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The Huarochirí Manuscript

The Huarochirí Manuscript
A Testament of Ancient and Colonial Andean Religion
Annotations and introductory essay by Frank Salomon; transcription by George L. Urioste

The English translation of an important source document for Andean history.

January 1991
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288 pages | 8.5 x 11 | 1 map |

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.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introductory Essay: The Huarochirí Manuscript
    • The manuscript as testament
    • Andean religion and "Inca religion"
    • General outline of the Huarochirí manuscript
    • Early times and peoples
    • The Paria Caca cycle and the myths of group identity
    • Chaupi Ñamca and the mythology of gender
    • The Incas as seen from Huarochirí
    • The Spanish invasion as seen from Huarochirí
    • Specialized chapters
  • The Huarochirí region's people and their historic situation
  • Into the world of the huacas
    • Pacha: 'earth, world, time, place'
    • Camay: a concept of specific essence and force, 'to charge with being, to infuse with species power'
    • Huaca: 'superhuman person, shrine, holy and powerful object'; huaca priesthood
    • Yuriy/yumay: concepts of human birth and descent
    • Ayllu: corporate landholding collectivity self-defined as ancestor-focused kindred
    • Llacta: 'village' as cultic and territorial unit
  • The original text
  • The possible genesis of the text in the local conjuncture
  • Previous editions of the Huarochirí manuscript
  • The character of the present translation
    • Language substrates and non-Quechua languages
      • Quechua other than the "general" dialect
      • Language(s) of the Jaqi (Aymara) family
      • Non-Quechua, non-Jaqi native lexicon?
      • Spanish
    • The problem of redaction
    • The problem of validation
    • Translation of style
      • Framing sentences
      • Narrative passages
      • Versified speech in semantic couplets
    • Other translation conventions
    • Note conventions
    • Transcription conventions
    • Toponymic and onomastic spelling conventions
  • Index and glossary
  • The Huarochirí Manuscript
    • [Preface]
    • Chapter 1. How the Idols of Old Were, and How They Warred among Themselves, and How the Natives Existed at That Time
    • Chapter 2. How Cuni Raya Vira Cocha Acted in His Own Age. The Life of Cuni Raya Vira Cocha. How Caui Llaca Gave Birth to His Child, and What Followed
    • Chapter 3. What Happened to the Indians in Ancient Times When the Ocean Overflowed Chapter 4. How the Sun Disappeared for Five Days. In What Follows We Shall Tell a Story about the Death of the Sun
    • Chapter 5. How in Ancient Times Paria Caca Appeared on a Mountain Named Condor Coto in the Form of Five Eggs, and What Followed. Here Will Begin the Account of Paria Caca's Emergence
    • Chapter 6. How Paria Caca Was Born as Five Falcons and Then Turned into Persons, and How, Already Victorious over All the Yunca of Anchi Cocha, He Began to Walk toward Paria Caca Mountain, and What Happened along the Way
    • Chapter 7. How Those Cupara People Revere the One Called Chuqui Suso Even to This Day
    • Chapter 8. How Paria Caca Ascended. How One Man Came Back with His Child by Following Paria Caca's Commands, and, Finally, How He Struggled with Huallallo Caruincho
    • Chapter 9. How Paria Caca, Having Accomplished All This, Began to Ordain His Own Cult
    • Chapter 10. Who Chaupi Ñamca Was, Where She Dwells, and How She Arranged Her Cult
    • Chapter 11. How People Danced the Chanco Dance. In Speaking of These Matters, We Shall Also Tell Who Tutay Quiri, the Child of Paria Caca, Was. The Story Is Like This
    • Chapter 12. How Paria Caca's Children Undertook the Conquest of All the Yunca People
    • Chapter 13. Mama
    • Chapter 14.
    • Chapter 15. Next We Shall Write about What Was Mentioned in the Second
    • Chapter, Namely, Whether Cuni Raya Existed before or after Caruincho
    • Chapter 16. Here We Shall Write on Whether Paria Caca, Born from Five Eggs, Was Composed of Brothers or Whether Paria Caca Was Their Father, Things of This Kind
    • Chapter 17.
    • Chapter 18.
    • Chapter 19.
    • Chapter 20. Here Begins the Life of Llocllay Huancupa. In What Follows, We Shall Also Write about Its End
    • Chapter 21. Although a Dream Is Not Valid, We Shall Speak about That Demon's Frightful Deeds and Also about the Way in Which Don Cristóbal Defeated Him
    • Chapter 22.
    • Chapter 23. We Shall Write Here about the Inca's Summons to All the Huacas. We Shall
    • Also Speak Here of Maca Uisa's Victory
    • Chapter 24. Next We Shall Write about the Customs of the Checa, the Machua Yunca Festival and Its Dances, and, Finally, about the Origin of the People
    • Chapter 25. Here We Shall Write How the Wind Blew the Colli People from Yaru Tini Down to the Lower Yunca
    • Chapter 26. How Paria Caca Defeated Maca Calla. How He Established His Children after His Victory
    • Chapter 27. How in Former Times, on the Fifth Day after Their Death, People Said, "I'm Back!" We Shall Write about These Things
    • Chapter 28. How People Used to Feed the Spirits of the Dead during Paria Caca's Festival and How They Thought about All Saints' Day in Former Times
    • Chapter 29. How Something Called the Yacana Comes Down from the Sky to Drink Water. We Shall Also Speak about the Other Stars and Their Names
    • Chapter 30. How Two Huacas, a Male and a Female, Dwell in the Lake of the Allauca in Purui. We Shall Write about Their Lives
    • Chapter 31. As in the Previous Chapter We Spoke about the Existence of a Certain Lake, Likewise We Shall Now Tell about the Lake of the Concha Ayllu, the One Called Yansa. The Story Is Like This
    • [Supplement I]
    • [Supplement II]
  • Transcription of the Huarochirí Manuscript
  • Glossary of Untranslated Words
  • Bibliographic References
  • Index

Frank Salomon is John V. Murra Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. George L. Urioste is professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


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The manuscript as testament

The Huarochirí manuscript alone of all colonial sources records a prehispanic religious tradition of the Andes in an Andean language. It tells us of a remote age when cannibal deities preyed on otherwise immortal humans, of the mountain deity Paria Caca who emerged to expel the fire deities of antiquity, of the human groups that traced their victories from Paria Caca's five simultaneous avatars, of Paria Caca's brotherhood with the fivefold female power Chaupi Ñamca, and of the society ritually organized in their names around a grand complementarity of male and female superhumans. It unfolds the splendor of ceremonies that prehispanic priests devoted to a landscape alive with the diverse sacred beings called huacas. It recalls memories of Inca rule and of how unknown invaders, the Spanish, brought new gods to displace the children of Paria Caca and of Chaupi Ñamca. Nothing else in all the sources from which we seek the Andean "vision of the vanquished" (Wachtel 1971) rivals it for immediacy, strangeness, and beauty.

But the voices we hear in its pages do not relay to us a verbatim record of what was said and believed before the Spanish invasion. It is true that when Father Francisco de Avila reworked part of the same or similar testimony to make his 1608 Treatise on the False Gods ... (hereafter referred to as Tratado), he judged that the narrative "does not refer to the present but to history" (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 198). Yet the way people recalled their ancient tradition and the occasion of their recalling it were themselves facets of a colonial situation the tellers had already endured throughout their whole lives. The telling could not but be influenced by the seventy preceding years of colonial turbulence, during which one potent innovation was the art of writing itself. Andean peoples used no writing before the Spanish "Vira Cochas" arrived. So the process of capturing their culture as text in the alphabet of the padres and bureaucrats was inextricably bound up with forced conversion and persecution, even when the actual authors were themselves Andean and the actual narrators at least partly faithful to the old huacas.

The manuscript is a complex composite testimony of these changes as well as a compendium of ancient memories. The research it contains was apparently sponsored by a clerical persecutor, Father Francisco de Avila, who seems to have used it as secret intelligence for his assault on American deities from 1608 onward. The text does contain opportune denunciations of "idols" (as the Spanish called the sacred beings of the Andes) and of those who steadfastly fed and served them in secret long after official conversion. Yet at least one of the actual makers of the text seems to have thought of the task as one of historical remembrance. The untitled preface to the manuscript looks to a future in which the ancient deities would be remembered with pride, promising a monument of Andean greatness to match Spanish chronicles:

If the ancestors of the people called Indians had known writing in earlier times, then the lives they lived would not have faded from view until now.

As the mighty past of the Spanish Vira Cochas is visible until now, so, too, would theirs be.

But since things are as they are, and since nothing has been written until now,

I set forth here the lives of the ancestors of the Huaro Cheri people, who all descend from one forefather;

What faith they held, how they live until now, those things and more.

Village by village it will all be written down: how they lived from their dawning age onward.

One gets a strong impression that the creator of these lines was engaged in reconceptualizing the Andean mythic tradition rather than destroying its memory.

The exact process of composition is unknown, but this passage differs from the wholeheartedly anti-Andean viewpoint that Avila expressed in other writings. It may contain the words of a native writer or editor to whom Avila gave some leeway in compiling the text. A measure of unselfconscious candor would have increased its intelligence value. Whether or not he was present at its composition, Avila did read and annotate at least part of it; his devastating subsequent attacks on the deities mentioned suggest that the stratagem of leaving the witnesses some freedom of expression succeeded. But the text's partly intra-Andean genesis also had a paradoxical long-term effect: because it was composed in relative independence from Spanish preconceptions about native religion, it has in the end provided a uniquely authentic monument of the very beliefs Avila meant to destroy.

Whoever composed the untitled preface thought of the manuscript as a totalizing book about inherited tradition, custom, and lifeways that would give Andean memory, like Spanish literate memory, immortal visibility. The usual genre term by which the text identifies the separately remembered and narrated traditions could hardly be more oral; it is simi, which the greatest Quechua lexicographer of the age glossed as "mouth, language, commandment, law, mouthful, news, the word and its answer" (Gonçález Holguín [1608] 1952: 326). Clearly the testimonies are products of a culture in which orality encompassed the weightiest functions of language. But the book is not conceived simply as a body of speech on paper. It partakes of the assumption that written language, and specifically book language, should subsume and subordinate orality. The conception of a totalizing book that underlies the manuscript seems to be influenced at one or more levels by the Hebrew or Old Testament Bible and to some extent by the New Testament. Of course, few Indians studied the Vulgate. But the Huarochirí area had been missionized with special intensity by Jesuits in 1570-1571, with the conscious intent of popularizing Christian lore in Quechua. In the late sixteenth century, both officially promulgated catechetical summaries and popularized summaries of Bible stories called historias sagradas were widely read by or read to laypeople. Literate Indians c. 1600 usually knew traditions from both Hebrew antiquity and the New Testament through publications of the Third Council of Lima. Those who had access to churchmen's libraries or discussions could learn much more.

Although the manifest content of the manuscript only rarely syncretizes biblical material with Andean, the text as a whole has an "astonishingly Biblical" overall architecture (Turner 1988: 249). Like the Bible, the manuscript begins with myths that contrast the human condition with an imagined alternative, a time when the relations between humans and deity were radically different (chaps. 1, 2). A flood myth (chap. 3) signals the end of this era. Like the Bible, the manuscript pictures antiquity as the story of hero-ancestors who share a common descent and a covenantlike relation to an ethnic deity (including an episode resembling Abraham's averted sacrifice of Isaac; chap. 8, secs. 99-103). Its collective subject is a set of groups, each of which considered itself the progeny of a focalized ancestor. As with the biblical tribes, these groups relate to each other, at least in ideology, approximately as a phratry. As in the biblical redactions, their disparate traditions of origin and separate cults have been welded ex post facto onto the unifying argument of kinship and imperfectly articulated with apical priestly cults. Their story, like that of the biblical tribes, is intensely concerned with control over specific resources in a sacralized landscape; many of its myths encode political struggles with surrounding peoples and even internecine struggles as mythic combats with superhuman intervention. Also like the Bible, the manuscript is greatly concerned with the relation between the local sacra and the leaders and priests of immense invading empires—first the Inca, later the Spanish. The manuscript shares the biblical tendency to accrete genre within genre. Texts about priesthood, sacrifice, ritual law, and prophecy jostle with vernacular myth, claims concerning land and water, and mythicized remembrance of historic events. Bits of oracular response, religious formulas, and perhaps songs have become embedded in the text, too. And finally, as in the Bible, particularly the Deuteronomic books and later prophets, one clearly senses the pressure of contemporary political defeat on religious testimony.

