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Title: The travels of Pedro de Cieza de Léon, A.D. 1532-50,

Author: Pedro de Cieza de León

Translator: Sir Clements R. Markham

Release date: April 23, 2015 [eBook #48770]
Most recently updated: January 25, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Josep Cols Canals, Chuck Greif and the Online
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Every attempt has been made to replicate the original as printed.

Some typographical errors have been corrected; a list follows the text.

Table of Contents.
Index: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

(etext transcriber's note)


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“The Travels of Pedro de Cieza de Leon, from the gulf of Darien to the city of La Plata, contained in the first part of the Chronicle of Peru, which treats of the boundaries and description of provinces, founding of new cities, rites and customs of the Indians, and other strange things worthy to be known (Antwerp 1554).” Translated and edited, with Notes and an Introduction, by Clements R. Markham, Esq.

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Balance at Banker’s at last Audit £357 10 0Mr. J. E. Richard, for Paper £35 2 0
 Mr. Richards, for Printing 175 11 0
Received by Banker during the year 341 5 3Transcriptions 21 17 0
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Petty Cash in hand at last Audit 1 16 0Charge at Hull, on £2:2 (Bank of England) 0 0 6
Petty Cash received in July 1864 10 0 0Gratuity to Agent’s Foreman 5 0 0
  Expended in Petty Cash 5 0 7
    £271 18 7
  Present Balance at Banker’s 431 17 3
  Present Balance in Petty Cash 6 15 5
 £710 11 3  £710 11 3
Examined and approved July 15th, 1864.



SIR RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON, K.C.B., G.C.St.S., F.R.S., F.R.G.S, D.C.L. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc. St. Petersburg, Corr. Mem. Inst. Fr., &c. &c.




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33—The Travels of Cieza de Leon in 1532-50

From the Gulf of Darien to the City of La Plata, contained in the first part of
his Chronicle of Peru (Antwerp 1554). Translated and edited, with Notes
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The Travels of Josafa Barbaro and Ambrogio Contarini in Tana and Persia. Translated from Ramusio by E. A. Roy, Esq., and edited, with an Introduction, by Viscount Strangford.

The Narrative of Pascual de Andagoya, containing the earliest notice of Peru. Translated and edited, with Notes, by Clements R. Markham, Esq.

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The Three Voyages of Sir Martin Frobisher, with a selection from his Letters now in the State Paper Office. Edited by Rear-Admiral R. Collinson, R.N., C.B.

Cathay and the Road Thither. A collection of all minor notices of China, previous to the Sixteenth Century. Translated and edited by Colonel H. Yule, C.B.

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T h e   H a k l u y t   S o c i e t y.



(larger view 250k) (largest view 2mb)





A.D. 1532-50,


First Part of his Chronicle of Peru.












SIR RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON, K.C.B., G.C.St.S., F.R.S., D.C.L., Corr. Mem. Inst. F., Hon. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc. St. Petersburg, etc., etc., President.









The Travels of Pedro de Cieza de Leon.

Chap. I.—Which treats of the discovery of the Indies, of some other things which were done when they were first discovered, and of the present state of affairs


Chap. II.—Of the city of Panama, and of its founding, and why it is treated of first, before other matters


Chap. III.—Of the ports between Panama and the land of Peru, of the distances between them, and of their latitudes


Chap. IV.—Describes the navigation as far as the Callao of Lima, which is the port of the City of the Kings


Chap. V.—Of the ports and rivers on the coast, from the City of the Kings to the province of Chile, and their latitudes, with other matters connected with the navigation of these seas


Chap. VI.—How the city of San Sebastian was founded in the bay of Uraba; and of the native Indians in that neighbourhood


Chap. VII.—How the barb is made so poisonous, with which the Indians of Carthagena and Santa Martha have killed so many Spaniards


Chap. VIII.—In which other customs of the Indians subject to the city of Uraba are described


Chap. IX.—Of the road between the city of San Sebastian and the city of Antioquia, and of the wild beasts, forests, rivers, and other things in the way; and how and in what season it can be passed


Chap. X.—Of the grandeur of the mountains of Abibe, and of the admirable and useful timber which grows there


Chap. XI.—Of the cacique Nutibara, and of his territory: and of other caciques subject to the city of Antioquia


Chap. XII.—Of the customs of these Indians, of their arms, and of the ceremonies they perform; and who the founder of the city of Antioquia was


Chap. XIII.—Of the description of the province of Popayan, and the reason why the natives of it are so wild, and those of Peru so gentle


Chap. XIV.—Containing an account of the road between the city of Antioquia and the town of Anzerma, and of the region which lies on either side of it


Chap. XV.—Of the customs of the Indians of this land, and of the forests that must be traversed in order to reach the town of Anzerma


Chap. XVI.—Of the customs of the Caciques and Indians in the neighbourhood of the town of Anzerma, of the founding of that town, and who its founder was


Chap. XVII.—Concerning the provinces and towns between the city of Antioquia and the town of Arma; and of the customs of the natives


Chap. XVIII.—Of the province of Arma, of the customs of the natives, and of other notable things


Chap. XIX.—The sacrifices offered up by these Indians, and what great butchers they are in the matter of eating human flesh


Chap. XX.—Of the province of Paucura, and of the manners and customs of the natives


Chap. XXI.—Of the Indians of Pozo, and how valiant they are, and how dreaded by the neighbouring tribes


Chap. XXII.—Of the province of Picara, and of the chiefs of it


Chap. XXIII.—Of the province of Carrapa, and of what there is to be said concerning it


Chap. XXIV.—Of the province of Quinbaya, and of the customs of the chiefs. Also concerning the foundation of the city of Cartago, and who was its founder


Chap. XXV.—In which the subject of the preceding chapter is continued; respecting what relates to the city of Cartago, and its foundation, and respecting the animal called chucha


Chap. XXVI.—Which touches upon the provinces in this great and beautiful valley, up to the city of Cali


Chap. XXVII.—Of the situation of the city of Cali, of the Indians in its vicinity, and concerning the founder


Chap. XXVIII.—Of the villages and chiefs of Indians who are within the jurisdiction of this city of Cali


Chap. XXIX.—In which the matter relating to the city of Cali is concluded; and concerning other Indians inhabiting the mountains near the port which they call Buenaventura


Chap. XXX.—In which the road is described from the city of Cali to that of Popayan, and concerning the villages of Indians that lie between them


Chap. XXXI.—Concerning the river of Santa Martha, and of the things which are met with on its banks


Chap. XXXII.—In which the account of the villages and chiefs subject to the city of Popayan is concluded; and what there is to be said until the boundary of Popayan is passed


Chap. XXXIII.—In which an account is given of what there is between Popayan and the city of Pasto; and what there is to be said concerning the natives of the neighbouring districts


Chap. XXXIV.—In which the account of what there is in this country is concluded, as far as the boundary of Pasto


Chap. XXXV.—Of the notable fountains and rivers in these provinces, and how they make salt of good quality by a very curious artifice


Chap. XXXVI.—Which contains the description and appearance of the kingdom of Peru from the city of Quito to the town of La Plata, a distance of more than seven hundred leagues


Chap. XXXVII.—Of the villages and provinces between the town of Pasto and the city of Quito


Chap. XXXVIII.—In which it is stated who were the Kings Yncas, and how they ruled over Peru


Chap. XXXIX.—Of other villages and buildings between Carangue and the city of Quito: and of the robbery which the people of Otabalo are said to have committed on those of Carangue


Chap. XL.—Of the situation of the city of San Francisco del Quito, of its foundation, and who it was who founded it


Chap. XLI.—Concerning the villages beyond Quito as far as the royal palaces of Tumebamba, and of some customs of the natives


Chap. XLII.—Of the other villages between Llacta-cunga and Riobamba; and of what passed between the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado and the Marshal Don Diego de Almagro


Chap. XLIII.—Which treats of what there is to be said concerning the other Indian villages as far as the buildings of Tumebamba


Chap. XLIV.—Concerning the grandeur of the rich palaces of Tumebamba, and of the province of the Cañaris


Chap. XLV.—Concerning the road which leads from the province of Quito to the coast of the South Sea, and the bounds of the city of Puerto Viejo


Chap. XLVI.—In which an account is given of certain things relating to the province of Puerto Viejo; and also concerning the equinoctial line


Chap. XLVII.—Treating of the question whether the Indians of this province were conquered by the Yncas or not; and concerning the death which they inflicted on certain captains of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui


Chap. XLVIII.—How these Indians were conquered by Huayna Ceapac, and how they conversed with the devil, sacrificed to him, and buried women alive with the bodies of their chiefs


Chap. XLIX.


Chap. L.—How in ancient tunes the Indians of Manta worshipped an emerald as their God; and of other things concerning these Indians


Chap. LI.—In which the account of the Indians of Puerto Viejo is finished; and concerning the founding of that city, and who was its founder


Chap. LII.—Of the wells which there are at the point of Santa Elena; of the story they tell respecting the arrival of giants in those parts; and of the tar which is found there


Chap. LIV.[1]—Concerning the foundation of the city of Guayaquil; and how certain of the natives put the captains of Huayna Ceapac to death


Chap. LIV.—Of the island of Puna, and of that of La Plata; and concerning the admirable root called sarsaparilla, which is so useful for all diseases


Chap. LVI.—How the city of Santiago de Guayaquil was founded and settled, of some Indian villages which are subject to it, and concerning other things until its boundary is passed


Chap. LVII.—Of the Indian villages between the buildings of Tumebamba and the city of Loxa, and concerning the founding of that city


Chap. LVIII.—Concerning the provinces between Tamboblanco and the city of San Miguel, the first city founded by the Christian Spaniards in Peru; and what there is to be said of the natives


Chap. LIX.—In which the narrative is continued down to the foundation of the city of San Miguel, and who was the founder. Also of the difference of the seasons in this kingdom of Peru, which is a notable thing; and how it does not rain along the whole length of these plains, which are on the coast of the South Sea


Chap. LX.—Concerning the road which the Yncas ordered to be made along these coast valleys, with buildings and depôts like those in the mountains; and why these Indians are called Yuncas


Chap. LXI.—How these Yuncas were very superstitious, and how they were divided into nations and lineages


Chap. LXII.—How the Indians of these valleys and of other parts of the country believe that souls leave the bodies, and do not die; and why they desired their wives to be buried with them


Chap. LXIII.—How they buried their dead, and how they mourned for them, at the performance of their obsequies


Chap. LXIV.


Chap. LXV.—How they have a custom of naming children, in most of these provinces, and how they sought after sorceries and charms


Chap. LXVI.—Of the fertility of the land in these coast valleys, and of the many fruits and roots they contain. Also concerning their excellent system of irrigating the fields


Chap. LXVII.—Of the road from San Miguel to Truxillo, and of the valleys between those cities


Chap. LXVIII.—In which the same road is followed as has been treated of in the former chapter, until the city of Truxillo is reached


Chap. LXIX.—Of the founding of the city of Truxillo, and who was the founder


Chap. LXX.—Of the other valleys and villages along the coast road, as far as the City of the Kings


Chap. LXXI.—Of the situation of the City of Kings, of its founding, and who was the founder


Chap. LXXII.—Of the valley of Pachacamac, and of the very ancient temple in it, and how it was reverenced by the Yncas


Chap. LXXIII.—Of the valleys between Pachacamac and the fortress of Huarco, and of a notable thing which is done in the valley of Huarco


Chap. LXXIV.—Of the great province of Chincha, and how much it was valued in ancient times


Chap. LXXV.—Of the other valleys, as far as the province of Tarapaca


Chap. LXXVI.—Of the founding of the city of Arequipa, how it was founded, and who was its founder


Chap. LXXVII.—In which it is declared how that, beyond the province of Huancabamba, there is that of Caxamarca, and other large and very populous provinces


Chap. LXXVIII.—Of the foundation of the city of the frontier, who was its founder, and of some customs of the Indians in the province


Chap. LXXIX.—Which treats of the foundation of the city of Leon de Huanuco, and who was its founder


Chap. LXXX.—Of the situation of this city, of the fertility of its fields, and of the customs of its inhabitants; also concerning a beautiful edifice or palace of the Yncas at Huanuco


Chap. LXXXI.—Of what there is to be said concerning the country from Caxamarca to the valley of Xauxa; and of the district of Guamachuco, which borders on Caxamarca


Chap. LXXXII.—In which it is told how the Yncas ordered that the storehouses should be well provided, and how these were kept in readiness for the troops


Chap. LXXXIII.—Of the lake of Bombon, and how it is supposed to be the source of the great river of La Plata


Chap. LXXXIV.—Which treats of the valley of Xauxa, and of its inhabitants, and relates how great a place it was in times past


Chap. LXXXV.—In which the road is described from Xauxa to the city of Guamanga, and what there is worthy of note on the road


Chap. LXXXVI.—Which treats of the reason why the city of Guamanga was founded, its provinces having been at first partly under the jurisdiction of Cuzco, and partly under that of the City of the Kings


Chap. LXXXVII.—Of the founding of the city of Guamanga, and who was its founder


Chap. LXXXVIII.—In which some things are related concerning the natives of the districts near this city


Chap. LXXXIX.—Of the great buildings in the province of Vilcas, which are beyond the city of Guamanga


Chap. XC.—Of the province of Andahuaylas, and what is to be seen as far as the valley of Xaquixaguana


Chap. XCI.—Of the river of Apurimac, of the valley of Xaquixaguana, of the causeway which passes over it, and of what else there is to relate until the city of Cuzco is reached


Chap. XCII.—Of the manner in which the city of Cuzco is built, of the four royal roads which lead from it, of the grand edifices it contained, and who was its founder


Chap. XCIII.—In which the things of this city of Cuzco are described more in detail


Chap. XCIV.—Which treats of the valley of Yucay and of the strong fortress at Tambo, and of part of the province of Cunti-suyu


Chap. XCV.—Of the forests of the Andes, of their great thickness, of the huge snakes which are bred in them, and of the evil customs of the Indians who live in the interior of these forests


Note to Chap. XCV.—On the river Purús, a tributary of the Amazon. By Mr. Richard Spruce


Chap. XCVI.—How the Indians carry herbs or roots in their mouths, and concerning the herb called coca, which they raise in many parts of this kingdom


Chap. XCVII.—Of the road from Cuzco to the city of La Paz; and of the villages, until the Indians called Canches are passed


Chap. XCVIII.—Of the provinces of Canas, and of Ayavire


Chap. XCIX.—Of the great district which is inhabited by the Collas, of the appearance of the land where their villages are built, and how the Mitimaes were stationed to supply them with provisions


Chap. C.—Of what is said concerning the origin of these Collas, of their appearance, and how they buried their dead


Chap. CI.—How these Indians perform their annual ceremonies, and of the temples they had in ancient times


Chap. CII.—Of the ancient ruins at Pucara, of the former greatness of Hatun-colla, of the village called Azangaro, and of other things which are here related


Chap. CII.—Of the great lake which is within the province of the Collao, of its depth, and of the temple of Titicaca


Chap. CIV.—In which the narrative continues, and the villages are described as far as Tiahuanaco


Chap. CV.—Of the village of Tiahuanaco, and the great and ancient edifices which are to be seen there


Chap. CVI.—Of the founding of the city called of Our Lady of Peace, who was its founder, and of the road thence to the town of Plata


Chap. CVII.—Of the founding of the town of Plata, which is situated in the province of Charcas


Chap. CVIII.—Of the riches in Porco, and how there are large veins of silver near that town


Chap. CIX.—How they discovered the mines of Potosi, whence they have taken riches such as have never been seen or heard of in other times; and how, as the metal does not run, the Indians get it by the invention of the huayras


Chap. CX.—There was the richest market in the world at this hill of Potosi, at the time when these mines were prosperous


Chap. CXI.—Of the sheep, huanacus, and vicuñas, which they have in most parts of the mountains of Peru


Chap. CXII.—Of a tree called molle, and of other herbs and roots in this kingdom of Peru


Chap. CXIII.—How there are large salt lakes and baths in this kingdom; and how the land is suited for the growth of olives and other fruits of Spain, and for some animals and birds of that country


Chap. CXIV.—How the native Indians of this kingdom were great masters of the arts of working in silver and of building: and how they had excellent dyes for their fine cloths


Chap. CXV.—How there are great mines in most parts of this kingdom


Chap. CXVI.—How many nations of these Indians make war one upon the other, and how the lords and chiefs oppress the poorer people


Chap. CXVII.—In which certain things are declared concerning the Indians; and what fell out between a clergyman and one of them, in a village of this kingdom


Chap. CXVIII.—How, when a chief near the town of Anzerma wished to become a Christian, he saw the devils visibly, who wished to deter him from his good intention by their terrors


Chap. CXIX.—How mighty wonders have been clearly seen in the discovery of these Indies, how our Sovereign Lord God desires to watch over the Spaniards, and how He chastises those who are cruel to the Indians


Chap. CXX.—Of the dioceses in this kingdom of Peru, who are the bishops of them, and of the Royal Chancellery in the City of the Kings


Chap. CXXI.—Of the monasteries which have been founded in Peru, from the date of its discovery down to the present year 1550





THE work of Pedro de Cieza de Leon is, in many respects, one of the most remarkable literary productions of the age of Spanish conquest in America. Written by a man who had passed his life in the camp from early boyhood, it is conceived on a plan which would have done credit to the most thoughtful scholar, and is executed with care, judgment, and fidelity. But before examining the work itself, I will give some account of its author—of whom, however, little is known, beyond what can be gathered from his own incidental statements in the course of his narrative.

Cieza de Leon is believed to have been born in the year 1519 in the city of Seville, where he passed the first fourteen years of his life. It has been conjectured that his father was a native of Leon,[2] in the north of Spain, but absolutely nothing is known of his parentage.

In 1532, at the extraordinarily early age of fourteen, young Pedro embarked at Seville, and set out to seek his fortunes in the New World. At that time scarcely a year elapsed without seeing an expedition fitted out, to undertake some new discovery or conquest. Seville and Cadiz were crowded with adventurers, all eagerly seeking for a passage to that marvellous land beyond the setting sun. It was, indeed, a time of wild excitement. Every ship that returned from the Indies might, and not a few did, bring tidings of the discovery of new and powerful empires before undreamt of. People of all ages and of every grade in society flocked to the sea ports, and took ship for the Indies; excited beyond control by the accounts of those inexhaustible riches and fabulous glories, which penetrated to every village in Spain. Among the leaders of these expeditions there were some honourable knights, with courteous manners and cultivated minds, such as Diego de Alvarado, Garcilasso de la Vega, and Lorenzo de Aldana.[3] But the majority were either coarse and avaricious adventurers, or disappointed courtiers, like that young scamp Alonzo Enriquez de Guzman, whom I introduced to the notice of the Hakluyt Society in 1862. Cieza de Leon, at the time of his embarkation, was a mere boy, too young to be classed under any of these heads. His character was destined to be formed in a rough and savage school, and it is most remarkable that so fine a fellow as our author really was, should have been produced amidst the horrors of the Spanish American conquest. Humane, generous, full of noble sympathies, observant, and methodical; he was bred amidst scenes of cruelty, pillage, and wanton destruction, which were calculated to produce a far different character. Considering the circumstances in which he was placed from early boyhood, his book is certainly a most extraordinary, as well as an inestimable result of his labours and military services.

It does not appear in what fleet our boy soldier set out from Spain; but judging from the date, and from the company in which we find him immediately on landing in America, I consider it more than probable that he sailed from his native land in one of the ships which formed the expeditionary fleet of Don Pedro de Heredia.

Heredia, who had already served with distinction on the coast of Tierra Firme, had obtained a grant of the government of all the country, between the river Magdalena and the gulf of Darien, from Charles V. He was a native of Madrid, where, having had his nostrils slit in a street brawl, he had killed three of the men who had treated him with this indignity. Forced to leave his native country, he took refuge in San Domingo, and a relation had interest enough to get him appointed as lieutenant to Garcia de Lerma, in an expedition to Santa Martha; whence he returned to Spain. He was a man of considerable ability, judgment, and determination, was respected by his own followers, and had already had some experience in Indian warfare. His lieutenant was Francisco de Cesar, one of the most dashing officers of the time.[4]

Heredia’s expedition, which consisted of one galleon and two caravels, carrying in all about a hundred men, sailed from Cadiz in the end of 1532. They first touched at San Domingo, where Heredia took on board more recruits, forty-seven horses, and some leathern cuirasses, which had been prepared as a protection against the poisoned arrows of the Indians. On the 14th of January 1533 the expedition entered the bay of Carthagena,[5] on the main land of South America, where the disembarkation of the Spaniards was bravely contested by the natives. In no part of Spanish America did the Indians more resolutely defend their homes, than along the coast of the Tierra Firme, as it was called; and young Cieza de Leon saw some very rough service on his first landing in the new world. Eventually Heredia succeeded in founding the city of Carthagena, of which he was the first governor, and in establishing a firm footing in the surrounding country: and for some three or four years the future author continued to serve under him. In 1535 Cieza de Leon accompanied Heredia’s brother Alonzo to the gulf of Darien or Uraba, where a settlement was formed called San Sebastian de Buena Vista.

Meanwhile, a judge, named Pedro Vadillo, was sent to Carthagena to examine into the proceedings of Heredia, with full powers from the Audiencia of San Domingo; and he threw the governor into prison. His violent proceedings were disapproved in Spain, and another lawyer was sent out to sit in judgment on the judge. The licentiate Vadillo, who seems to have been better fitted for a soldier than for a judge, resolved to perform some service, or make some discovery in the interval, the importance of which, in a military point of view, should secure oblivion for his misconduct as a lawyer. He, therefore, organised a force of four hundred Spaniards at San Sebastian de Uraba, and, setting out early in 1538, crossed the mountains of Abibe, and advanced up the valley of the Cauca.

Cieza de Leon, then in his nineteenth year, accompanied Vadillo in this bold adventure as a private soldier. It was now upwards of five years since he first landed in the new world, the whole of which time had been spent by him in severe and dangerous service in the province of Carthagena. At an age when most boys are at school, this lad had been sharing in all the hardships and perils of seasoned veterans; and even then he was gifted with powers of observation far beyond his years, as is proved by his very interesting account of the Indians of Uraba.[6] Amongst other things he tells us that the women of Uraba are the prettiest and most loveable of any that he had seen in the Indies.

The expedition of Vadillo was one of those desperate undertakings which, common as they were in the history of those times, still fill us with astonishment. Young Cieza de Leon took his share in the dangers and privations which were encountered, and which none but men endowed with extraordinary bravery and fortitude could have overcome.

After marching over a low forest covered plain, the explorers had to cross the mountains of Abibe, “where the roads were assuredly most difficult and wearisome, while the roots were such that they entangled the feet of both men and horses. At the highest part of the mountains there was a very laborious ascent, and a still more dangerous descent on the other side.” At this point many of the horses fell over the precipices and were dashed to pieces, and even some of the men were killed, while others were so much injured that they were left behind in the forests, awaiting their deaths in great misery. On one occasion our young soldier was posted as a sentry on the banks of a stream whence some kind of centipede dropped from a branch, and bit him in the neck. He adds that he passed the most painful and wearisome night he ever experienced in his life. At length Vadillo’s gallant little band completed their march over the terrible mountains of Abibe, and entered the pleasant valleys ruled by the cacique Nutibara. Thence the bold licentiate marched up the valley of the Cauca.

In this march the Spaniards suffered terribly from want of proper food, the difficulties of the road, and the constant attacks of the Indians. They clamoured for a retreat to the coast, but this did not suit the views of Vadillo, who knew that imprisonment probably awaited him at Carthagena; and, when the discontent of his men became formidable, he drew his sword and rushed alone into the woods, crying out that, let who would go back, he should press on till he met with better fortune. The troops were ashamed to desert him, and eventually they reached Cali, in the upper part of the Cauca valley. Here at length he was abandoned by all his followers, and went on almost alone to Popayan, whence he returned to Spain.[7]

The followers of Vadillo joined those of Lorenzo de Aldana,[8] who was then governing Popayan for Pizarro, and many of them returned down the valley of the Cauca again with an officer named Jorge de Robledo, who was commissioned to conquer and settle the country discovered by Vadillo. Among this number was our author, who witnessed the subjugation of the cannibal tribes of the Cauca, the foundation of several so-called cities, and the perpetration of much cruelty. He received a repartimiento of Indians in the province of Arma, for his services. Robledo returned to Spain, and came back with the title of marshal, and the grant of the government of a country with ill-defined limits, in 1546. The fierce and unscrupulous Sebastian de Belalcazar was then governor of Popayan. He claimed the territory which Robledo had occupied, and when that officer refused to retire, he surprised him at a place called Picara on the 1st of October, 1546, took him prisoner, and hung him, in spite of the entreaties of the unfortunate knight to be beheaded like a gentleman.[9] The cannibal Indians are said to have eaten the body. Cieza de Leon, who had served under Robledo for several years, makes the following remark on his death, in recapitulating the fate which overtook all the conquerors who were cruel to the natives: “The marshal Don Jorge Robledo consented to allow great harm to be done to the Indians in the province of Pozo, and caused many to be killed with cross-bows and dogs. And God permitted that he should be sentenced to death in the same place, and have for his tomb the bellies of Indians.”[10] Our young author joined the service of Belalcazar, on the death of Robledo.

Cieza de Leon began to write a journal of some kind, which formed the material for his future work, in the year 1541 at Cartago, in the Cauca valley, when serving under Robledo. He tells us that “as he noted the many great and strange things that are to be seen in this new world of the Indies, there came upon him a strong desire to write an account of some of them, as well those which he had seen with his own eyes, as those he had heard of from persons of good repute.”[11] He was then twenty-two years of age, and from that time he seems to have persevered, in spite of many difficulties, in keeping a careful record of all he saw and heard. “Oftentimes,” he says, “when the other soldiers were reposing, I was tiring myself by writing. Neither fatigue, nor the ruggedness of the country, nor the mountains and rivers, nor intolerable hunger and suffering, have ever been sufficient to obstruct my two duties, namely writing and following my flag and my captain without fault.”[12]

In 1547 the President Gasca landed in Peru, and marched against Gonzalo Pizarro, who was in open rebellion at Cuzco. All loyal officers were called upon to join the royal standard, and troops at Popayan were hurried south with this object. Cieza de Leon, now a stout young man at arms, was among them.[13] By this time he was a veteran of sixteen years service, with his intellect matured and sharpened in a rough and trying school, and every faculty on the alert. His habit of careful observation with a fixed object, and the practical life he was leading, render his remarks, on all he saw during this march, of the greatest value. Mr. Prescott says of him that “his testimony, always good, becomes for these events of more than usual value.”[14] The reinforcements from Popayan marched by Pasto and Quito to Tumebamba, then down to the sea-shore, and along the coast to Lima, then across the Andes again, by Xauxa and Guamanga, until they joined the army of the president Gasca in the valley of Andahuaylas.

Thus Cieza de Leon had the opportunity of seeing a very extensive and varied tract of country. Nothing escaped his observation. The ruins of palaces and store-houses, the great Ynca roads, the nature of the country, the products, the natural phenomena, the method of irrigation, the traditions,—all were carefully noted down by this indefatigable and intelligent young observer. He was present at the final rout of Gonzalo Pizarro, and at the subsequent trial and execution of that chief, and of his fierce old lieutenant Carbajal.[15] He afterwards went to Cuzco, and to the valleys to the eastward, and, in the year 1549, he undertook a journey to the silver-yielding province of Charcas, with the sole object “of learning all that was worthy of notice,”[16] under the special auspices of the President Gasca himself, who supplied him with letters of introduction. In travelling over the Collao, and along the shores of lake Titicaca, he tells us that “he stopped to write all that deserved mention concerning the Indians;”[17] and at Tiahuanaco “he wandered over all the ruins, writing down what he saw.”[18] He then visited the silver mines of Porco and Potosi, and returned to Lima, by way of Arequipa and the coast. At Lima our author finished writing his notes on the 8th of September, 1550, and sailed for Spain, after having passed seventeen years of his life in the Indies.

The first part of his intended work was published at Seville in 1553; and the author died in about 1560. We may gather from his writings that he was humane and generous in his dealings with the Indians, indignant at the acts of cruelty and oppression which he was forced to witness, that he was in the habit of weighing the value of conflicting evidence in collecting his information,[19] and that fuller reliance may be placed on his statements, than upon those of almost any other writer of the period. It is very much to be regretted that so little is known of the life of this remarkable man, beyond what he incidentally tells us himself.[20]

The young author commences his first part with a dedication to Philip II, in which, while dwelling on the grandeur and importance of his subject, he modestly says that he, an unlearned soldier, has undertaken it, because others of more learning were too much occupied in the wars to write. He began to take notes because no one else was writing anything concerning what had occurred, and he reflected that “time destroys the memory of events, in such sort that soon there is no knowledge of what has passed.” In his prologue he gives a full and detailed account of the four parts of his Chronicle, only the first of which has reached us. They were to contain respectively the geography, the early history, the conquest, and the civil wars of Peru. “The first part,” he says, “treats of the division of the provinces of Peru, as well towards the sea as inland, with the longitudes and latitudes. It contains a description of the provinces; an account of the new cities founded by the Spaniards, with the names of the founders, and the time when they were founded; an account of the ancient rites and customs of the native Indians, and other strange things very different from those of our country, which are worthy of note.” It is this part, the only one that was ever printed, which is now placed, for the first time in a translated form, in the hands of Members of the Hakluyt Society.

The work opens with a description of Panama; which is followed by a very accurate notice of all the anchorages and headlands along the west coast of South America, from that port to the southern part of Chile. Cieza de Leon seems to have taken much pains in collecting accurate information for the use of future navigators. “I have myself,” he says, “been in most of the ports and rivers which I have now described, and I have taken much trouble to ascertain the correctness of what is here written, having communicated with the dexterous and expert pilots who know the navigation of these ports, and who took the altitudes in my presence. I have taken no little trouble to ascertain the truth, and I have examined the new charts made by the pilots who discovered this sea.” He appears also to have collected reports from mariners who had sailed through the straits of Magellan, but they were lost, together with other papers and journals, which were stolen in the confusion consequent on the battle of Xaquixaguana.[21] The sailing directions of Cieza de Leon for the west coast of South America are among the earliest attempts of the kind. Information of the same sort is given in Dampier’s voyages; and these were the rude forerunners of the complete works of Admiral Fitz Roy, and other modern surveyors.

Having given the reader a clear idea of the coast of the great newly discovered empire of the Yncas, Cieza de Leon lands him in the gulf of Darien, and conducts him up the valley of the Cauca to Popayan.[22] This portion of his narrative is the more important, because no other writer has since given so complete an account of the Cauca valley. Cieza de Leon is still the best authority concerning this region, notwithstanding that more than three hundred years have elapsed since he wrote. It is true that Restrepo, in the beginning of this century, published a valuable memoir on Antioquia; and that such travellers as Cochrane, Mollien, and Holton have written accounts of Cali and Cartago, in the upper part of the valley of Cauca; but our author still stands alone in having given a full description of the whole length of this little-known valley. He not only describes the manners and customs of the aboriginal tribes, which all appear to have been addicted to cannibalism, but adds many very interesting pieces of information, such as a notice of the different kinds of bees, of the various methods of obtaining salt, and of the prevailing forms of animal and vegetable life.

From Popayan the reader is conveyed by this very pleasant companion along the great plateau of the Andes, by Pasto, Quito, and Riobamba, to Tumebamba, and Loxa.[23] Here, again, as indeed throughout the work, the nature of the country, the distances, the manners and customs of the natives, the climate, the staple products, and the animals to be met with, are all carefully noted. There are also descriptions of several ruined edifices, and a glowing account of the great road of the Yncas.[24] In this section, too, there is an excellent general sketch of the principal geographical features of Peru,[25] and some information respecting the origin and rise of the Ynca dynasty.[26]

The chapters relating to the emeralds of Manta, the giants on point Santa Elena, the island of Puna, and the city of Guayaquil, are derived from hearsay, as our author does not appear to have visited that part of the country; but he was careful to sift his authorities, and to weigh their value,[27] and in this, as in many other respects, he is far superior to most of the writers of his time. His chapter on the equator[28] shows that questions of geographical science attracted the attention of the young soldier; while his careful notes in connection with the absence of rain on the Peruvian coast,[29] are evidence that he was not unmindful of the natural phenomena of the strange land which he was exploring.

After traversing the valley of the Cauca, and the Cordillera of the Andes from Popayan to Loxa, Cieza de Leon descends to the Peruvian coast, and describes the sandy deserts, and every intervening fertile valley from Tumbez to Tarapaca.[30] Here again we have interesting accounts of the manners and customs of the natives, especially of the method of burying their dead; descriptions of ruins, of works of irrigation, and of the great coast road of the Yncas; and notices of the fruits, trees, and animals.

Having completed a survey of the coast valleys, Cieza de Leon returns to the Cordillera of the Andes, and describes the country from Caxamarca, by way of Huanuco, Xauxa, Guamanga, Andahuaylas, and Abancay, to Cuzco,[31] the capital of the empire of the Yncas. After devoting two chapters to the city of Cuzco,[32] he then gives an account of the lovely valleys and interminable tropical forests to the eastward;[33] and completes his extensive travels by a description of the cold region of the Collao, the shores of lake Titicaca, the imposing ruins of Tiahuanaco, and the silver-yielding provinces of Plata and Potosi. The interest of the latter part of this remarkable work is enhanced by the discussion of such points in physical geography as the drainage of lake Titicaca, and by information respecting the silver mines, the animals of the llama tribe found in Peru, the vegetable products of the country, and the progress of the Indians in the arts of building, weaving, dying, and working in silver, stone, and clay.

Such is a brief sketch of the contents of Cieza de Leon’s chronicle. Bearing evident marks of honesty of purpose, and skill in the selection of materials, on the part of its author, it is at the same time written by one who examined almost every part of the empire of the Yncas, within a few years of the conquest. It is, therefore, a work of the greatest possible value to the student of early South American history, and has always stood very high as an authority, in the estimation of modern historians. Among these, Mr. Prescott bears strong testimony to the merits of Cieza de Leon.[34]

The first part of the Chronicle of Peru, by Pedro de Cieza de Leon, was published at Seville (folio) by Martin Clement in 1553. A second edition, in duodecimo, was printed at Antwerp by the famous publisher Jean Steeltz, in 1554; and a third edition, translated into Italian by Augustino di Gravalis, appeared at Rome, from the press of Valerius Dorigius (octavo) in 1555. A copy of the first Seville edition, which is in black letter, fetched £10 at Lord Stuart de Rothesay’s sale a few years ago.

It would appear that the author completed the second and third parts of his Chronicle before his death, if not the fourth, and Mr. Rich found them at Madrid in manuscript;[35] but they have never been printed. The disappearance of the second part is by far the greatest loss that has been sustained by South American literature, since the burning of Blas Valera’s manuscript, when Lord Essex sacked Cadiz. It contained an account of the government of the Yncas, described their customs, laws, temples, and roads, and related the traditions connected with their origin and history. There can be no doubt that it was written, because Cieza de Leon, in his first part, frequently refers to special passages in it for further information. Our author had peculiar advantages for writing the history of ancient Peruvian civilisation. He was in Peru so soon after the conquest, that he had opportunities of conversing with many of the advisers and generals of the greatest of the Yncas; while his habits of careful observation, his caution, and his sound judgment on points unconnected with his religion, rendered him more fit to record the history of the Yncas, than even Garcilasso de la Vega, or any subsequent chronicler. For these reasons the loss of his second part can never be sufficiently deplored.

Before leaving my author to the reader’s judgment, it will be well to give some general idea of the great empire of the Yncas, as it appeared in the days when Cieza de Leon first gazed upon its snowy mountains, and at the same time to offer some account of what is known concerning the people who inhabited it. Such a sketch will form a fitting introduction to the agreeable chapters of the young Spaniard; and will, I trust, stimulate, in some degree, the interest with which they will be read.

There is scarcely any country in the world which presents so great a variety of aspects as that region, stretching from the Ancasmayu to the Maule, which once formed the empire of the Yncas. Within these wide limits there are snowy mountain peaks second only to the Himalayas in height; cold plains and bleak hills where a tough grass is the only vegetation; temperate valleys covered with corn fields and willow groves; others filled with richest sub-tropical vegetation; vast plains forming one interminable primeval forest traversed by navigable rivers; trackless sandy deserts; and fertile stretches of field and fruit garden on the Pacific coast. Cieza de Leon properly divides this region into four great divisions:—the uninhabitable frozen plains and mountain peaks, the temperate valleys and plains which intersect the Andes, the great primeval forests, and the deserts and valleys of the coast. It is a land of surpassing grandeur, and exceeding beauty. The snowy peaks of the Andes, upwards of twenty thousand feet above the sea, may be seen from the deserts of sand which fringe the coast, rising in their majesty from the plains, and towering up into a cloudless sky. In the northern and central part of this Peruvian cordillera, the mountain ranges are broken up into profound ravines and abysses, producing scenery of unequalled splendour. At one glance of the eye a series of landscapes may here be taken in, representing every climate on the globe. On the steep sides of one mountain are the snowy wilds and bleak ridges of the Arctic regions, the cold pastures of northern Scotland, the corn fields and groves of central Europe, the orange trees and vineyards of Italy, and the palms and sugar canes of the tropics. But it is in the lovely ravines which lead from the eastern slopes of the Andes to the virgin forests of the interior that nature has been most profusely decked with all the charms that can please the eye, and enriched with overflowing vegetable and mineral wealth. The forests here abound in those beautiful chinchona trees, the fragrance and beauty of whose flowers are almost forgotten because of the inestimable value of their bark. Slender and delicate palms and tree ferns of many kinds, matted creepers, and giant buttressed trees clothe the steep hill sides; and cascades and torrents unite to form rivers, whose sands sparkle with gold. Whether it be in these forest-covered valleys, in the stupendous ravines of the Cordillera, on the frozen heights, or amidst the sandy wildernesses of the coast, the scenery is ever on a scale either of sublime grandeur or of exquisite beauty. Rich, indeed, was the prize which the hardy comrades of Cieza de Leon won for the Castilian crown.

In contemplating this glorious region, one of the first thoughts that naturally suggests itself is that the early inhabitants must have been, to a great extent, isolated and shut out from all intercourse with their neighbours, by the almost insuperable obstacles which the nature of the country presents to locomotion; and this remark is equally applicable to every part of a country which is unequalled in the variety of its climates and of its general features. The spread of the empire of the Yncas is, considering all the circumstances, the most remarkable occurrence in the history of the American race; and one of its results was the destruction of all former land marks of tribe or creed, and the reduction of the numerous ancient nations of the Cordillera and the coast to one great family under one head, by a process not unlike that which takes place on the acquisition of every new province by modern France. Hence the great difficulty of obtaining any clear idea of the condition of the various tribes which inhabited Peru, at a date anterior to the Ynca conquests and annexations. A careful study of the subject, however, enables us at least to distinguish a few leading facts—namely that the region, which afterwards formed the empire of the Yncas, was originally peopled by a number of distinct nations, speaking different languages, and slowly advancing on independent paths of very gradual progress, though all bearing a strong family likeness to each other. I will briefly state what I have been able to gather respecting these aboriginal tribes, commencing with the Quichuas, that imperial race which eventually, under its renowned Yncas, swallowed up all the others.

In the central part of the Peruvian Cordillera, round the city of Cuzco, the country consists of cool but temperate plains and warm genial valleys. On the plains there were clumps of molle trees,[36] and crops of quinoa,[37] ocas,[38] and potatoes, while large flocks of llamas browsed on the coarse tufts of ychu grass. In the valleys the rich and abundant fields of maize were fringed by rows of delicious fruit trees—the chirimoya,[39] the paccay, the palta,[40] the lucuma, and the granadilla. This region was called in the native language—Quichua, and the inhabitants were Quichuas.[41]

The eventual predominance of these Quichuas may probably be accounted for by the superiority of the climate and natural conformation of their native country. While their neighbours, on the one hand, had to struggle painfully with the encroaching vigour of tropical forests, and, on the other, with the hardships of a sterile and half frozen alpine plateau, or with the isolation of small villages surrounded by trackless sandy deserts, the Quichuas were enjoying a warm though healthy climate, and reaping abundance from a fertile soil. They were placed in a position which was most advantageous for the complete development of all the civilisation of which that great family of mankind, to which they belong, are capable.

And they attained to that degree of civilisation by very slow and gradual advances. Many things, and especially the character of the people, lead to the belief that cycles of ages must have elapsed before these Quichuas were in a position to establish a superiority over their neighbours, and assume the position of an imperial people.

The Quichuas were a fine, well-developed race, of short stature. They were square shouldered, and broad chested, with small hands and feet, and a comparatively large head. The hair is black and long, and usually plaited into numerous minute plaits, and they have little or no beard. The eyes are horizontal with arched brows, the forehead high but somewhat receding, the nose aquiline and large, the lips thick, cheek bones rather high, and chin small. These people were gentle, hospitable, and obedient. They were good fathers and husbands, patient, industrious, intelligent, and sociable, and loved to live together in villages, rather than in scattered huts.[42] The women, when young, were exceedingly pretty and well shaped, and they held an honourable and respected place in society. The mass of the people were either farmers or shepherds. Each family had a piece of land apportioned to it by the State, often in well-built terraces up the sides of the mountains, on which the members either hoed and ploughed the soil, and raised crops of gourds, maize, potatoes, ocas, or quinoa; or they cultivated fruit trees; or, again, they tended flocks of llamas on the pasture lands, according to the situation of their little patrimonies. Their habitations were of stone or mud, covered with admirable thatched roofs,[43] they wove warm cloth from llama wool, made earthenware and stone vessels, manufactured tasteful ornaments of gold and silver, and used hoes, rakes, rude ploughs, and other simple agricultural implements.

One important test of the capacity of a people for civilisation is their ability to domesticate animals. The inferiority of the African, as compared with the Hindu, is demonstrated by the latter having domesticated the elephant and made it the useful and hard-working companion of man; while the former, during the thousands of years that he has inhabited the African continent, has never achieved any such result, and has merely destroyed the elephant for the sake of his ivory tusks. Now, in the case of the Quichuas, although their domesticated animals were few, they comprised all that were capable of domestication within the limits of their country. During the three centuries that Europeans have since been masters of Peru, not a single indigenous quadruped or bird has been added to the list. The domesticated animals of the Quichuas were the llama, the alpaca, a dog, the ccoy or guinea pig, and a duck. Besides these they tamed, as pets, the monkey, the parrot, the toucan,[44] a kind of gull frequenting the lakes of the Andes, a hawk, and several finches. The llama and alpaca do not exist in a wild state at all, and the variety in the colours of their fleeces seems to be a sign of long domestication. The huanacu and vicuña, the wild species of their family, have fleeces of a uniform and unalterable colour, and it probably took an incalculable period[45] to change the wild into the domesticated form. The llama served the Quichuas as a beast of burden, its flesh supplied them with food, its fleece with clothing, and its hide with thongs and sandals. The finer fleece of the alpaca was reserved for the use of the sovereign and his nobles.[46] Guinea pigs ran in hundreds about the huts, they were used as food, and the variety of their colours points out the length of time during which they had been in a domesticated state. The alco or dog was the companion of the Quichua shepherds; and the duck was bred in their homesteads for food, and for the sake of the feathers, which often formed a fringe for the women’s llicllas or mantles.

These simple Quichua farmers and shepherds seem to have kept many festivals, and other observances handed down to them by their fathers. A half philosophic sun worship was enjoined by their superiors, but the people retained an ancient habit of deifying and making household gods of their llamas, their corn, and their fruit. Their seasons of sowing and of harvest were celebrated by dancing and singing, and their songs, some of which have been preserved, were lively and graceful: but the chicha bowl flowed far too freely. A barbarous rite of burial was practised by these people in common with nearly all South American tribes, and is described in many places by Cieza de Leon; and they held the malquis or mummies of their dead in superstitious veneration.

The productiveness of the soil and the increasing prosperity of the people had, in the course of time, given rise to a governing class of Curacas and nobles, to a caste of Umus and Huaca-camayocs, or priests and diviners, and eventually to a despotic sovereign or Ynca, with a privileged royal family. This upper class had leisure, was exempted from ordinary toil, acquired numerous artificial wants, and therefore gradually developed that higher civilisation in the Quichua nation which eventually enabled it to spread its conquests over an immense region, and to consolidate a great and well organised empire.

The advances in civilisation of this upper class were by no means contemptible. The ruins at Cuzco, and in the neighbourhood, bear witness to their marvellous skill in masonry. Their buildings were massive, indeed Cyclopean, but the huge stones were cut and put in their places with extraordinary accuracy; and, although the general effect is plain and sombre, there was frequently some attempt at ornamentation. Such were the rows of recesses with sides sloping inwards, the cornices, and the occasional serpents and other figures carved in relief on the stones. The roofs, though merely of thatch, were thick and durable, and so artistically finished as to give a very pleasing effect to the buildings.[47]

In the furniture of their dwellings and the clothing of their persons the Ynca nobles had reached a high degree of refinement. Their pottery is especially remarkable, and the Peruvian potter gratified the taste of his employers by moulding vessels into every form in nature, from which he could take a model. Professor Wilson, who has carefully examined several collections of ancient Peruvian pottery, says—“Some of the specimens are purposely grotesque, and by no means devoid of true comic fancy; while, in the greater number, the endless variety of combinations of animate and inanimate forms, ingeniously rendered subservient to the requirements of utility, exhibit fertility of thought in the designer, and a lively perceptive faculty in those for whom he wrought.”[48] Many of these vessels, moulded into forms to represent animals and fruits, were used as conopas or household gods; others were for the service of the temple; others for interment with the malquis or mummies, and others for the use of the Yncas and their nobles. The common people used vessels of simple form. The Yncas also had drinking cups of gold and silver, beaten out very fine, and representing llamas, or human heads. Vessels of copper also, and plates and vases of stone with serpents carved round them in relief, are of frequent occurrence, as well as golden bracelets and breast-plates, and mirrors of silver or polished stone. Their knives and other cutting instruments were of copper, hardened with tin or silica.[49] Their clothing consisted of cloth woven from the wool of the llama, alpaca, and vicuña; the latter as fine as silk and undyed, for its own rich chestnut colour was sufficiently becoming. They had attained to great proficiency in the art of weaving and dyeing. Tasteful designs were woven in the cloth, which was dyed flesh colour, yellow, gray, blue, green, and black; for they knew the art of fixing dyes extracted from vegetable substances, so that the cloth will never fade.[50] They ornamented their robes, tunics, rugs, and blankets with fringes, borders of feathers, and also by sowing on them rows of thin gold and silver plates, sometimes square, at others cut into the shape of leaves and flowers. They also adorned wooden seats and couches, by covering them with these thin plates of gold and silver. The interior of a hall in the palace of an Ynca was thus filled with articles of luxury. The great doors, with the sides gradually approaching, were often ornamented with a cornice, and finished above with a huge stone lintel. The walls of solid masonry, beautifully cut and polished, had small square windows,[51] and deep recesses of the same size, at intervals. The walls were hung with rich vicuña cloth fringed with bezants of gold and silver, or with llama cloth dyed with bright colours, and woven into tasteful patterns. The niches were filled with gold and silver statues, and with vases moulded into the shape of llamas, birds, and fruit. The floors were soft with rich carpets and rugs, and the seats and couches were plated with gold. Numerous small chambers opened on the great halls, and the baths were fitted up with metal spouts in the form of serpents, from which the water flowed into stone basins.[52]

The intellectual advancement of the Quichua people had kept pace with the increase in their material comforts; and their religious belief, their literary culture, their discoveries in the sciences of astronomy and mechanics, and their administrative talent, if not of a very high order, at least prove very clearly that they were not incapable of attaining a respectable rank amongst civilised nations. During the last two centuries of their existence as an independent people, their progress was very rapid.

The religion of the Yncas and their nobles was, as is well known, a worship of the celestial bodies, and especially of the sun; that of the cultivators and shepherds a reverence for every object in nature—for their llamas, for their corn, for their fruits, for hills and streams, and above all for the malquis or mummies of their dead. To all these, sacrifices of the fruits of the earth were made. The more spiritual worship of the men of leisure was combined with complicated ceremonial observances, gorgeous temples, and an influential caste of priests, wise men, and virgins. The worship of the sun, and the great importance attached to its apparent course, as connected with the seasons of sowing and reaping, led to the acquirement of some astronomical knowledge, but there is no evidence that any great progress was made in this direction. The Chibchas of Bogota and the Aztecs of Mexico were in advance of the Quichuas in astronomical science. The Yncas knew the difference between the solar and lunar year, they had introduced intercalary days to reconcile that difference, and they observed the periods of the solstices and equinoxes. They also watched and recorded the courses of some of the stars, and of comets. They had a complete system of numerals, perfectly balanced pairs of scales have been found in Peruvian tombs, and their administrators must have been in the habit of making and recording very complicated revenue accounts. Their year was divided into twelve months, and great periodical festivals celebrated the periods of the solstices and equinoxes.[53] The proficiency of the Quichuas in mechanical science was of a high order, as is attested by their magnificent roads and aqueducts, and by the conveyance of Cyclopean blocks of stone for their buildings.

The language of the Quichuas was carefully cultivated during many centuries by the Haravecs or bards in their love ditties and songs of triumph, and by the Amautas or wise men, whose duty it was to preserve the traditions of the people, and to prepare the rituals for the worship of the Deity; and their literary productions in prose and verse were preserved by means of the quipus. The Quichua was a highly polished language, and the student who may turn his attention to the history of the South American races, will find in this rich and copious tongue many ancient fragments of prose and poetry which will convince him of the civilisation of the ancient Peruvians.[54] It is true that they had not discovered the use of letters, but it must be remembered that they were completely isolated and precluded from exchanging ideas with the other races of mankind. If no communication, direct or indirect, had existed between Phœnicia and the other countries of the old world, how many of them would, by their own unassisted genius, have discovered the use of letters. Would the Tamils and Canarese of India? Would the Malays of the islands? It may well be doubted; and, after all, the quipus, though a clumsy, were not altogether an inefficient substitute.[55]

But it is in their administrative arrangements that the intellectual progress of the Yncas is most strikingly displayed. Theirs was the most enlightened despotism that ever existed. The Ynca claimed to be Yntip-churi or “child of sun,” but his not less glorious title was Huaccha-cuyac or “friend of the poor.” His duty was to superintend the comfort and happiness of the people, and to take care that no family was without a topu or plot of ground sufficient for his maintenance. The net produce of the land was divided into three equal parts, one for the cultivators, the second for religious and charitable purposes, and the third for the Ynca and his government; including the clothing and maintenance of the nobles, and of soldiers, miners, potters, weavers, and other artizans. Curacas or chiefs were placed over the different districts, with subordinate officers under them, and a minute supervision was exercised over all matters connected with revenue and judicial administration. Crime was almost unknown.[56]

Such were the Quichuas, the representative people of the Peruvian Andes. To the eastward of their original territory, in the virgin forests which are traversed by the tributaries of the Amazon, dwelt the Antis and Chunchos, who wandered about in search of food, through the interminable wilderness of matted vegetation. They never seem to have made any progress; what they are now, such they were centuries ago: the nature of the country renders advancement impossible. Moreover they probably belong to the great Tupi-Guarani race of Brazil, and are distinct from the Peruvian tribes. To the south of the Quichuas, on either side of the upper valley of the Vilcamayu, were the wild shepherd tribes called Asancatus, Asillus, Cavinas, Canas, and Canches.[57] But still further south, beyond the Vilcañota range of mountains, there was a great people, almost rivalling the Quichuas, who seem to have made some progress in civilisation, in the face of formidable natural difficulties. These were the Collas or Aymaras.

In the southern part of Peru the Cordillera of the Andes is divided into two chains. That to the eastward, containing the peaks of Illimani and Yllampu, consists of rocks of Silurian formation mixed with granite, and the peaks themselves are said to be fossiliferous to their summits. The other range to the westward is chiefly volcanic, and contains the famous volcano of Misti, and the glorious peaks of Chuquibamba and Chacani. Between these two chains of mountains there are lofty plateaux, never less than twelve thousand feet above the sea, the drainage of which flows into the great lake of Titicaca. Here there are no deep temperate valleys and ravines, nothing but bleak plains covered with coarse tufts of grass, with occasional patches of potatoe, quinoa, and oca. The climate is very severe, and the only trees, which are few and far between, are the stunted crooked queñua (Polylepis villosa) and the dark leaved ccolli (Buddleia coriacea). In some places a low shrubby Baccharis is met with, which serves as fuel. This region, known as the Collao, was inhabited by the Aymara nation.

These Aymaras had to contend against a rigorous climate and an unproductive soil; they had none of the advantages enjoyed by their Quichua neighbours, and had consequently made slower advances in civilisation, but they were apparently an offshoot from the same common stock. The descendants of the Aymaras are shorter and more thick-set than those of the Quichuas, and their features are coarser and less regular. Cieza de Leon says that they flattened their skulls in infancy. They wore woollen cloths and square caps, and the women had hoods like those of a friar.[58] The land was too cold for maize, and the people lived on potatoes and ocas, which they preserved by drying them in the sun and then freezing them, for winter use. In this state they were called chuñus. There were large flocks of llamas and alpacas, and wild vicuñas on the unfrequented heights. The Aymaras lived in stone huts roofed with straw, which were built close together in villages, with the potatoe, oca, and quinoa fields around them.[59] Cieza de Leon states that the Collao was once very populous, and the numerous vestiges of former cultivation up the terraced sides of the mountains, bear witness to the truth of his assertion. The people were ruled by chiefs who were treated with great respect, and carried about in litters.

There is a mystery about the civilisation of the ancient Aymaras, which cannot now be solved. The origin and history of the extensive unfinished ruins at Tiahuanaco, near the southern shore of lake Titicaca, will for ever remain a secret; but there can be no doubt that a people who could form so magnificent a design, convey such huge blocks of stone from great distances, hew out the enormous monolithic doorways, and carve them with such minuteness of ornamental detail, must have been numerous, and civilised.[60] There are also remains of Aymara burial places in various parts of the Collao, especially on the peninsula of Sillustani, which consist of towers of hewn masonry.[61] We learn from Cieza de Leon that the Aymaras observed the movements of the sun and moon, and divided their year into ten months. He considered them to be a very intelligent people. He gives an account of their funeral ceremonies,[62] and a very interesting description of a harvest home among the Aymaras,[63] and states that they were often engaged in civil wars.[64] The Aymara language, which is still in common use on the banks of lake Titicaca, though identical with Quichua in grammatical construction, has a distinct vocabulary.[65] It is worthy of remark, however, that though the first few numerals in Aymara are indigenous, all the higher numbers are borrowed from the Quichua.[66] Next to the Quichuas, the Aymaras were by far the most important and civilised people in the Peruvian Andes; and though their climate and soil was against them, there is some ground for the opinion that their civilisation, such as it was, boasts of an origin more ancient than that of the Quichuas. But all such speculations are mere conjecture.

In the rich valleys and on the grassy mountain sides of the Central Peruvian Andes, to the westward of the Quichuas, dwelt three nations which were called by their future conquerors—the Chancas, Pocras, and Huancas.[67] They inhabited the districts now known as Abancay, Andahuaylas, Guamanga, and Xauxa. Little or nothing is known of their history anterior to their absorption into the empire of the Yncas, and if they had a distinct language, it must have been either very barbarous or very closely allied to Quichua, for no vestige of it has survived.[68] All the ruins which might have enabled us to form an idea of their skill in building, such as the temple of Huarivilca in the valley of Xauxa,[69] have entirely disappeared. It appears, however, that they were very fierce and warlike, that each village had a fortress, and that they made a desperate struggle for independence before they were finally subjugated by the Quichuas.[70]

North of Xauxa, the valleys and plateaux of the Cordillera were inhabited by the Conchucos, and by the Indians of Huamachuco, Caxamarca, Chachapoyas, and Bracamoras. This brings us to the frontier of Quito. The tribes of northern Peru are also said to have been warlike, and to have been incessantly engaged in feuds with each other.[71] They are described as intelligent industrious agriculturists, with some knowledge of the courses of the heavenly bodies, and the same customs of burying their dead and worshipping huacas in the form of stones or other natural objects, as prevailed among the masses of the Quichua people.[72]

We now come to the inhabitants of the numerous isolated fertile tracts on the Pacific coast, who were all known by the Yncas, as Yuncas or “dwellers in the warm valleys.”[73]

The Peruvian coast has been, geologically speaking, recently upheaved from the sea. It is a narrow strip of land, averaging a breadth of from ten to forty miles, confined on one side by the ocean, on the other by the magnificent Andes, which rise abruptly from the plains. The whole of this region consists of sandy desert, intersected by ranges of rocky hills, except where a stream flows down from the mountains to the sea, and forms an oasis of verdure and fertility. These pleasant valleys are in some parts of the coast of frequent occurrence, and are only separated by narrow strips of sand; while in others the trackless deserts extend for nearly a hundred miles without a break. It scarcely ever rains on the Peruvian coast, but a heavy dew, during part of the year, falls on the valleys.

The most ancient traces of the American race have been found on the Pacific coast, in the shape of middings or refuse heaps, similar to those in Denmark. These middings, which have been examined by Mr. Spruce at Chanduy and Amotape, consist of fragments of pottery, sea shells, and crystal quartz cutting instruments.[74] They are the remains of a very ancient people of what is called, in European archæology, the stone age; and they suggest the possible existence of man in South America, contemporaneously with the post-pleistocene fossil vicuña of Corocoro. Be this how it may, there can be no doubt that the coast valleys of Peru had been inhabited for many centuries by Indian communities, which had made gradual progress in the improvement of their condition. Every part of these valleys, which could be reached by irrigation, was very fertile. Where irrigation ceased the desert commenced. The irrigated parts contained fields of cotton, of yucas, of maize, of aji pepper, of sweet potatoes, and of gourds; which were shaded by fruit trees festooned with passion flowers,[75] and by groves of algoroba (Prosopis horrida), of a sort of willow, and of the beautiful suchi (Plumieria). The most important traces of ancient civilisation are met with in the most extensive valleys, where the population was denser than in the smaller and more isolated oases.

The ancient works of irrigation in these valleys, now in ruins, excite the admiration of civil engineers who come to Peru to draw up schemes for imitating them.[76] Every square foot of land was under cultivation, none was wasted even for the sites of villages and temples, which were always built on the verge of the desert, or on the rocky spurs of the maritime cordillera, overlooking the algoroba woods, the groves of fruit trees, and the rising crops.[77] The fields were carefully manured, as well as watered by means of irrigating channels. In the valley of the Chilca they raised crops of Indian corn by putting two sardine heads into each hole with the grain, and thus the fish served for manuring the crops as well as for food.[78] The guano on the islands off the coast was also utilised as manure.[79] The houses were built of huge adobes, or bricks baked in the sun, with flat roofs of reed, plastered with mud; and the people were clothed in cotton dresses, which were very skilfully woven.[80] Their pottery was quite equal to that of the Quichuas, but at the same time clearly original in design; the vessels being made to imitate shells, fruit, fish, and other objects, which were familiar to the natives of the coast.

The great ruins at Caxamarquilla, at Pachacamac,[81] and of the Gran Chimu near Truxillo,[82] still afford evidence of the civilisation of the Yunca Indians, and of the wealth and power of their chiefs. The people were warlike, and the tribe inhabiting the Chincha valley is even said to have made incursions far into the heart of the Andes.[83] In the valley of the Rimac there are mounds or artificial hills of immense size, which appear to have been intended to afford protection against their enemies to the feudal lords; and to serve as a place of retreat for their retainers. A collection of ruins is almost always found at their feet, which formed the village of the tribe. Cieza de Leon gives a detailed account of the manners and customs of these Yunca chiefs, and of their subjects.[84] Nearly every valley had its independent chief and separate tribe; although some of the more powerful chiefs, such as the Grand Chimu, the Chuqui-mancu of the Rimac, and the Lord of Chincha, had extended their dominion over several valleys. The language of the coast was quite distinct from Quichua.[85]

In many parts of the coast the aboriginal Indians have been exterminated by Spanish cruelty, in others they have disappeared through frequent crosses with negroes, in others they have entirely lost, with their native language, all traces of the distinctive character which once marked their ancestors. It is exceedingly important, therefore, to obtain authentic information concerning any of the coast tribes which have retained their language and national characteristics; and the memoranda collected by Mr. Spruce at Piura, on this subject, which will be found in the accompanying note, contain some particulars of great interest.[86]

It will be natural to inquire whether a race, which had for centuries inhabited the valleys on the Pacific coast, had habitually navigated the ocean which was always in sight; and we find that they occasionally did venture to sea for fish, and that they undertook coasting voyages. The crooked algorobas, the willows, and fruit trees, afforded no suitable timber for boat-building; but the Yuncas supplied the place of timber by going afloat on inflated sealskins.[87] In this way they passed to and fro from the shore to the Guano islands, and, according to Acosta, they even went on long voyages to the westward.[88]

The kingdom of Quito, which eventually formed the most northern province of the empire of the Yncas, consists of a series of lofty plateaux from which rise the towering peaks of Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Chanduy; while both to the east and west a rich tropical vegetation fills the ravines which gradually subside on one side into the valley of the Amazon, and on the other into the Pacific coast. This region was inhabited by several aboriginal tribes, the most important of which were the Cañaris, the Puruaes, and the Caras. Velasco relates that the Caras, after having been settled for about two hundred years on the coast of Esmeraldas, marched up the Andes and established themselves at Quito, where they were ruled by a succession of sovereigns called Scyris, until the country was conquered by the Yncas. These Caras are said to have been little advanced in architecture, but to have been dexterous in weaving fabrics of cotton and llama wool, and to have excelled as lapidaries. A great emerald in the head-dress was the distinguishing mark of the reigning Scyri.

But all this information respecting the early inhabitants of Quito, and more of the same sort, is derived from Velasco, who wrote only in the end of the last century. In truth, there are scarcely any reliable facts in the history of the people of Quito, previous to their subjugation by the Yncas, and all the remains of roads and buildings confessedly date from the times of Ynca domination.[89] Cieza de Leon gives some account of the inhabitants of the Quitenian Andes.[90]

The principal aboriginal nations which inhabited the great empire of the Yncas have now been passed in review. In the temperate valleys of central Peru were the Quichuas, the most powerful and civilised of all. To the eastward of them were the savage Antis and Chunchos in the great tropical forests. To the south were the wild shepherd tribes of Canas, Canches, and others; and still further south were the more civilised Aymaras, struggling against the difficulties of a rigorous climate. To the westward of Cuzco were the warlike Chancas, Pocras, Huancas, and other tribes; and on the coast were numerous tribes known to the Yncas by the collective name of Yuncas. Finally, in the kingdom of Quito, among others of less note, were the nations of Caras, Puruaes, and Cañaris.

About three centuries before the arrival of Pizarro in Peru, the civilised and populous nation of Quichuas, feeling their superiority, began to make permanent and rapid conquests over the surrounding tribes in every direction. The date of the first commencement of these conquests cannot now be ascertained. Many centuries must have elapsed, and a long succession of Yncas must have reigned at Cuzco before an aggressive policy became the leading feature of their government; and there can be little doubt that their civilisation was indigenous, and not derived from any foreign source. The traditional Manco Ccapac may or may not have been the first Ynca, but there is no good reason for supposing that he was a foreigner; and I am decidedly of opinion that the Quichua civilisation is more likely to have required a period represented by the hundred Yncas of Montesinos, than by the dozen of Garcilasso de la Vega, for its full development.[91] But all the early traditions are probably fictitious, and the first really historical personage we meet with is the great conqueror Huiraccocha Ynca. This prince is frequently mentioned by Cieza de Leon,[92] and from his time the narrative of Ynca rule is clear and I think trustworthy. It was gathered, by our author and others, from the mouths of the old Ynca statesmen and generals, who told what they had themselves seen, and what they had heard from their sires and grandsires. It would appear, however, that, even before the time of Huiraccocha, the Quichuas had already extended their sway into some of the tropical valleys inhabited by the Antis and Chunchos, had subjugated the Canas and Canches, and, taking advantage of the civil wars of the Aymaras, had annexed the wide plains of the Collao and of Charcas, and the campiña of Arequipa.

The reigns of the last five Yncas were very long, and when the mummy of Huira-ccocha was discovered by the Corregidor Ondegardo,[93] it was found to be that of a very old man. We are justified, therefore, in placing his reign in the end of the thirteenth and beginning of the fourteenth century, contemporary with Edward I. of England.

Huira-ccocha organised an army, and, after having defeated the united forces of the Chancas, Pocras and Huancas, in the great battle of Yahuar-pampa, annexed the whole of the central part of the Peruvian Andes to his dominions.[94] The generals of his son and successor Pachacutec conquered the rich valleys of Xauxa and Caxamarca,[95] and the coast districts inhabited by the Yuncas.[96] Pachacutec’s son, the Ynca Yupanqui, made extensive conquests in the rich forest-covered tropical plains to the eastward of Cuzco, which were completed by his son Tupac Ynca Yupanqui.[97] The latter monarch extended his dominions as far as Tucuman and Chile on the south, and to the extreme limit of the kingdom of Quito on the north. Lastly, the famous Huayna Ccapac, during a long reign, consolidated and brought into subjection this vast empire.[98]

These conquests, extending over a period of about two centuries and a half or more, were not achieved without much hard fighting and stubborn resistance on the part of the invaded nations. This was especially the case with the Yuncas of the Pacific coast. The Yncas, however, succeeded in permanently establishing their power more by conciliation than by force of arms; and though their disciplined troops, wielding battle-axes, clubs and spears,[99] did good execution on the day of battle; yet the liberal treatment of the vanquished, and their experience of the benefits of Ynca rule, were far more efficacious agents in giving security to the new government.[100] At the same time, in cases of treachery or revolt, the Yncas were capable of terrible severity, as in the case of the slaughter at Yahuar-ccocha, described by Cieza de Leon, which was perpetrated under orders from Huayna Ccapac.[101]

During this period of conquest the Quichuas probably made more rapid progress in civilisation than they had done during many previous centuries. By becoming the dominant race over a vast region, their views became enlarged, their wants increased, and they learnt many things from communication with their conquered neighbours. Instead of being confined to the products of their native valleys, the Quichuas now obtained gold[102] and their beloved coca leaf[103] from the eastern forests; increased supplies of silver and copper from the country of the Aymaras; emeralds from Quito; fish from the Pacific Ocean; aji pepper, cotton fabrics, and an improved system of irrigation from the coast valleys. They also learnt from the vanquished the use of many medicinal herbs and vegetable dyes.

They had become an imperial race, and Cuzco was henceforward an imperial city,[104] to which the chiefs and retainers of a hundred tribes, all distinguished by peculiar head-dresses,[105] flocked to do homage to their common sovereign. Then it was that great palaces were erected. Then the famous fortress, with its Cyclopean stones, rose on the Sacsahuaman hill.[106] Then the Ccuri-cancha blazed forth in its almost fabulous splendour.[107] In short, all the works of the Yncas of imperial magnificence or importance date from this period of busy conquest, and some of them, such as the fortress of Ollantay-tambo, were in course of construction when the Spaniards arrived, and they remain unfinished. At this time, too, those wonderful lines of road were constructed, running from Cuzco east, west, north, and south, overcoming every natural obstacle, and affording the means of rapid communication from the capital to the extreme frontiers of the empire.[108] There were tampus or lodgings at short intervals, and public buildings for officials, for storing tribute, and for collecting necessaries for an army, were erected in almost every valley along the line of the roads.

The organisation of every branch of the government of this great empire displays extraordinary administrative ability on the part of the Yncas. Perhaps their most remarkable institution was the system of mitimaes or colonists, which is fully explained by Cieza de Leon.[109] Combined with their policy of superseding all local idioms by the rich and cultivated Quichua,[110] this system of mitimaes would soon have cemented the numerous conquered nations and tribes into one people, speaking one language.

If good government consists in promoting the happiness and comfort of a people, and in securing them from oppression; if a civilising government is one which brings the means of communication and of irrigating land to the highest possible state of efficiency, and makes steady advances in all the arts,—then the government of the Yncas may fairly lay claim to those titles. The roads, irrigating channels, and other public works of the Yncas were superior to anything of the kind that then existed in Europe. Their architecture is grand and imposing. Their pottery and ornamental work is little inferior to that of Greeks and Etruscans. They were skilled workers in gold, silver, copper, bronze, and stone. Their language was rich, polished, and elegant. Their laws showed an earnest solicitude for the welfare of those who were to live under them. Above all, their enlightened toleration, for the existence of which there are the clearest proofs, is a feature in their rule which, in one point of view at least, and that a most important one, raises them above their contemporaries in every part of the world.[111]

Cieza de Leon bears testimony to the excellence of the government of the Yncas. The intelligent young soldier seems to have been astonished at the order and regularity, the beneficence and forethought which prevailed in the government of that empire which had just been shattered by his cruel countrymen. He says that the Yncas ruled with such wisdom that few in the world ever excelled them;[112] and, in another place, he comes to the conclusion that “if the ancient polity had been preserved, it would not have failed to bring the Indians nearer to the way of good living and conversation; for few nations in the world have had a better government than the Yncas.”[113]

But our author came to Peru fifteen years after the seizure of Atahualpa by Pizarro, and, short as the interval was, a terrible devastation had spread over the length and breadth of the land. Over and over again Cieza de Leon mentions the destruction of the people. In every valley he entered, they had been killed by the Spaniards by thousands, and their buildings reduced to ruins.[114] In many districts the whole population had been exterminated. In one place he says—“Nearly all these valleys are now almost deserted, having once been so densely peopled, as is well known to many persons.” He heard of misery and cruelty in every part of the land. He saw the palaces and store houses of the Yncas in ruins, the flocks slaughtered, the grand roads destroyed, and the posts for pointing the way in the deserts used for fire wood.[115] His barbarian countrymen pulled down the great works of irrigation,[116] and turned thousands of acres of fertile land into desert.

These sights excited the indignation of the humane and observant man at arms, who in this, as in many other respects, proved his superiority of head and heart over his brutal companions. Cieza de Leon felt warmly for the wrongs of the Indians, and devotes a chapter to show how God chastises those who are cruel to them.[117] But he was so steeped in the superstition of his age and country that all the simple rites of the Indians appeared to him to be the work of the devil, and in every harmless ceremony he saw the cloven feet. He tells us that the old men of every tribe in the Indies conversed with the enemy of mankind, and he mocks at their burying food with their dead for the journey to the other world, “as if hell was so very far off.”[118] The whole population of America was destined, according to our author, to eternal torments in the next world; yet it is unjust to blame him for asserting a belief which is held at the present day, and by the most tolerant church in Christendom.[119]

When uninfluenced by religious prejudices, he writes with an impartiality which does him the highest credit. He laments over the condition of the Indians, deplores the wanton destruction of their public works, and condemns the barbarity of the Spaniards. His superstitious folly is the result of his education, his merits are all his own. In arrangement, in trustworthiness, in accuracy, and in the value of his observations, the work of Cieza de Leon stands higher than that of any contemporary chronicler: and these qualities in his book are enhanced by the romantic life and noble disposition of its author. Cieza de Leon will, I think, be found an agreeable companion over a country of no common interest, at a most important period of its history; and so I consign him to the favourable attention of the members of the Hakluyt Society.

F I R S T   P A R T



Which treats of the boundaries of provinces, their
description, the founding of new cities, the rites and customs
of the Indians, and other strange things worthy to
be known.

Written by






Con privilegio.



Most high and most puissant Lord,—

AS not only the notable deeds of many very brave men, but also numerous events worthy of perpetual memory in different provinces, have remained in the shades of oblivion for want of writers who will record them, and of historians who will narrate them; I, therefore, having crossed over to the New World, where I have passed the greater part of my time serving your Majesty in wars and discoveries, in which service I have always taken much delight, have determined to undertake the history of the events in the great and memorable kingdom of Peru. I went to it by land from the province of Carthagena, where, and in the province of Popayan, I was for many years. After I had been in your Majesty’s service in that last war, which ended in the overthrow of the rebels and tyrants, I thought over the great wealth of Peru, the wonderful things in its provinces, the stirring events of its early history and of more recent times, and how much there was both in the one and the other period which was worthy of note. Then it was that I resolved to take up my pen and accomplish the desire I had conceived to perform a signal service for your Highness, holding it to be certain that your Highness would receive it without noticing the weakness of my powers, but rather judging my intention, and, in your royal clemency, receiving the will{2} with which I offer this book to your Highness. It treats of that great kingdom of Peru of which God has made you Lord. I do not fail to consider, O most serene and gracious Lord, that to describe the wonderful things of this great kingdom of Peru would require one who could write like Titus Livius, or Valerius, or some other of the great writers that have appeared in the world, and that even they would find some difficulty in the task. For who can enumerate the mighty things of Peru? the lofty mountains and profound valleys over which we went conquering and discovering? the numerous rivers of such size and depth? the variety of provinces, with so many different things in each? the tribes, with all their strange customs, rites, and ceremonies? so many birds, animals, trees, fishes, all unknown? Besides all these things, who can worthily describe the unheard-of labours which a handful of Spaniards passed through in this vast country? Who can imagine the events of those wars and discoveries, extending over sixteen hundred leagues of country? the hunger, thirst, death, terrors, and fatigue which were suffered? Concerning all these things there is so much to relate, that any writer would be tired out in writing it. For this cause, most puissant Lord, I have collected the most important events which I myself saw or heard, into this history. I have not the audacity to place it before the judgment of an unkind world, but I entertain the hope that your Highness will protect and defend it as a thing belonging to yourself, so that I may freely dare to walk under your protection. For many writers, fearing the same thing, have sought for Princes of great note to whom they might dedicate their works, and some of these works have never been read by any one, being so fantastic and absurd. But what I have written here is concerning true and important things, both pleasant and useful, which have happened in our time; and I dedicate my work to the greatest and most powerful Prince in the world, who is your Highness. The attempt savours of temerity in so unlearned a man, but others of more learning are too much{3} occupied in the wars to write. Oftentimes, when the other soldiers were reposing, I was tiring myself by writing. Neither fatigue nor the ruggedness of the country, nor the mountains and rivers, nor intolerable hunger and suffering, have ever been sufficient to obstruct my two duties, namely, writing and following my flag and my captain without fault. Having written this work under such difficulties, and it being dedicated to your Highness, it seems to me that my readers ought to pardon any faults which, in their judgments, they may find in it. If they refuse to pardon these faults, it must suffice for me that I have written the truth, for this is what I have most carefully sought after. Much that I have written I saw with my own eyes, and I travelled over many countries in order to learn more concerning them. Those things which I did not see, I took great pains to inform myself of, from persons of

good repute, both Christians and Indians. I pray to Almighty
God that, as He was served by giving to your Highness
so great and rich a kingdom as Peru, He will
leave you to live and reign for many
happy years, with increase of
many other kingdoms
and lordships.



