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The First New Chronicle and Good Government

The First New Chronicle and Good Government
On the History of the World and the Incas up to 1615
Translated and edited by Roland Hamilton

An authoritative, annotated English translation from the original manuscript of one of the best sources for understanding the culture of the Incas and the first century of colonial Peru.

Series: Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowment in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture

July 2009
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400 pages | 6 x 9 | 146 b&w photos, 8-page color section |

One of the most fascinating books on pre-Columbian and early colonial Peru was written by a Peruvian Indian named Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. This book, The First New Chronicle and Good Government, covers pre-Inca times, various aspects of Inca culture, the Spanish conquest, and colonial times up to around 1615 when the manuscript was finished. Now housed in the Royal Library, Copenhagen, Denmark, and viewable online at, the original manuscript has 1,189 pages accompanied by 398 full-page drawings that constitute the most accurate graphic depiction of Inca and colonial Peruvian material culture ever done.

Working from the original manuscript and consulting with fellow Quechua- and Spanish-language experts, Roland Hamilton here provides the most complete and authoritative English translation of approximately the first third of The First New Chronicle and Good Government. The sections included in this volume (pages 1–369 of the manuscript) cover the history of Peru from the earliest times and the lives of each of the Inca rulers and their wives, as well as a wealth of information about ordinances, age grades, the calendar, idols, sorcerers, burials, punishments, jails, songs, palaces, roads, storage houses, and government officials. One hundred forty-six of Guaman Poma's detailed illustrations amplify the text.

