PERU: ATAHUALPA IS BORNE IN

Saturday, November 16, the sun rises on an almost cloudless sky. No one knows when Inca will come, no one can know if he will come and if then how. Chaskis are announcing that he will come armed, and that’s what Pizarro expects, but answers that he would be received by him as a friend and brother. Then another chaski announces that Sapa Inca will come unarmed.

Three sides of the central square of the city are bordered by buildings with trapezoidal doorways, where soldiers and horses, merchants and women can hide. The cavalry is divided and deployed in the houses. The guns are placed high on a platform. Francisco Pizarro insists that the Inca must not be executed but must be taken alive, as hostage, just in front of the eyes of his Inca warriors. A dead Inca will guarantee their own death.

As the sun is at its peak, the Spaniards can see that units of Inca warriors start moving towards Cajamarca, the city, the square. Pizarro goes from building to building to pass on what the scouts have told him, to make sure everyone has understood his orders and then to reassure himself.

In the square Valverde performs his lifes perhaps last mass, the God of Battles was invoked to spread his shield over the soldiers who were fighting to extend the empire of the Cross. The soldiers mumble on a hymn. One would think it was a crusade.

Then comes the Incas. In front two thousand warriors in uniforms patterned like chess-board-squares, singing and sweeping straws and others from the road. Highly elevated, Atahualpa is borne surrounded by lots of dancing and singing in parade uniforms, followed by other men in shining metal and wearing crowns. It must be silver and gold, looks promising, but then they keep a mile away. Atahualpa has plenty of time, tents are spotted on a meadow, and a chaski informs the Spaniards that the Inca will await the nights coming.

Pizarro fears a night attack and urges Atahualpa to come immediately. He knows that waiting time can ruin the combat mode. Atahualpa is assured that he has nothing to fear.

The sun is setting and the Incas are moving. Five-six thousand men, almost unarmed, only with axes, march into the square. It is the vanguard, most of the army remaining on the meadow. Between the warriors eighty superiors, dressed in blue, on their shoulders wear the litter with Atahualpa dressed in gold and silver, with the royal headband and a collar with exceptional large emeralds around the neck. In the middle of the square, the Inca litter come to a stop, as do the accompanying warriors and those who carry two accompanying litters with officers. The warriors pull out to the sides, the flag of Atahualpa is carried by a big-ear.

Atahualpa looks around. Where are the strangers, his thought is, he later explains. He knows that they must have hidden in the houses out of fear for his magnificent army, he thinks further and calls out to the strangers.

Silence of death and waiting. Then Francisco Pizarro, the monk Vicente de Valverde and the translator Filipillo step towards Atahualpa; behind the walls, the footmen cling anxiously to their weapons, those on horse again and again reassure the animals with the deepest hope of avoiding the whining, and the many writers are listening, yet later reproducing the wording differently: most of them meaning that the monk invited the Inca to talk and eat with Pizarro in one of the buildings, that Atahualpa did not accept, that he would not move forward until the Spaniards had returned every object they had stolen or consume since their arrival in his kingdom.

Valverde, the only attendee who has been at a university, who has studied theology and philosophy for five years at the university of Valladolid, has not come as conqueror or plunderer but to monitor that Pizarro meets the Spanish Kings condition for looting and repression: that the Indians are Christianized correctly.

He raises the Bible in the one hand and the crucifix in the other, explaining his incomprehensible religious based law translated with dodge to Quechua, that it is all in his book, insisting that the book contains Gods own voice.

Valverdes mission is to proclaim the Kings Requerimiento to the conquered, that since God has created the world, and the Pope has given the Spaniards the right to this part of the world, then they have a duty to submit to the Spanish King. If natives refuse to obey, the conquerors must use the necessary power. Valverde reads parts of the text aloud in Spanish, awaits Filipillos groping translation, continues with the royal text and lets again Filipillo translate. And on to Creation, Jesus crucifixion and ascension, the Holy Trinity and Saint Peter and his successors, the Pope who has commissioned the most mighty monarch in the world, the Spanish Emperor, to conquer and convert the natives in this Western Hemisphere. And that Pizarro, who stands here, has come the long way across the sea to complete the work and that Atahualpa has the opportunity to have forgiveness and become vassal of Emperor Carlos.

Felipillo translates feverishly and puts the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit together with God so that Christians can invoke four gods, which of course are far fewer than the Incas can muster, but yet! The point is obvious: Atahualpa must lay down his weapons and submit to the Spaniards.

Atahualpa responds:

I will be no mans tributary. I am greater than any prince upon earth. Your emperor may be a great prince; I do not doubt it, when I see that he has sent his subjects so far across the waters; and I am willing to hold him as a brother. As for the Pope of whom you speak, he must be crazy to talk of giving away countries which do not belong to him. For my faith I will not change it. Your own God, as you say, was put to death by the very men whom he created. But my God still lives in the heavens and looks down on his children.

25 years after the events, Juan de Betanzos reported his in-laws – closest to Atahualpas – memory:

The interpreter said that that priest was the son of the Sun, and that the Sun had sent him to tell the Inca that he should not fight, he should obey the captain who was also the son of the Sun, and that was what was in that book and the painting in the book said that.

Since he said painting, the Inca asked for the book and, taking it in his hands, he opened it. When he saw the lines of letters, he said: This speaks and says that you are the son of the Sun? I, also, am the Son of the Sun. His Indians answered this and said in a loud voice all together: Thus is Sapa Inca.

The Inca repeated in a loud voice that he also came from where the Sun was. Saying this, he hurled the book away and again all his people answered him: Yes, he is the only lord.

AND THEN THE SPANIARDS SHOUT SANTIAGO!

——————————

(pp. 330-334 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

Skriv et svar

Udfyld dine oplysninger nedenfor eller klik på et ikon for at logge ind:

WordPress.com Logo

Du kommenterer med din WordPress.com konto. Log Out /  Skift )

Google photo

Du kommenterer med din Google konto. Log Out /  Skift )

Twitter picture

Du kommenterer med din Twitter konto. Log Out /  Skift )

Facebook photo

Du kommenterer med din Facebook konto. Log Out /  Skift )

Connecting to %s