I SET out from Spain, where I was born and bred, at such a tender age that I was scarcely thirteen complete years old when I sailed; and I spent more than seventeen years in the Indies, many of them in the discovery and conquest of new provinces, others in new settlements, and in travelling over different countries. As I noted the many great and strange things that are to be seen in this new world of the Indies, there came upon me a strong desire to write an account of some of them, as well those which I had seen with my own eyes as those which I had heard of from persons of good repute. But when I considered my small stock of learning I put aside my desire, holding it to be a vain thing; for I remembered that it was for learned doctors to write histories, throwing light upon them by their learning and judgment, while those who are not learned would be presumptuous even if they thought of writing. I, therefore, passed some time without giving heed to my former intentions. At last the Almighty God, who can do anything, favoured me with His divine grace, and awoke in me the memory of what I had before forgotten. Taking heart, I then determined to spend some part of my life in writing history, to which resolution I was moved by the following considerations.

The first was, that in all parts where I had been, no one was{5} engaged in writing anything concerning what had occurred; and time destroys the memory of events in such sort that soon there is no knowledge of what has passed.

The next was, that both ourselves and these Indians draw our origin from our ancestors Adam and Eve, and that the Son of God descended from the heaven to the earth for all men, and, clothed in our humanity, received a cruel death on the cross to redeem us and free us from the power of the devil, which devil had, for so long a time, held these people captive by God’s permission; and that it was right that the world should know in what manner so great a multitude of tribes, as there is in these Indies, was brought into the bosom of the holy mother church by the exertions of Spaniards. These exertions were such that no other nation in the world could have endured them. Thus God chose us for so great a work, before any other nation.

Another consideration was, that in future times it ought to be known how greatly the royal crown of Castille was enlarged, and how, when the invincible Emperor was our King and Lord, the rich and abundant kingdoms of New Spain and Peru were settled, and other islands and vast provinces were discovered.

I beseech all learned and benevolent men to look upon my work with justice, for they know that the malice and murmuring of the ignorant and stupid are such that they never fail to find fault. Thus it is that many, fearing the rabid envy of these scorpions, consider it better to be called cowards than to allow their works to see the light.

But I will not desist from my intention, valuing more the favour of the few and learned, than caring for the evil which the many foolish readers may bring upon me.

I also wrote this work that those, who learn from it the great services which many noble knights and youths have done for the royal crown of Spain, may be led to emulate their examples; and, at the same time, by noting how others committed treasons, robberies, and other evil deeds, and suffered famous punishments for them, that they may profit by these examples, and loyally serve their natural king and lord.

For the reasons which I have now set forth, I undertook the{6} present work, for the better understanding of which I have divided it into four parts, in the following manner.

The first part treats of the division of the provinces of Peru, as well towards the sea as inland, with the longitudes and latitudes. It contains a description of all these provinces, an account of the new cities founded by the Spaniards, with the names of the founders, and the time when they were founded; an account of the ancient rites and customs of the native Indians, and other strange things very different from those of our country, which are worthy of note.[120]

In the second part, I shall treat of the government of the Yucas Yupanquis, who were the ancient kings of Peru, and of their great deeds and policy, how many of them there were, and their names. I shall describe the superb and magnificent temples which they built, the roads of wonderful size which they made, and other great things that were found in this kingdom. I shall also give an account in this book of what the Indians say concerning the deluge, and how the Yncas magnify the grandeur of their origin.

In the third part I shall relate the discovery and conquest of this great kingdom of Peru, and the constancy of the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro; the hardships suffered by the Christians when thirteen of them with the same Marquis (God permitting) discovered the country; how the said Don Francisco Pizarro was nominated governor by his Majesty, and entered Peru; and how, with one hundred and sixty Spaniards, he captured Atahualpa. In this third part I shall also treat of the arrival of the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, and of the agreement made between him and the governor Don Francisco Pizarro. I shall, in like manner, give an account of the notable things which happened in various parts of this kingdom, of the rebellion of the Indians, and of the causes which led to it; of the cruel and perfidious war that the same Indians waged against the Spaniards{7} who were in the great city of Cuzco, and of the death of some Spanish and Indian captains. This third part will end with the return of the Adelantado Don Diego de Almagro from Chile, and his entry into the city of Cuzco by force of arms, the captain Hernando Pizarro, Knight of the order of Santiago, being there as chief justice.

The fourth part is more important than the three which precede it. It will be divided into five books, and will be entitled “The Civil Wars of Peru:” in which will be related stranger things than ever passed before in any other part of the world, among so small a number of people of the same nation.

The first book of these civil wars treats of the war of Las Salinas, and gives an account of the imprisonment of the captain Don Hernando Pizarro by the Adelantado Don Diego de Almagro; it relates how the city of Cuzco was made to receive Almagro as governor, and the causes of the war between the governors Pizarro and Almagro. It describes the treaties and interviews between them until the dispute was placed in the hands of an umpire, the oaths they each took, and the commissions and letters they each had received from his Majesty; the sentence that was given, the return of the Adelantado to Cuzco, and how, with great fury and enmity, he fought the battle of Las Salinas, which is half a league from Cuzco. It relates also the march of the captain Lorenzo de Aldana to the provinces of Quito and Popayan, and the discoveries of the captains Gonzalo Pizarro, Pedro de Candia, Alonzo de Alvarado, and others. I conclude with the return of Hernando Pizarro to Spain.

The second book is called “The War of Chupas.” It will treat of several discoveries and conquests; of the conspiracy of the men of Chile in the City of the Kings to kill the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, and of his death. It will then relate how Don Diego de Almagro, son of the Adelantado, was received as governor by the greater part of the kingdom; how the captain Alonzo de Alvarado, who was captain and chief justice of his Majesty for the Marquis Pizarro in Chachapoyas, rose against him, and how Pero Alvarez, Holguin, Gomez de Tordoya, and others, did the same in Cuzco; how the licentiate Christoval{8} Vaca de Castro arrived from Spain as governor, and how there was discord among the men of Chile. I shall relate how, after some of the captains had killed each other, the cruel battle of Chupas was fought near Guamanga, and how the governor Vaca de Castro went to Cuzco and cut off the head of the youth Don Diego. This will conclude the second book.

The third book will be entitled “The Civil War of Quito.” The writing of it will be very difficult, and it will treat of various important events. There will be an account of how the new laws were promulgated in Spain, and of the consequent meetings and consultations in Peru, until Gonzalo Pizarro was received in the city of Cuzco as procurator and captain general. It will relate what occurred in the City of the Kings until the viceroy was seized by the judges and sent to sea; the entry of Gonzalo Pizarro into the city, where he was received as governor; his chase of the viceroy; and how the viceroy was conquered and killed on the plain of Añaquito. I shall also give an account, in this book, of the events which took place in Cuzco, in Charcas, and in other parts; of the rising of Diego Centeno on the part of the king and of Alonzo de Toro and Francisco de Carbajal on the part of Gonzalo Pizarro, until that constant worthy, Diego Centeno, was constrained to hide in secret places, and his master of the camp, Lope de Mendoza, was killed; also of what passed between the captains Pedro de Hinojosa, Juan de Yllanes, Melchior Verdugo, and the others who were in Tierra Firme; and of how the Adelantado Belalcazar put the marshal Don Jorge Robledo to death in the village of Pozo. I shall then recount how the Emperor our Lord, in his great clemency and kindness, sent out a pardon to all who should submit and enter his royal service; how the licentiate Pedro de la Gasca was appointed president, and how he arrived in Tierra Firme; the policy by which he drew the captains, who were there, into the service of the king; the return of Gonzalo Pizarro to the City of the Kings; the cruelties which were committed there by him and his captains; how a general assembly was convoked to determine who should go as procurators general to Spain; and the delivery of the fleet to the president. Here I shall conclude this book.{9}

The fourth book will be entitled “The War of Huarina.” It will treat of the enterprise of the captain Diego Centeno; how he entered the city of Cuzco with the few men whom he had been able to induce to join him; how Lorenzo de Aldana sailed from Panama and arrived at the City of the Kings; and how many captains left Gonzalo Pizarro, and passed over to the service of the king. I shall also treat of what passed between Diego Centeno and Alonzo de Mendoza, until they gave battle to Gonzalo Pizarro on the plain of Huarina. I shall relate how the captain Diego Centeno was defeated, how many of his captains and followers were killed or taken prisoners, and how Gonzalo Pizarro entered the city of Cuzco.

The fifth book, containing the war of Xaquixaguana, treats of the arrival of the president Pedro de la Gasca in the valley of Xauxa; of the preparations made by him when he heard that Diego Centeno was defeated; of his march to Xaquixaguana, where Gonzalo Pizarro gave him battle; it relates how the president and the troops of the king were victorious; and how Gonzalo Pizarro was defeated and put to death in the same valley; how the president arrived at Cuzco and proclaimed the tyrants to be traitors; how he retired to a village called Huaynarima, where he divided the greater part of the provinces of this kingdom among persons selected by himself; and how he went thence to Lima, and established the Royal Audience.

Having completed these books, which form the fourth part of my work, I shall add two Commentaries. The first will treat of the events in Peru, from the founding of the Audience to the departure of the president. The second, will give an account of the president’s arrival in Tierra Firme; of the murder of the Bishop of Nicaragua by the Contreras; of how the Contreras, with tyrannical intentions, entered the city of Panama and stole great quantities of gold and silver, of how the citizens gave them battle outside the town, defeated and put them to death, and recovered the treasure. I shall conclude with an account of the insurrection at Cuzco, relating how the marshal Alonzo de Alvarado was sent by the judges to punish the rebels, and how the illustrious and politic worthy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, entered this kingdom as viceroy.{10}

And if this history is not written with the elegance and learning that science gives to letters, it will at least be truthful, and each event will be duly noted with brevity, while evil deeds will be commented upon with moderation.

I truly believe that others would have performed this work with more satisfaction to the reader, being more learned than I am. But, if my good intentions and my endeavours to do my best are considered, it is just, at all events, that I should be favourably received. The ancient Diodorus Siculus says in his prologue, that mankind owes a great deal to authors, for, through their labours, the deeds of men live for many ages; and he, therefore, calls Cicero the witness of time, the master of life, the light of truth. What I ask, in return for my labour, is that,

although these writings may be devoid of elegance, they
may be received with favour, because they are
accompanied with truth. I submit my work
to the judgment of the learned and
virtuous; and I beg that
others will content
merely reading it, without attempting
to judge what they
do not understand.




Which treats of the discovery of the Indies, of some other things which were done when they were first discovered, and of the present state of affairs.

FOURTEEN hundred and ninety-two years had passed away since the Princess of life, the glorious virgin Mary our Lady, begot the only-begotten Son of God, and the Catholic kings Don Fernando and Dona Isabel of glorious memory were reigning in Spain, when the illustrious Christoval Colon set forth with three caravels and ninety Spaniards, whom the said kings ordered to serve under him. After sailing twelve hundred leagues to the westward over the wide ocean, he discovered the island of Española, where now stands the city of Santo Domingo. Then also were discovered the islands of Cuba, and of San Juan de Puerto Rico, Yucatan, Tierra Firme, New Spain, the provinces of Guatemala and Nicaragua, and many other islands and kingdoms as far as Florida; and afterwards the great kingdom of Peru, Rio de la Plata, and the strait of Magellanes. Yet so many years had elapsed during which this vast expanse of land was unknown in Spain, nor was there any rumour concerning it!

The judicious reader will reflect through what amount of labour, hunger, thirst, terror, danger, and death the Spaniards{12} must have passed in these navigations and discoveries, and what waste of blood and lives they must have entailed. And all was held as good service by the Catholic kings, as well as by his royal Majesty the invincible Cæsar Don Carlos the fifth Emperor of that name, our king and lord; because the doctrine of Jesus Christ and the preaching of His holy gospel has thus been extended, and our holy faith exalted. The will both of the said Catholic kings and of his Majesty has been, and is, that great care should be taken in the conversion of the natives of all these provinces and kingdoms, for this was their principal aim; and that the governors, captains, and discoverers should display their Christian zeal by such treatment of the Indians as their religion enjoins. But notwithstanding that this is and was the desire of his Majesty, some of the governors and captains have basely committed many cruelties and outrages on the Indians. In their turn the Indians, to defend themselves, rose in arms and killed many Christians and some of the captains, which was the reason that they suffered torments, were burnt, and put to other cruel deaths. I hold that, as the dealings of God are always just, it must be that his divine justice permitted that these people, so far distant from Spain, should suffer so many evils from the Spaniards, for their sins and for those of their ancestors, which must have been many, as they were without faith. Nor do I affirm that all the Christians ill-treated the Indians; for I have seen many temperate and God fearing men treat them well, curing and bleeding them when they were ill, and performing other charitable acts. And the goodness and mercy of God (which permits no evil without extracting some good from it) have also secured great blessings out of these ills, by bringing so many people to the knowledge of our holy Catholic faith, and placing them in the road to salvation. When his Majesty was informed of the ills which the Indians suffered, he thought it good to appoint viceroys and audiences,{13} with presidents and judges for their better government; and thus the sufferings of the Indians have ceased, and no Spaniards, of what rank soever, can oppress them now. Besides the bishops, monks, seculars, and friars who went with the Spaniards, there were a sufficient number provided to teach the doctrine of the holy faith to the Indians and to administer the sacraments to them. In the audiences there are learned men of great piety, who punish those Spaniards that oppress the Indians in any way; so that now there is no one who can ill-treat them, and, in the greater part of these kingdoms, they are as much masters of their own estates and persons as are the Spaniards themselves. Each village is moderately assessed with the amount to be paid as tribute. I remember that, when I was in the province of Xauxa a few years ago, the Indians said to me with much satisfaction: “This is a happy time, like the days of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui;” a king of ancient times, whose memory they hold in great veneration. Certain of this, we Christians ought to rejoice and give thanks to our Lord God that, in so great a country, so distant from our Spain and from all Europe, there is such justice and such good government, with churches and houses for prayer in all parts, where Almighty God is praised and worshipped; and the devil abused and defied, while the places which had been set apart for his glorification, are pulled down, and crosses, the signs of our salvation, raised in their stead. The idols and images were broken, and the devils fled away with fear and trembling. The holy gospel is preached, and spreads powerfully from east to west, and from north to south, that all nations may know and worship our Lord God.{14}


Of the city of Panama, and of its founding, and why it is treated of first, before other matters.

BEFORE I begin to treat of the affairs of the kingdom of Peru, I desire to give some account of what is known of the origin of these races of the Indies or New World, especially of the natives of Peru, according to what they say that they heard from their old men, although this is a secret which God alone can certainly know. But as my principal intention is, in this first part, to describe the land of Peru, and to relate the events connected with the foundation of its cities, I will leave the account of the origin of the people (that is, what they themselves say respecting their origin, and what we may conjecture) until I come to the second part, where this portion of the subject will be fully treated of.

In the present part, as I have said, I shall treat of the foundation of many cities; and I consider that if, in times past, Dido, in founding Carthage, perpetuated her name, and Romulus gave his name to Rome, and Alexander to Alexandria, with how much more reason should the fame and glory of his Majesty be perpetuated in future ages; for in this great kingdom of Peru many great and rich cities have been founded in his royal name, to which his Majesty has given laws, and he has enabled the people to live quietly and peacefully. But, without counting these cities in Peru, the city of Panama was founded in the province of Tierra Firme, called Castilla del Oro, and I shall commence with it, although there are others in this kingdom of more importance. My reason for beginning with Panama is, that the captains who set forth to discover Peru started from that city. Thence I shall go to the port of Uraba, which is in the province of Carthagena, not very far from the great river of Darien; and I shall then give an account of the Indian villages, and of the Spanish{15} settlements from this place to the town of Plata, and establishment of Potosi on the southern boundary of Peru, a distance of, I should say, more than twelve hundred leagues of road, which I travelled over by land, and saw, examined, and knew the things which I describe in this history. And I noted everything with much care and diligence, in order that I might be able to write with that truth which is due from me, and without any mixture of inaccuracies.

I say, then, that the city of Panama is built near the South Sea, and eighteen leagues from Nombre de Dios, which is near the North Sea.[121] It is of small extent, by reason of a lake which confines it on one side, and the city is considered unhealthy on account of the evil vapours which rise from this lake. It is built with the streets running due east and west; so that when the sun rises no one can walk in any of the streets, because there is no shade whatever; and this is felt very much as the heat is intense; and the sun is so prejudicial to health, that if a man is exposed to its rays even for a few hours he will be attacked with a fatal illness, and this has happened to many. Half a league from the sea there are good and healthy sites, where the city might have been built at first; but as the houses have a high price, on account of the great expense of building them, the site has not been changed, although the inhabitants are aware of the notorious harm which all must receive from living in so unhealthy a place. The first conquerors are now all dead; and the present inhabitants do not expect to remain long, only think of becoming rich, and care little for the public good. A river flows near this city, which rises in certain hills; and there are many others, on the banks of which the{16} Spaniards have their farms, where they have planted many trees from Spain, as oranges, citrons, and figs. Besides these there are other fruits belonging to the country, such as fragrant pines and plantains, many excellent guavas,[122] caymitos,[123] aguacates,[124] and other fruits. In the plains there are large herds of cattle, for the country is well adapted for breeding them. The rivers contain much gold, and at the time that the city was founded they obtained a great quantity.

Panama is well supplied with provisions, being situated between two seas,—that is to say, the North Sea, by which the ships of Spain come to Nombre de Dios; and the South Sea, by which ships sail from Panama to all the ports of Peru. The country round this city yields neither wheat nor barley; but the owners of farms raise much maize, and they bring plenty of flour from Spain and Peru. There is much fish in all the rivers and also in the sea, though different from those on the coast of Spain.[125] On the sea-shore, close to the houses of the city, they find great quantities of very small mussels (almejas), which they call chucha; and I believe that, at the time of the first settlement, the city remained on this site because the Spaniards felt themselves safe from hunger on account of these mussels. In the rivers there are great quantities of alligators, which are so large and fierce that it is wonderful to see them. In the river of Cenu I have seen many very large ones, and have eaten the eggs which they deposit on the shore. We found one of these large alligators in the river which they call San Jorge, when we went with Captain Alonzo de Caceres to discover the{17} province of Urute. It was so monstrously large as to measure more than twenty-five feet in length; and when we killed it with our lances, it was a grand thing to witness its bravery. Being very hungry we ate some of the flesh; but it is bad, and has a disagreeable smell. These alligators have eaten many Spaniards, horses, and Indians, when passing over the land from one river to another.

There are few natives in the neighbourhood of Panama, for nearly all have been destroyed by the evil treatment they received from the Spaniards and by sickness. The city is inhabited by many merchants from all parts, who trade here and in Nombre de Dios; for there is much traffic, and the place might almost be compared with the city of Venice. Very often ships come to Panama from the South Sea to discharge cargoes of gold and silver; and the number of vessels is very great that arrive at Nombre de Dios, bringing much merchandise, which is transported to Panama by canoes up the river Chagres, and thence over five leagues of road. Near the city the sea forms a large bay, and the vessels come into the port with the tide. The anchorage is very good for small vessels. Panama was founded by Pedrarias de Avila, who was governor of Tierra Firme, in the name of the invincible Cæsar Don Carlos, the august King of Spain, our lord, in the year 1520. It is in about 8° north of the equinoctial line.[126] It has a good port, into which the vessels enter with the ebb tide until they are high and dry. The ebb and flow of this sea is great, so that the shore remains uncovered at low water for a distance of half a league; and vessels anchored in three fathoms at low water, are in seven fathoms when the tide comes up.[127]


In this chapter I have treated of the city of Panama. In the following I shall describe the harbours and rivers along the coast as far as Chile, for this plan will give much precision to the work.{19}


Of the ports between Panama and the land of Peru, of the distances between them, and of their latitudes.

IT is known to all the world how the Spaniards, aided by God, have prosperously gained and made themselves masters of this new world, which is called the Indies. These Indies include so many and such great kingdoms and provinces, that it causes wonder even to think of them; and their discovery and conquest have been successful, as all who live in this age well know. I have sometimes thought that, when one people and nation succeeds another, as time rolls on the first is forgotten; and that the same fate may overtake us as has befallen others, which may God forefend: but these kingdoms and provinces were discovered in the time of the most Christian and illustrious Charles, the ever august Emperor of the Romans, and our lord and king, who has taken and still takes so much care for the conversion of the Indians. For this reason I believe that Spain will ever retain these possessions, and that all who live in them will ever acknowledge the kings of Spain as their masters.

In this chapter I desire to explain to those who may read my work the manner of navigating by points and degrees from Panama to Peru. The time for navigating is during the months of January, February, and March, because in this season there are always fresh breezes from the north, and the vessels make short passages; while during the rest of the year the south winds prevail along the coast of Peru.[128] Thus the vessels finish their voyages before the south winds set in. Ships can also sail in August and September, but not with the same ease as in the season before mentioned; for if some few vessels sail in these months, they make very{20} long and difficult passages. The south wind is prevalent for a long time along this coast from Chile to near Tumbez, which is favourable for a voyage from Peru to Tierra Firme, Nicaragua, and other ports; but very difficult for vessels going to Peru. Sailing from Panama, vessels first sight the islands called “of the Pearls,” which are barely in 8°.[129] These islands consist of twenty-five or thirty, clustering round one which is the largest of all. They were formerly inhabited by Indian natives, but now there are none. The owners of these islands have Negroes and Indians of Nicaragua and Cubagua, who watch the flocks and sow the seeds, for the land is fertile. They have also obtained a great quantity of rich pearls, whence the islands take their name. From these islands vessels work for the point of Carachine, which is ten leagues to the E.S.E.; and when they sight it, the land is high and woody. It is in 8⅓°.[130] From this point the coast runs S.E.¼S. to Puerto de Piñas for eight leagues, which is in 6¼°.[131] Here the land is high, forest covered, and rugged. Thence the coast trends S.¼E. to Cape Corrientes; and following the same course vessels arrive at the island of Palms, so called from the quantities of those trees which grow on it. It is little more than a league and a half round, it has rivers of fresh water, and used to be inhabited. This island is twenty-five leagues from Cape Corrientes, in 4⅓°. From this point the coast runs in the same direction to the port of Buenaventura, which is a little more than three leagues from the island. The entrance to the bay is in 3⅔°,[132] and close to it there is a high peaked island. The country is covered with forests, and many great rivers, rising in the mountains, fall into the sea, by one of which vessels approach the town and port of Buenaventura. The pilot who may take a vessel in, should know the river well, or he will have much trouble, as was the case with me and many others who employed new pilots. Thence the coast runs{21} W. ¼ S. to the island called Gorgona, which is twenty-five leagues from this bay. This part of the coast is low, and overrun with mangroves and other dense bushes. Many large rivers flow into the sea, the principal one being the river of San Juan, the banks of which are inhabited by wild people, who build their houses on great stages raised on forked poles. These Indians are very rich in gold, and their country, which is fertile, is traversed by rivers washing down abundance of this metal. But it is so swampy and full of lagoons, that it is impossible to conquer it without an expenditure of many lives and much trouble.

The island of Gorgona is high, and it never ceases to rain and thunder there, so that it seems as if the elements were fighting. It is two leagues round, covered with forest, and has streams of very good water. There are many turkeys, pheasants, cats, and great serpents, besides night birds, on the island. It seems that it has never been inhabited. The Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, with thirteen Spanish Christians, his companions, was many days on this island, and suffered much from hunger and exposure, until at last God was well served by the discovery of the provinces of Peru. This island of Gorgona is in 3°,[133] and thence the coast trends W.S.W. to the island of Gallo. All this coast is low and woody, and many rivers here fall into the sea. The island of Gallo is small, scarcely a league round, and is in 2°[134]of the equator. Thence the coast turns S.W. to the point of Mangroves,[135] which is a little under eight leagues from Gallo. Thence the coast runs S.W. to the bay of Santiago, where it forms a creek, and an anchorage called Sardinas. Here is the mouth of the great and rapid river of Santiago, where the government of the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro commenced. This roadstead is twenty-five leagues from the point of Mangroves. Here vessels have their bows in eighty fathoms and their stems nearly{22} aground, and sometimes they are in ninety fathoms at one moment, and in two at another; but these inequalities, which are caused by the fury of the river, are not dangers, nor do they prevent vessels from going in and out at pleasure. The coast then runs west towards the Cape of San Francisco, which is ten leagues from the roadstead. This cape is high land, and near it there are some brown and white ravines. It is 1° N. of the equator.[136] Thence the coast runs S.W. to the point of Passaos, which is on the equinoctial line.[137] Between these two points four rivers fall into the sea, called the Quiximies,[138] which are very large. They form a tolerable port, where vessels can take in fresh water and firewood.


Describes the navigation as far as the Callao of Lima, which is the port of the City of the Kings.

I HAVE now described, though briefly, the way by which this South Sea is navigated as far as the Quiximies, which is in the land of Peru. It will now be well to continue the route until we arrive at the City of the Kings. Leaving then the cape of Passaos, the coast trends to the S. ¼ W. as far as Puerto Viejo, and before reaching it there is the bay of Caraquez, which vessels enter without any danger. Its conveniences are such that ships of even one thousand tons may be careened here, and it is easy to enter and sail out, except that there are some rocky islands at its mouth, but there are no obstructions beyond those which meet the eye. Near Puerto Viejo, and two leagues inland, is the city of Santiago, and two leagues to the south of the port there is a{23} round hill called Monte Cristo. This Puerto Viejo is 1° S.[139] of the equator. Five leagues further on in the same direction is the cape of San Lorenzo, and three leagues beyond this cape, to the south-west, is the island which is called La Plata, a league and a half long. Here, in ancient times, the natives of the main land held their sacrificial festivals, and killed many lambs and sheep, and some children, whose blood was offered to their devils and idols, figures carved in stone which were objects of worship. The Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen companions, during their voyage of discovery, landed on this island and found some silver and jewels, and many robes and dresses of cloth richly embroidered. From that time to this the island has remained with the name which it now bears. Following the coast line to the S. ¼ E. we come next to the point of Santa Elena. Before reaching this point there are two places, the one called Callo and the other Calango,[140] where ships touch, and take in wood and water. The distance from the point of San Lorenzo to that of Santa Elena is fifteen leagues. There is a creek on the north side of the latter point, where there is good anchorage.[141] At the distance of a cross-bow shot from the point there is a fountain of bitumen, which appears to be natural tar. Of this, and of the wells made by the giants on this point, I shall give an account further on, which will be well worth hearing.[142]

From this point of Santa Elena vessels go to the river of Tumbez, a distance of twenty-eight leagues. The river bears from the point S. ¼ E., and between them there is another great inlet. To the N.E. of the river of Tumbez there is an island which is more than ten leagues round,{24} and it has been very rich and populous, so that the natives rivalled those of Tumbez and of other parts of the main land. There were great wars and many battles between them, so that time and the arrival of the Spaniards have greatly diminished the number of the islanders. The island is very fertile and well wooded. It is the property of his Majesty. There is a rumour that a great sum of gold and silver was buried there in ancient times. The Indians say that these islanders were given to idolatry, and were very vicious, many of them committing the abominable offence, and being guilty of other great sins. Near this island of Puna there is another further out, called Santa Clara. This island has neither inhabitants, wood, nor water; but the ancient people of Puna had their cemeteries on it, and performed sacrifices. They have placed on the heights, where they built their altars, great quantities of gold, and silver, and fine ornaments dedicated to their gods. When the Spaniards arrived, these treasures were concealed (so the Indians say) in places where they could not be found.[143]

The river of Tumbez flows through a country which is thickly inhabited. Near the sea there is a fortress, a very strong and handsome structure, built by the Yncas, kings of Cuzco and lords of all Peru, in which they had great store of treasure. There was also a temple of the Sun, and a{25} house of Mamacunas,[144] which means principal women of the virgins dedicated to the service of the temple. These women lived according to rules almost the same as those of the vestal virgins of Rome. The edifices are now in a ruinous state, though their remains show how great they once were. The mouth of the river of Tumbez is in 4° S.[145] Thence the coast trends S.W. to Cape Blanco,[146] distant fifteen leagues,[147] and then towards the island of Lobos.[148] Between Cape Blanco and the island of Lobos there is a point called Pariña, which runs out into the sea almost as far as the former point.[149] From point Pariña the coast runs S.W. to Payta. From Tumbez towards the south, the coast is without trees, and if there are any hills they are naked, and rocky. The rest of the coast is a sandy desert, and few rivers fall into the sea. Payta is a little more than eight leagues[150] from Cape Pariña; it is a good port, where ships refit, in 5° S.[151] From the island of Lobos (just mentioned) the distance to Payta will be about five leagues. Following the coast we come to Punta del Aguja,[152] and between it and the island there is a large inlet. This point is in 6° S. To the south of it there are two islands called Lobos, from the great number of seals, and all vessels can pass between them and the main land.[153] From Punta de Aguja the coast trends S.W.{26} to a port called Casma. The coast runs S.W. to Malabrigo,[154] where vessels can only lie in fair weather, and ten leagues further south is the reef of Truxillo, a bad port, with no other shelter than the buoys of the anchors. Vessels sometimes touch here for provisions. Two leagues inland is the city of Truxillo. From this port, which is in 7⅔°, vessels go to the port of Guañape,[155] seven leagues from Truxillo, in 8⅓°. More to the south is the port of Santa, where vessels touch, and near which there is a great river with very good water.[156] All the coast is without trees (as I said a little way back), sandy, and broken with craggy rocks. Santa is in 9°. Five leagues further on is Ferrol,[157] a secure port, but without fuel or water. Another six leagues brings us to Casma, where there is a river and plenty of wood, so that vessels can put in for supplies. It is in 10°.[158] From Casma the coast runs south to the islets of Huara, and further on is Guarmay, where there is a river.[159] Another six leagues takes us to Huara, where vessels can take in all the salt they require, for there is enough to supply Italy and all Spain, and even then it would not be exhausted.[160] Thence the coast trends south to the island of Lima. Half way, a little nearer Lima than the islets of Huara,[161] there is an island called Salmerina, nine or ten leagues from the land. The island of Lima forms the shelter to Callao, which is the port of Lima.[162] The{27} port is very safe. Callao, which (as I have said) is the port of the City of Kings, is in 12⅓°.[163]


Of the ports and rivers on the coast, from the City of the Kings to the province of Chile, and of their latitudes, with other matters connected with the navigation of these seas.

I HAVE myself been in most of the ports and rivers which I have now described, and I have taken much trouble to ascertain the correctness of what is here written, having communicated with the dexterous and expert pilots who know the navigation of these ports, and who took the altitudes in my presence. In this chapter I shall continue my description of the coast, with its ports and rivers from Lima until we arrive at the province of Chile. But I am unable to describe the coast down to the straits of Magellan, having lost a copious narrative which I had from a pilot who came in one of the ships sent by the Bishop of Plazencia.

When ships sail from the port of the City of the Kings, they shape their course south, until they reach the port of Sangalla, which is very good, and at first it was considered certain that the City of the Kings would have been founded near it. Sangalla is thirty-five leagues from Lima, in barely 14° S. of the equinoctial.[164] Near this port there is an island called Seal Island. All the coast, from this point, is low,{28} though in some parts there are naked chains of rocky hills, and the whole is a sandy desert, on which it has never rained, nor does anything fall except a thin mist; but I shall treat of this admirable secret of nature further on.[165] Near this Seal Island there are seven or eight other small islets, some high and others low, uninhabited, and without wood or water, tree, shrub, or anything else, except seals and sand hills. The Indians, according to their own account, used to go to these islands to make sacrifices, and it is presumed that great treasure is buried on them. They are a little more than four leagues from the coast. Further on there is another island, also called Seal Island, from the quantity of those animals that frequent it, which is 14⅓°.[166]

From this island vessels continue the voyage, the coast trending S.W. ¼ S., and after twelve leagues more they come to a promontory called Nasca, which is in 15° less one quarter.[167] There is here shelter for ships, but not for boats, as they cannot land. Further on there is another point called San Nicolas, in 15⅓°.[168] From this point of San Nicolas the coast turns S.W., and after twelve leagues the port of Acari is reached, where vessels take in provisions and water, brought from a valley which is a little more than five leagues from the port. This port of Acari is in 16°.[169] Continuing{29} the voyage vessels next arrive off the river of Ocona, and further on are the rivers of Camana and Quilca. Near the latter river there is a cove, which affords good and secure anchorage. It is also called Quilca, and forms the port of the city of Arequipa, which is seventeen leagues distant. This port is in 17½°.[170] Sailing from Quilca, vessels pass some islets, where the Indians go from the main land to fish. Three leagues further on there is another island, very close to the shore, and the ships anchor to leeward of it, for from this place also goods are sent to the city of Arequipa. It is twelve leagues beyond Quilca, in 17½° or more, and is called Chuti.[171] Further on there is a great river called Tamboballa, and ten leagues more bring us to a point which runs out for a league into the sea, and there are three pointed rocks near it.[172] There is a good port, sheltered by this point, called Ylo, where a river of very good water, having the same name as the port, falls into the sea. Ylo is in 18⅓°.[173] Thence the coast trends S.¼E., and seven leagues farther on there is a promontory, which the mariners called the Hill of the Devils.[174] All this coast is dangerous. Further on, about five leagues from this point, there is a small river of good water, and ten leagues more bring us to another high point and some ravines. Off this point there is an islet, and near it is the port of Arica, in 29⅓°.[175] From Arica the coast runs S.E. for nine leagues,{30} where there is a river called Pisagua. From this river to the port of Tarapaca the coast trends in the same direction a distance of twenty-five leagues. Near Tarapaca there is an island a little more than a league round and one and a half from the shore, which forms a bay in 21°. This is the port of Tarapaca.[176] Thence the coast trends in the same direction, and five leagues further on there is a point called Tacama. Passing this point vessels come to the port of Mexillones, sixteen leagues further on, which is in 22½°.[177] The coast then trends S.S.W. for ninety leagues. It is a straight coast, with some points and bays, and in 26° there is a good port called Copayapo,[178] with an islet about half a league from the shore, and here the inhabited part of the province of Chile commences. Further on there is a point of land forming a bay, with two rocks in it, and here a river of very good water falls into the sea, called Huasco. The point is in 28¼°.[179] Ten leagues further on there is another point which affords shelter for ships, but here there is neither wood nor water. Near this point is the port of Coquimbo, and between it and the point there are seven islands. This port is in 29½°.[180] Ten leagues further on another point runs out, forming a large bay called Atongayo,[181] and five leagues{31} beyond is the river of Limara. From this river vessels reach a bay after sailing nine leagues, where there is a pointed rock, and no fresh water. It is in 30°, and is called Choape.[182] Further on, continuing the same course for twenty-one leagues, there is a good port called Quintero, in 32°,[183] and ten leagues more bring us to the port of Valparaiso, and the city of Santiago, which is what we call Chile, in 32⅔°.[184] Continuing the voyage we next come to another port called Topocalma, in 34°,[185] and twelve leagues further on is the river of Maule. Fourteen leagues further on there is another river called Ytata, and twenty-four leagues more bring us to a river called Biobio, in 38° nearly.[186] In the same direction, after sailing fifteen leagues more, we come to a large island five leagues from the shore, which is said to be inhabited. It is called Luchengo.[187] Beyond this island there is a bay called Valdivia, where there is a great river, the name of which is Ayniledos. The bay of Valdivia is in 39⅔°.[188] To the S.S.W. of the port is the Cape of Santa Maria in 42⅓° S. This is as far as the coast has been examined and described. The pilots say that it then turns S.E. to the straits of Magellan. One of the ships which sailed from Spain, belonging to the expedition of the Bishop of Palencia, passed through the straits of Magellan, and reached the port of Quilca, which is near Arequipa, whence she went on to Lima and Panama. She brought a good account of the latitude of the strait, and of what happened during the very difficult voyage; but I do not insert that narrative here, because, at the time when we{32} gave battle to Gonzalo Pizarro in the valley of Xaquixaguana, five leagues from the city of Cuzco, I had several of my papers and journals stolen, and this among the number, which I regret very much. I should have wished to conclude my account of the coast with this narrative. Receive, therefore, my desire to give this further information; for I have taken no little trouble to ascertain the truth, and I have examined the new charts made by the pilots who discovered this sea.[189]

Here I must conclude the portion of my work which treats of the navigation of this South Sea. I shall now proceed to give an account of the provinces and nations from the port of Uraba to the city of Plata, which is a distance of more than 1200 leagues, and I shall describe the government of Popayan and the kingdom of Peru.

I shall commence, then, with the port of Uraba, and pass thence to the city of Antiochia and to other parts, as will appear presently.


How the city of San Sebastian was founded in the bay of Uraba;[190] and of the native Indians in that neighbourhood.

IN the year 1509, when Alonzo de Ojeda and Nicuesa were governors of Tierra Firme, a town was founded in the province{33} of Darien, and was named Nuestra Señora del Antigua. Some of the Spaniards, who were among the early discoverers, declare that they found the flower of the chiefs of the Indians in these parts. At that time, although the province of Carthagena was discovered, it was not settled, nor had the Christians done more than trade with the Indians, obtaining a quantity of fine gold by exchanges. The Governor Ojeda marched to the great town of Turbaco, four leagues from Carthagena (which was formerly called Calamar), where he fought a great battle with the Indians. Many Christians were killed, and among them the captain Juan de la Cosa, a valiant and resolute man. In order that his body might not fall into the hands of the Indians, the Spaniards retreated to their ships. After this event the Governor Ojeda founded a town of Christians in the country called Uraba, and appointed as his captain and lieutenant there, Francisco Pizarro, who was afterwards governor and marquis. In this city or town of Uraba, this captain Francisco Pizarro, suffered from hunger and sickness, and from the attacks of the Indians of Uraba. These Indians (as it is said) were not natives of this province, their ancient home having been in the country which borders on the great river of Darien.[191] Desiring to escape from subjection to the yoke of the Spaniards who treated them so ill, they left their homes with their arms, taking their women and children with them. Having arrived at Uraba, they attacked the natives with great cruelty, killed them all, and made themselves masters of their land.

When the governor Ojeda heard of this he entertained hopes of finding great riches in that country, and sent his lieutenant Francisco Pizarro to form a settlement there, who was the first Christian to enter this land. Afterwards these governors Ojeda and Nicuesa came to a disastrous end, as is well known among those of that time who{34} still survive, and Pedrarias came as governor of Tierra Firme, but though there were 200 Spaniards in the city of Antigua, none of them settled in Uraba.[192] Time passed on,{35} the governor Pedrarias cut off the head of his son-in-law Yasco Nuñez de Balboa,[193] and of Captain Francisco Hernandez in Nicaragua, and the Indians of the river Cenu killed the captain Bezerra and the Christians who were with him. At last, Don Pedro de Heredia came out as governor of Carthagena, and sent his brother the captain Alonzo de Heredia with a party of Spaniards to settle in Uraba for a second time, calling the city San Sebastian de Buena Vista.[194] This city is situated on some small hills clear of trees, and there is no thicket near them, except in the marshy ground and on the banks of the rivers. But the province is covered with dense forest in many parts, and the plains are full of{36} very large palm trees with thick bark, and bearing large palmitos, which are white and very sweet. When the Spaniards explored this country, in the time when Alonzo Lopez de Ayala was lieutenant to the governor of this city, they ate nothing for many days except these palmitos. The wood is so hard and difficult to cut, that it took a man half a day before he could cut a tree down and get the palmitos, which they ate without bread, and drank much water, so that many Spaniards died. Near the town, and on the banks of the river, there are many gardens of orange-trees, plaintains, and guavas. There are many rivers in the province, which rise in the mountains. In the interior there are some Indians and caciques, who used to be very rich by reason of their trade with those who lived in the plains beyond the mountains, and in the country of Dobaybe. These Indians, who were masters of this region, originally came, as I have before said, from the other side of the great river of Darien. The lords or caciques are obeyed and feared by the Indians, and their women are the prettiest and most loveable of any that I have seen in the Indies. They are clean in their eating, and have none of the dirty habits of other nations. These Indians have small villages, and their houses are like long sheds. They sleep in hammocks and use no other sort of bed. Their land is fertile and abundantly supplied with provisions, such as well tasted roots. There are also herds of small pigs which are good eating, and many great tapirs, said by some to be of the shape and form of zebras; abundance of turkeys and other birds, plenty of fish in the rivers, and tigers, which kill the Indians and commit havoc amongst their beasts. There are also very large serpents and other creatures in the dense forests, the names of which we know not. Among them are the creatures which we call Pericos ligeros,[195] and it is a marvel to see their fierce looks, and the torpid lazy way in which they move along.{37}

When the Spaniards occupied the villages of these Indians, they found a great quantity of gold in some small baskets, in the form of rich ornaments. There were also many other ornaments and chains of fine gold, and much cotton cloth. The women wore mantles, which covered them from the waist to the feet, and other mantles over their bosoms. They are very pretty, and always go about decently dressed and combed. The men go naked and barefooted, without other covering than what nature has given them; but they have shells or other ornaments, either of bone or of very fine gold, suspended by a thread in front of their privates. Some of these that I saw, weighed forty to fifty pesos each, some more and some less. These Indians are engaged in trade, and take pigs, which are native, and different from those in Spain, to sell to other tribes more inland.[196] These pigs are smaller than Spanish pigs, and they have a navel on their backs,[197] which must be something which has grown there. The Indians also trade with salt and fish, getting in exchange their gold, cloth and other articles. Their arms are bows, made of the wood of a black palm, a braza long, with very long and sharp arrows, anointed with a juice which is so evil and pestilential, that no man who is wounded with it so as to draw blood, can live, although it should not be as much as would flow from the prick of a pin. Thus few if any who have been wounded with this juice, fail to die.{38}


How the herb is made so poisonous, with which the Indians of Carthagena and Santa Martha have killed so many Spaniards.

AS this poisonous juice of the Indians of Carthagena and Santa Martha is so famous, it seems well to give an account here of the way it is made, which is as follows. This juice is composed of many things. I investigated and became acquainted with the principal ingredients in the province of Carthagena, in a village called Bahayre, from a cacique or lord, whose name was Macavin. He showed me some short roots, of a yellow colour and disagreeable smell, and told me that they were dug up on the sea shore, near the trees which we call mansanillos,[198] and pieces were cut from the roots of that pestiferous tree. They then burnt these pieces in earthen pots, and made them into a paste. After this was done, they sought for certain ants, as big as the beetles of Spain, which are very black and evil, and which, by merely biting a man, cause terrible pain. This happened when we were journeying on the expedition with the licentiate Juan de Vadillo; for one of the soldiers was bitten by an ant, and suffered so much pain that at last he lost all feeling, and even had three or four bad attacks of fever, until the poison had run its course. They also seek for certain very large spiders, and for certain hairy worms, creatures which I shall not soon forget; for one day, when I was guarding a river in the forests called Abibe, under the branch of a tree, one of these worms bit me in the neck, and I passed the most painful and wearisome night I have ever experienced in my life. They also make the poison of the wings of a bat, and the head and tail of a fish which is very poisonous, adding toads and the tails of serpents, together with certain small{39} apples, which appear in colour and smell to be the same as those of Spain. Some of those recently arrived in these parts, on landing, eat these apples without knowing that they are poisonous. I knew one Juan Agraz (whom I have lately seen in the city of San Francisco de Quito), who, when he came from Spain, and landed on the coast of Santa Martha, ate ten or a dozen of these apples, and I heard him swear that in colour and smell they could not be better, except that they have a milk which becomes poison. Other roots and herbs form ingredients of this juice, and when they want to make it, they prepare a great fire in a place far from their houses, and take some slave girl whom they do not value, and make her watch the pots, and attend to the brewing of the poison; but the smell kills the person who thus makes the juice, at least so I have heard.


In which other customs of the Indians subject to the city of Uraba are described.

WITH this evil juice the Indians anoint the points of their arrows, and they are so dexterous in the use of these arrows, and draw their bows with such force, that it has often happened that they have transfixed a horse, or the knight who is riding, the arrow entering on one side and coming out on the other. They wear cotton for defensive armour, the moisture of that country not being suitable for cuirasses. However, with all these difficulties, and in spite of the country being so forbidding, foot soldiers have overrun it with nothing but swords and shields, and ten or twelve Spaniards are as good as 100 or 200 Indians. These Indians have no temples nor any form of worship, and nothing has been discovered concerning their religion as yet, except that they certainly talk with the devil, and do{40} him all the honour they can, for they hold him in great veneration. He appears to them (as I have been told by one of themselves) in frightful and terrible visions, which cause them much alarm. The sons inherit their fathers’ property, if they are born of the principal wife, and they marry the daughters of their sisters. Their chiefs have many wives. When a chief dies, all his servants and friends assemble in his house in the night, without any light; but they have a great quantity of their wine made from maize, which they continue drinking while they mourn for the dead. After they have completed their ceremonies and sorceries, they inter the body with its arms and treasures, plenty of food, and jugs of chicha, together with a few live women. The devil gives them to understand that, in the place to which they go, they will come to life in another kingdom which he has prepared for them, and that it is necessary to take food with them for the journey. As if hell was so very far off!

This city of San Sebastian was founded by Alonzo de Heredia, brother of the Adelantado Don Pedro de Heredia, governor for his majesty of the province of Carthagena, as I have said before.


Of the road between the city of San Sebastian and the city of Antioquia, and of the wild beasts, forests, rivers, and other things in the way; and how and in what season it can be passed.

I found myself in this city of San Sebastian de Buena Vista in the year 1536, and in 1537 the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, Juez de Residencia,[199] and at that time governor of Carthagena,{41} set out from it with one of the finest armies that had been seen in Tierra Firme. We were the first Spaniards who opened a road from the North to the South Sea. I journeyed from this town of Uraba as far as the town of Plata, at the furthest extremity of Peru, and made a point of seeing all the provinces on my road, that I might be better able to note down what was worthy of remark. I will, therefore, relate from this place forward all that I saw, without desiring to exaggerate or depreciate anything, and of this my readers may receive my assurance.

I say, then, that on leaving San Sebastian de Buena Vista, which is the port of Uraba, to go to the city of Antioquia, the road runs by the coast for five leagues as far as the banks of a small river called Rio Verde, whence the distance to the city of Antioquia is forty-eight leagues. The whole country, from this river to certain mountains called Abibe, of which I shall speak presently, is flat, but covered with very dense forests, and traversed by many rivers. The district near the road is uninhabited, as the natives have retired to a distance from it. After reaching Rio Verde, the road keeps close to the banks of the river, the rest of the country being very densely covered with forest; and to pass safely, it is necessary to travel in January, February, March, or April. After April the rains set in, and the rivers are swollen and rapid, so that even if it is possible to pass at all, it is at the cost of much danger and difficulty. At all times those who travel by this road must take good guides, and must understand how to cross the rivers. In all these forests there are great herds of pigs, sometimes more than a thousand together, counting their young ones, and they make a great noise, so that those who travel with good dogs will not be in want of food. There are also great tapirs, lions, bears, and tigers. In the trees are to be seen the most beautifully marked wild cats that can be found in the world, and large monkeys, that{42} make such a noise that, from a distance, those who are new to the country would think they were pigs. When the Spaniards pass under the trees where the monkeys are, these creatures break off branches, and throw them down, making faces all the time. The rivers are so full of fish that with any net a great haul may be drawn. When we were going with the Captain Jorge Robledo from Antioquia to Carthagena, we saw so many fish that we could kill them with sticks. On the trees near the rivers, there is a creature called yguana, which looks like a serpent, or like one of the large lizards of Spain, except that it has a larger head and longer tail, but in colour and shape it is exactly like. When skinned and roasted these creatures are as good to eat as rabbits; to my mind they are even better, especially the females, which have many eggs. But those who are not accustomed to them would be so frightened at the sight of them, that they would have no desire to eat them. No one can say for certain whether they are fish or flesh, for we see them run down the trees into the water, where they are quite at home; and they are also found in the interior, where there are no rivers. There are other creatures called Hicoteas,[200] like turtles, which are also good eating. There are many turkeys, pheasants, and parrots of all kinds, as well as Guacamayas,[201] with very bright plumage; some small eagles, pigeons, partridges, doves, besides night-birds and other birds of prey. In these forests there are very large snakes. I must here relate a circumstance which I hold to be certainly true, for it is attested by many men who are worthy of belief. It is that when the Lieutenant Juan Greciano was travelling by this road, by order of the licentiate Santa Cruz, in search of the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, in company with certain Spaniards, among whom were Manuel de Peralta, Pedro de Barros, and Pedro Ximon, they met with a snake or serpent,{43} which was so large that it measured more than twenty feet in length, and of great girth. Its head was a clear red, its eyes green and protruding, and, when they saw it, it levelled its head to strike at them, and, indeed, gave Pedro Ximon such a blow that he died. They found an entire deer in its belly; and I heard it said that some of the Spaniards, owing to the hunger they felt, ate the deer and even a part of the snake. There are other snakes, not so large as this one, which make a noise when they walk like the sound of bells. If these snakes bite a man they kill him. The Indians say that there are many other kinds of serpents and wild animals in these forests, which I do not describe as I have not seen them. There are abundance of the palm-trees of Uraba, and many wild fruits.


Of the grandeur of the mountains of Abibe, and of the admirable and useful timber which grows there.

HAVING crossed these low forest covered plains, the way leads up a broad chain of mountains called Abibe.[202] This mountain-chain extends to the west, over many provinces and uninhabited tracts. Its length is uncertain, but its breadth is in some places twenty leagues: in others much more, and in others a little less. The roads by which the Indians crossed this wild chain of mountains (for many parts of it are inhabited) were so bad and difficult, that horses neither can nor ever will be able to pass over them. The Captain Francisco Cesar, was the first Spaniard who crossed this{44} range of mountains, and with much trouble he came to the valley of Guaco, which is on the other side. The roads are assuredly most difficult and wearisome, for they are full of evil places and thickets, while the roots are such that they entangle the feet of both men and horses. At the highest part of the mountains there is a very laborious ascent, and a still more dangerous descent on the other side. When we descended with the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, there being several very steep declivities, we made a sort of wall with ropes and stakes filled in with earth, so that the horses might be able to pass without danger, and although this contrivance was of some use, yet many horses fell over and were dashed to pieces. Even among the Spaniards some were killed, and others were so much injured that they were unable longer to proceed, and remained in the forests, awaiting their deaths in great misery concealed by the brushwood, so that those who remained whole might not see them and carry them forward. Some of the horses, too, were so much exhausted that they could not go on, and many Negroes either fled or died. Certainly, we who passed over these mountains were in very evil case, seeing that we suffered the hardships that I have just described. There are no inhabitants whatever in the higher parts of the mountains, or if there are, they live at a distance from the road by which we traversed them; but in the valleys which run up into these mountains there are many Indians, who possess much gold. The rivers which descend from this range towards the west, bring down great store of gold. Nearly all the year round it rains, and the trees are always dropping water from their leaves. There is no fodder for the horses, except some small long prickly leaves, inside which grow small palmitos, which are very bitter; and I have been myself in such straits with weariness and hunger, that I have eaten them. As it is always raining, and the Spanish travellers are constantly wet, the whole of them would certainly die if they{45} had no fire. But the giver of blessings, who is Christ our God and Lord, displays his power everywhere, and thinks it good to be merciful and to afford us a remedy for all our ills. Although there is no want of fire-wood in these mountains, yet it is so wet that if the fire was lighted it would go out. To provide for this want there are certain tall trees, something like an ash, the wood of which is white and very dry: when this wood is cut up and set fire to, it burns like candlewood, and does not go out until it is consumed by the flames. We owe our lives entirely to the discovery of this wood. Where the Indians are settled there are plenty of supplies of fruit and fish, besides great store of brightly dyed cotton mantles. Here the evil root of Uraba is not found, and the Indians have no other arms than palm lances, clubs, and darts. They make bridges over the numerous rivers with stout creepers, which are like roots growing on the trees, and are as strong as hempen ropes. They make a great rope by twisting several of these together and throw it across the river, fastening each end securely to the trees, of which there are many near the banks. Several more are secured in the same way, and thus a bridge is formed. The Indians and their wives pass across; but they are so dangerous that I should very much prefer walking over the bridge of Alcantara. Notwithstanding this, and in spite of the danger, the Indians, as I have said, go over laden, with their women and children, with as little fear as if they were on firm land. All these Indians of the mountains are subject to a great and powerful cacique, called Nutibara. Having passed these mountains, there is a very pretty valley where there is no forest, but naked hills: and the Indians have their roads on the plain and sides of the hills.{46}


Of the cacique Nutibara, and of his territory: and of other caciques subject to the city of Antioquia.

WHEN we entered this valley with the Licentiate Juan de Vadillo, it was scattered over with very large houses of wood thatched with straw, and the fields were full of all kinds of food. In the hills several delightful rivers rise, whose banks were covered with many kinds of fruit trees, with very tall slender palm trees, thorny, with a bunch of fruit called Pixibaes growing at the top. They make both bread and wine from this fruit, and when the tree is cut down, they take from it a good-sized palmito, which is both sweet and wholesome. There are also many trees which we call aguacates, guavas, guayavas, and very fragrant pines.

The lord or king of this country was one named Nutibara, son of Anunaybe. He had a brother called Quinuchu, who was then his lieutenant over the Indians that lived in the mountains of Abibe (which we had just crossed) and in other parts. This lieutenant supplied his lord with many pigs, fish, birds, and other things from that land, and sent him gold and apparel as tribute. When the lord went to war, he was followed by many people with their arms. When he travelled through the country, he sat on a litter inlaid with gold, which was borne on the shoulders of his principal men. He had many wives. Near the door of his house, and the same thing was done at the houses of his captains, there were many heads of his enemies whom he had eaten, which were kept there as trophies. All the natives of this country eat human flesh. There are many large burial places which must needs be very rich. They had, in the first place, a great house or temple dedicated to the Devil. At the time that the Captain Francisco Cesar entered the valley, the natives rose in arms near that house or temple, thinking that,{47} as his followers were such bad christians they might easily kill them. Thus, more than 20,00 Indians came out to war with much noise; but, although the Spanish party numbered no more than twenty-nine or thirty horse, they showed so bold a front that the Indians fled after the battle had lasted a long time, leaving the field in possession of the christians, and on this occasion Cesar certainly showed himself to be worthy of so great a name. Those who may write respecting Carthagena will have plenty to say of this captain; but it will not behove me to write more concerning him than is necessary for the clearness of my narrative.[203] If the Spaniards who entered this valley with Cesar were not numerous, they{48} certainly all became rich, and got plenty of gold; but, afterwards, when we came, the Indians concealed their gold by the advice of the devil, as they themselves affirm. Before these Indians gave battle to Captain Cesar, they took their gold to the temple which they had built (according to their own account) in honour of the devil; and, when the Spaniards came there, digging in a certain part, they found a vault with the entrance towards the setting sun, in which there were many vases full of very fine ornaments of gold, altogether more than 21 quintals,[204] worth upwards of 40,00 ducats. They related that further on there was another house that contained more treasure, and they also stated that they found others still more rich in the valley. Afterwards, when we arrived with Vadillo, we found the burial places opened, and the house or temple burnt. An Indian woman, who belonged to one Baptista Zimbron, said to me that after Cesar returned to Carthagena, all the lords of these valleys assembled and performed sacrifices, when the devil appeared in the form of a very fierce tiger, (which in their language is called guaca), and said that those christians had come from the other side of the sea, and that soon many more would arrive to occupy and take possession of the land, and that they must prepare for war. He then disappeared, and the Indians began to prepare, first taking a great quantity of treasure out of the burial places.{49}


Of the customs of these Indians, of their arms, and of the ceremonies they perform; and who the founder of the city of Antioquia was.

THE inhabitants of these valleys are brave amongst themselves, and much feared by their neighbours. The men go naked and barefooted, and merely wear a narrow band fastened to a girdle round the waist. Their hair is worn very long. Their arms are darts, long lances of black palm, slings, and two-handed clubs, called Macanas.[205] The women wear a mantle from the waist downwards of bright coloured cotton cloth. The lords, when they marry, make a sort of sacrifice to their gods. They assemble in a house to the number of about twelve, where the prettiest girls have already been assembled, and choose those they desire most. The son of the chosen woman inherits the lordship, and if there is no son, the son of the lord’s sister inherits. These people border on a province called Tatabe, which is thickly inhabited by rich and warlike Indians, whose customs are the same as those of their neighbours. Their houses are built over very large trees, and are made of many stout poles, each house having more than two hundred of them, and the coverings of these great houses consist of palm leaves. Many Indians live in one house, with their wives and children. These nations extend to the westward as far as the South Sea, and to the east they border on the great river of Darien. All their country is mountainous, very rugged, and fearful to pass through. Near this country they say there is that grandeur and wealth of the Dabaybe which is so celebrated in Terra Firme.[206] In{50} another part of the country, over which Nutibara is lord, there are some Indians living in a certain valley called Nore, which is very fertile. Near this valley is now built the city of Antioquia. In ancient times there was a large population in these valleys, as we judged from the edifices and burial places, of which there are many well worth seeing, being so large as to appear like small hills.

These Indians, though they speak the same language as those of Guaca, were always engaged in wars with them, so that the number of both nations has greatly diminished, for they eat all those that are captured, and place their heads before the doors of their houses. They go naked like the others, except that the chiefs sometimes cover themselves with a long mantle of coloured cotton. The women are covered with small mantles of the same material. Before passing on, I wish to relate a truly strange and wondrous thing. The second time that we returned through these valleys, when the city of Antioquia was founded near the hills which overhang them, I heard it said that the lords or caciques of the valley of Nore collected all the women they could find from the land of their enemies, took them home, and used them as if they had been their own. If any children were born, they were reared with much care until they reached the age of twelve or thirteen, and, being then plump and healthy, these caciques ate them with much appetite, not considering that they were of their own flesh and blood. In this way they had many women solely to bring forth children, which were afterwards to be eaten: and this is the greatest of all the sins that these people commit. I saw myself what occurred between one of these chiefs and the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, who is now in Spain, and if he is asked respecting what I now write, he will say that it is true. It is that, when I and my comrades{51} entered these valleys, a chief named Nabonuco came to us peaceably, and brought with him three women. When night came on, two of them laid down on a mat, and the other across it to serve as a pillow. The Indian then made his bed on the bodies of these women, and took another pretty woman by the hand. When the licentiate Juan de Vadillo saw this proceeding, he asked the Indian chief why he had brought that other woman whom he held by the hand. The chief replied, in a gentle voice, looking him in the face, that he was going to eat her. On hearing this, Vadillo was astonished, and said, “What! are you going to eat your own wife?” The chief, raising his voice, replied, “Yes, truly; and I will also eat the child she bears me.” This happened in the valley of Nore. I have heard this licentiate Juan de Vadillo sometimes say, that he had heard from some old Indians, that when the natives of Nore go to war, they make slaves of their prisoners, and marry them to their own relations and neighbours, and that the children thus born are eaten; and that afterwards, when these slaves are too old to have any more children, they eat them also. In truth, as these Indians have no faith, I am not astonished at this.

Owing to these wars, when we discovered the valleys, we found so many human heads at the doors of the chiefs’ houses, that it seemed as if each one had been a butcher’s shop. When one of the chiefs dies, the people mourn for many days, cut off the hair of his wives, kill those who were most beloved, and raise a tomb the size of a small hill, with an opening towards the rising sun. Within this great tomb they make a large vault, and here they put the body, wrapped in cloths, and the gold and arms the dead man had used when alive. They then take the most beautiful of his wives and some servant lads, make them drunk with wine made with maize, and bury them alive in that vault, in order that the chief may go down to hell with companions.{52}

This city of Antioquia is situated in a valley between the famous, notable, and rich rivers of Darien and of Santa Martha, for these valleys are between the two Cordilleras.[207] The position of the city is very good, with wide plains, near a small river. Many other rivers flow near it, which rise in the Cordilleras, and many springs of sweet and limpid water. All the rivers are full of very fine gold, and their banks are shaded by many kinds of fruit-trees. Antioquia is surrounded by extensive provinces, inhabited by Indians, very rich in gold, who use small scales to weigh it; but they are all great eaters of human flesh, and when they take each other prisoners, they show no mercy. One day I saw in Antioquia, when we founded it in some hills where Captain Jorge Robledo first fixed the site (which was afterwards{53} changed by Captain Juan Cabrera to the site where the city now stands), while walking in a field of maize, four Indians close to me, who met another, and killed him with their clubs. They then drank his blood and eat his entrails by mouthfuls. They have no arrows, nor do they use any other arms than the above. I have never seen any temple or house of worship, except that which was burnt in the valley of Guaca. They all talk with the devil; and in each village there are two or three old men who are adepts in the evil art of conversing with him, and they announce what he desires to be done. They do not entirely attain to a belief in the immortality of the soul. The water and all that the earth produces is referred to nature, although they well know there is a Creator, but their belief is false, as I shall relate presently.

The city of Antioquia was founded and settled by the Captain Jorge Robledo, in the name of his Majesty the Emperor Charles, King of Spain and of the Indies, our lord, and by order of the Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar, his governor and captain-general of the province of Popayan, in the year of the nativity of our Lord 1541. This city is in 7° of the equinoctial,[208] on the north side.[209]



Of the description of the province of Popayan, and the reason why the natives of it are so wild, and those of Peru so gentle.

AS the captains from Peru discovered and settled in this province of Popayan, they speak of it as a part of, and one with, that land of Peru; but I cannot consider it in that light, because the people, the land, and all other things in it are different.

This province was called Popayan from the city of Popayan, which is in it. It is 200 leagues long, little more or less, and thirty or forty broad, in some parts more, and in others, less. On one side it has the coast of the South Sea, and some very high rugged mountains to the westward. On the other side are the main Cordilleras of the Andes; and between these mountains rise many rivers, some of them, being very large, forming broad valleys. One of these, which is the largest in all this land, is the great river of Santa Martha. The towns of Pasto, Popayan, and Timana are included in this government, and the city of{55} Cali, near the port of Buenaventura; besides the towns of Anzerma, Cartago, Arma, Antioquia, and others which were founded after I left the country. In this province some parts are cold and others hot, some healthy and others pestilential. In some parts it rains much, in others little. In some parts the Indians are cannibals, in others not. On one side it borders on the new kingdom of New Granada, on the other, on the kingdom of Peru. To the west, it is bounded by the government of the river of San Juan; to the north, by that of Carthagena.

Many have wondered how it is that these Indians, having their dwellings in positions exposed to invasion, and, except in Pasto, the country being neither too hot nor too cold, but in all things convenient for conquest, should be so untameable and obstinate; while those in Peru, with their forest-covered valleys, snowy mountains, and greater numbers, are so gentle and submissive. To this I would answer that the Indians of the government of Popayan are, and always have been, in a state of confusion, and they have never been ruled by a chief whom they feared. They are lazy and idle, and, above all, they detest being under subjection to any one, which is a sufficient cause for resisting the yoke of strangers. Another reason is to be found in the fertility of the soil, while in some parts there are dense forests, cane brakes, and other fastnesses; so that when the Spaniards press on these Indians, they burn their houses, which are of wood and straw, and retreat for a league or two, making other dwellings within three or four days, and sowing as much maize as they require, which they reap within four months. If they are still pursued, they once more abandon their homes, and retreat; for wherever they go they find a fertile land ready to supply them with its fruits, so that war or peace are in their own hands; and they never want for food. The Peruvians, on the contrary, are docile because they have more understanding, and{56} because they were subject to the Kings Yncas, to whom they paid tribute, and whom they always served. In this condition they were born; and if any did not wish to obey, they were constrained to do so, for the land of Peru is full of mountainous tracts and snowy plains. If, therefore, they were to fly from their homes to these wilds, they could not live, for the land does not yield fruit, so that they must serve in order to live, which is quite sufficient reason to resolve the doubt.

I now propose to pass on, giving a particular account of the provinces of this government, and of the Spanish cities which have been founded in it, and stating who were the founders. From the city of Antioquia there are two roads, one to go to the town of Anzerma, and the other to go to the city of Cartago; and before I relate what is worthy of notice on the road to Cartago and Arma, I will give an account of the town of Anzerma, and then return to do the same by the other route.


Containing an account of the road between the city of Antioquia and the town of Anzerma, and of the region which lies on either side of it.

STARTING from the city of Antioquia and travelling towards the town of Anzerma, one sees the rich and famous hill of Buritica, whence such a vast quantity of gold has been taken in times past. The distance from Antioquia to Anzerma is seventy leagues, and the road is very rough, with naked hills and few trees. The greater part is inhabited by Indians, but their houses are a long way from the road. After leaving Antioquia one comes to a small hill called Corome, which is in a little valley where there used to be a populous village of{57} Indians; but since the Spaniards came as conquerors, the Indians have greatly diminished in numbers. This village had many rich gold mines, and also streams whence they could obtain gold. There are few fruit trees, and the maize yields small crops. The Indians are the same as those we had already met with, in language and customs. Further on there is a settlement on the top of a great hill, where there used to be a village of large houses inhabited by miners, who became very rich by collecting gold. The neighbouring caciques had their houses here also, and their servants obtained a great quantity of gold. From this hill came the greater part of the riches which were found at Cenu in the burial places, and I saw very fine gold in abundance taken from them, before we went to the discovery of Urute with the Captain Alonzo de Caceres.

When we discovered this village, with the Licentiate Juan de Vadillo, I remember that a priest who accompanied the expedition, named Francisco de Frias, found a Totuma, which is a sort of large glazed earthen jug, full of earth, and he sorted very large grains of gold out of it. We also saw here the sources whence they extract the gold, and the tools with which they work. When the Captain Jorge de Robledo founded the city of Antioquia, he went to see these gold washings, and they washed a lump of earth, extracting a quantity of very fine grains which one of the miners affirmed to be gold, but another said it was not gold, but what we call marcasite. As we were on a journey we could not stop to examine further. When the Spaniards entered this village the Indians burnt it, and they have shown no desire to settle there again. I recollect that a soldier named Toribio, going to seek for food, found a stone in a river as big as a man’s head, covered with veins of gold which penetrated from one side of the stone to the other: and when he saw it, he put it on his shoulders to carry it to the camp. As he was going up a hill, he met a small Indian dog, and when{58} he saw it he turned to kill it for food, dropping the stone which rolled back again into the river. Toribio killed the dog, thinking it worth more than gold, such was his hunger, and thus the stone remained in the river where it was before. In another river I saw a negro, belonging to the Captain Jorge Robledo, wash large grains of gold out of a lump of earth. In fine, if the people were more docile and better conditioned, and not such eaters of human food: and if our governors and captains were more pious and had not ill-treated them, this province would be very rich.

Near this village, which is on the top of a hill called Buritica, a small river rises and flows through a valley where there is a mining establishment formed by the same captain, Jorge Robledo, and called Santa Fé, which is subject to the city of Antioquia. The mines have been found to be very rich near the great river of Santa Martha, which flows close by the establishment, and during the summer the Indians and Negroes get much wealth from the banks, and hereafter, when there are more Negroes, they will procure more gold. There is also another settlement near the beforementioned village, called Xundabe, inhabited by Indians with the same language and customs. Further on there is another village called Caramanta, the name of the cacique or lord of which is Cauroma.[210]



Of the customs of the Indians of this land, and of the forests that must be traversed in order to reach the town of Anzerma.

THE people of this province are warlike, and their language is different from the others we had met with. The country is covered in all parts by dense forests, and a broad river flows through it, swelled by many streams and fountains where they make salt—a truly wonderful and prodigious fact: and of it, as well as of many other things in this province, I will speak presently, when the narrative affords a suitable place. There is a small lake in the valley where they make very white salt. The Lords or Caciques and their Captains have very large houses, and near the doors there are stout canes that grow in these parts, on the tops of which are placed many heads of their enemies. When they go to war, they take sharp knives made of reeds or flint, or of the bark of canes, which they can also make very sharp, and with these they cut off the heads of their captives. To others they give most terrible deaths, cutting off their limbs, eating them, and placing their heads on the tops of canes. Amongst these canes they place certain boards on which they carve the figure of a devil, very fierce, and in human form, with other idols and figures of cats which they worship. When they require water or sunshine for their crops, they seek aid from these idols. Those who are set apart for that purpose talk with the devil, and are great sorcerers and magicians. They believe in and watch for signs and prodigies, and preserve those superstitions which the devil suggests: such is the power he has over these Indians—God our Lord permitting it for their sins, or for some other reason known to himself. They said, when we first discovered the country with the Licentiate Juan de Vadillo, that their chief, named Cauroma, had many idols of{60} very fine gold: and they say that there is such abundance of that metal, that the chief can get as much as he likes from a certain river.

These Indians are great butchers in the matter of eating human flesh. Near the doors of their houses there are small open spaces where they have their places of sepulture, according to the custom of their country, consisting of very deep vaults, with their openings facing the east. When a chief dies, they place him in one of these vaults with much mourning, putting his arms and clothes, the gold he possessed, and some food, with the body. From this circumstance we conjecture that the Indians certainly gave some credit to the thought that the soul leaves the body.

The country is well supplied with provisions, and fertile, yielding crops of maize and edible roots. There are scarcely any fruit trees.

To the eastward of this province there is another called Cartama, which is the limit of the discoveries of Sebastian de Belalcazar. The Indians are rich in gold, have small houses, and all go naked and barefooted, without anything more than a small band, with which they cover their shame. The women wear small mantles of cotton from the waist downwards, but are otherwise uncovered.

Beyond the province of Cartama there is a forest, extending more than seven leagues, and very dense; and here we suffered much from hunger and cold when we went with Vadillo; and I may truly affirm that in all my life I never suffered such hunger as during that journey, although I have served in some expeditions of discovery in which we underwent great hardships. We found ourselves in so sad a plight in these dense forests, where the sun could not penetrate, without roads, or guides, nor any one to tell us whether we were far from or near any inhabited part, that we were inclined to return to Carthagena. It was a great thing for us to find that wood which I described as growing in the{61} mountains of Abibe, for with it we could make a fire, as it will always burn whenever it is required to do so. By the help of God, and with the aid of our own arms, with which we forced a way, we got through these forests, in which we left several Spaniards dead from hunger, and many horses. Beyond, there is a small valley clear of trees, and a little farther on we came to a large and beautiful valley, very populous, with the houses all new, and close to each other. Some of them were very large, and the fields were full of maize crops and edible roots. Afterwards, the inhabitants of this valley left their old home, fleeing from the cruelties of the Spaniards, and took refuge in some wild and lofty mountains, which overhang the valley called Cima. Two leagues and a half beyond this valley, there is another small one, formed by a spur which runs out from the Cordillera; and here the town of Anzerma is founded, which was first called the city of Santa Ana de los Cavalleros. It is built between two small rivers, on a rising ground, which is covered with beautiful trees, and fruit trees both of Europe and of the country, and excellent crops of beans. The city overlooks all the district, being the highest part of the rising ground, and no people can approach without being first seen from the town. On all sides it is surrounded by great villages, ruled over by many caciques or lords, who are all friendly to each other. The villages are close together, and the houses are divided from each other by short spaces.{62}


Of the customs of the Caciques and Indians in the neighbourhood of the town of Anzerma, of the founding of that town, and who its founder was.

THE place on which the town of Anzerma is built is called by the natives Umbra, and when the Adelantado Sebastian de Belalcazar entered this province, as he had no interpreter, he could understand none of its secrets. He heard the Indians, when they saw salt, call it Anzer, and this is true, for among them it has no other name; and this is the reason that from that time, in speaking of the place, they have called it Anzerma, and have given this name to the town. Four leagues to the westward, there is a village which, though not very large, is inhabited by many Indians, as it has large houses and broad lands. In the road to it there is a small river, and it is a league from the great and rich river of Santa Martha. These Indians had for their captain and chief a well-disposed man named Ciricha. He has, or had when I saw the place, a very large house at the entrance of the village, and many others in different parts. Near the large house there is a small court surrounded by the canes I have already described as having seen in Caramanta, and on the top of each was the head of an Indian who had been eaten. The chief had many wives. These Indians have the same language and customs as those of Caramanta, but are even greater butchers and eaters of human flesh.

That the difficulties of the discovery of this country may be known, I desire to relate what happened in this village, at the time when we entered it with the licentiate Juan de Vadillo. As the stores of maize had been carried off, we neither found that nor anything else to eat, and it was more than a year since we had eaten meat, except that of the horses that had died, and of a few dogs. We even had no{63} salt, such was the misery we endured. At this time twenty-five or thirty soldiers set out to procure, or, to speak more plainly, to rob whatever they could find, and, near the great river they came upon some people who fled, for fear of being seen and taken prisoners by us. Here the soldiers found a great pot full of cooked flesh, and they were so hungry that they thought of nothing but eating it, supposing it was the flesh of creatures called cuis,[211] because some came out of the pot. As soon as they had well eaten, one of them took out of the pot a hand with its fingers and nails, and they also found pieces of the feet and other parts of a man. When the Spaniards saw these things, they were troubled at having eaten of such meat, and the sight of the fingers and hands caused them much sorrow; but they returned to the camp, from which they had set out half dead with hunger.

Many small rivers rise in the mountains near this village, where much very rich gold has been taken by these Indians and by Negroes. These Indians are friends and allies of those of Caramanta, but they were always at war with their other neighbours. There is a strong position in the village, which they garrison in time of war. They go naked and barefooted, and the women wear small mantles, and are good looking—some of them beautiful. Further on is the district of Sopia, and between these two places there flows a river rich in gold, where the Spaniards have established some farms. The people of the last named district also go naked. The houses are like those of other Indians, and within them there are great sepulchres where they bury their dead. They have no idols nor house of worship that we saw. They talk with the devil. They marry their nieces, and sometimes{64} their sisters, and the son of the principal wife inherits the lordship; for all these Indians, if they are chiefs, have many wives. If a chief has no son, the son of his sister succeeds. This district borders on the province of Cartama, in going to which the great river is crossed. On the other side is the province of Pozo, of which we shall have to treat further on. To the east of Anzerma there are other large villages, full of fruit gardens and cultivated fields, whose chiefs are friendly. They are all allies, although at times there is enmity and war amongst them. They are not such butchers and eaters of human flesh as the others whom I have described. The caciques are very rich, and before the Spaniards came, they went about in hammocks and litters. They have many wives, who, considering that they are Indians, are beautiful. They wear handsome coloured mantles of cotton.

The men go naked, but the principal chiefs cover themselves with a large mantle. The women are dressed as I have before said, they comb out their hair, and wear very beautiful necklaces made of pieces of fine gold, and ear-rings. They also slit their nostrils and insert pieces of gold in the opening, some large and others small. The chiefs had many drinking cups of gold, and mantles, both for themselves and their wives, garnished with pieces of gold, some round and others in the shape of stars. They call the devil Xixarama, and the Spaniards Tamaraca. Some of them are great sorcerers and herb doctors. Their daughters are married after they have ceased to be virgins, and they do not hold virginity to be a thing of any estimation. When they marry they use no kind of ceremony. When their chiefs die in a part of this province called Tauya, they place their bodies in hammocks and light fires all round. Holes are dug beneath, into which the melted fat drops, and when the body is half burnt, the relations come and make great lamentations, drinking their wine, and reciting their songs of praise to{65} their gods according to their custom, and as they have been taught by their elders. This being done, they wrap the bodies in shrouds, and keep them for several years uninterred. When they are thoroughly dried up, they put them into sepulchres which they make in their houses. In the other provinces, when a chief dies, they make a very deep sepulchre in the lofty parts of the mountains, and, after much lamentation, they put the body in it, wrapped in many rich cloths, with arms on one side and plenty of food on the other, great jars of wine, plumes, and gold ornaments. At his feet they bury some of his most beloved and beautiful women alive; holding it for certain that he will come to life, and make use of what they have placed round him.