  • Foreword by Serafín M. Coronel-Molina
  • Introduction by Roland Hamilton
  • Notes on the Translation and Organization
  • The First New Chronicle
    • Letter to the Holy Trinity
    • Letter to the pope
    • Letter to the king of Spain, attributed to Guaman Poma's father
    • Letter from Guaman Poma to the king
    • Prologue to the Christian reader
    • The beginnings of this chronicle
  • Chapter of the Ages of the World
    • First age of the world, of Adam and Eve
    • Second age of the world, from the ark of Noah
    • Third Age of the world, from Abraham
    • Fourth Age of the world, from King David
    • Fifth Age of the world, from the birth of Christ
    • Papal Rome
    • Discovery of the Indies
  • Chapter of the Ages of the Indians
    • Vari Viracocha Runa
    • Vari Runa
    • Purun Runa
    • Auca Runa
  • The Incas
    • Tocay Capac, the first Inca
    • The second coat of arms
    • Manco Capac Inca
    • Cinche Roca
    • Jesus Christ
    • Miracles of God by the Apostle Saint Bartholomew
    • The third Inca, Lloque Yupanqui Inca
    • The fourth Inca, Mayta Capac
    • The fifth Inca, Capac Yupanqui Inca
    • The sixth Inca, Inca Roca, and his son
    • The seventh Inca, Yahuar Huacac Inca
    • The eighth Inca, Viracocha Inca
    • The ninth Inca, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui
    • The tenth Inca, Topa Inca Yupanqui
    • The eleventh Inca, Huayna Capac
    • The twelfth Inca, Huascar Inca
  • The Queens
    • The first coya
    • The second coya, Chimbo Urma
    • The third coya, Mama Cora Ocllo
    • The fourth coya, Chimbo Mama Yachi Urma
    • The fifth coya, Chimbo Mama Caua
    • The sixth coya, Cuci Chimbo Mama Micay
    • The seventh coya, Ipa Huaco Mama Machi
    • The eighth coya, Mama Yunto Cayan
    • The ninth coya, Mama Ana Uarque
    • The tenth coya, Mama Ocllo
    • The eleventh coya, Raua Ocllo
    • The twelfth coya, Chuqui Llanto
    • Prologue to the female readers
  • The Captains
    • The first captain, son of Manco Capac
    • The second captain, Topa Amaro Inca
    • The third captain, Cuci Uanan Chire Inca
    • The fourth captain, Apo Mayta Inca, and Vilcac Inca
    • The fifth captain, Auqui Topa Inca Yupanqui
    • The sixth captain, Otoronco
    • The seventh captain, Inca Mayta, [and] Inca Urcon
    • The eighth captain, Apo Camac Inca
    • The ninth captain, Inca Urcon
    • The tenth captain, Chalcochima Inca
    • The eleventh captain, Rumiñaui
    • The twelfth captain, Capac Apo Guaman Chaua
    • The thirteenth captain, Capac Apo Ninarua
    • The fourteenth captain, Mallco Castilla Pari
    • The fifteenth captain, Mallco Mullo
  • The Ladies
    • The first lady, Capac Huarmi Poma Hualca
    • The second lady, Capac Mallquima
    • The third lady, Capac Umita Llama
    • The fourth lady, Mallco Huarmi Timtama
    • Captains paid by Your Majesty
  • Ordinances of the Inca
  • The First General Inspection
    • The first age division
    • The second age division
    • The third age division
    • The fourth age division
    • The fifth age division
    • The sixth age division
    • The seventh age division
    • The eighth age division
    • The ninth age division
    • The tenth age division
    • The first inspection of the ten groups of women
    • The first age division
    • The second age division
    • The third age division
    • The fourth age division
    • The fifth age division
    • The sixth age division
    • The seventh age division
    • The eighth age division
    • The ninth age division
    • The tenth age division
  • First Chapter of the Years [and] Months of the Incas
    • The first month, January, Capac Raymi, Camay Quilla
    • February, Paucar Uaray, Hatun Pucuy
    • March, Pacha Pucuy
    • April, Inca Raymi
    • May, Aymoray Quilla
    • June, Cusqui Quilla
    • July, Chacra Cunacuy
    • August, Chacra Yapuy Quilla
    • September, Coya Raymi
    • October, Uma Raymi Quilla
    • November, Ayamarcay Quilla
    • December, Capac Inti Raymi
    • End of the months
  • Chapter of the Idols
    • Idols and huacas of the Inca
    • Idols and huacas of Chinchaysuyo
    • Idols and huacas of Antisuyo
    • Idols and huacas of Collasuyo
    • Idols and huacas of Cuzco
  • Chapter of the Common Sorcerers
    • High priests, conde uisa
    • Sorcerers who suck
    • Evil omens
    • Curses that they use among themselves
    • Processions, fasts, penitence, and sacrifices
    • Chosen women
  • Burials
    • Burial of the Inca
    • Burial in the Chinchaysuyo quarter
    • Burial in the Antisuyo quarter
    • How the people of Collasuyo quarter were buried
    • How the people of Condesuyo were buried
    • How burials were done by the Indians of the yunca
  • The Nuns
    • First Chapter of Justice
    • The first punishment of this kingdom
    • The second punishment
    • The third punishment
    • The fourth punishment
    • The fifth punishment
  • First Chapter of the Celebrations
    • Easter-like celebrations and dances
    • Music
    • Celebration of the Incas
    • Celebration of the people of Chinchaysuyo quarter
    • Celebration of the people of Antisuyo quarter
    • Celebration of the people of the Collasuyo quarter
    • Celebration of the people of the Condesuyo quarter
  • The Inca
    • Royal palaces
    • The Inca
    • On the Inca
    • Storehouses
    • It was approved that there was no tribute
  • Administrative Officials
    • Most excellent lord viceroy
    • Official of the court, judge
    • Major constable
    • Official, tocricoc, judge, michoc
    • Administrator
    • Runners, hatun chasque, churo mullo chasque
    • Men who mark boundaries
    • Capac ñan uamanin [royal road officials]
    • Governor of the bridges of this kingdom
    • Secretaries of the Incas and their royal council
    • Accountant and treasurer
    • Inspector and judge
    • The royal council of this kingdom
    • Prologue to the Spanish Christian reader
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Works Cited
  • Index

Roland Hamilton earned a Ph.D. in romance philology from the University of Madrid in 1973. He taught in the Department of Foreign Languages at San José State University for over thirty years before retiring. An authority on Peruvian culture centering on the Incas, he has also translated and edited History of the Inca Empire and Inca Religion and Customs by Father Bernabé Cobo and Narrative of the Incas by Juan de Betanzos. He lives in Los Gatos, California.


“This version will be regarded as the classic translation of this difficult Andean thinker.”
Sabine Hyland, Associate Professor of Anthropology, St. Norbert College


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