We do not know all the reasons for the resemblances. One possibility is that Father Avila imposed European opinions on the text itself or indirectly on others who processed it (for example, by preparing a questionnaire or by overseeing the editing). Much European opinion of the time held that pagan myths, Andean ones included, reflected ancient traces of "true" (that is, biblical) religious and historical knowledge, which Satan's deceptions had distorted in intervening centuries. The tendency to force non-Christian testimony into patterns congruent with "universal history" and a unified Bible-based chronology is conspicuous in many Peruvian chronicles, both indigenous and Spanish, and Avila's Tratado shows that he partook of it (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 206-208). The person who arranged or edited the myths expressed frustration at the difficulty of arranging episodes into one scheme of chronology (e.g., chap. 14, sec. 189; chap. 15, sec. 199), a step required for correlation with Bible-centered history. This literal-minded historicist reading of myth, which seems misleading to modern readers, was then thought to be a correct way of restoring American data to their "true" place in a unified world scheme of salvation history.

But above and beyond this exogenous process, the myths themselves seem Bible-like in their style of mythifying. Like the biblical writers, and unlike some myth-tellers from more "tribal" Amazonian societies, the Huarochirí narrators tend to intertwine mythic (miraculous) processes with social causation, rather than locating them in a primordial age before the world began to be as it is. Perhaps the likeness is multilayered or overdetermined: it may result in part from intea-Andean facts distinguishable from the European influences that also affected it. Such forms of synthesis may arise endogenously in societies of a certain scale, setting, and organizational form. Terence Turner (1988) offers a complex argument that a generically rather than locally biblical type of mythology occurs in societies whose status is intermediate between autonomy and complete subsumption in larger states; certainly this was the condition of Huarochirí-area societies for many centuries before the European invasion.

There is a third possibility for explaining the biblical parallel. After seven decades of exposure to European culture, Andean people had consciously or unconsciously gone far in reconceptualizing their mythology as a systematic response to imposed belief. By 1600 this reconceptualization seems to have coalesced into a distinctive ideology. Andean literati of the first generation born after conquest—Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and Joan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamaygua—were not simple nativists; they partook of a Renaissance consensus in arguing that Andean people had already passed through ages of antiquity strictly parallel to those of pre-Christian biblical antiquity. But they dissented from the Spanish in their evaluation of the Andean achievement as a part of it. Where writers like Avila, Cabello Valboa, or Antonio de Calancha saw in Andean myth only a deteriorated and diabolically confused memory of original connections with biblical humanity, and therefore a culture worthy of being forgotten, some native intellectuals believed their history and its memory to be not only parallel with that of the Spanish, but equal in value. The theories of these bicultural "native chroniclers" shored up waning hopes of Andean privilege under Christian rule and appear characteristic of Andean natives descended from noble families but deprived of colonial power. Although we do not know the identity of the persons) who selected the oral material for inclusion and/or wrote the ethnographic and editorial material in the manuscript, the final redaction of the text does seem to partake of this mentality.

And what of those who actually told the myths to the book creators? What revisions of religious thought had occurred among less bicultural natives during these decades? It is important to remember that by the date when the manuscript was written the cults of the huacas had coexisted with Christianity for a whole lifetime. If huaca priests had retained the loyalty of people officially bound to Christianity, it was in all likelihood because they had succeeded, under the adverse conditions of clandestinity and church hegemony, in presenting huaca religion as comparable in cogency with the church's teachings. It is possible that by 1600 local thinkers and perhaps priests had been engaged (consciously or not) in remobilizing and reconceptualizing the inheritance of huaca religion so as to construe it as a religion, a "faith" (as the preface to the manuscript says, using the Spanish word) whose overall claims and dimensions could bear comparison with those of the imposed church. It is not beyond possibility that the welding of the Andean deities into a unified kindred partook of post-1532 efforts. Individual huaca myths seem to accord the huaca cults many of the same attributes as Christian religion: for example, a covenantal concept of obligation, an image of superhuman action as law giving, a notion of history as the continuing interaction of deity and society, and a tendency to express "moral economy" norms in terms of prophetic action. As has been suggested, it is likely that any or all of these may be overdetermined facts, arising, from preexisting, and now remobilized, prototypes in aboriginal culture as well as from European models. Perhaps there would have been an Andean story like the rescue of Isaac even if Spaniards had never invaded. Nonetheless, it would be unrealistic not to consider apologetic processes arising in huaca priests' efforts to match Catholic priests in the breadth of their claims while at the same time maintaining distinctness from Catholicism. The importance of such interactive processes in sustaining huaca religion is attested by Father Avila's remark that the huaca cults thrived most not in the areas where they had remained unmolested, but in the villages where Catholic priests had been most zealous (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 205).

Despite the importance of all these factors, in the end nothing could be more wrong than to think of the manuscript as merely an Andean counter-Bible. For one thing, obviously, the mythic material overall is radically foreign to Europe; few books in the world give the Western reader such a powerful sense of encountering a cultural unknown. Another and more fundamental reason is that the structuring of myth—the formal architecture of event and process that gives each story internal regularity and resolution—owes everything to Andean patterns and resembles biblical ones little if at all. The dominant model in the stories is that of passage from mere difference (for example, the juxtaposition of antagonistic deities strange to each other) to complementary difference (for example, a revised juxtaposition in which the deities become male and female spouses or siblings embodying opposite ecological principles). This pattern occurs at the greatest and smallest levels of the mythology, in domains from the cults of apical deities Paria Caca and Chaupi Ñamca to the household relationship between inlaws. To imagine this pattern consistently applied to the battles of biblical Adonai is difficult. Comparison with non-Andean South American material (a task scarcely begun) may offer another path to the isolation of underlying prehispanic content.

R. Tom Zuidema (1977: 44-47) argues that some Huarochirí myths share specific structures with a myth of the Brazilian Bororo, presumably because the two mythologies share roots much older than Spanish domination.

Andean religion and "Inca religion"

Much of what is published (especially in English) about prehispanic and colonial Andean religion treats the terms "Inca" and "Andean" as near synonyms. Vira Cocha, popularized as the invisible "creator god of the Incas" (Demarest 1981; Pease 1986; Rowe 1960; Szeminski 1985b; Urbano 1981) fascinated colonial Spaniards who thought they detected in him a possible intuition via "natural religion" (MacCormack 1985) of Christendom's supreme deity. This idea still absorbs modern scholars captivated by the sophistication of Tawantinsuyu, the Inca Empire. The Incas partly persuaded nonInca Andean people, too. As we learn from chapters 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23, the Incas tried to reorganize local cults into a hierarchy capped by Inca numina, and partly succeeded. Indeed, their persuasions lasted longer than their sovereignty. By the midcolonial era, when Inca rule had receded into the golden mists of ideological nostalgia, many Peruvian Indians themselves came to recall the deified Sun and his incarnation the Inca god-king as compelling symbols of native identity and native glory (Flores Galindo 1987).

But in order to interpret the Huarochirí manuscript one must appreciate that the equation between Inca religion and Andean religion is an ideological sleight. The invisible Vira Cocha relates to Andean religious life somewhat as the Prime Mover Unmoved does to Mediterranean saint cults. At the summit of priestly and imperial society, prayers like Pachacuti Yamqui's stirring Inca invocations ([1613] 1968: 287-288, 292, 294) to the unseen source of order and beauty may have voiced metaphysical questions that we define as preeminently religious. But the religious life of most of the people who made up Tawantinsuyu's innumerable subject "nations" had little to do with abstract or universalizing expressions. Worship usually focused on sacred beings peculiar to particular kin groups, villages, mountains, canals, and so forth. In fact, religious particularism, expressed in terms of place and descent, lies at the heart of much Andean myth. No doubt discourse of this sort can embody philosophical concerns, no less readily than overtly metaphysical expressions do. But the content is only available by a route that leads through the study of what particular places or mummies (etc.) meant.

This village-based, particularistic version of Andean religious thinking saturates the Huarochirí text. The world that the Huarochirí myth-tellers imagined was structured in terms of grass-roots geography and of genealogy—their pastures and valley lands, their mythicized family tree. The unity of the text, such as it is, is achieved by an attempt (perhaps on the part of the priests called yancas) to locate the historically diverse huacas and their cults in Paria Caca's and Chaupi Ñamca's regional hierarchy and genealogy. Other traditions—the lordly priesthood of the Incas, the onset of Catholicism—are seen through the filter of such local and regional concerns. For long stretches the viewpoint belongs to one group, one collective ego: a group called the Checa, devotees of the ceremonial center Llacsa Tambo, resident (at least nominally) in and around the Spanish resettlement village of San Damián, who considered themselves children of Paria Caca while retaining origin myths apparently separate from his cult (chap. 24). Some of the ritual complexes and myths attached to local features—especially to springs, lakes, and canals—have survived with great vitality into modern times and have been studied by ethnographers (Gelles 1984; Ortiz Rescaniere 1977). For example, the modern descendants of the Concha, who live in an outlying hamlet of San Damián de Checa, still maintain today both the myth and the ritual attached to the lake that feeds their irrigation canals (see chap. 31).

The durability of these myths reflects the Huarochirí people's tenacious attachment to the local resources on which they depend. But it is possible after all to exaggerate the local quality of the myths. Paria Caca was not uniquely the deity of the peoples who speak here; he and his sanctuary were renowned throughout a wide swath of the central and southern Andes. It is likely that, when worshipers from Llacsa Tambo went on pilgrimage to him, they met worshipers from many other places and that their own practice had something in common with that of different kinds of "people called Indians." The same applies to the great coastal shrine Pacha Camac and to Cuni Raya, sometimes called Vira Cocha. Even when the names, episodes, and personalities seem peculiar to Huarochirí, the tellers' general religious concepts (e.g., classes of shrines, types of action attributed to deities and heroes, duties of humans to huacas) are shared among a wider spectrum of Andean societies, including, for example, groups in the Arequipa and Cuzco areas. In these limited senses, while it is mistaken to take the Huarochirí myths as expressions of a pan-Andean religion, one may take them as representative of broader Andean cultural premises and tendencies that are manifest even in apical Inca cults. The sharing of underlying concepts makes possible ethnographic comparison with societies beyond the bounds of Huarochirí Province, both as seen in past times (for example, via the "extirpation of idolatry" trials that postdate the manuscript; see Duviols 1986) and as witnessed by modern ethnographers (see, for example, Valderrama and Escalante 1988, who have studied in distant Arequipa a complex resembling the water cults in chapter 31).

General outline of the Huarochirí manuscript

The Huarochirí manuscript appears not to be the product of polished editing, but neither is it a jumble. With the possible exception of the two unnumbered chapters here called supplements I and II, it seems to be a fair copy edited and in the process of further editing for coherence as a unified narrative. The unification is, however, in many respects incomplete and imperfect. The editor's original intent seems to have been to treat ancient matters earlier in the text and recent ones later, but sometimes when turning to a new source (e.g., at the beginnings of chaps. 13, 24, and 31) he is forced to return to a different origin story. Recollections of past ritual practice and interpolated bits of current ethnographic observation further complicate the text by introducing into many narrations, with specious smoothness, references to times other than the time of the main narrated story. Moreover, the manuscript is full of second thoughts (cross-outs and interlineations, marginalia), tangents, overlaps, cross-references, marginal queries (probably by Father Avila), and cryptic allusions. For all these reasons, to appreciate the coherence of a theme one often must pull together partial accounts from disparate chapters. For this purpose the index supplied by the translators may be useful.

Early times and peoples

The preface (untitled in the original) promises to tell the achievements and beliefs of "the people called Indians" from their "dawning age" up to the present, village by village.