These Indians use darts, lances, and clubs, some of black palm wood, and others of a white wood which grows in those parts. We did not see any house of worship in their country. When they talk with the devil, they say that it becomes dark, and that one who is chosen from the rest speaks for the others. The country, where these people have their villages, consists of very lofty mountains without any trees. To the westward there is a vast forest called Cima, and further on, towards the South Sea, there are many Indians and large villages; and it seems certain that the great river of Darien[212] rises there.

This town of Anzerma was founded by the captain Jorge Robledo in the name of his Majesty, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being governor and captain-general of all these provinces: although it is true that Lorenzo de Aldana, the lieutenant-general for Don Francisco Pizarro in the city of Cali, named the municipality, and appointed as alcaldes Suer de Nava and Martin de Amoroto, and as alguazil-mayor Ruy Venegas, and sent Robledo to people this city, now called a town, ordering him to call it Santa Anna de los Caballeros. Thus some credit for the foundation of Anzerma may, for these reasons, be given to Lorenzo de Aldana.{66}


Concerning the provinces and towns between the city of Antiochia and the town of Arma; and of the customs of the natives.

HERE I will cease from following the road which I had commenced, and, returning to the city of Antiochia, I will give an account of the road which leads thence to the town of Arma, and even as far as the city of Cartago. After setting out from the city of Antiochia to go to the town of Arma, the great river of Santa Martha is reached, a journey of twelve leagues.[213] To cross the river there is a boat, or at least there is no want of materials for making one. There are few Indians on the banks of the river, and the villages are small, for the inhabitants have retired to a distance from the road. After travelling for some leagues a village is reached, which used to be very large. It was called the “Pueblo llano,” but when the Spaniards entered the country, the natives fled to certain mountains which were little more than two leagues distant. The Indians are small, and they use arrows, which must have been brought from the other side of the Andes, for the natives of those parts have them. They are great traders, and their principal article of trade is salt. They go naked, the women wearing very small cloths from the belly to the thighs. They are rich in gold, and their rivers contain abundance of that metal. Their habits and customs are like those of the neighbouring tribes. Beyond this village there is another called Mugia, where there is a great quantity of salt, and many traders carry it over the mountains and obtain in exchange great sums of gold, cotton cloths, and other things which they{67} require. Further on I shall treat of this salt, how it is obtained, and how they carry it.

Beyond Mugia, towards the east, is the valley of Aburra, to go to which it is necessary to cross the Andes, which is done very easily as there is little forest, and the journey only takes one day. We discovered this valley with captain Jorge Robledo, but we only saw a few small villages, different from those we had already passed, and not so rich. When we entered this valley of Aburra, the detestation we conceived for the natives was such that we hung them and their women to the boughs of trees by their hair, and, amidst grievous moans, we left their bodies there, while their souls went down to hell. The land is very fertile in this valley of Aburra, and several rivers flow through it. Further on there is a very large ancient road, and others by which the people communicate with those to the eastward, which are numerous and great, but we heard of them by common report, and did not know them from personal inspection. We next arrived at a village called Cenasura, which is rich, and it is believed that there are here some very rich burial places. The Indians are fine men; they go naked like the others, and resemble them in their habits. At the village of Blanco, some distance beyond Cenasura, we left the great river on the right hand, in order to go to the town of Arma.

There are many other rivers on this route, which I do not enumerate, because they have not all got names. Near Cenasura there is a river flowing over a very stony bed, and nearly a day’s journey along its banks, on the left hand, there is a large and very populous district concerning which I shall presently write. These districts were at first placed under the city of Cartago (the great river forming the boundary) by Captain Jorge Robledo, who discovered them; but as the Indians were so untameable, and opposed to service at Cartago, the adelantado Belalcazar, governor for his Majesty, ordered that these villages should be separated{68} from Cartago, and that a town of Spaniards should be founded in the midst of them. This was done, and the town was formed by Miguel Muñoz, in the name of his Majesty, the adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar being governor of the province, in the year 1542. It was first founded on a hill at the entrance of the province of Arma, but the war which the natives carried on against the Spaniards was so fierce that, for this reason, and because there was little room to sow crops and establish farms, it was removed a little more than two leagues nearer the great river. The site is twenty-three leagues from the city of Cartago, twelve from the town of Anzerma, and one from the great river, on a plain between two small rivers, and is surrounded by great palm trees, which are different from those I have already described, though more useful, for very savoury palmitos are taken from them, and their fruit is also savoury, for when it is broken with stones, milk flows out, and they even make a kind of cream and butter from it, which they use for lighting lamps.[214] I have seen that which I now relate, and it all comes within my own experience. The site of this town is considered rather unhealthy, but the land is very fertile. A fanega of maize yields a hundredfold and more, and they sow the maize twice a year, and other produce yields in the same proportion. Up to the present time no wheat has been sown, so that I cannot affirm whether it will yield a harvest or not. The mines are richer on the great river, which is a league from this town, than in other parts, for if Negroes are set to work, a day will not pass without each man giving two or three ducats to his master. As time wears on, this will come to be among the richest districts of the Indies.

The repartimiento[215] of Indians which I received for my{69} services was in the neighbourhood of this city. I could wish to use my pen at more length on this subject (but the state of affairs will not permit it), principally because many of my companions, the discoverers and conquerors who set out with me from Carthagena, are without Indians, or only possess those which they have had to pay for, which is certainly no small grievance.


Of the province of Arma, of the customs of the natives, and of other notable things.

THIS province of Arma, whence the town took its name, is very large and populous, and the richest in this part of the country; it contains twenty thousand Indians capable of bearing arms, not counting women and children, or did so when I wrote this, which was at the time when Christian Spaniards first entered the country. Their houses are large and round, made of long poles and beams, which curve upwards from the ground, and the roof is of straw. In these houses there are several divisions, partitioned off by reeds, and many people live in them. The province is about ten leagues long, by six or seven broad, a little more or less, broken up into rugged mountain ranges without forest. The valleys are like orchards, being full of all kinds of fruit trees, such as are found in this country, besides a very delicious fruit of a brown colour, called pitahaya.[216] This fruit has the peculiarity of making the urine of those who eat it, even though it be only one, of the colour of blood. In the hills there is another fruit which I take to be very curious, called vuillas.[217] It is small, and has a pleasant smell.{70}

Some rivers rise in the mountains, and one of them, called the river of Arma, is troublesome to cross in the winter. The others are not large, but, from their appearance I certainly think that in time they will get as much gold from them as they do iron out of Biscay. Those who may read this, and have, like me, visited the country, will not consider this statement fabulous. The Indians have their workshops on the banks of the rivers, and they are continually waging cruel wars against each other. The languages of the Indians differ in many parts, and almost in every hamlet there is a distinct language. They were, and are, marvellously rich in gold, and if these natives of the province of Arma were as intelligent and docile as those of Peru, I will be bound to say that their mines would not fail to yield more than 500,00 pesos de oro. They have, or once had, many rich ornaments of this metal, which is so fine as to reach to at least nineteen quilates.[218] When they go to war they wear crowns with beautiful plumes, with plates on their breasts, armlets, and many other ornaments.

When we discovered them, the first time we entered the province with the captain Jorge Robledo, I remember we saw armed Indians covered with gold from head to foot, and the place where we first saw them is called to this day “Loma de los Armados.” Their houses are built on the level places at the foot of the hills, which are very rugged. They have large fortresses built of stout canes pulled up by the roots, which are placed in rows by twenties, like a street, and in the centre they have, or had, when I saw the place, a high platform, well built of the same canes, with steps up to it, where they offered sacrifices.{71}


The sacrifices offered up by these Indians, and what great butchers they are in the matter of eating human flesh.

THE arms used by these Indians are darts, lances, slings, and blow-pipes. They are great lovers of noise, and when they go to war they take drums, flutes, and other instruments. They are deceitful and word breakers, nor will they keep the peace they have promised. Of the war they waged with the Spaniards I will treat in its proper place. Very great is the dominion that the devil, enemy of the human race, is allowed by God to have over this people, by reason of their sins, and often is he visibly amongst them. On the above-mentioned platform they have many cords fastened in the manner of a net, each forty brazas long, and we made use of these ropes for sandals. On the top of the platform they fastened the Indians whom they took in war by the shoulders, and cut out their hearts, which they offered to their gods or to the devil, in whose honour they made these sacrifices. Presently, without any long delay, they eat those whom they had thus killed. I saw no house of worship, but in the houses of the chiefs there were chambers well covered with mats and much ornamented. I saw one of these chapels in Paucora, as will be mentioned further on. In the furthest end of it there was a recess containing many clay vessels for incense, in which they burnt certain small herbs instead of incense. I saw these plants in the land of a lord of this province named Yayo, and they were so small as hardly to rise above the ground; some had a very black, and others a white flower; their smell resembled that of verbena. These, with other resins, they burnt before their idols. After they have performed these and other superstitious rites, the devil comes. They relate that he appears in the form of an Indian, with very{72} bright eyes, and gives replies to the priests or ministers, to questions they ask him, concerning what they wish to know. Up to this time there are no clergymen or friars in any of these provinces, for the Indians are so evil disposed, and such butchers, that many of them have eaten the knights who possessed encomiendas[219] amongst them; yet, when they go to the Spanish settlements, they put aside their Gentile customs and vanities, and conform to our religion, receiving the water of baptism. And, God permitting, some chiefs of the provinces of this government have turned Christians, and abhor the devil, eschewing their former evil works.

The people of this province of Arma are of middle height, and all dark coloured, insomuch that in colour all the Indian men and women of these parts (where there is such a multitude of people as scarcely to be numbered, and so wide an extent of country) appear as if they were all children of one father and mother. The women of these Indians are the ugliest and dirtiest that I have seen in all these parts. Both men and women go naked, except that, to conceal their shame, they put a bit of cloth in front, a palmo broad, and a palmo and a half long, with which they cover themselves in front; for the rest they go quite naked. Some of the women go shorn, as do their husbands.

The fruits and other provisions they have are maize and{73} yucas,[220] besides many other nourishing roots, some guayavas,[221] paltas,[222] and palms of the Pixiuares. The chiefs marry those women they most fancy, keeping one of them as the principal wife. The other Indians marry daughters and sisters of their neighbours without any order, and few find their wives to be virgins. The chiefs may have many wives, other men have one, two, or three, according to their means. When they die, the chiefs are buried in their houses, or on the heights of the mountains with the usual ceremonies and mourning. The sons succeed their fathers in the chieftainship, and in their houses and lands. Failing a son, the heir is the son of the sister, and not of the brother. Further on I will relate the reason of this custom of the nephew who is son of the sister, and not he who is son of the brother, inheriting, in the greater part of these provinces, according to what I have heard from many of the natives. The Indians are so fond of eating human flesh, that they have been seen to take women on the point of bringing forth, quickly open their bellies with knives of stone or cane, and take out the child; then, having made a great fire, they toast and eat it, together with the mother, and all is done with such rapidity that it is a thing to marvel at. For these sins, and for others that these Indians commit, Divine Providence has ordained that, though they are so widely separated from our region of Spain as to make it appear almost impossible to go from the one place to the other, yet that roads and ways over the mighty ocean should be opened to these lands, where only ten or fifteen Christians together conquer and subdue one thousand to ten thousand of these Indians. I do not believe, however, that this arises from our merits, for we are indeed great sinners; but because God chooses to punish these people by our means, and therefore permits these events to happen as they do.{74}

But to return to our narrative: these Indians have no belief, so far as I can make out, nor do they understand more of God’s will than the devil tells them. The command which the chiefs have over their people extends no further than that the Indians build the houses for the chiefs, till their fields, give them as many of their women as they want, and wash gold out of the rivers for them, with which they trade with their neighbours. The chiefs select their captains in the wars, and accompany them in battle. In all things these Indians show little constancy. They are ashamed of nothing, nor do they know what virtue is, while in malice they are very cunning one against the other.

Beyond this province, to the eastward, are the mountains which are called Andes, broken up into rugged peaks. On the other side the Indians say there is a beautiful valley through which a river flows, and where (according to the stories of these natives of Arma) there are great riches and many Indians. In all these parts the women bring forth without the assistance of midwives, and after bringing forth they go to wash in a river, doing the same to their offspring, nor do they suffer any evil consequence from so doing; and fifty of these women suffer less pain in bringing forth than one of our nation.


Of the province of Paucura, and of the manners and customs of the natives.

BEYOND the great province of Arma there is another, called Paucura, which contained five or six thousand Indians when we first entered it with the Captain Jorge Robledo. The language of the Indians in this province differs from that of Arma. The customs of the people are{75} the same, except that these are a better disposed race, and that the women wear a small mantle to cover a certain part of their bodies, and the men do the same. This province is very fertile for the growth of maize and other products. They are not so rich in gold as those in their rear, nor are their houses so large, nor is the country so rough. A river flows through the province, but it has few tributary streams. Close to the house of the principal chief, whose name was Pimana, there was a wooden idol, the size of a tall man. Its face was turned towards the rising sun, and its arms were spread out. Every Tuesday the Indians sacrificed to the devil in this province of Paucura, and the same was done in that of Arma, according to what the Indians told us; but I was unable to learn whether the victims were their own countrymen, or prisoners taken in war. Among the houses of the chiefs they have stout canes planted in a circle so as to form a cage, from which those who are put in cannot possibly escape. The captives taken in war are put into this cage and very well fed, and when they are fat, they are taken out on days of festivity, killed with great cruelty, and eaten. I saw several of these cages, or prisons, in the province of Arma. It is worthy of note, that when they wish to kill any of these unfortunates, with the intention of eating them, they make them kneel down and bow their heads, and then give them a blow on the back of the neck with such effect that they never speak again. I have seen what I describe, and the victim never speaks, even to ask for mercy; nay, some even laugh when they are killed, which is a very marvellous thing, but it proceeds more from bestiality than from courage. The heads of those who are eaten are stuck on the points of the canes. Passing this province, we reached a lofty plain, which is well peopled and covered with large houses. This district is called Pozo, and the people speak the same language, and have the same customs as those of Arma.{76}


Of the Indians of Pozo, and how valiant they are, and how dreaded by the neighbouring tribes.

THERE were three chiefs in this province when we entered it with the Captain Jorge Robledo. These, with their followers, were and are the most valiant and bold Indians in all these provinces. Their territory is bounded on one side by the great river, on another by the provinces of Carapa and Picara, concerning which I will speak presently, and on a third by Paucura, of which I have already treated. These Indians of Pozo are not on friendly terms with any of their neighbours. Their origin is derived, according to their own account, from certain Indians who in ancient times came from the province of Arma, and, seeing how fertile the soil of this country of Pozo was, settled there. Their language and customs are the same as those of Arma. The chiefs have very large and lofty circular houses, and ten or fifteen persons live in them, according to the number of the family. At the doors of the houses there are great pallisades and other defences, made of stout canes, between which there are large boards covered with reeds, so that none of the mounted Spaniards could pass them. From the summit of the table land these Indians watched all the roads to see who was coming. The men are better disposed than those of Arma, and the women are large and ugly, although there are some who are pretty. But in truth I saw very few such. Within the houses of the chiefs, near the entrances, there was a row of idols, about fifteen or twenty in number, and each the size of a man. Their faces were made of wax, and moulded into the form and shape of that of the devil. They say that sometimes, when they called him, the devil entered into the bodies of these wooden idols, and answered them from within. The heads are like{77} the skulls of corpses. When the chiefs die they bury them within the houses, in great sepulchres, and place by the bodies great vases of wine made from maize, with their arms and gold, and the ornaments they valued most. They also bury many women alive with them, according to the manner of those tribes whose countries we had already passed through. I remember that, in the province of Arma, the second time that Captain Jorge Robledo passed through it, we went, by his order—one Antonio Pimentel and myself—to examine a burial place in the village of a chief named Yayo, in which we found more than two hundred small pieces of gold, which in that country they call chagnaletas, but as a horrible smell came from the bodies, we went away without getting all that was there.

If all the gold that is buried in Peru, and in these countries, was collected, it would be impossible to count it, so great would be the quantity, and the Spaniards have yet got little compared with what remains. When I was in Cuzco, receiving an account of the Yncas from the principal natives, I heard it said by Paullu Ynca and others, that if all the treasure in the huacas, which are their burial places, was collected together, that which the Spaniards had already taken would look very small, and they compared it to a drop taken out of a great vase of water. In order to make the comparison more striking, they took a large measure of maize, and, dropping one grain out of it, they said, “The Christians have found that; the rest is so concealed, that we ourselves do not know the place of it.” So vast are the treasures that are lost in these parts. If the Spaniards had not come, all the gold in the country would certainly have been offered to the devil, or buried with the dead, for the Indians neither want it, nor seek it for any other purpose. They do not pay any wages with it to their men of war, nor do they want it except as ornaments when alive, and to be placed by their sides when dead. Therefore, it seems to me that we are bound to bring them to a knowledge of our holy{78} Catholic faith, without showing them that our only wish is to fill our pockets.[223]

These Indians and their women go naked like all the rest. They are very laborious, and when they sow or dig the land, they hold the club for hoeing in one hand, and the lance for fighting in the other. The chiefs are more respected by the Indians than in other parts. The sons inherit the chieftainship, and in their default the nephews.

The province of Picara is distant two leagues, that of Paucura a league and a half, and that of Carrapa about the same. All these provinces had three times as many Indians, yet the Indians of Pozo waged cruel war upon them one after the other, and all feared them and desired their friendship. A large body went forth from their villages, leaving sufficient for their defence, and carried many musical instruments, such as drums and flutes. Thus they marched against their enemies, taking cords with them to bind their prisoners. Arriving at the place where the enemy awaited them, they set up loud shouts, and closed upon them, killing, taking prisoners, and burning houses. In all these wars the Indians of Pozo were always the most valiant, and so their neighbours confess. But they are as great butchers in eating human food as those of Arma, for one day I saw them eat more than a hundred men and women whom they had taken in war. They marched with us, when the adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar was subduing the provinces of Picara and Paucura, which had rebelled, and at that time the name of the chief of this town of Pozo was Perequito. In the inroads which we made, these Indians of Pozo killed the other Indians as if they were rabbits, and hunted out those who were concealed near the banks of the river, without letting one escape.

One Rodrigo Alonzo, I, and two other Christians, being{79} in the province of Paucura, went in chase of certain Indians, and on entering a village there came out the freshest and prettiest Indian girl I have ever seen in all these provinces. When we saw her we called her, but as soon as she heard us, she shrieked as if she had seen the devil, and ran towards the Indians of Pozo, thinking it better to be killed and eaten by them than to fall into our hands. And so it was that one of those Indians, who were our allies, before we could prevent him, gave her a cruel blow on her head, while another came up and beheaded her with a stone knife. The girl, when they approached her, knelt down and awaited her doom, which they gave her. They then drank her blood, and ate her heart and entrails raw, carrying off the head and limbs to eat on the following night.

I saw two other Indians, who killed those of Paucura, and the victims laughed pleasantly, just as if they had not been the men who were to die. In fine, all the Indians of these parts have the custom of eating human flesh. The Indians of Pozo are very rich in gold, and near their village there are mines on the banks of the great river which passes near.

In this place the adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar and his captain and lieutenant-general Francisco Hernandez Giron[224] captured the marshal Don Jorge Robledo, and cut off his head, besides putting others to death. And that they might not have to carry the bodies of the marshal and the others to Arma, the Indians ate them. Nevertheless they burnt a house over the remains of the bodies.[225]



Of the province of Picara, and of the chiefs of it.

LEAVING Pozo, and travelling to the eastward, the great and very populous province of Picara is reached. The names of the principal chiefs of this province, when we discovered it, were Picara, Chusquruqua, Sanguitama, Chambiriqua, Ancora, Aupirimi, and others. Their language and customs resemble those of Paucura. This province extends to certain mountains which give rise to rivers of very limpid and sweet water. The rivers are said to be rich in gold. The country is broken up into rugged mountains, like that which we had already passed; but it is so populous that all the hills and valleys are under cultivation, in so much that the sight of so many crops causes pleasure and contentment. In all parts there are plantations of fruit trees. The people have few houses, because they have been burnt in their wars. The province contained more than ten or twelve thousand Indians capable of bearing arms when we first entered it; and they go naked, for neither they nor their women wear more than a small cloth between the legs; and{81} in all other matters, whether of eating, drinking, or marrying, they have the same customs as those whom we had already seen.

Thus, when the chiefs die, their bodies are placed in large and deep tombs, accompanied by many live women, and adorned by all they possessed of most value when living, according to the general custom of the other Indians of these parts. At the entrances of the houses of the caciques there are small platforms surrounded by stout canes, on the tops of which are stuck the heads of their enemies; and this is a horrid thing to see, as there are many of them, looking fierce with long hair, and their faces painted in such sort as to appear like those of devils. In the lower part of the canes there are holes through which the wind can pass, and when it blows, there is a noise which sounds like the music of devils. Nor is human flesh distasteful to these Indians, any more than to those of Pozo, for when we first entered their country with the captain Don Jorge Robledo, more than four thousand of these natives of Picara marched with us, and killed and ate as many as three hundred hostile Indians. They affirm that, on the other side of the mountains to the eastward of this province, which are the Cordilleras of the Andes, there is a great, rich, and populous valley called Arbi. I do not know whether it has been discovered, nor did I hear more than this rumour concerning it. The Indians of Picara have great stakes, as sharp as if they were of iron, made of a black palm wood, which they fix in holes along the roads, and subtilely cover with straw and grass. When they are at war with the Spaniards they fix so many of these stakes that it is very troublesome to get through the country, and many soldiers have been staked in the legs and feet. Some of these Indians have bows and arrows, but they are not dexterous in their use, and do little harm with them. They have slings with which they throw stones with{82} great force. The men are of middle height, the women the same, and some of them good looking. Leaving this province, in the direction of the city of Cartago, we next came to the province of Carrapa, which is not very distant, and is rich and populous.


Of the province of Carrapa, and of what there is to be said concerning it.

THE province of Carrapa is twelve leagues from the city of Cartago, situated in a very rugged mountainous country, and the Cordillera of the Andes rises above it. The houses of the natives are small and very low, made of canes, and thatched with other small and delicate canes, of which there are many in these parts. Some of the houses of the chiefs are large, but others not. When the Christian Spaniards first entered the country there were five of these chiefs. The principal amongst them was called Yrrua, who, in former years, had entered the country by force, and ruled over all men like a powerful tyrant. Among the mountains there are some little valleys and open spaces well watered by numerous rivers and springs, but the water is not so wholesome as that of the rivers we had passed. The men are very large, with long visages, and the women are robust. These people are very rich in gold, for they had very large pieces, and beautiful vases, out of which they drank their wine made of maize. Those who drink this liquor soon lose their senses, yet the Indians are so vicious that they will sometimes drink an arroba at one sitting, not at one draught, but by taking many pulls. Their bellies being full{83} of this beverage, it provokes vomiting, and they throw up as much as they like. Many of them hold the cup out of which to drink in one hand, and[226].... They are not great eaters, but all the Indians we met with are generally addicted to excessive drinking.

When a chief dies without children, his principal wife succeeds, and when she dies the nephew of the deceased chief inherits; if he is the son of a sister.[227] They have no temples nor houses of worship; but the devil talks to some of them occasionally, as he does with Indians of other tribes.

They bury their dead within their houses, in great vaults, accompanied by living women, food, and many valuables{84} possessed by the deceased, as is the custom with their neighbours.

When any of these Indians feel ill, they make great sacrifices for their health in the manner which they have learnt from their ancestors, all in honour of the accursed devil. He, God permitting it, lets them know that all things are in his hands, and that he is superior to all others. Not but that they are aware of a God, sole creator of the whole world, for the Almighty does not permit the devil to assume this dignity, from which he is so widely separated. Yet they believe many evil things, although I learned from themselves that they are sometimes at issue with the devil, when they hate him, and see through his lies and falseness. For their sins, however, they are so subject to his will that they are unable to escape from the prisons of deceitfulness. They are blind, like other gentile people of more knowledge and understanding, until the light of the sacred Evangelist’s words enters into their hearts. The Christians who settle in these Indies should never fail to instruct the natives in true doctrine, otherwise I know not how they will fare when they and the Indians appear before the Divine throne, on the day of judgment.

The principal chiefs marry their nieces, and sometimes their sisters, and they have many wives. They eat the Indians whom they capture, like all the other tribes. When they go to war, they wear very rich pieces of gold, with great crowns, and large bracelets of gold on their wrists. Great and valuable banners are carried before them. I saw one which was given as a present to the captain Don Jorge Robledo, the first time we entered this province, which weighed upwards of three thousand pesos, and a golden vase worth two hundred and ninety pesos, besides two other loads of this metal, consisting of ornaments of many shapes. The banner was a long narrow cloth fastened to a wand, and covered with small pieces of gold to imitate stars. In{85} this province there are also many fruit trees, and some deer, guadaquinajes, and other game, besides many edible roots.

Leaving this province, we came to that of Quinbaya, in which the city of Cartago is situated. Cartago is twenty-two leagues from the town of Arma. Between the province of Carrapa and that of Quinbaya, there is a very large and desert valley, of which the tyrant I have just spoken of was lord; he whose name was Urrua, and who ruled in Carrapa. The war between him and the natives of Quinbaya was very fierce; and he also forced many in Carrapa to leave their country when he took possession of it. It is rumoured that there are great sepulchres in this valley, of chiefs who are buried there.


Of the province of Quinbaya, and of the customs of the chiefs. Also concerning the foundation of the city of Cartago, and who was its founder.

THE province of Quinbaya is fifteen leagues long by ten broad, from the Rio Grande to the snowy mountains of the Andes. It is populous throughout its whole extent, and the country is not so rugged as that through which we had passed. It contains extensive and dense cane brakes, which cannot be penetrated without great labour, and this province, with its rivers, is full of these cane brakes. In no part of the Indies have I seen or heard of any place where there are so many canes as in this province, but it pleased God, our Lord, that this country should have a superabundance of canes, that the people might not have much trouble in making their houses. The snowy mountains, which are{86} a part of the great chain of the Andes, are seven leagues from the villages of this province. In the highest parts of them there is a volcano which, on a clear day, may be seen to send forth great quantities of smoke, and many rivers rise in these mountains, which irrigate the land. The chief rivers are the Tacurumbi, the Cegue, which passes close to the city, and there are many others which cannot be counted for number. When the freshes come down in the winter season, the Indians have bridges of canes fastened together with reeds, and strongly secured to trees on either side. All the rivers are very full of gold. When I was there in the year 1547 they got more than fifteen thousand pesos worth in three months, and the largest gang of labourers consists of three or four Negroes and some Indians. Valleys are formed along the courses of the rivers, and though the banks are densely lined with canes, there are many fruit trees of the country, and large plantations of Pixiuare palms.

In these rivers there are fountains of healing water, and it is a marvellous thing to see their manner of rising in the midst of the rivers, for which thanks be to God our Lord. Further on I will devote a chapter to these fountains, for it is a matter well worthy of note. The men of this province are well disposed, and of good countenances; the women the same, and very amorous. Their houses are small, and roofed with the leaves of canes. There are now many fruit trees and other plants which the Spaniards cultivate, both from Spain, and of the country. The chiefs are very liberal; they have many wives, and are all friendly, and in alliance with each other. They do not eat human flesh, except on very great occasions, and the chiefs alone were very rich in gold. Of all the things that were to be seen, the most notable were their jewels of gold and great vases out of which they drink their wine. I saw one, which a cacique named Tacurumbi gave to the captain Don Jorge Robledo, which{87} would contain two azumbres,[228] of water. The same cacique gave another to Miguel Muñoz which was still larger and more valuable. The arms of these Indians are lances and darts, and certain estolicas,[229] which they throw with great force, a mischievous weapon. They are intelligent and observant, and some of them are great magicians. They assemble to make feasts for their pleasure, and when they have drunk, a squadron of women is placed on one side, and another on the other; the men are placed in the same way, and they pass backwards and forwards, chanting the word Batatabati, Batatabati, which means “we play.” Thus, with darts and wands, the game begins, which ends in the wounding of many, and the death of some. They twist their hair into great wheels, and thus they wear it when they go to war. They have been a fierce and encroaching people, until justice was executed upon the old chiefs. When they assembled for their feasts and games in an open space, all the Indians gathered together, and two of them made a noise with drums. One then began to dance, and all the rest followed, each with his cup of wine in his hand, for they drank, danced, and sang all at the same time. Their songs consisted of a recitation of their deeds, and of the deeds of their ancestors. They have no creed, and they converse with the devil, like all the rest of the Indians.

When they are ill they bathe many times, at which times they themselves relate that they see awful visions. And, in treating of this subject, I will here relate what happened in this province of Quinbaya in the year 1547. At the time when the viceroy, Blasco Nuñez Vela, was embarrassed by{88} the movements of Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers, a great pestilence spread over the whole kingdom of Peru, which began on the other side of Cuzco, and pervaded the whole country. People without number died. The illness consisted of a headache accompanied by raging fever, and presently the pain passed from the head to the left ear, when it became so great that the patient did not last more than two or three days. The pestilence reached this province. Now there is a river, about half a league from the city of Cartago, called Consota, and near it there is a small lake where they make salt from the water of a spring. Many Indian women were one day assembled there, making salt for the households of their lords, when they saw a tall man with his belly open and bowels hanging out, holding two boys by the hand. When he came to the women, he said, “I promise you that I have to kill all the women of the Christians, and all those of your people, and it shall be done presently.” As it was day time the Indian women showed no fear, but related the occurrence in a laughing way when they went to their homes. In another village of the neighbourhood, called Giraldo Gilestopiña, they saw the same figure on horseback, galloping over all the hills and mountains like the wind. In a few days the pestilence and ear-ache came on in such a manner, that most of the people died, the Spaniards losing their Indians bound to service, so that few or none were left; in addition to which such terror prevailed that the very Spaniards seemed to be fearful and afraid. Many women and boys affirmed that they saw the dead with their own eyes walking again. These people well understand that there is something in man besides the mortal body, though they do not hold that it is a soul, but rather some kind of transfiguration. They also think that all bodies will rise again; but the devil has given them to understand that it will be in a place where there will be great ease and pleasure, and this is the reason{89} that they place great quantities of wine and maize, fish, and other things in their sepulchres, together with the arms of the deceased, as if these could free him from the pains of hell. The custom among them is that the son succeeds the father, and, failing sons, the nephew being the son of a sister. In ancient times these Indians were not natives of Quinbaya, but they invaded the country many times, killing the inhabitants, who could not have been few, judging from the remains of their works, for all the dense cane brakes seem once to have been peopled and tilled, as well as the mountainous parts, where there are trees as big round as two bullocks. From these facts I conjecture that a very long period of time has elapsed since these Indians first peopled the Indies.[230] The climate of the province is very salubrious, so that the Spaniards, who have settled in it, neither suffer from heat nor from cold.{90}


In which the subject of the preceding chapter is continued; respecting what relates to the city of Cartago, and its foundation; and respecting the animal called chucha.

THESE cane brakes, of which I have already spoken, are so close and thick, that if a man is not well acquainted with the country, he would lose himself, and be unable to get out of them. Amongst the canes there are many tall ceybas, with many wide-spreading branches, and other trees of different sorts which, as I do not know their names, I am unable to give them here. In the depths of these cane brakes there are great caves or cavities where bees make their hives, and make honeycombs which are as good as those of Spain. There are some bees which are little bigger than mosquitos, and at the entrance of their hives, after they have been well closed, they insert a tube apparently of wax, and half a finger long, by which they enter to do their work, their little wings laden with what they have collected from the flowers. The honey of this kind of bees is a little sour, and they do not get more than a quartillo of honey from each hive. There is another species of bees, which are black and rather larger, those just mentioned being white. The opening which the black bees make to get into the tree, is of wax wrapped round with a mixture that becomes harder than stone. Their honey is, without comparison, better than that of the white bees, and each hive contains more than three azumbres.[231] There are other bees larger than those of Spain, but none of them sting. When, however, they take the hive, the bees surround the man who is cutting the tree down, and stick to his hair and beard. Of the large hives of the last-named bees, there are some weighing half an arroba,[232] and their honey is much the best{91} of all. I got some of these, and I saw more taken by Pedro de Velasco, a settler at Cartago.

Besides the above products, there is a fruit in this province called Caymito,[233] as large as a nectarine. It is black inside, and has some very small pips, and a milk which sticks so closely to the beard and hands that it takes some time to get it off. There is another fruit like very savoury cherries, besides aguacates,[234] guavas,[235] and guayavas,[236] and some as sour as lemons, with a good smell and flavour.

The cane brakes, being very dense, become the haunts of many animals. There are great lions, and an animal like a small fox, with a long tail and short feet of a grey colour, and the head of a fox. I once saw one of these creatures which had seven young ones near it. Directly it was frightened, or heard a noise, it opened a bag which nature has placed on its belly, put its young inside, and fled so swiftly that I was astonished at its agility, being so small, and running so rapidly with such a weight. They call this creature chucha.[237] There are also small and very poisonous serpents, many deer, and some rabbits, besides guadaquinajes,[238] which are a little larger than hares, and whose flesh is very good and savoury. There are many other things to relate, but I desist because they would appear trifling.

The city of Cartago is situated on a smooth plain, between{92} two small streams, seven leagues from the great river of Santa Martha, and near another small stream, the water of which is drunk by the Spaniards.

This river is always crossed by a bridge of those canes which I have already mentioned. The city has very difficult approaches on both sides, and bad roads, for in the winter time the mud is deep. It rains all the year round, and the lightning is great, thunderbolts sometimes falling. This city is so well guarded, that the inhabitants cannot easily be robbed.

The founder of the city was the same captain Don Jorge Robledo who peopled the others which we had passed, in the name of the majesty of the Emperor Don Carlos, our lord, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being governor of all these provinces, in the year of our Lord 1540. It is called Cartago, because all the settlers and conquerors who accompanied Robledo had set out from Carthagena, and this is the reason that this name was adopted.

Now that I have arrived at this city of Cartago, I will go on to give an account of the great and spacious valley where the city of Cali is seated, and that of Popayan, towards which we journeyed through the cane brakes until we reached a plain traversed by a great river called La Vieja. This river is crossed with much difficulty in the winter time; it is four leagues from the city. After crossing the river in balsas and canoes, the two roads unite, one coming from Cartago, and the other from Anzerma. From Anzerma to Cali the distance is fifty leagues, and from Cartago to Cali a little more than forty-five leagues.{93}


Which touches upon the provinces in this great and beautiful valley, up to the city of Cali.

FROM the city of Popayan this valley begins to spread out like a level plain between the chains of mountains, and is twelve leagues broad, more or less. In some parts it is narrower, and in others broader, and the river which flows through it becomes so narrow that neither boat, nor balsa, nor anything else can pass, by reason of the fury of the stream, and of the stones which come down in it. Boats are upset and go to the bottom, and thus many Spaniards and Indians have been drowned and much merchandise lost, for the rapidity of the stream is such that they have no time to get on land.

All this valley, from the city of Cali to these rapids, was formerly very populous, and covered with very large and beautiful villages, the houses being close together and of great size. These villages of Indians have wasted away and been destroyed by time and war; for, when the Captain Don Sebastian de Belalcazar, who was the first captain to discover and conquer this valley, made his entry, the Indians were bent on war, and fought with the Spaniards many times to defend their land, and escape from slavery. Owing to these wars, and to the famine which arose on account of the seeds not having been sown, nearly all the Indians died. There was another reason which led to their rapid extermination. The Captain Belalcazar founded, in the midst of the Indian villages in this plain, the city of Cali, which he afterwards rebuilt on its present site. The natives were so determined not to hold any friendship with the Spaniards (believing their yoke to be heavy) that they would neither sow nor cultivate the land; and from this cause there was such scarcity that the greater part of the{94} inhabitants died. When the Spaniards abandoned the first site, the hill tribes came down in great numbers, and, falling upon the unfortunates who were sick and dying of hunger, soon killed and ate all those who survived. These are the reasons why the people of this valley are so reduced that scarcely any are left. On one side of the river, towards the east, is the Cordillera of the Andes, and on the other side there is a larger and more beautiful valley called Neyva, through which flows the other branch of the great river of Santa Martha.[239]

In the skirts of the mountains there are many villages of Indians of different nations and customs, who are very barbarous, and who all eat human flesh, which they hold to be very delicious. On the highest parts of the mountains there are some small valleys which form the province of Buga. The natives of these valleys are brave warriors; and they watched the Spaniards who came to their country, and killed Cristoval de Ayala, without any fear.

When he, of whom I have spoken, was killed, his goods were sold in the market at excessive prices. A sow was sold for 1600 pesos, together with a small pig. Sucking pigs went for 500 pesos, and a Peruvian sheep (llama) for 280 pesos. I saw these sums paid to one Andres Gomez, now a citizen of Cartago, by Pedro Romero of Anzerma. The 1600 pesos for the sow and the pig were paid by the Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar, out of the goods of the Marshal Don Jorge Robledo. I even saw that very sow eaten at a banquet which was given on the day we arrived at the city of Cali with Vadillo. Juan Pacheco, a conqueror who is now in Spain, bought a pig for 220 pesos, and knives were sold for 15 pesos. I heard Jeronimo Luis Texelo say that, when he went on the expedition with the Captain Miguel Muñoz, which is known as that of La Vieja, he bought a shoemaker’s knife for 30{95} pesos, and shoes went for 8 pesos of gold. A sheet of paper was sold in Cali for 30 pesos. I might relate other facts of this kind to the glory of the Spaniards, as showing how cheap they held money, for if they required anything they thought nothing of it. They bought pigs in the sow’s belly, before they were born, for 100 pesos and more.

I would now request the judicious reader to reflect on and wonder at what countries were discovered and settled between the year 1526 and the present year 1547: and, thinking upon this, he will see how great are the deserts of the discoverers and conquerors who have laboured so greatly in this work; and what reason his Majesty has to give thanks to those who passed through those labours, and served loyally without butchering the Indians. Those, however, who have been butchers are deserving of punishment, in my opinion. When this province was discovered they bought a horse for 300 or 400 pesos, and even now there are those who have not yet paid their old debts, and who, covered with wounds received in the service, are shut up in prison until they can pay the debts demanded by their creditors.

On the other side of the Cordillera is the other valley which I have already mentioned, where the town of Neyva was founded. Towards the west there are still more villages and Indians in the mountains, but I have already given the reason why those in the plains nearly all died. The villages of the mountains extend to the shores of the South Sea, and stretch away far to the south. Their houses, like those I described in Tatabe, are built on trees like granaries; they are large, and contain many inhabitants. The land of these Indians is very fertile and prolific, and well supplied with swine and tapirs, and other game, such as turkeys, parrots, pheasants, and abundance of fish. The rivers are not poor in gold, indeed we can affirm that they are very rich in that metal. Near these villages flows the great river of Darien,[240]

{96} very famous on account of the city which was founded near it. All these Indians also eat human flesh. Some of them use bows and arrows, and others staves, clubs, darts, and long lances. Towards the north of Cali there is another province, bordering on that of Anzerma, the natives of which are called Chancos. They are so big that they look like small giants, with broad shoulders, robust frames, and great strength. Their faces are large and heads narrow; for in this province, in that of Quinbaya, and in other parts of the Indies, when a baby is born, they force the head into the shape they may choose; thus some grow up without an occiput, others with a raised forehead, and others with a very long head. This is done when the child is just born, by means of certain small boards fastened with ligatures. The women are treated in the same way. The Chancos, both men and women, go naked and barefooted, with only a cloth between the legs, made, not of cotton, but of bark, taken from a tree and made very fine and soft, about a yard long, and two palmos broad. They fight with great lances and darts; and occasionally they leave their province to wage war with their neighbours of Anzerma. When the Marshal Robledo entered Cartago for the last time (which he ought not to have done), that he might be received as the lieutenant of the Judge Miguel Diaz Armendariz, certain Spaniards were sent to guard the road between Anzerma and the city of Cali. These men encountered certain of these Chancos, who had come down to kill a Christian who was going to take some goats to Cali, and one or two of the Indians were killed. The Spaniards were astonished at their great size.

In the hills and valleys which sweep down from the Cordillera to the westward, there are many Indian villages, extending to the vicinity of the city of Cali, and bordering on the district of the Barbacoas. The natives have their villages scattered over the hills, the houses being grouped in tens and fifteens, sometimes more, sometimes less. They call{97} these Indians Gorrones, because, when the city of Cali was founded in the valley, they called the fish gorron, and these Indians came in laden with them, calling out, “gorron! gorron!” Not knowing their correct name, the Spaniards named them after the fish they carried, Gorrones: just in the same way as they named the Indians of Anzerma after the salt, which in their language is anzer. The houses of these Indians are large and round, and roofed with straw. They have few fruit trees, but plenty of gold of four or five quilates, though little of the finer sort. Some rivers of fresh water flow near their villages. Near the doors of their houses they keep, from motives of pride, many feet of the Indians whom they have killed, and many hands. They preserve the insides, that they may lose nothing, and hang them up in rows like sausages in great quantities, and the heads and entire quarters are also kept. When we came to these villages with the Licentiate Juan de Vadillo, a negro belonging to Juan de Cespedes, seeing these bowels, and thinking they were really sausages, would have eaten them if they had not been hard and dry from time and smoke. Outside the houses they have many heads placed in rows, entire legs, arms, and other parts of bodies, in such abundance as to be hardly credible. If I had not myself seen what I write, and did not know that there are now many people in Spain who have also seen it, I would not venture to state that these men are such butchers of other men for the sole purpose of eating them; but we know for certain that these Gorrones are great butchers in the matter of eating human flesh. They have no idols, nor did I see any house of worship, but it is publicly known that some of them converse with the devil. Neither priests nor friars have gone amongst them, as they have in Peru and other parts of the Indies, for fear of being killed.

These Indians are separated from the valley of the great river by a distance of two or three leagues, but they go{98} down to fish in the great river and in the lagoons, returning with great store of fish. They are of middling stature, and fit for little work. I only saw the men wearing cloths, but the women are dressed in large cotton mantles. Their dead are wrapped in many of these mantles, which are about three yards long and two broad, and fastened by cords. Between the mantles they put golden ornaments, and then bury the bodies in deep tombs. This province is within the jurisdiction of the city of Cali. In the ravine of the river there is a village, which is not very large, owing to the wars which have destroyed the population. Near it there is a great lake formed by the overflow of the river, but which is drained when the river is low. In this lake the Indians kill a vast quantity of very savoury fish, which they give to travellers, and with which they trade in the cities of Cartago and Cali, and in other parts. Besides the quantity they thus dispose of, or eat themselves, they have great deposits for sale to the Indians of the mountains, and great jars of grease taken from the fish. When we were engaged in exploring with the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, we arrived at this village very short of food, and found some fish. Afterwards, when we came to found the town of Anzerma with captain Robledo, we found enough fish here to load two ships.

This province of the Gorrones is very fertile, and yields plenty of maize and other things. There are many deer, guadaquinajes, other wild beasts, and birds in the woods. But the great valley of Cali, once so fertile, is now a desert of grassy land, yielding no profit to any but the deer and other animals who graze in it, for the Christians are not in sufficient numbers to occupy such extensive tracts.{99}


Of the situation of the city of Cali, of the Indians in its vicinity, and concerning the founder.

TO reach the city of Cali it is necessary to cross a small river called the Rio Frio, which is full of weeds and flags. This river is very cold, because it comes down from the mountains, and, flowing through a part of the valley, loses itself in the great river. Beyond this river the road leads over extensive plains, where there are many small and very fleet deer. The Spaniards have their grazing farms in the plains, where their servants live, and look after the estates. The Indians come from their villages in the mountains to sow and reap the maize in the plains. Near the farms many very pretty water-courses flow through and irrigate the fields, besides some small rivers of good water. Many orange, lime, lemon, pomegranate and banana trees have been planted along these rivers and water-courses, besides excellent sugar-canes. There are also pine-apples, guayavas,[241] guavas,[242] guanavanas,[243] paltas,[244] and other fruits in great abundance. There are Spanish melons and legumes, but wheat has not yet been introduced, though I am told they have it in the valley of Lile, which is five leagues from the city; neither have they planted vines as yet, though the land is as well adapted for them as that of Spain.

The city of Cali is situated a league from the great river, near a small river of particularly good water, which rises in the overhanging mountains. Its banks are bordered with pleasant gardens, where there are plenty of the fruits and vegetables just mentioned. The city is built on a level platform; and, if it was not for the heat, it would be one of{100} the best sites I have seen in any part of the Indies, for it wants nothing to make it excellent. The Indians and caciques who serve the Spaniards holding encomiendas,[245] live in the mountains. When I left the place there were twenty-three citizens who had Indians, and there are never wanting Spaniards who are travelling from one part to the other, looking after their affairs. This city of Cali was founded by captain Miguel Muñoz in the name of his Majesty, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being governor of Peru, in the year 1537; though, as I said before, it was first founded by the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar in the country of the Gorrones. And some say that the municipality of the city obliged Miguel Muñoz to remove the settlement to its present site, whence it appears that the honour of founding the city is in dispute between Belalcazar and the municipality, for the conquerors, who composed the citizens, declare that it was not known whether Miguel Muñoz acted of his own accord or not.


Of the villages and chiefs of Indians who are within the jurisdiction of this city of Cali.

ON the western side of this city, towards the mountains, there are many villages of Indians, who are very docile, a simple people void of malice. Amongst these villages there is a small valley closed in by mountains. The valley is level, and is always sown with maize and yucas, besides having plantations of fruit trees, and of the palms called pixinares. The houses in this valley are very large, round, lofty, and supported on straight poles. There were six chiefs when I entered this valley, who were held in small{101} estimation by the Indians, many of whom are always in the houses of Spaniards. Through the centre of this valley, which is called Lile, a river flows, and is fed by many streams coming from the mountains. The banks of this river are well covered with fruit trees, amongst which there is one which is very delicious and fragrant called granadilla.[246]

Near this valley there was a village, the chief of which was the most powerful and respected of all the chiefs of the neighbourhood. His name was Petecuy. In the centre of his village there was a great and lofty round wooden house, with a door in the centre. The light was admitted by four windows in the upper part, and the roof was of straw. As one entered through the door, there was a long board stretching from one end of the house to the other, on which many human bodies were placed in rows, being those of men who had been defeated and taken in war. They were all cut open, and this is done with stone knives, after which they eat the flesh, stuff the skins with ashes, and place them on the board in such sort as to appear like living men. In the hands of some they placed lances, and in those of others darts or clubs. Besides these bodies, there is a great abundance of arms and legs collected together in the great house, insomuch that it was fearful to see them, thus contemplating so sad a spectacle, and reflecting that all had been killed and eaten by their neighbours as if they had been beasts of the field. But these Indians gloried in the sight, saying that their fathers and ancestors taught them to act thus. Not content with natural food, they turned their bellies into the tombs of their neighbours. But now they do not eat human flesh as they used to do; the Spirit of heaven has shone upon them; they have come to a knowledge of their blindness, and many of them have become Christians. There is hope that more will turn to{102} our holy faith day by day, with the help and mediation of God our Redeemer and Lord.

An Indian, native of a village called Veache (in this province), formerly in the repartimiento of the captain Don Jorge Robledo, when I asked him why they had such a number of dead bodies in this house, replied that it was to show the grandeur of the lord of the valley, and that not only was it the custom to preserve the bodies, but also to collect the arms of enemies, and hang them to the beams of the house as memorials. He also said that when the people were asleep the devil often entered into the bodies which were stuffed with ashes, and assumed so fearful and terrible a form that some persons died of mere terror.

The dead Indians, whose bodies this lord preserved as trophies, in the manner already described, were mostly natives of the wide valley of Cali, for, as I have stated before, there were villages containing thousands of Indians in that valley, who never ceased to wage war with those of the mountains, nor, during most of their time, did they ever think of anything else.

These Indians have no other arms than those which are used by their neighbours. They generally go naked, though now most of them have shirts and mantles of cotton, and their women also wear cotton clothes. Both men and women have their noses pierced, and wear a sort of twisted nails in them of gold, about the thickness of a finger, called caricuris. They also wear necklaces of fine gold, rarely worked, and ear-rings of twisted gold. Their former dress consisted of a small cloth in front, and another over the shoulders, the women covering themselves from the waist downwards with a cotton mantle. When their chiefs die, they make large and deep tombs inside their houses, into which they put a good supply of food, arms, and gold, with the bodies. They have no religion whatever, so far as we could understand, nor did we see any house of worship.{103} When any of them fell sick, they bathed, and for some illnesses they used certain herbs, the virtue whereof cures them. It is a public and well-known fact that those who are chosen by the devil converse with him. I have not heard that either these Indians, or those we have left behind, practise the abominable crime, but if, by the advice of the devil, any Indian commits this crime, it is thought little of, and they call him a woman. They marry their nieces, and some chiefs marry their sisters. The son of the principal wife inherits the chiefship and property of the father. Some of them are magicians, and above all they are very dirty.

Beyond this village, of which Petecuy was chief, there are many others, the natives of which are all friends and allies. These villages are short distances from each other. The houses are large and round, with roofs of straw. Their customs are the same as those of the Indians I have already described. At first they entered into a war with the Spaniards, and underwent severe punishment, insomuch that they have never rebelled since. They have now taken more to Christianity than any of the other tribes; go dressed in shirts, and serve those who have become their masters with good will.

Beyond this province, towards the south, there is another called Timbas, in which there are three or four chiefs. It is situated amongst rugged mountains containing some valleys where they have their villages, and the land is well covered with crops, fruit trees, palms, and other things. Their arms are darts and lances. They have been much addicted to the invasion and subjection of their neighbours, and they are not yet entirely tamed, being established in a very inaccessible country. Being warlike and valiant, they have killed many Spaniards, and done much harm. Their customs and language differ but slightly from the others. Further on there are other tribes which extend as far as the sea, all having the same language and customs.{104}


In which the matter relating to the city of Cali is concluded; and concerning other Indians inhabiting the mountains near the port which they call Buenaventura.

BESIDES these provinces, there are many other Indian tribes under the jurisdiction of the city of Cali, who dwell in the most rugged and inaccessible mountains in the world. Amongst these wilds there are some valleys which are very fertile, and which yield all manner of fruit. There are also many wild animals, especially great tigers, which kill many Indians and Spaniards who go to, and come from the sea coast, every day. The houses of the Indians in these mountains are rather small, and roofed with leaves of palm trees, of which there are many in the forests. These houses are surrounded by stout and very long poles forming a wall, which are put up as a defence against the tigers. The arms, dress, and customs of these Indians are neither more nor less than those of the valley of Lile, and their language leaves me under the impression that they are the same people. They are strong and powerful men. They have always been at peace from the time that they declared their allegiance to his Majesty, and are very friendly to the Spaniards, so that, although Christians are always passing through their villages, they have not killed nor harmed any up to the present time; on the contrary, as soon as they see them, they give them food to eat. The port of Buenaventura is three days’ journey from the villages of these Indians, all the way through thickets of palm trees, and rocky brokenup country, and is thirty leagues from the city of Cali. I shall not give a chapter on this port, because I have nothing more to say of it than that it was founded by Juan Ladrillo under the direction of the Adelantado Don Pascual de Andagoya, and that afterwards it was abandoned, owing to{105} the absence of this Andagoya, arising from disputes between him and the Adelantado Belalcazar respecting the boundaries of their governments. Finally, Belalcazar took Andagoya,[247] and sent him prisoner to Spain. Then the Cabildo of Cali arranged that six or seven of the citizens should always reside in the port, in order that, when the ships arrived from New Spain and Nicaragua, they might see that the merchandise was landed, and provide houses to receive it. These residents are paid at the cost of the merchants, and among them there is a captain who has no power to pronounce judgments, but only to hear cases and forward them to the city of Cali for decision. These remarks seem sufficient to give the reader a knowledge of how the port of Buenaventura was first established.[248] The only means of conveying merchandise from the port to the city of Cali is by the aid of the Indians of the intervening mountains, whose ordinary work is to carry it on their backs, for it is impossible to transport it in any other way. If it was desired to make a road, I believe that laden beasts could not pass over it on account of the ruggedness of the mountains. It is true that there is{106} another way, practicable for horses and cattle, by the river of Dagua, but they pass it in constant peril, and many die by the way, while the rest arrive in such sorry condition that they are of no use for many days.

When a ship arrives at the port, the chiefs presently send down as many Indians as they can, according to the capacity of their villages, and these porters come up by roads and passes with loads weighing three arrobas and more, and some of them carry men or women, even when they are stout, in chairs made of the bark of trees. In this way they journey with their loads, without showing fatigue, and without being overworked. If they should receive any pay, they would go off to their homes, but all that these poor fellows gain is taken by the encomenderos, though, in truth, they pay little tribute. It is said that they come and go willingly, but they in reality undergo great labour. When they come into the plain, and approach the city of Cali, they go along painfully. I have heard the Indians of New Spain highly praised for the great loads they carry, but these people between Cali and Buenaventura astonish me; and if I had not seen it, and traversed the mountains where they have their villages, I could neither believe nor affirm it.

Beyond these Indians there are other lands inhabited by warlike tribes, and the river of San Juan, which is marvellously rich, flows through them. These people have their houses fastened in trees. There are many other rivers, all rich in gold, the banks of which are inhabited by Indians, but they cannot be conquered because the land is covered with forests which are impenetrable, nor can the rivers be crossed without boats. The houses are very large, for each one contains twenty or thirty inhabitants.

Amidst these rivers there was a Christian settlement founded, but I will say little concerning it because it lasted only a short time. The natives killed one Payo Romero, who was there as the lieutenant of the Adelantado Andagoya,{107} for he had received all these rivers from his Majesty, with the title of governor of the river of San Juan. The Indians deceitfully enticed Payo Romero, and other Christians, on to a river in canoes, saying that they wanted to give them plenty of gold, and soon so many Indians assembled that they killed all the Spaniards, but they took Payo Romero alive, inflicting cruel torments upon him, and slicing off his members till he died. They also took two or three women alive, and dealt very cruelly with them. Some of the Christians, by great good luck, escaped from the cruelty of the Indians. No further attempt was made to establish this village, for that land is evil.

I will now relate what there is between this city of Cali and that of Popayan.


In which the road is described from the city of Cali to that of Popayan, and concerning the villages of Indians that lie between them.

THE distance from the city of Cali to the city of Popayan is twenty-two leagues, over a good level road without any forest, although there are some zigzag ascents, but they are not rugged nor difficult, like those we have left behind. Leaving, then, the city of Cali, the road passes through meadows and plains watered by rivers, until one is reached, which is not very large, called Xamundi,[249] spanned by a bridge of stout canes. He who has a horse crosses by a ford without any danger.

Near the source of this river there are Indians whose district, also called Xamundi, extends over three or four leagues. The district and river take their name from that of a chief. These Indians trade with those of the province{108} of Timbas, and they collect much gold, which they have supplied in great quantity to those who hold them in encomienda.[250]

Five leagues further on, in the same road to Popayan, is the great river of Santa Martha, where there are always balsas and canoes, so that it can be crossed without danger, and thus the Indian inhabitants go and come from one city to the other. The banks of this river were once very populous, but the people have been extirpated by time and by the war which they waged with the captain Belalcazar, who was the first to discover and conquer them. Although he was one cause of their rapid destruction, yet another cause of it was their evil custom and accursed vice of eating each other. The remains of these tribes and nations consist of a diminished race on both banks of the river, who are called Aguales, and who are subject to the city of Cali. There are, however, many Indians in the mountains on each side, who, on account of the difficulty in penetrating their country, and of the troubles in Peru, have not yet been subjugated. Concealed and isolated as they are, they have yet been seen by the invincible Spaniards, and defeated many times. They all go naked, and have the same customs as their neighbours.

After crossing the great river, which is fourteen leagues from the city of Popayan, there is a morass about a quarter of a league in extent, and beyond it the road is very good, until the river called Ovejas is reached. There is much risk to him who attempts to cross this river in the winter time, for it is very deep, and the ford is near its mouth, where it falls into the great river. Many Spaniards and Indians have been drowned here. On the other side of this river there is a smooth plain, six leagues in extent, and very good for travelling, and at the end of it a river called Piandomo is crossed. Its banks, and the whole of this{109} plain, were once well peopled, but those whom the fury of the war has spared, have retired to a distance from the road, where they think they are safer. To the eastward is the province of Guambia, and many other chiefs and villages. Beyond the river of Piandomo, there is another called Plaza, the banks of which are well peopled, both at its sources, and all along its course. Then the great river is again crossed by a ford, and from this point to Popayan the whole country is covered with beautiful farms, such as in Spain we call alcarias or cortijos,[251] and here the Spaniards have their flocks. These plains are also sown with maize, and it is here that they have begun to sow wheat. The land will yield great quantities, for it is well suited to its growths. In other parts of this country they reap the maize in five or six months, so that they have two crops in the year. They, however, only sow it once in the year on this plain, and their harvest is in May and June; that of wheat in July and August, as in Spain. All these meadows and plains were once very populous, and subject to the lord whose name was Popayan, one of the principal chiefs in these provinces. Now there are few Indians, owing to the war with the Spaniards, and to their custom of eating each other, and also to the great famine, which was caused by their not sowing the crops, with the hope that, there being no food, the Spaniards would leave their country. There are many fruit trees, especially aguacates or pears, which are abundant and savoury. The rivers rising in the Cordillera of the Andes flow through these plains, and the water is very limpid and sweet. In some of them there are signs of gold.

The site of the city is on a high table land, in an excellent situation, being the healthiest and most temperate of any in the government of Popayan, and even in the greater part of the kingdom of Peru. Truly the climate is more{110} like Spain than the Andes. There are large houses of straw in the city. This city of Popayan is the chief and head of all the cities I have described, except that of Uraba, which belongs to the government of Carthagena. All the rest are under Popayan, which contains a cathedral church, and, as this is the principal and most central city, the government is entitled Popayan. To the east is the long chain of the Andes; to the west are other mountains which overhang the South Sea, and on the other side are the plains which I have described. The city of Popayan was founded by the captain Don Sebastian de Belalcazar,[252] in the{111} name of the Emperor Charles, our lord, by authority of the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor of all Peru, for his Majesty, in the year of the Lord 1536.


Concerning the river of Santa Martha,[253] and of the things which are met with on its banks.

NOW that I have reached the city of Popayan, and described its site, neighbourhood, founding, and people, it seems well that I should give an account of the river which flows near it, and which is one of the two branches which form the great river of Santa Martha. Before treating of this river, however, I will relate what I find in the Scriptures concerning the four principal rivers mentioned there, which are, first, the Ganges, flowing through the East Indies; second, the Nile, separating Asia from Africa, and watering the land of Egypt; third and fourth, the Tigris and Euphrates, which encircle the two regions of Mesopotamia and Cappadocia. These are the four which are said, in the Holy Scriptures, to issue out of the earthly paradise. I also find that mention is made of three others, which are the river Indus, whence India takes its name; the river Danube, being the principal in Europe; and the river Tanais, dividing Europe from Asia. Of all these, the greatest is the Ganges, concerning which Ptolemy says, in his book of geography, that the narrowest part is eight thousand paces,{112} and the broadest twenty thousand paces across. According to this, the broadest part of the Ganges is seven leagues across. This is the extreme breadth of the largest river in the world, that was known before the discovery of these Indies. But now they have found rivers of such strange bigness, that they appear more like gulfs of the sea, than rivers which flow through the land. This appears from what is stated by many of the Spaniards who went with the Adelantado Orellana. They declare that the river which flows from Peru into the North Sea (commonly called the Amazons or Marañon) is more than a thousand leagues long, and in some parts twenty-five broad; and the Rio de la Plata is said by many who have been there to be so broad that, in many places, the banks on either side are not visible from the centre of the stream, being more than eight leagues across. The river of Darien, too, is great, and that of Urapa is no smaller, and there are many others of great size in these Indies, amongst which is this river of Santa Martha.

The river of Santa Martha is formed by two branches. One of these, which flows by the city of Popayan, rises in the great Cordillera of the Andes, in some valleys formed by the mountains five or six leagues from the city. These valleys were well peopled in former times, and are so to this day, though not so thickly, by certain Indians whom they call Coconucos, and among these, near a village called Cotara, this river has its source, which, as I have before said, is one of the branches of the great and rich river of Santa Martha.

The sources of the two branches are forty leagues from each other, and the river is so large at the place where they unite, that it has a breadth of one league, while, where it enters into the North Sea, near the city of Santa Martha, it is seven leagues broad, and its force is so great that its waters enter into the waves at last to be converted into a{113} part of the sea. Many ships have taken in good fresh water from it out at sea, for its force is so mighty that it passes for more than four leagues into the sea before it mingles with the salt water. It enters the sea by many mouths and openings. In the mountain of the Coconucos (which I have already said is the birth-place of one of the branches) it is like a little brook, but it flows on to the broad valley of Cali, receiving streams from mountains on both sides, so that, when it reaches the city of Cali, it is so great and powerful that to me it seemed to have as much water as the Guadalquivir at Seville. Lower down, when it reaches Buritica, near the city of Antiochia, having received many more streams, it is still larger. There are provinces and villages of Indians from the source of this river to the point where it enters the ocean, and such wealth of gold, both in mines and in the possession of the Indians, that it cannot be exaggerated, it being so great. The natives of these regions are not very intelligent, and they have so many languages that, in going amongst them, it was necessary to take many interpreters.

All the wealth of the province of Santa Martha, most of that of Carthagena, of Nueva Granada, and of the province of Popayan, is near this river; and, besides the country which has been discovered near its banks, there are rumours of populous districts between the two branches, which have yet to be explored. The Indians say that in these districts there is great store of riches, and that the Indians who are natives possess the mortal herb of Uraba. The Adelantado Don Pedro de Heredia passed by the bridge of Brenuco, where, the river flowing in great strength, the Indians had made a bridge with trees and strong creepers, after the fashion of the bridges I have described already. He went some days march by land, but returned, having few horses and Spaniards with him. The Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar also wished to send another captain{114} by a route more to the eastward, which is less dangerous, called the valley of Aburra, to explore the country thoroughly between the two branches of this great river. But when he was on the road the enterprise was abandoned, in order to send the troops to the viceroy Blasco Nuñez Vela, at the time when he was at war with Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers.

Returning to the subject of this river of Santa Martha, I would observe that, where the two branches unite, a number of islands are formed, some of which are inhabited. Near the sea there are many very fierce alligators and other great fish, called manatee,[254] which are as large as a calf, and are born on the beaches and islands. They come out to browse when they can do so without danger, and presently return to their haunts. About one hundred and twenty leagues below the city of Antiochia, that of Mompox has been founded, within the jurisdiction of Carthagena, and here they call this river the Cauca. The length of the river from its source to the sea is more than four hundred leagues.


In which the account of the villages and chiefs subject to the city of Popayan is concluded; and what there is to be said until the boundary of Popayan is passed.

THIS city of Popayan has many large villages within the boundaries of its jurisdiction. Towards the east it has the{115} populous province of Guambia, and others called Guanza, Maluasa, Polindara, Palace, Tembio, and Colaza, all thickly peopled. The Indians of these districts have much gold of seven quilates, more or less. They also have some fine gold, of which they make ornaments, but the quantity is small in proportion to the baser kind. They are warlike, and as great butchers as those of the provinces of Arma, Pozo, and Antiochia. But as these nations have no knowledge of our true God Jesus Christ, it seems that little account should be taken of their life and customs. Not that they fail to understand all that pleases them and is good in their eyes, living cunningly, and compassing the death of each other in their wars. And they also had great wars with the Spaniards, without caring to keep the peace which they had promised, until at last they were conquered. Before they would yield, they preferred to die rather than be subjected, such was their hardihood, and they believed that the want of provisions would force the Spaniards to leave the country. In truth the Spaniards suffered much misery from famine, before they could fully establish their new settlement. The natives were the cause of the loss of thousands of lives, eating each others’ bodies, and sending their souls to hell. At first some care was taken for the conversion of these Indians, but they were not supplied with complete knowledge of our holy religion, owing to the want of priests. At present things are in better order, both as to their treatment and conversion; for his Majesty, with great zeal for Christianity, has ordered that they shall be preached to. And the lords of the high council of the Indies take great care that this order is complied with, and have sent out learned friars of holy life and manners, so that, by the favour of God, great fruit will be derived from their labours.

Towards the snowy mountains or Cordillera of the Andes, there are many valleys thickly inhabited by Indians called{116} Coconucos, in whose country the great river takes its rise. Their customs are the same as those of the Indians we have left behind, except that they do not commit the abominable sin of eating human flesh. There are many volcanoes, or fiery mouths, in the lofty parts of the mountains, and out of one comes hot water, from which they make salt. Their art in making salt is a thing well worthy of note, and I promise to give an account of it further on, after I have finished what I have to say concerning the town of Pasto. Near these Indians there is a village called Zotara, and further on another called Guanaca.

To the eastward is the extensive province of the Pacs, who have worked so much evil to the Spaniards. It contains seven or eight thousand Indians fit for war, who are valiant and dexterous in fighting, with fine bodies, and very clean. They have their captains whom they obey, and live in valleys surrounded by very rugged mountains through which many rivers and streams flow, and in which it is believed there are good mines. In fighting, they use stout lances of black palm wood, twenty-five palmos long, besides huge stones, which they throw or roll down when occasion serves. They have killed so many valiant Spaniards, as well captains as soldiers, that it causes sorrow and fear to behold what injury these Indians have done, being so few. But there were grave faults on the part of those who were killed, in that they held these people so cheap, and God permitted that the Spaniards should fall, and the Indians be victorious. So things went on until the Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar destroyed their crops, and forced them to make peace.

Towards the east is the province of Guachico, and further on are many other provinces. To the south is the village of Cochesquio, and the small Lagoon, also the district they call Las Barrancas, where there is a small village of the same name. Further on are other villages, the river called{117} Las Juntas, another called Los Capitanes, the great province of Masteles, and the district of Patia, which includes a beautiful valley watered by a river that is fed by streams flowing from the other district. This river carries its waters into the South Sea. All these plains and valleys were once thickly peopled, but the natives who have survived the wars have retired into the heights and fastnesses which overhang them.

Towards the west is the province of Bomba and other villages, whose inhabitants trade with each other, besides other districts peopled by many Indians, where a town has been founded, and they call them the provinces of Chapanchita. All these villages are situated in fertile land, and they have a great quantity of gold. In some parts idols have been seen, but there is no report of any temple or house of worship having been met with. They converse with the devil, and, by his advice, they do many things in accordance with his wishes. They have no knowledge of the immortality of the soul, but they think that their chiefs will return to life, and some believe (as I have been informed) that the souls of the dead enter into the bodies of the newly born. They perform ceremonies at the burial of their dead, and place them in large and deep tombs. With their chiefs they inter some women and all their property, besides food and wines. In some parts they burn the bodies until they are converted to ashes, and in others they merely preserve the dried bodies.

In these provinces there are the same fruits and provisions as in those we have left behind, except that there are no pixibae palms, but they gather great quantities of potatoes. The people go naked and barefoot without more clothes than a small mantle and a few ornaments of gold. The women go covered with small mantles of cotton, and wear necklaces of small flies made of pure gold, which are very pretty and becoming. As to their customs in the{118} matter of marriage, I will not relate anything about them because they are childish, and I also pass over other matters as being of no importance. Some of the Indians are great magicians and sorcerers. We here learnt, also, that there are many herbs, both wholesome and harmful, in these parts. All the Indians eat human flesh. The province round Popayan was one of the most populous in all Peru, and if it had been subjected by the Yncas it would have been the best and richest of all.


In which an account is given of what there is between Popayan and the city of Pasto; who was the founder of Pasto; and what there is to be said concerning the natives of the neighbouring districts.

THE city of Popayan is forty leagues from the town of Pasto, and the first village on the road was great and very populous in ancient times, as well as when the Spaniards discovered it, and even now it contains many Indians. The valley of Patia becomes very narrow at this village, and the Indians live in deep and lofty ravines on the western side. The Spaniards call the place “El pueblo de la Sal.” It is very rich, and has yielded goodly tribute of fine gold to those who have held the encomienda here. The natives, in their arms, dress, and customs, resemble those of the countries we have already passed, except that they do not eat human flesh, and are a little more civilised. They have many very fragrant pine-apples, and they trade with the province of Chapanchita and with other neighbouring districts. Beyond this village is the province of Masteles, which contains, or did contain, more than four thousand Indians fit for war. Adjoining it is the province of the Abades and the villages of Ysancal and Pangan and{119} Caquanpas, and that they call “Los Chorros,” and Pichilinbuy, also Tuyles and Angayan, Pagual, Chuchaldo, and many more. Inland, towards the west, there are reports of many more Indian villages and rich mines in districts extending as far as the South Sea. The following villages also border on the road, namely, Asqual, Mallama, Tucurres, Sapuys, Iles, Gualmatal, Funes, Chapal, Males and Piales, Pupiales, Turca, and Cumba. All these villages were inhabited by chiefs and Indians called Pastos, and hence the town of Pasto has received its name, being as much as to say, “the town built in the land of Pasto;” also another tribe of Indians borders on the Indians called Pastos, who are known as the Quillacingas, and whose villages are to the eastward, and are well peopled. The names of their principal villages are Mocondino, Bexendino, Buyzaco, Guajanzangua, Mocoxonduque, Quaquanquer, and Macaxamata. Still further to the east there is another province, which is somewhat larger and more fertile, called Pastoco, and another near a lake on the summit of a mountain, where the water is so cold that, though the lake is eight leagues long and more than four broad, no fish nor bird can live in it. The land, too, produces no maize, nor are there any trees. There is another lake near it of the same kind. Further on there are great mountains, and the Spaniards do not know what there is on the other side of them.

There are other villages on the road to this city, but it seems unnecessary to enumerate them, having already mentioned the principal ones. With regard to this city of Pasto, I have to say that no city or town in the whole government of Popayan has so many Indians subject to it, and it even has more than Quito and other places in Peru. Populous as the district now is, in ancient times it must have been far more populous, for it is most astonishing to see, in all the wide spread plains, on the banks of rivers, on the hills and lofty mountains, that there is not a part (how rugged{120} and inaccessible soever) which does not give signs of having been tilled or built over in times past. The customs of these Indians, called Quillacingas and Pastos, differ from those of the people we have passed, for the Pastos do not eat human flesh, either when they fight with the Spaniards or with each other. Their arms are stones thrown from the hand, staves like shepherds’ crooks, and a few badly-made lances. They are a poor-spirited people. The chiefs are well-mannered, but the rest of the Indians are ill-favoured, as well the men as the women, and all very dirty, but gentle and good-tempered. All these Indians are so nasty, that, when they louse themselves, they eat the lice as if they had been nuts, and their drinking vessels and cooking utensils are very seldom cleaned out. They have no creed, nor have idols been seen amongst them, but they believe that after death they will come to life again to live in some pleasant and delightful place. There are some things amongst these Indians that are so secret that God alone can penetrate them. Their women go dressed in a narrow cloth which covers them from the bosom to the knees, with a smaller one falling over it. These mantles are made either of the bark of a tree or of cotton. The men wear a mantle three or four varas long, which is passed once round the waist, and then over the neck, the end being wrapped round the head. The Quillacingas, as well as the Pastos, also wear a cloth between the legs. They wear a mantle of cotton, which is broad and flowing, with another over the shoulders, the women wearing one which falls over the bosom. The Quillacingas converse with the devil. They have neither temple nor creed, and when they die the bodies are put into large and deep tombs, together with all the property of the deceased, which is not much. If the dead man has been a chief, they bury some of his wives and servants with him. They also have a custom, which is this (according to what I am told): when one of the chiefs{121} dies, the surrounding chiefs send two or three of their women, who are taken to the tomb and given enough maize-wine to make them drunk. As soon as they are insensible they are buried in the tomb to keep company with the dead man; so that none of these savages die without having twenty persons to keep them company, and, besides these people, they put many jars of wine and other provisions into the tomb.

When I passed through the country of these Indians, I collected the particulars which I now relate with great diligence, making all the inquiries I possibly could; and, among other things, I asked why they practised such an evil custom, and why, not content with burying their own women alive, they sought for more victims from amongst their neighbours? I found out that the devil appears in a terrible and appalling form (according to their own account), and gives them to understand that they will come to life again in a great kingdom which is prepared for them, and that they will arrive with more authority if they are well attended. They also fall into other sins through the wiles of this accursed enemy. God our Lord knows why he allows the devil to converse with these people, and to wield such great power over them by deceiving them. Now his Divine Majesty is displayed, and many Indians, abhorring the devil, have embraced our holy religion. Some of the Pastos converse with the devil. When the chiefs die, all possible honour is done to their memory; the people mourn for many days, and the same things are put into their tombs as I have already stated.

The districts of Pasto yield but little maize, but there are great breeding-places for cattle, and especially for pigs, which are raised in vast quantities. The country yields much barley, potatoes, and xiquimas,[255] and there are very{122} luscious granadillas[256] and other fruits. In the country of the Quillacingas there is plenty of maize and much fruit, except in the neighbourhood of the lake, where the people have neither trees nor maize, the land being so cold. These Quillacingas are warlike and untameable. There are great rivers of very remarkable water in their country, and it is believed that some of them contain abundance of gold. One of these rivers flows between Popayan and Pasto, called the hot river, which is dangerous and difficult to cross in the winter time. They have stout ropes stretched from one bank to the other, for crossing it. This river contains the most excellent water I have met with in the Indies, or even in Spain. Beyond this river, on the road to Pasto, there is a mountain, of which the ascent is three good leagues long. The famous chase which Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers gave the Viceroy Blasco Nuñez Vela, extended as far as this river.


In which the account of what there is in this country is concluded, as far as the boundary of Pasto.

THERE is another rather large river in this country of the Pastos, called Ancasmayu,[257] which is the point to which the King Huayna Ccapac, son of the great captain Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, extended his conquests. Having passed the hot river, and the mountain beyond it, the road continues over some plains and hills, and crosses a small paramo,[258] where there was no little cold when I travelled over it. Further on there is a high mountain, on the summit of which a volcano sends forth quantities of smoke at intervals, and in{123} times past, the natives say, it threw out volleys of stones. Coming from Popayan, this volcano is left on the right-hand side. The town of Pasto is situated in a very beautiful valley, through which a river of very sweet and wholesome water flows, fed by numerous springs and brooks. This valley is called Atris, and was formerly very populous, but the inhabitants have now retired to the mountains. It is surrounded by mountains, some wooded and others bare, and the Spaniards have their farms and hunting-lodges in the valley. The banks of the river are always sown with much excellent wheat, barley, and maize, and there is a mill where the wheat is ground, for in this town they do not eat maize-bread, owing to the abundance of wheat. In the plains there are quantities of deer, rabbits, partridges, doves, pigeons, pheasants, and turkeys, and the Indians take many in the chase. The land of the Pastos is excessively cold, and in summer it is colder than in winter, the same thing occurring in the town of the Christians, insomuch that the company of a wife is by no means irksome to a husband, nor is plenty of clothes disagreeable. The delightful town of Pasto was founded and settled by the captain Don Lorenzo de Aldana, in the name of his Majesty, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being his governor and captain-general of all the provinces of Peru, in the year of our Lord 1539. The said Lorenzo de Aldana was lieutenant-general for the same Don Francisco Pizarro in Quito, Pasto, Popayan, Timana, Cali, Anzerma, and Cartago. He governed them all, either himself or through lieutenants whom he named, and, as is said by many conquerors in these parts, he ordered that the natives should be well treated during the whole time that he was in command.[259]



Of the notable fountains and rivers in these provinces, and how they make salt of good quality by a very curious artifice.

