all had decent and well-paid employment. The land that could be cultivated, the mountains, the mines, the pastures, the hunt, the forests, and anything that could be of any use, was managed and distributed so that everybody knew and kept his ancestral heritage without anyone else being able to acquire it, and without the need for a process.

Although there were numerous wars, it did not prevent neither trade nor plowing and harvesting or other work. All things, from the most important to the smallest, were arranged and administered with much wisdom. The Incas were feared, obeyed, cherished, and honored by their subjects, who regarded them as very capable leaders. Their governors and officials had the same qualities, and as they possessed power, authority, and will to resist, we had to completely take away power from them and to deprive them of their property to subdue them and force them to serve God our Lord and to lay their lands under the royal crown, thanks to which we, because God our Lord has allowed it, have been able to secure our dominion over this empire which included a great number of people and great wealth, and we have enslaved the noble men who – as everyone knows – are completely submissive. We were only a very small number of Spaniards when we started this conquest, and I want His Catholic Majesty to understand why I am preparing this account, to facilitate my conscience and acknowledge myself guilty, for we have transformed these natives who had so much wisdom and committed so few crimes, excesses, and inconsistencies that the owner of 100,000 pesos in gold and silver could leave his door open and merely attach a broom to a small piece of wood across the door to show that he was not at home: this customary sign was enough that no one would go in and take anything.

Recognizing the catastrophic consequences of the Spanish conquest, Leguizamo perhaps seized an exaggerated glorification of the Inca. The author had been married to Princess Beatriz Cápac Coya, one of Huayna Cápacs daughters. She had probably shared the ruling class’s perception of society with her husband, who, as a conquistador himself, had received great possessions at the expense of the indigenous people. Now the bad conscience plagued this Spanish conqueror, who, on Tawantinsuyu, found that all things, from the most important to the smallest, were arranged and administered with much wisdom.

——————————

(pp. 264-265 in volume 2, reproduced without notes and illustrations):

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AZTECS AND INCAS: MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU. Edited, translated, retold and commented by Mikael Witte. Volume 1 + Volume 2

476 pages + 540 pages. Richly illustrated in colors

400  Dkr. for each volume (Danish tax is included) + shipping

Published by Selskabet for smukkere Byfornyelse

Sale: selskabetfor@outlook.dk

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