The first chapter sketches the world as it was before the present human race appeared. People lived forever (after a five-day temporary death), at the price of sacrificing half their children to the fire-monster Huallallo Caruincho. At that time, too, the subtropical abundance of the lower valleys extended far up into the heights. This whole rich and cruel world order would be destroyed with the advent of Huaroiri's great deity Paria Caca.

Huallallo's dominion is grouped with other stories of remote antiquity: chapter 2 tells how the Trickster-demiurge Cuni Raya, who "almost matches" the figure of Vira Cocha, passed through the landscape and through the lives of the female deities he seduced. In a Christian-influenced interlude (chap. 15), Cuni Raya, as Vira Cocha, is credited, almost parenthetically, with originally creating nature in an empty universe. Chapter 3, telling the myth of the deluge, and chapter 4, telling of the Sun's disappearance, end the section dedicated to remote antiquity.

The Paria Caca cycle and the myths of group identity

The mythic cycle that forms the unifying core of the text tells the apparition of Paria Caca (chap. 1, sec. 6; chap. 5, secs. 72-73), the fivefold deity who symbolized inclusive ethnic unity among the tellers' various residential and kinship groups. Like many great Andean deities, he is a mountain, a majestic double-peaked snowcap visible on the eastward horizon from the heights of Huarochirí. Many groups venerated him. We hear most about the Checa who gathered at Llacsa Tambo, but chapter 13 concentrates on a relatively distant cluster of villages, the Mama region in the lower Rímac valley. Chapter 30 is a myth of the Allauca, and chapter 31 copiously recounts the viewpoint of the Checa's neighbors, the Concha.

Paria Caca first appeared as five eggs that became five falcons that became five men, the founders of the human groups who appear as the main collective protagonists. These groups are sometimes spoken of in ways suggesting clanlike or sib-like qualities and together, within Paria Caca's cultic organization, are seen as a phratrylike collectivity of groups who "all descend from one forefather" (pref., sec. 2). But before calling them clans one should be careful to note that the text uses no term clearly translatable as 'clan' and that, although the manuscript uses the unilineal idiom for certain limited purposes, other principles of descent, marriage, and residence appear to play at least as important a role in defining groups.

Paria Caca was a stormy being of the heights. He made himself known to humans by favoring a poor man with power to defeat the rich (chap. 5), or, in another tradition, by saving a Huallallo worshiper from the obligation to sacrifice his child (chap. 8). He first appeared on a mountain in what was formerly the domain of the lowland aborigines called Yunca, which was dominated by the (possibly Huanca) deity Huallallo (chap. 5, secs. 38, 55). Once his bond with some of these people was formed, Paria Caca ascended to Huallallo's seat on the high cordillera. There he attacked and expelled the ancient cannibal deity in a world-shaking combat between storm water and volcanic fire (chap. 6, sec. 74; chap. 8; chap. 9, sec. 110; chap. 16, secs. 203-209; chap. 17, secs. 214-219). He carved out in this struggle the titanic landscape of snowcaps and lakes that is his seat and his likeness. It became the sanctuary on the icy heights to which his pilgrims brought their llamas (chap. 9, secs. 119, 127, 138-139; chap. 24, secs. 309-310; chap. 28, sec. 364). Huallallo, exiled, was left to the care of a rival ethnic group called the "dog-eating Huanca" (chap. 9, secs. 110-111; chap. 16, sec. 209). The victorious Paria Caca in his multiple incarnations swept down from the windy heights through the various fertile valleys of the Pacific slope (chap. 8). As he went, he subjected the Yunca to his own people, expelling many of them, reorganizing their lands, creating a cultic order in which both victors and vanquished would participate, and winning the Yunca wealth (e.g., chaps. 9, 25).

What human movements does the Paria Caca mythology allegorize? In a series of highly original studies María Rostworowski de Diez Canseco (1978: 31-147) has interpreted the narratives as reflections of a large and gradual prehistoric movement in which pre-Incaic highlanders of the ethnic group called Yauyo worked their way downward and southwestward, from their early home on the high tundras at the Cañete River headwaters, through various warm irrigated valleys (including the Mala, Lurín, and Rímac valleys, which form the heartland of the mythology), toward the Pacific shore and its rich deltas. Using independent and ostensibly nonmythical bureaucratic records she has been able to document Yauyo populations all over the territory of the manuscript and has mapped their major territorial divisions as understood in the mid- to late sixteenth century (Rostworowski 1988: 56-57). One of these Yauyo populations (that of Chaclla) attested a folk history closely resembling stories in the manuscript (Rostworowski 1988: 54-57).

Linguistic indices are less clear but also suggest some association between Paria Caca's mythology and a Yauyo expansion. Traces of Aymara-like lexicon and phonology in the Huarochirí manuscript indicate that the informants knew or were influenced by the same ethnic language whose modern forms persist as residual "islands" in old Yauyo territory (Gentile Lafaille 1976: 14).

In Inca and early colonial times those natives who classed themselves as Yauyo regarded the focal area of the manuscript, especially what later became the parish of Santa María Jesús de Huarochirí, as the very core of Yauyo political space. The early colonial Yauyo do not seem to have had a king or center of political command, but Yauyo witnesses said that in conducting intranative diplomacy their ancestors had recognized the Ninavilca lords of Huarochirí village as paramount authorities for seeral generations. In 15 5 8, Cristóval Malcachagua of Huarochirí gave unambiguous testimony that the Ninavilcas meant to rally "all the Yauyos" in defending Yauyo coca claims in the middle Chillón valley against Huamantangas and Spaniards (Rostworowski 1988: 94). "Yauyo" is the only term the manuscript uses in categorical contrast to the ethnic terms for foreign neighbors (the various Yunca groups, the Huaman Tanca, and the Huanca; supp. II, sec. 485). All this evidence seems a prima facie reason for treating the manuscript as substantially an artifact of Yauyo culture.

On first inspection Paria Caca does appear to be simply the chief deity of these Yauyo populations, ennobled by Inca patronage but still very much an ethnic symbol. Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala thought of him so ([ 1615 ] 1980: 1: 241). And when Maca Uisa himself, one of Paria Caca's "sons," asked the Inca to dance a priestly dance essential to the Paria Caca cult, he told the Inca to dance it "the way our children from the Yauyo do" (chap. 23, sec. 297).

Nonetheless, one must account for some striking slippages in the association between Paria Caca and Yauyo identity. The predominant tellers of the Huarochirí myths, the Checa, thought the ancient founders of their leading kindreds were not Yauyo but Yunca. They scorned the Yauyo kindreds in Checa as half-wild nomads and barely tolerated their presence in the pilgrimage to Paria Caca (chap. 24, sees. 305-309) until Paria Caca himself taught them to respect the newcomers. In neighboring Concha, "Yauyo country" was a byword for a remote and fruitless backwater (chap. 31, sees. 391, 408). Perhaps such scorn reflects the fact that by 1586 the self-identified Yauyo had shrunk to a tiny ethnic minority comprising only about 5% of the 7,000 tributary households in the huge province to which they gave their name (Dávila Brizeño [1586] 1965: 155).

How should one read these seeming contradictions? One clue is that although the Checa narrator applied the word "Yauyo" to immigrants whose exact place of origin in Yauyos Province was still remembered, and who were considered nomads only recently attached to Checa, he also credited higher-ranking kindreds in Checa with invader origins. The difference was that the higher-ranking kindreds had arrived of old and had inserted themselves in the agricultural social structure created by the ancient Yunca founders in the days of Huallallo Caruincho. A Concha teller gave much the same account of his group in chapter 31.

Apparently the Checa and Concha used the term "Yauyo" to refer to recent herder migrants, while regarding their own ancestry, which might well have been historically no less Yauyo, as quasiautochthonous because it had been grafted by ritual and marriage onto the regimen that included "village-owning," valley-oriented agricultural huacas. Perhaps they saw no paradox in scorning people of the very sort that Paria Caca favors in his myths—impoverished wanderers from the heights—because they regarded their own ancestors as more powerful "children of Paria Caca." The proof of their superiority was that these ancestors had won dominion over Yuncas and the right to aggregate Yunca huacas into their religion while their compatriots still wandered the heights in monoethnic pastoral groups.

As a working hypothesis, one may imagine that Paria Caca's cult as recorded here—that is, in a state of bipolar coordination with Chaupi Ñamca's cult and with Yunca components generally—is the precipitate of, and a commentary on, a long and apparently still continuing series of migrations or incursions from the southerly highland fringes of the manuscript's territory. As in other world areas where pastoralists penetrated the edges and eventually the centers of agricultural societies (e.g., China under Mongol rule), the assimilated descendants of early invaders came to inhabit preexisting social and ritual forms and champion them against later invaders.

The crux of Checa and Concha religion appears to be a systematic priestly synthesis that exalts early invader groups by placing their origin myths, eloquent of a mostly pastoral highland way of life and a kinship-based social ideology (that is, the myths of Paria Caca's "children"), into a dyadic relation with ancient macroregional cults rooted in coastal agropastoral society (those of Chaupi Ñamca, Pacha Camac, etc.). It does so by interpreting the deity who was taken to represent the sum total of invader origins, namely, Paria Caca, as Chaupi Ñamca's brother and wife-giver to Pacha Camac. In this way Paria Caca was imbued like Pacha Camac and Chaupi Ñamca with a power and an identity transcending immediate ethnicity and locality.

The spokesmen of the system, perhaps Yunca priests belonging to Caca Sica ayllu or their followers, defined Checa cultural identity as descent from the creators of one local instance of such highlandvalley fusion. To be an ancestrally entitled worshiper of both Chaupi Ñamca and Paria Caca, and of their local affiliated cults, was the crux of belonging. The term "Yauyo" in Checa and Concha accordingly connoted neither 'foreigner' nor 'compatriot' but 'parvenu': immigrants not yet fully inserted into the regional-scale cultic order and its local apparatus.

This view helps us understand a problem of belief, namely, why outsiders like Guaman Poma saw the Paria Caca religion as a Yauyo cult par excellence, while the people of Checa used the word "Yauyo" to label a group barely admitted to Paria Caca's pilgrimage. To characterize the historical connection between Yauyos and Yuncas objectively is much harder. Whether the early highland aggressors whom the tellers identified with the mummified heroes called "children of Paria Caca" were in fact exclusively Yauyo, or whether such groups can be dated and archaeologically linked to Yauyo populations at all, remains unknown. For these reasons in the introduction we shall simply call the mythic protagonists "invaders" except where there is a specific warrant for using the term "Yauyo."

Rostworowski identifies the Yunca or coastal groups at whose expense the children of Paria Caca purportedly expanded as the two large politically unified collectivities (señoríos) closest to modern Lima. One, occupying the lower Rimac and Lurín valleys, was called Ychma locally and Pacha Camac in Inca usage; it housed the mighty shrine of Pacha Camac and enjoyed great religious prestige even after Yauyo and Inca depredations reduced its political reach. The other was the domain of the lord called Colli Capac, whose people the Huarochirí narrators called the Colli and whose seat the Spanish called Collique. It was based in the lower Chillón valley (Rostworowski 1988: 60-62). The Checa thought the Colli had founded the highland settlements their own ancestors conquered (chap. 24, sec. 341; chap. 25).

Chapters 11, 12, 17, 24, 25, and 26 contain what appear to be "charter" myths of specific invader groups that identified their founders as "children" of Paria Caca. If they have a unified thrust, it is that Paria Caca's fivefold self, ambiguously developed as a union of brother-huacas (chap. 8, secs. 99, 105; chap. 16, sec. 202) or of Paria Caca's human "children" (chap. 9, sec. 113), through many victories created a regional order embracing both victors and vanquished. By a combination of warfare and courtship at superhuman and human levels, Paria Caca turned his relation with the rich aborigines of the valleys, the Yunca, from one of strangeness and enmity into one of coordinated worship, in-law kinship, and interdependency (though certainly not without an abiding tension between groups). The Paria Caca heroes' victories over the Yunca, whom the myths picture as wealthy but immoral, fill several chapters. Chapter 31, the charter of the lineages of the Concha (neighbors to the Checa; see especially secs. 388-403) pictures the invaders as trying to assimilate to the aboriginal norms of their in-laws. Paria Caca's complementarity of form and function with the local female (possibly Yunca) huaca Chaupi Ñamca suggests that, overall, the mythology of Huarochirí construes a folk memory of conquest as an ideology of affinal interdependence.