BEFORE I treat of the kingdom of Peru, or leave the government of Popayan, it seems to me well to give some account of the notable fountains there are in this land, and of the rivers of water from which they make salt, for thus the people are sustained, having no salt pits in these parts, and the sea being far distant.

When the licentiate Juan de Vadillo set out from Carthagena, we marched over the mountains of Abibe, which are very rugged and difficult to cross, so that we passed a time of no little hardship; most of the horses died, and we were obliged to leave the greater part of our baggage in the road; and, having reached the plain, we found many villages,{125} with great store of fruit trees, and broad rivers. But, as the stock of salt which we had brought with us from Carthagena was coming to an end, our food being herbs and beans for want of meat, except that of horses and a few dogs we caught; we began to feel distress, and many, from the want of salt, began to lose their colour, and became yellow and thin. We procured some things in the Indian farms, but there was only a little black salt mixed with the aji that the natives eat, and even this was very scarce, so that he thought himself fortunate who could get any. Necessity teaches men notable things, and we found a lake in a small mountain, the water of which was black and salt. We put a quantity of this water into jars, which gave us a relish for our food.

The natives of these provinces take the quantity of water they require either from this lake or from others of the same kind, and boil it in great jars. As soon as the fire has consumed the greater part of the water, black salt remains at the bottom, with which, though not of good taste, they season their food, and live without feeling the want that would let itself be known if it were not for these fountains.

Divine Providence takes such care of his creatures that, in all parts, he gives them what they require; and if men would always consider the ways of nature, they would know the obligation they are under to serve our true God.

In the province called Cori, which is near the town of Anzerma, there is a river which flows with considerable force, and near it there are some ponds of salt water, whence the Indians obtain the quantity they require, and, making great fires, they place jars of this salt water on them, and set the water to boil until from an arroba there is not left half an azumbre. Then their experience enables them to convert the residue into as pure and excellent salt as is made from the salt-pits of Spain. Throughout the districts of Antioquia there are many of these fountains, and they{126} make so much salt that they take it inland, and exchange it for gold, cotton cloth, and other things which they may require.

Beyond the great river which flows near the city of Cali, and near that of Popayan, towards the north, we discovered a village called Mungia, in company with the captain Jorge Robledo, whence we crossed the Cordillera of the Andes, and discovered the valley of Aburra and its plains.

In this village of Mungia, and in another called Cenusara, we found some other fountains in mountains near a river, and from these fountains the natives made so much salt that their houses were full of it, moulded into shapes exactly like loaves of sugar. They took this salt by the valley of Aburra to the provinces to the eastward, which have not been discovered or seen by the Spaniards to this day. This salt has made the Indians exceedingly rich.

In the province of Caramanta, which is not very distant from the town of Anzerma, there is a fountain which rises out of a river of sweet water, and turns some of its water into a vapour resembling smoke, which assuredly must arise from there being some metal in that part. The Indians make good black salt from this water, and they also say that they know of a lake near a great rock, at the foot of which there is the same kind of water. They make salt from this water for their chiefs, for they say that it makes better and whiter salt than in any other part.

In the province of Anzerma, and in all its districts, there are fountains of the same sort, from which they make salt.

In the provinces of Arma, Carrapa, and Picara, they suffer much from the want of salt, there being many inhabitants and few of these fountains, so that the salt that is brought fetches a high price.

In the city of Cartago every citizen has his apparatus for making salt, which is prepared in an Indian village called Consota, a league from the city, where a small river flows.{127} Near the river there is a mountain, out of which comes a large spring of very black and thick water. The water is taken from this spring and boiled in cauldrons until it is nearly all evaporated, when a white-grained salt remains, as good as that of Spain. The citizens of that city use no other salt than that which is obtained from this spring. Further on there is another village called Coyusa, near which flows several rivers of very remarkable water. I noticed in them a thing which astonished me not a little. This was that certain brackish pools were formed by these streams, and also at the source whence they take their rise; and that the Indians, with much industry, had certain pipes, made of the stout canes of these parts, fixed in them after the manner of ships’ pumps, so that they could pump up the quantity of water they required, and make their salt from it.

In the city of Cali there are none of these springs, and the Indians get their salt by barter from a province near the sea, called Timbas. Those who cannot make the exchange boil fresh water, and mix a certain herb with it, by which they make a bad salt of very evil smell. The Spaniards who live in this city do not feel the want of salt because the port of Buenaventura is near, and vessels arrive there from Peru with large blocks of salt.

In the city of Popayan there are some of these fountains, especially among the Coconucos, but not so many, nor of such good quality as those of Anzerma and Cartago. At Pasto all the salt is obtained by trading, and it is better than that of Popayan. I have seen many springs, besides those which I have now described, with my own eyes, but it seems to me that I have said enough to make the reader understand the manner of procuring salt from these springs. Having declared the method of making salt in these provinces, I shall now pass on to the great kingdom of Peru.{128}


Which contains the description and appearance of the kingdom of Peru from the city of Quito to the town of La Plata, a distance of more than seven hundred leagues.

NOW that I have finished what there is to be told respecting the province of Popayan, it appears to me that it is time to use my pen in giving an account of the notable things that are to be said of Peru, commencing from the city of Quito. But, before describing that city, it will be convenient to give a sketch of the whole country, which is seven hundred leagues long and one hundred in breadth, rather more in some parts and less in others.

I do not at present desire to treat of the whole empire over which the Kings Yncas ruled, which was more than one thousand two hundred leagues long, but I shall confine myself to that part which is understood under the name of Peru, from Quito to La Plata.

In this land of Peru there are three desert ranges where men can in no wise exist. One of these comprises the montaña (forests) of the Andes, full of dense wildernesses, where men cannot, nor ever have lived. The second is the mountainous region, extending the whole length of the Cordillera of the Andes, which is intensely cold, and its summits are covered with eternal snow, so that, in no way, can people live in this region, owing to the snow and the cold, and also because there are no provisions, all things being destroyed by the snow and by the wind, which never ceases to blow. The third range comprises the sandy deserts from Tumbez to the other side of Tarapaca, in which there is nothing to be seen but sand-hills and the fierce sun which dries them up, without water, nor herb, nor tree, nor created thing, except birds, which, by the gift of their wings, wander wherever they list. This kingdom, being{129} so vast, has great deserts, for the reasons I have now given.

The inhabited region is after this fashion. In parts of the mountains of the Andes there are ravines and dales, which open out into deep valleys of such width as often to form great plains between the mountains, and, although the snow falls, it all remains on the higher part. As these valleys are closed in, they are not molested by the winds, nor does the snow reach them, and the land is so fruitful that all things which are sown yield abundantly, and there are trees and many birds and animals. The land being so fertile, is well peopled by the natives. They make their villages with rows of stones roofed with straw, and live healthily and in comfort. Thus the mountains of the Andes form these dales and ravines, in which there are populous villages, and rivers of excellent water flow near them. Some of these rivers send their waters to the South Sea, entering by the sandy deserts which I have mentioned, and the humidity of their water gives rise to very beautiful valleys with great rows of trees. The valleys are two or three leagues broad, and great quantities of algoroba[260] trees grow in them, which flourish even at great distances from any water. Wherever there are groves of trees the land is free from sand, and very fertile and abundant. In ancient times these valleys were very populous, and still there are Indians in them, though not so many as in former days. As it never rains in these sandy deserts and valleys of Peru, they do not roof their houses as they do in the mountains, but build large houses of adobes,[261] with pleasant terraced roofs of matting to shade them from the sun, nor do the Spaniards use any other roofing than these reed mats. To prepare their fields for sowing, they lead channels from the rivers to irrigate the valleys, and the channels are so well made, and with so much regularity, that all the land is{130} irrigated without any waste. This system of irrigation makes the valleys very green and cheerful, and they are full of the fruit trees both of Spain and of this country. At all times they raise good harvests of maize and wheat, and of everything that they sow. Thus, although I have described Peru as being formed of three desert ridges, yet from them, by the will of God, descend these valleys and rivers, without which no man could live. This is the cause why the natives were so easily conquered; for, if they rebelled, they would all perish of cold and hunger. Except the land which they inhabit, the whole country is full of snowy mountains of enormous height, and very terrible.

This kingdom, as I have already said, is seven thousand leagues long from north to south, but if we include all the country that the Kings Yncas had under their dominion, its length would be one thousand two hundred leagues of road from north to south on a meridian. Its greatest breadth, from east to west, will be little less than one hundred leagues, and in other places from forty to sixty, more or less. What I say of the length and breadth is to be understood as applied to the mountains also, which extend over the whole of this land of Peru. And this mighty chain, which is called the Andes, is forty leagues from the South Sea in some parts, in others sixty; in some more, and in others less. Being so very high, and the greatest heights being towards the South Sea, the rivers which flow from them on that side are small because their courses are short.

The other chain of mountains, which also extends along the whole length of this country, prolongs its spurs into the plains, and ends close to the sea in some places, and at others eight or ten leagues from it, more or less. The climate of these plains is more hot than cold, and in some seasons more so than in others, and the plains are so low, that the sea is almost as high as the land. The season of greatest heat is when the sun has passed by and reached the tropic{131} of capricorn, which is on the 11th of December, and then it turns again towards the equinoctial line. In the mountains, although there are provinces with a warm climate, yet the contrary may be said of them, that there is more cold weather than hot. So much I have said concerning these provinces, and further on I shall add what more there is to be observed concerning them.


Of the villages and provinces between the town of Pasto and the city of Quito.

HAVING written what is notable concerning the pleasant town of Pasto, it will now be well to continue the journey, by relating what there is on the road to the city of Quito.

I said that the town of Pasto was built in the valley of Atris, within the territory of the Quillacingas, a shameless people, and they and the Pastos are very dirty, and are held in little estimation by their neighbours. Leaving the town of Pasto, the road leads to a village of the Pastos called Funes, and farther on there is another called Iles. Three leagues more bring the traveller to Gualmatan, and another three leagues on the road towards Quito bring him to the village of Ipiales.

In all these villages there is little or no maize, the country being very cold, and the maize seed very delicate. But they grow plenty of potatoes and quinoa,[262] besides other products. From Ipiales the road leads to a small district called Guaca, but before reaching it the road of the Yncas is seen, which is as famous in these parts as that which Hannibal made over the Alps when he descended into Italy. Indeed, the former ought to be held in more estimation,{132} as well on account of the great lodgings and storehouses along its whole length, as for being made in spite of many difficulties over rugged and swampy mountains, so that it is a sight marvellous to behold. There is also a river near the road, close to which the place is seen where, in former days, the Kings Yncas had built a fortress. Here they made war upon the Pastos, and set out to conquer them. There is a natural bridge over the river which appears artificial. In truth it is a lofty and massive rock, with a hole in it, through which the river passes in its fury, and on the top all wayfarers can pass at their pleasure. This bridge is called Rumichaca[263] in the language of the Yncas, which is as much as to say the “stone bridge.”

Near this bridge there is a fountain of hot water, the heat of which is such, that in no wise can any man keep his hand long in it. The land is so cold that no one can endure it without great suffering. The Kings Yncas intended to have built another fortress near the bridge, and they placed faithful guards in order to prevent the troops from returning to Cuzco or Quito, for the people held the region of the Pastos to be a worthless conquest.

In all these villages there is a fruit called mortuños, which is smaller than a sloe, and black. If a man eats many of them he becomes giddy and sick, and for a whole day is in great pain. I know this, because when we went to give battle to Gonzalo Pizarro, a man named Rodrigo de las Peñas came with us, a friend of mine, and ensign to the captain Don Pedro de Cabrera. When we reached this village of Guaca, the said Rodrigo, having eaten some of these berries, suffered so much that we thought he would have died of them.

From the small district of Guaca the road leads to Tusa, which is the last village of the Pastos. On the right hand are the mountains which overhang the sea of sweet water,{133} and on the left the height which rises from the South Sea. Further on a small hill is reached, where a fortress may be seen, built by the Yncas in former days, which must be of no small strength for Indian warfare. Beyond this fort and the village of Tusa is the river of Mira, which is very warm, and on its banks there is plenty of fruit, such as melons, besides game, excellent rabbits, pigeons, and partridges. Here they reap large harvests of wheat, barley, and maize, for the land is very fertile. From the river there is a descent to the great and sumptuous buildings of Carangue, but, before arriving at them, the lagoon of Yahuar-cocha[264] is seen, which, in our language, is as much as to say “the sea of blood.” The Indians say that, before the arrival of the Spaniards, the King, Huayna Ccapac, for some offence committed by the natives of Carangue and other villages, ordered more than twenty thousand to be killed, and their bodies to be thrown into this lake. The dead men were so numerous that it looked like a sea of blood, for which reason this name was given.[265]

Further on are the buildings called Carangue, where some say that Atahualpa, the son of Huayna Ccapac, was born, for his mother was a native of this place. But this is{134} certainly not the case, for I inquired into the matter with great care, and Atahualpa was born in Cuzco. Any other account of his birth is unworthy of credit. These buildings of Carangue are in a small square, and within there is a basin of cut stone. The palace and lodgings of the Yncas are also of elegant stones of great size, and are very neatly fitted without cement, which is a thing worthy of no small attention. Formerly there was a temple of the sun, and within there were more than two hundred beautiful maidens dedicated to the service, who were obliged to preserve their chastity, and if any of them failed to do so she was very cruelly punished. Those who committed adultery, which was considered a great sacrilege, were buried alive. These maidens were carefully watched, and there were also priests who performed the sacrifices enjoined by their religion. This house of the sun was held in great estimation in the days of the Lords Yncas. It was reverenced and guarded, and was full of great vases of gold and silver, and of other riches which cannot be quickly enumerated. Even the walls were lined with plates of gold and silver. Although it is now in a ruinous state, there is enough left to show that it was once a magnificent structure. The Yncas maintained a garrison of troops, with their officers, in this station, who were here both in time of peace and war to put down any rising. Speaking of these Lords Yncas, I will treat somewhat of their greatness and power before passing onwards in our journey.{135}


In which it is stated who were the Kings Yncas, and how they ruled over Peru.

AS I shall often have to treat of the Yncas, and give an account of many of their buildings, and of other notable things, it appears to me to be appropriate that I should say something concerning them in this place, that readers may know who these Yncas were, and not misunderstand their importance, or fall into mistakes about them. I, however, have written a special book upon them and their deeds, which is very copious.

From the accounts which the Indians of Cuzco have given us, we gather that, in ancient times, there were great disorders in all the provinces of that kingdom which we now call Peru, and that the natives were so savage and stupid as to be beyond belief; for they say that these early tribes were bestial, and that many ate human flesh, others taking their mothers and daughters for their wives. Besides all this, they committed other greater sins, having much intercourse with the devil, whom they all served and held in high estimation. They had their castles and forts in the mountain fastnesses, and, on very slight provocation, they made war upon each other, killing and taking prisoners without mercy. Notwithstanding that they committed all these crimes and walked in wickedness, they are said to have been given to religion, which is the reason why, in many parts of this kingdom, great temples have been found where they prayed to, adored, and had interviews with the devil, making great sacrifices before their idols. The people of this kingdom lived in this manner, and great tyrants rose up in the provinces of Collas, in the valleys of the Yuncas, and in other parts, who made fierce wars upon each other, and committed many robberies and murders;{136} insomuch that they caused great calamities, and many castles were destroyed, while the devil, the enemy of human nature, rejoiced that so many souls should be lost.

While all the provinces of Peru were in this state, two brothers rose up, the name of one of whom was Manco Ccapac. The Indians relate great marvels and very pleasant fables respecting these men, which may be read by any one who pleases, when the book written by me on the subject sees the light. This Manco Ccapac founded the city of Cuzco, and established laws for the use of the people. He and his descendants were called Yncas, a word which signifies lords or kings. They conquered and dominated over all the country, from Pasto to Chile, and their banners were carried to the south as far as the river Maule, and north to the Ancasmayu. These rivers were the boundaries of the empire of these Yncas, which was so great, that from one end to the other is a distance of one thousand three hundred leagues. The Yncas built great fortresses, and in every province they had their captains and governors. They performed such great deeds, and ruled with such wisdom, that few in the world ever excelled them. They were very intelligent and learned without having letters, which had not been invented in these Indies. They introduced good customs into all the conquered provinces, and gave orders that the people should wear usutas in the place of leathern sandals. They thought much of the immortality of the soul, and of other secrets of nature. They believed that there was a Creator of all things, and they held the sun to be a god, to whom they built great temples; but, deceived by the devil, they worshipped among trees and on stones, like heathens. In the principal temples they kept a great quantity of very beautiful virgins, just as was done in the Temple of Vesta, at Rome, and the rules concerning them were almost the same. They chose the bravest and most faithful captains they could find to command their armies.{137} They were very astute and artful in turning enemies into friends without having resort to war, but they chastised rebels with severity and cruelty. But, as I have already said, I have a book concerning the Yncas, so that what I have now written will suffice to enable those who may read it to understand who these Kings were, and their great power, and I will therefore return to my road.


Of other villages and buildings between Carangue and the city of Quito: and of the robbery which the people of Otabalo are said to have committed on those of Carangue.

IN the former chapter I spoke of the great power and dominion which the Yncas, Kings of Cuzco, held over all Peru, and it will now be well to proceed on our journey.

From the royal station of Carangue the famous road of the Yncas leads to the station of Otabalo, which is not, and never has been, very rich or important, but on each side of it there are large villages of Indians. Those on the west side are called Poritaco, Collaguaso, the Huacas, and Cayambes; and near the great river Marañon are the Quijos in a country covered with vast forests. It was into this region that Gonzalo Pizarro made his way when he went in search of the cinnamon. He was accompanied by many valiant Spaniards, and they took with them great store of provisions, yet with all this they suffered terrible hardships and much hunger. In the fourth part of my work I will give a full account of this discovery, and I will relate how they came, by this way, to the great river, and how Captain Orellana came down it into the ocean, went to Spain, and was named governor of these countries by his Majesty.{138}

Towards the east are the farms of Cotocoyambe and the forests of Yumbo, besides many other districts, some of which have not been thoroughly explored.

The natives of Otabalo and Carangue are called Guamaraconas (Huayna cuna[266]). The name arose from what was said after the massacre ordered by Huana Ccapac in the lake, where most of the men were killed. Only boys were left in these villages, and the word means in our language “Now you are boys.” The natives of Carangue are very hostile to those of Otabalo for the following reason. When the news of the arrival of the Spaniards was spread abroad in the provinces of Quito, together with the imprisonment of Atahualpa, the people were filled with wonder and fear, and were particularly astonished at what they heard concerning the swiftness of the horses. Thus they awaited their arrival, thinking, that as they had overthrown the Ynca their Lord, they also would be subjugated. At this time the Lord of Cayambe had a great quantity of treasure in his charge, and he of Otabalo observed that his neighbour was in great fear and perturbation for the safety of the precious treasure. The chief of Otabalo then called together his people, and, selecting those who were most agile and cunning, ordered them to dress in shirts and long mantles, and, with wands in their hands, to mount their best sheep and to climb up into the heights, so that they could be seen by those of Carangue. He, with most of his people and some women, in the mean time, fled to Carangue with great demonstrations of fear, saying that he was flying from the fury of the Spaniards, who had reached his villages on their horses, and that he had left all his valuables behind, to escape from their cruelty.

This news caused great terror, and it was received as certain, because the Indians, mounted on sheep, could be seen on the hills, so the people of Carangue began their{139} flight. Otabalo pretended to do the same, but he and his people returned to Carangue, and stole all the treasure they could find, which was not little. When those of Carangue returned, at the end of a few days, the deceit was discovered.

This strange robbery caused much agitation among the people of Carangue, and they had several debates among themselves; but, as the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar, with the Spaniards, entered the provinces of Quito a few days after this occurrence, they dropped their quarrels in order to defend themselves. Thus the people of Otabalo retained what they had robbed, as is stated by many Indians of these parts, and the feud has not ceased amongst them.

From the station of Otabalo the road leads to that of Cochesqui, and crosses a snowy pass, where it is so cold that there is some trouble in preserving life. From Cochesqui the road passes on to Guallabamba, which is four leagues from Quito, and here, the land being low and nearly on the equator, it is warm, but not so much so as to prevent it from being very populous, and it yields all things necessary for the support of man. We who have travelled in these parts know what there is on this equinoctial line, which some ancient authors held to be an uninhabitable region. Under the line there is winter and summer, and the country is thickly inhabited, the crops which are sown yielding abundantly, especially wheat and barley.

The road which unites these stations is crossed by several rivers, all with bridges, now much out of repair, and there are grand buildings and many other things to be seen.

The distance from Guallabamba to Quito is four leagues, and there are several houses and farms along the roadside, where the Spaniards have their flocks until the plains of Añaquito is reached. Here, in 1545, during the month of January, the viceroy Blasco Nuñez Vela arrived with a{140} company of Spaniards, who followed him, in opposition to those who upheld the tyranny. Gonzalo Pizarro, who had seized the government of the country, and called himself governor under false colours, accompanied by most of the conquerors of Peru, marched out of the city of Quito and gave battle to the viceroy. The unfortunate viceroy, and many brave knights who were showing their loyalty and desire to serve his Majesty, were left dead on the field. Passing this plain of Añaquito, the city of Quito is presently reached.


Of the situation of the city of San Francisco del Quito, of its foundation, and who it was who founded it.

THE city of San Francisco del Quito is in the northern province of the kingdom of Peru. This province is nearly sixty leagues long from east to west, and twenty-five or thirty broad. The city is built amongst ancient buildings, which the Yncas, in the days of their power, had ordered to be raised in these parts. They were the work of the illustrious and powerful Huayna Ccapac, and of the great Tupac, his father, and the natives called these royal and noble buildings Quito, whence the city took its name.[267] The climate is healthy, and more cold than warm. There is little or no extent of view from the city, because it is situated in a hollow surrounded by high mountains, and the{141} level space is so confined that there will be some difficulty in building if it is desired to enlarge the city, but it could be made very strong if it was considered necessary. To the west are the cities of Puerto Viejo, and Guayaquil, which are about seventy and eighty leagues distant, and to the south are the cities of Loxa and San Miguel, the one one hundred and thirty and the other eighty leagues distant. To the east are the forests and the sources of the river which is called the fresh water sea,[268] and to the north is the government of Popayan, which we have just passed.

The city of Quito is under the equinoctial line, indeed only seven leagues distant from it. The surrounding country appears to be sterile, but in reality it is very fertile, and all kinds of cattle are bred in it plentifully, besides other provisions, corn and pulse, fruit and birds. The country is very pleasant, and particularly resembles Spain in its pastures and its climate, for the summer begins in April, and lasts until November, and, though it is cold, the land is no more injured by it than in Spain.

In the plains they reap a great quantity of wheat and barley, so that there is a plentiful supply of provisions in the province, and in time it will yield all the fruits of our Spain, for even now they begin to grow some of them. The natives are in general more gentle and better disposed, and have fewer vices than any of those we have passed, and indeed than all the Indians of the greater part of Peru. This, at least, is what I myself have seen and understood, although others have formed a different opinion. But if they had seen and noted all these people as I have done, I hold it for certain that they would be of my way of thinking. They are a people of middle height, and very hard workers. They live in the same way as the people of the Kings Yncas, except that they are not so clever, seeing that they were conquered by them, and now live by the{142} rules which were ordered to be observed by the Yncas. For in ancient times they were, like their neighbours, badly dressed and without industry in the erection of buildings.[269]

There are many warm valleys where fruit trees and pulses are cultivated all the year round. There are also vineyards in these valleys, but as the cultivation has only lately commenced, I can only mention the hope that they will yield; but they already have large orange and lime trees. The pulses of Spain yield abundantly, and all other provisions may be had that man requires. There is also a kind of spice, which we call cinnamon, brought from the forests to the eastward. It is a fruit, or kind of flower, which grows on the very large cinnamon trees, and there is nothing in Spain that can be compared with it, unless it be an acorn, but it is of a reddish colour inclined to black, and much larger and rounder. The taste is very pleasant, like that of real cinnamon, and it is only eaten after it has been pounded, for, if it is stewed like real cinnamon, it loses the strength of its flavour. It makes a warm cordial, as I can affirm from experience, for the natives trade with it, and use it in their illnesses, particularly for pains in the bowels and stomach. They take it as a drink.[270]


They have great store of cotton, which they make into cloth for their dresses, and also use it for paying tribute. In the neighbourhood of the city of Quito there are many flocks of what we call sheep, but they are more like camels. Further on I shall treat of these animals, of their shape, and of the different sorts of these sheep of Peru, as we call them. There are also many deer, rabbits, partridges, pigeons, doves, and other game. Of provisions, besides maize, there are two other products which form the principal food of these Indians. One is called potatoe, and is a kind of earth nut, which, after it has been boiled, is as tender as a cooked chestnut, but it has no more skin than a truffle, and it grows under the earth in the same way. This root produces a plant exactly like a poppy. The other food is very good, and is called quinoa.[271] The leaf is like a{144} Moorish rush (amaranth?), and the plant grows almost to the height of a man, forming a very small seed, sometimes white and at others reddish. Of these seeds they make a drink, and also eat them cooked, as we do rice.

There are many other seeds and roots, but the natives of Quito, seeing the value of wheat and barley, sow one or the other, and eat them, also making a drink from the barley.[272] As I have said before, all these Indians are industrious, although, in some of the provinces, they have a different character, as I will relate when we pass through them, for the women are made to work in the fields, while their husbands sew and weave, and occupy themselves with female work. I have seen, in the villages near Cuzco, while the women are ploughing, the men spinning and preparing their arms and clothes, work suited to women and not to men.

In the time of the Yncas there was a royal road made by the force and labour of men, which began at this city of Quito, and went as far as Cuzco, whence another of equal grandeur and magnitude led to the province of Chile, which is more than one thousand two hundred leagues from Quito. On these roads there were pleasant and beautiful lodgings and palaces every three or four leagues, very richly adorned. These roads may be compared to that which the Romans made in Spain, and which we call the silver road.{145}

I have stopped longer to describe the noteworthy things of Quito than at any of the other cities we have left behind, and the reason is that this city is the principal place in this part of Peru, and has always been much esteemed. To conclude with it, I must add that it was founded and settled by captain Sebastian Belalcazar (who was afterwards governor and Adelantado of the province of Popayan) in the name of the Emperor, Don Carlos our lord, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being governor and captain-general of the kingdoms of Peru and provinces of New Castille, in the year of the nativity of our Redeemer Jesus Christ 1534.


Concerning the villages beyond Quito as far as the royal palaces of Tumebamba, and of some customs of the natives.

THE distance from the city of Quito to the palaces of Tumebamba is fifty-three leagues. Soon after leaving the city there is a village called Pansaleo, the natives of which differ in some things from their neighbours, especially in the fillets or bands round their heads; for by these bands the descent of the Indians is known, and the provinces of which they are natives.[273]

These and all the other natives of the kingdom, over a space of more than one thousand two hundred leagues, speak the general language of the Yncas, being that which{146} is used in Cuzco. They generally speak this language, because such is the order of the Yncas, and it was a law throughout the kingdom that this language should be used. Fathers were punished if they neglected to teach it to their sons in their childhood, yet, notwithstanding that they speak the language of Cuzco, all these tribes had a language of their own which was spoken by their ancestors. Thus, those of Pansaleo had a different language from those of Carangue and Otabalo. The people of Pansaleo are dressed in shirts without sleeves or collars, with openings at the sides for their arms, and above for their heads. They also have large mantles of wool or cotton. The mantles of the chiefs were very fine, and were dyed with many bright colours. For shoes they used certain usutas, made from a root or herb called Cabuya,[274] which forms great leaves, out of which very useful white fibres are drawn, like hemp. Of these they make their usutas, or sandals, which serve as shoes, and they wear the ends of these fibres as a covering for their heads. Some of the women wear the very graceful dress of those of Cuzco, with a long mantle extending from the neck to the feet, having holes for the arms. Round the waist they fasten a very broad and graceful belt called chumpi, which tightens and secures the mantle. Over this they wear another fine mantle falling from the shoulders, and coming down so as to cover the feet, called lliella. To secure their mantles they wear pins of gold and silver, rather broad at one end, called topu. On the head they wear a very graceful band, which they call uncha, and the usutas, or sandals, complete their attire. In short, the dress of the ladies of Cuzco is the most graceful and rich that has been seen up to this time in all the Indies.[275] They{147} are very careful in combing out their hair, and wear it very long. In another place I will treat more fully of this dress of the Pallas, or ladies of Cuzco.

Between this village of Pansaleo and the city of Quito there are some scattered villages here and there among the hills. To the westward are the valleys of Uchillo and Langazi, where the land, which is very fertile, yields many of those products concerning which I wrote in the chapter on the foundation of Quito. The inhabitants are not hostile to each other, nor do they eat human flesh, and they are not so wicked as some of those in the provinces which we have passed. Formerly they adored many idols, according to their own report, but after they were conquered by the Kings Yncas, they offered their sacrifices to the sun, and worshipped it as a god.

Here a road leads to the forests of Yumbo, where the natives are not so serviceable nor so docile as those of Quito, but, on the contrary, proud and vicious. They live in a rugged and inaccessible district, which is, however, very rich by reason of the warmth and fertility. These people also worship the sun, and resemble their neighbours in their habits and customs, for, like them, they were subjugated by the great Tupac Ynca Yupanqui and his son Huayna Ccapac.

Another road leads towards the rising of the sun, where there is a province called Quijos, inhabited by Indians with the same manners and customs.

Three leagues beyond Pansaleo are the buildings and village of Mulahalo,[276] which though now small from the{148} desertion of its inhabitants, was, in ancient times, a station where there were lodgings for the Yncas and their captains when they travelled on this road, and great store of provisions for the troops. On the right hand of the village of Mulahalo there is a fiery mouth, or volcano, of which the Indians say that, in former times, it threw out great quantities of stones and cinders, insomuch that many villages were destroyed by them. Some pretend that, before the irruption, infernal visions were seen, and trembling voices heard. What these Indians say of the volcano appears to be certainly true, for at the time Don Pedro de Alvarado (formerly governor of the province of Guatemala) entered Peru with his armed force by way of these provinces of Quito, it rained cinders for several days, as several Spaniards assert who came with Alvarado. They must have burst from some fiery mouth, as there are many in these mountains which would yield much sulphur.

A little beyond Mulahalo are the village and great buildings called Llacta-cunga, which were as important as those of Quito.[277] The buildings, though now in ruins, give signs{149} of their former grandeur, and in some of the walls the niches may be seen where the golden sheep and other valuable things which they carved, were kept. The building set apart for the Kings Yncas, and the temple of the sun, where they performed their sacrifices and superstitions, were especially remarkable for these precious things. There were also many virgins here, dedicated to the service of the temple, whom they called Mama-cuna. In this village the Lords Yncas placed a superintendent, who had charge of the collection of tribute in the neighbouring provinces, and stored it here, where there were also a great number of Mitimaes. [278] The Yncas, considering that the centre of their dominion was the city of Cuzco, whence they promulgated laws, and sent forth their captains to war, and that Quito was six hundred leagues distant, while the road to Chile was still longer; and considering, also, that all this vast extent of country was peopled by barbarous, and some of them very warlike tribes, they adopted the following system in order to keep the empire in greater security. It was first commenced in the time of King Ynca Yupanqui, father of the great Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, and grandfather of Huayna Ccapac.

As soon as a province was conquered, ten or twelve thousand men were ordered to go there with their wives, but they were always sent to a country where the climate resembled that from which they came. If they were natives{150} of a cold province, they were sent to a cold one; and if they came from a warm province, they went to a warm one. These people were called Mitimaes, [279] which means Indians who have come from one country and gone to another. They received grants of land on which to work, and sites on which to build their houses. The Yncas decreed that these Mitimaes should always obey the orders of the governors and captains who were placed over them, so that if the natives rebelled, the Mitimaes, who owed obedience to their captains, would punish them and force them into the service of the Yncas; consequently, if there was any disturbance among the Mitimaes themselves, they were attacked by the natives. By this policy these Lords Yncas kept their empire safe and free from rebellion; and the provinces were well supplied with provisions, for most of the inhabitants of each were natives of some other country. They also adopted another plan, in order that they might not be detested by the natives. They never deprived the native caciques of their inheritance, and if any one of them was so guilty as to merit deprivation, the vacant office was given to his sons or brothers, and all men were ordered to obey them. In my book of the Yncas I treat more fully of this system of Mitimaes than I am able to do here. To return to what I was saying, these Indians, called Mitimaes, in the station of Llacta-cunga, were ordered to obey the officer appointed by the Ynca. Around the buildings were the farms and villages of the chiefs and officers, which were well supplied with provisions.

When the last battle was fought in Peru (which was in the valley of Xaquixaguana, where Gonzalo Pizarro was put{151} to death) we set out from the government of Popayan with the Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar, and little less than two hundred Spaniards, to take the side of his Majesty against the tyrants, and some of us arrived at this village, for we did not all march along the same road, lest there should be difficulty in obtaining food and other necessaries. In one direction there were plenty of rabbits, in another pigs, in another fowls, and so on with sheep and lambs; and thus all were provided for.

The natives of this village all go about dressed in shirts and mantles, each one as richly and gallantly adorned as his means will allow. The women also go dressed in the same way as those of Mulahalo, and they speak almost the same language. All their houses are of stone, roofed with straw, some being large, and others small, according to the rank and wealth of the occupants. The captains and lords have many women, but there is one principal and legitimate wife, through whom the lordship is inherited. They worship the sun, and when the chiefs die, they make large tombs in the mountains and plains, where they bury his gold and silver jewels, arms, clothes, and live women (not the ugliest) with the body, together with plenty of provisions. This custom of thus burying the dead is adopted throughout the greater part of the Indies by advice of the devil, who gives the people to understand that they will thus be well provided for when they arrive in the new country. They make great lamentations over their dead, and the women who are not killed, with all the servants, are shorn of their hair, and remain for many days in constant mourning. After weeping through all the day and night in which the death took place, they still continue to weep for a whole year. These Indians eat early in the morning, and they eat on the ground without troubling themselves much about cloths or napkins. After they have eaten their maize, with meat or fish, they pass all the rest of the day{152} in drinking chicha,[280] or wine made from maize, always holding the cup in their hands. They are very careful and orderly in their festive songs, the men and women holding hands, and going round to the sound of a drum. They recount former events in their songs and ditties, but they always go on drinking until they are very drunk. [Here follow sentences unfit for translation.][281]

They believe in the immortality of the soul, and know that there has been a Creator of all things in the world, so that in contemplating the grandeur of the heavens, the movements of the sun and moon, and other marvels, they understand that there was a Creator of them all, but, blinded and deceived by the devil, they think that the same devil has power over all things. Some, however, seeing his villainy, and that he never tells the truth, abhor him, and they obey him more from fear than because they believe in his divinity. They hold the sun in great reverence, and believe it to be a god. The priests are much esteemed by the people.

I shall conclude this chapter by saying that these people of Llacta-cunga use lances of palm wood, darts, and slings for fighting. The women are very amorous, and some of them are beautiful. There are still many Mitimaes here, descended from those who came here when the Yncas ruled over these provinces.{153}


Of the other villages between Llacta-cunga and Riobamba; and of what passed between the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado and the Marshal Don Diego de Almagro.

AFTER travelling for some distance beyond Llacta-cunga, along the royal road which leads to the great city of Cuzco, the buildings of Muliambato are reached, concerning which I have nothing more to say than that they are inhabited by Indians of the same nation and customs as those of Llacta-cunga. There were ordinary buildings at this station, where stores were deposited according to the orders of the officer delegated by the Ynca, who obeyed the principal superintendent at Llacta-cunga. The chiefs looked to large stations, such as Quito, Tumebamba, Caxamarca, Xauxa, Vilcas, or Paria, and others of the same rank for orders. These stations were like the seat of a bishopric, or the capital of a kingdom, which gave the tone to all the parts, and whence came the officers who administered justice, or formed armies in case of war or insurrection. Nevertheless affairs of great difficulty or importance were not decided upon without a reference to the Kings Yncas. The transmission of these references was arranged with such skill and order, that the post went from Quito to Cuzco in eight days. Every half-league along the road there was a small house, where there were always two Indians with their wives. One of these ran with the news that had to be transmitted, and, before reaching the next house, he called it out to the other runner, who at once set off running the other half-league, and this is done with such swiftness that neither mules nor horses could go over such rocky ground in a shorter time.[282] But, as in the book of the Kings Yncas{154} (which is the one that, with the help of God, will appear after this) I treat fully of these posts, I will not say more here, my present intention being merely to make things clear to the readers’ understanding.

From Muliambato the road leads to the river called Ambato, where there are also buildings which served the same purpose as those already described. Three leagues from this place are the splendid buildings of Mocha, which are so numerous and so grand, that I was astonished at the sight of them; but, now that the Kings Yncas have lost their power, all these palaces and buildings, with other grand works of theirs, have fallen into ruin, so that the vestiges of some of these edifices alone remain. As they are built of very beautiful stone, and as the masonry is excellent, they will endure for ages as memorials, without being entirely destroyed.{155}

Round Mocha there are several villages where the inhabitants and their women all go dressed. Their customs and language are the same as those of the Indians we have left behind.

To the westward are the villages of Indians called Sichos, and to the east are the Pillaros. All these have great store of provisions, because their land is very fertile, and flocks of deer, some sheep of the kind called Peruvian, many rabbits, partridges, doves, and other game. Besides these, the Spaniards have large herds of cattle in all the plains and villages, and they breed extensively by reason of the excellent pasture. There are also goats, the country being well suited for them; and better swine than in any other part of the Indies, and they make as good ham and bacon as in the Sierra Morena.

Leaving Mocha, the great buildings of Riobamba are reached, which are not less worthy to be seen than those of Mocha. They are in the province of the Puruaes, in the midst of beautiful plains, very similar to those of Spain in climate, in the flowers and grasses, and in other things, as every one knows who has travelled over them.

For some days the city of Quito was established at Riobamba, before it was removed to its present site. But the buildings at Riobamba are more memorable for another event. The Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, formerly governor of the province of Guatemala, which borders on the great kingdom of New Spain, set out with a fleet of ships filled with many knights (concerning whom I shall treat fully in the third part of this work), and landed on the coast, where the fame of Quito reached the Spaniards. They marched inland by difficult and rugged forests, where they suffered from hunger and other hardships. I cannot and ought not to pass on without saying something concerning the evils and miseries which these Spaniards, and all others, suffered in the discovery of these Indies, because I hold it{156} for very certain that no nation that has ever been in the world has passed through so much. It is a thing well worthy of note that, in less than sixty years, a navigation so long, and a land so vast and so full of different tribes should have been discovered, the way leading through dense and dismal forests, and over deserts without roads; and that these countries should have been conquered, and more than two hundred cities founded in them. Surely those who have done this deserve great praise and everlasting fame, far more than my memory knows how to imagine, nor my weak hand to write. One thing is very certain, that the followers of Alvarado suffered so much on this road from hunger and fatigue, that many of them cast aside gold and precious emeralds, from want of strength to carry them. As soon as the arrival of the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado was known in Cuzco, through evidence brought by Gabriel de Rojas,[283] the governor, Don Francisco Pizarro, although he was occupied in peopling that city with Christians, set out to take possession of the coasts of the South Sea; while he ordered his companion, the marshal Don Diego de Almago, to march in all haste to the province of Quito, place himself at the head of the troops then under the orders of his lieutenant, the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar, and take every necessary precaution. By hasty marches the diligent marshal arrived in the province of{157} Quito, and took command of the troops that he found there, speaking sharply to the captain Belalcazar for having left Tangaraca without orders from the governor.

The Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, accompanied by Don Diego de Alvarado, Gomez de Alvarado, Alonzo de Alvarado, who is now marshal of Peru,[284] the captain Garcilasso de la Vega,[285] Juan de Saavedra,[286] and other knights of{158} high rank, arrived in the neighbourhood of the camp of the{159} marshal Don Diego de Almagro. There was some danger of a rupture between them; but at last, by the intervention of the licentiate Caldera and other prudent persons, it was agreed that the Adelantado should leave the fleet of ships he had brought, with the arms and troops, in Peru, and that, in consideration of the expenses of the expedition, he should receive one hundred thousand castellanos.[287] This capitulation{160} having been agreed to, the marshal took the troops into his service, and the Adelantado proceeded to the City of the Kings, where the governor Don Francisco Pizarro received him with the distinction that was due to so valorous a captain as Don Pedro de Alvarado. He received the one hundred thousand castellanos, and returned to his government of Guatemala. The agreement and capitulation above-mentioned was made and agreed to in the buildings of Riobamba, concerning which I am now treating. It was also here that the captain Belalcazar, who was afterwards governor of the province of Popayan, fought a battle with the Indians, in which, after many of them had been killed, the victory remained with the Christians.


Which treats of what there is to be said concerning the other Indian villages as far as the buildings of Tumebamba.

THESE buildings of Riobamba, as I have already said, are in the province of the Puruaes, which is one of the best and most populous within the jurisdiction of the city of Quito. The men go dressed, as well as the women. They have the same customs as their neighbours, but are distinguished by the band round their heads. They all wear very long hair, and plait it in very small tails. The women do the same. They worship the sun, and those who are selected as most fit for such a business, converse with the devil. They have other rites and abuses, the same as those of the Yncas who conquered them. When a chief dies they dig a deep square tomb, into which they put the body, with the arms and other effects of the deceased. Some of these tombs are made within the houses of the inhabitants. They{161} have the same customs as the other natives of these parts; that is to say, they bury the most beautiful of the women of the deceased with the body. I have been told by the Indians that this is done because some among them, who are looked upon as men of credit (God permitting that, for their sins and idolatries they may at times be deceived by the illusions of the devil), have seen, or thought they saw, those who had long been dead walking, adorned with the things that were buried with them, and accompanied by their wives who had been buried alive. Seeing this, they concluded that where the souls went, women and gold should also be sent, and so they do as I have described. The reason why the son of the sister inherits, and not the son of the brother, I will relate hereafter.

There are many villages in this province of the Puruaes, which I shall not further allude to, in order to avoid prolixity. To the east of Riobamba there are other villages in the forests near the sources of the river Marañon, and the mountain called Tinguragua, round which there are also many villages. The inhabitants have the same customs as all the others, they wear clothing, and their houses are built of stone. They were conquered by the Kings Yncas, and their captains speak the general language of Cuzco, although they have their own tongue as well. To the westward there is a snowy region thinly inhabited, called Urcolaso. Near this land a road leads to the city of Santiago, which is called Guayaquil.

Leaving Riobamba, some other buildings are reached, called Cayambe. All this country is bare and very cold. Beyond Cayambe are the tampus, or lodgings of Teocaxas, situated on a large and bitterly cold plain, where the Indian natives fought the battle with the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar, which is called Teocaxas. Although it lasted all day, and was very obstinately contested, neither party obtained the victory.{162}

Three leagues further on are the important buildings called Tiquisambi, which have the forests of Guayaquil on the right, and on the left Pomallata, Quizna, Macas, and other regions as far as the great river. The road then descends to the buildings of Chanchan, where, the country being warm, it is called by the natives Yunca, which means a warm land. There being no snow nor cold, the trees grow abundantly, besides other things which are not to be had in cold countries. For this reason all those who live in warm and genial countries are called Yuncas; they have this name now, and will never lose it while they exist, although ages should pass away. The distance between these buildings and the sumptuous royal edifices of Tumebamba is nearly twenty leagues, the whole intervening country being scattered over with depôts and other buildings, at intervals of two or three or four leagues. Amongst these there are two principal stations, one called Cañaribamba and the other Hatuncañari,[288] whence the natives and their province took the name of Cañaris, as they are now called. Right and left of the road there are numerous villages and provinces, which I shall not further mention, because the natives, having been conquered by the Kings Yncas, have the same customs as all the rest, speak the general language of Cuzco, and wear clothes, both men and women. In the order of their marriages, rules of inheritance, and custom of burying food, arms, and live women with their dead, they are also the same as their neighbours. They all believe the sun to be god, but that there was also a Creator of all things, whom, in the language of Cuzco, they call Huiracocha{163}.[289] Although they now have this belief, they formerly worshipped trees, stones, and the moon, being prompted by the devil, our enemy, with whom some of them converse, and they obey him in many things. In our time, the wrath of God having been raised, the sacred evangel will be preached, and the light of faith spread abroad, so that they will abhor the devil. Already in many places where he was esteemed and venerated, he is now detested, and the temples of the accursed idols are destroyed, insomuch that there is no sign of an image, and many Indians have become Christians. There are now few villages in Peru without a friar or clergyman who teaches the people; and, in order that the Indians may more readily be made to understand their errors, and induced to embrace our holy religion, a grammar has been made, by which to speak their language, so that the priests and Indians may understand each other. The reverend father Don Domingo de Santo Tomas has laboured much in this work.[290]

All along the road there are rivers, some small others larger, and all with excellent water. Over some there are bridges to pass from one side to the other. In former times, before the Spaniards gained this kingdom, there were great quantities of sheep in these mountains of the kind peculiar to this country, and a still greater number of huanacos and vicuñas. But the Spaniards have slaughtered so many, that now there are scarcely any left. No wolves nor other mischievous animals have been met with in these parts, except the tigers, which I mentioned in describing the forests of Buenaventura, and some small lions. In the wooded ravines there are also some snakes, and in all parts there are foxes of the country, and other wild creatures. Of{164} partridges, pigeons, doves, and deer, there is abundance, and in the vicinity of Quito there are many rabbits. Dantas, or tapirs, are met with in the forests.


Concerning the grandeur of the rich palaces of Tumebamba, and of the province of the Cañaris.

IN some parts of this book I have alluded to the great power of the Kings Yncas of Peru, and to their surpassing valour, and how, along a distance of more than one thousand two hundred leagues of coast which was under their rule, they appointed their delegates and governors, and formed many deposits full of all things necessary for their troops. In some of these depôts there were lances, in others darts, and in others sandals, and so on with other arms and articles of clothing which these people use, besides stores of food. Thus, when a chief was lodged in one of these depôts with his troops, there was nothing, from the most important to the most trifling article, with which they were not supplied. If there was any rising in the surrounding districts, they were ready to punish it with great severity; for the Yncas were such perfect judges, that they did not hesitate to punish even their own sons. Besides these depôts and lodgings throughout the kingdom, there were palaces and temples of the sun at every ten or twenty leagues along the road, where there were priests, Mama-cunas, virgins, and more complete supplies than at the other stations. There were also governors, or chief captains, appointed by the Ynca, with the Mitimaes and Indians bound to service. In the time when there was no war, and when the Ynca was not travelling in the neighbourhood, the duty of these{165} people was to collect the tribute in their districts, and see that all necessary supplies were kept in readiness. One of these stations was a grand affair, for, when a King died his successor disturbed nothing, but rather repaired and improved the place, for each Ynca had his own palace, while that of his predecessor was ordered to be preserved as he left it.

The famous buildings of Tumebamba are in the province of Cañaris, and they were among the richest and most splendid in the whole kingdom of Peru.[291] Certainly there is nothing which the Indians say of these buildings that did not appear to me to be even greater than their account, judging by the remains which still exist.

To the westward is the province of Guancavilcas, which borders on the cities of Guayaquil and Puerto Viejo, and to the east is the great river Marañon, with its forests and some villages.

The buildings of Tumebamba are situated in a plain more than twelve leagues in extent, near two small rivers. The climate is cold, and there is plenty of game, such as deer, rabbits, partridges, pigeons, and other birds.

The temple of the sun is built of stones very cunningly wrought, some of them being very large, coarse, and black, and others resembling jasper. Some of the Indians pretend that most of the stones of which these buildings and the temple of the sun are built, have been brought from the great city of Cuzco by order of the King Huayna Ccapac, and of the great Tupac Ynca his father, by means of strong ropes. If this be true it is a wonderful work, by reason of the great size of the stones and the length of the road.[292] The doorways of many of the buildings were very{166} handsome and brightly painted, with several precious stones and emeralds let into the stone; and the interior walls of the temple of the sun, and of the palaces of the Yncas, were lined with plates of the finest gold stamped with many figures. The roofs were of straw, so well put on that no fire would consume it, while it would endure for many ages.[293] Within the buildings there were several bunches of golden straw, and sheep, lambs, birds, and many other things were sculptured on the walls. Besides all this, they say that there were enormous sums in gold preserved in jars and vases, and many rich vestments adorned with silver work and beads. In short, I am unable to describe the magnificence of these royal palaces of the Yncas. The cloth in the store-houses was in such quantity, and so rich, that, had it been preserved and not lost, it would have been worth a great treasure. There were more than two hundred virgins dedicated to the service of the sun, who were very beautiful, and natives of Cañaris, the province governed by the chief superintendent of the Ynca, who resided in these buildings. They and the priests were well cared for by those who had charge of the temple, at the doors of which there were porters. Near the temple and the palaces of the Yncas there were many buildings{167} used as lodgings for the troops, and as store-houses, which were always kept full.

The natives of this province, called Cañaris, are good-looking and well grown. They wear their hair very long, so much so, that by that and a circular crown of wands, as fine as those of a sieve, the Cañaris may easily be known, for they wear this head-dress as a distinguishing mark.[294]

The women also wear their hair very long, and take a turn with it round their heads, by which they may be known as easily as their husbands. They dress in woollen and cotton cloth, with usutas on their feet, which are, as I have said before, like sandals. The women are very pretty, amorous, and friendly to the Spaniards. They are great labourers, for it is they who dig the land, sow the crops, and reap the harvests, while their husbands remain in the houses sewing and weaving, adorning their clothes, and performing other feminine offices. When any Spanish army passed through their province, the Indians at that time being obliged to supply people to carry the baggage of the Spaniards on their backs, many of these Cañaris sent their wives and daughters, and remained at home themselves. I saw this myself when we marched to join the licentiate Gasca, president of his Majesty, for they sent us a number of women who carried our baggage.

Some Indians say that this arises from the dearth of men and the great abundance of women, owing to the cruelty of Atahualpa to the people of this province, when he entered it after having killed the captain-general of his brother Huascar at Ambato, whose name was Atoco. They affirm{168} that, although the men and boys came out with green boughs and palm-leaves to seek for mercy, he, with a haughty air and severe voice, ordered his captains to kill them all. Thus a great number of men and boys were killed, and they say that now there are fifteen times as many women as men, and, being so numerous, they have to work as they are ordered by their husbands or fathers. The houses of the Cañaris are small, and built of stone with straw roofs. The land is very fertile, and abounds in provisions and game. The people worship the sun. The chiefs marry as many women as they please, but one is always the principal wife. Before the marriage takes place, they make a festival, and, after eating and drinking at their will, they perform other ceremonies according to the custom of the country. The son of the principal wife inherits the chiefship, although the chief may have many sons by other wives. They place their dead in tombs resembling those made by their neighbours, and also bury the women alive, together with arms and food. Some of these people are great magicians and sorcerers, but they do not practise the abominable crime, nor other sins and idolatries; but they certainly reverence the devil, and those who are selected for the purpose converse with him. At present the chiefs have become Christians, and (when I passed through Tumebamba) the principal chief was called Don Fernando. It has pleased our Lord and Redeemer that they should be worthy to be called his sons, and to come into the union of our holy mother Church; for they hear the sacred evangel, and his words bear fruit in them. The temples of these Indians have been destroyed.

If the devil now deceives them it is in an underhand way, as happens sometimes even to the faithful, and not openly, as was his wont before the standard of the cross of Christ was planted in these Indies.

Very great events passed in the time of the Yncas in{169} these royal buildings of Tumebamba, and many armies have been assembled there for important objects. When the King died, the first thing that his successor did, after he had taken the royal fringe or crown, was to send governors to Quito and Tumebamba, with orders to take possession in his name, and to build rich palaces adorned with gold, like those of his predecessor. The Orejones of Cuzco (the most learned and noble men in the kingdom), say that Ynca Yupanqui, father of the great Tupac Ynca, who was the founder of Tumebamba, enjoyed being here more than in any other place, and they say the same of Tupac Ynca. They also affirm that while Huayna Ccapac was residing here, he heard of the first arrival of the Spaniards in the land, when Don Francisco Pizarro reached the coast in the ship with thirteen companions, who were the first discoverers of Peru; and that he said that, after his days, a strange people would rule the land, like those who had arrived in the ship. He must have said this at the suggestion of the devil, as well as that the Spaniards would return to the country with great power. Now these buildings of Tumebamba are in ruins, but it is easy to see how grand they once were.

The province of Cañaris is very broad, and full of many rivers, in which there are great riches. In 1544, they discovered such great and rich mines in these rivers, that the people of the city of Quito extracted more than eight hundred thousand pesos of gold. The quantity of this metal was such, that they often took out of the troughs more gold than earth. I affirm this, because I spoke with a man who had taken more than seven hundred pesos of gold out of a single trough; and besides what the Spaniards got, the Indians took an unknown quantity.

In all parts of this province where wheat is sown, it yields abundantly, and so also does barley. It is believed also that great vineyards may be planted, and that all the fruits{170} and pulses of Spain may be grown, as well as those of the country.

There is no want of a good site for building a great city. When the viceroy Blasco Nuñez Vela passed this way, flying before the tyrannical fury of Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers; it is stated that he said that, if he should become governor of this kingdom, he would build a city on these plains, and divide the Indians among the settlers who should establish themselves in it. But, God permitting it for some reason which he alone knows, the viceroy was killed, and Gonzalo Pizarro ordered the captain Alonzo de Mercadillo to found a city in these parts. As, however, the district was within the limits of Quito, he selected the province of Chaparra instead, as I will relate presently. The distance from the city of San Francisco de Quito to these buildings is fifty-five leagues. Here I will leave the royal road, along which we have hitherto been travelling, in order to give an account of the country in the neighbourhood of the cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil; and having done this I will again return to the royal road.


Concerning the road which leads from the province of Quito to the coast of the South Sea, and the bounds of the city of Puerto Viejo.

I have now brought my narrative as far as the buildings of Tumebamba, and it is necessary that I should describe the cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, although I would rather go on, both because I have not been much in the latter districts, and because the natives are deficient in intelligence, and it is difficult to get information from them. Also because it seemed to me sufficient that I should conduct{171} the reader along the royal road; but my obligation to satisfy the curious obliges me to give a true account of everything that has come within my observation; and I feel certain that this will be agreeable to all learned, benevolent, and judicious readers. Thus I make the following statements with all the truthfulness and exactness that I am master of. Having said so much concerning these provinces, I will then return to the royal road.

To go, then, to these cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, it is necessary to take the road from Quito to the coast of the South Sea, and I will commence my account at Guaque, which is the beginning of the one region and the boundary of the other. From Tumebamba there is no direct road to the coast, except in the direction of the city of San Miguel, the first settlement made by the Christians in Peru.

In the district of Quito, not very far from Tumebamba, there is a province called Chumbo, but before reaching it there are other villages of various sizes, inhabited by Indians wearing clothes, with good-looking women. There are royal buildings in the villages, as in those we have passed, and the people obeyed the Lords Yncas, and used the general language which was ordered to be talked in all parts. The natives have the same customs as their neighbours, and the same religion, worshipping the sun and other gods, and believing in the immortality of the soul. They had relations with the devil, and, God permitting it for their sins, the evil one had great power over them. Now, as the holy faith is preached in every direction, many of them have become Christians, and friars are living amongst them, who teach them the things concerning the faith.

The natives of these parts have a very well marked sign of distinction, by which they may be known of all men. When I was in Cuzco people arrived there from all parts, and we knew by their distinguishing marks that some came{172} from Canchiz, others from Canas, others from Collao, others from Huancas, and others from Chachapoyas. This was, assuredly, an excellent invention, by means of which, in time of war, they could not mistake one tribe for another, and, in time of peace, each man knew his own countryman. Without some distinguishing mark, there would be many tribes gathered together by order of their chiefs, all of one colour, with the same features and appearance, all without beards, the same dress, and using one language.

In all these villages there are now churches where they say mass, and great care is taken to teach the children their prayers, so that, with the help of God, there is hope that things will go on improving.

From this province of Chumbo the road continues for fourteen leagues over rugged and sometimes difficult ground, until a river is reached where there are always natives with balsas who ferry travellers across. This place is called the pass of Huayna Ccapac, and it is said to be twelve leagues from the island of Puna. Further on the Indians are not so civilised as those we have passed, because some of them were not completely subjugated by the Kings Yncas.


In which an account is given of certain things relating to the province of Puerto Viejo; and also concerning the equinoctial line.

THE first port in the land of Peru is that of Passaos, and from it and the river of Santiago the government of the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro commenced, for to the northward the land falls within the limits of the province of San Juan, and thus it may be said that the land to the north is within the boundaries of the city of Santiago de{173} Puerto Viejo, where, being so near the equator, the inhabitants are not very healthy.

Touching the equinoctial line, some of the ancient cosmographers were in error when they affirmed that the heat was such as to render the country lying under it uninhabitable. The fertility of the land, and the abundance of all things necessary to sustain man, are manifest to all, and, as the equinoctial line is touched upon in several parts of this history, I will here give an account of what I have gathered from the best cosmographers concerning it. The equinoctial line is an imaginary line round the world from east to west, at equal distances from the poles of the earth. It is called equinoctial, because the passage of the sun across it makes the days and nights equal. This occurs twice in the year, namely on the 11th of March and 13th of September. It is to be understood, as I have already said, that the opinion of some ancient authors was that the country under this equinoctial line was uninhabitable. They believed this because, as the sun there sent its rays on the earth vertically, the heat must, as they thought, be so excessive that none could live. Virgil, Ovid, and other worthies were of this opinion. Others held that some part might be inhabitable, following Ptolemy, who says, “It does not follow that we should believe the torrid zone to be entirely without inhabitants.” Others thought, on the contrary, that the climate was not only temperate and moderately warm, but very pleasant. This is affirmed by St. Isidore, who says that the terrestrial paradise is a temperate and delightful place in the east, under the equinoctial line. Experience has now taught us that, not only the country exactly under the equinoctial line, but the whole torrid zone, from one tropic to the other, is habitable and fertile, by reason of the days and nights being almost equal. The coolness of the night tempers the heat of the day, and the land has its due season for growing and producing its fruits. This is the{174} natural condition of the country, though some parts are different.

The Indians of the province of Santiago de Puerto Viejo are not long lived; and, as regards the Spaniards, there are very few old men amongst them, though their number has been thinned more by the wars than by sickness. From this equinoctial line towards the Arctic Pole, the tropic of cancer is distant 420 leagues in 23½°, and the sun arrives there on the 11th of June, but never passes beyond it, for it there takes a turn towards the equinoctial line again, and reaches it on the 13th of September. Then it descends to the tropic of capricorn, another 420 leagues, and also in 23½°. There is, therefore, a distance of 840 leagues from tropic to tropic. The ancients called this the Torrid Zone, which is as much as to say the parched or toasted land, for the sun moves over it all the year.

The natives are of middle height, and have a most fertile land, yielding abundance of maize, yucas, aji, potatoes, and many other roots which are useful for the support of man. There are also plenty of guavas and aguacates, besides tunas[295] of two kinds, one white and of excellent flavour, caymitos, and another fruit they call cerezilla. The melons are of two kinds, also, those of Spain and those of the country, and there are all sorts of beans and peas. The orange and lemon trees abound, also bananas, and pine-apples of excellent flavour. There are great quantities of those pigs which (as I said before in speaking of the port of Uraba) have the navel on the back, which, however, is not really the navel, but some other thing that grows there. As they did not find a navel below, they called this excrescence on the back a navel. The flesh of these pigs is very savoury. There are also pigs of the Spanish breed, and many deer with the most singularly delicate flesh of any in Peru. Partridges, doves, pigeons, turkeys, and a vast number of other birds{175} are found; among them one called Xuta, which is about the size of a large duck, and which the Indians rear in their houses. These birds are tame and good to eat. There is another bird called Maca,[296] very little smaller than a cock. It is a beautiful thing to see the colours of the plumage of this bird, and the beak, which is rather thicker than a finger, is most distinctly divided into two colours, yellow and red. In the forests they meet with foxes, bears, small lions, and some tigers and serpents, but they all fly from men who do not first attack them. There are also night birds of prey, as well inland as on the coast, such as condors, and the bird they call gallinazo,[297] or aura.[298] In the wooded ravines and forests there are many trees, which are useful for building houses and for other purposes. In some of these trees the bees make excellent honeycombs. The Indians have fisheries where they kill many fishes, among which are fish called bonitos, a bad kind of fish which causes fevers and other evils to those who eat it. In all parts of the coast the men are afflicted with dark-coloured excrescences, the size of nuts, which grow on the forehead, nostrils, and other parts, and, besides being dangerous, they are very disfiguring. These bumps are said to be caused by eating a certain fish. However this may be, they are common on the coast, and, besides the natives, many Spaniards have been afflicted with these bumps.

In this coast and territory, subject to the city of Puerto Viejo and to that of Guayaquil, there are two kinds of people. From the cape of Passaos and river of Santiago to the town of Solango, the men are marked in the face, and the mark begins at the root of the ear and descends to the{176} chin, the breadth being according to each man’s fancy. Some mark the greater part of the face, and others less, much after the fashion of the Moors. Both men and women wear mantles and shirts of cotton, and sometimes of wool. They also wear a few ornaments, such as jewels of gold and very small beads, called chaquira.[299] In some provinces I have myself seen that the people put so high a value on these chaquiras, that they will give their weight in gold for them. In the province of Quinbaya (where the city of Cartago is situated) certain of the chiefs gave more than one thousand five hundred pesos to the marshal Robledo for little more than a pound weight of them, but at that time they gave two or three hundred pesos for three or four glass diamonds. In the matter of selling to Indians we were then pretty safe from being deceived by them. It has even happened to me to sell a copper axe to an Indian for its weight in gold. But things are now changed, and the Indians well understand how to sell what they have, and how to buy what they require.

The principal places where the Indians mark their faces in this province are Passaos, Xaramixo, Pimpaguace, Peclansemeque, the valley of Xagua, Pechonse, Apechigue, Silos, Canilloha, Manta, Sapil, Manaui, Xaraguasa, and others. Their houses are of wood, roofed with straw, some small and others large, according to the means of the owner.{177}


Treating of the question whether the Indians of this province were conquered by the Yncas or not; and concerning the death which they inflicted on certain captains of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui.

MANY Indians say that the Lords Yncas never conquered, nor were able to bring under their yoke, these natives of Puerto Viejo, of whom I am now treating, though others affirm the contrary, saying that the Yncas subjugated them, and had them under their orders. The latter say that Huayna Ccapac came in person to conquer them, and that, having been disobedient in some particular, he made a law that they and their descendants should have three of their front teeth pulled out in each jaw. They add that this custom was preserved for a long time in the province of Guancavilcas. In truth, as all vulgar reports are confused, and as the common sort can never tell the plain facts, it does not astonish me that they should relate these things, for in all things else the like reports are spread abroad, and become the talk of the people, being in reality mere fables. I make this digression here, that it may be borne in mind hereafter, for if things are repeated over and over again they become tiresome to the reader. This, therefore, will serve to give notice that many of the stories commonly reported among the people, concerning events which have happened in Peru, are fables. As regards the natives, those who have been curious in trying to learn their secrets know that what I say is the case. Concerning the government, and the affairs of war and of state which have occurred, I only look upon those principal men who were in high positions as authorities. These will relate what occurred, and the sayings of the people.

Returning to the thread of my narrative, I have to say{178} (according to what I have been given to understand by old Indians who were captains under Huayna Ccapac), that, in the time of the great Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, his father, certain of his captains came, with a force collected from the ordinary garrisons of the provinces, and, by their politic arts, drew some of the chiefs to the service of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui. Many of them went with presents to do him homage, and he received them with love and kindness, giving them rich pieces of woollen cloth made in Cuzco. When they returned to their provinces, they esteemed him so highly for his great valour, that they called him father, and honoured him with other titles, his benevolence and love for all being such that he acquired perpetual fame among them. In order to instruct them in things appertaining to the government of the kingdom, he set out in person to visit these provinces, and left governors in them who were natives of Cuzco, that they might teach the people more civilised customs, and other useful things. But these natives not only did not wish to learn from those who remained in their provinces by order of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, in order to indicate to them a better mode of life, and to teach them agriculture; but, in payment of the benefits they had received, they killed them all, so that not one was left. They killed them, although they had done no ill, nor had they been tyrannical, so as to merit such treatment. Tupac Ynca heard of this great cruelty, but he dissimulated, because, for other important reasons, he was unable to chastise those who had so treacherously murdered his captains and vassals.{179}


How these Indians were conquered by Huayna Ccapac, and how they conversed with the devil, sacrificed to him, and buried women alive with the bodies of their chiefs.

AFTER the events which I have just alluded to as having occurred in the provinces near the city of Puerto Viejo, many of the natives relate that, in process of time, when the King named Huayna Ccapac was reigning in Cuzco, he visited the provinces of Quito in person, and entirely subjugated all these Indians. It must be understood that all these occurrences in the history of the Indians are written from accounts given by the Indians themselves, who, having no letters, made use of a curious invention in order that their deeds and history might be recorded.[300] Although these Indians were subject to Huayna Ccapac, and paid tribute in rich emeralds and gold, yet there were no buildings, nor depôts, as in the other provinces we have passed through. The reason of this is that the country is poor and the villages small, so that the Orejones did not wish to live here, and held the country in small estimation. The natives of these villages were great sorcerers, and it is well known that no people in all Peru were so addicted to sacrifices and religious rites. Their priests had charge of the temples, and of the service to images which represented their false gods, before whom, at stated times, they recited songs and performed ceremonies which they learnt from their fathers, from whom they received the ancient customs.

The devil, in frightful shape, appeared to those appointed for this accursed office, who were much respected by all the other Indians. Among these one gave replies, and heard what the devil had to say, who, in order to preserve his credit, appeared in a threatening form.{180} Thus he let them know future events, and no battle or other event has taken place amongst ourselves, that the Indians throughout this kingdom have not prophesied beforehand. At the same time they never really knew, for it is clear, and must be believed, that God alone knows what will come to pass. If, therefore, the devil is right in anything, it is because his words are equivocal, and will bear many meanings. With his gift of subtlety, and his great age, which has given him experience in affairs, he speaks to the simple who will hear him; but many of the Gentiles know the deceitfulness of his replies. Thus, many of these Indians hold it to be certain that the devil is false and wicked, and they obey him more from fear than from love. At one time, deceived by the devil himself, at others by their own priest, they submit to his service by permission of Almighty God. In the temples, or huacas, they gave presents to objects which they held to be gods, and offered bloody sacrifices to them. And in order to do them more honour, they sacrificed something still more noble, namely, the blood of certain Indians, as many affirm. When they took any of their neighbours prisoners, with whom they had war or enmity, they assembled (as they themselves declare) and, after having got drunk with their wine, and also having made the prisoner drunk, the chief priest killed him with lancets of stone or copper. They then cut off his head, and offered it, with the body, to the accursed devil, the enemy of human nature. When any of them were sick, they bathed many times, and offered up sacrifices, praying for health.

They mourned for their chiefs when they died, and put the bodies in tombs, together with some women alive, and all their most precious effects. They were not ignorant of the immortality of the soul, although they did not fully understand it. There can be no doubt that, by an illusion of the devil, the figures of persons who were dead, perhaps{181} fathers or relations, appeared to these Indians in the fields in the dress they wore when living. By such false apparitions were these poor people made to obey the will of the evil one, and for this reason they buried people alive, together with the dead, that they may rise again with more honour. They held that by so doing they observed the rules of their religion, and obeyed their gods, and would go to a very delightful and pleasant place surrounded by the food and drink they were accustomed to when they were alive in the world.


(The heading of this chapter is unfit for translation.)

IN many parts of these Indies the people worshipped the sun, although they also believed in a Creator whose seat was in heaven. The worship of the sun was either received from the Yncas, or, as in the province of Guancavilcas, established from ancient times.

The people of Guancavilcas (so they say) used to pull out three teeth in each jaw, the fathers doing it to their children when of very tender age, which they thought was no evil, but rather a service very acceptable to their gods. They marry in the same way as their neighbours. [The remainder of this paragraph is unfit for translation.]

The chiefship is inherited by the son (according to the account which they gave me), and, failing sons, then the next brother, and, failing brothers, the sons of the sisters. There are some women who are good looking. Among the Indians of whom I am now treating the best-flavoured maize bread is made in all the Indies. It is so good and well kneaded, that it is even better than some wheaten bread.{182}

In some villages of these Indians they have a great quantity of skins of men full of ashes, the appearance of which is as frightful as those in the valley of Lile, near the city of Cali. [The rest of the paragraph is unfit for translation.]

They have heard the preaching of many clergymen and friars, and begin to understand that our faith is the perfect and true one, and that the teaching of the devil is false, so that his deceitful communications have ceased. In all parts where the holy evangel is preached, a cross is placed at which the devil is terrified and flies away. But it is true that the faith impresses itself more on the young than on the old; for as the latter are grown old in their vices, they do not cease to commit their former sins in secret, and in such sort that the Christians cannot detect them. The youths listen to our priests, and follow our Christian doctrine, so that in these districts there are good and bad, as in all other parts of the world.


How in ancient times the Indians of Manta worshipped an emerald as their god; and of other things concerning these Indians.

IN many histories which I have seen, I have read, if I am not mistaken, that in some countries they worshipped God in the form of a bull, in others of a cock, in others of a lion, and that there have been a thousand superstitions of this kind, which seem to afford matter for laughter more than anything else. I will only remark, therefore, that the Greeks, among whom there were excellent worthies, whose memory will last as long as writing itself, fell into these errors, as also did the Egyptians, Bactrians, and Babylonians.{183} Grave and learned doctors say that the Romans had many gods, and that they worshipped those from whom they had received benefits, such as Jupiter or Saturn; these gods, however, were men and not brutes. These Indians, too, notwithstanding that they worshipped the sun and moon, also adored trees and stones, and other things suggested by their imaginations. I was informed, at the same time, that their priests saw the devil, who communicated perdition to their souls. In the important temple of Pachacamac they held a she fox in great veneration, and worshipped it. In this province, also, the Lord of Manta had an emerald of great size and value, which the people and their ancestors held in great veneration. On certain days it was publicly displayed, and worshipped as if it contained some deity.[301] On these occasions if any man or woman was sick, they performed a sacrifice, and then came forward to pray to the stone. They affirm that the priest, who conversed with the devil, gave them to understand that the stone would bring health to them in requital for their offerings,{184} after they and other ministers of the devil had applied to it. People who were afflicted with sickness came to Manta from all parts of the interior to offer gifts and perform sacrifices; and the Spaniards, who first discovered this kingdom, have told me that they found great riches in this town of Manta, and that it always yielded more than those which bordered on it to the encomienderos. They also say that, although threats and menaces have been resorted to to discover where this great and rich emerald is concealed, they have never been able to find it, nor will the natives betray the place if they are all killed, so great is the veneration in which it is held.

This town of Manta is on the coast. In the interior there are more villages and more people, and they differ in language from those on the coast, but they have the same food. The houses of those inland, called Serranos, are of wood and small, the roofs of straw or palm leaves. They have some flocks of Peruvian sheep, but not so many as there are in Quito or in the province of Cuzco.

The Serranos[302] were not such sorcerers and magicians as the natives of the coast, nor were they so wicked in practising the abominable sin. There is hope of some gold mines in some of the rivers of these mountains, and there is certainly a very rich emerald mine; but although many captains have tried to discover it, they have not succeeded, nor will the natives tell them where it is. It is true that Captain Olmos is said to have known where this mine was, but I think that surely he would have told his brothers or some other persons. Certainly the number of emeralds that have been brought to Puerto Viejo is very great, and they are the best in all the Indies; for though emeralds are more numerous in the new kingdom of Granada, they are not so good, so that the best there do not equal in value the most ordinary ones here.{185}

The Caraques formed another tribe. They are not labourers, and are less intelligent than their neighbours, being a disorderly people, and making war for very slight causes. When a child was born they put its head between two boards, so that at the age of four or five, the head was long and broad, but flat behind. Not content with the heads that God gives them, they thus make them into the shapes that please them most. They themselves say that they force their heads into these shapes that they may be more healthy, and be able to do more work. Some of these people, especially those near the village of Colima, to the northward, go naked. They relate that Huayna Ccapac arrived here, after having put to death the chiefs as far as Colima, where he ordered a fort to be built. Seeing that the Indians went naked, he did not go any further, but returned, leaving orders to his captains to conquer and subjugate as far as the river Santiago.

Many of the Spaniards who came with the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado (especially the marshal Alonzo de Alvarado, and the captains Garcilasso de la Vega, Juan de Saavedra, and another gentleman named Suer de Cangas) told me that when they landed on the coast with the said Adelantado Don Pedro, and came to this village, they found many vases full of gold, silver, and precious stones, besides a great quantity of emeralds, so that they gained much wealth for their valour. But many said that the emeralds were of glass; so, to try the question (for some considered they might be stones), they determined to beat them with hammers, saying that if they were of glass they would soon break, but if they were of stone the blows would have no effect. Thus, from want of knowledge and experience, they broke many of these emeralds, and profited little by having found them. Nor did they enjoy their gold and silver, for they suffered much from cold and hunger, and left their loads of treasure in the forests.{186}


In which the account of the Indians of Puerto Viejo is finished; and concerning the founding of that city, and who was its founder.

I SHALL be brief in describing what more there is concerning these provinces of Puerto Viejo, because the substance of my account of them has already been written in the preceding chapter; and I shall then return to the palaces of Tumebamba, where I left the main thread of my history. I may here observe that, as soon as the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado and the marshal Don Diego de Almagro had made their agreement on the plains of Riobamba, the Adelantado Don Pedro went to the City of the Kings, where he was to receive the hundred thousand castellanos which were to be paid for his fleet and armament. Meanwhile the marshal Don Diego de Almagro left the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar with certain orders respecting the conquest of the province of Quito, and set out to establish the settlements on the coast. He then put things in order at San Miguel and Chimo, and looked out for a good and convenient site for the city of Truxillo, which was afterwards founded by the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro.

In all these affairs (as I have been told) the marshal Don Diego de Almagro showed himself to be a diligent captain. When he arrived at the city of San Miguel it was made known to him that, when the ships which came from Tierra Firme, and from the provinces of Nicaragua, Guatemala, and New Spain, arrived on the coast of Peru, the crews landed and did much harm to the natives of Manta, and of the coast of the province of Puerto Viejo. To avoid these evils, and that the natives might be watched and protected, he determined to send a captain to select a site where a town or city might be founded.

He selected the captain Francisco Pacheco for this duty,{187} and ordered him to set out with the requisite number of followers. Francisco Pacheco, in obedience to his orders, started from a village called Piquasa, and founded the city of Puerto Viejo in the locality which appeared to him most suitable. This was on the day of St. Gregory, the 12th of March, in the year of the birth of our Redeemer the Lord Jesus Christ 1535, and he founded it in the name of the Emperor Don Carlos our King and Lord.

While the captain Francisco Pacheco was employed on this service, Pedro de Puelles,[303] with some Spanish troops, came from Quito (where the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar was lieutenant-general for Don Francisco Pizarro) to conquer the same coast of the South Sea, and there were some misunderstandings between them. When the news reached the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, he gave such orders as appeared to him best for the service of his Majesty and the good government and protection of the Indians; in obedience to which, after the captain Francisco Pacheco had conquered these provinces, and marched through them for nearly two years, he peopled this city, the captain Pedro de Puelles having returned to Quito.{188}

At first the city was called the new town of Puerto Viejo, and it is situated in the most convenient and best part of the province, not very far from the South Sea. In many districts belonging to this city of Puerto Viejo, they make deep holes for the burial of their dead, which look more like wells than tombs. When they wish to inter a body, they clear out all the loose earth. A large number of Indians then assemble, dancing, singing, and mourning, not forgetting to drink, and beating drums. After they have done all these things, according to the custom of their ancestors, they lower the body down into the deep tomb, and, if he is a chief or important person, they bury the most beautiful and beloved of his women with him, besides jewels, food, and jars of wine made from maize. They then place those thick canes which grow in the country over the hole. As these canes are hollow, they take care to fill them with that drink made of maize or of roots, which they call acca,[304] because, being deceived by the devil, they believe (at least so they have told me) that the dead man drinks of the liquor they put into the canes. This custom of burying arms, treasure, and food with the dead, is practised in the greater part of these newly-discovered countries; and in many provinces they also bury women and boys alive with them.


Of the wells which there are at the point of Santa Elena; of the story they tell respecting the arrival of giants in those parts; and of the tar which is found there.

AS, at the beginning of this work, I gave a detailed account of all the ports on the coast of Peru, from Panama to the{189} confines of Chile, which is a great length of coast, it does not appear necessary to repeat them here, and for this reason I shall not treat of them. I have also described the principal places in this province. There are, however, reports concerning giants in Peru, who landed on the coast at the point of Santa Elena, within the jurisdiction of this city of Puerto Viejo, which require notice. I will relate what I have been told, without paying attention to the various versions of the story current among the vulgar, who always exaggerate everything. The natives relate the following tradition, which had been received from their ancestors from very remote times. There arrived on the coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as small plates. They had no beards, and were dressed in the skins of animals, others only in the dress which nature gave them, and they had no women with them. When they arrived at this point, they made a sort of village, and even now the sites of their houses are pointed out. But as they found no water, in order to remedy the want, they made some very deep wells, works which are truly worthy of remembrance; for such are their magnitude, that they certainly must have been executed by very strong men. They dug these wells in the living rock until they met with water, and then they lined them with masonry from top to bottom in such sort that they will endure for many ages. The water in these wells is very good and wholesome, and always so cold that it is very pleasant to drink it. Having built their village, and made their wells or cisterns where they could drink, these great men, or giants, consumed all{190} the provisions they could lay their hands upon in the surrounding country; insomuch that one of them ate more meat than fifty of the natives of the country could. As all the food they could find was not sufficient to sustain them, they killed many fish in the sea with nets and other gear. They were detested by the natives, because in using their women they killed them, and the men also in another way. But the Indians were not sufficiently numerous to destroy this new people who had come to occupy their lands. They made great leagues against them, but met with no success. [The next sentence is unfit for translation.] All the natives declare that God our Lord brought upon them a punishment in proportion to the enormity of their offence. While they were all together, engaged in their accursed ... a fearful and terrible fire came down from heaven with a great noise, out of the midst of which there issued a shining angel with a glittering sword, with which, at one blow, they were all killed, and the fire consumed them. There only remained a few bones and skulls, which God allowed to remain without being consumed by the fire, as a memorial of this punishment. This is what they say concerning these giants, and we believe the account because in this neighbourhood they have found, and still find, enormous bones. I have heard from Spaniards who have seen part of a double tooth, that they judged the whole tooth would have weighed more than half a butcher’s pound. They also had seen another piece of a shin bone, and it was marvellous to relate how large it was. These men are witnesses to the story, and the site of the village may be seen, as well as the wells and cisterns made by the giants. I am unable to say from what direction they came, because I do not know.[305]


In this year 1550, I, being in the City of the Kings, heard that, when the most illustrious Don Antonio de Mendoza was viceroy and governor of New Spain, they found certain bones of men who must have been even larger than these giants. I have also heard that previously they discovered, in a most ancient tomb in the city of Mexico, or in some other part of that kingdom, certain bones of giants. From all this we may gather that, as so many persons saw and affirmed these things, these giants really did exist.

At the point of Santa Elena (which, as I have before said, is on the coast of Peru within the jurisdiction of the city of Puerto Viejo) there is a thing well worthy of note, and this is that there are certain wells, or mines, of such excellent tar, that as many ships as require caulking might be caulked with it. This tar must be some mineral which flows out at this place, and it comes forth very hot. I have not seen any other mines of tar in any of the other parts of the Indies which I have visited; but I believe that Gonzalo Hernandez de Oviedo, in the first part of the general history{192} of the Indies, gives an account both of this and of others. Nevertheless, as I am not writing concerning the Indies generally, but only of the events which have taken place in Peru, I do not treat of other parts. With this I shall conclude what I have to say concerning the city and province of Puerto Viejo.


Concerning the foundation of the city of Guayaquil; and how certain of the natives put the captains of Huayna Ccapac to death.

FURTHER on, towards the west, is the city of Guayaquil; and, as soon as the boundary of its jurisdiction is crossed, the Indians are Guancavilcas—those toothless ones who, from custom, or to honour their accursed gods, pulled out their teeth, as I have before said. As I have already given an account of their dress and customs, I have no wish to repeat it in this chapter.

In the time of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, lord of Cuzco, these people were conquered. The Lord Ynca subjugated them, and, in doing so, he proved himself to be a great captain, and won victories and notable trophies, displacing the garrisons of the natives, and allowing no armed men in any part except those who were posted at stations assigned by himself. He then ordered certain of his captains to explore the country, and to bring the natives to obedience by kindness and friendship. All these captains, as I have said before, were killed by the natives, without one being{193} left alive. The natives did not at once receive the punishment they deserved for killing those who slept in confidence without suspecting such treason, because the Ynca was in Cuzco, and his governors and delegates had enough to do in their respective governments. When Huayna Ccapac succeeded, he showed himself to be as brave and valiant a captain as his father, with even more prudence, and full of pride at his new power. He set out from Cuzco in great haste, accompanied by the principal Orejones[307] of the two famous tribes of that city, called Hanan-Cuzcos, and Hurin-Cuzcos. After having visited the sacred temple of Pachacamac, and the garrisons which were stationed by his order in the provinces of Xauxa and Caxamarca, and other parts, both in the mountains and in the fruitful valleys of the coast, he reached Tumbez, where a fortress was built by his order, although some Indians say that this edifice is more ancient. The people of the island of Puna being hostile to the natives of Tumbez, it was easy for the captains of the Ynca to build this fortress while the Indians were engaged in their own quarrels. When it was finished Huayna Ccapac ordered a temple of the sun to be built, and two hundred virgins, from amongst the most beautiful daughters of the chiefs of the province, to be collected together in it. In this fortress (which before it was ruined, is said to have been a thing worthy of notice) Huayna Ccapac had his captain or delegate, with a number of Mitimaes, and stores and provisions for their maintenance, as well as for the troops that passed that way. They also say that a lion and a very fierce tiger were placed in the fortress and ordered to be well guarded. These must have been the beasts which made as if they would tear the Captain Pedro de Candia in pieces,[308] at the time{194} when the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen companions (who were the discoverers of Peru, as I shall relate in the third part of my work) reached this coast. In the fortress of Tumbez there were a great number of silversmiths who made vases of gold and silver, and many other ornaments both for the service and adornment of the temple, which these people considered sacred, and for the use of the Ynca himself. They also had to prepare the plates of these metals, to line the walls of the temples and palaces. The women, who were dedicated to the service of the temple, only understood how to spin and weave very fine woollen cloth, which they did with great skill. As I shall write very fully and copiously of these things in my second part, which will treat of the kingdom of the Yncas in Peru, from Manco Ccapac, who was the first, to{195} Huascar, who was the last, I shall say no more in this chapter than is necessary to make the narrative clear. As soon, then, as Huayna Ccapac had made himself master of the province of the Guancavilcas and of Tumbez, he sent to Tumbala, the lord of Puna, to order him to come and do homage. When the lord of the island of Puna[309] heard what the Ynca’s message conveyed, he was much moved, for, being a chief, and having received that dignity from his ancestors, he held it to be a great calamity to lose that liberty which is so much esteemed by all the nations of the earth, and to receive a stranger as sole lord of his island; for he was not only required to serve him, but to allow his edifices and fortresses to be built on the island, and to give up his most beautiful women, which was what he felt most. Finally, however, those of the island consulted one with another touching the present calamity, and, considering how small their power was to resist that of the Ynca, they agreed that it would be prudent to seek for his friendship, and to feign submission. Tumbala then sent messengers to Huayna Ccapac with presents, and invited him to visit the island of Puna for a few days. The Ynca was satisfied with this humility, and Tumbala, with the chiefs of the island, sacrificed to the gods, seeking what they should do to escape from the Ynca, who sought to be supreme lord over all. It is said that messengers were sent to all the neighbouring provinces to try the temper of the people, and to excite them to resist Huayna Ccapac. This was done very secretly, and in the meanwhile the Ynca went to the island of Puna, where he was honourably received, and lodged in buildings which had been prepared for him. The Orejones and the chiefs of the island assembled, and showed signs of real and not simulated friendship.

As many of the natives of the main land desired to live as their ancestors had done, and as a foreign yoke is always{196} heavy and distasteful, while that of a countryman is easy and light, they conspired with the natives of the island of Puna to kill all those who came into the country with the Ynca. At that time Huayna Ccapac ordered certain of his captains, with a large force, to visit some of the villages on the mainland, and to arrange affairs connected with his service; and he ordered the islanders to convey them in balsas across the sea, and to disembark them in a river whence it would be convenient to go to their destination. Having arranged these and other matters on the island, Huayna Ccapac returned to Tumbez, or to some place near it. The Orejones, noble youths of Cuzco, then got into the balsas, with their captains, a large and well-appointed fleet. They were crossing the water without suspicion, when the islanders treacherously unfastened the cords by which the poles of the balsas were secured, so that the poor Orejones fell into the water, where they were all cruelly murdered by the islanders with the arms which they had secretly brought with them. By killing some and drowning others, they put an end to all the Orejones, and nothing was left of them but some mantles and a few of their ornaments. As soon as the aggressors had committed these murders, their joy was very great, and they talked and complimented each other in the balsas to such an extent, that it might have been supposed that the Ynca and all his troops were in their power. They enjoyed their victory, and appropriated the treasures and ornaments of these people of Cuzco, but they finally met a fate very different from their thoughts, as I am about to relate. The Orejones who came in the balsas being dead, the murderers quickly returned to the place whence they had started, to take more people on board. The rest of the Orejones, unaware of the trick which had been played on their companions, then embarked with their clothes, ornaments, and provisions, and were all killed in the same way, so that not one escaped. If any that knew how to swim tried to save their lives, they were killed by{197} fierce and cruel blows, and if they dived, and thus strove to fly from their enemies by seeking favour of the fishes that dwell in the depths of the sea, it was of no avail, for the islanders, who live much in the sea, employed in their fisheries, swim as well as the fishes, and easily overtook the fugitives and strangled them. The sea was full of blood, the sign of a sad spectacle. As soon as all the Orejones who went in the balsas were killed, those of Puna, with the other Indians who had conspired with them, returned to the island.

When these events were made known to the King Huayna Ccapac, he was enraged and deeply distressed that so many of his nobles should have no tombs. In truth they think more of the building and adorning of their tombs where they are to be put after death, than of the houses where they dwell while living. Presently the Ynca assembled all his remaining forces, and resolved to punish the barbarians in such a manner that neither resistance nor submission should avail them, for their offence was held to be so grave, that it was more necessary to punish with severity than to pardon with clemency and humanity. Thus thousands were put to death in various ways, and the chiefs who formed the conspiracy were impaled or hung.[310] After he had inflicted a great and terrible punishment on these Indians, Huayna Ccapac ordered that the misfortune which had befallen his followers should be recorded in songs, and sung in seasons of mourning; for such subjects are recited in their languages in elegies. He also ordered a causeway to be made along the river of Guayaquil, which, judging from some parts that may still be seen, must have been a superb work, but it was never finished. It is called the “passage of Huayna Ccapac.” Having inflicted this punishment, he ordered that all the natives should obey his governor, who was in the fortress of Tumbez, and having{198} arranged other matters, the Ynca departed from this province. There are other districts and villages within the jurisdiction of the city of Guayaquil, but I have nothing to say concerning them, except that the manners and dress of the inhabitants are the same as those already described, and that their country is the same.


Of the island of Puna, and of that of La Plata: and concerning the admirable root called sarsaparilla, which is so useful for all diseases.

THE island of Puna, which is near the port of Tumbez, is little more than ten leagues round, yet in former times it was considered an important place; for, besides that the inhabitants are great traders, and possess in their islands all things needful to sustain human life, which are sufficient causes for their wealth, they are held to be valiant by their neighbours, and in ancient times they waged fierce wars with those of Tumbez and of other provinces. For very slight causes they killed each other, and seized their women and children. The great Tupac Ynca sent ambassadors to these islanders, proposing that they should be his friends and allies; and they, owing to his great fame, heard his embassy, but refused to serve him, and they were not entirely subdued until the time of Huayna Ccapac, although others say that they had been conquered and brought within the rule of the Yncas by Ynca Yupanqui, but that they had rebelled; however this may have been, the events connected with the murder of the captains, already described, certainly took place. These islanders are of middle height, and dark skinned. They dress in cotton cloths, both men and women, and wear chaquiras on several parts of the body. They also put on pieces of gold in order to look smart.{199}

The island is covered with large woods and flowering meadows; and abounds in fruit. It yields plenty of maize, yucas, and other edible roots, and there are also birds of all kinds, such as parrots, guacamayas,[311] and of beasts, monkeys, lions, foxes, snakes, and many others. When the chiefs die they are lamented by all the people, as well men as women, and are interred with great signs of respect, according to their custom. They bury the most valuable things, arms, and most beautiful women with the deceased, the women being buried alive in the tombs to keep their husbands company. They mourn for the dead during many days, and shave the heads of the women in the houses, even those who are the nearest relations. They are given to religious ceremonies, and to the commission of some crimes. The devil had the same power over them as he had over other Indians, and some of them conversed with him.

They had their temples in dark and hidden places, and carved the walls with horrible pictures. In front of their altars, where they performed sacrifices, they killed many animals and some birds; and it is said that they even killed slaves or prisoners taken in war, offering up their blood to the accursed devil.

In another small island, at no great distance, the natives say that, in the time of their ancestors, there was a temple, or huaca, where they also worshipped their gods and performed sacrifices. Round the temple they had quantities of gold, silver, and other valuable things, such as woollen cloths and jewels, which had been offered up at different times. It is also said that some of the islanders of Puna committed the accursed sin. At present, by the will of God, they are not so bad, or, if they are, they do not commit their crimes publicly and openly, for there are clergy on the island now, and the natives are aware of the{200} blindness in which their fathers lived, and how erroneous was their belief. They also know how much they gain by believing our holy catholic faith, and by having Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, for their God. Thus, by his great goodness and mercy, many have become Christians, and more are converted every day.

An herb grows in abundance on this island, and in the province of Guayaquil, which is called sarsaparilla because it grows like a bramble from its birth, and small leaves grow out of the suckers and other parts of the branches.[312] The roots of the herb are useful for all sicknesses, and especially for bubos, and to mitigate the evil which this pestiferous disease causes to man. Those who wish to be cured are put in a warm room, well covered up, so that the cold or air can do no injury. Then, by merely purging, eating delicate meats, and drinking an infusion of this root for some days, without any other remedy, the evil is cleared out of the body, and shortly the patient is more healthy than he ever was before, and the body is left without any vestige of the evil, but remains so perfect that it seems as if it had never been ailing. Thus they have truly effected great cures in the town of Guayaquil at different times. Many, too, whose bowels are out of order, by simply drinking an infusion of these roots, become healthy, and in better condition than before they were taken ill. Others suffering from bubos are also cured, as well as those with boils or tumours. I take it for certain that this is the best root and herb in the world, and the most useful, as is proved by the numbers who have been cured by it. This sarsaparilla grows in many parts of the Indies, but none is so good or efficacious as that which is found on the island of Puna and in the province of the city of Guayaquil.[313]



How the city of Santiago de Guayaquil was founded and settled, of some Indian villages which are subject to it, and concerning other things until its boundary is passed.

THAT it may be known how the city of Santiago de Guayaquil was founded, it will be necessary to say something concerning it, although, in the third part of my work, I shall treat more fully on the subject, in the place where the discovery of Quito and conquest of these provinces by the captain Don Sebastian Belalcazar is narrated. This officer, having full powers from the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, and hearing of the province of Guayaquil, determined to found a city within its limits. He, therefore, started from San Miguel with a party of Spaniards, and, entering the province, induced the natives to come to terms, giving them to understand that their natural lord and king was his Majesty. As the Indians already knew that San Miguel, Puerto Viejo, and Quito itself, were peopled by Christians, many of them came forward to make peace; so the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar chose a place which seemed to him proper for the site of a city, but he remained there only a few days, because it was necessary for him to return to Quito. He left one Diego Dasa as captain and alcalde, and it was not long before the Indians began to understand the exacting spirit and avarice of the Spaniards, their greed for gold and silver, and their desire after pretty women. As the Spaniards were also divided amongst themselves, the Indians conspired to kill them, and as they{202} determined so they acted, the Spaniards being very incautious. All were killed except five or six soldiers and their chief, Diego Dasa. These, amidst great dangers and difficulties, escaped to Quito, but the captain Belalcazar had already set out to discover the provinces further to the north, leaving as his lieutenant a captain of good lineage, named Juan Diaz. When the news was heard in Quito, several Christians returned with the same Diego Dasa and the captain Tapia, and had several fights with the Indians, who had encouraged and animated each other to defend their persons and property. The Spaniards made proposals of peace, but without avail, for the natives were full of hatred and animosity. They showed these feelings by killing several Christians and horses, and the rest retreated to Quito. These events having occurred, the governor Don Francisco Pizarro sent the captain Saera to form this settlement. He entered the province afresh, with the intention of dividing the villages amongst the Spaniards who accompanied him on this conquest, but the governor recalled him in great haste to relieve the City of the Kings, which was besieged by the Indians. The new city was therefore again abandoned, owing to this order of the governor. Some time afterwards the captain Francisco de Orellana[314] entered the province, by order of the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, with a larger force of Spaniards and horses. He founded the city of Santiago de Guayaquil in a better position, in the name of his Majesty, Don Francisco Pizarro being governor and captain-general of Peru, in the year 1537. Many of the Guancavilcas Indians serve the Spanish citizens of this city of Santiago de Guayaquil; and, besides the city, the towns of Yaquel, Colonche, Chanduy, Chongon, Daule, Chonana, and many others are within the limits and jurisdiction of the province.{203} All these places have fertile lands well supplied with provisions and abundance of fruit, and in the hollows of the trees there is much excellent honey. Near the city there are wide open plains, forests, and thickets of tall trees. Rivers of good water flow down from the mountains.

The Indians, both men and women, dress in shirts, with cloths between their legs. On their heads they wear crowns of very small gold beads, called chaquira, and some of silver. The women wear one mantle from the waist downwards, and another over their shoulders, and their hair is worn very long. In some of these villages the caciques or chiefs fasten bits of gold on their teeth. It is said by some of them that when they sowed their fields, they sacrificed human blood and the hearts of men to him whom they reverenced as god; and that in every village there were old Indians who conversed with the devil. When the chiefs were sick, to appease the wrath of their gods, and pray for health, they made other sacrifices of a superstitious nature, killing men (as I was told), and believing that human blood was a grateful offering. In doing these things they sounded drums and bells before certain idols shaped like lions or tigers, which they worshipped. When any of the chiefs died, they made a round tomb with a vaulted roof, and the door towards the rising sun. The body was buried with live women, his arms, and other things, in the same way as was done by the Indians already described. The arms with which these Indians fight are wands, and clubs called macanas.[315] Most of these Indians have died out and come to an end. Those that remain are, by the will of God, becoming Christians, and little by little forgetting their evil customs as they embrace our holy faith. It now appears to me that I have said enough concerning the cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, so I will return to the royal road of the Yncas, which I left after reaching the buildings of Tumebamba.{204}


Of the Indian villages between the buildings of Tumebamba and the city of Loxa, and concerning the founding of that city.

SETTING out from Tumebamba, in the direction of Cuzco, the great road passes through the province of the Cañaris, until it reaches Cañaribamba and the buildings a little further on. Villages belonging to the same province are seen on either hand, and to the eastward there are mountains, on the other side of which the country, which is inhabited, slopes down towards the river Marañon. Beyond the boundary of these Cañaris Indians is the province of the Paltas, in which there are some buildings now known as “the stones,” because many are to be seen which the Yncas, in the time of their power, had sent to their superintendents or delegates. These tampus[316] were ordered to be built, because the province of the Paltas was considered important. They were extensive and handsome, the masonry being well executed. The quarry whence the stones were brought is near the source of the river of Tumbez. Here the tribute was collected, which the natives were obliged to pay to their king and lord, or to the governors in his name.

To the westward of these buildings is the city of Puerto Viejo, and to the eastward the province of Bracamoros,[317] where there are vast territories and many rivers, some of them very great and powerful. There is hope that by marching for twenty or thirty days, a rich and fertile land will be reached. But there are great forests in the way, some of them very frightful and dangerous. The Indians go naked, and are not so intelligent as those of Peru, nor were they subdued by the Kings Yncas. They are not so civilised, nor have they any polity, any{205} more than the Indians subject to the city of Antioquia, or to the town of Arma, or those in the government of Popayan. These Indians of the province of Bracamoros resemble those mentioned above in their customs, and they are said to be very valiant warriors. Even the very Orejones of Cuzco confess that Huayna Ccapac turned and fled before their fury.

The captain Pedro de Vergara was occupied for some years in making discoveries and conquests in this region, and founded a settlement in it; but the troubles of Peru prevented its complete exploration, and the Spaniards entered it two or three times in the course of the civil wars. Afterwards the president, Pedro de la Gasca, sent the captain Diego Palomino, a citizen of the town of San Miguel, to undertake this discovery. When I was in the City of the Kings, certain conquerors arrived to give an account of what they had done for the said president and the judges. As the doctor Bravo de Seravia, a judge of the Royal Audience, is very curious, they gave him a particular account of what had been discovered. In truth, any captain who set out in that direction with a sufficient force, would bring to light a very rich land, as I learn from the reports I have heard. But, although I have heard that the captain Diego Palomino settled in those parts, yet I shall say no more, as I have not obtained any certain intelligence, and what I have already said is sufficient for the understanding of what may have been done.

The distance from the province of Cañaris to the city of Loxa (which is also called La Sarza) is seventeen leagues, the whole road being rugged or boggy, and half way is the town of the Paltas, as I have already said. Soon after leaving the building of “the stones,” an ascent commences which lasts a little more than ten leagues. Here it is very cold, and at the end of the descent there is another building called Tamboblanco, whence the royal road leads to a{206} river called Catamaya. On the right-hand side, near the same river, is the city of Loxa, which was founded by the captain Alonzo de Mercadillo, in the name of his Majesty, in the year of our Lord 1546.[318]

There are numerous villages around the city of Loxa, and the natives have almost the same customs as those in the neighbouring districts. They wear a particular fringe, or band, on their heads to distinguish them. They performed sacrifices, and worshipped the sun as well as other more common objects, but, like the other Indians, they believed in a Creator of all things. As regards the immortality of the soul, they all understand that man is composed of something more than the mere mortal body. When their chiefs die, deceived by the devil, in common with all the other Indians, they bury women alive with the bodies. Now, however, as some of them understand that it profits nothing to persevere in their ancient evil practices, they will not kill women by burying them with dead bodies, nor are they now so particular in this matter of sepulture. Indeed, they laugh at those who still continue the customs which their ancestors considered of such importance. Not only do they refrain from spending so much time in making these tombs, but, on the approach of death, they desire to be interred like Christians in small and humble graves. This is done by those who, having been washed in the most holy water of baptism, deserve to be called the servants of God and the sheep of his pasture. But there are many thousands of old Indians who are now as bad as they ever were, and will continue to be so until{207} the goodness and mercy of God brings them to a true knowledge of his laws. These desire their bodies to be placed in secret places, far from the roads and villages frequented by Christians, on lofty mountains, or amidst snow-covered rocks, wrapped in richly-coloured mantles, with all the gold they possess.

Most of the villages subject to the city of Loxa were under the rule of the Yncas, ancient lords of Peru, who (as I have said in many parts of this history) had their court in the city of Cuzco, which was always the capital of these provinces; and, notwithstanding that many of the natives were dull and stupid, they abandoned their barbarous ways, and became more civilised by contact with the Yncas. The climate of these provinces is pleasant and healthy, and in the valleys and on the banks of rivers it is more temperate than on the mountains. The cultivated part of the mountains is good land, but rather cold, and the snowy rocks and desert places are intensely so. There are many guanacos and vicuñas, which are like their sheep; and partridges, some a little smaller than domestic fowls, and others larger than doves. On the banks of the rivers there are flowering shrubs, and many fruit trees of the country. The Spaniards have now planted pear, fig, orange, and other trees of Spain. In the district of Loxa they also breed large herds of swine of the Spanish sort, goats, and sheep, for there is excellent pasture and many streams of water flowing in all directions, which descend from the mountains. There are hopes that the district may contain rich mines of gold and silver, and some have already been discovered. The Indians, now that they are secure from the turmoils of war, and are the masters of their persons and property, raise many Spanish fowls, pigeons, and other birds. Pulses grow well in the district.

The natives of the country round Loxa are of middle{208} height, and dress in shirts and mantles, both men and women. Within the forests, it is affirmed by the natives that there are numerous tribes rich in gold, and some large rivers. These tribes go naked, both men and women, for the country is hotter than Peru, and was never subjugated by the Yncas. The captain Alonzo de Mercadillo, with a force of Spaniards, set out in the year 1550 to verify these reports.[319]

The situation of the city of Loxa is the best and most convenient that could be found within the province. The repartimientos of Indians held by the citizens were first obtained in encomienda by those who were in Quito and San Miguel. As the Spaniards who travelled by the royal road, to go to Quito and other parts, ran risks from the Indians of Carrochamba and Chaparra, this city was founded; and, notwithstanding that Gonzalo Pizarro had ordered it to be peopled while he was engaged in his rebellion, still the president Pedro de la Gasca, considering that it would be for the service of his Majesty that it should not be abandoned, approved of its being founded, and after the judgment on Gonzalo Pizarro, he gave Indians to the settlers. It appears to me that I have now said enough concerning this city, so I shall pass on, and treat of the other cities in this kingdom.{209}


Concerning the provinces between Tamboblanco and the city of San Miguel, the first city founded by the Christian Spaniards in Peru; and what there is to be said of the natives.

AS I have undertaken in this work to satisfy the reader on all points worthy of note concerning the kingdom of Peru, although it will be great trouble to me to stop at one place and return to another, still I shall not fail to do so when it is necessary. In this place I shall treat of the foundation of San Miguel,[320] the first city founded by Christian Spaniards in Peru, and of the valleys and sandy deserts in this great kingdom, leaving the grand road over the mountains once more. I shall fully describe these provinces and valleys on the coast, along which runs another grand road made by the Kings Yncas, of the same magnitude as that in the mountains. I shall give an account of the Yuncas,[321] and of their great edifices, as well as of the information I obtained concerning the secret of its never raining in these valleys and sandy deserts, and of the great abundance of things necessary for the support of man. Having done all this, I shall return to my mountain road, and follow it until I come to the end of this first part. But, before descending to the coast, travelling along the same royal mountain road, we come to the provinces of Calva and Ayavaca, which have the forests of Bracamoros on the east, and the city of San Miguel, of which I shall treat presently, on the west.

In the province of Caxas there are great buildings, erected by the orders of the Yncas, and formerly occupied by a governor and a number of Mitimaes, who had charge of the collection of tribute. Beyond Caxas is the province{210} of Huancabamba, where there were still larger buildings than in Caxas, for here the Yncas had their forces, and amongst the buildings there is a great fortress which I saw, but it was then in ruins. In Huancabamba there was a temple of the sun, with a number of women. The people of the surrounding districts came to worship and offer gifts at this temple, and the virgins and priests were held in great reverence and esteem. The tribute of the chiefs of all these provinces was brought here, and was forwarded to Cuzco when orders came to that effect. Beyond Huancabamba there are other buildings and villages, some of them under the jurisdiction of Loxa, while the natives of others have been granted in encomienda to the citizens of San Miguel. In times past these Indians had wars amongst themselves, and for very slight causes they killed each other and seized the women. It is even said that they went naked, and that some of them ate human flesh, like the natives of the province of Popayan. When the Yncas conquered and subjugated them, they lost many of these customs, and adopted the polity which they now have. Thus their villages were ordered after a different fashion to that which had formerly prevailed. They wear clothes made of fine wool from their flocks, and now instead of eating human flesh, they detest the practice and hold it to be a great sin. Although they are so near the tribes of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, they do not commit the abominable sin. They declare that, before they were subjugated by the Ynca Yupanqui and by Tupac Ynca his son, who was father of Huayna Ccapac, and grandfather of Atahualpa, they defended their liberties so resolutely, that many thousands were killed, and as many of the Orejones of Cuzco; but they were so closely pressed that, to escape destruction, certain of their chiefs, in the name of the rest, gave in their submission to the Lords Yncas. The men of these districts are dark, and good looking, and{211} both they and the women clothe themselves in the way they learnt from the Yncas, their ancient lords. In some parts they wear the hair very long, and in others short and plaited in very small plaits. If any hairs grow on the chin, they pull them out, and, strange to say, this is done wherever Indians are met with in these lands. They all understand the general language of Cuzco, but they also have their own particular languages, as I have already said. There used to be great flocks of llamas, the sheep of Peru, but now there are very few, owing to the way the Spaniards have destroyed them. The clothes of these Indians are of llama wool, and also of vicuña wool, which is better and finer. There are also some guanacos, which frequent the desert heights. Those who cannot get clothes made of wool, use cotton. In the valleys and inhabited meadows there are many rivers and small brooks, and some fountains with good and wholesome water. In all parts there is herbage for flocks and plenty of provisions for man. There are priests in most of these districts, who, if they live well and abstain from evil, as their religion requires, will reap great fruits. By the will of God, this is done in the greater part of the kingdom, and many Indian lads have become Christians, who, by their example, attract others.

The ancient temples, which are generally called huacas, are now ruined and desecrated, the idols are broken, and the devil is thus badly wounded in these places. Where he was once, for the sins of men, so reverenced and esteemed, the cross is now planted. Truly we Spaniards should ever give infinite praise to our Lord God for this.{212}


In which the narrative is continued down to the foundation of the city of San Miguel, and who was the founder. Also of the difference of the seasons in this kingdom of Peru, which is a notable thing; and how it does not rain along the whole length of these plains, which are on the coast of the South Sea.

THE city of San Miguel is the first that was founded in this kingdom, by the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro; and here the first temple was raised in honour of God our Lord. To describe the coast valleys, I must begin with the valley of Tumbez, through which flows a river which rises (as I have before said) in the province of Paltas, and falls into the South Sea. The land of this valley of Tumbez is naturally very dry and sterile, but it sometimes rains, and showers even extend to near the city of San Miguel. But these showers take place in the parts nearest to the mountains, and it never rains in the vicinity of the sea coast. The valley of Tumbez was formerly thickly peopled and well cultivated, full of beautiful fresh watercourses drawn from the river to irrigate the land, and yielded maize and other things necessary for the support of man, besides plenty of delicious fruit. The ancient chiefs of the valley, before they were subjugated by the Yncas, were dreaded and obeyed by their subjects in a greater degree than any other chiefs of whom I have yet written, as is notorious to all, and they were served with much ceremony. They dressed in mantles and shirts, and wore an ornament on their heads, consisting of a circlet of wool adorned with pieces of gold and silver, and very small beads, called chaquira. These Indians were addicted to their religion, and were great sacrificers, as is stated at large in my account of the founding of the cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil. They are very industrious labourers{213} in the fields; and carry heavy burdens. They till the ground in concert, with beautiful regularity, and raise maize and many kinds of well-tasted roots. The maize yields a harvest twice in the year, and the beans and peas also come up abundantly when they are sown. Their clothes are made of cotton, which they grow in the valley, according to the quantity they require. These natives of Tumbez also have a great fishery, from which they derive no small profit, for with it, and their trade to the mountains, they have always been rich. From this valley of Tumbez a journey of two days brings the traveller to the valley of Solana, which was thickly peopled in former days, and contained edifices and store-houses. The royal road of the Yncas passes through these valleys, with pleasant shady trees on either side. Leaving Solana, the road next comes to Pocheos, on a river also called Pocheos, though some call it the Maycahuilca, because there is a chief or lord of that name in the valley. This valley was once very thickly populated indeed, as we are led to suppose from the numerous remains of great buildings. These buildings, though now in ruins, prove that the valley was as populous as the natives describe, and they also show the great estimation in which the Kings Yncas held this place, for here there were royal palaces and other buildings. Time and wars have so entirely obliterated them that nothing can be seen now but vast numbers of great tombs of those dead who once cultivated all the fields in this valley. Two more days’ journey beyond Pocheos bring us to the great and wide valley of Piura, where two or three rivers unite, which is the reason why this valley is so broad. In it is built the city of San Miguel. Although this city is now held in little estimation, the repartimientos being small and poor, it is just to remember that it deserves privileges and honour, because it was the beginning of all the cities that have since been built, and is on the site selected by the brave Spaniards, before the great lord Atahualpa{214} was seized by them. At first the city was founded on the site called Tangarara, which was abandoned on account of its unhealthiness. It is now built between two very pleasant level valleys, full of trees. It is said to be rather unhealthy, and the people suffer in their eyes from the wind and dust of summer and the dampness of winter. They say that it never rains in this district, but some dew falls from heaven, and, at intervals of a few years, a heavy shower of rain comes down. The valley is like that of Tumbez, and there are many vines, figs, and other trees of Spain growing in it. This city of San Miguel was founded by the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor of Peru, then called New Castile, in the name of his Majesty, and in the year of our Lord 1531.


Before going any further, it seems well that I should say what I have learnt in the matter of there being no rain. In the mountains summer commences in April, and lasts during May, June, July, August, and September. In October winter begins, and lasts during November, December, January, February, and March, so that there is little difference in the seasons between this land and our Spain. The fields are ploughed in the proper seasons, and the days and nights are almost equal. The time when the days increase a little and are longest, is during the month of November. But in the coast valleys bordering on the South Sea, the seasons are opposite to what I have here described; for when it is summer in the mountains it is winter on the coast, where we begin the summer in October, lasting till April, and then the winter commences. It is truly a strange thing to consider this great difference in the same country. What is still more worthy of note is, that you may start in the morning from a country where it is raining, and, before vespers, you will find yourself in another where it never rains. From the beginning of October it{215} never rains in any of the coast valleys, except in such small showers as scarcely to lay the dust. For this reason the inhabitants are dependent upon irrigation, and do not cultivate more land than what the rivers can irrigate, for everywhere else (by reason of the sterility) not even a blade of grass will grow, but all is an intensely dry, stony, or sandy waste, where nothing is seen but a tree with few leaves and no fruit. In some parts there are thorn bushes and cacti, in others nothing but sand. What they call winter on the coast is nothing more than the season when clouds arise, which look as if they were charged with plenty of rain, but nothing comes of it save a drizzle so light that it barely damps the ground. It is a strange thing that though, as I have said, the heavens are well charged with clouds, yet it does not rain more than these slight showers. At the same time, some days pass during which the sun is not seen, being concealed by the thickness of the clouds. As the mountains are so high, and the coast valleys so low, it would appear that the former attract the clouds to themselves without allowing them to abide in the low lands. And when it is the natural time for rain, it falls in the mountains, while there is none in the plains, but, on the contrary, great heat. On the other hand, the light showers fall on the coast when the region of the mountains is clear and rainless.

There is another curious thing, which is that there is only one wind on this coast, and that is from the south; and although the wind from that quarter is moist and attracts rain in other countries, it is not so here, and this wind prevails continually along the coast as far as Tumbez. Further up the coast, as there are other winds, it rains, and the winds are accompanied by heavy showers. I do not know the natural reason for these things, but it is clear that this sterile rainless region extends from 4° south of the equinoctial line to beyond the tropic of capricorn.{216}

Another thing, very worthy of note, is, that on the equinoctial line in some parts it is hot and moist, and in others cold and dry; but this land of the coast of Peru is hot and dry, while on either side it rains. I have gathered all this from what I have myself seen, and he who can assign natural reasons for these things, let him do so. As for me, I have said what I saw, and can do no more.[322]


Concerning the road which the Yncas ordered to be made along these coast valleys, with buildings and depôts like those in the mountains; and why these Indians are called Yuncas.

THAT my writings may be conducted with all possible regularity, I wish, before returning, to conclude what there{217} is to be said about the provinces in the mountains, and to relate what is worthy of remark on the coast, which, as I have said in other parts, is important. In this place I will give an account of the grand road which the Yncas ordered to be made along the coast valleys, which, although now it is in ruins in many places, still shows how grand a work it once was, and how great was the power of those who ordered it to be made.

Huayna Ccapac, and Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, his father, were those who, according to the Indians, descended to the coast and visited all the valleys and provinces of the Yuncas, although some say that Ynca Yupanqui, the grandfather of Huayna Ccapac and father of Tupac Ynca, was the first who saw the coast and traversed its deserts. The Caciques and officers, by order of the Yncas, made a road fifteen feet wide through these coast valleys, with a strong wall on each side. The whole space of this road was smooth and shaded by trees. These trees, in many places, spread their branches laden with fruit over the road, and many birds fluttered amongst the leaves. In every valley there was a principal station for the Yncas, with depôts of provisions for the troops. If anything was not ready, a severe punishment was inflicted, and if any of those whose duty it was to traverse the road, entered the fields or dwellings of the Indians, although the damage they did was small, they were ordered to be put to death. The walls on each side extended from one place to another, except where the sand drifted so high that the Indians could not pave the road with cement, when huge posts, like beams, were driven in at regular intervals to point out the way. Care was taken to keep the road clean, to renew any part of the walls that was out of repair, and to replace any of the posts which might be displaced by the wind in the deserts.{218} This coast road was certainly a great work, though not so difficult as that over the mountains.[323] There were some fortresses and temples of the sun, which I shall mention in their proper places. As, in many parts of the work, I shall have to use the words Ynca and Yunca, I will satisfy the reader as to the meaning of Yunca, as I have already done with regard to Ynca. He will understand, then, that the towns and provinces of Peru are situated in the manner I have already described, many of them in the openings formed by the snowy mountains of the Andes.

All those who live in these mountains are called Serranos, and those who inhabit the coast are called Yuncas; and in many parts of the mountains where the rivers flow, as the mountains are very high, the plains are sheltered and warm, and in some of them there is as much heat as there is on the coast. The inhabitants who live in these warm valleys and plains, although they are strictly in the mountains, are also called Yuncas. Throughout Peru, when they speak of these warm and sheltered places between the mountains, they call them Yuncas, and the inhabitants have no other name, though they may have in their own districts. Thus, those who live in the parts already mentioned, and all who live in the coast valleys of Peru, are called Yuncas, because they live in a warm land.{219}


How these Yuncas were very superstitious, and how they were divided into nations and lineages.

BEFORE I proceed to describe the valleys of the coast, and the founding of the three cities, of the Kings, of Truxillo, and of Arequipa, I will here recount a few things, that I may not have to repeat them over again, both those I saw myself, and those which I learned from Fray Domingo de Santo Tomas. This friar is one of those who understand the language well, and he has been a long time among the Indians, teaching them the truths of our holy catholic faith. Thus, my account of these coast valleys will be founded on what I saw and learned when I travelled through them myself, and on the information given me by Fray Domingo.[324]

The native lords of these valleys were, in ancient times, feared and obeyed by their subjects, who served them with much ceremony, according to their usage. These lords were attended by buffoons and dancers, who were always jesting, while others played and sang. They had many wives, taking care that they should be the prettiest that could be found. Each lord had a great building in his valley, with many adobe pillars, extensive terraces, and doorways hung with matting. Round the building there was an open space where they had their dances. When the lord ate, a great concourse of people assembled, and drank their beverage made from maize or from roots.

In these buildings there were porters, whose duty it was to guard the doors and see who entered or came out. All were clothed in cotton shirts and long mantles, the women as well as the men, except that the dress of the women was{220} large and broad like a morning gown, with openings at the sides for the arms. Some of the lords waged war upon each other, and in some parts the people were never able to learn the language of Cuzco. Although there were three or four tribes of these Yuncas, they all had the same rites and customs. They spent many days and nights at their banquets and drinking bouts; and certainly it is marvellous the quantity of chicha that these Indians drink, indeed the glass is scarcely ever out of their hands. They used to receive the Spaniards with great hospitality when they passed near their dwellings, and to treat them honourably. Now they do not do so, because, when the Spaniards broke the peace, and contended with each other in civil wars, they were detested by the Indians on account of the cruel way in which they treated them, and also because some of the governors have been guilty of such meanness, that the Indians no longer treat those well who pass near their dwellings, pretending to think that those are servants whom they used to treat as lords. The fault lies in those who have been sent here to govern, some of whom have considered that the old order of things was bad, and that it was wrong to keep the natives under their ancient polity, which, if it had been preserved, would neither have destroyed their liberties, nor failed to bring them nearer to the way of good living and conversion; for it appears to me that few nations in the world had a better government than these Yncas. I approve of nothing in the present rule, but rather deplore the extortion, cruel treatment, and violent deaths with which the Spaniards have visited these Indians, without considering the nobility and great virtue of their nation.

Nearly all the rest of these valleys are now almost deserted, having once been so densely peopled, as is well known to many persons.{221}


How the Indians of these valleys and of other parts of the country believe that souls leave the bodies, and do not die: and why they desired their wives to be buried with them.

MANY times in this history I have said that, in the greater part of the kingdom of Peru, it is a custom much used and observed by all the Indians to inter, with their dead, all their precious things, and some of the most beautiful and best-beloved of their wives. It appears that this custom was observed in other parts of the Indies, from which it may be inferred that the devil manages to deceive one set of people in the same way as he does another. I was in Cenu, which falls within the province of Carthagena, in the year 1535, when so vast a quantity of burial places were found on a level plain, near a temple raised in honour of the accursed devil, that it was a thing worthy of admiration. Some of them were so ancient, that there were tall trees growing on them, and they got more than a million from these sepulchres, besides what the Indians took, and what was lost in the ground. In other parts great treasure has been, and is every day, found in the tombs. It is not many years since Juan de la Torre, who was Gonzalo Pizarro’s captain in the valley of Yca, which is one of the Peruvian coast valleys, found one of these tombs, from which those who entered it affirm that he took more than 50,00 dollars.[325]


The custom of these Indians, in ordering magnificent and lofty tombs to be made, adorned with tiles and vaulted roofs, and in burying with the dead all his goods, his wives, great store of victuals, and no small quantity of chicha (or wine used by them), with their arms and ornaments, leads us to believe that they had some knowledge of the immortality of the soul, and of there being more in man than his mortal body. Deceived by the devil, they obey his commands, and he (according to their own account) gives them to understand that, after death, they will be brought to life in another place which is prepared for them, where they will eat and drink at their pleasure, as they did before they died. In order that they may believe that what he tells them is true, and not false and deceitful, he sometimes, when the will of God is served by giving him the power and permitting it, takes the form of some one of the dead chiefs, and, showing himself in the chief’s proper shape and figure, such as he had when in this world, gives them to understand that the said chief is in another pleasant world in the form in which they there see him. Owing to these{223} sayings and illusions of the devil, certain of these Indians, holding all these false appearances to be realities, take more pains in adorning their sepulchres or tombs than in any other thing.

When a chief dies, they bury him with his treasure; and his wives, youths, and persons with whom he had much friendship when alive, are also buried. From what I have said, it seems that it was the general opinion of all these Indians Yuncas, and even of those in the territory of this kingdom of Peru, that the souls of the dead did not die, but lived for ever, and that they would all meet each other, and eat and drink, which is their chief delight.

Holding these opinions for certain, they buried with dead men their most beloved wives and most trusted servants, together with all their arms, treasures, plumes, and other personal ornaments. Many of the companions of a dead chief, for whom there was no room in the tomb, would make holes in the fields belonging to him, or in the places where he used generally to hold festivals, and there be buried, thinking that his soul would pass by these places and take them in his company to do him service. And some of the women, in order that their faithful service might be held in more esteem, finding that there was delay in completing the tomb, would hang themselves up by their own hair, and so kill themselves.

We believe that all these things are done, because the accounts of the Indians concerning them are confirmed by the contents of the tombs, and because, in many parts, the Indians believe in and retain their accursed customs. I recollect, when I was in the government of Carthagena, more than twelve or thirteen years ago, the licentiate Juan de Vadillo being then governor and judge, that a boy came from a village called Pirina, and fled to the place where Vadillo then was, because they wanted to bury him alive with the chief of the village, who died at that time.{224}

Alaya, who was lord of the greater part of the valley of Xauxa, died about two years ago, and they say that a great number of women and servants were buried alive with him. If I am not deceived, they told this to the president Gasca, and though he gave the other chiefs to understand that they had committed a great sin, his discourse was without fruit.

All over Peru they call the devil Supay.[326] I have heard that he has been seen by them many times. They even affirm that in the valley of Lile he entered the bodies stuffed with cinders that are there, saying many things to the people.

Friar Domingo, who is (as I have already said) a notable searcher into these secrets, relates that when a certain person was sent to call Don Paullu,[327] the son of Huayna Ccapac, whom the people received as Ynca, he heard a servant say that, near the fortress of Cuzco, there were loud voices crying with a great noise, “Why, Ynca, dost thou not observe the customs that thou art bound to observe. Eat and drink,{225} for soon thou must cease to eat and drink.” These voices were heard by him who was sent to Don Paullu, during five or six nights. Such are the wiles of the devil, and the nooses with which he arms himself, to catch the souls of those who esteem sorcerers so highly.

All the chiefs and Indians of the coast valleys have peculiar head-dresses, by which one tribe is known from another....[328] In our time they are abandoning their old rites, and the devil has neither influence, nor temple, nor public oracle among them, for they are finding out his deceitfulness; so that they are not now so bad as they were before they heard the word of the holy gospel. But this will not avail if the grace of God does not lessen their eating, drinking, and lasciviousness, in which they are engaged day and night without tiring.


How they buried their dead, and how they mourned for them, at the performance of their obsequies.

IN the previous chapter I recounted all there is to be said concerning the belief of these Indians in the immortality of the soul, and what the enemy of the human race makes them think concerning it. It now seems good to me that in this place I should give some account of their mode of burying their dead.

In this there are great differences, for in some parts they make holes, in others they place their dead on heights, in others on level ground, and each nation seeks some new way of making tombs. Certain it is that, though I have made many inquiries, and talked with learned and curious{226} men, I have not been able to ascertain the origin of these Indians, nor of their customs.

These Indians, then, have various ways of constructing their tombs. In the Collao[329] (as I shall relate in its place) they make them in the cultivated land in the form of towers, some large and others small, and some built with great skill. These towers have their doors opening towards the rising sun, and near them (as I will also relate presently) they were accustomed to make sacrifices and to burn certain things, sprinkling the towers with the blood of lambs and of other animals.

In the district round Cuzco they bury their dead in a sitting posture, on certain seats called duhos, dressed and adorned with their most precious ornaments.[330]


In the province of Xauxa, which is a very important part of these kingdoms of Peru, they sew their dead up in fresh sheep skins, with the face exposed, and thus they are kept in their own houses. The bodies of chiefs and principal men are, at certain seasons of the year, taken out by their sons, and carried to the cultivated fields and homesteads in a litter with great ceremony, and sacrifices of sheep and lambs, and even of women and boys, are offered up. When the archbishop Don Hieronymo de Loaysa[331] heard of this, he sent strict orders to the Indians of the district, and to the clergy who were there teaching the doctrine of the church, that all the bodies were to be immediately buried.

In many other provinces, through which I have passed, they bury their dead in very deep holes, while in others, as{228} those within the jurisdiction of the city of Antioquia, they pile up such masses of earth in making their tombs, that they look like small hills. A door is left through which they pass in the body, the live women, and all the things that are buried with it. In Cenu many of the tombs are level and large, with courtyards, and others are like rocks or small hills.

In the province of Chincha, which is one of the coast valleys of Peru, they bury their dead on beds made of canes.[332] In another of these valleys, called Runa-huanac,[333] they bury their dead sitting. These Indians also differ in the way they inter the bodies, some of them putting them feet first, and others in a sitting posture.

The Indians of many of these coast valleys have great walls made, where the rocks and barren mountains commence, in the way from the valleys to the Sierra. In these places each family has its established place for burying its dead, where they dig great holes and excavations, with closed doors before them. It is certainly a marvellous thing to see the great quantity of dead bodies that there are in these sandy and barren mountains, with their clothes now worn out and mouldering away with time. They call these places, which they hold to be sacred, Huaca,[334] a{229} mournful name. Many have been opened, and the Spaniards, when they conquered the country, found a great quantity of gold and silver in them. In these valleys the custom is very general of burying precious things with the dead, as well as many women and the most confidential servants possessed by the chief when alive. In former times they used to open the tombs, and renew the clothes and food which were placed in them; and when a chief died the principal people of the valley assembled, and made great lamentations. Many women cut off their hair until none was left, and came forth with drums and flutes, making mournful sounds, and singing in those places where the dead chief used to make merry, so as to make the hearers weep. Having made their lamentations, they offered up more sacrifices, and had superstitious communion with the devil. Having done this, and killed some of the women, they put them in the tomb, with the treasure and no small quantity of food; holding it for certain that they would go to that country concerning which the devil had told them. They had, and still have, the custom of mourning for the dead before the body is placed in the tomb, during four, five, or six days, or ten, according to the importance of the deceased, for the greater the lord the more honour do they show him, lamenting with much sighing and groaning, and playing sad music. They also repeat all that the dead man had done while living, in their songs; and if he was valiant they recount his deeds in the midst of their lamentations. When they put the body into the tomb, they burn some ornaments and cloths near it, and put others with the body.

Many of these ceremonies are now given up, because God no longer permits it, and because by degrees these people are finding out the errors of their fathers, and how little these vain pomps and honours serve them. They are learning that it suffices to inter the bodies in common graves, as Christians are interred, without taking anything{230} with them other than good works. In truth, all other things but serve to please the devil, and to send the soul down to hell more heavily weighted. Nevertheless, most of the old chiefs order that their bodies are to be buried in the manner above described, in secret and hidden places, that they may not be seen by the Christians; and that they do this is known to us from the talk of the younger men.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


How they have a custom of naming children, in most of these provinces, and how they sought after sorceries and charms.

ONE thing that I observed during the time that I was in these kingdoms of Peru was, that they are accustomed to name their children, in most of the provinces, when they are fifteen or twenty days old. This name is retained until they are ten or twelve years old, when they receive another, the relations and friends of the father having previously been assembled on a certain day which is set apart for such purposes. They dance and drink according to their usual custom, and then one of them, who is the oldest and most respected, cuts the hair and nails of the boy or girl who receives the new name. The hair and nails are preserved with great care. The names which they receive are those of villages, birds, plants, or fish.[336]


I learnt these particulars because an Indian servant whom I employed was called Urco,[337] which means sheep; another was called Llama, also a name for sheep; and another Piscu, which means a bird. Some of the Indians are careful to retain the names of their fathers and grandfathers. The chiefs and principal men seek out names according to their pleasure. For Atahualpa (the Ynca whom the Spaniards captured in the province of Caxamarca) means “a fowl,” and his father was called Huayna Ccapac, which signifies “a rich youth.”[338]


These Indians hold it to be unlucky for a mother to bring forth two babes at once, or when a child is born with any natural defect, such as having six fingers on one hand.[339] If these things happen, the man and his wife become sad, and fast, without eating aji[340] or drinking chicha, which is their wine, and they do other things according to their customs, as they have learnt them from their fathers.

These Indians also believe much in signs and wonders. If a star falls, the noise they make is prodigious. There are many sorcerers among them, and they take great note of the moon and the planets. There are some Christians now alive who were with the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro when he seized Atahualpa in the province of Caxamarca, and they saw a green sign in the sky, in the middle of the night, as broad as a cubit, and as long as a lance. When Atahualpa heard that the Spaniards were looking at it, he requested that he also might be allowed to see it; and when he beheld it, he became very sad, and continued so during the next day. The governor Don Francisco Pizarro asked him why he continued to be so sad, and he replied, “I{233} have seen a sign in the sky, and I tell you that when my father, Huayna Ccapac, died he saw a similar sign.”[341] Within fifteen days Atahualpa was dead.


Of the fertility of the land in these coast valleys, and of the many fruits and roots they contain. Also concerning their excellent system of irrigating the fields.

NOW that I have given as brief an account as possible of several things connected with our subject, it will be well to return to the valleys, treating of each one separately, as I have already done of the provinces and villages of the Sierra.[342] But first I will say somewhat concerning the fruits, other food, and works of irrigation which are to be found in them.

All the land of these valleys, which is not reached by the sand, forms one of the most fertile and abundant regions in the world, and the one best suited for cultivation. I have already mentioned that it does not rain, and that the water for irrigation is drawn from the rivers which descend from the mountains and fall into the South Sea. In these valleys the Indians sow maize,[343] which is reaped twice in the year, and yields abundantly. In some parts they grow yucas,[344]{234} which are useful for making bread and liquor when there is want of maize. They also raise sweet potatoes,[345] the taste of which is almost the same as that of chesnuts, besides potatoes, beans, and other vegetables.

Throughout all the valleys there is also one of the most singular fruits I ever saw, called pepinos, of very pleasant smell and taste.[346] There are great quantities of guayavas,[347] guavas,[348] and paltas,[349] which are like pears, guanavanas,[350] caymitos,[351] and the pines of those parts. About the houses of the Indians many dogs are seen, which are very different{235} from the Spanish kind, and about the size of ordinary curs; they call them chonos.[352] The Indians breed many ducks. In the thickets of these valleys there are algarobas, somewhat long and narrow, and not so thick as the pods of beans.[353] In some parts they make bread of these algarobas, and it is considered good. They are very fond of drying such of their fruits and roots as are adapted for it, just as we make preserved figs, raisins, and other fruits.[354] Now there are many great vineyards in these valleys, where large harvests of grapes are gathered. No wine has yet been made from them, and I cannot, therefore, certify to its quality; but, as the land is irrigated, it will probably be weak.[355] There are now also fig-trees and pomegranates, and I believe, and hold for certain, that all the fruits of Spain may be grown here.

Wheat is raised, and it is a beautiful sight to see the fields covered with crops, in a region devoid of natural supplies of water. Barley grows as well as wheat, and lemons, limes, oranges, and citrons are all excellent and plentiful. There are also large banana plantations; and besides those which I have already enumerated, there are many other luscious fruits which I do not mention, because it seems sufficient to enumerate the principal ones.

As the rivers descend from the mountains and flow through these valleys, and as some of the valleys are broad, while their whole extent is, or was, when the country was{236} more thickly populated, covered with flocks, they led channels of water in all directions, which is a remarkable thing, for these channels were conducted over high and low places, along the sides of hills and over them, some in one direction, some in another, so that it is a great enjoyment to travel in these valleys, and to pass through their orchards and refreshing gardens.

The Indians had, and still have, great works for drawing off the water, and making it flow through certain channels. Sometimes it has chanced that I have stopped near one of these channels, and before we had finished pitching the tent the channel was dry, the water having been drawn off in another direction, for it is in the power of the Indians to do this at their pleasure. These channels are always very green, and there is plenty of grass near them for horses.[356]{237} In the trees and bushes many birds fly about; there are pigeons, doves, turkeys, pheasants, and some partridges, besides many deer in the thickets. But there are no evil things, such as serpents, snakes, and wolves. There are, however, many foxes, which are so cunning that, although great care is taken to watch the things where the Spaniards or Indians encamp, they come to steal, and when they can find nothing better, they make off with the bridles or switches for the horses.[357] In many parts of the valleys there are extensive fields of sweet cane, and they make sugar, treacle, and other things from it.

All these Yunca Indians are great labourers, and when they carry loads they strip to the skin, until they have{238} nothing on save a bit of cloth between the legs, and so they run with their loads. They took great care in irrigating their land, and also in sowing, which was done by many in concert together. I will now speak of the road from the city of San Miguel to that of Truxillo.


Of the road from San Miguel to Truxillo, and of the valleys between those cities.

IN a former chapter I described the foundation of the city of San Miguel, the first settlement made by the Spaniards in Peru. I will now treat of what there is between this city and Truxillo, the distance between the two cities being seventy leagues, a little more or less. On setting out from San Miguel there is a distance of twenty-two leagues over a sandy waste before reaching the valley of Motupe. The road is very wearisome, especially by the route which is now used. There are certain little ravines on this road, but, although some streams descend from the mountains, they do not reach these ravines, but are lost in the sand, in such sort that no use can be made of the water. To go over these twenty-two leagues it is necessary to set out in the afternoon, and, travelling all night, some springs are reached early in the morning, where the traveller can drink, and go on without feeling the heat of the sun. It is usual for travellers to carry calabashes of water and bottles of wine with them.

In the valley of Motupe the royal road of the Yncas is seen, broad and constructed in the manner described in a former chapter. This valley is broad and very fertile, and although a good sized river flows down into it from the mountains, all the water is lost before reaching the sea.{239} The algarobas[358] and other trees grow well, on account of the moisture which they find under their roots. In the lower part of the valley there are villages of Indians, who are supported by water which they obtain from deep wells. They get all that they require by exchanging one thing for another amongst themselves, for they do not use money, nor is any die for coining to be found in these parts. They say that there were great buildings for the Yncas in this valley; and the people had, and still have, their huacas, or burial-places in the barren heights and stony places leading to the Sierra. The late wars have reduced the numbers of the Indians, and the buildings have fallen into ruins, the present inhabitants living in small huts, built in the same way as those described in a former chapter. At certain seasons they trade with the people of the Sierra; and in the valley there are great fields of cotton, with which they make their clothes.

Four leagues from Motupe is the fresh and beautiful valley of Xayanca, which is nearly four leagues broad. A pleasant river flows through it, whence they lead channels which serve to irrigate all the land that the Indians choose to sow. In former times this valley was thickly peopled, like all the others, and it contained great buildings and store-houses belonging to the principal chiefs, where their officers were stationed. The native chiefs of these valleys were reverenced by their subjects, and those who survive still are so. They go about with a retinue of servants and women, and have their porters and guards.

From this valley the road leads to that of Tuqueme, which is also large, pleasant, and full of trees and bushes. It contains vestiges of edifices, which are now ruined and{240} abandoned. A short journey further on brings us to another very beautiful valley called Cinto. And the reader is to understand that from valley to valley the way is over sandy and parched-up stony wastes, where no living thing is to be seen, neither grass nor tree; nothing but a few birds that may be seen flying. Those who travel over the broad sandy deserts, and catch sight of the valley (although still far off) are much cheered, especially if they are on foot, under a hot sun, and suffering from thirst. Men who are new to the country should not travel over these wastes, except with good guides who know the way.

Further on is the valley of Collique, through which flows a river of the same name, so broad that it cannot be forded except in the season when it is summer in the Sierra, and winter on the coast. Nevertheless the natives are so well practised in the management of irrigation channels that, even when it is winter in the Sierra, they sometimes leave the main stream dry. This valley, like the others, is broad and full of trees, but there is a want of inhabitants, for most of them have been carried off by the wars with the Spaniards, and by the evils which these wars brought with them.


In which the same road is followed as has been treated of in the former chapter, until the city of Truxillo is reached.

BEYOND the valley of Collique there is another valley called Sana, which resembles the others. Further on is the valley of Pacasmayu, which is the most fertile and populous of any that I have yet mentioned. The natives of this valley, before they were conquered by the Yncas, were powerful, and respected by their neighbours, and they had great{241} temples where they offered sacrifices to their gods. They are all now in ruins. In the rocks and hills of the surrounding desert there are a great quantity of Huacas, which are the burial-places of these Indians. In all these valleys there are clergymen or friars who look after the conversion and teaching of the Indians, not permitting them to practise their ancient religious customs or usages.

A very fine river flows through this valley of Pacasmayu, whence they lead many large channels, sufficient to irrigate all the fields that are cultivated by the Indians, and they raise the fruits and roots already enumerated. The royal road of the Yncas passes through this valley, as it does through all the others, and here there were great buildings for the Yncas’ use. The natives tell some ancient traditions of their fathers, which, being fables, I shall not write down. The lieutenants of the Yncas collected the tribute, and stored it in the buildings which were made to receive it, whence it was taken to the chief station in the province, the place selected for the residence of the captain-general, and where the temple of the sun was erected.

In this valley of Pacasmayu they make a great quantity of cotton cloth; the land is suited for breeding cows, still better for pigs and goats, and the climate is healthy. I passed through this valley in the month of September, in the year 1548, to join the other soldiers who had come from the government of Popayan to reinforce the royal camp, and chastise the late rebellion. It then appeared to me to be extremely pleasant, and I praised God on seeing its freshness, with so many trees and flowers, and branches full of a thousand kinds of birds.

Further on is the valley of Chacama,[359] not less fertile and{242} abundant than that of Pascamayu, and in addition it contains great quantities of sweet cane, of which they make much excellent sugar, and other conserves. There is here a Dominican monastery, which the reverend father Friar Domingo de Santo Tomas founded.

Four leagues further on is the valley of Chimu,[360] which is broad and very large, and here the city of Truxillo is built. Some Indians relate that, in ancient times, before the Yncas extended their sway so far, there was a powerful lord in this valley, who was called Chimu, as the valley is now. He did great things, was victorious in many battles, and built certain edifices which even now, though so ancient, clearly appear to have been very grand. When the Kings Yncas made themselves lords of these coast valleys, they held that of Chimu in great estimation, and ordered large buildings and pleasure-houses to be erected in it. The royal road, built with its walls, also passes through the valley. The native chiefs of this valley were always esteemed and held to be rich. This is known to be true, for in the tombs of the principal men much gold and silver have been found.[361] But at present there are few Indians in the valley,{243} most of the land being divided amongst Spaniards who are citizens of the new city of Truxillo, to form their estates. The sea port, called the roadstead of Truxillo, is not very far from the valley, and all along the coast they kill much fish for the supply of the city and of the Indians themselves.{244}


Of the founding of the city of Truxillo, and who was the founder.

THE city of Truxillo is founded in the valley of Chimu, near a large and beautiful river, whence they draw channels by which the Spaniards irrigate their orchards and flower gardens. This city of Truxillo is situated in a region which is considered healthy, and on all sides it is surrounded by estates which the Spaniards call granges and farms, where the citizens have their flocks and crops. All the land is irrigated, and in all parts there are many vines, fig and pomegranate trees, and other fruits of Spain, great abundance of wheat, and many orange trees, and it is a pleasant thing to see the flowers. There are also lemons, limes, and citrons, besides plenty of excellent fruits of the country, and they breed many fowls and rear capons. It may be said that the Spanish inhabitants of this city are provided with all they require, having abundance of all the things which I have enumerated. There is no want of fish, as they have the sea not much more than half a league off. The city is built in a level part of the valley, in the midst of a refreshing grove of trees. It is well built, with broad streets and a large open square.[362] The Indians of the Sierra come down from their provinces to serve those Spaniards who hold them in encomienda,[363] and they supply the town with the things they have in their own villages. Vessels sail from the port, laden with cotton cloth made by the Indians, for sale in other parts. The Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor and captain-general in the kingdoms of Peru, founded this city of Truxillo, in the name of the Emperor Charles our Lord, in the year of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ 1535.{245}


Of the other valleys and villages along the coast road, as far as the City of the Kings.

IN the mountains, before reaching the City of the Kings, are the cities of the frontier of Chachapoyas, and that of Leon de Huanuco. I have determined that I will say nothing of these until I begin to give an account of the villages and provinces in the mountains, which still await my notice. I will then write conceiving their foundation, with as much brevity as I can, but at present we must pass forward on our road.

The distance from the city of Truxillo to that of the Kings is eighty leagues, over sandy deserts and intervening valleys.[364] After leaving Truxillo the first village is Guanape, being seven leagues on the road. This valley was no less noted among the natives in times past for the chicha which was brewed there, than Madrigal or San Martin in Castille are for the good wine that they yield. In ancient times the valley of Guanape was very populous, and was the residence of chiefs, who were honourably and well treated by the Yncas after they submitted to their rule. The Indians who have survived the wars and troubles are skilful in their labour, drawing channels of water from the river to irrigate their fields. The remains may be clearly seen of the buildings and store-houses erected by the Kings Yncas. There is a useful port at this valley, where many of the ships which sail on the South Sea, from Panama to Peru, call for supplies.

From Guanape the road leads to the valley of Santa, but before reaching it there is a valley with no river, but a small well at which travellers quench their thirst. This well may be caused by some river which flows through the bowels of the earth. In former days the valley of Santa was very{246} populous, and there were great chiefs who, at first, even defied the Yncas. They say of them that it was more by intrigue and a display of friendship than by force of arms, that they were induced to acknowledge the Yncas as their lords. Afterwards the Yncas honoured them, and held them in great esteem, and the chiefs erected grand edifices by order of the Yncas. This valley is one of the largest of any we have passed. A great and rapid river flows through it, which is much swollen when the season in the Sierra is winter, so that some Spaniards have been drowned in crossing from one side to the other.[365] There are now balsas for crossing in. The valley contained many thousands of Indians in former times, but now there are only four hundred; and this is a lamentable thing to contemplate. That which I most admired, in passing through this valley, was the great number of burial-places, and that in all parts of the barren hills above the valley there were quantities of tombs made according to the custom of the Indians, and full of the bones of the dead. Thus the things that are most worthy of notice in the valley are the tombs of the dead and the fields which they cultivated when alive. They used to take great channels of water from the river, with which they irrigated the land. But now there are few Indians, and most of the fields which were once cultivated, are converted into woods, ground overgrown with brambles, and such dense thickets that, in some places, it is difficult to make a way through them. The natives go dressed in shirts and mantles, and the women also. They wear a head-dress on their heads to distinguish them from other tribes. All the fruits I have already mentioned grow well in this valley,{247} and the pulses of Spain; and the Indians kill much fish. The ships sailing along the coast always take in water at the river of Santa. And as there are many thickets and few inhabitants, the mosquitos swarm in such numbers as to be grievous to those who pass through or sleep in this valley.

Two days’ journey further on is the valley of Huambacho, of which I shall say no more than that it resembles those already described, that there were buildings in it erected by its chiefs, and that the inhabitants drew channels of water from the river which flows through it, to irrigate their crops.

I went in a day and a-half from this valley to that of Guarmay, which was likewise very populous in former days.[366] At present they breed great quantities of cattle, horses, and pigs in it.

From Guarmay the road leads to Parmonga, which is no less pleasant than the other valleys, but I believe that it contains no Indians at all who avail themselves of its fertility. If, by chance, a few remain, it must be in the upper parts near the foot of the mountains, for we saw nothing but trees and wild thickets. There is one thing worth seeing in this valley, which is a fine well-built fortress, and it is certainly very curious to see how they raised water in channels to irrigate higher levels. The buildings were very handsome, and many wild beasts and birds were painted on the walls, which are now all in ruins and undermined in many places by those who have searched for buried gold and silver. In these days the fortress only serves as a witness to that which has been.[367]


Two leagues from this valley is the river Huaman, a word which, in our language, means “falcon,” but it is usually called “the ravine.”[368] When it rains much in the Sierra, this river is dangerous, and some people have been drowned in crossing it. One day’s journey further on brings us to the valley of Huara, whence we pass to that of Lima.


Of the situation of the City of Kings, of its founding, and who was the founder.

THE valley of Lima is the largest and broadest of all those of which I have written between it and Tumbez; and, as it was large, so it was very populous. But now there are few native Indians, for, as the city was built on their land, and as their fields and water-courses were taken from them, some have now gone to one valley and some to another. If by chance some have remained, they continue to irrigate their fields. At the time when the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado came to this kingdom, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, who was his Majesty’s governor, was in Cuzco; and, while the marshal Don Diego de Almagro was doing those things which I mentioned in my chapter on Riobamba, he came down to the coast, and determined to{249} found a city in this valley. At that time neither Truxillo, Arequipa, Guamanga, nor any of the other cities were commenced. While the governor Don Francisco Pizarro was thinking of founding this city, after having inspected Sangallan, and other sites on the coast, he one day came with some Spaniards to the place where the city now stands, and it appeared to him a convenient site, possessing all necessary advantages. He, therefore, soon afterwards laid out a plan, and built the city on a level part of the valley, two short leagues from the sea. Above this site a river flows from the east, which has little water when it is summer in the Sierra, but which is somewhat swollen when it is winter. The city is so near the river that a strong arm may throw a small stone into it from the plaza, and on that side it cannot be enlarged. After Cuzco it is the largest city in the whole kingdom of Peru, and the most important.[369] It contains very fine houses, and some ornamental buildings with towers and terraces. The plaza is large[370] and the streets broad, and through every street a channel of water flows, which is no small convenience. The water from these channels serves to irrigate the orchards and gardens, which are numerous, refreshing, and delightful. At this time the Court and Royal Chancellory is established in the city, for which reason, and because all the business of the country is done here, there are always many people in the city, and rich shops for the sale of merchandise. In the year that I departed from this kingdom there were many inhabitants of this city who possessed encomiendas of Indians, and were so rich and prosperous, that they valued their estates at 150,00{250} ducats and upwards. In fine, I left them very rich and prosperous, and ships often sail from the port of this city, each carrying 800,00 ducats, and some more than a million. I pray to Almighty God that, as it will be for his service, for the spread of our holy faith, and for the salvation of our souls, he will allow this wealth to increase continually.

On the east side of the city there is a great and lofty hill, on the top of which a cross is planted.[371] Outside the city there are many farms and estates on all sides, where the Spaniards have their flocks and pigeon-cotes, vineyards, and refreshing orchards full of the fruits of the country, figs, bananas, sugar-canes, melons, oranges, lemons, limes, citrons, and beans brought from Spain. All is so good, that no fault can be found, but rather thanks should be offered up to the great God our Lord, who made all these things. Certainly, if all commotions and wars were at an end, this would be one of the best countries in the world to pass a life in,[372] for we see in it neither hunger, nor pestilence, nor rain, nor thunder and lightning, but the heavens are always serene and very beautiful. I could have mentioned some other particulars, but as it seems to me that I have said enough, I shall pass on, concluding by saying that the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor and captain-general in these kingdoms, founded the city in the name of his Majesty the Emperor Charles our lord, in the year of our salvation 1535.[373]



Of the valley of Pachacamac, and of the very ancient temple in it, and how it was reverenced by the Yncas.

FOUR leagues from the City of the Kings, travelling down the coast, is the valley of Pachacamac, which is very famous among these Indians. This valley is fruitful and pleasant, and in it there was one of the grandest temples that is to be seen in these parts. They say of it that, although the Kings Yncas built many temples besides the temple of Cuzco, and enriched them greatly, yet none were equal to this temple of Pachacamac. It was built on the top of a small hill, entirely made of earth and adobes (bricks baked in the sun). The edifice had many doors, and the doors and walls were painted over with wild beasts. Within the temple, where they placed the idol, were the priests, who feigned no small amount of sanctity. When they performed sacrifices before the people, they went with their faces towards the doors and their backs to the idols, with their eyes to the ground, and they were filled with a mighty trembling. Indeed, their perturbation was so great, according to the accounts of those Indians who are still living, that it may almost be compared with that of which we read concerning the priests of Apollo when the gentiles sought for their vain replies. The Indians further relate that they sacrificed animals, and some human blood of persons whom they had killed, before the figure of this devil, which, at their most solemn festivals, gave replies, and when the people heard them, they believed them to be true. In the terraces and lower parts of this temple a great sum in gold and silver was buried.

The priests were much reverenced, and the chiefs obeyed them in many of the things which they ordered. Near the temple many great buildings were erected for the use of{252} those who came on pilgrimage, and no one was considered worthy to be buried in the vicinity of the temple except the chiefs, or those who came as pilgrims bringing offerings to the temple.[374] When the annual festivals of the year were celebrated, a great concourse of people assembled, rejoicing to the sound of such instruments of music as they use.

When the Lords Yncas, in extending their sway, came to this valley of Pachacamac, and saw the grandeur and great antiquity of the temple, and the reverence paid to it by all the people in the neighbourhood, they knew that it would be very difficult to put aside this feeling, although it was their general practice to order temples to the sun to be built in all the countries they conquered. They, therefore, agreed with the native chiefs and with the ministers of this god or devil, that the temple of Pachacamac should continue with the authority and reverence it formerly possessed, and that{253} the loftiest part should be set aside as a temple of the sun. This order of the Yncas having been obeyed, the temple of the sun became very rich, and many virgins were placed in it. The devil Pachacamac was delighted with this agreement, and they affirm that he showed great satisfaction in his replies, seeing that his ends were served both by the one party and the other, while the souls of the unfortunate simpletons remained in his power.

Some Indians say that this accursed demon Pachacamac still talks with the aged people. As he sees that his authority and credit are gone, and that many of those who once served him have now formed a contrary opinion, he declares that he and the God of whom the Christians preach are one, and thus with other false and deceitful words induces some to refuse the water of baptism. Nevertheless God, taking pity on the souls of these sinners, is served by many coming to His knowledge and calling themselves sons of the church. Thus every day some are baptised. The temple is now so completely dismantled that the principal edifice is gone altogether, and in the place where the devil was once so served and adored, a cross is planted to increase his terror, and to be a comfort to the faithful.