How does this happen? The memorable fifth chapter is the locus classicus of a theme repeated many times in the manuscript: the poor ragamuffin who, because he is privy to a superhuman secret, carries within him a future power that his rich and splendid contemporaries cannot see. In chapter 5 it is the Baked Potato Gleaner, a byword for poverty, who makes Paria Caca's potential power real by a twofold action: he overturns the extant order's hierarchy (curing but simultaneously humbling a Yunca lord) and at the same time he becomes literally wedded to it (marrying the humbled lord's daughter). Empowered, he introduces Paria Caca's cult to a society transformed by combat and courtship.

The manuscript's ideological image of the invader-aborigine interaction as a passage from hostility to symbiosis may be seen as a one-sided rendering of, rather than a mere fiction about, the politics of coexistence between highlanders and coastal peoples. The dynamic it mythically expresses seems to have been driven by the highlanders' need for cultivable land, which they sought by downward invasion and establishment of "vertical" outliers in the mid-altitudes. Lowlanders in turn sought to capture more water sources by extending their canals upward and exerting political power over the lakes and streams of the heights (Torero 1974: 73-79). The 1558 lawsuit involving the Yauyo of Chaclla and the Yunca of Collique (among others) shows how in prehispanic times the downward penetration of Yauyo "vertical archipelagos" (Murra [1972] 1975a) led to conflicts so mutually costly that Yunca and highlanders reached a modus vivendi including cooperation on shared irrigation work and ritual reciprocity between leaders. The Huarochirí text glorifies some roughly comparable modus vivendi in mythic idiom. But the lawsuit also shows what the Huarochirí manuscript deemphasizes: that such arrangements were delicate and unstable, liable to lapse into prolonged violence when politically stressed. Even under Inca pacification, the Yauyo of Chaclla, their non-Yauyo Canta rivals, and the Colli Yunca incessantly tried to cheat and coerce each other. When the Spanish invasion unleashed the resulting tensions, the fights and suits that followed did much to drive several polities into helpless poverty (Rostworowski 1988: 83-291).

Chaupi Ñamca and the mythology of gender

Several passages detail the priesthoods, games, sacrifices, huaca-impersonating dances, and oracles that ritually organized the interlaced aboriginalinvader societies that the tellers saw as the product of their ancestors' victories. Although the relationships among groups and deities are complex and often far from obvious, one unifying motif is clear: the union between invaders and aborigines is ideologized in terms of a fraternal tie between the highest male deity of the invaders and the highest female deity of the aborigines. The link is taken to warrant marriage alliance between their respective human progenies. In this scheme female deities play an enormous role.

Chaupi Ñamca, supreme among female huacas, was a land and river deity of the lower Rimac whose great temple at Mama symbolized her ancient standing as Pacha Camac's wife (Dávila Brizeño [1586] 1965: 163). Her name means 'center Ñamca' and she may, like her spouse, have had a following across various valleys; in 1562, Mama was the place chosen for a summit meeting of native lords from the whole region (Murra 1980: xviii). The devotees of Paria Caca have conceptualized her component cults as a fivefold sisterhood, so as to match the form of Paria Caca (chap. 10, sec. 147; chap. 13, secs. 175-183). In the synthesis that dominates the manuscript, Paria Caca and Chaupi Ñamca are made into siblings (chap. 13, sec. 172; Avila [1645] 1918: 64). These claims apparently mirror increased Yauyo penetration of domains in which her marriage to Pacha Camac had once formed a dominant cultic axis. Indeed, in one version the newcomers' claim goes beyond fraternal symmetry to imply superiority: Chaupi Ñamca's five selves are styled "daughters" of Paria Caca, whereas Paria Caca's selves are never said to be her children (chap. 8, sec. 101). The "children of Paria Caca" have also expressed their conviction of political superiority by making their father-huaca wife-giver in relation to Pacha Camac.

In establishing a sibling relation between male mountain-huaca and female valley-huaca, the Paria Caca priests may have followed an earlier prototype. A partially obscured tradition (chap. 8, secs. 106-107; chap. 10, sec. 143) allows us to glimpse Mana Ñamca or Mama Ñamca, a synonym or comportent of Chaupi Ñamca who was once a lowland female counterpart to the male highland huaca Huallallo Caruincho (and who, like him, was a fiery power expelled by Paria Caca).

Within the dominant synthesis, ritual order richly embodied the idea of male-female symmetry at the apex of huaca genealogy. Paria Caca's priesthoods and his great festival the Auquisna (chap. 9, secs. 117-140) find their explicit counterpart in Chaupi Ñamca's festival the Chaycasna (chap. 9, sec. 122; chap. 10, secs. 149-151), so that the ritual and mythical order opens out in a grand sexual complementarity on the pattern Invader : Paria Caca : Male :: Aborigine : Chaupi Ñamca : Female. The fraternal treatment of the male-female apical deities tends to express ideals of harmony or equilibrium between groups at a totalizing, wholesociety level.

However, as one passes from the supreme powers to their huaca offspring and their human descendants, the dominant gender metaphor changes from brother-sister fraternity to marriage. A repetitive motif concerns invaders, sons of Paria Caca, who marry Yunca-descended women, implicitly daughters of Chaupi Ñamca (chap. 5; chap. 24, secs. 305314). Thus the sons of Paria Caca become indebted wife-takers to Yunca groups and their huacas.

This conviction of indebtedness parallels what was remembered as invader expropriation of the female and Yunca element in nature, namely, irrigable land. On the ecological plane the relationship between invader and aborigine is likened to the union of wild water from the heights (Yauyo-like, male) with the soil of the valleys (Yunca-like, female). The motif is discussed in the section below on the concept pacha. Because this union—irrigation—was in fact the greatest agrarian wealth of the western Andes, many myths can also be read as combined cosmic and political charters for local groups' rights to specific lands and canals. The abundance of landmark detail in the text, which we have tried in notes to key to modern cartography, reflects the function of myth as a memory bank of information about the tellers' generally invasionbased claims on resources.

The conjugal metaphor for invader-aboriginal relations carries a different symbolic load from the fraternal one. Whereas the siblinghood of the apical huacas is a static, merely classificatory relation, marriage myths are myths of social dynamics. They express not only an ideal of productive and reproductive union, but also an image of the many tensions involved in creating such union. For example, Collquiri, a water-huaca from the heights (chap. 31, secs. 408-436), must fight with his prospective inlaws and submit to their humiliating discipline before his desire for their beautiful land-huaca daughter can turn from destructive lust (flooding) into productive marriage (irrigation). Indeed, all the myths related to marriage treat it as an image of social stress and change latent in union. In chapter 5 Paria Coca's protégé Huatya Curi, a foreign male who wants to marry a human incarnation of Chaupi Ñamca, garners the hatred of his brother-in-law and establishes himself in his new household only by fighting within it (secs. 49-70). On the political level, accepting a foreign spouse is always a gesture of submission that one accepts at peril to one's autonomy, and for this reason Paria Coca's son Maca Uisa turns down the Inca's honorific gift (chap. 23, sec. 300). Even the Inca himself forfeited his empire by accepting a bride from a secret power that turned out to be the Spanish (chap. 14). While one may read these texts as comments on marriage as such, they also give voice in kinship idiom to fundamental doubts about the political stability of conquest-based agropastoral society.

In sum, the gender mythology of Huarochirí, though centered on an idealized complementarity, is at the same time emphatically a conflict model of society. It envisions every complementarity, whether marital, ritual, ecological, or political, as shadowed by submerged conflicts that had to be repressed in order to institute it. The inseparability of complementarity from conflict is implied to be a motor force in the mutability (what we would call the historicity) of west Andean society.

The Incas as seen from Huarochirí

Chapters 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23 vividly illustrate how the Inca conquest looked to provincial natives and give important clues as to how Incas manipulated the local pantheon. The Inca himself was said to have acknowledged and even subsidized local huacas—both those that local people thought of as ancient, like Paria Caca (chap. 18, sec. 220), and those newly emerging, like Llocllay Huancupa (chap. 20, sec. 243). This policy may be related to the fact that the Yauyos were reputed to be generally pro-Inca. Early evidence from the northernmost part of the Huarochirí orbit indicates that the Incas favored Yauyo efforts to penetrate the Yunca and gradually enlarged Yauyo enclaves based at Chaclla to the detriment of the anti-Inca Yunca of Collique and rival non-Yauyo highland groups (Rostworowski 1988: 148, 161, 178). Guaman Poma ([1615] 1980: 1 : 240-241) drew a picture of the Inca adoring an image of Pocha Camac in the shrine of Paria Caca.

The tellers of the manuscript likewise expressed their alliance with Incas in the idiom of ritual, adoring and helping finance some of the pan-Andean deities that Inca propaganda promoted. Among these figured Pocha Camac, the originally Yunca 'World Maker and World Shaker' whose shrinecitadel lay at the western edge of the mythic landscape (chap. 22, secs. 276-284; Patterson 1984[?]). So thoroughly had the Incas intercalated regional and local cults with royal religion that the Huarochirí people thought the Incas themselves owed some of their victories to help from Paria Coca's offspring (chap. 19, secs. 228-229; chap. 23).

The tendency to equate Cuni Raya, a coastal Trickster-demiurge embodying the transformation of landforms by water, with the invisible Vira Cocha fostered by Inca cult may also have been heightened by interaction with Incas. But for the Huarochirí narrators, this huaca stood over and against Inca power as against all other human power. Chapter 14 recounts an enigmatic Cuni Raya Vira Cocha myth alluding to the fall of the Incas. It apparently refers to the fact that the Incas had divided their domains in dynastic struggle just before the Spaniards arrived. The narrator tells how Cuni Raya Vira Cocha inveigled the Inca king with a beautiful bride and then, inducing him to "draw a line across the world" (chap. 14, sec. 196), made him fatally retreat from his sacred center at Cuzco. During the resultant outbreak of chaos, "people scrambled for political power, each saying to the others, 'Me first!"Me first!"' (chap. 14, sec. 197). While they wrangled uselessly in civil warfare the Spanish appeared at Cajamarca.

The Spanish invasion as seen from Huarochirí

Even more remarkable are the unique chapters that give us a glimpse of how natives, after a lifetime of colonial afflictions, looked back on the first confused moments of their contact with the Spanish. The first inkling of the epochal events arrives in the same way that the prophecy of Paria Coca's imminent victory had arrived long before (chap. 5), as a secret that Paria Caca vouchsafed to a despised ragamuffin from the heights. This time the prophet of the coming crisis is the "Mountain Man" Llacuas Quita Pariasca (chap. 18). The same chapter tells how one huaca priest survived the Spaniards' attempt to burn him alive and became a leader in preserving and sheltering the huacas amid Spanish attacks. Many references (e.g., chap. 9, secs. 122, 125, 136, 137; chap. 10, secs. 144, 148, 149; chap. 13, sec. 175; supp. I, secs. 449, 469, 473) show that those who rescued the huacas succeeded in hiding their cults (sometimes, a censorious voice warns, by camouflaging them in Catholic ritual) far into the colonial era. At least one of the contributors to the text regularly obliges Father Avila by warning that many Indians' conversion was a faÁade (chap. 9, secs. 133-134). Other chapters (20-21) reveal that even Father Avila's most obsequious ally, Don Cristóbal Choque Casa, in a certain sense still believed in—was even dominated by—the "evil ancient demons." These chapters tell with astonishing vividness and intimacy of Cristóbal's visionary combat with the huaca Llocllay Huancupa and of how Llocllay returned to battle Cristóbal once more in a dream. Cristóbal's dilemma—the need to validate his Christianity by conquering huacas, combined with inability to conquer them convincingly without invoking the same mythic paradigm he proposed to replace—adds up to a uniquely moving image of the Andean convert's stressful and compromised position.

Specialized chapters

The manuscript contains some specialized chapters perhaps given in reply to questions about arts that Tridentine Catholicism forbade as diabolically inspired, heretical, or superstitious. Chapter 29, short but important, sketches Andean astronomy or astrology. It suggests that the tellers thought of certain "black" constellations and certain star clusters as the celestial prototypes of the earthly beings they resembled. Visionaries saw these constellations "descend" to earth and shower their protégés with specific vital force.