The name of this devil is intended to signify “creator of the world,” for camac means “creator,” and pacha, “the world.” When the governor Don Francisco Pizarro (God permitting it) seized Atahualpa in the province of Caxamarca, he heard wonderful reports of this temple, and of its great riches. He, therefore, sent his brother, the captain Hernando Pizarro, with some Spanish troops, with orders to seek out the valley, and take all the gold he could find in the accursed temple, with which he was to return to Caxamarca. Although the captain Hernando Pizarro succeeded in reaching the temple of Pachacamac, it is notorious among the people that the priests had already taken away four hundred loads of gold, which have never yet appeared, nor do{254} any Indians now living know where they are. Nevertheless Hernando Pizarro (the first Spanish captain who came to this place) found some gold and silver. As time passed on, the captain Rodrigo Orgoñez, Francisco de Godoy, and others, took a large sum of gold and silver from the burial places. It is considered that there is much more, but as the place where it was buried is unknown, it was lost. From the time that Hernando Pizarro and his Christians entered the temple, the devil has had little power, the idols have been destroyed, and the temple and other edifices have fallen into ruins. Insomuch that very few Indians now remain in the place. This valley is as full of trees as the other valleys, and many cows and other stock are reared in the fields, besides mares, from which come some good horses.[375]



Of the valleys between Pachacamac and the fortress of Huarco, and of a notable thing which is done in the valley of Huarco.

FROM this temple of Pachacamac, where the temple is, the road leads to Chilca, and at that place there is a thing well worthy of note, for it is very strange. It is this,—that neither rain falls from heaven, nor does any river or spring flow through the land, and yet the greater part of the valley is full of crops of Indian corn, of roots, and of fruit trees. It is a marvellous thing to hear what the Indians do in this valley. In order to secure the necessary moisture, they make broad and very deep holes where they sow their crops, and God is served by their growing with the aid of dew alone; but by no means could they make the maize grow if they did not put two heads of sardines to each grain, these sardines being small fish which they catch with nets in the sea. At the time of sowing, these fishes heads are put with the maize in the same hole that is made for the grain, and in this manner the grain grows and yields abundantly. It is certainly a notable thing that in a land where it does not rain, and where nothing but a very fine dew falls, people should be able to live at their ease. The water which the natives of this village drink is taken from very deep wells, and they catch so many sardines in the sea, that the supply is sufficient to maintain all the inhabitants, besides using{256} many for manuring the crops. There were buildings and store-houses of the Yncas in this valley, for their reception when they visited the provinces of their kingdom.[376]

Three leagues beyond Chilca is the valley of Mala, where the devil, for men’s sins, completed the evil which had commenced in this land, and secured the breaking out of war between the two governors, Don Francisco Pizarro and Don Diego de Almagro. First, a number of events took place, and at last they left the decision of the dispute (as to which of the governments the city of Cuzco belonged) in the hands and power of Francisco de Bobadilla, a friar of the order of our Lady of Mercy. After a solemn oath had been taken by one captain and by the other, the two Adelantados Pizarro and Almagro met, but no result came of the interview, and Don Diego de Almagro returned, with great dissimulation, to his own troops and captains.[377] The umpire Bobadilla then pronounced his judgment on the dispute, and declared that which I shall write in the fourth part of this history, in the first book, entitled “The war of Las Salinas.”{257}

A fine river, bordered by thickets of trees and bushes, flows through this valley of Mala.[378]

A little more than five leagues beyond the valley of Mala is that of Guarco, which is highly spoken of in this kingdom, being large, broad, and full of fruit trees.[379] Especially there are many guayavas, which are very delicious and fragrant, and still more guavas. The wheat and maize yield plentifully, and all other things that are sown, as well those of the country as the trees of Spain. There are also pigeons, doves, and other kinds of birds. The thickets of bushes in this valley are very shady, and irrigating channels flow through them. The inhabitants say that, in times past, the valley was very populous, and that the people contended with their neighbours, and with those of the Sierra.

When the Yncas advanced their conquests and extended their sway over all the provinces they came in contact with, the natives of this valley had no wish to become vassals, seeing that their fathers had left them free. They showed great valour, and maintained the war with no less spirit than virtue for more than four years, during which time many notable things fell out between the combatants. It was a protracted war, and although the Ynca himself retired to Cuzco in the summer, on account of the heat, his troops continued fighting. On account of the length of the war, which the Ynca desired to bring to a close, he came down with his nobles to build a new city which he called Cuzco, after his principal seat of government. The Indians relate that he ordered that the different divisions of the new{258} city should have the same names as those of Cuzco. Finally, but not until they had fought to the last extremity, the natives of the valley of Guarco were subdued, and subjected to the yoke of the tyrant king, who had no other right to be their lord than that which the fortune of war had given him.[380] Having brought the enterprise to a successful conclusion, the Ynca returned with his troops to Cuzco, and the name of the new city was lost. Nevertheless he ordered the most handsome and imposing fortress in the whole kingdom to be erected on a high hill commanding the valley, to commemorate his victory. It is built on great square slabs, the portals are very well made, and the halls and courts are very large. From the upper part of this royal house a stone flight of steps leads down to the sea, and the waves dash with such force against the base of the edifice, that it causes wonder to think how it could have been built with such strength and solidity. In its time this fortress was richly adorned with paintings, and it contained great treasure in the days of the Kings Yncas. Although the building is so strong, and the stones so large, there does not appear to be any mortar or other cement by which they were joined together. When the edifice was built they say that, on reaching the interior of the rock, they made holes with their picks and other tools, and filled them with great slabs and stones, and thus it is that the building is so strong. Considering that it is built by these Indians, the building is worthy of praise, and must cause admiration to those who see it, although now it is ruined and deserted. It may still be seen to have been a great work in times past. It seems to me that both Spaniards{259} and Indians should be forbidden, under heavy penalties, from doing further injury either to this building or to the remains of the fortress at Cuzco; for these two edifices are those which should cause most admiration in all Peru, and, as time rolls on, they may even be made use of for some good purpose.[381]



Of the great province of Chincha, and how much it was valued in ancient times.

ABOUT two leagues beyond the fortress of Guarco is a rather large river called Lunahuana, and the valley which it forms is like all the rest. Six miles further on is the large and beautiful valley of Chincha, so far famed throughout Peru, as well as feared in former days by the other natives. When the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen companions, discovered the coast of this kingdom, it was said on all sides that Chincha was the fairest and best part of it. Thus it was that, by reason of the fame borne by the place, and without knowing the secrets of the soil, he sought from his Majesty the government of a territory extending from the river of Santiago or Tempulla to this valley of Chincha.[382]

As to the origin of the Indians of Chincha, they say that, in time past, a quantity of them set out under the banner of a valiant captain of their own tribe and arrived at this valley of Chincha, where they found many inhabitants, but all of such small stature that the tallest was barely two cubits high. The new comers being valiant, and the natives cowardly and timid, the former gained possession. They also affirm that all the natives perished, and that the fathers of the grandfathers of men now alive saw their bones in certain tombs which were as small as has been described.

These Indians thus became lords of the valley; they{261} flourished and multiplied, and built their villages close together. They say that they heard a certain oracle near a rock, and that they all hold the place to be sacred. They call it Chincha and Camay. They constantly made sacrifices, and the devil held converse with the older men, and deceived them as he did all the other Indians. The principal chiefs of the valley, and many other Indians, have now become Christians, and a monastery of the glorious Saint Dominic has been founded in the valley.

But to return to our subject. They affirm that the Indians of this valley increased so rapidly in numbers and in power, that those of the other neighbouring valleys sought friendship and alliance with them as a great honour and advantage. Finding themselves so powerful, they are said to have set out to rob the provinces of the Sierra at the time that the first Yncas were founding the city of Cuzco. They are said to have done much mischief in Soras and Lucanas, and to have got as far as the great province of the Collao, whence, after having taken great spoils, and gained many victories, they returned to their valley. Here they and their descendants lived, given up to their pleasures and amusements, with over many women, and following the same rites and customs as the other tribes. The valley was so populous, that many Spaniards say, that when the Marquis conquered it, it contained more than 25,00 men. At present, I believe, that there are barely 500, such have been the strifes and misfortunes they have gone through. The lordship of this valley was also safe and prosperous until the valiant Ynca Yupanqui extended his rule in this direction. Wishing to bring the chiefs of Chincha under his rule, he sent a captain of his own lineage, named Ccapac Ynca Yupanqui, with an army of many Orejones and others, who reached the valley, and had several encounters with the natives. Not being able to subjugate them, the Orejones passed on; but in the time of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui,{262} father of Huayna Ccapac, they were finally conquered, and from that time they obeyed the laws of the Lords Yncas; the villages of the valley were ruled by them, and great buildings and storehouses were erected for the King. The Yncas did not deprive the chiefs of their lordship, but his delegate lived in the valley, and the natives were ordered to worship the sun. Thus a temple was built, and many virgins and priests to celebrate festivals resided in it. But, notwithstanding that this temple of the sun was so pre-eminently established, the natives did not cease to worship also in their ancient temple of Chinchaycama. The Kings Yncas also sent Mitimaes into this great valley, and ordered that, during certain months in the year, the native chiefs should reside at the court of Cuzco. The chief of Chincha, who is still living, was in most of the wars which were waged during the time of Huayna Ccapac. He is a man of ability and good understanding for an Indian.

This valley is one of the largest in all Peru, and it is a beautiful thing to see its channels of water and groves of trees, and the great abundance of fruit, more especially the luscious and fragrant pepinos, not like those of Spain, although they bear some resemblance. These are yellow when the peel is taken off, and so delicious that it is necessary to eat many of them before a man is satisfied. In the thickets there are the same birds as have already been mentioned. There are scarcely any sheep of the country, because the wars between the Christians have caused their destruction. This valley yields plenty of wheat, and they cultivate vines which they have planted. The valley yields all the other things which have been planted by the Spaniards.

There were an immense quantity of burial-places made on the surrounding arid heights. The Spaniards opened many of them, and obtained a great quantity of gold. The native Indians were fond of dancing, and the chiefs went about{263} with much ceremony and parade, and were reverenced by their vassals. After the Yncas established their rule, the natives copied many customs from them, adopted their dress, and imitated them in all other things as their sole lords.

The large population of this great valley has been reduced by the long civil wars in Peru, and because many natives have been taken away to carry burdens for the Spaniards (as is well known).


Of the other valley, as far as the province of Tarapaca.

AFTER leaving the beautiful province of Chincha, and travelling over sandy wastes, the traveller reaches the refreshing valley of Yca, which was not less rich and populous than the others. A river flows through it, which, during some months in the year when the season is summer in the Sierra, has so little water that the inhabitants of the valley feel the want of it. In the days of their prosperity, before they were subdued by the Spaniards, and when they enjoyed the government of the Yncas, besides the channels with which they irrigated the valley, they had one much larger than the rest, brought with great skill from the mountains in such wise that it flowed without reducing the quantity of water in the river.[383] Now that this great channel is destroyed, they make deep holes in the bed of the river when it is dry, and thus they obtain water to drink, and for watering their crops. In this valley of Yca there were great lords in former times who were much feared and reverenced. The Yncas ordered palaces and other buildings to be made in the valley. The inhabitants had the same{264} customs as the other Indians, burying live women and great treasure with their dead.

In this valley there are very large woods of algaroba trees, and many fruit trees of the kinds already described; besides deer, pigeons, doves, and other game. The people breed much cattle.[384]

From this valley of Yca the road leads to the beautiful rivers and valleys of Nasca,[385] which were also very populous in times past, and the streams were made to irrigate the fields. The late wars destroyed by their cruelty (as is well known) all these poor Indians. Some Spaniards of credit told me that the greatest harm to the Indians was done during the dispute of the two governors Pizarro and Almagro, respecting the boundaries of their jurisdictions, which cost so dear, as the reader will see in the proper place.

In the principal valley of those of Nasca (which by another name is called Caxamalca) there were great edifices built by order of the Yncas.[386] I have nothing more to say of the{265} natives than that they also assert that their ancestors were valiant, and esteemed by the Kings of Cuzco. I have heard that the Spaniards took a quantity of treasure from the burial-places, or huacas. These valleys being so fertile, as I have said, a great quantity of sweet canes have been planted in one of them, of which they make much sugar for sale in the cities of this kingdom. The great road of the Yncas passes through all these valleys, and in some parts of the desert signs may be seen to indicate the road that should be taken.

Beyond these valleys of Nasca is that of Acari, and further on are those of Ocoña, Camana, and Quilca, in which there are great rivers.[387] Notwithstanding that at the present time these valleys contain few inhabitants, in former times they were populous, but the wars and calamities have reduced their numbers of late years until there are now few left. These valleys are as fruitful and abundant as the others, and are well adapted for breeding stock.

Beyond this valley of Quilca,[388] which is the port of the city of Arequipa, are those of Chuli, Tambopalla, and Ylo. Further on are the rich valleys of Tarapaca. Out of the sea, in the neighbourhood of these valleys, rise some islands much frequented by seals. The natives go to them in balsas, and bring a great quantity of the dung of birds from{266} the rocks, to apply to their crops of maize, and they find it so efficacious that the land, which formerly was sterile, becomes very rich and fruitful. If they cease to use this manure they reap little maize. Indeed the people could not be supported if the birds, lodging on the rocks round these islands, did not leave that which is afterwards collected, and considered so valuable as to become an article of trade between the natives.[389]

It does not appear to me necessary to dwell longer on the things concerning these valleys, for I have already written down the principal things I saw or was able to obtain notice of. I will conclude, therefore, by saying that there are now few natives, and that in ancient times there were palaces and store-houses in all the valleys, the tribute rendered to the Kings Yncas being conveyed partly to Cuzco, partly to Hatuncolla, partly to Vilcas, and partly to Caxamalca. The principal grandeur of the Yncas was in the Sierra. I now pass on to the valleys of Tarapaca.

It is certain that there are very rich mines in these{267} valleys of Tarapaca, of white and resplendent silver. Further on, I am told by those who have travelled in these parts, there are some deserts which extend to the borders of the government of Chile.[390] Along all this coast they kill fish, some of them good, and the Indians make balsas of sealskin for their fishing; and in some parts there are so many seals that the noise they make when congregating together is a thing worth hearing.


Of the founding of the city of Arequipa, how it was founded, and who was its founder.

THE distance from the City of the Kings to that of Arequipa is one hundred and twenty leagues. The city of Arequipa is built in the valley of Quilca, fourteen leagues from the sea, in the most healthy and best part for building. The situation and climate of this city is so good that it is praised as the most healthy in all Peru, and the most pleasant. The country yields very good wheat, of which they make excellent bread. The jurisdiction of the city extends from Acari to Tarapaca, and there are also some villages belonging to it in the province of Condesuyo. Hubinas, Chiquiguanita, Quimistaca, and Collaguas are villages belonging to this city, which were formerly very populous, and possessed many flocks of sheep. The civil wars of the Spaniards have now destroyed the greater part both of the natives and of the sheep. The Indians who were natives of these mountain villages worshipped the sun, and buried their chiefs in great tombs, in the same manner as was practised by other Indians. They all go about clothed in shirts and{268} mantles. Ancient royal roads traversed these parts, made for the Kings; there were palaces and store-houses, and all the natives gave tribute of their crops. This city of Arequipa, being so near a seaport, is well supplied with Spanish goods, and most of the treasure which is sent from Charcas comes here, and is put on board ships which are generally lying off Quilca, to be taken to the city of the Kings.

Some Indians and Christians declare that, opposite to Acari, but very far out at sea, there are some large and rich islands, and it is publicly reported that much gold is brought from them to trade with the natives of this coast. I left Peru in 1550, and in that year the Lords of the Royal Audience charged the captain Gomez de Solis with the discovery of these islands. It is believed that they must be rich, if they exist.

Concerning the founding of the city of Arequipa I have only to say that, when it was founded, it was in another place, and that it was removed to its present site, as being more convenient.[391] Near it there is a volcano, which some fear will burst forth and do mischief.[392] Sometimes there are great earthquakes in this city,[393] which the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro founded and settled, in the name of his Majesty, in the year of our redemption 1540.{269}


In which it is declared how that, beyond the province of Huancabamba, there is that of Caxamarca, and other large and very populous provinces.

IN most of the provinces of this great kingdom the natives imitate each other so closely that, in many things, one may say that they all seem to be one people; and for this reason I touch briefly upon such matters in some parts of my work, because I have treated more fully of them in others.

Now that I have finished all I have to say concerning the coast valleys, I shall return to the mountains. I have already written an account of the villages and edifices from Quito to Loxa, and of the province of Huancabamba, where I halted, in order to treat of the foundation of San Miguel and of other subjects. Returning now to the former route, it seems to me that the distance from Huancabamba to the province of Caxamarca is fifty leagues, a little more or less. This province is famous as the scene of Atahualpa’s imprisonment, and is noted throughout the kingdom for its riches. The natives of Caxamarca state that they were much esteemed by their neighbours before the Yncas subdued them, and that they had their temples and places of worship in the loftier parts of the mountains. Some of them say that they were first subdued by the Ynca Yupanqui, others that it was not so, but that his son Tupac Ynca Yupanqui first conquered them. Whoever it may have been, it is stated positively that before he became lord of Caxamarca, they killed the greater part of his troops, and that they were brought under his yoke more by intrigues and by soft and winning speeches than by force.[394] The native{270} chiefs of this province were much respected by their Indians, and they had many women. One of the wives was the principal, and her son, if she had one, succeeded in the lordship. When the chiefs died the same customs were observed as have already been described. Their wives and riches were buried with them, and there was much and long-continued lamentation. Their temples and places of worship were much venerated, and the blood of sheep and lambs was offered up as sacrifice. They say that the ministers of these temples conversed with the devil; and when they celebrated their festivals, they assembled a vast concourse of people in a clear open space, and performed dances, during which they consumed no small quantity of wine made from maize. They all go dressed in mantles and rich tunics, and wear a peculiar head-dress as a distinguishing mark, being narrow cords in the manner of a fillet.

When the Yncas had subdued this province of Caxamarca, it is said that they valued it greatly, and ordered{271} palaces and a very grand temple of the sun to be built, besides many store-houses. The virgins of the temple were employed in weaving very fine cloths, which they dyed with better and more perfect colours than can be done in most other parts of the world. In this temple there were great riches for its services; and on certain days the ministers saw the devil, with whom they had intercourse and converse. There were a great number of Mitimaes in this province of Caxamarca, obeying the superintendent, who had orders to collect tribute and bear rule over the province. The officers in charge of store-houses in various parts of the country came to him to give an account of their charge, for he was the chief officer in these districts, and also bore rule over many of the coast valleys. And although the people on the coast had the temples and sanctuaries already described by me, and many others, yet many of them came to worship the sun, and to offer sacrifices. There are many things worthy of note in the palaces of the Yncas, especially some very fine baths, where the chiefs bathed when they were lodged in those edifices.[395]


Now the province of Caxamarca is much diminished in importance; for when Huayna Ccapac, the rightful king of these realms, died in the very year that the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen companions, by the grace of God, discovered this prosperous kingdom, his first-born and general heir, Huascar, being the eldest son that he had by his legitimate wife the Ccoya (which is the name of the Queen), took the fringe and crown of the whole kingdom,[396] as soon as his father’s death was known in Cuzco. He sent messengers in all directions, with orders that, since his father was dead, all men should obey him as sole lord. But, during the war of Quito, waged by Huayna Ccapac, the great captains Chalcuchima, Quizquiz, Yncla-hualpec, and Rumi-ñaui had been engaged, who were very famous, and had intrigued to make another new Cuzco in Quito, and to form a kingdom in the northern province, divided and separated from Cuzco. They wished to take for their lord a noble and very intelligent youth named Atahualpa, who was well beloved by all the veteran soldiers and captains, for he had set out with his father from Cuzco at a tender age, and marched with the army for{273} a long time. Some Indians even say that Huayna Ccapac himself, before his death, reflecting that the kingdom which he left was so vast as to extend along a thousand leagues of coast, determined to leave Quito and his other conquests to Atahualpa. However this may be, it is certain that, when Atahualpa and his followers knew that Huascar desired them to yield obedience to him, they took up arms. It is said, however, that at first, by the cunning of one captain Atoco, Atahualpa was made prisoner in the province of Tumebamba, and that he escaped by the help of a woman, and reached Quito, where he assembled his troops. He gave battle to the captain Atoco near Ambato, and the army of Huascar was then defeated, as I shall more fully relate in the third part of this work, in which I treat of the discovery and conquest of this kingdom. As soon as the defeat and death of Atoco were known in Cuzco, the captains Huancauque and Yncaroque, with a large force, set out from Cuzco by order of the King Huascar, and waged a great war with Atahualpa, to force him to yield obedience to the rightful King Huascar. Atahualpa not only refused to do this, but sought to obtain the kingdom for himself. Thus there was a great struggle, and it is affirmed by the Indians themselves that more than 100,00 men were killed in the wars and battles, in which Atahualpa was always victorious.[397]{274} At last he came with his army to the province of Caxamarca (which is the reason that I treat of his history in this{275} part), and here he first heard of the strange people who had entered the country, and who were then not far off. Thinking it certain that it would be very easy to capture them and hold them as his servants, he ordered his captain Chalcuchima to march to Cuzco with a great army, and either seize or kill his enemy. Meanwhile he himself remained in Caxamarca, at which place the governor Don Francisco Pizarro arrived, and afterwards those events took place which ended in the encounter between the forces of Atahualpa and the Spaniards (who did not number more than one hundred and fifty men), the death of many Indians, and the imprisonment of Atahualpa. Owing to these troubles, and to the length of time that the Christian Spaniards remained there, Caxamarca received much damage, and as, for our sins, there have never ceased to be civil wars, it has not recovered. It is held in encomienda by the captain Melchor Verdugo, a citizen of Truxillo.[398] All the edifices of{276} the Yncas and the storehouses are, like the rest, in a ruinous condition.

This province of Caxamarca is very fertile, and yields wheat like another Sicily. They also breed stock, and raise abundance of maize and of edible roots, and of all the fruits which I have mentioned as growing in other parts. Besides these, there are falcons, many partridges, doves, pigeons, and other game. The natives are well-mannered, peaceful, and amongst themselves they have some good customs, so as to pass through this life without care. They think little of honour, and are not ambitious of having any, but they are hospitable to Christians who pass through their province, and give them good food, without doing them any evil turn, even when the traveller is solitary. For these and other things the Spaniards praise the Indians of Caxamarca. They are very ingenious in forming irrigating channels, building houses, cultivating the land, breeding stock, and in working gold and silver. They also make, with their hands, as good tapestry from the wool of their sheep as is to be found in Flanders, and so fine that{277} the threads of it look like silk, although they are only wool. The women are amorous, and some of them are beautiful. They go dressed in the same way as the Pallas, or ladies of Cuzco. The temples and huacas are now in ruins, and the idols are broken, many of the Indians having become Christians. There are always priests and friars among them, teaching them our holy Catholic faith.


Of the foundation of the city of the frontier, who was its founder, and of some customs of the Indians in the province.

BEFORE reaching this province of Caxamarca, a road branches off, which was also made by order of the Kings Yncas. It leads to the country of the Chachapoyas, where the city of the frontier is built. It will be necessary to relate how it was founded, and I shall then pass on to treat of Huanuco. I hold it to be quite certain that, before the Spaniards conquered this country of Peru, the Yncas, who were its natural lords, had great wars and made many conquests. The Chachapoyas Indians were conquered by them, although they first, in order to defend their liberty, and to live in ease and tranquillity, fought with such fury that the Yncas fled before them. But the power of the Yncas was so great that the Chachapoyas Indians were finally forced to become servants to those Kings, who desired to{278} extend their sway over all people.[399] As soon as the royal government of the Yncas was established, many persons came from Cuzco to secure its continuance, who received land to cultivate, and sites for their houses, not very far from a hill called Carmenca, close to the present city. As there were disturbances in the provinces bordering on Chachapoyas, the Yncas ordered frontier garrisons to be established under the command of some of the Orejones, to overawe the natives. For this reason there were great stores of all the arms used by the Ynca soldiers, to be ready in case of need.

These Indians of Chachapoyas are the most fair and good-looking of any that I have seen in the Indies, and their women are so beautiful that many of them were worthy to be wives of the Yncas, or inmates of the temples of the sun. To this day the Indian women of this race are exceedingly beautiful, for they are fair and well formed. They go dressed in woollen cloths, like their husbands, and on their heads they wear a certain fringe, the sign by which they may be known in all parts. After they were subjugated by the Yncas, they received the laws and customs according to which they lived, from them. They adored the sun and other gods, like the rest of the Indians, and resembled them in other customs, such as the burial of their dead and conversing with the devil.

The marshal Don Alonzo de Alvarado, being a captain{279} under the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, entered this province.[400] After he had conquered it, and reduced the natives to the service of his Majesty, he peopled and founded the city of the frontier in a strong place called Levanto, and began to prepare the ground for building with spades and pickaxes; but in a few days he removed to another province, which is considered healthy, inhabited by the Huancas.[401] The Chachapoyas Indians and these Huancas serve the citizens of the new city who hold encomiendas over them, and the same thing is done in the province called Cascayunca, and in others which I refrain from mentioning, as I have seen little of them. In all these provinces there were great storehouses of the Yncas; the villages are very healthy, and near some of them there are rich gold mines. All the natives go about in clothes, men as well as women. They sacrificed to their gods, and had great flocks of sheep. They made rich and valuable cloth for the Yncas, and they still make it, as well as such fine and beautiful tapestry as would be highly esteemed anywhere. In many parts of the provinces subject to this city, there are trees and fruits like those already described. The land is fertile, and wheat and barley yield well, as well as vines, fig-trees, and other fruit trees of Spain that have been planted. In customs, ceremonies, modes of burial, and sacrifices, the same may be said of these Indians as of all the others, for they also buried their dead in great tombs, accompanied by live women and their riches.{280}

The Spaniards have farms in the vicinity of the city for their crops and animals, where they reap a great quantity of wheat, and the legumes of Spain also yield well. The cordillera of the Andes passes to the eastward of the city, and to the west is the South Sea. Beyond the woods and fastnesses of the Andes is Moyobamba,[402] and other very large rivers, and some villages of Indians who are less civilised than those I have been describing; as I shall repeat in the account of the conquest made by the captain Alonzo de Alvarado in Chachapoyas, and by Juan Perez de Guevara in the provinces which are situated in the forests. It may be held for certain that the land in this part is peopled by the descendants of the famous captain Anco-allo, who, owing to the cruelty of the captains-general of the Ynca towards him, fled from his native country, and went away with those Chancas who desired to follow him,[403] as I{281} shall relate in the second part. Fame relates wonderful things of a lake, on the shores of which it is said that the villages of these people are built.

In the year of our Lord 1550 there arrived at the city of the frontier (the noble cavalier Gomez de Alvarado being then its governor) more than two hundred Indians, who related that it was some years since a great body of them started from the land where they lived, and travelled over many provinces, but that they had fought so many battles that only the number of men I have mentioned were left. These Indians declare that to the eastward there are vast and populous regions, some of them very rich in gold[404] and silver. These Indians, with those who were killed, set out to seek new lands for their homes, at least so I have heard.[405] The captain Gomez de Alvarado, the captain Juan Perez de Guevara, and others, have demanded the grant of this{282} region, and many soldiers have waited on the viceroy for permission to follow these captains, if they receive a commission to make this discovery.

The city of the frontier was founded and settled by the captain Alonzo de Alvarado, in the name of his Majesty, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being his governor of Peru, in the year of our redemption 1536.


Which treats of the foundation of the city of Leon de Huanuco, and who was its founder.

TO describe the founding of the city of Leon de Huanuco, it must be understood, first, that when the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro founded the rich City of the Kings in the valleys and deserts of the coasts, all the provinces which were then within the jurisdiction of that city had to do service, and the citizens held encomiendas over the chiefs. And the tyrant Yllatopa, with other Indians of his tribe, waged war against the natives of the district, and ruined the villages, so that the repartimientos became excessive. At the same time many of the conquerors were without any encomienda of Indians. The Marquis was, therefore, desirous of gratifying these Spaniards, especially some who had followed the Adelantado Don Diego de Almagro, and had afterwards become his friends, by giving them Indians. He wished to satisfy those who had laboured for his Majesty by giving them some profit from the land; and, notwithstanding that the municipality of the City of the Kings protested against what they thought might be to their detriment, he named the captain Gomez de Alvarado, brother to the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, as his{283} lieutenant to found a city in the province called Huanuco, with a small force of Spanish soldiers. Thus Gomez de Alvarado set out, and, after some encounters with the natives, he founded the city of Leon de Huanuco, and named persons to hold offices in it. After some years the new city was abandoned on account of the general insurrection throughout the kingdom. Pedro Barroso returned to build this city again. Finally, with powers from the licentiate Cristoval Vaca de Castro, after the bloody battle of Chupas, Pedro de Puelles completed the settlement, Juan de Varagas and others having previously captured the tyrant Yllatopa. It may, therefore, be said that Gomez de Alvarado founded the city, for he gave it the name it now bears, and if it was abandoned afterwards, this was more from necessity than from inclination. It was founded in the name of his Majesty, by the authority of the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, his governor and captain-general in this kingdom, in the year of the Lord 1539.


Of the situation of this city, of the fertility of its fields, and of the customs of its inhabitants: also concerning a beautiful edifice or palace of the Yncas at Huanuco.

THE situation of this city of Leon de Huanuco is good, and is considered very healthy. It is praised as a place where the nights and mornings are cool, and where men are healthy, owing to a good climate. They reap wheat and maize in great abundance, and they also have grapes, figs, oranges, lemons, limes, and other fruits of Spain; and of the fruits of the country there are many kinds which are excellent. They grow the pulses of Spain, and besides all{284} these there are large banana plantations. Thus it is a prosperous town, and there is hope that it will increase every day. They breed many cows, goats, and mares in the fields, and have abundance of pigeons, doves, partridges, and other birds, as well as falcons to fly at them.[406] In the forests there are some lions and very large bears, besides other animals. The royal roads passed through the villages near this city, and there were store-houses of the Yncas, well supplied with provisions.

In Huanuco there was a fine royal edifice, the stones of which were large and very accurately set. This palace was the chief place in the provinces of the Andes, and near it there was a temple of the sun, with many virgins and priests. It was so grand a place in the time of the Yncas, that more than 30,00 Indians were set apart solely for its service.[407]{285} The overseers of the Indians had charge of the collection of tribute, and the people of the surrounding districts assisted the work at the palace with their services. When the Kings Yncas ordered that the lords of the provinces should appear personally at the court of Cuzco, they came. It is said that the Indians of many of these nations were hardy and valiant, and that, before the Yncas subjugated them, they had many cruel wars, so that the people were scattered and did not know each other, except when they gathered together at their assembles and festivals. They built fortresses on the heights, and carried on wars with each other on very slight provocation. Their temples were in places convenient for making sacrifices and performing other superstitious rites, and where those could hear the replies of the devil who were set apart for that duty. They believed in the immortality of the soul in that same blind fashion as is common with all the other Indians. These Indians of Huanuco are intelligent, but they answer Yes! to everything that is asked of them.[408] The chiefs, when they died, were not put into their tombs alone, but were accompanied by the most beautiful of their wives, as is the custom with all the other tribes. These dead men lie with their souls outside their{286} bodies, and the women who are buried with them in the great vaults await the awful hour of death, holding it to be an auspicious and happy thing to go with their husbands and lords, and believing that they will soon again have to do them the same service as they did in this world. Thus it seemed to them that the sooner they departed from this life the sooner they would see their lords and husbands in the other. This custom originates, as I have said before on other occasions, from the apparition of the devil in the fields and houses, in the form of chiefs who had died, accompanied by their wives who had been buried alive. There were some sorcerers who watched the signs of the stars amongst these Indians.

After these people were conquered by the Yncas they adopted their rites and customs. In each of their villages there were royal store-houses, and they adopted more decent ways of dressing and ornamenting themselves, and spoke the general language of Cuzco in conformity with the law and edict of the Kings, which ordered that all their subjects should know and speak it.

The Conchucos, the great provinces of Huaylos, Tamara, Bombon, and other districts large and small, are under the jurisdiction of this city of Leon de Huanuco; they are all very fertile and productive, yielding many edible roots which are wholesome and nourishing, and good for the sustenance of animal life. In former times there was so great a number of flocks of sheep that they could not be counted, but the late wars have caused their destruction to such an extent that very few remain. The natives preserve them for the sake of their fleeces, from which they make their woollen clothing. The houses of these Indians are built of stone, and thatched with straw. On their heads they all wear peculiar head-dresses of cords, by which they are known. Although the devil has had great power over them, I have not heard that they commit the abominable{287} crime. In truth, however, as in all other parts, there must be bad men among them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In many parts of this province they find great mines of silver, and when the Spaniards begin to work them they will yield largely.


Of what there is to be said concerning the country from Caxamarca to the valley of Xauxa; and of the district of Guamachuco, which borders on Caxamarca.

HAVING told all that I was able to gather touching the foundation of the cities of the frontier of Chachapoyas and of Leon de Huanuco, I shall now return to the royal road, and describe the provinces between Caxamarca and the beautiful valley of Xauxa, a distance of eighty leagues, a little more or less, all traversed by the royal road of the Yncas.

Eleven leagues beyond Caxamarca there is another large province called Huamachuco, which was once very populous, and half way on the road to it there is a very pleasant and delightful valley. It is surrounded by mountains and is therefore cold, but a beautiful river flows through it, on the banks of which grow wheat, vines, figs, oranges, lemons, and many other plants which have been brought from Spain. In ancient times there were buildings for the chiefs in the meadows and dales of this valley, and many cultivated fields for them and for the temple of the sun. The province of Huamachuco is like that of Caxamarca, and the Indians are of the same race, imitating each other in their religion and sacrifices, as well as in their clothes and head-dress. In times past there were great lords in this province of Huamachuco who were highly favoured by the Yncas.{288} In the principal part of the province there is a great plain, where the tampus and royal palaces were built, amongst which there are two the thickness of which was twenty-two feet, and the length as much as a horse’s gallop, all made of stone, embellished with huge beams, over which the straw was laid with much skill. Owing to the late troubles the greater part of the population of this province has perished. The climate is good, more cold than hot, and the country abounds in all things necessary for the sustenance of man. Before the Spaniards arrived there were great flocks of sheep in the province of Huamachuco, and in the lofty and uninhabited mountains there were other wild kinds, called guanacos and vicuñas, which resemble those which are domesticated.

They told me that, in this province, the Yncas had a royal chase, and the natives were forbidden to enter it for the purpose of killing the wild animals, on pain of death. It contained some lions, bears, and deer. When the Ynca desired to have a royal hunt, he ordered three thousand, four thousand, ten thousand, or twenty thousand Indians to surround a wide tract of country, and gradually to converge until they could join hands. The game was thus collected in the centre, and it is great fun to see the guanacos, how they jump up into the air with fright, and run from one side to the other, seeking for a way to get out. Another party of Indians then enters the enclosure, armed with clubs, and kills the number of animals that the lord requires, often ten thousand or fifteen thousand head, such was the abundance of these animals.[409] They made very precious{289} cloth from the wool of the vicuñas, for the use of the Ynca, his wives, and children, and to ornament the temples. These Indians of Huamachuco are very docile, and have almost always been in close alliance with the Spaniards. In times past they had their religious superstitions, and worshipped certain stones as large as eggs, and others still larger, of different colours, which they kept in their huacas in the snowy mountain heights. After they were conquered by the Yncas they worshipped the sun, and became more civilised, both in their government and in their personal habits. In their sacrifices they shed the blood of sheep and lambs, flaying them alive without cutting off their heads, and presently cutting out their hearts and entrails with great rapidity, to search in them for signs and omens; for some of them were sorcerers, who also watched the courses of comets, like other heathens. The devil came to the place where they had their oracles, with whom it is publicly known that they held converse. Now these things have come to an end, their idols are destroyed, and a cross has been raised in their stead, to strike terror and dismay into our adversary the devil. Some of the Indians, with their wives and children, have become Christians, and every day, by reason of the preaching of the holy gospel, more{290} are converted, for in these buildings and edifices there are clergymen who teach the people. The royal road of the Yncas goes from the province of Huamachuco to the Conchucos, and in Bombon it joins another road equally large. One of these roads is said to have been made by order of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, and the other by order of his son Huayna Ccapac.


In which it is told how the Yncas ordered that the storehouses should be well provided, and how these were kept in readiness for the troops.

THE royal road of the Yncas goes from this province of Huamachuco to the province of the Conchucos, a distance of two short days’ journey, and half-way there were buildings and store-houses prepared for the reception of the Kings when they travelled this way; for it was their custom, when they visited any part of this kingdom, to travel in great state, and to be served with all things appertaining to their rank; and it is said that, except on occasions when their service required it, the Yncas did not travel more than four leagues each day. In order that there might be sufficient food to support their retinue, there were buildings and store-houses at every four leagues, with great abundance of all the provisions that the surrounding districts could supply. The lieutenants and overseers who resided at the chief stations in the provinces took special care that the natives kept these tampus well provisioned. And that one might not have to contribute more of this tribute than another, accounts were kept by a kind of knots, called quipu, which were understood, and thus there was no fraud. Certainly, although to us it may appear confusing{291} and obscure, this is a good way of keeping accounts, as I will more fully show in the second part.[410] Between Huamachuco and the Conchucos, although it was two days’ journey, there were store-houses and tampus in two places on the road, which is always kept very clean. If some of the mountains were rocky, the road was made in steps, having great resting places and paved ways, which are so strong that they will endure for many ages.

In the Conchucos there were buildings and other things, as in the provinces we have passed, and the natives are of middle height. They and their wives go dressed, and they wear distinguishing cords or fringes on their heads. It is{292} said that the Indians of this province were warlike, and that the Yncas would have had some trouble in subjugating them if they had not always managed to conciliate their enemies by kind deeds and friendly speeches. Some of these Indians, on various occasions, have killed Spaniards, insomuch that the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro sent the captain Francisco de Chaves[411] against them with some Christians, who waged a terrible and awful war. Some say that he burnt{293} and impaled a great number of Indians. At about this time, or a little earlier, the general insurrection of all the other provinces took place, when more than seven hundred Christian Spaniards were put to cruel deaths by the Indians between Cuzco and Quito. God delivered us from the fury of the Indians, which is truly fearful when they can effect their desires. Howbeit, the Indians said that they fought for their liberty, and to escape from the cruel treatment they received from the Spaniards, who had become lords of their land and of themselves.[412]

In this province of the Conchucos there have always been rich mines of gold and silver. Sixteen leagues further on is the province of Piscobamba, in which there was a stone building for the lords, which was rather broad and very long. The people go clothed, as do all the Indians who are natives of Piscobamba, and they wear certain small pieces of red wool on their heads. Their customs are the same as those of their neighbours, and they are now intelligent, docile, and well-disposed towards the Christians. The land, where they have their villages, is very fertile and prolific, and there are abundant supplies of provisions.

Further on is the province of Huaraz, which is eight leagues from Piscobamba, over very rugged mountains. Here it is an admirable thing to see how the royal road is made to pass over these mountains, always broad and level, and in some parts the live rock is cut away to form steps and resting-places. The Indians of this province also are of middling height, and they are excellent workmen. They worked the silver mines, and in former times paid their tribute to the Kings Yncas in silver. Among the ancient buildings there is a great fortress in the form of a square, with sides measuring one hundred and forty paces, the breadth being rather more. On many parts of it faces and human figures{294} are carved with most skilful workmanship. Some of the Indians say that, in token of triumph, the Yncas ordered this memorial to be raised in memory of a victory. Others relate that, long before the time of the Yncas, there were giants as large as the figures that are carved on the stones, but time, and the wars which they carried on with those who are now lords of these districts, caused them to disappear without leaving any other memorial than these stones.

Beyond this province is that of Pincos, near which a river flows, and over it there is a bridge to pass from one side to the other. The natives of this province are well made, and, considering that they are Indians, of noble bearing. Further on is the great and splendid palace of Huanuco, the chief station between this point and Caxamarca, as I stated in the chapter where I described the founding of the city of Leon de Huanuco.


Of the lake of Bombon, and how it is supposed to be the source of the great river of La Plata.

THIS province is strong from its position, and because the natives were very warlike. Before the Yncas could conquer them they fought great battles with them, until (according to what many of the oldest Indians declare) they at length induced them to submit by the use of intrigues and presents. There is a lake in the country of these Indians which is more than ten leagues round. This land of Bombon is level and very cold, and the mountains are some distance from the lake.[413] The Indians have their villages{295} round the lake, with large dykes. These natives of Bombon had great numbers of sheep, and, although most of them have been destroyed in the late wars, yet some still remain, and in the desert heights there are quantities of the wild kinds. There is little maize in this country on account of the cold, but there is no want of other provision by which the people are sustained. There are some islands and rocks in the lake, where the Indians form garrisons in time of war, and are thus safe from their enemies. Concerning the water which flows from this lake, it is held for certain that it forms the source of the famous river of La Plata, because it becomes a powerful river in the valley of Xauxa, and further on it is joined by the rivers of Parcos, Vilcas, Abancay, Apurimac, and Yucay. Thence it flows to the west, traversing many lands, where it receives other rivers which are still unknown to us, until it finally reaches Paraguay, the country discovered by those Christian Spaniards who first came to the river of La Plata. I myself believe, from what I have heard of this great river, that it owes its origin to two or three branches, or perhaps more; like the rivers Marañon, Santa Martha, Darien, and others in those parts. However this may be, in this kingdom of{296} Peru, we believe that it owes its source to the lake of Bombon, which receives the water caused by the melting of the snow from the heat of the sun on the desert heights, and of this there cannot be little.[414]

Ten leagues beyond Bombon is the province of Tarma, the inhabitants of which were not less warlike than those of Bombon. The climate is here more temperate, and much maize and wheat are grown, besides various fruits of the country. In former times there were great buildings and store-houses of the Kings Yncas in Tarma. The natives and their wives go dressed in clothes made from the wool of their sheep, and they adore the sun, which they call Mocha. When any of them marry, the friends assemble together, and, after drinking, saluting their cheeks, and performing other ceremonies, the marriage of the bride and bridegroom is complete. When the chiefs die they are buried in the same way as amongst all the other tribes, and their women shave their heads and wear black cloaks, also anointing their faces with a black ointment, and this state of widowhood lasts for a year. When the year is over, as I understood, and not before, they may marry again. These people have their annual festivals and fasts, which they carefully observe, abstaining from meat and salt and from{297} sleeping with women. They also ask him who is considered most religious, and on the best terms with their gods and devils, to fast for a whole year for the benefit of the others. This being done, at the time of maize harvest, they assemble and pass some days and nights in eating and drinking.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It is notorious that some of them conversed with the devil in their temples, and the devil replied in a terrible voice. From Tarma, travelling by the royal road of the Yncas, the traveller reaches the great and beautiful valley of Xauxa, which was one of the principal districts in Peru.


Which treats of the valley of Xauxa, and of its inhabitants, and relates how great a place it was in times past.

A RIVER flows through this valley of Xauxa, which is that which I said, in the chapter on Bombon, was the source of the river of La Plata. The valley is fourteen leagues long, and four to five broad, in some places more, in others less.[415] It was so populous throughout, that, at the time the Spaniards first entered it, they say for certain that it contained more than thirty thousand Indians; now I doubt whether it has ten thousand. They were divided into three tribes, although all are and were known by the name of Huancas.[416]{298} They say that this arrangement has existed since the time of Huayna Ccapac, or of his father, who divided the lands and settled their boundaries. One of these tribes was called Xauxa, whence the valley took its name, and the chief Cucixaca. The second was called Maricavilca, over which Huacarapora was chief. The third was known as Llacsapallanca, and its chief Alaya. In all these parts there are great buildings of the Yncas, but the largest edifices were in the principal part of the valley, called Xauxa. Here there was a great area covered with strong and well-built stone edifices, a house of virgins of the sun, a very rich temple, and many store-houses well supplied with provisions. Here there were many workers in silver, who made vases of silver and gold for the service of the Yncas, and for ornaments in the temple. There were more than eight thousand Indians set apart for the service of the temple and palaces. These edifices were all of stone, above which there were enormous beams covered with long straw. These Huancas had great battles with the Yncas before they were conquered, as I will relate in the second part. The virgins of the sun were guarded with great vigilance, and if they had any intercourse with men they were severely punished.

These Indians relate a very pleasant legend. They affirm that their origin is derived from a certain man (whose name I do not recollect) and a woman called Urochombe, who came forth out of a fountain called Huarivilca. These two were so prolific, that all the Huancas have proceeded from them. In memory of this pair the fathers of the present inhabitants made a great and high wall, and near it they built a temple, to which the Indians all go to worship. It{299} may be gathered from this that, as these Indians were ignorant of the true faith, God, for their sins, allowed the devil to attain great power over them, and, that he might secure the perdition of their souls, which is his desire, he made them believe these follies and others, such as that they were born from stones and lakes and caves; all that they might erect temples in which to adore him.

These Huancas know that there is a Creator of all things, whom they call Ticeviracocha. They believe in the immortality of the soul. They flayed the captives they took in war, making some of the skins into drums, and stuffing others with ashes. The Indians go dressed in shirts and mantles. The villages had fortresses of stone, like small towers, broad at the base and narrow above. Even now they appear, to one seeing them from a distance, like the towers of Spain. In ancient times all these Indians made wars with each other, but, after they were subjugated by the Yncas, they became expert workmen and bred large flocks. Their head-dress consisted of a woollen wreath about four fingers broad. They fought with slings and lances. Formerly there was a fountain, over which, as has been already said, they built a temple, called Huarivilca.[417] I saw it, and near it there were three or four trees called molles,[418] like walnut-trees. These trees were considered sacred, and near them there was a seat made for the chiefs who came to sacrifice, whence some paved steps led to the precincts of the temple. Porters were stationed to guard the entrance, where a stone flight of steps led down to the fountain already mentioned. Here there is an ancient wall of great size built in the form of a triangle. Near these{300} buildings there is a plain, where the devil, whom they adored, is said to have been, and to have conversed with some of them.

These Indians relate another legend which they heard from their ancestors, namely, that a great multitude of devils once assembled in these parts, and did much damage to the natives, terrifying them with their looks. While this was going on five suns appeared in the heavens, which, with their brilliant splendour, annoyed the devils, who disappeared with loud screams and groans. The devil Huarivilca, who was in this place, was never seen again, and all the places where he had stood were scorched and burnt. As the Yncas were lords of this valley, a grand temple of the sun was built for them, as in other parts, but the natives did not cease to offer sacrifices to this Huarivilca. The temple of the sun, equally with that of Huarivilca, is now in ruins, and full of weeds and abominations; for when the governor Don Francisco Pizarro entered the valley, the Indians say that the bishop, Friar Vicente de Valverde,[419]{301} broke the idols, and the devil was never again heard in that place. I went to see this temple with Don Cristoval, son of the chief Alaya, who is now dead, and he showed me the monument. He, as well as the other chiefs of the valley, has turned Christian, and there are two clergymen and a friar who have charge of the instruction of these Indians in our holy catholic faith. This valley of Xauxa is surrounded by snowy mountains, and in many parts of them there are ravines where the Huancas raise their crops. The City of the Kings was seated in this valley before it was removed to the place where it now is, and the Spaniards found a great quantity of gold and silver here.


In which the road is described from Xauxa to the city of Guamanga, and what there is worthy of note on this road.

I FIND that the distance from this valley of Xauxa to the city of the victory of Guamanga is thirty leagues. Going by the royal road, the traveller journeys on until certain very ancient edifices, now in ruins, are reached, which are on the summit of the heights above the valley. Further on is the village of Acos, near a morass full of great rushes. Here, also, there were edifices and store-houses of the Yncas, as in all the other towns of this kingdom. The natives of Acos live away from the royal road, in some very rugged mountains to the eastward. I have nothing more to say of them, except that they go dressed in woollen{302} clothes, and that their houses are of stone thatched with straw. The road goes from Acos to the buildings at Pico, then over a hill, the descent from which is rugged and would seem difficult, yet the road continues to be so broad and smooth, that it almost seems to be passing over level ground. Thus it descends to the river which passes by Xauxa, where there is a bridge, and the pass is called Angoyaco. Near this bridge there is a certain white ravine, whence comes a spring of wholesome water. In this pass of Angoyaco there was an edifice of the Yncas, where there was a bath of water that was naturally warm and convenient for bathing, on account of which all the Lords Yncas valued it. Even the Indians of these parts used to wash and bathe in it every day, both men and women. In the part where the river flows the valley is small, and there are many molle[420] and other trees. Further on is the valley of Picoy, but first another small river is crossed, where there is also a bridge, for in winter time this river washes down with much fury.

From Picoy the road leads to the buildings of Parcos, erected on the top of a hill. The Indians have their abodes in very lofty and rugged mountains on either side of these buildings. Before reaching Parcos there is a place called Pucara (which in our language means a strong thing[421]) in a small wilderness, where, in ancient times, as the Indians declare, there was a palace of the Yncas and a temple of the sun. Many provinces sent their usual tribute to this Pucara, and delivered it to the overseer who had charge of the stores, and whose duty it was to collect the tribute. In this place there is such a quantity of dressed stones that, from a distance, it truly appears like some city or towered castle, from which it may be judged that the Indians gave it an appropriate name. Among the rocks there is one,{303} near a small river, which is so large that its size is wonderful to behold. I saw it, and slept one night under it, and it appeared to me that it had a height of two hundred cubits, and a circuit of more than two hundred paces. If it was on any dangerous frontier, it might easily be turned into an impregnable fortress. This great rock has another notable thing connected with it, which is that there are so many caves in it that more than a hundred men and some horses might get into them. In this, as in other things, our God shows his mighty power. All these roads are full of caves, where men and animals can take shelter from the wet and snow. The natives of this district have their villages on lofty mountains, as I have already said. Their summits are covered with snow during most parts of the year. The Indians sow their crops in sheltered spots, like valleys, between the mountains. In many parts of these mountains there are great veins of silver. The road descends a mountain from Parcos, till it reaches a river bearing the same name, where there is a bridge built over great blocks of stone. This mountain of Parcos is the place where the battle took place between the Indians and the captain Morgovejo de Quiñones, and where Gonzalo Pizarro ordered the captain Gaspar Rodriguez de Campo-redondo[422] to be killed, as I shall relate in another part of my work. Beyond this river of Parcos is the station of Asangaro, now the repartimiento of Diego Gavilan,[423] whence the royal road passes on till it reaches the city of San Juan de la Victoria de Guamanga.{304}


Which treats of the reason why the city of Guamanga was founded, its provinces having been at first partly under the jurisdiction of Cuzco, and partly under that of the City of the Kings.

AFTER the war at Cuzco between the Indians and the Spaniards, the King Manco Ynca, seeing that he could not recover the city of Cuzco, determined to retire into the provinces of Viticos, which are in the most retired part of these regions, beyond the great Cordillera of the Andes; after having first led the captain Rodrigo Orgoñez a long chase, who liberated Ruy Diaz, a captain whom the Ynca had had in his power for some days. When it was known that Manco Ynca entertained this intention, many of the Orejones of Cuzco (the nobility of that city) wished to follow him. Having reached Viticos with a great quantity of treasure, collected from various parts, together with his women and retinue, the King Manco Ynca established himself in the strongest place he could find, whence he sallied forth many times, and in many directions, to disturb those parts which were quiet, and to do what harm he could to the Spaniards, whom he considered as cruel enemies. They had, indeed, seized his inheritance, forcing him to leave his native land, and to live in banishment. These and other things were published by Manco Ynca and his followers, in the places to which they came for the purpose of robbing and doing mischief. As in these provinces no Spanish city had been{305} built; the natives were given in encomienda, some to citizens of Cuzco; and others to those of the City of the Kings. Thus the Indians of Manco Ynca were able to do much harm to the Spaniards and to the friendly Indians, killing and robbing many of them.

These things rose to such a height that the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro sent captains against Manco Ynca. The factor Yllan Suarez de Carbajal,[424] by order of the Marquis, set out from Cuzco and sent the captain Villa-diego to reconnoitre with a force of Spaniards, for there was news that the Ynca was not far distant from the place where he was encamped. Notwithstanding that they were without horses (which is the most important arm against these Indians), they pressed on because they were confident in their strength, and desired to enjoy the spoils of the Ynca, thinking that he had his women and treasure with him. They reached the summit of a mountain, fatigued and exhausted, when the Ynca, with little more than eighty Indians, attacked the Christians, who numbered twenty-eight or thirty, and killed the captain Villa-diego, and all his men, except two or three, who escaped with the aid of the friendly Indians. These fugitives presented themselves to the factor, who deeply felt the misfortune. When the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro heard it, he hastily set out from the city of Cuzco with a body of men, who had orders to pursue Manco Ynca. But this attempt also failed, for the Ynca retreated to his settlement at Viticos, with the{306} heads of the Christians.[425] Afterwards the captain Gonzalo Pizarro undertook the pursuit of the Ynca, and occupied some of his passes and bridges. At last, as the evils done by the Indians had been great, the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, with the assent of the royal officers who were with him, determined to form a settlement between Cuzco and Lima (which is the City of the Kings), so as to make the road secure for travellers. This city was called “San Juan de la Frontera,” until the licentiate Christoval Vaca de Castro, Pizarro’s successor in the government of the country, called it “De la Victoria,” after the victory which he gained over the men of Chile, on the heights of Chupas.[426]{307} All the villages and provinces from the Andes to the South Sea were under the jurisdiction either of the city of Cuzco or of that of the Kings, and the Indians were granted in encomienda to the citizens of one or other of these cities. When, therefore, the governor Don Francisco Pizarro determined to build this new city, he ordered that some citizens from each of the two cities should come to live in it, so that they might not lose their claim to the encomienda of the Indians in that part. The province of Xauxa then became the limit of Lima, and Andahuaylas that of Cuzco. The new city was founded in the following manner.


Of the founding of the city of Guamanga, and who was its founder.

WHEN the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro determined to found a city in this province, he did not select the site where it now stands, but chose an Indian village called Guamanga, which is the reason why the city received the same name.[427]{308} The village was near the great Cordillera of the Andes. The marquis left the captain Francisco de Cardenas as his lieutenant here. After some time, and from various causes, the city was removed to the place where it now stands, which is on a plain, near a chain of hills on its south side. Although a small plain half a league from the present city, would have been a site more pleasant to the inhabitants, yet they were obliged to give it up owing to the want of water. Near the city a small stream of very good water flows, at which the citizens drink. In this city the best and largest houses in all Peru have been built, all of stone, bricks, and tiles, with tall towers, so that there is no want of buildings. The plaza is level and very large.[428] The climate is very healthy, for{309} neither the sun nor the air do harm, nor is it damp nor hot, but it possesses an excellent and most salubrious temperature. The citizens have also built houses where they keep their flocks, in the valleys adjoining the city. The largest river near the city is called Viñaque, near which there are some great and very ancient edifices, which are now in ruins, but appear to have stood for many ages.[429] When the Indians are asked who built these ancient monuments, they reply that a bearded and white people like ourselves were the builders, who came to these parts many ages before the Yncas began to reign, and formed a settlement here. These, and some other ancient edifices in this kingdom do not appear to me to be like those which were erected by order of the Yncas; for their buildings were square, and those of the Yncas are long and narrow. It is also reported that certain letters were found on a tile in these buildings. I neither deny nor affirm that, in times past, some other race, possessed of judgment and intelligence, made these things, and others which we have not seen.

On the banks of this river of Viñaque, and in other adjacent{310} parts, they reap a great quantity of wheat, of which they make bread as excellent as the best that is made in Andalusia.[430] They have planted some vines, and it is believed that in time there will be many extensive vineyards, and most other things that grow in Spain. There is abundance of all the fruits of the country, and so many doves that there is no other part of the Indies where they are so numerous. In the spring there is some difficulty in getting enough fodder for the horses, but, owing to attendance from the Indians, this want is not felt. It must be understood that at no time do the horses and other beasts feed on straw, nor is any use made of what is cut, for neither do the sheep eat it, but all are maintained by the grass of the field.

The outlets to this city are good, but in many parts there are so many thorns and briars that it is necessary for travellers to be careful, whether they go on foot or on horseback. This city of San Juan de la Victoria de Guamanga was founded and settled by the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, governor of Peru, in the name of his Majesty, on the 9th day of the month of January, 1539.


In which some things are related concerning the natives of the districts near this city.

MANY Indians have been given in encomienda to the citizens of Guamanga, and notwithstanding that they are numerous, yet the wars have caused the destruction of great numbers. Most of them were Mitimaes, who, as I have already said, were Indians transported from one province to another, the{311} work of the Kings Yncas. Some of these were Orejones, although not of the principal families of Cuzco. To the eastward of this city is the great mountain chain of the Andes. To the west is the coast of the South Sea. I have named villages which are near the royal road. The others have very fertile land round them, and large flocks. All the Indians go about clothed. They had temples and places of worship in secluded corners, where they performed their sacrifices and vain ceremonies. In their burials they practised the same customs as all the other Indians, interring live women and treasures with their dead. After they were brought under the yoke of the Yncas, they adored the sun, and adopted the laws and customs of their conquerors. Originally they were a brave race, and so warlike that the Yncas were hard put to it, when they invaded their country; insomuch that, in the days of the Ynca Yupanqui, after the Soras and Lucanas (provinces inhabited by a robust people) had been subdued, these Indians fortified themselves, in great numbers, in strong positions. For, to preserve their liberty, and escape servitude under a tyrant, they thought little of hunger and long protracted wars. Ynca Yupanqui, covetous of the rule over these people, and jealous of his own reputation, besieged them closely for more than two years; at the end of which time, after they had done all they could, they surrendered to the Ynca.

When Gonzalo Pizarro rose in arms, the principal citizens of Guamanga, from fear of his captains, and from a desire to serve his Majesty, after having raised a standard in his royal name, marched to this same stronghold to fortify themselves (as I myself heard from some of them), and saw the vestiges of the former war spoken of by the Indians. All these Indians wear certain marks by which they are known, and which were used by their ancestors. Some of them were much given to omens, and were great sorcerers, pretending to predict what would happen in the future, on which occasions{312} they talked nonsense, as all must do who try to foretell what no creature can know; for God alone can tell what is about to happen.


Of the great buildings in the province of Vilcas, which are beyond the city of Guamanga.

THE distance from the city of Guamanga to that of Cuzco is sixty leagues, a little more or less. On this road is the plain of Chupas, where the cruel battle was fought between the governor Vaca de Castro and Don Diego de Almagro the Younger. Further on, still following the royal road, are the edifices of Vilcas, eleven leagues from Guamanga, which, say the natives, was the centre of the dominions of the Yncas; for they assert that from Quito to Vilcas is the same distance as from Vilcas to Chile, these being the extreme points of the empire. Some Spaniards, who have travelled from one end to the other, say the same. Ynca Yupanqui ordered these edifices to be built, and his successors added to them. The temple of the sun was large and richly ornamented. On one part of the plain, towards the point where the sun rises, there was a chapel for the lords, made of stone, and surrounded by a low wall, which formed a terrace about six feet broad, with other steps upon it, on the highest of which there was a seat where the lord stationed himself when he said his prayers. This seat was made of a single enormous stone, eleven feet long, and seven broad. They say that this stone was once set with gold and precious stones, for it was thus that they adorned a place held by them in great veneration. On another stone, which is not small, in the centre of the open space,{313} they killed animals and young children as sacrifices, whose blood they offered to their gods. The Spaniards have found some treasure on these terraces.

By the side of the chapel were the palaces of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, and other great buildings, besides many storehouses where they put the arms and fine cloths, with all other things paid as tribute by the Indians of provinces within the jurisdiction of Vilcas, which was, I have heard it said in other places, as it were the head of the kingdom. Near a small hill there were, and still are, more than seven hundred houses, where they stored up the maize and other provisions for the soldiers who marched that way. In the middle of the great square there was another form or seat, where the lord sat to witness the dances and festivals. The temple of the sun, which was built of stones fitted one on the other with great skill, had two doorways, approached by two flights of stone stairs, having, as I counted them, thirty steps apiece. Within this temple there were lodgings for the priests and virgins. The Orejones and other Indians affirm that the figure of the sun was very rich, and that there was great treasure in smaller pieces. These buildings were served by more than forty thousand Indians, divided into relays, and each chief understood the orders of the governor, who received his power from the Ynca. To guard the doorways alone there were forty porters. A gentle channel of water, conducted with much skill, flowed through the great square, and the lords also had their secret baths both for themselves and for their women. What may now be seen of all this are the outlines of the buildings, the walls of the chapels, the temple with its steps all in ruins, and other ruined buildings. In fine, it once was what it now is not, and by what it now is we may judge what it once was. Some of the first Spanish conquerors saw this edifice entire and in its perfection, as I have myself been told by them.[431]{314}

From Vilcas the road passes to Uramarca, which is seven leagues nearer Cuzco, and here the great river called Vilcas is crossed, the name being given because it is near these buildings. On each side of the river there are very large stone pillars made very strong and with very deep foundations. From these pillars a bridge of ropes, like those used for drawing water with a wheel, is slung across the river. These ropes are so strong that horses may pass over with loosened rein, as if they were crossing the bridge of Alcantara, or that of Cordova. The bridge was one hundred and sixty-six paces long when I passed over it.[432] The river rises in the province of the Soras, which is very fertile, and{315} inhabited by a warlike race. They and the people of Lucanas[433] speak one language, and go about dressed in woollen cloths. They possessed large flocks, and in their provinces there are rich mines of gold and silver. The Yncas esteemed the Soras and Lucanas so highly, that their provinces were favoured, and the sons of their chiefs resided at the court of Cuzco. There are store-houses in these provinces, and great numbers of wild flocks in the desert mountains. Returning to the royal road, the traveller reaches the buildings of Uramarca, which is a village of Mitimaes, for most of the natives were killed in the wars of the Yncas.


Of the province of Andahuaylas, and of what is to be seen as far as the valley of Xaquixaguana.

WHEN I entered this province of Andahuaylas,[434] the chief of it was an Indian named Guasco, and the natives were called Chancas. They go about dressed in woollen shirts and mantles. In former times they were so valiant, that they not only conquered other lands and lordships, but extended their dominions so widely that they came near to the city of Cuzco. There were fierce encounters between those of the city and these Chancas, until, by the valour of the Ynca Yupanqui, the Chancas were conquered. The captain Ancoallo,[435] so famous in these parts for his great bravery, was a native of this province. They relate that he could not{316} endure to be under the yoke of the Yncas, and under the orders of his captains; so, after having performed great deeds in the districts of Tarama and Bombon, he penetrated into the depths of the forests, and his followers peopled the banks of a lake which is, according to Indian statements, down the course of the river of Moyobamba. When I asked these Chancas concerning their origin, they told me such another legend as did those of Xauxa. They said that their fathers were born in, and came out of, a small lake called Soclo-cocha, and conquered the country as far as a place called Chuquibamba, where they established themselves. After some time they strove with the Quichuas,[436] a very ancient nation, who were lords of this province of Andahuaylas, and conquered their country, which they have been lords of ever since. They held the lake out of which they came to be sacred, and it was their chief place of worship, where they prayed and made sacrifices. They buried their dead in the same way as the other Indians, and believed in the immortality of the soul, which they called Sonccon, a word which also means “heart.”[437] They buried women alive with the bodies of their lords, and also treasure and apparel. They had their days set apart for solemnising festivals, and places where they held their dances. As{317} there are priests in this province labouring among the Indians, some of them have become Christians, especially among the young men.

The captain Diego Maldonado has always held these Indians in encomienda.[438] They all wear their hair long, and plaited into many very small plaits, with some woollen cords which are allowed to fall below the chin. Their houses are of stone.[439] In the centre of the province there were large edifices and store-houses for the chiefs. Formerly the Indians in this province of Andahuaylas were very numerous, but the wars have reduced them, as they have done the other Indians of this kingdom. The province is very long, and contains many large flocks of domesticated sheep. The part which is forest is not included within the limits of the province. This province is well supplied with provisions; it yields wheat, and there are many fruit trees in the warm valleys.[440]


We were here for many days with the president Gasca, when he marched to punish the rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro,[441] and great were the sufferings of these Indians from the exactions of the Spaniards. The good Indian chief of this valley, Guasco, was very diligent in collecting supplies. From this province of Andahuaylas (which the Spaniards usually call Andaguaylas) the road leads to the river of Abancay, which is nine leagues nearer Cuzco, and this river, like many others, has its strong stone pillars, to which a bridge is attached.[442] Where the river flows, the mountains form a small valley where there are trees, and they raise fruit and other provisions in abundance. It was on the banks of this river that Don Diego de Almagro defeated and captured the captain Alonzo de Alvarado, general for the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, as I shall relate in the book containing the history of the war of Las Salinas.[443] Not very far from this river there were edifices and storehouses like those in all the other districts, but they were small and not of much importance.{319}


Of the river of Apurimac, of the valley of Xaquixaguana, of the causeway which passes over it, and of what else there is to relate until the city of Cuzco is reached.

FURTHER on is the river of Apurimac, which is the largest of those which are crossed between this place and Caxamarca. It is eight leagues from that of Abancay, and the road is much broken up by mountains and declivities, so that those who made it must have had much labour in breaking up the rocks, and levelling the ground, especially where it descends towards the river. Here the road is so rugged and dangerous, that some horses, laden with gold and silver, have fallen in and been lost without any possibility of saving them. There are two enormous stone pillars, to which the bridge is secured. When I returned to the City of the Kings, after we had defeated Gonzalo Pizarro, some of our soldiers crossed the river without a bridge, which had been destroyed, each man in a sack fastened to a rope passing from the pillar on one side of the river to that on the other, more than fifty of us.[444] It is no small terror that is caused by seeing what men pass through in these Indies. After crossing this river the place is presently seen where the buildings of the Yncas were, and where they had an oracle. The devil, according to the Indians, replied from{320} out of the trunk of a tree, near which they buried gold, and offered up sacrifices.

From this river of Apurimac the road leads to the buildings of Limatambo,[445] and crossing the mountains of Vilcaconga (which is the place where the Adelantado Don Diego de Almagro, with some Spaniards, fought a battle with the Indians before he entered Cuzco) the valley of Xaquixaguana is reached, which is a plain situated between the chains of mountains. It is not very broad, nor long. At the beginning of it, is the place where Gonzalo Pizarro was defeated, and close by he and his captains were tried by order of the licentiate Don Pedro de la Gasca, president for his Majesty. In this valley there were very rich and sumptuous edifices, where the nobles of Cuzco retired to enjoy their ease and pleasure. Here, also, was the place where the governor Don Francisco Pizarro ordered Challcuchima, the captain-general of Atahualpa, to be burnt. The distance from this valley to the city of Cuzco is five leagues along the grand royal road. The water of a river which rises near this valley forms a large and deep morass, and it would be very difficult to cross it, if the Yncas had not caused a broad and strong causeway to be made, with walls on either side so strong as to last for a long time. In{321} former times this valley was very populous, and was covered with crops, in fields which were so numerous that it was a sight worth seeing. These fields were divided from each other by broad walls, with the crops of maize and roots sown between them, and thus they rose up the sides of the mountains.[446] Many of these crops are of wheat, which grows well.[447] There are also large flocks belonging to the Spaniards who are citizens of the ancient city of Cuzco, which is built between certain hills in the manner and fashion that I shall declare in the following chapter.{322}


Of the manner in which the city of Cuzco is built, of the four royal roads which lead from it, of the grand edifices it contained, and who was its founder.

THE city of Cuzco is built in a very rugged situation, and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. It stands on the banks of two streams, one of which flows through it, and there are buildings on both sides. To the eastward there is a valley, which commences at the city itself, so that the waters of the streams which pass by the city flow to the east.[448] This valley is very cold, and there are no trees which yield fruit, except a few molles. On the north side of the city, on the highest and nearest mountain, there is a fortress which, for its strength and grandeur, was and still is an excellent edifice, although now most of it is in ruins. The massive foundations, however, with the principal blocks of stone, are still standing.[449]


To the north and east of Cuzco are the provinces of Anti-suyu, which contain the dense forests of the Andes, and also{324} those of Chincha-suyu, extending towards Quito. To the south are the provinces of the Collao and of Cunti-suyu, of{325} which the Collao is between the east and south winds, and Cunti-suyu between the south and west.

One part of this city was called Hanan-Cuzco, and another Hurin-Cuzco; where the most noble and ancient families lived. Another division was the hill of Carmenca,[451] where there were certain small towers for observing the movements of the sun,[452] which the people venerated. In the{326} central and most populous part of the city there was a large open space, which they say was once a lake or swamp, but that the founders filled it up with earth and stones, and made it as it now is. From this square four royal roads led. That which they called Chincha-suyu went towards the coast, and also to Quito and Pasto. The second road, called Cunti-suyu, led to the provinces which are subject to this city, and to that of Arequipa. The third royal road, called Anti-suyu, goes to the provinces at the skirts of the Andes, and to some villages beyond the mountains. The last road, called Colla-suyu, leads to the provinces which extend as far as Chile.[453] Thus, as in Spain, the ancients made a division of the whole country according to provinces; and thus the Indians knew those districts, which extended over so vast a country, by the names of the roads. The stream which flows through the city has its bridges for passing from one side to the other. In no part of this kingdom was there found a nobly adorned city, except at this Cuzco, which was (as I have already said many times) the capital of the empire of the Yncas, and their royal seat. In all the other parts of the kingdom the people live in houses scattered about, and if there are some villages, they are without plan or order, or anything worthy of praise. But Cuzco was grand and stately, and must have been founded by a people of great intelligence. It had fine streets, except that they were narrow, and the houses were built of solid stones, beautifully joined. These stones were very large and well cut. The other parts of the houses were of wood and straw, but there are no remains of tiles, bricks, or lime amongst them. In this city there were many grand buildings of the Yncas in{327} various parts, in which he who succeeded to the lordship celebrated his festivals.[454] Here, too, was the solemn and{328} magnificent temple of the sun, called Ccuri-cancha, which was rich in gold and silver.[455] Most parts of the city were inhabited by Mitimaes, and laws and statutes were established{329} for their conduct, which were understood by all, as well regarding their superstitions and temples, as in matters relating to government. This city was the richest of which we have any knowledge, in all the Indies, for great store of treasure was often brought in to increase the grandeur of the nobles; and no gold nor silver might be taken out, on pain of death. The sons of the chiefs in all the provinces came to reside at court, with their retinues, for a certain time. There were a great many gilders and workers in silver, who understood how to work the things ordered by the Yncas. The chief priest, called Huillac-Umu, lived in the grand temple.

At present there are very good houses, with upper stories roofed with tiles. The climate, although it is cold, is very healthy, and Cuzco is better supplied with provisions than any other place in the kingdom. It is also the largest city, and more Spaniards hold encomiendas over Indians here than elsewhere. The city was founded by Manco Ccapac, the first King Ynca; and, after he had been succeeded by ten other lords,[456] the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor and captain-general of these kingdoms, rebuilt and refounded it in the name of the Emperor, Don Carlos, our lord, in the month of October of the year 1534.{330}


In which the things of this city of Cuzco are described more in detail.

AS this city was the most important and principal place in the kingdom, the Indians of the neighbourhood were assembled at certain seasons of the year to clean the streets, and perform other duties. Near the city, on one side and the other, there were the same storehouses as are to be found in all parts of the kingdom, some larger, and some stronger than others. As these Yncas were so rich and powerful, some of their edifices were gilded, and others were adorned with plates of gold. Their ancestors held, as a sacred place, a great hill near the city called Huanacaure, and they say that human blood and many lambs and sheep were sacrificed on it. The city was full of strangers from all parts, Indians of Chile and Pasto, Cañaris, Chachapoyas, Huancas, Collas, and men of all the tribes in the provinces, each living apart in the quarter assigned by the governors of the city. They all retained the costumes of their fathers, and went about after the manner of their native land; and, even when one hundred thousand men were assembled together, the country of each Indian was easily known by the peculiar head-dress which distinguished him.[457] Some of these strangers buried their dead in high mountains, others in their houses, and others in tombs with live women, precious things, and plenty of food. The Yncas, as I was given to understand, interfered in none of these things, so long as their vassals adored and venerated the sun, and this adoration they called mocha.[458] In many parts of the city there are great edifices under the ground, and even now some tiles and pieces of gold are found buried in the bowels of the earth. Assuredly there must be{331} great treasure buried within the circuit of the city, but those who are living know not where to find it. As there was so large a concourse of people here, and as the devil, by the permission of God, had such complete mastery over them, there were many soothsayers, sorcerers, and idolaters. Even now the city is not yet entirely free of them, especially as regards witchcraft. Near the city there are many warm valleys where there are fruit and other trees which grow well, and most of the fruit is brought to the city for sale. They also reap much wheat, of which they make bread; and they have planted many orange trees and other fruit trees both of Spain and of the country. They have mills over the stream which flows through the city, and at a distance of four leagues may be seen the quarry from which the stones were conveyed of which the city is built, a sight well worth seeing. They rear fowls in Cuzco, and capons as fat and good as those of Granada, and in the valleys there are herds of cattle, and flocks, both of Spanish sheep and of those of the country. Although there are no trees round the city, the pulses of Spain ripen very well.


Which treats of the valley of Yucay and of the strong fortress at Tambo, and of part of the province of Cunti-suyu.

ABOUT four leagues from this city of Cuzco, a little more or less, there is a valley called Yucay, which is very beautiful, confined between ranges of mountains in such sort that the shelter thus afforded makes the climate very pleasant and healthy.[459] It is neither too hot nor too cold, and is considered{332} so excellent that the citizens of Cuzco have several times proposed to remove the city into the valley. But as the houses in the city are so grand, they could not undertake to build them anew. They have planted many trees in this valley of Yucay, and there is good hope that in time there will be large vineyards and beautiful and refreshing orchards as well in this valley, as in that of Vilcas, and in others; indeed, they have already been commenced. I say more of this valley than of the others, because the Yncas thought much of it, and went to it for their festivities and solace, especially Huira-ccocha Ynca, who was the grandfather of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui. In all parts of the valley are to be seen fragments of many buildings which have once been very large, especially those at Tambo, three leagues down the valley, between two great mountains, forming a ravine through which a stream flows. Although the climate of the valley is as pleasant as I have described, these mountains are quite white with snow during the greater part of the year. In this place the Yncas had the strongest fort in all their dominions, built on rocks, where a small force might hold their own against a large one. Among these rocks{333} there were certain masses of stone which made the place impregnable, and, lower down, the sides of the mountains are lined with terraces one above the other, on which they raised the crops which sustained them. Among the stones there may still be seen the figures of lions and other wild animals, and of men with arms like halberds, as if they were guarding the way. They are all well and skilfully executed. There were many edifices, and they say that, before the Spaniards conquered this kingdom, they contained great treasure. In these buildings there are stones, well cut and fitted, which are so large that it must have required many men and great ingenuity to raise them, and place them where they now are.[460] It is said for certain that,{334} in these edifices of Tambo, or in others at some other place with the same name (for this is not the only place called{335} Tambo), in a certain part of a royal palace or of a temple of the sun, gold is used instead of mortar, which, jointly with the cement that they make, served to unite the stones together. The governor Don Francisco Pizarro got much of this gold, before the Indians could take it away. Some Spaniards also say that Hernando Pizarro and Don Diego de Almagro the Younger got much gold from Paccari-tambu. I do not myself hesitate to believe these things, when I remember the rich pieces of gold that were taken to Seville from Caxamarca, where they collected the treasure which Atahualpa promised to the Spaniards, most of it from Cuzco. There was little to divide afterwards, found by the Christians, for the Indians carried it off, and it is buried in parts unknown to any one. If the fine cloths which were destroyed and lost in those times, had been preserved, they would have been worth a great deal.