Chapters 27 and 28 treat the cult of the dead. Chapter 27, a droll explanation of why the dead no longer come back, echoes a motif from chapter 1, namely, that humans must accept irremediable death as the alternative to Malthusian disaster. Chapter 28 recounts funeral and commemorative custom, somewhat evasively in the crucial matter of how ancestors' bodies were treated. Perhaps the tellers hoped to avoid setting persecutors on the trail of their beloved and (ideally) everlasting ancestral mummies.

Two "supplements" (which may be rough drafts) lay down the ritual duties of couples who give birth to magical children—twins or babies with small birth defects. These unusually difficult sections afford an idea of the complex ritual obligations embedded in in-law ties, with emphasis on the ritual exchange of immense amounts of coca and other wealth.

The Huarochirí region's people and their historic situation

These myths relate intimately to the real-life landscape and the historic conjuncture that generated them. For one thing, the deities themselves are land features and local climatic forces. For another, these priesthoods and celebrations themselves organized productive work, so that the religious regimen encodes practical as well as ideological information. Finally, every facet of religious organization—spatial, calendric, and hierarchical—reflects the pressure of colonial circumstance.

The westernmost range of the high Andes runs northwest-southeast, parallel to Peru's Pacific shore. The long slope from its icy crests down to the desert beaches forms a rugged watershed cut at intervals by many small rivers carrying meltoff from the heights to the ocean. The scene of the Huarochirí mythology is a segment of that slope. Most of the places mentioned in it are close to three valleys: the Rímac River valley, on whose lower banks the Spanish built Lima, but whose upper tributaries, the Chaclla and Mama rivers of the manuscript, were still mostly native territory in 1600; to the south, the Pachacámac River valley, today called the Lurín, on whose headwaters stood the colonial parish of San Damián; and still farther south the "River of Huarochirí," today the Mala, which gave its name to a colonial parish as well as to the province and to the manuscript. The people who made the manuscript also seem to have included in their range of meaningful geography one valley to the north of Lima, the Chillan, and two more to the south of Huarochirí, the valleys of the Omas and Lunaguaná (today Cañete) rivers.

Ayllu: corporate landholding collectivity self-defined as ancestor-focused kindred

The tellers of the myths habitually described their society as built of collectivities called ayllus. In many passages the ayllu figures as the basic unit of ritual action:

... in the old days, people used to go to consult Paria Caca at night, taking along llamas or other things.

They used to go taking turns, ayllu by ayllu. (chap. 24, sec. 309)

A person's immediate religious responsibility was to his or her ayllu's senior members. When Lanti Chumpi discovered what she guessed might be a new huaca (perhaps a buried figurine or unusual stone), her first thought was to take the find to them (chap. 20, sec. 237). We know that each ayllu made its own claim to religious authority because each told its own version of certain myths (chap. 13, sec. 187).

But what was the makeup of the ayllu? The classic sources look unhelpful at first glance. The great lexicographer Diego Gonçález Holguín ([1608] 1952: 39-40) gives a definition of ayllu so broad as to include virtually all kinds of descent, kinship, and even territorial solidarity. Avila thought an ayllu was something like the Spanish kin group defined by a shared surname (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 257), which would suggest patrilineal bias.

Internal evidence from the manuscript, however, suggests something other than a corporate unilineal principle. Chapter 7 (sec. 91) says, "There is within this ayllu a patrilineage [yumay] which bears the name Chauincho." From this we infer, first, that ayllu is a separate concept from patrilineage, and second, that an ayllu could contain more than one patrilineage. ayllu is therefore not the minimal or the only unit of descent ideology. However, the fact that the passage just cited goes on to speak of the Chauincho patrilineage as an ayllu (with a crossing-out eloquent of hesitation on someone's part) suggests that the term ayllu could subsume the concept of lineage. This makes it difficult to distinguish the two in certain instances.

We also know, because chapter 13 (sec. 187) implies as much, that a given territorial settlement (llacta; see below), which we usually gloss 'village', could have multiple ayllus: "in each village, and even ayllu by ayllu, people give different versions . . ." People understood the internal dynamics of their local communities as a play of more or less rival ayllus.

The tellers saw rights to land and other immovable assets as lodged in the ayllus: "As soon as Tutay Quiri's children had expelled those Yunca, they began to distribute among themselves, according to their own ayllus, the fields, the houses, and the ayllu designations" (chap. 24, sec. 316). This passage then tells us that even the invaders felt bound to redefine their own organization on the pattern of preexisting local ayllus, which suggests they had a high degree of corporate definition and legitimacy as well as important functions. Since it goes on to say the Yasapa ayllu people were silversmiths, one may further speculate that some ayllus practiced, or at least were traditionally associated with, occupational specialties.

So it is relatively safe to think of the ayllu as a named, landholding collectivity, self-defined in kinship terms, including lineages but not globally defined as unilineal, and frequently forming part of a multi-ayllu settlement. But what exactly were the kinship criteria of inclusion? This question, an ancient mare's nest in Andean research, yields partly to Karen Spalding's exploration (1984: 28-30, 4852; see also Castelli, Koth, and Mould de Pease 1981). Gonçález Holguin shows us that the most general sense of ayllu and its derived words is "that of grouping elements or persons together on the basis of similarity or species, or dividing up a larger group on the basis of the same criteria" (Spalding 1984: 29). "Similarity or species" could mean tax such as animal or plant species, but, when applied to people, ayllu usually meant "descendants of a common ancestor." "The term was commonly defined as any group—family, lineage, or generation—whose members were related to one anothe through their descent from a common ancestor" (Spalding 1984: 28-29), that is, an ancestor-focused bilateral kindred. Zuidema (1973: 16-21) has developed the argument toward a detailed model of ancestor classification and cultic organization.

Spalding's definition has useful corollaries. First it reminds us that, like such spatial terms as pacha, ayllu is the name of a concept of relatedness and not of an entity with specific dimensions. It has no inherent limits of scale; in principle, it applies to all levels from sibling groups to huge kindreds, clanlike groups, or even whole ethnic groups defined by reference to common origin and territory. An ayllu can readily be understood as consisting of multiple patrilineages (or, in principle, matrilineages) insofar as any given member can trace descent from the "founder" or apex via a given child of the "founder" (and so forth, in potentially segmenting ramifications). Platt ([1978] 1986: 230231) has clearly demonstrated a varied-scale usage among modern Bolivian highlanders, who reckon upward from the "minimal ayllu"—small clusters of patrilocal rural neighborhoods—up through "minor," "major," and finally "maximal" ayllus that ascend to include the entire ethnic group. The various levels of ayllu organization may each have specific terminologies, typically referring to their political functions. For example, in Platt's area, the "minimal" ayllu was called cabildo (civic council) in its political functioning, and Spalding (1984: 51) adduces a Spanish witness who understood the Inca decimal term pachaca ('hundred') to mean an ayllu of a hundred households or over, suitable by its size for treatment as an administrative entity in its own right. In the Huarochirí manuscript, the usage of ayllu terminology becomes less confusing if one recognizes that an ayllu may be part of a larger ayllu. In this sense, the "children of Paria Caca," the large (perhaps ethnic) group that forms the mythology's collective subject, a group of people "who all descend from one forefather" (pref., sec. 2), is a "maximal ayllu."

Second, as Spalding also emphasizes, for practical purposes it was not precise genealogy that finally decided who belonged to an ayllu, but rather social conduct—including political alliance—befitting a genealogically connected person. As with many concepts in the domain of kinship, ayllu may be understood partly as an ideology built up to explain patterns of behavior rooted in the residence rules, which in turn often reflect the demands of a given geographical, technological, and demographic reality. Access to ayllu-held assets (and claims to collective ayllu ownership continued far into the colonial era) was given in return for exchanged labor and exchanged ritual participation on a kinship model. One can see in the myths of Concha ayllu (chap. 31, sec. 391) that genealogical connection alone was insufficient to bestow land on the two Concha lineages that had become politically disconnected. But adoption combined with political or marital alliance was seen as sufficient to create ayllu entitlements even when there was no genealogical tie (chap. 31, sec. 403). ayllu was a political fact, and cultic practice lodged in it regulated practical matters of economy and power.

Llacta: 'village' as cultic and territorial unit

By the time the Huarochirí manuscript was written, colonial coercion had overhauled the relationships between people and territory. If the prehispanic Huarochirí region resembled those known elsewhere in the Peruvian Andes, each of its major settlements probably controlled "archipelagos" of mostly non-nucleated residence spread over the various productive tiers of the mountain slope and the coast. But by 1608 the parishes where Avila was working—for example, San Damián de Checa, focal point of the manuscript—no longer entirely followed this model. Villages like San Damián had been carved out in a scheme of forced resettlement (reducción) that Viceroy Francisco de Toledo had begun almost forty years earlier. When administrators herded Andean peasants into resettlement villages (Gade and Escobar 1982; Spalding 1984: 214-216) they fused together multiple Andean settlements—the ones called llacta in prehispanic usage—into a larger, more accessible, more governable and exploitable "Indian town" on a Spanish plan with plazas, churches, and streets laid out on a grid. Most of the places with Spanish (saint) names in the manuscript belong to this Toledan reordering of territory.

Why, then, did people keep orienting their religion around a map that no longer strictly fit the productive space of politics and economy? After the initial coercions of resettlement, from the 1580s on, older relations to the landscape partly reasserted themselves both in practice and in ideology. In practice, productive efficiency and the chance to hide from tribute collectors enticed people back upward into the non-nucleated pastoral hamlets of the heights and downward into relatively hidden farming settlements in river canyons (Málaga 1974). Nor, in imagination, did the establishment of a Christian sacred geography centered on parish churches empty the landscape of non-Christian meaning. The Huarochirí storytellers c. 1600 saw all around them their parents' ruined "old settlements" (pueblos viejos, a common term in papers of the period) and their ancestors' stone "houses of the dead." The pre-resettlement scheme of territoriality, a mental map of social groups attached to place-deities and localized ancestors, still formed a complete and intelligible shadow-geography projected onto the landscape that colonial organizations had already reshaped de facto. Immense huaca-studded spaces of canyons and high tundra, fields and trails, embodied an Andean world view at least as cogently as the small, dense space inside the new churches figured Christianity. Since outdoor space was also the space of work and livelihood, the very cycles of herding and farming continuously retaught what Sunday sermons sought to erase.

The commonest term for the anciently defined settlement, llacta, is not the simple equivalent of 'town' or 'village', which denote a portion of territory or the legal corporation that governs it. A llacta in its old sense might be defined as a triple entity: the union of a localized huaca (often an ancestor-deity), with its territory and with the group of people whom the huaca favored. The word llacta could thus be used to mean the deity that was master of a settlement. In chapter 24 (sec. 325), where the original text says that the "llactas" divided up the llama herds among themselves, a marginal note clarifies that this means the "idols," that is, the huacas that defined the llactas, and our translation uses the latter sense.

The word llactayuc (glossed 'aborigine', 'native', or 'founder') therefore means something more complex than 'original resident'. It implies both being possessor of a local huaca's sanctum and being possessed by it. When the heroes of the myths conquered lands and peoples, they also acquired local ritual obligations and even, it seems, grafted themselves into the genealogical categories reckoned from the huaca: "As we said in another chapter, this land was once all full of Yunca. As soon as Tutay Quiri's children had expelled those Yunca, they began to distribute among themselves, according to their own ayllus, the fields, the houses, and even the ayllu designations" (chap. 24, sec. 316).

The chain of human movements and transformations by which the Checa people explained their social organization emphasizes at every stage a pattern of huacas among whose territories human groups move and fight. huacas might travel on the way to establishing their dwellings but once victorious they had—they were—their locales, and it was the deity-locale that gave wealth and identity to human groups. The Checa explained all changes, both prehispanic and recent, with reference to the geography and the relative fortunes of huacas. To the tellers, the explanation of society and its genesis was written out in the landscape—even where Spaniards had wrecked every visible monument or substituted crosses for huacas.

Even now llacta is essentially the name of a relationship, not of a type of settlement. Like ayllu, the term implies no particular scale. In modern Quechua one calls any unit from one's hamlet to one's country "my llacta." Since the word gives no suggestion of size, either demographic or spatial, the manuscript usually leaves us guessing as to whether a given llacta is a hamlet, village, town, city, region, or country. The answer will come, if at all, from archaeological work as yet undone. Most of the actions in the myths seem from context to concern agricultural villages, and in most cases we have glossed llacta as 'village'. But 'town', 'city', 'region', and 'country' are hardly out of the question. When one visits the immense ruined city of Cajamarquilla, within the space of the manuscript but predating it, one wonders if the mythic scene could not have been far more urban than generally imagined.

The original text

The Huarochirí manuscript is ff. 64r-114r of manuscript number 3169 of the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid. The original lacks title, date, and author. It is the fourth item among six manuscripts about Andean religion, from Francisco de Avila's own collection, all bound together. Among these writings are whole texts and abstracts from some of the most important sources on the subject, such as the Relación de las fábulas y ritos de los Incas ([1575?] 1959) of Cristóbal de Molina "cuzqueño" and the original of Joan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamaygua's partly Quechua Relación de antigüedades deste reyno del Perú ([1613] 1968) as well as works by Juan Polo de Ondegardo and Garcilaso Inca de la Vega. It also contains the manuscript of Francisco de Avila's Tratado, a translation, or more accurately a paraphrase with digressive commentary, of the same material contained in chapters 1-7 of the Huarochirí manuscript.

The Huarochirí manuscript is written in an ordinary competent scribal handwriting. The chapter divisions and titles used here are from the original. But the original does not have a consistent system of paragraph divisions or sentence divisions: some sentence boundaries are ambiguous. Various pen strokes resembling parentheses, commas, and other small symbols occur in the text, but they do not seem to add up to a consistent system of punctuation. (Scribal papers of the period normally lack consistent punctuation.) The text is in a variety of Quechua with the exception of the Spanish chapter headings of chapters 1-6, some borrowed Spanish words, and some marginal queries and annotations, probably by Father Avila. Irregular pagination and handwriting size indicate that the manuscript may have been compiled in noncontinuous bursts of effort. The text comes "from the hand and pen of Thomás," according to a marginal note over halfway through the text (chap. 23, sec. 291), but we do not know anything about "Thomás" save that he seems (from his Quechua-influenced errors in Spanish) not to have been a native-or a particularly accomplished-Spanish speaker. Whether he was only an amanuensis or was also the compiler of the testimonies is unknown. Thomás' practiced handwriting suggests he may have been an escribano de naturales (bilingual scribe), village council scribe, or other native functionary of the colonial regime.

The date of the Huarochirí manuscript is debatable. Avila's Tratado partially paraphrases the manuscript, or a draft of it, and bears the date 1608, so the manuscript seems prima facie to predate the end of 1608. But by how much? In chapter 9 (sec. 133) a narrator tells us it is cay pisi huatallarac, which at first glance seems to mean 'scarcely a year', since Father Avila came onto the San Damián scene. Were that reading unambiguous, we could agree that the date must be 1598 because, as Duviols ascertained, Avila arrived in Huarochirí in 1597 (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 235). But cay pisi huatallarac could also mean 'just a few years', admitting a later date. And as Antonio Acosta's important researches (1987a, 1987b), summarized in the next section, suggest, there are strong reasons to consider dates considerably later than 1598.

The possible genesis of the text in the local conjuncture

The common attribution of the manuscript to Father Francisco de Avila is erroneous, but he certainly was a key figure in the local conjuncture that forced the manuscript into being. The following paragraphs summarize recent research by the Spanish historian Antonio Acosta, whose archival inquiry (1987b: 551-616) brings the local crisis into clearer focus and suggests a more plausible genesis for the text than the self-serving version available from Avila's own testimony.

The pioneer of seventeenth-century anti-huaca persecution was born in Cuzco probably in 1573, the abandoned, perhaps illegitimate baby of an unknown couple. The Spanish couple who found him at their doorstep gave him the Spanish name Francisco de Avila Cabrera. Avila later, but dubiously, claimed he knew his ancestry to be noble; others claimed he was half-Indian, and to his misfortune this became the common opinion. Acosta (1987b: 557-558) finds reason to question it. If Avila thought himself mestizo, it would have been against his interest to say so given the racial impediment to ordination during his youth, so his silence on the point cannot be decisive. One witness in 1610 called him mestizo, without proof, and a 1641 witness thought he looked Indian (Acosta 1987b: 556-557 note; Spalding 1984: 253-254). But these accusations of mixed birth came after Avila had risen to prominence and could well have been falsehoods intended to sabotage his career. Such doubts leave room to question the common supposition that his vengeful attitude to Indian religion grew from the pain of mixed (therefore impure and stigmatized) birth or from resultant abandonment.

Avila showed talent in a Cuzco Jesuit school and went to Lima to study at San Marcos University in 1592. In 1596 he was ordained and in 1597 posted as curate to San Damián de Checa, one of the reducción parishes near Huarochirí. It was a plum appointment. Avila's Jesuit connections probably had much to do with his career there, for the Jesuits over twenty years earlier had pioneered what they recognized as an unusually rich mission field—one where Andean religion had already shown strong resistance to some forty years of intermittent Catholic intervention. One passage (chap. 20, sets. 244-247) sketches the fluctuating, but never extinguished, fortunes of the huaca priesthood through three generations of colonial leadership.

Even within normal limits of law, a curate like Avila had access to ample native labor. But, in addition, by the date of Avila's arrival it had become usual though illegal for priests serving Indian parishes to parlay their ecclesiastical holiday levies and salaries, combined with legal leverage over native nobles, into business enterprises large enough to rival the incomes of rural Peru's opulent semi-feudal civil elite (LavaIIé 1982). In time, it seems, this sort of practice led Avila into controversy. When he was a new curate, in 1598, an inspection praised his pastoral work. But a sign of conflict appeared in a 1600 "secret inspection and hearing" that turned up accusations of commercial abuses. Although he was officially cleared, the inspection reveals that like many rural clerics he had begun to make local enemies.

Four later inspections left Avila's record superficially restored. In 1607 Avila gathered testimonies on his "life and morals" to buttress his continuing appeal for a higher post. At the last minute, how ever, he met a fateful opposition: a faction of his native parishioners mounted an ecclesiastical lawsuit against him. Both colonial chieftains and commoners accused him, and their accusations were more numerous than in ordinary cases of this sort (frequent, to be sure, in the period). They accused him of absences from his parish (perhaps, Acosta suggests, he went to Lima in connection with his studies toward the doctorate; 1987b: 574), of charging excessive fees, and of exacting illegal labor levies. Like many other curates, he was said to collect huge amounts of native crops and sell them for private profit. Maybe natives tolerated this because priests of the Andean huacas, too, had enjoyed huge gifts of produce (Acosta 1987b: 576). But Avila may have gone too far in helping himself to his parishioners' labor, which he used to support his partly illegal business enterprises in gunpowder, charcoal, and textile manufacture and to build himself a house in Lima using beams he made his parishioners remove from the roofs of their pre-resettlement village. In a period of declining native population, curates' rising and increasingly arrogant expectations of cheap or unpaid labor acutely angered some natives. It was apparently Avila's project to open a new textile factory at native expense that finally provoked chiefs of the "thousand" of Chaucarima to litigate against him.

The Indians went beyond economic grievances to introduce a doubt about Avila's religious and moral regularity, alleging sexual abuses of various native women (some married) and the fathering of an illegitimate son. He even forced Indian women, "under physical threats, to suckle at their breasts the same puppies which ... when grown, chased and killed the Indians' chickens" (Acosta r 987b: 574). He beat up villagers, including his sacristan, for not serving his desires zealously enough. Once at a christening he hurled the oil at his sacristan's chest. Accusers said he encouraged Indians to give their venerated ancestors silver (see chap. 21, sec. 262) and then himself collected some of it (Acosta 1987b: 572). If true, this suggests that in the early days of his curacy Avila had no urgent scruples about a modus vivendi with "idolatrous" religion. Apparently coexistence entailed the curate's acquiring traditional privileges of huaca priests—access to women, labor donations, crop gifts—and, in return, tolerating (or even profiting from) worship of huacas on Catholic holidays (see chap. 7; chap. 9, sec. 125).

Avila spent some time in a church prison while charges were pending. But his emissaries pressed the natives to recant their accusations, and some did. The record of the trial contains a neat sheaf of the recantations, witness by witness, each with a cover sheet bearing Avila's elegant handwriting. One of Avila's allies in collecting these was the same Cristóbal Choque Casa whose visionary combats chapters 20 and 21 glorify, at that time an obscure son of native nobles. He prepared one of the recantations in Quechua (Taylor 1985: 180). In Acosta's judgment (1987b: 596), "It is believable that the narrative [i.e., the Huarochirí manuscript] could have been compiled at Avila's order in 1608, when his lawsuit with his Indians was in full swing, maybe on his emergence from prison and as a part of his reaction against the Indians who had accused him." Avila probably secured the testimony through one or more native cat's-paws who either interviewed anti-huaca natives or else secured the testimony of huaca believers by lulling them into unawareness of their testimonies' future utility. Cristóbal Choque Casa probably played a key role. It is hard to guess what parts fear, self-interest, and sincere conversion (Cristóbal's or others') played in the extraction of testimonies. Certainly intimidation played a part; for example, Avila made a point of interrogating Indians made vulnerable by frightening illnesses (Acosta 1987b: 600-601, 603). Although in later years Avila never mentioned the manuscript's existence, he probably did use it in hunting down huacas.

When the court responsible for the Indians' suit took depositions in San Damián, a decision only minimally damaging to Avila appeared likely. But instead of letting procedure take its course, he seized the offensive by asking the Ecclesiastical Chapter of Lima to authorize an inquiry into "idolatries" under canon law. Avila, according to his own much later testimony written in 1645 (1918), then led the ecclesiastical judges to the huacas Llacsay Huancupa (perhaps equivalent to Llocllay Huancupa, chaps. 20 and 21), Qqellccas Ccassu (probably quillcas caxo or 'Engraved Rod', chap. 24, sec. 320), and Maca Uisa (chaps. 18, 19, 23). In later testimonies Avila claimed his campaign had arisen only from disinterested zeal, but Acosta's research makes it believable that the campaign was undertaken in revenge against the natives who had accused him of venality and immorality.

According to the 1645 testimony (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 220), it was Cristóbal Choque Casa's revelation that the feast of the Assumption in Huarochirí for 1608 would be used to cover, a rite of Paria Caca that provoked Avila to undertake massive anti-huaca campaigns. It is likely, of course, that in reality nothing new was being revealed. The only new element was Avila's urgent need for favorable publicity. Avila intensified his sleuthing in 1608 and procured public confessions of "idolatry" in a parish meeting that stirred and mobilized his pro-Christian allies. He asked the Jesuits for assistance in confessing a deluge of penitents and was sent two helpers. They pioneered the routine of breaking images, burning mummies, extracting public confessions, and punishing believers that was to become the periodic scourge of Lima archdiocese Indians until at least the 1660s. Avila was able to collect a great deal of stolen religious gear and forced testimony. By September 1609 he was amply ready to dictate his answer to the native accusations, laying the groundwork for a false autobiography that painted the accusations as a reaction to his anti-huaca zeal.

It was also during this crisis that Father Avila prepared the Tratado, that unfinished pamphlet retelling and commenting on the same myths that make up chapters 1 through 7 of the Huarochirí manuscript. The relation between the redaction of the Huarochirí manuscript and Avila's work on the 1608 Tratado has been debated between Hartmann (1981) and Taylor (1982, 1987b: 17-18). The former thinks it probable that Avila based his treatise on the manuscript, while the latter thinks that the two are separate workings of a prior source probably consisting of interview notes. In either case, it is likely that Avila intended the Tratado as a readable exposé designed to win Spanish support for his career. At the time of the Tratado's composition Avila needed public support because the archbishop of Lima, Toribio Mogrovejo, had set policy against the aggressive persecutions that Avila favored.