The Indians called Chumbivilicas, Vuinas, and Pomatambos, and many other nations which I do not mention, lived in the country called Cunti-suyu.[461] Some of them were warlike, and their villages are in very lofty mountains. They have vast quantities of flocks, both domesticated and wild. All their houses are of stone, thatched with straw. In many{336} places there are buildings for their chiefs. The rites and customs of these Indians were the same as those of other parts, and they sacrificed lambs and other things in their temples. It is notorious that the devil was seen in a temple which they had in a certain part of the district of Cunti-suyu, and I have heard of certain Spaniards, in the present times, who saw apparitions of this our enemy. In the rivers they have collected much gold, and they were getting it out when I was at Cuzco. In Pomatambo and other parts of this kingdom they have very good tapestry, the wool being very fine from which they make it, and the colours with which they dye it are so perfect that they excell those of other countries. There are many rivers in this province of Cunti-suyu, some of which are crossed by bridges of ropes, made in the way I have already described. There are also many fruit and other trees, deer and partridges, and good falcons to fly at them.


Of the forest of the Andes, of their great thickness, of the huge snakes which are bred in them, and of the evil customs of the Indians who live in the interior of these forests.

THIS cordillera of the Andes must be one of the grandest in the world, for it commences at the straits of Magallanes, extends along the whole extent of this kingdom of Peru, and traverses so many provinces that they cannot be enumerated. It is covered with high peaks, some of them well covered with snow, and others with mouths of fire. The forests on these mountains are very difficult to penetrate by reason of their thickness, and because during the greater part of the year it rains. The shade is so dark that it is necessary to go with much caution, for the roots of the{337} trees spread out and cover all the ground, and when it is desired to pass with horses, much labour is necessary in making roads. It is said among the Orejones of Cuzco, that Tupac Ynca Yupanqui traversed these forests with a large army, and many of the tribes who inhabited them were very difficult to conquer and bring under his sway. In the skirts of the mountains towards the South Sea, the natives were intelligent; they were all clothed, and were ruled by the laws and customs of the Yncas. But, towards the other sea, in the direction of the sun-rise, it is well known that the inhabitants are of less understanding and reason.[462]{338} They raise a great quantity of coca, which is a very precious plant among the Indians, as I will relate in the next chapter. As the forests are very large, the truth may be received that they contain many animals, as well bears, tigers, lions, tapirs, pigs, and striped wild cats, as other wild beasts worthy of note. Some Spaniards have also seen serpents of such bigness that they looked like beams, but, although one should sit on them, they would do no harm, nor do they try to kill any person. In talking over this matter of the serpents with the Indians of Cuzco, they told me something which I will relate here, as they assured me of its truth. In the time of the Ynca Yupanqui, who was grandson of the Ynca Huira-ccocha, certain captains were sent with a large army to visit these forests, by the Ynca’s order, and to bring the Indians they met with under subjection to him. Having entered the forests, these serpents killed all those who went with the said captains, and the calamity was so great that the Ynca showed much concern at it. An old enchantress heard this, and she said that if she were allowed to go to the forests, she would put the serpents into so deep a sleep, that they would be able to do no harm. As soon as she had received permission, she went to the place where the people had been killed. Here she performed her incantations, and said certain words, upon which the snakes changed from fierce and wild, to the gentle and foolish creatures they now are. All this that the Indians{339} say may indeed be a fiction or fable, but it is certainly true that these snakes, though so large, do no hurt to any one.

The forests of the Andes were well peopled in those parts where the Yncas had buildings and store-houses. The country is very fertile, yielding maize and yucas, as well as the other roots which they raise, and there are many excellent fruits. Most of the Spanish citizens of Cuzco have planted orange, lime, fig, vine, and other trees of Spain, besides large plantain groves, and very luscious and fragrant pines. In the very distant and dense parts of these forests they say that there is a people so savage, that they have neither houses nor clothes, but go about like animals, killing birds and beasts with arrows.[463] They have neither chiefs nor captains, and they lodge in caves or in the hollows of trees, some in one part and some in another. It is said, also (but I have not seen them), that there are very large monkeys which go about in the trees.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [464]

In the year 1549 I was at Charcas; and I went to see the cities in that region, for which purpose the president Gasca gave me letters of introduction to the corregidors, that I might learn all that was worthy of notice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




Mr. Richard Spruce.

“NOTWITHSTANDING the slow rate at which commerce and civilisation advance in the interior of South America, the opening up of routes of communication is becoming daily of more importance, and is exciting greater interest among the inhabitants. Some of the mighty rivers of that continent might seem to have been made by nature’s hand expressly{340} for steam navigation, being so wide and deep, and flowing with so gentle and equable a descent, as to allow vessels of considerable size to reach the very foot of the mountains whence they take their rise; such are the Amazons, the Magdalena, and the Plata, with its tributary the Paraná; while others, of scarcely inferior volume, such as the Orinoco, the Rio Negro, the Madeira, and the Cauca (the main tributary of the Magdalena), are navigable for a considerable distance in their lower and upper parts, but towards the middle of their course are beset by rapids and cataracts, which can only be ascended, even by small boats, with infinite trouble, risk, and delay. In the case of the Orinoco and Rio Negro, the cataracts occupy so short a space, the actual fall is so slight, and the nature of the ground is such, that the obstructions might be easily turned or avoided by a navigable canal or a railroad, neither of which is likely to be constructed until the exigencies of commerce or colonisation shall make it an imperative necessity. The Madeira, however, the largest tributary of the Amazons, has no less than two hundred and forty miles of its middle course rendered practically unnavigable by a succession of rapids and cataracts, below which it is navigable down to its mouth,—a distance of five hundred miles,—for steamers of a thousand tons; and above them for smaller vessels for an equal distance, counting the navigation of its tributary, the Mamoré, which was explored by Lieut. Gibbon, of the U. S. navy, in 1851. Its other large tributaries, the Béni, the Ubahý, and the Guaporé, are said to be navigable for an equal or even greater distance. Now the navigation of the Madeira is of the first importance to the Brazilians, not only as a means of communication with the western part of the empire, but also with the highlands of Bolivia and Southern Peru, and it has been proposed to obviate its difficulties, 1. By opening a road from the point where it ceases to that where it begins again to be navigable, along which cargos might be transported on beasts of burden, and then be re-embarked above the falls; or, 2. By exploring the rivers running to the Amazon from the southward, between the Madeira and Ucayali, in the belief that some one of them might prove to be navigable up to a point beyond the last falls of the Madeira. The three principal of these rivers, beginning with the most easterly, or that nearest the Madeira, are the Purús, the Yutahý, and the Yauarý (or Javarí). All these rivers are stated by Baena[465] to take their rise in the highlands of Peru, and the Purús has always been considered the largest of the three; for although it drains a far narrower basin than the Madeira, and its stream{341} is much less wide and rapid, it is still a noble river, with deep water for a very long way up. People have gone up it from the Amazon and the Barra do Rio Negro, in quest of turtle, brazil-nuts, and sarsaparilla, for months without encountering any obstacle to its navigation. Lieutenant Herndon, in descending the Amazon in 1851, found the mouth of the Purús to be half a mile wide, with a depth of 16 fathoms, while at one mile up the depth was 18 fathoms.

“The Purús communicates with the Amazon by one principal mouth, and by four narrow channels (called furos) which leave the Purús at a good way up, and enter the Amazon, three above and one below the real mouth. Along these channels the water sometimes flows from the Purús into the Amazon, and sometimes in the contrary direction, according to the variable height of the water in the two rivers; and sometimes, when both rivers are very low, the channels are left nearly dry. The middle one of the three upper channels is called the Furo de Cochiuará, a name which Acuña applies to the whole river, and writes it ‘Cuchiguará.’ It is a famous and navigable river, he says, and adds, ‘Although there are rocks in some places, it has plenty of fish, a great number of turtle, abundance of maize and mandioc, and all things necessary for facilitating the entrance of an expedition.’[466] The rocks of which he speaks, we shall afterwards find to be cliffs rising from the river’s edge, and offering no hindrance whatever to navigation.

“When I was at the Barra do Rio Negro in 1851, a man of colour, named Serafim Salgado, arrived there from the Purús, where he had spent some six months, trading with the Purupurú (or Spotted) Indians, who inhabit the lower part of the river, and from whom it takes its name; and also with the Catauixís, whose settlements extend upwards to a distance of two months’ journey from the mouth.[467] I purchased from him various warlike and other instruments used by the Catauixís, which are now deposited in the Museum of Vegetable Products at Kew; and obtained from him some curious information about the customs of those Indians. They use the powder of the roasted seeds of Acacia Niopo as a stimulant and narcotic, as I have also seen it used by the Guahibos on the Orinoco, where it is called Niopo, and by the Múras and other Indians on the Amazon, where it is called Paricá. For absorbing the Paricá by the nose, a tube is made of the bone of a bird’s leg cut in two, and the pieces joined again at such an angle, that one end being applied to the mouth the other reaches the nostrils; a portion of snuff is then put into the tube and blown from it with great force up the nose. A Paricá clyster-pipe (which seems peculiar to the river Purús, as I have myself{342} nowhere seen it used) is made on the same principle, of the long shankbone of the Tuyuyú (Mycteria Americana). The effect of the Paricá, taken as snuff, is to speedily induce a sort of intoxication, resembling in its symptoms that produced by the fungus Amanita muscaria. Taken as a clyster it is a purge, more or less violent according to the quantity employed. When the Catauixí Indian is about to set forth on the chase, he takes a small clyster of Paricá, and administers another to his dog, the effects on both being (it is said) to clear their vision and render them more alert! His weapon is generally the blowing cane, from which he propels slender darts tipped with Uirarí poison. Attached to the quiver that holds the darts is a slender tube of bamboo, two inches and a half long, filled with soot, with which he smears his face when he approaches his hut, if he returns successful from the chase. By this signal his family are advertised beforehand whether or not they will have to go without supper.—The Catauixí name for the blowing-cane darts is Araráicohí, and for the poison Arinulihá—the only two words I possess of their language.

“When in 1852 the upper part of the Amazon, and the adjacent territory east and west of it (corresponding to the ancient Capitania do Rio Negro), were separated from the province of Pará, and erected into a province, under the name of ‘Amazonas,’ the exploration of the rivers entering the Amazon on the south was taken up in earnest by the new president and the provincial assembly; and Serafim Salgado was appointed to explore the Purús, with instructions “to seek a passage to the towns of Bolivia, by the river Purús and the savannahs of the Beni, shorter than that by the Madeira, and free from the cataracts of that river.” Unfortunately he was not furnished with a single instrument—not even a compass, or so much as a lead line for soundings; and his diary of his long and tedious voyage is deficient in information on almost every point of importance; yet, meagre as it is, as no account of that river has ever appeared in print, I give here a translation of it, appending thereto a few deductions which I think may be legitimately made from it.[468]

“ ‘Report of Serafim da Silva Salgado on the Exploration of the River Purús.

“ ‘Most illustrious and excellent Sir,—I have the honour to present to your Excellency the report of the voyage which I made from this capital to the 7th Maloca (village) of the Purús, which river I ascended during the space of four months and nineteen days. Along with it your Excellency{343} will find also a list of the articles which I expended during this long and painful voyage, and another of the presents and other objects which were furnished me to enable me to undertake it.

“Your Excellency will allow me to mention that I have not yet paid the Tuxaúa (chief) Mamurité, and the Purupurú Indian Baidá, who accompanied me on this voyage, and who have hitherto received no pay whatever. The first will be satisfied with a few presents and clothes, and the second with something less. I regret much that I have not been able to perform better the task which your Excellency’s most excellent predecessor confided to me, and (from circumstances specified in the Report) that I could not go forward until I reached some Bolivian town; although I believe there is none such on the banks of the Purús, because at the seventh village of the Cucamas, which is the highest point I reached, the river is so narrow and obstructed, that it would be impossible to ascend much beyond it even in the season of flood.

“ ‘I beg your excellency to kindly excuse the incompleteness of my performance, and to honour me by receiving it, with the expressions of faithful respect and attachment that I offer to your Excellency.

“ ‘Deos guarde á V. Exª. Barra do Rio Negro, 20 de Dezembro de 1852.

“ ‘Serafim da Silva Salgado.

“ ‘To the most illustrious and excellent Senhor Dr. Manoel Gomes Correa de Miranda, 1st Vice-president of the Province of Amazonas.’

“ ‘Report of the voyage made by the undersigned from the capital of the Province of Amazonas to the limit of navigation of the river Purús.

“ ‘Honoured by being appointed, on the 5th of May of the current year, by his Excellency the President of the Province, to explore the river Purús, and furnished with the necessary instructions, I set out from this city of the Barra on the evening of the 10th of May, in two canoes, manned by twelve Indians, and accompanied by a corporal and twelve soldiers with their arms and ammunition, and travelled as far as the lake Curupira, twelve hours’ journey. It was six in the evening of the 11th when I reached that lake, where I remained until the 13th, occupied in making toldas[469] for the canoes. I started again on the morning of the 14th, and at nightfall was within the furo[470] of Aranduba, and as we could not pass it with daylight we remained there, and on the 15th passed out at the other end, and that day reached another furo called Bode.{344}

“ ‘On the 16th reached the Caldeiraō;[471] the 17th the mouth of the furo Arapapá; the 18th the farm of José Antonio Barrozo; the 19th a little way above the lake Calado; the 20th lake Manacapurú, where we had to remain till the 24th to mend the ironwork of the helm of one of the canoes. On the 24th, continuing to ascend the Solimoēs,[472] we reached the upper point of the island Marrecaō; on the 25th the island Paratarý; on the 26th the paraná-merím of the same name,[473] along which we sailed the three following days, passing along the lake Berury (already within the mouth of the Purús) on the 30th, and on the 31st the Castanha lake. In front of Berury on the right (ascending the Purús) is the paraná-merím of S. Thomé.

“ ‘River Purús.

“ ‘June 1st. Navigated as far as the upper point of the island Naná, passing lake Estopa on the right hand as night closed in.

“ ‘June 2nd. Reached the mouth of lake Mathias, passing the mouths of lakes Sunára and Ubím.

“ ‘June 3rd. Reached Paricatuba, where there was a guard of soldiers, having passed this day the mouths of lakes Cuiuaná, Cáua, and Tapurú on the right, and Xaviana on the left. Here we remained until the 5th, to make a tolda for an additional canoe.

“ ‘June 6th. Reached the mouth of lake Uaiapuá, and on the left hand lake Paricatuba.

“ ‘June 7th. To the beach called Carapaná.[474]

“ ‘June 8th. To lake Uarumá on the left.

“ ‘June 9th. To the paraná-merím of Yary, along which we navigated all through the 10th and 11th.

“ ‘June 12th. To the paraná-merím of Macaco.

“ ‘June 13th. To the paraná-merím of Sapiá.

“ ‘June 14th. To lake Taboca, on the right bank.

“ ‘June 15th. To the mouth of lake Campina.

“ ‘June 16th. To the paraná-merím of Guajaratuba, along which we went all through the 17th, before we got out again into the main river.{345}

“ ‘June 18th. Along the paraná-merím of Chapeo.

“ ‘June 19th. Rested this day below Taná-merím, the site of an ancient maloca of the Muras. Started again on the 20th, and on the 21st reached the sitio of Hygino (a man of colour), where we remained all through the 22nd, and on the 23rd reached the beaches of Tabocál.

“ ‘June 24th. Went on until we passed the Paraná-pixuna.

“ ‘June 25th. Reached Itaituba, so called from its rocky cliffs.

“ ‘June 26th. To the beaches of Quatí.

“ ‘June 27th. Drew up in front of Arimá, a place where they are founding a new village. We passed this day the mouth of lake Jacaré, on the left.

“ ‘June 28th. Went on this day without stopping, and on the 29th reached the beach called Paxiuba, and on the 30th the mouth of the Tanariá Grande. Passed the outlet of lake Manarý on the left, and that of the Tauarí on the right. Throughout this month the voyage was not interrupted by any untoward occurrence, but we suffered much from the heavy rains and the great plague of mosquitos.

“ ‘July 1st. This day reached the beach of Tauaná on the left. Went on all through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, and on the 5th reached the beach of Ituá. During this time eight Múra Indians, part of our crew, deserted, and we were obliged to seek hands to supply their place in the village of Arimá, in which we succeeded by the aid of the Tuxáua Marý. We could then start again, and on the 6th reached the beach of Jaburú.

“ ‘July 7th. This day halted in front of the furo Muahán, and on the 8th in the mouth of the furo Caiaupé.

“ ‘July 9th. To the mouth of the river Tapauá, which enters on the right.

“ ‘July 10th. Reached the beach of Macuquirý.

“ ‘July 11th. To the beach of Aramiá, passing the mouth of the Pauatrarý on the right.

“ ‘July 12th. To the beach of Mapuahán.

“ ‘July 13th. To the beach of Pucutihán.

“ ‘July 14th. To the beach of Cauarchan.

“ ‘July 15th. To beyond lake Capihán.

“ ‘July 16th. To the beach of Juihán.

“ ‘July 17th. Below lake Caquatahán, where we met rafts of Purupurú Indians.

“ ‘July 18th. To the beach Arapapa, passing the mouths of the rivers Mucuín and Caquatahán on the left. We went along the margin of the same beach all through the 19th, 20th, and 21st, and arrived on the 22nd at the beach of Auaboneny, the 23rd at that of Uarimá, and the 24th at that of Curianhán, passing this day the mouth of the river Apituhán.

“ ‘July 25th. Navigated this day along the river bank, and on the 26th reached the beach of Mapuahan; on the 27th that of Assaituba, where we remained all the 28th to repair one of the canoes.{346}

“ ‘July 29th. Reached this day the beach of Pacihá, having passed the mouth of the river Marý, and on the 31st reached the beach of Jurihán.

“ ‘During this month the voyage was continued without any other interruption than the desertion of the Mura Indians, and the necessity of repairing the canoes. On some days we went on until midnight to make up for the delay in the mornings, when the thick fog was not dissipated by the sun’s rays until eight or ten o’clock.

“ ‘August 1st. Reached the beach of Jurucuá; on the 2nd that of Capim; on the 3rd that of Situahán; on the 4th that of Terrahán; on the 5th that of Catarrahán; on the 6th that of Boto, passing this day a point called Catatiá on the right.

“ ‘August 7th. Reached the beach of Maquirahán, and passed the mouth of the river Cunhuaryhán.

“ ‘August 8th. To the beach of Parahán, having passed this day some high cliffs called Cumarihán.

“ ‘August 9th. To the beach of Curianá, passing lake Learihán on the right.

“ ‘August 10th. To the beach of Quarý, passing the mouth of lake Tumehán, where there are rocky cliffs.

“ ‘August 11th. Reached the beach of Mamurihán-merím, which is on the right bank; the 12th the beach of Gamuhím; the 13th that of Itirapuá; the 14th that of Caçadua; the 15th that of Guajará; the 16th that of Arutá; the 17th the mouth of the river Paniný; the 18th the beach of Parahán; the 19th the mouth of the river Chiriuiný. From this river begins a very long beach, along which we navigated all through the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th, and on the 26th arrived at another beach called Pedreira. On the 27th we were alongside another extensive beach, by which we went on until the end of the month. Nothing worth mentioning happened throughout this month; but the voyage began to grow more difficult, because the river got gradually narrower, much obstructed with trunks of trees, and so very tortuous, that we have sometimes gone on a whole day without advancing scarcely anything, on account of the great bends of the river.

“ ‘September. Continuing to ascend the river during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, on the 4th passed the mouth of the igarapé Macuianý, said to be inhabited by a horde of cannibals, of the tribe Jamamadi, to the number of about four hundred. Thus we went on until the 11th, when we passed another igarapé, the Euacá, on the left, in which also there are numerous Jamamadi Indians. In the mouth of this stream, and on an adjacent beach, there was an encampment of more than a hundred people who had been drawn together by hearing our réveillé.

“ ‘On the 12th passed the mouth of the river Canaquirý, whose sources are in the campos of the river Madeira. In this river appeared sixteen{347} ubás and cascas[475] with Indians of the tribe Canamarý (cannibals), who came out to meet us; they were in all sixty-five souls. By an Indian who accompanied our expedition, and who understood a little of their language, we learnt that the Canamarýs were plotting among themselves to surprise our canoes by night, kill us all, and carry off our goods. Profiting by this timely warning, I had the canoes anchored in the middle of the stream, and prepared our troops to resist any attack that should be attempted by night. Early in the morning the Indians dispersed, but not before we had bought of them their arrows and curabís (poisoned arrows), and then, telling them that another canoe was following us, we got rid of them.

“ ‘On the 18th reached the first malóca (village) of the Cucama Indians; on the 23rd we drew up at the second; on the 29th at the third, and, although the voyage began to be very arduous, we went on all day of the 30th.

“ ‘October. After having gone on the whole of the 1st, we arrived on the 2nd of this month at the fourth maloca of Cucamas; on the 4th, at the fifth maloca; on the 6th, at the sixth maloca; and on the 9th, at the seventh maloca.

“ ‘These Indians, gathered together in malocas, to the number of thirty, forty, or fifty each, subsist on aipím (=Manihot Aypi Pohl.)[476] and bananas of which they have plantations, and on game. They are light-coloured, well-made (that is, the men, for of women we saw not a single one, because they hide them away, except the old ones), and they bore the under lip. They wear ponchos. They had no iron tools of any kind, and they were well content with some axes which we gave them. They would employ this tool to make their canoes, for they make their clearings by fire alone.

“ ‘They were highly delighted when they saw us approach, for they had never before seen civilised people; although they mentioned a few names of persons whom they had seen at the headwaters of the Juruá.

“ ‘Many of these Indians wished to go down the river with our expedition, but, as our farinha was nearly exhausted, I did not venture to take them; besides, as their principal aliment is aipím and bananas, and we had a great distance to go before coming to those plants again, they would necessarily have suffered much by the way.

“ ‘They live unceasingly persecuted by the tribes Canamarýs, Apurinás, and Oainomarís (all cannibals), who unite to harass them, rob them, and kill those they meet in order to devour them.{348}

“ ‘The Cucamas have such a way of speaking that they seem to us to belong to Bolivia, for they make use of several Spanish words, and call, for instance, an axe hacha, a cutlass machéte, a knife cuchillo, etc.

“ ‘It was quite impossible to ascend higher than the seventh maloca, for the river was so narrow, and so much obstructed, that it did not admit the passage of even the smallest canoes.

“ ‘For this cause we set out to return on the 10th, and, going along without stopping, we reached this capital on the 30th of November, about eight o’clock at night.

“ ‘Finally, in all this long and painful voyage, we had not to deplore any fatal accident.

“ ‘Barra do Rio Negro, 20th of December, 1852.

“ ‘Serafim da Silva Salgado.

“With the ‘Report’ before us, let us endeavour to ascertain the extreme point of Serafim’s navigation on the Purús. As he says not a word about bearings and distances, the only guide we have to the latter is the time occupied in the ascent, and I find that, deducting the days when he was stationary, he travelled from the Barra to the head of navigation on the Purús in 141 days. Now, if we take a known distance on the Amazon, viz. from the Barra to Manacapurú, which is 82 nautical miles (following the course of the river), we find that Serafim spent just 8 days over it, being at the rate of 10¼ miles per day. In the month of May, when he started, the Amazon would already have risen considerably and the current would be difficult to stem; hence this slow rate of progress.[477] The Purús in its lower part has a much gentler current than the Amazon, and there he would no doubt get on better; but it would attain its highest level during the period of Serafim’s voyage up it, and would then run much more than usual; and he mentions expressly that in its upper part the current became from day to day more rapid as he proceeded; so that I think we may safely assume 10¼ miles a day as the average rate of progress throughout the voyage, and travellers who have had to creep up South American rivers in canoes will agree with me that it is rather over than under the mark. This would give us for

Distance from Barra to head of navigation of Purús1445 miles
Deduct distance from Barra to mouth of Purús150 miles
And we get 1295 miles,  for

the whole length of Serafim’s navigation of the Purús, including all the bends of the river, from which at least one-third (but probably more) would have to be deducted to reduce it to a straight line. Taking off{349} the third part, leaves 863 miles for the shortest distance between the extreme points of the navigation of the Purús, or say in round numbers 800 miles, which is possibly still in excess of the actual distance. Supposing that on the map of Spix and Martius (which is even yet the best we possess for a great part of South America) the general direction assigned to the Purús is correct (N.E., or rather N. 46° E.), and measuring on that rhumb for 800 miles, we reach a point which is in lat. 12° 30´ S., long. (from Greenwich) about 70° W. To ascertain where this takes us to we must go to the Andes of the S. E. of Peru, and inquire what streams flow northward from thence, between the headwaters of the Ucayali on the west, and those of the Madeira on the east. The fullest and probably the only trustworthy account we have of those streams is contained in two memoirs, by Mr. Clements Markham, published in the journals of the Royal Geographical Society, giving an account of an expedition made to the north-east of Cuzco in 1853, and of another in the adjacent province of Carabaya in 1860. He found the streams there divided into three groups, the most westerly uniting to form the river called the Madre de Dios, or Amaru-mayu, while the streams of the middle group formed the Inambarí, and the most easterly were tributaries of the Tambo-pata. He descended the Tono (as the upper part of the Madre de Dios is called) to a point in about lat. 12° 45´ S., long. 70° 30´ W.; the Sandia to where it unites with the Huari-huari to form the Inambarí, in lat. about 13° 10´ S., long. 69° 15´ W.; and the Tambo-pata to lat. 12° 18´ S., long. 68° 38´ W. Now if the Purús be prolonged but forty miles beyond the point to which Serafim is supposed to have ascended in 1852, it brings us exactly to where Mr. Markham descended on the Madre Dios in the following year (1853). In so savage a region it is quite possible that two explorers, the one starting from the mouth and the other from the head of a river, might reach nearly the same point on it, at the very same time, and yet not only be unaware of each other’s proximity, but afterwards, in comparing their itineraries, not find therein a single name common to both. There is, however, one name on Mr. Markham’s map, that of the river Inambarí, which I feel pretty confident is the same as the Oainamarí mentioned by Serafim as the name of an Indian nation who harassed the pacific and agricultural Cucamas at the head of the Purús. The Indian name of a river is generally that of a nation inhabiting its banks, as in the case of the Purús itself. Besides, the Indian of the Amazon, following the genius of their language (the Tupí), are very apt to prefix to names, especially such as begin with a vowel, a sound like that of the English w, which the Portuguese and Spaniards have variously represented by the letters u, o, oa, hu, gu, and even b; thus, to the northward of the Amazon, we have the river Guaupés, Uaupés, or Aupés; the Guasié, Sié, or Xié (pron. Shié); precisely analogous instances to Oainamarî, Uinamarí, or Inam(b)arî; for (it should be added) the letter b is{350} generally a modern interpolation in names of the plain, not heard from the month of a native Indian.[478]

“Serafim does not tell us, and probably did not ascertain, whether his Oainamarí Indians lived on a river which fell into the Purús. Mr. Markham’s impression, after visiting the Madre de Dios, the Inambarí, and the Tambo-pata, and noting their direction at the lowest point he attained on them, was that all three united to form one river, which he supposed to be the Purús; and his opinion is entitled to great weight, as that of the only person capable of giving an account of what he saw, who has visited all the three rivers. Here, however, is the difficulty, which only a new and thorough exploration can clear up; for all speculation on such a point is uncertain and valueless. Comparing the maps of Martius and Markham, and bearing in mind the statement of Baena, one would be tempted to say that the Tambo-pata was the head of the Purús, the Inambarí of the Yutahý, and the Madre de Dios of the Yauarý; or the Madre de Dios may really be the origin of the Purús, and the other two streams may flow into the Beni. There are other possible modes of combination, and there is even another tributary of the Amazon, intermediate between the Yutahý and the Purús, I mean the Yuruá, which, though a smaller river, has so long a course, that we see (in Serafim’s story) Cucamas of the Purús having intercourse with people at the head of the Yuruá.

“It is clear from Serafim’s report, that the plain through which the Purús flows has a scarcely perceptible declivity, for he nowhere encountered cataracts, or even rapids. Indeed, on referring to the maps, and considering the nature of the ground, we see that the head of navigation of the Purús must needs be on a lower level than that of the Beni and Mamoré; and yet on a tributary of the latter (the Chaparé) Gibbon found that water boiled at 209° 5´, indicating an elevation above the sea of only four hundred and sixty-five feet. This goes far to show that Humboldt may be correct in his supposition of a strip of low land extending from the Amazon valley, between the Andes on the one hand,{351} and the mountains of Brazil on the other, all through the provinces of Mojos and Chiquitos to the basin of the river Plate. The navigable part of the Purús extends to the southward, along this lowland, apparently to far beyond the last falls of the Madeira; its depth is probably great enough to admit of its being navigated by steamers at least up to within two hundred miles of the highest point reached by Serafim; and we may therefore be allowed to predict that the Purús will at some future day become one of the great highways between the Andes and the Amazon.

“Like other affluents of the Amazon flowing through a champaign country, the Purús has numerous lakes, and but very few rivers tributary to it. I have ascended two rivers, entering the Amazon from the northward, which have precisely the same character, viz., the Trombetas and the Pastasa. The latter of these two rivers is in some parts nearly two miles in breadth, but its stream is generally sluggish and so shallow that, although I entered it when the waters were at their highest level, yet when they partially subsided during the voyage, we had great difficulty in finding a channel sufficiently deep to float our canoes, although the latter were merely hollowed trunks, and we were still some distance below the confluence of the Bobonasa. On the Purús, however, Serafim does not once mention being impeded by insufficient depth of water. He complains of the foggy mornings, such as I have experienced on all the rivers whose course is northerly or southerly; whereas on the Amazon, and even on the Rio Negro, so long as its course (in ascending) is westerly, the easterly trade-wind usually prevents any accumulation of fog, especially in the dry season, when that wind prevails most.”

Richard Spruce.

“June 13th, 1864.”



How the Indians carry herbs or roots in their mouths, and concerning the herb called coca, which they raise in many parts of this kingdom.

IN all parts of the Indies through which I have travelled I have observed that the natives take great delight in having herbs or roots in their mouths. Thus, in the district of the city of Antioquia, some of the people go about with a small leaf in their mouths, and in the province of Arma they chew another leaf. In the districts of Quinbaya and Anzerma they cut small twigs from a young green tree, which they rub against their teeth without ceasing. In most of the villages subject to the cities of Cali and Popayan they go about with small coca leaves in their mouths, to which they apply a mixture, which they carry in a calabash, made from a certain earth-like lime. Throughout Peru the Indians carry this coca in their mouths, and from morning until they lie down to sleep, they never take it out. When I asked some of these Indians why they carried these leaves in their mouths (which they do not eat, but merely hold between their teeth), they replied that it prevents them from feeling hungry, and gives them great vigour and strength. I believe that it has some such effect, although, perhaps, it is a custom only suited for people like these Indians. They sow this coca in the forests of the Andes, from Guamanga to the town of Plata. The trees are small, and they cultivate them with great care, that they may yield the leaf called coca. They put the leaves in the sun, and afterwards pack them in long narrow bags, containing a little more than an arroba each. This coca was so highly valued in Peru in the years 1548, 1549, 1550, and 1551, that there was not a root nor anything gathered from a tree, except spice, which was in such estimation. In those years{353} they valued the repartimientos of Cuzco, La Paz, and Plata at eighty thousand dollars, more or less, all arising from this coca. Coca was taken to the mines of Potosi for sale, and the planting of the trees and picking of the leaves was carried on to such an extent, that coca is not now worth so much, but it will never cease to be valuable. There are some persons in Spain who are rich from the produce of this coca, having traded with it, sold and re-sold it in the Indian markets.[479]


Of the road from Cuzco to the city of La Paz; and of the villages, until the Indians called Canches are passed.

THE distance from the city of Cuzco to the city of La Paz is eighty leagues, a little more or less. It must be known that, before La Paz was founded, all the towns and villages now subject to that city were within the limits of the city of Cuzco. Setting out from Cuzco by the royal road of Colla-suyu, it leads to the narrow pass of Mohina, leaving the buildings of Quispicanchi on the left hand. The road goes by this place, after leaving Cuzco, and is paved with stones. In Mohina there is a large swamp, across which the road is carried on a paved causeway. There were great edifices in Mohina, which are now in ruins. When the governor Don Francisco Pizarro entered Cuzco with the Spaniards, they found much gold and silver, and rich and precious clothing in these edifices. I have heard some Spaniards say that there was a block of stone in this place, in the shape of a man, with long ropes, and beads in the hand, besides other figures, some of which they adored as idols.{354}

Beyond Mohina is the ancient village of Urcos, which is about six leagues from Cuzco.[480] On this road there is a very large and strong wall, and the natives say that along the top of it a channel of water was conducted with great labour from a river, with the same skill and order as they make their other irrigating channels. In this great wall there was a broad doorway, at which there were porters who collected the tribute which the Indians were obliged to pay to the lords. There were other overseers of the same Yncas at this place, to seize and punish those who had the audacity to take gold or silver out of the city of Cuzco. In this place there were quarries whence they took stones for building edifices, which are well worth seeing. Urcos is built on a hill, where there were palaces for the lords. Thence to Quiquixana the distance is three leagues over a rugged country. Here the river of Yucay flows through the valley, over which there is a bridge made like others in this country. Near this place the Indians called Cavinas are settled, who, before they were subjugated by the Yncas, wore a large ornament in their ears. They say that Manco Ccapac, the founder of the city of Cuzco, secured the friendship of these Indians. They go about dressed in woollen clothes, with a black fillet twisted round their heads. In the mountains there are villages in which the houses are built of stone. In former times they held a temple in great veneration, called Ausancata, near which they say that their ancestors saw an idol or devil in the same dress as their own. These Indians held for certain that the souls which departed from the bodies went to a great lake, where, in their vain belief, they held that they had their origin, and where they again entered into the bodies of those who were born. After they were subjugated by the Yncas they became more civilised and intelligent,{355} and adored the sun, without forgetting their former temple. Beyond this province is that of the Canches, who are intelligent and homely Indians, without malice, and always skilful in working, especially gold and silver. They also had large flocks of sheep. Their villages are like those of their neighbours; they wear the same clothes, with a black fillet round the head, the ends of which hang down as low as the chin. They say that, in ancient times, they waged great wars with Huira-ccocha Ynca, and with some of his predecessors, and that, when they submitted to their rule, the Yncas valued them highly. Their arms were darts, slings, and weapons called Ayllos, with which they captured their enemies. Their methods of interment were the same as those already described; their tombs were built of stone, on the heights, and here they put the bodies of their chiefs, together with some of their wives and servants. They do not value the vanities and honours of the world, though it is true that some of the chiefs are haughty to the Indians, and treat them with asperity. At certain seasons of the year they celebrate their festivals, for which they have fixed days. In the buildings of the chiefs there were places where they had their dances, and where the chiefs ate and drank. They conversed with the devil, like all the other Indians. Throughout all the land of these Canches there is maize and wheat, and plenty of partridges and condors, and in their houses the Indians have many fowls. They also catch excellent fish in the rivers.{356}


Of the provinces of Canas, and of Ayavire.

AFTER leaving the province of Canches, that of Canas[481] is entered, which is the name of another tribe, and the names of the villages are Hatuncana, Chiquana, Horuro, Cacha, and others which I shall not enumerate.[482] These Indians all{357} wear clothes, both men and women, and they have large, round, high woollen caps on their heads. Before they were subjugated by the Yncas, they had their villages in the mountain fastnesses, whence they came forth to make war; afterwards they descended into the valley. Their customs with regard to burials are the same as those of the Canches. In the province of these Canas there was a temple which they called Ancocahua, where they performed sacrifices, in their blindness; and in the village of Cacha there were great edifices, built by order of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui. On the other side of the river there is a small enclosure, within which they found some gold. This temple was built in memory of their god Huira-ccocha, whom they call the Creator. Within it there was a stone idol the height of a man, with a robe, and a crown or tiara on the head. Some said that this might be the statue of some apostle who arrived in this land.[483] In the second part of{358} this work I shall treat of what I believe, and of what I was able to collect respecting the report that fire came down from heaven, and converted many stones into cinders. Throughout this province of Canas the climate is cold, as well as in Canches, but the country is well supplied with provisions and flocks. To the west is the South Sea, and to the east the forests of the Andes. From the village of Chiquana, in this province of Canas, to Ayavire the distance is fifteen leagues, within which limits there are some villages of the Canas, many plains, and great meadows well suited for flocks, if it were not so cold. Now the great quantity of herbage is only useful for guanacos and vicuñas.

In ancient times it was a grand thing to see this town of Ayavire, and the place is still worthy of note, especially the great tombs, which are so numerous that they occupy more space than the habitations of the living. The Indians positively assert that the natives of this town of Ayavire are of the same descent and lineage as those of Canas; and that the Ynca Yupanqui waged wars and fought battles with them, in which they suffered so severely that they submitted to his service, to save themselves from entire destruction. But as some of the Yncas were vindictive, after the Ynca had killed a great number of the Indians of Copacopa and other villages in the forests of the Andes, whom he had got into his power by deceit, he did the same to the natives of Ayavire, in such sort that few or none were left alive. It is notorious that those who escaped wandered in the fields for a long time, calling on their dead, and mourning with groans and great sorrow over the destruction that had come upon their people. As Ayavire is a large district, through which a good river flows, the Ynca Yupanqui ordered that a great palace should be built here,{359} which was accordingly done, together with many buildings where the tribute was stored up. A temple of the sun was also built, as one of the most important things. The Ynca then ordered that Indians (who are called Mitimaes) should come here with their wives, for there were few natives left, and the Mitimaes became lords of the soil, and heirs to the dead natives, and they were directed to form a large town near the temple of the sun and the principal edifices. The town went on increasing until the Spaniards arrived in this kingdom, but since that time, what with the civil wars and other calamities, it has greatly decreased, like all the others.

I entered it at the time when it was held in encomienda by Juan de Pancorbo, a citizen of Cuzco; and I learnt these particulars, which I have written down, from the best information within my reach. Near this town there is a ruined temple, where once they offered up sacrifices. And the multitude of tombs which appear all round this town is held to be a notable sight.


Of the great district which is inhabited by the Collas, of the appearance of the land where their villages are built, and how Mitimaes were stationed to supply them with provisions.

THE region which they call Collao appears to me to be the largest province in all Peru, and the most populous. The Collas are first met with at Ayavire, and they extend as far as Caracoto. To the east of their province are the forests of the Andes, to the west are the peaks of the snowy mountains, which descend on the other side to the South Sea. Besides the lands which the natives occupy with their fields and houses, there are vast uninhabited tracts{360} full of wild flocks. The land of the Collas is level in most parts, and rivers of good water flow through it.

These plains form beautiful and extensive meadows, the herbage of which is always plentiful, and at times very green, although in the spring it is parched up as in Spain. The winter begins (as I have already said) in October, and lasts until April. The days and nights are almost equal, and the cold in this district is greater than in any other part of Peru, excepting the snowy peaks, because the land is high, and comes up to the mountains. Certainly if this land of the Collao had a deep valley like those of Xauxa or Chuquiapu, which would yield maize, it would be one of the richest in all the Indies. When the wind is blowing it is hard work to travel over these plains of the Collao, but when there is no wind, and the sun is shining, it is very pleasant to see the beautiful and well-peopled meadows. But the climate is so cold that there is no maize, nor any kind of tree; and the land is too sterile to yield any of the fruits which grow in other parts.[484] The houses in the villages are built of stone, and roofed with straw instead of tiles, and they are placed close together. This country of the Collao was once very populous, and was covered with large villages, round which the Indians had their fields, where they raised crops for food. Their principal food is potatoes,[485] which are like earth nuts, as I have before declared{361} in this history. They dry these potatoes in the sun, and keep them from one harvest to another. After they are dried they call these potatoes chuñus, and they are highly esteemed and valued among them.[486] They have no water in channels for irrigating the fields, as in many other parts of this kingdom, so that, if the natural supply of water required for the crops fails, they would suffer from famine and want if they had not this store of dried potatoes. Many Spaniards have enriched themselves and returned prosperous to Spain by merely taking these chuñus to sell at the mines of Potosi. They have another kind of food called oca,[487] which is also profitable, but not so much so as a seed which they also raise, called quinua,[488] a small grain like rice. When the harvest is abundant, all the inhabitants of the Collao live contented and free from want, but when there is want of water they suffer great distress.

But, in truth, the Kings Yncas who ruled over this empire were so wise, and such excellent governors, that they established laws and customs without which the majority of their people would have suffered great hardships, as they did before they came under the rule of the Yncas. In the Collao, and in all the parts of Peru, where, owing to the cold climate, the land is not so fertile and abundant as in the warm valleys, they ordered that, as the great forests of{362} the Andes bordered on these sterile tracts, a certain number of Indians with their wives should be taken from each village, and stationed to cultivate the land in the places where the chiefs directed them to settle. Here they sowed the things which would not grow in their own country, sending the fruits of their labours to their chiefs, and they were called Mitimaes. At the present day they serve the principal encomienderos, and cultivate the precious coca.

Thus, although no maize can be raised throughout the Colloa, the chiefs and people did not fail to obtain it by this arrangement, for the Mitimaes brought up loads of maize, coca, and fruits of all kinds, besides plenty of honey, which abounds in all parts of the forests, where it is formed in the hollows of trees in the way I have described when treating of Quinbaya.[489] In the province of Charcas this honey is excellent. It is said that Francisco de Carbajal, master of the camp to Gonzalo Pizarro, always ate this honey, and though he drank it as if it had been water or wine, he always remained strong and healthy, as he was when I saw him judged in the valley of Xaquixaguana, although he was over eighty years of age according to his own account.


Of what is said concerning the origin of these Collas, of their appearance, and how they buried their dead.

MANY of these Indians say that they have heard from their fathers that, in times past, there was a great deluge, in the manner described by me in the third chapter of the second part. They also declare that the origin of their ancestors was very ancient, and they relate so many sayings and fictions that I shall not stop to write them down, for some{363} say that their ancestors came out of a fountain, others from a rock, and others out of a lake, so that no sense can be learnt from them concerning their origin. But they all agree that their ancestors lived in a wild state before they were subjugated by the Yncas, that they had strongholds in the mountains whence they came out to fight, and that they had many vicious customs. Afterwards they learnt from the Yncas all that had been made known to the other vassals, and they built their villages in the same way as they have them now. Both men and women are clothed in woollen dresses. They say that, before marriage, the women may go loosely, but that they are punished with death if they are guilty of infidelity after they have been delivered to husbands. These people wear woollen caps called chucos on their heads. Their heads are very long, and flattened behind, because they are pressed and forced into what shape they choose during childhood. The women wear hoods on their heads, almost of the same shape as those worn by friars. Before the Yncas conquered the country, many of the Indians declare that there were two great lords in the Colloa, the one called Sapana and the other Cari, who conquered many pucaras, which are their fortresses. They add that one of these chiefs entered the large island in the lake of Titicaca, and found there a white people who had beards; that they fought with them in such a manner that all were killed; and that they also fought great battles with the Canas and Canches. After they had performed notable deeds, these tyrants, or lords, who had risen up in the Collao, turned their arms against each other, seeking also for the friendship of the Ynca Huira-ccocha, who then reigned in Cuzco. The Ynca made a treaty of peace with Cari at Chucuito, and intrigued so skilfully that he became lord of a great part of the Collao without fighting. The principal chiefs of this country go about with a large retinue, and, when they travel, they are carried in litters, and treated with great{364} respect by all the Indians. They had their temples and huacas in secret places, where they adored their gods, and those who were selected for that duty conversed with the devil.

The things which, to my mind, are most worthy of notice in the Collao, are the tombs of the dead. When I travelled over this country I stopped to write down all that deserved mention concerning the Indians; and I was truly astonished to see how little they cared for having large and handsome houses for the living, while they bestowed so much care on the tombs where the dead were interred, as if all happiness did not consist in something else. Thus, in the plains and meadows near their villages, the tombs were built in the form of small towers, some of stones only, and others of stones mixed with earth, some broad and others narrow, according to the rank and wealth of those who built them.[490] Some of them were roofed with straw, and others with large slabs. I observed that the doors of these towers were towards the east. When the natives of the Collao died they were mourned for during many days, the women holding staves in their hands, and putting ashes on their bodies. The relations of the deceased each contributed something, as well sheep, lambs, and maize, as other things, and, before they buried the corpse, they killed sheep, put the cooked meat into the rooms of their houses, and made much drink from the maize. The deceased is honoured according to the quantity of this beverage that is made. When the drink is ready, and the sheep and lambs killed, they carry the corpse to the place where the{365} tomb is prepared, accompanied, if the deceased was a chief, by the people of the village. Then they burnt ten, twenty, or more sheep, according to the rank of the dead man, and killed the women, boys and servants who were to accompany him, according to their vain belief. All these are buried in the same tomb with the body, into which they also put some people alive. Having interred the deceased in this manner, they all return to the house whence they had taken the body, and there eat the food and drink the chicha, coming out from time to time to dance mournful dances in the appointed places near the house. This goes on for some days, at the end of which the poorest men and women are assembled, and given what remains of the food and chicha. If the deceased was a great chief, they did not bury him immediately, but, before doing so, they practised superstitious vanities for some days, which I shall not describe. When these are finished, the women and servant-girls who have not been killed come out into the village in their mantles and hoods, some carrying the arms of the chief, others his ornamental head-dress, and others his clothes and other things. They walk along uttering sad and sorrowful words, while an Indian goes before them mourning and playing on a drum. Thus they traverse the greater part of the village, declaring, in their songs, the deeds of the dead chief, and other things concerning him. I remember that when I was going to Charcas in company with Diego de Uzeda, who now lives in the city of La Paz, we saw certain women walking in this way through the village of Nicasio,[491] and we learnt from the people of the village that they were saying what I have described in this chapter. One of the Indians added that when these women had finished their lamentations, they would be made drunk,{366} and some of them would be killed to accompany the dead man. In many other villages I have seen them mourn for the dead during many days, and put ropes of sedge round their heads as a sign of grief.


How these Indians perform their annual ceremonies, and of the temples they had in ancient times.

IN the last chapter I have declared how these people made great ado when they put their dead into the tombs. After the interment the women and servants shaved their heads, put on their commonest clothing, and took no care of their persons. Besides this, in order to show their grief, they twisted ropes of sedge round their heads, and uttered continual lamentations during a whole year if the deceased was a chief, and had no light in the house for several days. These people, by the permission of God, were, like all the others, deceived by the devil with the false and delusive apparitions of some people who were dead, dressed and adorned in the way their bodies had been put into the tombs. In order to show more care for the dead they held annual festivals, when they brought animals and killed them near the tombs, also emptying many vases of liquor over the tombs, which completed this vain and foolish ceremony.

As this nation of the Collao was so numerous, they had, in former times, great temples and superstitious rites, venerating those whom they set apart as priests, and who conversed with the devil. They held their festivals at the season when they got in their potatoes, which is their principal food, and then they killed animals as sacrifices. At the present time we do not know that they have any public{367} temple, but, by the will of our God and Lord, many Catholic churches have been founded, where our priests preach the holy gospel, and teach the faith to all the Indians who desire to receive the water of baptism. I verily believe that if there had been no civil wars, and if we had sincerely and earnestly endeavoured to convert these people, many would have been saved, who have now been damned. At present there are priests and friars in many parts of the Collao, appointed by those who hold encomiendas over the Indians; and I pray to God that he will carry this work forward without weighing our sins.

The natives of the Collao say the same as all the other people of the Sierra, that the Creator of the world was called Huira-ccocha, and they know that his principal abode is in heaven; but, deceived by the devil, they adored various gods, like all the other gentiles. They have certain romances or songs in which they preserve the memory of their deeds, and prevent their being forgotten, although they have no letters.

Among the people of the Collao there are men of great intelligence, who reply to what is asked from them; and they take account of time, and know some of the movements both of the sun and the moon. They count their years from ten months to ten months, and I learnt from them that they called the year Mari, the moon or month Alespaquexe, and the day Auro. When they submitted to the Yncas they made great temples by their order, both on the island of Titicaca and at Hatun-colla, as well as in other parts.{368}


Of the ancient ruins at Pucara, of the former greatness of Hatun-colla, of the village called Azangaro, and of other things which are here related.

NOW that I have related certain things that I was able to collect respecting the Collao as briefly as possible, I propose to continue my writing by giving an account of the villages along the royal road, as far as the city of La Paz, which is built in the valley of Chuquiapu, on the confines of the great province of the Collao.

Coming from Ayavire along the royal road, the traveller reaches Pucara (which means a strong place), four leagues from Ayavire. I remained a whole day at Pucara looking at everything.[492] It is reported by the Indians that there was formerly a large population in this place, but at present there is scarcely an inhabitant. The neighbouring Indians say that Tupac Ynca Yupanqui besieged the place during many days, for, before they could be conquered, the natives showed themselves to be so valorous, that they killed many people. When they were finally conquered, the Ynca ordered great stone pillars to be set up in memory of the victory. Whether this be really so or not I cannot say, but the Indians declare it. I saw the ruins of great edifices{369} in Pucara, and many pillars of stone carved in the form of men, besides other things worthy of note.

The distance from Pucara to Hatun-colla is fifteen leagues, and on the road there are some villages, such as Nicasio, Juliaca, and others. In former times Hatun-colla was the principal place in the Collao, and the natives affirm that before the Yncas conquered the country, the chief Sapana and some of his descendants ruled here, who were so powerful that they gained many spoils from the neighbouring people whom they defeated in battle. Afterwards the Yncas adorned the place with new edifices and many storehouses, where, by their order, the tribute was received from the surrounding districts. There was also a temple of the sun, with many Mama-cunas and priests for its service, and a great quantity of Mitimaes and soldiers to watch the frontier, and to prevent any tyrant from rising against him whom they held as sovereign lord. Thus it may be affirmed that Hatun-colla was a grand place, as its name implies, for Hatun means “great” in their language. In these times all is in ruins, and most of the inhabitants have been killed in the wars.[493]

From Ayavire another road goes to Omasuyu, which leads round the other side of the great lake of which I shall treat presently, and nearer to the forests of the Andes. It passes by the large villages of Asillo, Azangaro, and others of less importance, and the country is very rich both in flocks and provisions. When the Yncas conquered this country, the people of these villages had large flocks of sheep. In the same district, in the forests of the Andes, is the famous and very rich river of Caravaya, whence, in former years, they took more than 1,700,00 pesos of gold of such fineness that it exceeded the standard; and gold is still found in the river, but it is only obtained with great{370} labour, and by the death of the Indians who work in it, for the climate is unhealthy, though the wealth of the river is great.[494]


Of the great lake which is within the province of the Collao, of its depth, and of the temple of Titicaca.

THIS land of the Collao is very extensive (as I have said in former chapters), and, besides the inhabited parts, there are many deserts, snowy mountains, and grassy plains which yield sustenance to the wild flocks which wander in all directions. In the centre of the province there is the largest and broadest lake that has been found in the Indies, near which are most of the villages of the Collao. The people raise their crops on large islands in the lake, where they also keep their valuables, as being safer than in the villages along the roads. I remember that I have already said that it is so cold in this province, that not only are there no fruit trees, but they cannot raise maize. In the beds of reeds in this lake there are many kinds of birds, such as large ducks, and they kill two or three kinds of fish in the lake, which are very good, though they are held to be unwholesome.

This lake is so large that it has a circumference of eighty leagues, and so deep that the captain Juan Ladrillero told me that in some parts, when he was sailing with his brigantines, he found the depth to be seventy or eighty brazas, in some places more, in others less. In this respect, and in regard to the waves that are formed when the wind rises, it appears like some gulf of the sea.[495] If it is desired that I should say{371} how so much water was collected into this lake, I am unable to do so, for, though many rivers and streams fall into it, I do not think that they would suffice to make it what it is, especially as a river flows out of it into another smaller lake called Aullagas. It may be that, after the deluge, this lake remained with the water we now see in it, for if it communicated with the sea the water would be salt and not fresh; besides it is at a distance of sixty leagues from the sea. All this water flows out in a deep river which they called the Desaguadero, and falls into the lake which, as I have already said, is called Aullagas.

Another thing worthy of attention is, that we see how the water of one lake enters the other (that is, the water of the lake of the Collao flows into the Aullagas), but not how it flows out of the lake of Aullagas, although it has been examined on all sides. On this subject I have heard both Spaniards and Indians say that, in some of the valleys near the South Sea, they had seen streams of water, which flow{372} under the earth towards the said sea; and they believe that this may be the water of the lake, draining out and opening for itself a road through the bowels of the earth, until it reaches the place to which all waters go, which is the sea.

The great lake of the Colloa is called Titicaca, from the temple which was built on an island in it. The natives held a very vain and foolish belief, which was, that in the time of their ancestors there was no light for many days, and that, when all was wrapped in darkness and obscurity, the resplendent sun came up out of this island of Titicaca, for which reason it was considered sacred, and the Yncas erected a temple on it in honour of the sun, which was much revered and venerated among them, and which contained many virgins and priests, and great store of treasure, of which the Spaniards, at different times, have collected a great deal, but most of it is still missing.[496] If, in truth, the Indians ever really were in want of light, as they say, it must have been owing to some eclipse of the sun; and, as they are such sorcerers, they invented this fable, in which they were assisted by the illusions of the devil, God permitting it for their sins.


In which the narrative continues, and the villages are described as far as Tiahuanaco.

RETURNING to the road where I left it, which was at Hatuncolla, I have to say that it passes thence by Paucar-colla,{373} and other villages of this nation of the Collas, to Chucuito, which is one of the principal and most complete towns in any part of this great kingdom, and is the chief place of the Indians owned by his Majesty in this province. It is certain, too, that the Yncas in former times held Chucuito to be an important place, and, according to the accounts of the Indians, it is the most ancient place of any that I have yet described. Cariapasa was the chief of this place, and, for an Indian, was a very intelligent man. There are large buildings here; and, before the chiefs were subjugated by the Yncas, they were very powerful, among whom the Indians mention two as the principal, named Cari and Yumalla. Chucuito is now, as I have said, the principal village of the Indians of his Majesty, whose other villages are Juli, Chilane, Acos, Pomata, and Zepita, in which there are chiefs who command the Indians. When I passed through these parts the corregidor was Simon Pinto, and the governor was an Indian named Gaspar, an intelligent and clever man. The natives are rich in flocks, and they have plenty of provisions. In other parts they have Mitimaes stationed to raise their maize and coca. There are fine churches in these villages founded by the reverend father friar Tomas de San Martin, principal of the Dominicans. The young men, and others who most desire it, assemble to hear the evangelical doctrine preached by the friars and clergymen. Most of the chiefs have turned Christians. Near Zepita flows the Desaguadero, where, till the days of the Yncas, there used to be toll takers who received tribute from those who passed over the bridge, which is made of bundles of stalks, in such sort that men and horses can cross over it. In one of these villages, called Juli, the master of the camp, Francisco de Carbajal, hung the captain Hernando Bachicao.[497] This is one of the examples which{374} show us that the civil wars and troubles in Peru were the scourges of God, for they killed each other with great cruelty, as I shall relate in the proper place.

Beyond these villages is Huaqui, where there were buildings of the Yncas, one of which is now a church, where the children may hear the Christian doctrine at the proper hours.


Of the village of Tiahuanaco, and of the great and ancient edifices which are to be seen there.

TIAHUANACO is not a very large village, but it is celebrated for the great edifices near it, which are certainly things worth seeing.[498] Near the buildings there is a hill made by{375} the hands of men, on great foundations of stone.[499] Beyond this hill there are two stone idols, of the human shape and figure, the features very skilfully carved, so that they appear to have been done by the hand of some great master. They are so large that they seem like small giants, and it is clear that they have on a sort of clothing different from those now worn by the natives of these parts. They seem to have some ornament on their heads.[500] Near these stone statues there is another building. Their antiquity and the want of letters, are the causes why it is not known who built such vast foundations, and how much time has since elapsed; for at present there is only a wall very well built, and which must have been standing for many ages. Some of the stones are much worn. At this part there are stones of such enormous size that it causes wonder to think of them, and to reflect how human force can have sufficed to move them to the place where we see them, being so large. Many of these stones are carved in different ways, some of them having the shape of the human body, which must have{376} been their idols. Near the wall there are many holes and hollow places in the ground. In another, more to the westward, there are other ancient remains, among them many doorways, with their jambs, lintels, and thresholds, all of one stone.[501] But what I noted most particularly, when I wandered about over these ruins writing down what I saw, was that from these great doorways there came out other still larger stones, upon which the doorways were formed, some of them thirty feet broad, fifteen or more long, and six in thickness. The whole of this, with the doorway and its jambs and lintel, was all one single stone. The work is one of grandeur and magnificence, when well considered. For myself I fail to understand with what instruments or tools it can have been done; for it is very certain that before these great stones could be brought to perfection and left as we see them, the tools must have been much better than those now used by the Indians. It is to be noted, from what now appears of these edifices, that they were not completed, for there is nothing but these portals, and other stones of strange bigness{377} which I saw, some of them shaped and dressed ready to be placed on the edifice, which was a little on one side. Here there was a great idol of stone, which must have been placed there to be worshipped. It is rumoured that some gold was found near this idol; and all round there are more stones, large and small, all dressed and fitted like those already described.[502]


There are other things to be said concerning Tiahuanaco, which I pass over, concluding with a statement of my belief that this ruin is the most ancient in all Peru. It is asserted that these edifices were commenced before the time of the Yncas, and I have heard some Indians affirm{379} that the Yncas built their grand edifices at Cuzco on the plan which they had observed at the wall near these ruins. They even say that the first Yncas thought of establishing their court at Tiahuanaco. Another remarkable thing is, that in all this district there are no quarries whence the numerous stones can have been brought, the carrying of which must have required many people. I asked the natives, in presence of Juan de Varagas (who holds them in encomienda), whether these edifices were built in the time of the Yncas, and they laughed at the question, affirming that they were made before the Yncas ever reigned, but that they could not say who made them. They added that they had heard from their fathers that all we saw was done in one night. From this, and from the fact that they also speak of bearded men on the island of Titicaca, and of others who built the edifice of Vinaque,[503] it may, perhaps, be inferred that, before the Yncas reigned, there was an intelligent race who came from some unknown part, and who did these things. Being few, and the natives many, they may all have been killed in the wars.

Seeing that all these things are hidden from us, we may well say, Blessed be the invention of letters! by virtue of which the memory of events endures for many ages, and their fame flies through the universe. We are not ignorant of what we desire to know when we hold letters in our hands. But in this new world of the Indies, as they knew nothing of letters, we are in a state of blindness concerning many things. Apart from these ruins there are the buildings of the Yncas, and the house where Manco Ynca, the son of Huayna Ccapac, was born. Close by are the tombs of the native chiefs of this place, as high as towers, broad and square, with doors towards the rising sun.{380}


Of the founding of the city called of Our Lady of Peace, who was its founder, and of the road thence to the town of Plata.

FROM the village of Tiahuanaco the road leads to Viacha, a distance of seven leagues, leaving the villages called Cacayavire, Caquinhora, Mallama, and others on the left hand; but it seems to me of little use to name them all. In the midst of them is the plain near another village called Huarina; the place where, in the days that are passed, there was a battle between Diego Centeno and Gonzalo Pizarro.[504] It was a memorable event, as I shall show in the proper place, and many captains and knights of the King’s party fell, fighting under the banner of the captain Diego Centeno, as well as some of those who were the accomplices of Gonzalo Pizarro. God was served by the rebel being the victor in this battle. To reach the city of La Paz, it is necessary to leave the royal road of the Yncas, and to go to the village of Laxa. The city is a day’s journey further on, built in the narrow part of a small valley formed by the mountains. It was founded in the most level part that could be selected, for the sake of the wood and water, of which there is much in this small valley, as the climate is warmer than on the plains of the Collao, which are higher, and where there are none of the things necessary for a large city. Notwithstanding all this, the citizens have thought of moving nearer to the great lake of Titicaca, between the villages of Huaqui and Tiahuanaco. Yet the city has remained in the valley of Chuquiapu where, in former years, great quantities of gold were taken out of the{381} rich mines that are there. The Yncas held this Chuquiapu in great estimation. Near it is the valley of Oyune, where they say that there is a great treasure hidden in a temple on the summit of a snowy mountain, but it cannot be found, nor is it known where it is.

This city of La Paz was founded by the captain Alonzo de Mendoza, in the name of the Emperor our lord, when the licentiate Pedro de la Gasca was president of this kingdom, in the year of our redemption 1549.[505] In the valley formed by the mountains, where the city is built, they raise a few trees, some maize, and the pulses and garden stuffs of Spain. The Spaniards are here well supplied with provisions and with fish from the lake, as well as with plenty of fruit from the warm valleys, where they also grow a great quantity of wheat, and breed goats, cows, and other animals. This city has very rugged and difficult approaches, being, as I have said, amongst the mountains. A small river of excellent water flows near it.

The distance from this city of La Paz to the town of Plata, which is in the province of Charcas, is ninety leagues, a little more or less. I will now return to the royal road which I had left, and I have to say that it goes from Viacha to Hayohayo, where there were great buildings for the Yncas. Beyond Hayohayo is Sicasica, to which point the province of Colloa extends. On both sides of these villages there are several more. Eleven leagues beyond Sicasica is the village of Caracollo, which is built in a certain plain near the great province of Paria, which was highly esteemed by{382} the Yncas. The natives of this province of Paria are clothed like all the rest, and they wear, as an ornamental head-dress, a small woollen cap. The chiefs were much reverenced by the Indians, and there were royal edifices and store-houses of the Yncas, and a temple of the sun. Here there are a great many lofty tombs where they buried their dead. The villages of Indians subject to Paria are Caponota and many others, some near the lake, and some in different parts of the district. Beyond Paria are the villages of Pocoata, Macha, Coracora, Moromoro, and near the Andes there are other provinces and great chiefs.


Of the founding of the town of Plata, which is situated in the province of Charcas.

THE noble and loyal town of Plata, a settlement of Spaniards in Chuquisaca (in the province of Charcas), is very famous throughout the kingdoms of Peru, and in other parts of the world, for the great treasure which, in these latter years, has been brought thence to Spain. This town is built in the best situation that could be found, in a place, as I have already said, which is called Chuquisaca.[506] The climate is temperate, and well suited for the growth of fruit trees, vines, wheat and barley, and other things. At present the farms and lands are very valuable by reason of the rich mines that have been discovered at Potosi. Several rivers of very good water flow near, and many cows, mares, and goats are bred on the estates of the Spaniards. Some of the citizens of this town are among the richest and most prosperous people in the Indies, for in the years 1548 and{383} 1549 a repartimiento belonging to the general Pedro de Hinojosa[507] yielded a rent of more than one hundred thousand castellanos, and others yielded eighty thousand, some even more. The treasure that was found in those times was a wonderful thing. This town of Plata was settled and founded by the captain Peransurez, in the name of his Majesty the emperor and king, our lord, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being his governor and captain-general of Peru, in the year 1538. Besides the villages already mentioned, this town has jurisdiction over Totora, Tapacari, Sipisipe, Cochabamba, the Carangues, Quillanca, Chayanta, Chaqui, the Chichas, and many others, all very rich, and some, like the valley of Cochabamba, suited for the growth of wheat and maize, and for breeding cattle. Beyond this town is the province of Tuquma, and the regions which were entered and discovered by the captains Felipe Gutierrez, Diego de Rojas, and Nicolas de Heredia, in which direction they discovered the river of La Plata, and reached the fortress which was built by Sebastian Cabota. Diego de Rojas died of a wound from an arrow poisoned with the herb used by the Indians, and afterwards Francisco de Mendoza seized Felipe Gutierrez, and obliged him to return to Peru. The same Francisco de Mendoza, when he returned to discover the river, was killed, together with his lieutenant{384} Ruy Sanchez de Hinojosa, by Nicolas de Heredia. Thus these parts were not entirely discovered, owing to the quarrels and feuds amongst the explorers, who returned to Peru. Here they met with Lope de Mendoza, the lieutenant of Diego Centeno, who was flying from the fury of Carbajal, Gonzalo Pizarro’s captain; and joined him. They were defeated by the same Carbajal at a village called Pocona, and soon afterwards Lope de Mendoza and Nicolas de Heredia fell into his power, and were put to death by him, with others.[508]

Further on is the government of Chile, of which Pedro de Valdivia is the governor, and other lands bordering on the strait which is called Magellanes. But as the affairs of Chile are important, and require a special narrative, I have only written what I saw between Uraba and Potosi, which is near this town, a road of such length that it must be (from the borders of Uraba to the further end of the town of Plata) a good two thousand two hundred leagues, as I have already stated. I shall not go further in this my first part, except to say that the Indians subject to the town of Plata have the same customs as those of other parts. After they were conquered by the Yncas, their villages were well ordered, and both men and women wore clothes. They worshipped the sun and other things, and had temples in which they performed their sacrifices. Many of them, such as the Charcas and Carangues, were very warlike. From{385} this town captains and soldiers set out to serve his Majesty several times during the late wars, and they served loyally. With this I make an end of what I have to say touching the founding of the town of Plata.


Of the riches in Porco, and how there are large veins of silver near that town.

IT appears from what the Indians now say that, in the times when the Kings Yncas governed this kingdom of Peru, they obtained a great quantity of silver from some parts of this province of Charcas, and Indians were stationed there, who gave the metal to the overseers or their deputies.[509] In the hill of Porco, which is near the town of Plata, there were mines out of which the Indians got silver for their lords. Much of the silver which was in the temple of the sun, called Ccuri-cancha, is said to have been taken from this hill, and the Spaniards have also got a great deal out of it. In the present year a mine belonging to the captain Hernando Pizarro has been cleaned out, which was worth more than two hundred thousand pesos of gold every year. Antonio Alvarez, an inhabitant of this town, showed me, in the City of the Kings, a little ore taken from this hill of Porco, which appeared to be nearly all silver. In short, Porco was in former times extremely rich, and is so still, and it may be believed that it always will be. In many neighbouring hills, within the jurisdiction of this town of Plata, rich{386} mines of gold and silver have been found. It may be held for certain that there is so much of this metal that if there were those to seek and extract it, they would get little less than, in the province of Biscay, they get iron. But as it must be got out by Indians, and as the country is too cold for Negroes, there are reasons enough why such great wealth is lost. I have also to say that in some parts of the district belonging to the town of Plata there are rivers which bring down very fine gold. In the Chichas, villages given in encomienda to Hernando Pizarro, and subject to this town, it is said that there are some silver mines; and great rivers rise in the Andes, near which, if gold mines were sought for, I hold that they would be found.[510]


How they discovered the mines of Potosi, whence they have taken riches such as have never been seen or heard of in other times; and how, as the metal does not run, the Indians get it by the invention of the huayras.

THE mines of Porco, and others in this kingdom, have been open since the time of the Yncas, when the veins whence they extract the metal were discovered; but those which they have found in the hill of Potosi (concerning which I now desire to write) were never worked until the year 1546. A Spaniard named Villaroel was searching for veins of metal with some Indians, when he came upon this wealth in a high hill, being the most beautiful and best situated in all that district. As the Indians call all hills and lofty eminences Potosi, it retained that name. Although Gonzalo Pizarro was then waging war against the viceroy, and the{387} whole kingdom was troubled with this rebellion, the skirts of the hill were soon peopled, and many large houses were built. The Spaniards made their principal settlement in this place, the court of justice was removed to it, and the town of Plata was almost deserted. They discovered five very rich veins on the upper part of the hill, called the “rich vein,” the “vein of tin,” etc. This wealth became so famous, that Indians came from all parts to extract silver from the hill. The climate is cold, and there are no inhabited places in the vicinity. When the Spaniards had taken possession, they began to extract the silver, and he who had a mine gave each Indian who entered it a marc, or, if he was very rich, two marcs every week. So many people came to work the mines, that the place appeared like a great city. That the greatness of these mines may be known, I will say what I saw in the year of our Lord 1549 in this place, when the licentiate Polo[511] was corregidor of the town of Plata for his Majesty. Every Saturday the metal was melted down in his house, and of the royal fifths there came to his Majesty thirty thousand or twenty-five thousand pesos, and sometimes forty thousand. And while extracting such immense wealth, that the fifth of the silver, which belonged to his Majesty, came to more than one hundred and twenty thousand castellanos[512] every month, they said there was little silver, and{388} that the mines were not well worked. Yet this metal, which was brought to be melted, was only what belonged to the Christians, and not even all that, for a great deal was taken in pure bits and carried off; and it may be believed that the Indians took a great deal to their own homes. It may with truth be asserted that in no part of the world could so rich a hill be found, and that no prince receives such profits and rents as this famous town of Plata. From the year 1548 to 1551 the royal fifths were valued at more than three millions of ducats, which is more than the Spaniards got from Atahualpa, and more than was found in the city of Cuzco, when it was first occupied.[513] It appears that the silver ore cannot be made to run by the bellows, nor can it be converted into silver by means of fire at Potosi. In Porco, and in other parts of the kingdom where they extract metal, they make great plates of silver, and the metal is purified and separated from the dross by fire, in which operation large bellows are used. But in Potosi, although this plan has been tried, it has never succeeded;{389} and though great masters have endeavoured to work with bellows, their diligence has availed them nothing.

As a remedy may be found in this world for all evils, there has not been wanting an invention for extracting this metal, which is the strangest imaginable. The Indians, who were so ingenious, found that in some parts the silver could not be extracted with the aid of bellows, as was the case at Potosi. They, therefore, made certain moulds of clay, in the shape of a flower-pot in Spain, with many airholes in all parts. Charcoal was put into these moulds, with the metal on the top, and they were then placed on the part of the hill where the wind blew strongest, and thus the metal was extracted, which was then purified and refined with small bellows. In this manner all the metal that has been taken from the hill is extracted. The Indians go to the heights with the ores to extract the silver, and they call the moulds Guayras.[514] In the night there are so many of them on all parts of the hill, that it looks like an illumination. When the wind is fresh they extract much silver, but when there is no wind they cannot by any means extract silver; so that, as the wind is profitable in the sea for navigating, it is so here for extracting silver. As the Indians have no overseers when they carry the metal up to the heights, it must be supposed that they have enriched themselves, and taken much silver to their own homes. This is the reason that Indians have come from all parts of the kingdom to this settlement of Potosi, to take advantage of the great opportunities offered for enriching themselves.[515]



There was the richest market in the world at this hill of Potosi, at the time when these mines were prosperous.

IN all parts of this kingdom of Peru we who have travelled over it know that there are great fairs or markets, where the natives make their bargains. Among these the greatest{391} and richest was formerly in the city of Cuzco, for even in the time of the Spaniards its greatness was caused by the gold which was bought and sold there, and by the other things of all kinds that were sent into the city. But this market or fair at Cuzco did not equal the superb one at Potosi where the traffic was so great that, among the Indians alone, without including Christians, twenty-five or thirty thousand golden pesos exchanged hands daily. This is wonderful, and I believe that no fair in the world can be compared to it. I saw this fair several times, and it is held in a plain near the town. In one place there were cestos (bags) of coca, the most valuable product in these parts. In another place there were bales of cloth and fine rich shirtings. Here were heaps of maize, dried potatoes, and other provisions, there great quantities of the best meat in the country. This fair continued from early morning until dusk; and as these Indians got silver every day, and are fond of eating and treating, especially those who have intercourse with Spaniards, they all spent what they got, so that people assembled from all parts with provisions and other necessaries for their support. Many Spaniards became rich in this settlement of Potosi by merely employing two or three Indian women to traffic in this fair. Great numbers of Yana-cuna,[516] who are free Indians with the right of serving whom they please, flocked{392} to the fair, and the prettiest girls from Cuzco and all parts of the kingdom, were to be met with at the fair.

I observed that many frauds were committed, and that there was little truth spoken. The value of articles was not great, and cloths, linens, and Hollands were sold almost as cheap as in Spain. Indeed, I saw things sold for so small a price, that they would have been considered cheap in Seville. Many men, possessed of great wealth, owing to their insatiable avarice, lost it by this traffic of buying and selling, some of whom fled to Chile, Tucuman, and other parts, from fear of their debts. There were also many disputes and lawsuits among the traffickers.

The climate of Potosi is healthy, especially for the Indians, for few or none fall ill there. The silver is conveyed by the royal road to Cuzco, or to the city of Arequipa, which is near the port of Quilca. Most of it is carried by sheep, without which it would be very difficult to travel in this kingdom, owing to the great distance between the cities, and the want of other beasts.


Of the sheep, huanacus, and vicuñas, which they have in most parts of the mountains of Peru.

IT appears to me that in no part of the world have sheep like those of the Indies been found or heard of. They are especially met with in this kingdom and in the government of Chile, as well as in some parts of the province of the Rio de la Plata. It may be that they will also be found in parts that are still unknown. These sheep are among the most excellent creatures that God has created, and the most useful. It would seem that the Divine Majesty took care{393} to create these animals, that the people of this country might be able to live and sustain themselves, for by no other means could these Indians (I speak of the mountaineers of Peru) preserve their lives without these sheep, or others which would supply them with the same necessaries. In this chapter I shall relate how this is.

In the valleys on the coast, and in other warm regions, the natives sow cotton, and make their clothes from it, so that they feel no want, because the cotton cloth is suitable for their climate.

But in the mountainous parts, such as the Collao and Charcas, no tree will grow, and if the cotton was sown it would yield nothing, so that the natives, unless they obtained it by trading, could have no clothing. To supply this need, the Giver of all good things, who is God our Lord, created such vast flocks of these animals which we call sheep, that, if the Spaniards had not diminished their number in the wars, there would be no possibility of counting them, such would have been their increase in all parts. But, as I have already said, the civil wars of the Spaniards have been like a great pestilence, both to the Indians and to their flocks.

The natives call these sheep llamas, and the males urcos. Some are white, others black, and others grey. Some of them are as large as small donkeys, with long legs, broad bellies, and a neck of the length and shape of that of a camel. Their heads are large, like those of Spanish sheep. The flesh of these animals is very good when it is fat, and the lambs are better and more savoury than those of Spain. The llamas are very tame, and carry two or three arrobas weight very well. Truly it is very pleasant to see the Indians of the Collao go forth with their beasts, and return with them to their homes in the evening, laden with fuel. They feed on the herbage of the plains, and when they complain they make a noise like the groaning of camels.{394}

There is another kind called huanacus, of the same shape and appearance, but they are very large and wander over the plains in a wild state, running and jumping with such speed that the dog which could overtake them must be very swift. Besides these, there is another sort of llamas, called vicuñas. These are more swift than the huanacus, though smaller. They wander over the uninhabited wilds, and eat the herbage which God has created there. The wool of these vicuñas is excellent, and finer than the wool of merino sheep in Spain. I know not whether cloth can be made from it, but the cloths that were made for the lords of this land are worth seeing. The flesh of these huanacus and vicuñas tastes like that of wild sheep, but it is good. In the city of La Paz I ate a dinner off one of these fat huanacus, in the inn kept by the captain Alonzo de Mendoza, and it seemed to me to be the best I ever had in my life. There is yet another kind of tame llamas, which are called alpacas, but they are very ugly and woolly. They are of the shape of llamas, but smaller, and their lambs when young are very like those of Spain. Each of these llamas brings forth once in the year, and no more.[517]



Of a tree called molle, and of other herbs and roots in this kingdom of Peru.