But, luckily for him, an opponent of gradualist policy toward "backsliding" Indians and a bitter foe of huaca religion, Bartolomé Lobo Guerrero, succeeded to the Archbishopric of Lima in October 1609. According to Taylor (1987b: 18), Avila left continued compilation of anti-huaca intelligence to an Indian associate. Although he did read and annotate part of the product, the Huarochirí manuscript, he never fully edited it.

A bare ten days after Lobo Guerrero's accession, Avila seized the moment to make his case behind the archbishop's closed Lima doors. Shortly afterward he staged a public propaganda spectacular. Avila had carted a load of huacas and mummies "800 years old" into Lima, perhaps the ones he tracked down thanks to the testimonies recorded in the manuscript. Amid immense pomp and publicity he directed a giant auto-da-fé in Lima's great cathedral square on December 20, 1609. Thousands of natives were forced to attend. A spectacle of music, Quechua sermons, and whipping of believers culminated in public sentencing. Among the victims was Hernando Paucar, the same ex-priest of Chaupi Ñamca and early denouncer of huacas whose confessions had opportunely helped Avila. Paucar was tied to a post, lashed two hundred strokes, and condemned to confinement among Jesuits in faraway Chile. Avila then burned the huacas and the ancestral mummies, to the inconsolable grief of those who felt themselves orphaned.

Four days later an ecclesiastical judge absolved Avila of all the accusations pending. Moreover, he was granted the title of "visitador [traveling judge] of idolatries."

These events marked the opening salvo of the "extirpation of idolatry" campaigns, in which Avila and his Jesuit allies developed standardized methods to destroy the partly clandestine forms of Andean religion that had grown out of the long confrontation with Christianity (Duviols 1972). Within a year of becoming visitador, he executed repressive campaigns in the main parishes that the Huarochirí manuscript mentions and collected, as he claimed, some 5,000 "idols." In 1611 he went with a Jesuit crew to climb the heights via Yampilla just outside Huarochirí (chap. 31, sec. 409). The climbers trekked for several days up what may have been the ancient pilgrimage route. After the ascent they followed a stairway hewn into the rock (Bonavia et al. 1984), up to what Avila believed to be the shrine of Paria Caca himself. They demolished everything they could. Then the extirpators "put in its place a cross and in the afternoon they returned to San Lorenzo de Quinti, where [local people] received him with illuminations, and the Indians said in their own language, 'Paria Caca has died"' (Duviols 1966: 224).

Avila continued to campaign widely and became an influential figure in the Jesuit-centered antiindigenous movement that intermittently lashed the archbishopric for most of the seventeenth century. While legally separate from the Inquisition, and in some respects different from it, the "extirpations" were to inflict on Andean society some of the same sufferings, and the same clandestinity, that the Inquisition visited on Iberian heterodoxy. Avila's track of destruction crossed the wanderings of the great native chronicler Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala ([1615] 1980: 3:1017, 1022-1023), who met some of his victims and, notwithstanding his own dislike of huaca religion, cursed Avila for his greed and mercilessness: "Oh what a fine doctor, where is your soul? What serpent is eating you?"

But if many of "the people called Indians" had reason to hate Avila, many of the Spanish, and not just his Jesuit allies, had cause to rejoice at his success. One reason was that huaca hunting appealed to clerics' and laymen's greed for treasure. Spanish law allowed confiscation of pagan deities' wealth, and the persecutory movement that Avila promoted opened a rich vein. Guaman Poma was among those who suspected that Avila's motives included the theft of precious objects belonging to huaca cults ([1615] 1980: 3:1022-1023). The anti-Andean campaigns also offered career opportunities to Peru's numerous churchmen at a time when the church was hugely overstaffed relative to its parish infrastructure.

Avila built a long and prosperous career on these campaigns and was to win renown for his antihuaca scholarship as well as for his militancy in missionizing. In 1611, at Archbishop Lobo Guerrero's request, he wrote a report on "idolatrous" domestic rituals and local deities. After a series of attacks on deities mentioned in the Huarochirí manuscript and in other places, in 1615 he wrote at the request of the new viceroy, Principe de Esquilache, a project on the means to achieve "real conversion." The next year he conducted a gigantic tour of repression affecting some 35,000 persons. He wrote extensively on ways to influence and intimidate huaca worshipers, emphasizing both intimate persuasion and institutional ways to confine those sorts of Indians (notably the sons of native nobles) thought prone to lead or protect clandestine worship.

In 1618 he won a mid-ranking post in the Archbishopric of La Plata (seated in Chuquisaca, now Sucre, Bolivia) and held the job for fourteen years. Why the church hierarchs decided to employ him in a place so far from his political base is unknown; nor is much known about his career there. In 1632 he returned to the Cathedral of Lima to serve the newly appointed archbishop, Hernando Arias de Ugarte, an old acquaintance, as a canon of the Lima Cathedral. He came to be known as a durable eminence of the church, popular among Spaniards for his charitable donations. Almost at the end of his life, he petitioned to enter the Jesuit order, but his alleged mestizo background was used to thwart him. When in 1641 Archbishop Pedro Villagómez saw fit to remobilize the old persecutor as instructor for what was to become the second great wave of "extirpation," Avila seized the occasion to build his own monument as the "discoverer" of crypto-Andean heterodoxy. The self-portrait he painted in the 1645 preface to his Tratado de los Evangelios (Treatise on the Gospels) enduringly and, as Acosta shows, misleadingly influenced his historic image. The treatise reached the press in 1648, the year after his death. Its two volumes of Quechua and Spanish sermons, a little-known monument of literary Quechua's Baroque florescence, memorialize Avila's vision of a Counter-Reformation culture in Quechua.

Some twenty-three years after the making of the manuscript, Don Cristóbal still figured in a Concha lawsuit as a minor native official (Taylor 1983: 266, note; the date of Choque Casa's signature is 1631, not c. 1660 as Taylor holds). Certain of the curacas mentioned in the manuscript appear in tribute records and lawsuits both before and after the manuscript. In general the careers of Cristóbal Choque Casa and the other Indian makers of the Huarochirí manuscript remain obscure.

Among provincial religious sources the Huarochirí text has no peer, but it has many companions. Detailed testimonies about peasant and provincial belief appear, for example, in the "extirpation of idolatry" trials of which the Huarochirí crisis (chaps. 20-21) was a forerunner (Acosta 1987a; Duviols 1972, 1986; Millones 1967; Silverblatt 1987). Some of the Catholic priests who organized "extirpation" themselves wrote monographs on the Andean provincial religions and how to persecute them (Albonoz [1583?] 1984; Arriaga [1621] 1968; Avila [1608] 1966). Many missionary treatises and reports from the field reveal local cults and the memories of older practice in vivid detail (for example, Calancha [1638] 1974-1982; Hernández Principe [1613]1919, [1622]1923). After the waning of the "extirpation" campaigns, the record becomes thinner but still workable through, for example, trials of shamans implicated in political assassinations via magic (Dammert Bellido 1974, 1984; Millones 1984; Salomon 1983).

There may be room for doubt about some extirpators' personal sincerity, but little doubt that they played on widely believed ideological propositions. Local social conflicts like those of Huarochirí c. 1598 conspired with endemic conflicts arising from challenges to the Spanish state's commercial and religious hegemony to infuse in Jesuits and other anti-Andean militants a grim seriousness. Fear of "heresy" (meaning Protestantism and the northern European powers beginning to rival Spain) and enduring hatred against Iberia's Muslim and Jewish cultures, long since driven into clandestinity, helped clerics persuade the state that the fight against Andean religion contributed to a decisive world-historical struggle. The papers born of this effort offer ethnographic evidence, but because of their heavy ideological freight must be read with caution.

Given these facts, one might expect to find the particulars of Andean religion, and eventually the very fact of Andean worship, distorted in the direction of familiar European fantasies of anti-Christianity: satanism, the black mass, and so forth. Such distortions did happen, especially at later dates and more urban locations than those of the Huarochirí manuscript (Silverblatt 1987: 159-196). Likewise, one might expect that missionaries would picture Peruvian huacas in the image of more familiar "gentile" deities or "idols"—for example, the dei of Greco-Roman antiquity. This also did occur (MacCormack i985).

But to a surprising degree the testimonies of the victims retain freshness and unfamiliarity that give prima facie evidence of an origin other than Iberian demonology or the classical legacy as enshrined in seminary curricula. Perhaps because many of them were provincials lacking the know-how to package and process their culture in terms familiar to Spanish speakers, the myth-tellers in the Huarochirí manuscript created an image still largely framed by conceptual categories proper to local thought. The Huarochirí stories retain for us a certain irreducible strangeness, resistant to translation because, unlike the preprocessed Inca lore available in chronicles, they were seized by Spain but not made for it.

Previous editions of the Huarochirí manuscript

The following are the extant complete editions of the text. No attempt is made to cover excerpts, retranslations, or popularizations. (For critical discussion, see Hartmann 1975, 1981; Taylor 1982.)

Adelaar, Willem F. H. 1988. Het boek van Huarochirí: Mythen en riten van het oude Peru zoals opgetekend in de zestiende eeuw voor Francisco de Avila, bestrijder van afgoderij. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff.
Dutch translation (no Quechua) with introduction and glossary.
Arguedas, Josh María (trans.) and Pierre Duviols (ed.). 1966. Dioses y hombres de Huarochirí: Narración quechua recogida por Francisco de Avila [¿1598?]. Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos/Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. [Republished 1975] México: Siglo XXI.
First full and published Spanish translation. Includes Quechua. Although less accurate than Taylor's translation of 1987, Arguedas' translation is esteemed for literary merit. Duviols' biobibliographical essay on Avila, questioned by Acosta, remains important for its pioneering historic inquiry and for its primary source appendices. These include Avila's Tratado and other papers relevant to Avila, such as extracts of important Huarochirí reports by mostly Jesuit observers. Mexican republication is incomplete.

Galante, Hipólito (ed. and trans.). 1942. Francisco de Avila de priscorum Huaruchiriensium origine et institutis ... Madrid: Instituto Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo.

Contains the thirty-one chapters but not the appendices. Introduction in Latin, facsimile, transcription, critical notes, glossary of hispanisms, Latin translation, Spanish retranslation by Ricardo Espinosa M.
Mejia Xesspe, Toribio [unpublished translation]
Toribio Mejía Xesspe, a bilingual scholar who worked closely with Julio C. Tello in the pioneering days of Peruvian prehistoric archaeology, left in his posthumous estate an as yet unpublished version of the thirty-one chapters of the Huarochirí manuscript. Prepared in 1941-1943 it includes a rephonologization, a Spanish translation attempting morpheme-by-morpheme correspondence, an incomplete "literal translation," and an incomplete "free translation" with pictorial sketches (Szeminski 1989).
Szeminski, Jan (ed. and trans.). 1985. Bogowie i ludzie z Huarochirí. Cracow/Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Literackie.
Polish translation with brief introduction and general glossary. The title means 'Gods and Men from Huarochirí'.
Taylor, Gerald (ed. and trans.). 1980. Rites et traditions de Huarochirí: Manuscrit quechua du début du 17e siècle. Série Ethnolinguistique Amérindienne. Paris: Editions PHarmattan.
Bilingual edition containing introduction, transcription with variorum notes, and French translation with interpretative notes providing original solutions to some dialectological and lexical problems. Interpretative glossary, bibliography, and supplementary notes follow.

Taylor, Gerald (ed. and trans.), with Antonio Acosta. 1987. Ritos y tradiciones de Huarochirí de] siglo XVII. Historia Andina, no. 12. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos/Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos.