WHEN I wrote concerning the city of Guayaquil I treated of the sarsaparilla, an herb the value of which is well known to{396} all who have visited those parts. In this place I propose to treat of the trees called molles, and of their uses. In the{397} valleys and great forests of Peru there are many trees of different kinds, and with different uses, very few of which are like those of Spain. Some of them, such as the aguacates, guayavos, caymitos, and guavas bear fruits such as I have already mentioned in various parts of this work; others are covered with thorns, and others are very large, with great hollows in their trunks, where the bees make their honey with marvellous great order and concert. In most of the inhabited parts of this land, large and small trees are to be seen, which they call molles. These trees have very small leaves, with a smell like that of fennel. Their bark is possessed of such virtue that, if a man has great pain and swelling in his legs, it is removed, and the swelling is reduced, by merely soaking this bark, and washing the place several times. The small branches are very useful for cleaning the teeth. They also make a very good drink from the very small berries which this tree bears, as well as vinegar, by merely steeping the quantity required in vases of water, and putting them on the fire. After they have stood some time, the residue of the liquor is converted into wine, vinegar, or treacle, according to the manner of treating it. The Indians hold these trees in great estimation.[518]


There are also herbs of great virtue in these parts, and I will mention some which I saw myself. In the province of Quinbaya, where the city of Cali stands, they raise certain roots among the trees, which are so efficacious for purging, that it is merely necessary to take a little more than a braza in length, of the thickness of a finger, place it in a small jar of water, and drink the greater part of the water during the night, to cause the required effect, as well as rhubarb. There are also beans which have the same effect, but some praise them, while others say they do harm. In the buildings of Vilcas one of my slave girls was very ill with certain tumours, and I saw that the Indians carried yellow flowers, which they reduced to powder by applying a light to them. By anointing her once or twice with this powder she was cured.

In the province of Andahuaylas there is another herb so good for cleaning the teeth, that by rubbing them with it for an hour or two, the teeth become as white as snow. There are many other herbs in these parts, which are useful for curing men, and others which do harm, and form the poisons of which men die.[519]



How there are large salt lakes and baths in this kingdom; and how the land is suited for the growth of olives and other fruits of Spain, and for some animals and birds of that country.

HAVING concluded what I have to say concerning the founding of the new cities in Peru, it will be well to give an account of some of the most noteworthy things in the country, before I bring this first part of my work to a conclusion.

I will now make mention of the great salt lakes in this country, a thing very important for the sustenance of the people. I have mentioned how there were no salt lakes throughout the government of Popayan, and how God our Lord has provided salt springs, from the water of which the people make the salt for their support. Here in Peru there are such large and fine salt lakes that they would suffice to supply all the kingdoms of Spain, France, Italy, and other parts. Near Tumbez they get large rocks of salt from water near the sea shore, which they take in ships to the port of the city of Cali,[520] and to the Tierra Firme. In the sandy deserts, not very far from the valley of Huara, there are some large and valuable salt lakes, and great heaps of salt which are lost, for few Indians take advantage of this supply.[521] In the mountains near the province of Huaylas there are other still larger salt lakes; and half a league from the city of Cuzco there are wells, where the Indians make enough salt to supply all the province. In Cunti-suyu, and in parts of the Anti-suyu, there are some very large salt deposits. In short it may be said that Peru is well supplied with salt.

There are also baths in many parts of the country, and fountains of warm water, where the natives bathe. I have{400} seen many of these, in the parts through which I have travelled.[522]

Many places in this kingdom, such as the coast valleys and the land on the banks of rivers, are very fertile, and yield wheat,[523] maize, and barley[524] in great quantities. There are also not a few vineyards at San Miguel, Truxillo, the City of the Kings, Cuzco, and Guamanga, and they are beginning to plant them in other parts, so that there is great hope of profitable vine cultivation. There are orange and pomegranate trees, and other trees brought from Spain, besides those of the country; and pulses of all sorts.

In short Peru is a grand country, and hereafter it will be still greater, for large cities have been founded, and when our age has passed away, Peru may send to other countries, wheat, meat, wool, and even silk, for there are the best situations in the world for planting mulberries. There is{401} only one thing that has not yet been brought to this country, and that is the olive tree, which, after bread and the vine, is the most important product. It seems to me that if young plants were brought from Spain, and planted in the coast valleys, and on the banks of rivers in the mountains, there would soon be as large olive woods as there are at Axarafe de Sevilla. For if they require a warm climate it is here; if they want much water, or none, or little, all these requirements can be found here. In some places in Peru it never thunders, lightning is not seen, nor do snows fall in the coast valleys, and these are the things which damage the fruit of olive trees. When the trees are once planted, there will soon come a time when Peru will be as well supplied with oil as with everything else.[525] No woods of oak trees have been found in Peru, but if they were planted in the Collao, in the district of Cuzco, and in other parts, I believe that they would give the same result as olive trees in the coast valleys.[526]


My opinion is that the conquerors and settlers of these parts should not pass their time in fighting battles and marching in chase of each other; but in planting and sowing, which would be more profitable. I have to mention a thing here, that there is in the mountains of Peru. I allude to certain foxes, not very large, which have the property of emitting so foul and pestiferous an odour, that there is nothing with which it can be compared. If one of these creatures, by any accident, comes in contact with a lance or anything else, the evil smell remains for many days, even when the lance is well washed.[527] I have not seen wolves, nor other mischievous animals, in any part, except the great tigers which I have mentioned as frequenting the forests of the port of Buenaventura, in the province of the city of Cali, which have killed some Spaniards, and many Indians. Ostriches[528] have been met with beyond Charcas, and the Indians value them very highly. There is another kind of animal called huis-cacha,[529] of the size and shape of a hare, except that the tail is like that of a fox. They breed in stony places, and amongst rocks, and many are killed with slings and arquebuzes. They are good to eat, and the Indians make mantles of their skins, which are as soft as silk, and very valuable. There are many falcons, which would be prized in Spain. I have already said that there are two kinds of partridges, one small, and the other the size of fowls.[530] There are the best ferrets in the world in{403} this country. There are also certain very obscene birds, both in the coast valleys and in the mountains, called auras, which eat dead bodies, and other noisome substances.[531] Of the same kind are the enormous condors, which almost appear like griffins, and carry off the lambs and small huanacus in the fields.


How the native Indians of this kingdom were great masters of the arts of working in silver, and of building; and how they had excellent dyes for their fine cloths.

FROM the accounts given to us by the Indians, it appears that, in ancient times, they had not the same order in their affairs as they established after they were subdued by the Yncas. For verily things may be seen made by their hands with such skill, that they cause admiration to all who have any knowledge of them. And what is more curious is that they have few tools for making what they do make, and yet that they work with great skill. When this kingdom was gained by the Spaniards, they saw pieces of gold, silver, and clay welded together in such fashion that they appeared to have been born so. They also saw very curious figures and other things of silver which I do not describe, as I did not see them myself. It is sufficient to say that I have seen vases made of pieces of copper or stone, and jars, fountains, and other things richly ornamented by means of the tools they have. When they work, they make a small furnace of clay,{404} where they put the charcoal, and they then blow the fire with small canes, instead of bellows. Besides their silver utensils, they make chains, stamped ornaments, and other things of gold. Even boys, who to look at them one would think were hardly old enough to talk, know how to make these things.[532] Few are the things they now make in comparison with the great and rich ornaments they made in the{405} time of the Yncas. They, however, make the chaquiras,[533] so small and accurately worked, by which they show themselves still to be eminent workers in silver. Many of these silversmiths were stationed by the Yncas in the principal parts of the kingdom.

These Indians also built strong foundations and grand edifices with great skill; and now they build the houses of the Spaniards, make bricks and tiles, and put large stones one on the top of the other with such exactness that the point of junction is scarcely visible. In many parts they do these things with no other tools than stones, and their own wonderful skill. I do not believe that there is any people or nation in the world who could lead irrigation channels over such rugged and difficult places as do these Indians. They have small looms for weaving their cloth; and in ancient times, when the Kings Yncas ruled in this kingdom, the Mama-cunas, who were held to be sacred, and were dedicated to the service of the temples of the sun, had no other employment than to weave very fine cloth of vicuña wool, for the lords Yncas. This cloth was as fine as any they have in Spain. The dresses of the Yncas consisted of shirts of this cloth, some embroidered with gold and silver work, some with emeralds and other precious stones, some with feathers of birds, and some merely with the cloth. To make these clothes they had such perfect colours—crimson, blue, yellow, and black—that in this respect they have the advantage of Spain.[534]

In the government of Popayan there is an earth with which, and with the leaves of a tree, they make a perfect black dye; but it would be wearisome to repeat all the details connected with the way they make these dyes, and it seems sufficient, therefore, to mention the principal one.{406}


How there are great mines in most parts of this kingdom.

THE long chain of mountains, which we call Andes, commences at the strait of Magallanes, and traverses many regions and great provinces, and we know that on the side towards the South Sea (which is the west) great riches are found in the hills and rivers, while the provinces to the eastward are considered to be poor in metals, according to the account of those who extended their conquests to the river of La Plata, and came thence to Peru by way of Potosi, They said that they heard of a country no less fertile than populous, which was a few days’ journey beyond Charcas, and this proved to be no other than Peru. They saw little silver, and even that came from the district round the town of Plata; neither did those who went on an expedition of discovery with Diego de Rojas, Felipe Gutierrez, and Nicolas de Heredia find any riches. The Adelantado Don Francisco de Orellana, too, who went down the Marañon in a boat, at the time when the captain Gonzalo Pizarro was in search of the cinnamon country, although he passed many large villages, saw little or no gold or silver. Indeed, except in the province of Bogota, there is no wealth in these parts of the Cordillera of the Andes. But it is very different in the southern parts, where greater treasure has been found than had been seen before in the world during many ages. Yet if the gold in the provinces near the great river of Santa Martha, from the city of Popayan to the town of Mompox,{407} had been in the power of a single lord, as it was in Peru, the wealth would have been greater than that of Cuzco. In the skirts of these cordilleras they have found great mines of gold and silver, both near Antiochia, at Cartago, in the government of Popayan, and throughout the whole kingdom of Peru.

If there were people to extract it, there would be gold and silver enough to last for ever; for in the mountains and plains, in the valleys and in all parts, they have found gold and silver. There is also a great quantity of copper, and some iron in the mountains which descend towards the plains. In fine, there is lead in this kingdom, and all the metals which God has created; and it seems to me that if there were men to work, there would not fail to be great riches in Peru. Already so much treasure has been extracted and sent to Spain, that men never thought there could be so much.


How many nations of these Indians make war one upon the other, and how the lords and chiefs oppress the poorer people.

I VERILY believe that the people in these Indies have been there for many ages, as is shown by the ancient buildings and the extensive regions they have peopled; and, although they are all brown and beardless, and are so much alike, they have such a multitude of languages that there is almost a new language at every league in all parts of the country.[535] As so many ages have passed away since these{408} people came here, they have waged great wars and battles, retaining the provinces they conquered. Thus, in the{409} district of the town of Arma, in the government of Popayan, there is a great province called Carrapa, between which and that of Quinbaya (where the city of Cartago is founded) there are many people. These people, having for their leader a chief named Yrrua, entered Carrapa, and, in spite of the natives, made themselves masters of the greater part of the province.[536] I know this, because, when we discovered these districts, we saw the villages burnt just as they were left by the natives of the province of Quinbaya. It is notorious that they were all killed, in former times, by those who made themselves masters of the land.

In many parts of the provinces of the government of Popayan the same things happened. In Peru they talk of nothing else but how some came from one part, and some from another, and made themselves masters of the land of their neighbours by wars and battles. The great antiquity of these people is also shown by the remains of cultivated fields, which are so numerous.

The Yncas, it is well known, made themselves masters of this kingdom by force and intrigues. They relate that Manco Ccapac, who founded the city of Cuzco, had an insignificant origin, and the sovereignty remained in the hands of his descendants until the time of the dispute between the sole heir Huascar, and Atahualpa, concerning the government of the empire, after which the Spaniards arrived, and easily got possession of the country. From all this it{410} appears that there were wars and oppressions among these Indians, as well as among all the other nations of the world; for do we not read that tyrants have made themselves rulers of great kingdoms and lordships?

When I was in these parts I heard that the chiefs oppressed the people, and that some of them treated the Indians with great severity; for if the Encomenderos asked for any service, or desired some forced service, either from the persons or goods of the Indians, they obliged the chiefs to supply it. The chiefs then went to the houses of the poorest people, and ordered them to comply with the demand; and if they made any excuse, even if it was a just one, not only were they not listened to, but they were also ill-treated, and their persons or goods were taken by force. I heard the poor Indians of the King, and others in the Collao, in the valley of Xauxa, and in many other parts, lamenting over this oppression, but though they receive an injury they cannot resent it. If sheep are required, they are not taken from the chiefs but from the unhappy Indians. Some of them are so much molested that they hide away for fear of these exactions; and in the coast valleys they are more oppressed by the chiefs than in the mountains. It is true, however, that, as there are friars preaching in most of the provinces of this kingdom, and as some of them understand the language, they hear the complaints of the Indians, and remedy many of their wrongs. Each day things get into better order, and the Christians and Indian chiefs have such fear of the strict justice enforced in these parts by the Audience and royal Chancelleries, that they dare not lay their hands on the poor, and there has thus been a great reform in the government.{411}


In which certain things are declared concerning the Indians; and what fell out between a clergyman and one of them, in a village of this kingdom.

AS some people say evil things of these Indians, comparing them with beasts, saying that in their customs and ways of living they are more like beasts than men, and that they not only eat each other, but commit other great crimes; and as I have written of these and other abuses of which they are guilty in this history, I wish it to be known that all this is not true of every nation in these Indies, and that, if in some provinces they eat human flesh, and commit other crimes, in others they abhor these things. It would, therefore, be unjust to condemn them all, and even those who practise these sins will be freed from them by the light of our holy faith, without which they were ignorant of what they did, like many other nations, such as the gentiles, who knew no more of the faith than these Indians, and sacrificed to idols as much or more than they did. And even, if we look round, we shall see many who profess our law, and have received the water of the holy baptism, committing great sins every day, being deceived by the devil. If, therefore, these Indians practised the customs of which I have written, it was because formerly they had no one to direct them in the way of truth. Now those who hear the doctrine of the holy gospel, know that the shades of perdition surround those who are separated from it; while the devil, whose envy increases at the fruits of our holy faith, deceives some of these people by fears and terrors; but his victims are few, and are each day decreasing, seeing that our Lord God works in all times for the extension of his holy faith.

Among other notable things, I will relate one which{412} happened in a village called Lampa, according to the account which was given me of it in the village of Azangaro, a repartimiento of the priest Antonio de Quiñones,[537] a citizen of Cuzco. It relates to the conversion of an Indian, and I asked my informant to give me the statement in writing, which, without adding or omitting anything, is as follows:—

“I, Marcos Otaso, a priest and native of Valladolid, being in the village of Lampa, teaching the Indians our holy Christian faith, in the month of May 1547, the moon being full, all the chiefs and principal people came to me and asked very eagerly for permission to do what was their custom at that season. I replied that if it was anything that was unlawful in our holy Catholic faith, it must not be done from that time forward. They received my decision, and returned to their homes. At about noon they began to sound drums in several directions with one stick, which is their way of sounding them; and presently several mantles were spread in the plaza for the chiefs to sit upon, who were dressed in their best clothes, with their hair plaited according to their custom—a plait, twisted four times, falling on each side. Being seated in their places, I saw a boy deity, aged about twelve years, go up to each cacique. These boys were very handsome, and richly dressed. From the knees downwards they were covered with red fringe, their arms were clothed in the same way, and they had many stamped medals of gold and silver on different parts of their bodies. In their right hands they carried a kind of weapon like a halberd, and in the left a large bag of coca. On the left hand of each boy walked girls of ten years old, beautifully dressed in the same way, except that they wore a long train behind, which is not the custom with other women. This train was held by an older girl, who was{413} beautiful and stately. Behind came many women as attendants. The girls carried bags of very fine cloth in their right hands, full of gold and silver medals. From the shoulders a lion skin hung down and covered everything. Behind the attendants came six Indian labourers, each with a plough on his shoulder, and beautiful crowns of many-coloured feathers on his head. Then followed six others, as their pages, with bags of potatoes, playing on drums. Thus they advanced towards the chiefs, and, as they passed them, the boys and girls, and all the others, made deep reverences and bowed their heads. The chiefs returned the salute by bowing also. They then retired without turning their heads, for about twenty paces, in the same order. The labourers then put the ploughs on the ground, and took the bags of the large and choice potatoes, at the same time beating drums, and performing a sort of dance, raising themselves on the points of their toes, and holding up the bags which they held in their hands from time to time. Only those I have mentioned did this; for all the chiefs and the rest of the people were seated on the ground in rows in perfect silence, watching what was going on. Afterwards those in the procession sat down, and others brought a one-year old lamb all of one colour, and took it before the chief, surrounded by other Indians, so that I might not see what was going on. They then threw the lamb on the ground, and, having torn out the bowels, they gave them to the sorcerers, called Huaca-camayoc, who are to them what priests are with us. I then saw certain Indians taking up as much of the lamb’s blood as they could hold in their hands, and pouring it quickly amongst the potatoes in the bags.[538] At this moment a chief came forward, who had become a Christian a few days before, calling them dogs and other things, in their own language, which I did not{414} understand. He then went to the foot of a high cross which stood in the middle of the plaza, where, with a loud voice, he fearlessly denounced this diabolical rite. They all went away in great affright, without finishing the sacrifice, or prognosticating the success of the harvests during the year, as was their wont. Other priests, called umu,[539] also predict coming events, and converse with the devil, carrying about with them a figure of the enemy, made of a hollow bone, with a lump of the black wax, that is found in the country, on the top.

“While I was in this village of Lampa, a boy of mine came to me on Maundy Thursday, who had slept in the church. He was very much frightened, and asked me to get up and go to baptise a cacique who was in the church on his knees before the images, in a state of great terror. On the Wednesday night, when this cacique was in the huaca where they go to worship, he saw a man dressed in white, who told him to go to the church and be baptised by me. As soon as day dawned I got up and recited my prayers, and then, not believing the story, went to say mass, and found the man still on his knees. Directly he saw me, he threw himself at my feet, and begged me to make him a Christian. I consented, and having said mass in presence of several Christians, I baptised him. He then went out with great joy, crying out that he was now a Christian, and not a bad man like the other Indians. Then, without saying anything to anybody, he burnt his house, divided his women and flocks amongst his servants, and returned to the church, where he was always preaching to the Indians what concerned their salvation, and urging them to forsake their sins and vices. He did this with great fervour, as if he had been inspired by the Holy Spirit. Many Indians became{415} Christians, owing to the persuasions of the newly-converted chief; and the chief related that the man whom he saw in the huaca, or temple of the devil, was white and very beautiful, and that his clothes were resplendent.”

The priest gave me this account in writing, and I myself see great signs every day that the Lord is more served now than in times past. The Indians are converted, and little by little they are forgetting their rites and evil customs. If this work has been slow, the fault lies more in our neglect than in their malice; for the best way to convert the Indians is to do good works, that the newly converted may take example.


How, when a chief near the town of Anzerma wished to become a Christian, he saw the devils visibly, who wished to deter him from his good intention by their terrors.

IN the last chapter I related how an Indian of the village of Lampa was converted to Christianity. I will here tell another strange story, that the faithful may glorify the name of God who is so merciful to us, and that the wicked and incredulous may acknowledge the works of the Lord. When the Adelantado Belalcazar was governor of the province of Popayan, and when Gomez Hernandez was his lieutenant in the town of Anzerma, there was a chief in a village called Pirsa, almost four leagues from the town, whose brother, a good-looking youth, named Tamaraqunga, inspired by God, wished to go to the town of the Christians, to receive baptism. But the devils did not wish that he should attain his desire, fearing to lose what seemed secure, so they frightened this Tamaraqunga in such sort that he was unable to do anything. God permitting it, the{416} devils stationed themselves in a place where the chief alone could see them, in the shape of birds called Auras.[540] Finding himself so persecuted by the devils, he sent in great haste to a Christian living near, who came at once, and, hearing what he wanted, signed him with the sign of the cross. But the devils then frightened him more than ever, appearing in hideous forms which were only visible to him. The Christian only saw stones falling from the air, and heard whistling. A brother of one Juan Pacheco, citizen of the same town, then holding office in the place of Gomez Hernandez, who had gone to Caramanta, came from Anzerma with another man, to visit the Indian chief. They say that Tamaraqunga was much frightened and ill-treated by the devils, who carried him through the air from one place to another, in presence of the Christians, he complaining, and the devils whistling and shouting.[541] Sometimes, when the chief was sitting with a glass of liquor before him, the Christians saw the glass raised up in the air and put down empty, and a short time afterwards the wine was again poured into the cup from the air. The chief covered his face with his cloak, that he might not see the horrible visions before him. Then, without having moved the cloak from his face, the devils forced clay into his mouth, as if they wished to choke him. At last the Christians resolved to take the chief to the town, that he might be baptised at once, and more than two hundred Indians came with him, but they were so frightened by the devils, that they would not come near the chief. Thus, journeying with the Christians, they came to a bad part of the road, where the devils took the chief into the air, to dash him against the rocks. He cried out to the Christians for help, who presently took hold of him, but the Indians did not dare to speak, much more to offer any{417} assistance. So cruelly was he persecuted by the devils, all for the good of his soul, and for the greater confusion of this our cruel enemy.

The two Christians saw that God would not be served if the Indian was left to these devils, so they fastened some cords round his waist, and, calling upon God for help, they went on with the Indian between them, and with crosses in their hands, and reached a hill; but still with great difficulty. As they were now near the town, they sent a messenger to Juan Pacheco for assistance. Presently the devils began to throw stones about in the air, and in this way they reached the town, and went straight to the house of this Juan Pacheco, where all the Christians in the village assembled. The devils then began throwing small stones on the top of the house, and whistling; and as the Indians, when they go to war, cry out Hu! Hu! Hu! so the devils also made these noises in very loud voices. Every body then began to pray to our Lord that, for his glory and for the salvation of the Indian’s soul, the devils might not be allowed to have their own way; for these devils, according to the words heard by the chief, cried out that he must not become a Christian. While many stones were flying about, the people came out to go to church, and some Christians heard noises within, before the doors were opened. The Indian Tamaraqunga, on going into the church, saw the devils looking very fierce, with their heads beneath, and feet in the air. A friar named Fray Juan de Santa Maria, of the order of our lady of mercy, then came in to baptise the chief, upon which the devils, in presence of all the Christians, but without being seen by any one but the chief, took him up in the air; putting his head below and his feet above, as they were themselves. The Christians cried out in a loud voice, “Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ, be with us!” made the sign of the cross, and taking hold of him, wetted him with holy water; but still the whistling and other noises continued inside the church.{418} Tamaraqunga saw the devils visibly, and they gave him such buffets, that a hat, which he held before his eyes so as not to see them, was hurled to a distance. They also spat in his face. All this happened during the night, and in the morning the friar dressed, to say mass. As soon as he began, the noises ceased, and the chief received no more evil treatment from the devils. When the most holy mass was concluded, Tamaraqunga asked for the water of baptism, together with his wife and son. After he was baptised he said that he was now a Christian and might be left to walk alone, to see if the devils st¡ll had any power over him. So the Christians let him go, while they all prayed to our Lord that, for the exaltation of his holy faith, and that the Indians might be converted, he would not permit the devils to have any further power over the chief, now that he was a Christian. Then Tamaraqunga went out with great joy, saying “I am a Christian,” and praising God in his own language. He went round the church two or three times, and neither felt nor heard anything from the devils, so he went to his house full of joy and contentment. This event was so famous among the Indians, that many became Christians. It happened in the year 1549.


How mighty wonders have been clearly seen in the discovery of these Indies, how our Sovereign Lord God desires to watch over the Spaniards, and how He also chastises those who are cruel to the Indians.

BEFORE finishing this first part, it seems good that I should here mention some of the marvellous works which our Lord God has seen fit to display in the discovery which the Christian Spaniards have made in these kingdoms, as well{419} as the punishments he has inflicted on certain notable persons. For they will teach us how we must love Him as a father, and fear Him as a just Judge and Lord.

Passing over the first discovery made by the admiral Don Christoval Colon, and the successes of the Marquis Don Fernando Cortez, and of other captains and governors who discovered Tierra Firme, because I only wish to mention the events of the present time, I come to the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro. How many hardships did he and his companions suffer, without discovering anything beyond the land north of the river San Juan, and the succours brought by the adelantado Don Diego de Almagro did not suffice to enable him to press forward. Then it was that the governor Pedro de los Rios, learning from the couplet which was written to him:—

“Look out, Señor Governor,
For the drover while he is near,
For he goes home to get the sheep
For the butcher who is there.”[542]

that Almagro came to bring people to the shambles of these hardships, where Pizarro would butcher them, sent Juan Tafur of Panama to bring them back. They all returned with him except thirteen Christians[543] who remained with{420} Don Francisco Pizarro in the island of Gorgona, until Don Diego Almagro sent them a ship with which to continue the{421} voyage. It pleased God that, though they had made no discovery during the three or four previous years, they discovered all in ten or twelve days. Thus these thirteen Christians, with their leader, discovered Peru. Afterwards, at the end of some years, when the same marquis with 160 Spaniards invaded the country, he could not have prevailed against the multitude of Indians, if God had not permitted that there should be a very cruel war between the two brothers Huascar and Atahualpa, at the time. When the Indians rose against the Christians at Cuzco, there were not more than 180 Spaniards mounted and on foot, to resist the attacks of Manco Ynca at the head of more than 200,00 Indians. It was a miracle how they escaped from the hands of the Indians during a whole year, and some of the Indians themselves affirm that sometimes, when they were fighting with the Spaniards, they saw a celestial figure which did them great mischief. When the Indians set fire to the city, and the flames began to approach the church, it was seen to reach it three times, and to be put out as often, the place where the flames touched it being covered with dry straw.{422}

The captain Francisco Cesar, who set out from Carthagena in the year 1536, and traversed great mountains and deep rivers, with only sixty Spaniards, reached the province of Guaca, where there was a principal house dedicated to the devil, and he collected thirty thousand pesos of gold from a tomb near it.[544] When the Indians saw how few Spaniards there were, more than twenty thousand assembled and surrounded them. As the Spaniards were so few and weak, having eaten nothing but roots, God still favoured them so that they killed and wounded many Indians, without losing a man. Not only did God work this miracle for the Christians, but he was also served by guiding them to a road which took them to Uraba in eighteen days, when they had wandered on the other for a whole year.

We have seen many more of these miracles, but it must suffice to say that a province containing thirty or forty thousand Indians is held by forty or fifty Christians. And in lands where there are heavy rains or continual earthquakes, we see clearly the favour of God, as soon as Christians enter them. For the rains abate, the lands become profitable, and there are fewer storms than in the times before the Christians arrived.

Another thing must also be noted, which is, that those who carry the standard of the cross as their guide must not make their discoveries as tyrants, for those who do so receive heavy chastisement. Of those who have been tyrants, few have died natural deaths, such for instance as those who compassed the death of Atahualpa. All these have perished miserably. It would even appear that the great wars in Peru have been permitted by God, to punish the conquerors, and thus Carbajal may be looked upon as the executioner of His justice. He lived until God’s chastisement was complete, and then paid with his life for the grave crimes he had committed. The marshal Don Jorge Robledo consented{423} to allow great harm to be done to the Indians in the province of Pozo, and many to be killed with crossbows and dogs. And God permitted that he should be sentenced to death in the same place, and have for his tomb the bellies of the Indians.[545] The comendador Hernan Rodriquez de Sosa and Baltasar de Ledesma died in the same way, and were also eaten by the Indians; they having themselves been previously very cruel to them. The Adelantado Belalcazar killed many Indians in Quito; and God permitted that he should be driven from his government by the judge who came to try him, and that he should die at Carthagena on his way to Spain, poor, and full of sorrow.[546] Francisco Garcia de Tobar, who was so much feared by the Indians by reason of the number he had killed, was himself killed and eaten by them.

Let no one deceive himself with the belief that God has not punished those who were cruel to these Indians; for not one of them failed to receive chastisement in proportion to the offence. I knew one Roque Martin, an inhabitant of the city of Cali, who gave the dead bodies of the Indians to the dogs, and afterwards the Indians killed, and, I even believe, ate him. I could enumerate many other examples, but I shall conclude by saying that our Lord favours us in these conquests and discoveries; but if the discoverers afterwards become tyrants, He chastises them severely, as I have myself seen, some of them dying suddenly, which is a thing most to be feared.{424}


Of the dioceses in this kingdom of Peru, who are the bishops of them, and of the Royal Chancellery in the City of Kings.

IN many parts of this work I have treated of the rites and customs of the Indians, and of the many temples and places of worship they had, where the devil was seen and adored by them. It will now be well to mention the dioceses, and who those are who rule the churches and have charge of so many souls.

After the discovery of this kingdom, as the very reverend father Don Fray Vincente Valverde[547] was in the conquest, he received Bulls from the Supreme Pontiff, and was nominated as bishop by his Majesty. He held the post until the Indians killed him in the island of Puna. Afterwards, as the Spaniards founded new cities, the number of bishops was increased. The very reverend father Don Juan Solano,[548] of the order of San Domingo, was made Bishop of Cuzco, and is so still in 1550, the diocese extending to Guamanga,[549] Arequipa, and the new city of La Paz. The most reverend father Don Jeronymo de Loaysa,[550] a friar of the same order, has been nominated archbishop of the City of the Kings, with a diocese reaching to Plata, Truxillo, Huanuco, and Chachapoyas.[551] Don Garcia Diaz Arias is bishop of the city{425} of San Francisco del Quito, including San Miguel, Puerto Viejo, and Guayaquil. He has his seat in Quito, which is the chief place in the diocese. The bishop of the government of Popayan is Don Juan Valle. These fathers were the bishops of this kingdom when I left it, and they have the duty to perform of placing clergymen to celebrate mass in the towns and villages. The government of this kingdom is so good, in these times, that the Indians are complete masters of their goods and persons. By the will of God the former tyranny and ill-treatment of Indians have ceased, for He cures all things by his grace. Royal audiences and chancelleries have been established, composed of learned men, who give an example to others by their incorruptible justice, and who have established the rules for the payment of tribute. The excellent lord Don Antonio de Mendoza,[552] a knight as full of valour and other virtues as he is wanting in bad qualities, is the viceroy; and the licentiate Andres de Cianca, the doctor Bravo de Saravia, and the licentiate Hernando de Santillan are the judges. The court and royal chancellery are established in the City of the Kings.

I will conclude this chapter by saying that, when the lords of his Majesty’s council of the Indies were examining my work, the very reverend father Fray Don Tomas de San Martin was appointed bishop of Charcas. His diocese commences at the limit of that of Cuzco, and extends to Chile and Tucuman, including the city of La Paz and the town of Plata, which is the seat of this new bishopric.{426}


Of the monasteries which have been founded in Peru, from the date of its discovery down to the present year 1550.

IN the previous chapter I have briefly stated what bishops there are in this kingdom, and it will now be well to mention the monasteries which have been founded in it, and who were the founders, for in these things grave worthies and some very learned doctors have assisted.

In the city of Cuzco there is a house of the order of San Domingo, on the site where the Indians had their principal temple. It was founded by the reverend father Fray Juan de Olias. There is another house of the order of San Francisco, founded by the reverend father Fray Pedro Portugues. Another house exists of the order of our Lady of Mercy,[553] founded by the reverend father Fray Sebastian. In the city of La Paz there is another monastery of San Francisco, founded by the reverend father Fray Francisco de los Angeles. In the village of Chucuito there is a house of Dominicans founded by the reverend father Fray Tomas de San Martin. In the town of Plata there is another of Franciscans, founded by the reverend father Fray Jeronimo. In Guamanga there is another of Dominicans founded by the reverend father Fray Martin de Esquivel; and a monastery of our Lady of Mercy founded by the reverend father Fray Sebastian.[554] In the City of the Kings there is another of Franciscans founded by the reverend father Fray Francisco de Santa Ana;[555] another of Dominicans, founded by the reverend father Fray Juan de Olias[556] and another of{427} our Lady of Mercy, founded by the reverend father Fray Miguel de Orenes. In the village of Chincha there is a house of Dominicans, founded by the reverend father Fray Domingo de San Tomas. In the city of Arequipa there is another house of this order, founded by the reverend father Fray Pedro de Ulloa; and in the city of Leon de Huanuco there is another, founded by the same father Fray Pedro de Ulloa. In the town of Chicama there is also a house of Dominicans, founded by the reverend father Fray Domingo de San Tomas. In the city of Truxillo there is a monastery of Franciscans, founded by the reverend father Fray Francisco de la Cruz, and another of Mercy. In Quito there is a house of Dominicans, founded by the reverend father Alonzo de Monte-negro, another of Mercy, and another of Franciscans, founded by the reverend father Fray Jodoco Rique Flamenco. There are some other houses, besides the above, which have been founded by the numerous friars who are constantly sent by his Majesty’s council of the Indies, to engage in the conversion of the Indians, for so his Majesty has ordered, and they occupy themselves in teaching the natives with great diligence. Touching the rules and other things of which I should treat, it w¡ll be more convenient to do so in another place.

With this I make an end of my first part, with glory to God, our Almighty Lord, and to his blessed and glorious Mother our Lady. I commenced writing in the city of Cartago, in the government of Popayan in the year of 1541, and I finished writing originally in the City of the Kings, in the kingdom of Peru, on the 8th day of the month of September 1550, the author being thirty-two year’s of age, and having passed seventeen of them in these Indies.






A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Abancay, 318
Abibe mountains, 43;
certain hairy worms met with on the, 38
Aburra valley, 67-114
Acari, 28, 265
Acos, 301, 373
Adobes, 129, 219, 251
Aguales Indians, 108
Aguacate, a fruit (see Palta).
Aguja, point of, 25
Agaz, Juan, eats a dozen apples, 39
Aji, 142 note, 232
Alaya, chief of Xauxa, 224, 301
Alcobasa (Diego de), his account of the ruins of Tiahuanaco, 378 note
Alcon (Pedro), one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420 note
Aldana (Lorenzo de), 123
Algoroba trees, 129, 235, 239 note
Alligators, 16
Alligator pears (see Paltas).
Alonzo (Rodrigo), in company with Cieza de Leon, sees a pretty girl killed and eaten, 79
Almagro (Diego de), 7, 159, 186, 256, 318, 419
Almagro the Younger, 306 note, 312, 335
Alpacas, 394
Alvarado (Alonzo de), 157, 279, 282
—— (Pedro de), 148, 155, 156, 157, 185, 186, 248
—— (Gomez de), 157, 281, 283
—— (Diego de), 157
Amaru-mayu river, 337 note
Ambato, 154
Ancocahua, temple of, 357
Ancasmayu river, 122
Anco-allo, chief of the Chancas, 280
Andagoya (Pascual de), 105 note
Andahuaylas, 315, 317
Angoyaco pass, 302
Animals, 42;
guinea pigs, 63 note;
chucha, 91;
guadaquinajes, ib.;
tigers, 104;
tapirs, 164;
of Puerto Viejo, 175;
dogs, 235;
llama tribe, 392;
of Peru, 402;
foxes, 237-402
Añaquito, plains of, 139
Andeneria, 321
Andes, description of, 129;
forests of, 323, 337;
animals and snakes of, 338;
nations of, 339;
riches of, 406
Antioquia, 4, 52;
customs of natives of, 59;
road from, to Arma, 66, 114
Anti-suyu, province, 323-337
Anunaybe, father of the cacique Nutibara, 46
Anzerma, Indians of, 63;
founding of, 65;
supply of salt at, 126
Apurimac, river and bridge, 319
Aqueducts (see Irrigation, works of).
Arbi, valley of, 81
Arequipa, 287, 392
Arias (Garcia Diaz), bishop of Quito, 424
Arica, 29
Arma, 69-70;
Indians of, 70-72
Armendariz (Miguel Diaz), 96
Arrows, poisoned, used by the Indians of Uraba, 39
Art, Peruvian works of, 403-4
Asillo, 369
Astete (Miguel de), 272 note
Astopilco, cacique at Caxamarca, descended from Atahualpa, 272 note
Atacama desert, 267
Atahualpa, his cruelty to the Cañaris, 167;
his residence at Caxamarca, 271;
war with Huascar, 273 note, 275, 409, 421;
meaning of the word, 231
Atienza, (Blas de), protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note{430}
Atoco, Indian general takes Atahualpa prisoner, 167, 273
Atongayo bay, 30
Atrato river, 49 note
Atris, valley of, 123
Aura, bird so called, 175, 403, 416
Ausancata temple, 354
Avila (Alonzo de), protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Avogada pears (see Paltas).
Ayala (Christoval de), killed, 94;
his pigs, ib.
—— (Pedro de), protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Ayavire, 358, 369
Ayllos, weapon so called, 355
Aymara Indians (same as Collas, which see).
Ayniledos river, 31
Azangaro, 369

Bachicao (Hernando), 373 and note
Balsas, 265
Barranca (La), 248 note
Barley, 144, 400
Baths of the Yncas, 271, 285 note, 313 note, 400 note
Bees, 90
Belalcazar (Sebastian de), kills Robledo, 79;
founds Cali, 93, 105;
notice of, 110 note, 113, 145, 201, 423;
marches to assist the president Gasca, 151, 186
Bio-bio river, 31
Birds of Puerto Viejo—the xuta and maca, 175;
on the Peruvian coast, 237 (see Aura).
Blanco, cape, 25
Blasco Nuñez Vela, the viceroy, 87, 139, 187 note, 221 note, 275 note
Bobadilla (Fray Francisco de), umpire between Pizarro and Almagro, 256
Bomba, province of, 117
Bombon, 286;
lake of, 294
Bracamoros, province and Indians, 204-209
Briceño (Alonzo), one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420
Bridge of rope across the Vilcas, 314 note;
across the Apurimac, 319 note
—— of Desaguadero, toll for crossing, 373
Buenaventura, 20, 104, 105 note, 106
Buga, province of, 94
Building, Peruvians skilled in, 405
Burial of the dead, customs of the Indians, 40, 51, 64, 77, 81, 83, 102, 120, 151, 168, 180, 188, 199, 203, 206, 221, 222, 226 note, 252, 262, 279, 285, 358, 364
Buritica hill, 56

Cabaya, a kind of aloe, 146
Cacha village, 356
Calamar, 33
Caldera, Licentiate, 159
Callao, 27
Cali, city of, 93;
Indians of, 96;
river and situation, 99;
villages, etc., 100-3, 105;
road from, to Popayan, 107;
to Buenaventura, 106
Camana, 29, 265
Campo Redondo (Gaspar Rodriguez de), 303 note
Cañaris, 162, 167, 169
Cañari-bamba, 204
Canas, Indians, 356 note, 358
Canches, Indians, 355, 356 note, 358
Candia (Pedro de), one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 193 note, 419
Cane brake, near Cartago, 90
Cañete valley, 257 note, 259
Cangas, Suer de, 185
Cannibalism, 50, 52, 60, 71, 79, 84, 96, 97, 101, 115, 118
Capitulation (between Pizarro and Queen Juana), 420 note
Carachine Point, 20
Caracollo village, 381
Caraques, 185
Caramanta province, 126
Carangues, 133, 138
Caraquen bay, 22
Caravaya river and gold of, 369
Carbajal (Francisco de), 276 note, 303 note;
feeds on honey, 362, 373 note, 384, 422, 424 note
—— (Yllan Suarez de), 305 note
Cari, a chief of the Collas, 363
Cariapasa, Chief of Chucuito, 373
Carmenca hill at Cuzco, 325
Carrapa, 82, 84
Carrion (Anton de), one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420
Cartago, 67, 85, 92
Cartama, 60
Carthagena, 33, 35{431}
Casma, port of, 26
Cauca river, 58 note, 80 note, 114
Castellano, value of, 159, 272, 387
Castro, Vaca de, 283, 306 note, 312
Carinas Indians, 354
Caxamarca, 269 note, 271
Cayambes Indians, 137, 161
Caymito fruit, 16, 234
Ccapac Yupanqui, a victorious Ynca general, 269 note
Ccuri-cancha, 328, 385
Cegue river, of Quinbaya, 86
Cenasura, 67
Centeno (Diego de), 380, 384
Cenu, 228;
burial places at, 221
—— river, alligators in, 16-35
Cenasura, 126
Cesar (Francisco), 46, 47 note, 48, 422
Cespedes (Juan de), a negro belonging to, mistakes dried bowels for sausages, 97
Chacama valley, 241
Chachapoyas, 277, 278
Chacu or hunting of the Yncas, 288 note
Chagres river, 17
Challcuchima, General of Atahualpa, burnt by order of Pizarro, 320
Chanca Indians, 280, 315, 316
Chanchan buildings, 162
Chancos flatten the skulls of their children, 96
Chapanchita provinces, 117
Chaqui, 383
Chaquira beads, 176, 405
Charcas province, 381;
mines, 385
Chaves (Diego de), wife of, see Escobar.
—— (Francisco de), 292 and note
Chayanta, 383
Chicha liquor, 152, 220
Chichas village, 383
Chilane village, 373
Chilca, 255
Children, naming of, 231
Chile, 30-384
Chimu, valley and ruins, 242 and note
Chincha valley, 228, 260; islands, 28 note
Chinchay-cocha lake, 294, 296
Chinchona plants at Loxa, 206 note
Chiquana, 356
Chirimoya fruit, 234 note
Choape, 31
Chono, dog so called, 235
Chucha, animal so called, 91
—— a shell fish, 16
Chucuito, 373
Chumbivilica, 335
Chumpi (belt), 146
Chunchos, 337 note
Chupas, field of, 306 note
Chuñus, 361
Chuqui-apu, 380
Cianca (Andres), a judge of the audience, 425
Cieza de Leon, dedication of his work, 1;
his habit of writing on the march, 3;
plan of his work, 6;
collects information concerning the coast, 27;
loses his journals after the battle of Xaquixaguana, 32;
joins Vadillo, 41;
finds a quantity of gold, 77;
joins Belalcazar, 110 note;
method of collecting information, 177;
marching to join the royal army, 151, 167, 241;
crosses the bridge over the Apurimac, 319;
goes to Charcas, 339;
at Pucara, 368;
continues to take notes in the Collao, 364;
and at Tiahuanaco, 376;
proposes to form plantations of trees, 401;
sees God’s hand visibly in the conquest of the Indies, 418;
finishes his work, 427
Cinnamon, 137, 142
Cinto, valley of, 240
Climate of Peru, 130;
of Quito, 140;
of the Peruvian coast, 214;
of the Collao, 360
Cloth weaving, 405
Coast valleys, 129, 214-216 to 268;
fertility of, 233
Coca, 352
Coconucos Indians, 112, 116
Cochabamba, 383
Cochesqui, 139
Collaguaso village, 137
Collahuayos, 398 note
Collao province, 324, 359, 360, 362, 370
—— Indians (see Collas), 367
Collique, 240
Colmenares (Diego de), 34 note
Colonists (see Mitimaes).
Conchucos, 286-291
Consota, salt from, 126
Conversion of an Indian, in spite of the Devil, 415{432}
Copayapo, 30
Coquimbo, 30
Cori, salt from, 125
Corrientes cape, 20
Cosa (Juan de la), 33
Cotton, 143, 393
Cuellar (Francisco de) one of Pizarro’s thirteen companions, 420
Cui, or guinea pigs, 63 note
Cunti-suyu, 324, 335
Cuzco, dress of ladies of, 146;
situation, 322;
divisions, 325;
streets and wards, 327 note;
temple of the sun, 328;
founded by Manco Ccapac, 329;
description, 330;
Indians from all parts living in, 330;
Bishop of, 424

Dabaybe (or Dobaybe, which see).
Dantas, or tapirs, 164
Darien river, 95
Desaguadero river, 373
Deserts on the coast, described, 128, 238, 240
Devil, in nearly every page;
his wiles, 225;
devil of Peru (see Supay, see Xixarama);
devils interfering to prevent conversion of an Indian, 416
Dioceses in Peru, 424
Dobaybe, country of, 36, 47 note, 49 note
Dogs in Peru, 235
Doorways (monolithic) at Tiahuanaco, 376
Dress of ladies of Cuzco, 146
Ducks, Indians breed many, 235
Dyes used by the Indians, 405, 406 note

Earthquakes at Arequipa, 268
Enciso, the Bachiller, 34 note
Equinoctial line, 173
Emeralds, 183;
broken by the Spaniards, 185
Encomiendas, 72 note
Escobar (Maria de) introduces wheat into Peru, 400

Fair at Potosi, 391
Female succession, 64, 73, 83
Ferrol, port of, 26
Fertility of coast valleys, 233
Fish, Manatee, 114;
bonitos, 175;
sardines used as manure, 255
Flowers used for sacrifices, 71
Fossil bones, 194 note
Fountain (hot) near Quito, 132
Foxes, 237, 402
Fruits of Panama, 16;
in the Cauca valley, 73;
of Pasto, 122;
called mortuño, 132;
of Puerto Viejo, 175;
of the Peruvian coast valleys, 234, 235;
of Huanuco, 283
Funes, a village of the Pastos, 131

Gallo, island of, 21;
Pizarro and his thirteen companions on, 419 note
Garcilasso de la Vega, 157 note, 185
Gasca (Pedro de la), 208;
Cieza de Leon marches to join the army of, 241;
at Andahuaylas, 318;
executes Gonzalo Pizarro, 320;
gives letters of introduction to Cieza de Leon, 339
Gaspar, an Indian Governor at Chucuito, 373
Gavilan (Diego), 303 note
Giants at Point Santa Elena, 189
Giron (Francisco Hernandez de), 79 note
Gold, 57, 70, 77, 79, 86;
Quichua word for, 281 note;
of Cunti-suyu, 336;
of Caravaya, 369;
of Chuquiapu, 381, 386 note
Gorgona island, 21, 420
Gorrones Indians, round Cali, 97, 98
Government of the Yncas, 164
Guaca, province of, 132, 422
Guacamayos (macaws), 199
Guadaquinages, animals the size of a hare, 91, 98
Guallabamba, 139
Guamanga, founded, 307, 308;
Indians of, 310;
bishops of, 424 note
Guamaraconas (Huayna-cuna), natives of Otabalo and Carangue so-called, 138
Guambia, province of, 109
Guanaco (see Huanacu).
Guañape, 26, 245
Guancavilcas, 168, 181, 192
Guano islands, 265, 266 note
Guarco valley, 257; fortress, 258
Guarmay, 26, 247
Guanavanas (fruit), 99, 234
Guasco, chief of Andahuaylas, 315, 318
Guavas (fruit), 16, 99, 234
Guayaquil, 197, 201, 203
Guayavas (fruit), 73, 99, 234{433}
Guevara (Juan Perez de), 280, 281
Guinea pigs, 63 note
Gutierrez (Felipe), 383, 406

Haro (Hernando de) protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Harvest, Indian ceremony at, 412
Hatun-cana village, 356
Hatun-cañari buildings, 162
Hatun-colla, 369 note
Hayo-hayo, 381
Heads (see Skulls).
Head-dresses of Indian tribes, 145 note;
of the Cañaris, 167;
Indians known by them, 171-2;
of chiefs on the coast, 225;
different tribes collected together at Cuzco known by their head-dresses, 330;
head-dress of the Cavinas, 354;
of the Collas, 363
Herrada (Juan de) protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Herbs (medicinal), 398
Heredia (Pedro de), 35 note, 47 note, 113
—— (Alonzo de), 35
—— (Nicolas de), 383, 406
Hernandez (Gomez), 415
Hervay, Ynca fortress of, 259 note
Hinojoso (Pedro de), 383 note
—— (Ruy Sanchez de), 384
Honey (see Carbajal, Francisco de).
Horuro village, 356
Huacas, 77, 228 note
Huaca-camayoc or sorcerers, 413, 414 note
Huaqui village, 374
Huamachuco, 287
Huambacho, 247
Huanacus, 394
Huancas, Indians, 279, 298
Huancabamba, 210, 269
Huanuco, 282, 283, 284 note, 285
Huara, 26, 248
Huaray, 293
Huarina, battle of, 9, 380 and note;
village and battle, 380
Huarivilca, god of the Huancas, 300
Huascar Ynca, 272, 273 note, 421
Huayna Ccapac, Ynca, 133 note, 140, 169, 179, 193
Huaylos, province of, 286
Huayras used in the mines at Potosi, 389
Huillac-Umu, chief priest, 329
Huira-ccocha, Creator, 162;
Ynca, 226 note, 308 note, 332, 338, 355, 363;
God, 162, 357, 367
Huis-cacha (rabbit), 402
Hunting of the Yncas, 288 and note

Inca (see Ynca).
Indies, discovery of, 11
Indians, attempts at converting, 12;
of Uraba, 36-9;
arms of, 71;
of Arma, 70;
of Antioquia, 63;
sacrifices, 71;
granted in Encomienda, 72 note;
eat human flesh, 73;
of Paucura, 75;
of Pozo, 76;
great warriors, 78;
of Picara, 80;
of Carrapa, 82;
of Cali, 96-100;
customs of, 101, 112, 116;
of Pasto, 120;
of Carangue, 138;
of Otabalo, 138;
Puruaes, 161;
Cañaris, 162-7;
of Puerto Viejo, 172-6;
Guancavilcas, 181, 192;
Mantas, 182;
of Puna, 199;
of Guayaquil, 203;
of the coast (see Yuncas);
of Chachapoyas, 278;
Huancas, 279, 298;
Charcas, 280, 315;
of Huanuco, 285;
of Guamanga, 310;
of Cunti-suyu, 335;
in the eastern forests, 339;
Cavinas, 354;
Canches, 355;
Canas, 356;
Collas, 359, 363;
oppression of by the chiefs, 410
Ipiales, village of, 131
Irrigation, works of, 236 and note;
at Yca, 263;
near Cuzco, 354

Jerez (Garcia de), one of Pizarro’s thirteen companions, 420 note
Juli village, 373
Juliaca village, 369

Ladrillo (Juan de) founds Buenaventura, 104
Ladrillero (Juan) navigates Lake Titicaca, 370
Lakes, salt, 399 (see Bombon, Titicaca).
Lampa, village, harvest ceremony at, 412
La Merced church in Cuzco, 426 note
Langazi, valley and inhabitants, 147
Language of Indians, 70;
of Indians of Paucura, 74;
Quichua grammar, 163;
Quichua to be used throughout the empire of the Yncas, 146;
Great variety of, 407
La Paz, 380, 381{434}
La Plata river, supposed source, 295, (see Plata)
Ledesma (Baltazar de), 423
Legends of the Huancas, 299;
of the Chancas, 316;
of the temple at Cacha, 357 note
Lejesama (Marcio Serra de), curious will of, 124
Lile, valley of, 101, 104
Lima, 248
Limara river, 31
Limatambo, 320 and note
Llacta-cunga, ruins, 143, 150
Llamas, 393
Lliclla (or mantle), 146
Loaysa, Archbishop of Lima, 227, 424
Lobos, island of, 25
Loxa, 205;
Chinchona plant of, 206
Luchengo island, 31
Lunahuana river, 260;
(or Runahuanac), 228

Maca, bird so-called, 175
Macana, a weapon, 49, 203
Magdalena river, 111 note
Magellan’s strait, 31, 384
Maize, 233, etc.
Mala, valley of, 256 and note
Maldonado (Diego de), 317 and note
Mama-cunas, 25, 149, 164, 369;
employed in weaving, 405
Manatee, 114
Manco Ccapac, 136, 194, 329, 354, 409
Manco Ynca, 304, 306 note
Mansanillo tree, 38;
Juan Agraz eats a dozen apples off the mansanillo trees, 39
Mantas, 182, 184
Market at Potosi, 391
Martin (Roque), Retribution for cruelty to the Indians, 423
Maule river, 31
Mendoza (Antonio de), viceroy of Peru, 425
—— (Alonzo de), founds La Paz, 381
—— (Francisco de), 383
—— (Lope de), 384
—— (Pedro de) protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Mercadillo (Alonzo de) founds Loxa, 206, 208
Metals, precious, knowledge of, by the Peruvians, 385
Miller, General, 265 note
Mines in Cañaris, 169;
of emeraldsat Manta, 183;
of Tarapaca, 266;
of Conchucos, 293;
of Potosi, 382-6;
of silver in Charcas, 385;
of Porco, 385;
of gold in Tipuani, 386 note;
in the Andes, 406 (see Gold, Silver).
Mira river, 133
Miracles in favour of the Spaniards, 422
Misti volcano, 268 note
Mitimaes (colonists), 149, 150, 209;
at Caxamarca, 271, 328, 362
Mocha, buildings at, 154
Mohina, treasure found at, 353
Molle trees, 299, 397
Molina (Alonzo de), one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420 note
Mompox, city of, 114
Monasteries in Peru, 426
Mora (Diego de) protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Morgan the buccaneer, 17 note
Mortuñas, a fruit near Quito, 132
Moscoso (Francisco) protests against the murder of Atahualpa, 292 note
Motupe, valley, 239
Moyobamba, 280
Mulahalo, 147, 148
Muliambato, buildings of, 153
Mummies of the Yncas, 226 note;
carried about at Xauxa, 227
Mungia, supply of salt from, 126
Muñoz (Miguel), founder of Cali, 87, 100
Mussels, used as food at Panama, 16

Nabonuco, a cannibal chief, 51
Names given to children, 230;
signification of, 231 note;
of the Yncas, 231 note;
329 note
Nasca, promontory, 28;
works of irrigation at, 236 note;
valley, 264
Navigation, of the west coast, 19
Neyva, valley of, 94
Nicasio village, 365, 369
Nicuesa (Diego de), 33, 34 note
Nombre de Dios, 16, 17
Nutibara Cacique, 46

Oca, 361 and note
Ocoña valley, 29, 265
Ojeda (Alonzo de), 33, 34 note
Olive trees in Peru, 401 note{435}
Ollantay-tambo, ruins at, 333
Omasuyo, 369
Ondegordo (Polo de), 387 and note
Opossum (see Chuchu).
Orejones, nobles of Cuzco, 193, 196, 261, 337
Orellana (Francisco de), 112, 202, 406
Orgoñez, Rodrigo, 254, 304
Otabalo, robbery by natives of, 138
Otaso (Marcos), a priest, who gives an account of a harvest ceremony of the Indians at Lampa, 412
Ovejas river, 108
Oviedo, the historian, 35 note

Pacasmayu valley, 240
Paccari-tampu, 320 note, 335
Paccay fruit, 16
Pachacamac, 251, 253, 254
Pachacutec Ynca, 269 note
Pacheco (Francisco), founds Puerto Viejo, 187
——, Juan, 417
Pachachaca river, 317 note
Pallas, ladies of Cuzco, their dress, 146, 147, 277
Palms and palmitos, 36, called Pixiuares, 44, 68, 73, 100
Palta fruit, 16, 73, 99, 234
Paltas, town of, 205
Pampas river, 314 note
Panama, 14, 15, 16, 17
Pancorbo, Juan de, 359
Pansaleo, 145, 147
Paria province, 381
Pariña, point of, 25
Parcos, 302
Passaos, 22;
the first port in Peru, 172
Pasto, 54, 55, 120, 121, 123
Parmonga ruined fortress, 247
Patia valley, 118
Paucar-tampu, 320 note, 337 note
Paucura, 74, 75
Paullu, son of Huayna Ccapac Ynca, 77, 224 note
Payta, port of, 25
Paz, Martin de, one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420
Pearl Islands, 20
Peccary, 37
Pedrarias, governor of Panama, 34
Pepino fruit, 234, 262
Peralta, Cristoval de, one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420
Pericos-ligeros, 36
Petecuy, chief, 101
Peru, description, 128;
climate, 130;
natives, 135;
products, 400;
races in, 407 note
Philip II, dedication to, 1
Piandomo river, 109
Picara, province of, 80, 81
Picoy valley, 302
Pigs, value of, 95
Pillaros Indians, 155
Piñas, puerto de, 20
Pincos, 294
Pine apples, 99
Pinto Simon, Corregidor of Chucuito, 373
Pirsa village, chief of tormented by devils, 415
Pisacoma village, 149 note
Pisagua river, 30
Piscobamba, 293
Pitahaya fruit, 69
Piura valley, 213
Pixiuares palms (see Palms).
Pizarro, Francisco de, at Darien, 34 note;
at Gorgone, 21;
hears of the arrival of Alvarado, 156;
founds San Miguel, 214;
Truxillo, 244;
Lima, 250;
interview with Almagro at Mala, 256;
founds Arequipa, 268;
at Caxamarca, 272;
assassination of, 292 note, 353;
refounds Cuzco, 329;
founds Guamanga, 310;
account of his thirteen companions on the island of Gallo, 419 note
—— (Gonzalo), 32, 137, 187 note, 221 note, 255 note, 303, 306 note, 311, 320, 380
—— (Hernando), 253, 254, 335
Plata, island of, 24, 199
Plata, town, 382
Pocheos, river, on the coast, 213;
city of, 32, 381, 382, 384
Pocona village, 384
Pocras Indians, 308 note
Poison of Indians of Carthagena, 38
Pomata, 373
Popayan, 32, 54, 55, 109, 115, 124
Porco, 285
Ports between Panama and Chile, 19, 27
Pozo, 75, 76, 79
Potatoe, 360 and note;
sweet potatoe, 234{436}
Potosi mines, 384, 390, 391
Pottery, Peruvian, 404 note
Pucara, 302, 368
Puelles, Pedro de, 187, 283
Puerto Viejo, 22, 174, 180, 187
Pultamarca medicinal springs, 271 note
Puna, island of, 24, 198
Puruaes Indians, 154, 161
Purús river, note on by Mr. Spruce, 339

Qualmatan village, near Quito, 131
Quepaypa, battle of, 274 note
Quichua language, 146, 163;
meaning of the word, 316 note
Quijos, 137, 147
Quilca river and port, 29, 265
Quillacingas Indians, 131
Quinua, 143 note, 361
Quinbaya province, 85, 88
Quinuchu, brother of the Cacique Nutibara, 46
Quipus, 290
Quiquixana, 354
Quito, 131, 140, 141, 144, 145
Quiximies rivers, 22
Quizquiz, general of Atahualpa, 292 note

Rain, absence of, on the coast, 214
Ransom of Atahualpa, amount, 272 note
Repartimiento of Indians, 68, 208
Ribera, Nicolas, one of Pizarro’s thirteen companions, 419, 420
—— (Antonio de), introduces olives into Peru, 401 note
Religion of Cañaris, 162;
Guancavilcas, 181;
of Mantas, 183;
of Indians of Huamachuco, 289;
of Canas, 357;
of the Indians of the Collao, 366;
of Huanuco, 285;
of the coast, 221;
of Huancas, 299
Retribution on Spaniards for cruelty to Indians, 422-3
Rimac river, 250
Riobamba, buildings at, 155;
people, 160
Rio frio, 99
Rios (Pedro de los), 419
Roads of the Yncas, 158 and note;
on the coast, 217, 218 note, 287, 290;
in Huaraz, 293;
from Xauxa to Guamanga, 302;
along a causeway, 320;
roads leading from Cuzco, 326;
from Cuzco to the Collao, 253
Robledo (Jorge de), founds Antioquia, 53, 58;
founds Anzerma, 65, 67, 70, 76, 77;
account of death of, 79, 79 note, 81, 86;
founds Cartago, 92, 94, 102;
retribution for cruelty to Indians, 422
Rojas (Gabriel de), 156
—— (Diego de), 383, 406
Romero (Pedro), 94
—— (Payo), killed by Indians, 107
Ruins at Mulahalo, 147;
at Callo, 148;
Riobamba, 155;
Hatun Cañari, 162;
Tumebamba, 165;
at Parmonga, 247;
of fortress of Guarco, 259 note;
Nasca, 264 note;
Pachacamac, 284;
Chimu, 242;
Huanuco, 284 note;
Huarivilca in Xuaxa valley, 299;
Viñaque, near Guamanga, 309;
Vilcas, 313;
Limatambo, 320;
fortress of Cuzco, 323 note;
Ollantaytambo, 333 note;
Sillustani, 364 note;
Hatun-colla, 369;
Tiahuanaco, 375
Ruiz (Bartolomé), the pilot, one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420 note
Rumichaca, natural bridge near Quito, 132
Runa-huanac (see Lunahuana).

Saavedra (Juan de), 157, 159 note, 185
Sacsahuana (see Xaquixaguana).
Salt, supply of, 124-27
San Cristoval hill, 250 note
Sana valley, 240
San Domingo, tower of, at Lima, 426 note
San Francisco, cape of, 22
San Gallan, 27
San Lorenzo, cape of, 23
San Juan river, 55, 106
San Juan de la Frontera, 306
San Martin (Fray Tomas de), 373;
bishop of Charcas, 425
San Miguel founded, 213-14
San Nicolas point, 28
San Sebastian de Uraba, 32, 40, 41
Santa, village, 245, 246
Santa Clara island, 24
Santa Elena point, 23, 189
Santa Fé mining establishment, 58
Santa Maria, Cape, 31{437}
Santa Maria (Fray Juan de), 417
Santa Martha river, 54, 66, 108, 111
Santiago bay and river, 31, 172, 260
—— city, 31
Santo Tomas (Fray Domingo de), author of a Quichua grammar, 163;
his great knowledge of the Indians, 219;
a notable searcher into Indian secrets, 224;
founds a monastery, 242, 427
Santillan (Hernando de), judge of the Audience, 425
Sapana, a chief of the Collao, 363, 369
Saravia (Dr. Bravo de), a judge of the Audience, 205, 425
Sardinas, anchorage of, 21
Sarsaparilla, 200, 395
Sayri Tupac, 272 note
Schinus Molle, 299
Seal Island, 27-28
Seravia (see Saravia)
Serranos, 184, 218
Sicasica village, 381
Sichos Indians, 155
Silver veins at Potosi, 388;
of Charcas, 385;
of Potosi, 386;
mode of extracting, 388, 389
Silversmiths, Peruvian, 404 note
Sipisipe village, 383
Sheep, Peruvian, 392, 394 note
Skulls. Chances Indians flatten the skulls of their infants, 96;
at Pachacamac, 252 note;
skulls flattened in the Collao, 363
Sloth, 36
Snakes, 42, 338
Solana, on the coast, 213
Solano (Juan), Bishop of Cuzco, 424
Soria Luce (Domingo de), one of the thirteen companions of Pizarro, 420
Sosa (Herman Rodriguez de), retribution for cruelty to Indians, 423
Springs, medicinal, 271 note, 400 note
Storehouses of the Yncas, 290
Supay, the Peruvian Devil, 224
Surite, 321 note

Tacama point, 30
Tacurumbi river, 86
—— Cacique gives Robledo a cup of gold, 86
Tafur (Juan) sent to bring back Pizarro’s party, 419
Tamara (Tarma), 286
Tamaraqunga, Cacique, sorely vexed by devils, who sought to hinder his conversion, 415-18
Tambo (see Ollantay-tambo).
Tamboblanco, 205
Tambopalla, 29
Tampus (inns and storehouses), 161, 290
Tangarara, original site of Piura, 214
Tapacari village, 383
Tar at point Santa Elena, 191
Tarapaca, 30, 128, 205, 266
Tarma (Tamara), 286-296
Temple of the Sun at Tumebamba, 165;
Pachacamac, 251-4;
at Caxamarca, 271;
at Huanuco, 284;
at Cuzco, 328;
at Vilcas, 313;
at Ancocahua, 357;
at Hatun Colla, 369;
on the island of Titicaca, 372 note
Teocaxas, great battle at, 161
Texelo (Jeronimo Luis), price he gave for a shoemaker’s knife, 94
Tiahuanaco, 374 to 379
Timbas province, 103
Ticeviracocha, 299
Tiquisambi, buildings of, 162
Titicaca, lake of, 370, 371;
island of, 372
Tobar (Francisco, Garcia de), retribution for cruelty to the Indians, 422
Toledo (Garcia Gutierrez de), discovery of treasure by, 243 note
Tombs (see burial of the dead) of the Collao, 364 note
Topocalma, port of, 31
Topu, or ornamental pin, 146
Torre (Juan de la), 221 note;
one of Pizarro’s thirteen companions, 419, 420
Totora village, 383
Treasure found in the ruins of Chimu, 243 note;
found by Juan de la Torre, 221;
vast quantity of, buried, 77;
collected for Atahualpa’s ransom, 272 note
Trees of Peru, 129, 142, 235, 239, 397;
fruit trees, 234;
suggestion of Cieza de Leon to form plantations of, 401 (see Palms).
Truxillo, 26, 186, 242, 244
Tumbala, lord of Puna, 195
Tumbez, river of, 23;
desert of, 128, 213;
fortress, 193;
Pedro de Candia lands at, 193 note, 420 note
Tumebamba, 165
Tuqueme, coast valley of, 239{438}
Tuquma, province, 383
Turbaco, town, 33;
great battle of, 34 note
Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, 147, 149, 165, 169, 178, 192, 217, 261, 269, 313, 337, 357
Tusa, last village of the Pastos, on the road to Quito, 132

Uchillo, valleys of, 147
Uchu (see Aji).
Umu, a priest, 414 and note
Uraba, port, 32, 35;
Indians of, 36 to 39, 41
Urcos village, 354
Urco (male llama), 393, 231
Urochombe, the woman from whom the Huancas were descended, 298
Ursua (Pedro de), 281 note
Usutas (sandals), 146
Uzedo (Diego de) goes with Cieza de Leon to Charcas, 365

Vaca de Castro (see Castro).
Vadillo (Juan de), 40, 47 note, 50;
his fate, 53 note, 57;
sufferings of his party, 60, 62, 94, 97, 124
Valdivia, 31
—— (Pedro de) joins Gasca, 318 note
Valle (Juan), Bishop of Popayan, 425
Valparaiso, 31
Valverde (Vincente de), 300 note;
Bishop of Cuzco, 424
Varagas (Juan de) held the Indians of Tiahuanaco in encomienda, 379
Vasco (Nuñez de Balboa), 34 note
Velasco (Pedro de) collects honey at Cartago, 91
Verdugo (Melchor), 275 note
Vergara (Pedro de), 205
Viacha, village of, 380
Vicuña, 288, 289 note, 394, 396 note;
cloth woven from wool of, 405
Vilcamayu, valley of, 331 note, 354 note
Vilcas, ruins at, 312, 313, 314 note
Villa-diego (Captain) sent against the Ynca Manco, 305
Villaroel discovers the mines of Potosi, 386
Viñaque river and ruins, 309, 379
Vineyards, 235
Viracocha (see Huira-ccocha).
Viraratu, Indian chief, arrives in Peru, 281 note
Virgins of the Sun, 136 (see Mamacunas).
Viticos, Ynca Manco retires to, 304
Volcano of Cotopaxi, 147 note;
Arequipa, 268 note
Vuilla, a fruit, 69

Weapons, 39, 49, 355
Wheat introduced into Peru, 400;
much grown near Guamanga, 309
Winds on the coast of Peru, 19 note

Xamundi river, 107
Xaquixaguana, battle of, 9, 32, 150;
plain, 320, 321 note
Xauxa river, 296; valley, 297
Xayanca valley, 239
Ximon (Pedro) killed by a snake, 43
Xixarama, name of the devil among the Anzerma Indians, 64
Xuta, bird so called, 175

Yahuar-cocha, dreadful slaughter at, by the Ynca Huayna Ccapac, 133
Yahuar-huaccac Ynca, 280 note
Yahuar-pampa, battle of, 280 note
Yana-cuna, 391 and note
Yca, valley of, 263, 264 note
Yguana, kind of lizard, 42
Ylo, port of, 265
Yncas, origin of, 136;
government of, 149, 153, 164;
discovery of embalmed bodies of three Yncas, mode of interment, 226;
wars of, 409;
names of, 329 note (see Manco Ccapac, Huira-ccocha, Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, Huayna Ccapac, Atahualpa, Manco Ynca, and Ynca Yupanqui).
Ynca Yupanqui, 169, 217, 261, 269, 270 note, 338
Yrrua, Indian chief, 82, 409
Ytata river, 31
Yuca, an edible root, 233
Yucay, valley of, 354
Yumalla, chief of the Collao, 373
Yumbo forests, 147
Yunca, meaning of the word, 162, 209, 218;
Indians on the coast, 219;
their method of burial, 223, 232;
their industry, 237

Zepita village, 37


[1] See note at page 192.

[2] Don Pascual de Gayangos is inclined to this opinion.

[3] See notes at pages 157 and 123.

[4] Cesar had been with Sebastian Cabot, in his expedition to the mouth of the Rio de la Plata; and joined Heredia at the island of Puerto Rico. See page 47, and note.

[5] Herrera says that Heredia gave the name of Carthagena to the bay; but in reality the place had already received that name, either from Ojeda or Bastidas.

[6] See pages 35 to 40.

[7] Acosta, Descubrimiento de la Nueva Granada, cap. xiv, p. 251.

[8] See note p. 123.

[9] See p. 79, and note.

[10] See p. 422.

[11] Page 15.

[12] Page 3.

[13] Page 151.

[14] Conquest of Peru, ii, p. 365, (note).

[15] Page 362.

[16] Page 339.

[17] Page 364.

[18] Page 376.

[19] See p. 177.

[20] The fullest biographical notice of Cieza de Leon is to be found in Antonio, and is as follows:—

“Petrus Cieza de Leon (patria an dumtaxat domicilio incolatave Hispalensis) tredecim fere annorum puer ad occidentales Indos Peruanamque plagam transfretavit, militiamque ibi sequutus, plusquam septemdecim in his oris commoratus est. Fructum tam longæ peregrinationis, eximium quidem, is edidit in eo libro, quæ prima pars est designati, an vero perfecti ab eo atque absoluti operis? Hispali apud Martinum Clementem 1553, fol., Antwerpiæque apud Joannem Stelzium 1554: in 8. Italica autem ex interpretatione Augustini di Gravaliz prodiit Romæ ex officina Valerii Dorigii 1555: 8. Ex quatuor partibus, in quas fidem suam auctor obstrinxerat, hæc tantum edita est, reliquæ valde ab omnibus desiderantur. In fine istius hoc testatum voluit, se primam huic parti anno M.D.XLI in Carthagine gubernationis ut vocant Popajanicæ, manum admovisse, postremam vero in Regia urbe Lima anno M.D.L. cum per id tempus duobus super triginta natus esset annos. Obiisse eum Hispali anno M.D.LX. vel paulo ante monet in schedis ad Bibliothecam Universalem Alfonsus Ciaconius, Dominicanus. Bibliotheca Hispana Nova sive Hispanorum Scriptorum, qui ab anno M.D. ad M.D.C.LXXXIV. floruere notitia: auctore D. Nicolao Antonio Hispalensi J. C. (Madrid, 1788: ii, p. 184.)

An author named Fernando Diaz de Valderrama, who published a biography of illustrious sons of Seville in 1791 (under the pseudonym of Fermin Arana de Valflora), transcribes the above notice of Antonio, without adding any new particulars. His work is entitled Hijos de Sevilla, ilustres en santidad, letras, armas, artes, ó dignidad. Don Enrique de Vedia, in the second volume of his Historiadores primitivos de Indias,{a} published at Madrid in 1853, also merely copies his notice of Cieza de Leon from Antonio.

{a} Forming part of the Biblioteca de Autores Españoles de Rivadeneyro.

[21] Page 27 and page 32.

[22] Chapters vi to xxxii.

[23] Chapters xxxvi to xliv.

[24] P. 153, and note.

[25] Chapter xxxvi.

[26] Chapter xxxviii.

[27] See p. 177.

[28] See p. 173.

[29] See p. 214.

[30] Chapters lix to lxxvi.

[31] Chapters lxxvii to xci.

[32] Chapters xcii and xciii.

[33] Chaptes xciv and xcv.

[34] The following is Mr. Prescott’s notice of Cieza de Leon, given in the second volume of the Conquest of Peru, p. 297:—

“Cieza de Leon is an author worthy of particular note. His Crónica del Peru should more properly be styled an itinerary, or rather geography of Peru. It gives a minute topographical view of the country at the time of the conquest; of its provinces and towns, both Indian and Spanish; its flourishing sea coasts; its forests, valleys, and interminable ranges of mountains in the interior, with many interesting particulars of the existing population—their dress, manners, architectural remains, and public works,—while scattered here and there may be found notices of their early history and social polity. It is, in short, a lively picture of the country in its physical and moral relations, as it met the eye at the time of the conquest, and in that transition period when it was first subjected to European influences. The conception of a work, at so early a period, on this philosophical plan, reminding us of that of Malte-Brun in our own time—parva componere magnis—was, of itself, indicative of great comprehensiveness of mind in its author. It was a task of no little difficulty, where there was yet no pathway opened by the labours of the antiquarian, no hint from the sketch-book of the traveller, or the measurements of the scientific explorer. Yet the distances from place to place are all carefully jotted down by the industrious compiler, and the bearings of the different places and their peculiar features are exhibited with sufficient precision, considering the nature of the obstacles he had to encounter. The literary execution of the work, moreover, is highly respectable, sometimes even rich and picturesque; and the author describes the grand and beautiful scenery of the Cordilleras with a sensibility of its charms not often found in the tasteless topographer, still less often in the rude conqueror.

“The loss of the other parts of his work is much to be regretted, considering the talent of the writer, and his opportunities for personal observation. But he has done enough to render us grateful for his labours. By the vivid delineation of scenes and scenery, as they were presented fresh to his own eyes, he has furnished us with a background to the historic picture—the landscape, as it were, in which the personages of the time might be more fitly pourtrayed. It would have been impossible to exhibit the ancient topography of the land so faithfully at a subsequent period, when old things had passed away, and the conqueror, breaking down the landmarks of ancient civilisation, had effaced many of the features even of the physical aspect of the country as it existed under the elaborated culture of the Yncas.”

[35] Mr. Rich, of Red Lion Square, got possession of a manuscript of Cieza de Leon, which is described in one of his catalogues as being an account of the civil wars of Peru. He sold it to Mr. Lenox of New York.

[36] See chapter cxii, and note at page 397.

[37] See note at p. 143.

[38] Oxalis tuberosa. See note at p. 361.

[39] See note at p. 234.

[40] See note at p. 16.

[41] For a theory of the derivation of this word, see note at p. 316.

[42] See note at page 407.

[43] See page 129.

[44] The bird called by Cieza de Leon maca, and described at page