Bilingual edition containing interpretative introduction, transcription, "phonological reconstitution," Spanish translation, bibliography, several indices (to Quechua words in the translation, hispanisms in original, names of places and groups, names of huacas and heroes, names of rites, and names of historical personages). Copious critical, variorum, and interpretative notes closely address dialectological, geographical, and lexical problems. The preferred study edition.
Trimbom, Hermann (ed. and trans.). 1939 Francisco de Avila: Dämonen and Zauber im Inkareich. Quellen and Forschungen zur Geschichte der Geographie and Völkerkunde, vol. 4. Leipzig: K. F. Koehler Verlag. [Republished with additional introduction and notes as] Hermann Trimbom and Antje Kelm (eds. and trans.). 1967. Francisco de Avila. Quellenwerke zur Alten Geschichte Amerikas Aufgezeichnet in den Sprachen der Eingeborenen, vol. 8. Berlin: Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut/Mann Verlag.
The earlier (1939) edition was the first publication of the original Quechua. Research for the 1939 edition was interrupted by the Spanish civil war; later bombing destroyed most copies. Contains preface, bibliography, introduction, transcription, German translation with notes, glossary, exegesis (1967), index of proper nouns. Hartmann (1975, 1981) judges that superior accuracy justifies the republication.
Urioste, George (ed. and trans.). 1983. Hijos de Pariya Qaqa: La tradición oral de Waru Chiri (mitología, ritual, y costumbres). 2 vols. Foreign and Comparative Studies, Latin American Series, no. 6. Syracuse: Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
Bilingual Quechua-Spanish edition: introduction, transcription with variorum notes and marginal material, translation with variorum and interpretative notes, indices (to proper nouns, Quechua words in the translation), bibliography.

An unreliable English version of Avila's Tratado by Clements R. Markham (Avila [1608] 1875) was the first modern edition of the Huarochirí mythology.

The character of the present translation

This book is a fresh working not based on any previous translation (including Urioste's 1983 Quechua-Spanish edition). Our study started from a newly made transcription from microfilm (reproduced here), collaboratively rendered into English by the co-authors. It is meant as a reader's edition rather than a study text. Scholars in need of a study edition should turn to Gerald Taylor's Quechua-Spanish version (1987b), which offers abundant apparatus as well as fuller contextual references. The 1966 Arguedas and Duviols edition also contains indispensable primary sources and bibliographic detail. The present version refers to other translations by way of mentioning some significant discrepancies, difficulties, or contextual findings but does not provide full coverage of alternative renderings.

We hope to address nonspecialists and have striven not only for accuracy but also for immediacy. We have intentionally left enough unresolved strangeness on the surface to keep a reader aware that this text is untranslatable in all the usual senses, and perhaps a little more untranslatable than most.

Aside from the hazards intrinsic to all translations, Huarochirí readers face some specific ones.

Language substrates and non-Quechua languages

Oddly enough, it is not known exactly what relationship obtained between the Quechua of the manuscript and the language in which Huarochirí religious life was conducted. Many dialectological and linguistic questions about the manuscript remain pending.

Even the origin of the Quechua dialect used in the text itself is less than obvious. Its general affiliation is clear: it is one of the many and far-flung kinds of Quechua grouped as Quechua A or Quechua II. At least one member of this group spread widely through Andean America long before the Incas, and the Incas promoted a Quechua II dialect (probably not identical to Cuzco Quechua) as their administrative tongue. Perhaps working from this precedent, the Spanish invaders styled a widespread Quechua II for perhaps several overlapping Quechua II dialects) the "general language" (Cerrón-Palomino 1985: 552-553; Taylor 1985: 158-160). In ecclesiastical councils especially, Spaniards promoted it for colonial use through efforts such as standardizing orthography and providing norms for translation and nontranslation of religious concepts.


"General" Quechua functioned c. 1600 as a lingua franca shared by many linguistically diverse peoples including Spaniards, among them clergymen who used it to simplify missionary work in a dialect landscape already reverting to pre-Inca diversity. Colonial native chiefs and others who traded on relationships with the Spanish also relied on it. On the whole, this church-influenced "general" Quechua is the language of the manuscript. The person who actually did the writing appears to have learned the art of Quechua writing for ecclesiastical purposes. But precisely because it was a partly artificial lingua franca—many speakers' second or third language and few if any speakers' first language—specific examples of "general" Quechua would normally be affected by underlying patterns of local speech. Linguists disagree on whether the text's peculiarities indicate an attempt to render speech similar to Cuzco Quechua (Urioste 1973: 4) or similar to the Quechua of modern Ayacucho (Hartmann 198x: 189). Mannheim (1991: 195) notes phonological reasons for questioning whether the manuscript records any member of the group of south highland dialects to which both Cuzco and Ayacucho belong.

The question actually goes far beyond Quechua dialectology. There is room for doubt about whether any Quechua was the language of religious practice or of the original testimony. In Huarochirí the particular version of Quechua that functioned as a "general language" for such churchmen as Father Avila still, at the probable date of the manuscript, thinly overlay at least one non-Quechua Andean tongue. Twenty-two years before the manuscript, Diego Dávila Brizeño ([1586] 1965: 155) noted that the common folk did not all know Quechua. A 1577 Jesuit report tells us that missionaries needed to have Quechua sermons repeated in a local language "because the women there don't know the general language" (Arguedas and Duviols 1966: 245). Almost two centuries after the Huarochirí manuscript, another visitor observed that local use of the "general language" sounded peculiar and "mixed" (Taylor 1983: 270, 273). It is therefore highly likely that the religious life of the generation Avila persecuted had been conducted at least partly in a language other than Quechua.

So the text probably stands at some distance from habitual and traditional usages in religious speech. We do not have any specific proof that the texts were translated from a local tongue into Quechua, but the possibility cannot be discarded. At a minimum it seems likely that processing of local discourse by a person fluent in "general" Quechua played a role in creating the text.

The following are languages that appear to influence and in some cases to underlie the Quechua text.

Quechua other than the "general" dialect

"Thomás" the scribe (or persons dictating to him) probably knew at least one dialect of Quechua other than the one the church promoted as "general." It may have been influenced by an Aymara-like tongue (see below). It is also a possibility, though a difficult one to demonstrate, that local Quechua was influenced by a coastal speech proper to the Yunca people whom Huarochirí folk considered aboriginal; their language, too, may have been a Quechua different from the "general." Finally, some usages in the Quechua of "Thomás" (e.g., chacuas 'old lady'; chap. 21, sec. 261) are attested in Quechuas of the Quechua I or Quechua B group native to the central Peruvian highlands. Quechua I languages differ widely from the Quechua of the text, but other colonial examples of mutual influence are known. In some cases the writer has hesitated between words of the Quechua II or A group, as, for example, in the repeated crossings-out of punchao 'sun' and substitutions of another word for 'sun': ynti. The discrepancy may have to do with Inca versus non-Inca religious vocabulary.

Language(s) of the Jaqi (Aymara) family

The terms "Jaqi" and "Aru" denote a group of languages today represented most notably by Aymara, an important language spoken from the Lake Titicaca basin southward into Bolivia. Jaqi tongues share some lexicon with Quechua but are entirely separate languages. Although Quechuas have displaced Jaqi tongues from a large part of their formerly enormous range, certain Jaqi languages (Kawki and Jaqaru) were and to some degree still are spoken in two areas close to the Huarochirí terrain (Briggs 1985: 546). Both areas are in Yauyos Province, from which Huarochirí people were thought to have immigrated (chap. 23, sec. 297; chap. 24, secs. 305-309; chap. 31, secs. 391, 408, 443). Taylor has argued that some of the testimony may have been given in a Jaqi tongue, because Aymarisms are common in the ritual terminology (e.g., the names of the two greatest celebrations described, Auquisna and Chaycasna). He also notes that certain "Aymara-type" phonetic alternations (ñamca/ñamoc, etc.; Taylor 1985: 162) commonly occur in words connected with Huarochirí religion, suggesting Jaqi interference. These Jaqi-like phenomena offer the strongest clue for identifying the ethnic language of the mythtellers. It is probable that at a minimum the text has been modified from a more Jaqi-influenced speech toward "general" Quechua.

Non-Quechua, non-Jaqi native lexicon?

A few common nouns and many names of persons and places do not seem to derive by any evident route from Quechua, Jaqi, or Spanish. There may be an additional influence from an unknown ethnic tongue, perhaps predating the supraethnic Jaqi and Quechua diffusions. Huallallo Caruincho's name, the hugi monster he created, and the untranslated common nouns callcallo (chap. 31, secs. 413, 415) and llaullaya (chap. 21, sec. 271) may be examples. If so, the persistence of such words in both Quechua and Jaqi cultic vocabulary may eventually yield a clue to the antiquity of Huarochirí religious categories.


Father Avila reported that most Huarochirí people knew at least some Spanish (Arguedas and Duviols '1966: 255). However, as Urioste notes, not all of the many Spanish words that found their way into the manuscript are there for obvious reasons. Some words do lack Quechua equivalents and are therefore hardly surprising: cauallo 'horse', yglecia 'church'. Others overlap Quechua terms but "cover a different semantic space" (Urioste 1982: 106). For example, animalcona ('animals'; Spanish with a Quechua plural marker) combines categories of wild and domestic beasts that, in Quechua, are named with separate words. But a few do have close Quechua counterparts and are not used out of any obvious necessity: doze año 'twelve years' (in Quechua a plural numeral obviates the need for a pluralizing suffix on the head of the phrase, hence the singular form año), gato montés 'wildcat', and so forth, which have close and obvious Quechua equivalents. It is not known why the writer chose them.

Although the text was probably made as a tool for excising Andean belief from the religion of converts, it sometimes uses Christendom's lexicon to name Andean religious categories. All the seven occurrences of saçerdote and saçerdotisa (Spanish for 'priest'/'priestess'; chap. 13, secs. 178, 183; chap. 18, sec. 224; chap. 20, sec. 252; chap. 21, sec. 273; supp. I, secs. 462, 466) refer to priests of huacas. Saçerdotisa suggests an analogy from the Renaissance lore of Greco-Roman antiquity, but some usages are more markedly Christian: the preface (sec. 2) categorizes the regional belief system as a fe 'faith', implying that as a whole it is an entity comparable in scale and kind with the True Faith. Given the tellers' and writers' free use of specialized Andean religious terminology, they probably did not include these words for the convenience of Spanish readers. It is more likely that there already existed some habitual code of correspondences perhaps arising unconsciously from the habit of expressing Andean ideas in a fashion responsive to Christian hegemony.

Sometimes the influence of Spanish norms operates in a hidden fashion by affecting choice between Quechua words. This is especially notable in sexual lexicon, where the pro-Christian speaker substitutes shame-oriented and therefore Spanish-like phrases for plainspoken Quechua ones. For example, in chapter 10 (sec. 151), the word ollonchicta 'our cocks' has been crossed out in favor of pincayninchicta 'our private parts' or, more literally, 'our shame'.

The problem of redaction

An editing process has given the manuscript a veneer of organizational unity. But no one has yet subjected it to text criticism detailed enough to uncover the "seams" where testimonies have been stitched together or to determine how many voices enter in. For the time being, this can only be recognized as an unknown requiring future study. It appears likely that the myth-tellers and retellers are multiple, probably from a minimum of three different places. Whether a separate translator beside the scribe and/or editor intervened is unknown. We neither know whether the interviewer used a written questionnaire (a common Spanish practice) nor whether the edited text as we find it was organized by a native researcher, by the scribe Thomás himself, or by someone employing native informants (Avila?).

It is highly likely that chapters 1-31 are rewritten and edited text, because they are fair copy (standardized at thirty-six lines per page) already augmented with contextual material, especially at beginnings and ends of chapters (Urioste 1973: 7-10). These chapters, however, appear to be an intermediate draft because editorial work continues in the form of interlinear and marginal comments and corrections (some seemingly in Avila's hand). Supplements I and II differ in grammar from the body of the manuscript, are written in a less polished handwriting, and come after a word meaning 'the end'. They may be surviving fragments of less-processed testimony. Or they may be a set of rough notes prepared by the editor/redactor on the basis of personal knowledge, apart from the compiled testimonies.



“This work represents the most fulsome and developed narrative available to us of how local people in a provincial setting in the Inca Empire conceived of their society and its past.... This book will stand for some time as the definitive transcription and English translation of a seminal document in Andean cultural history.”
American Anthropologist

“Although some Christian influence is discernible, the Huarochirí cycle is as close as we are likely to come to a purely Andean expression of the supernatural.... Urioste's transcription of the Quechua is included, and an Introductory Essay by Frank Salomon is an excellent study aid for both novices and adepts.”
Latin American Indian Literatures Journal