Date of Submission

Spring 2021

Academic Program

Foreign Languages, Cultures, and Literature; Historical Studies

Project Advisor 1

Nicole Caso

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Principally, this project analyzes the indigenous Andean prince Don Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala’s El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno de las Yndias, a historical account of pre-conquest Inca civilization, the consequent Spanish invasion, and colonial Peru up until 1613. His report of the injustice and mistreatment of the Andean people under Spanish colonial rule is established to then propose radical transformations to the colonial state and the place of indigenous people in it. I contextualize his work with a brief background of important features of both Incan and colonial Spanish society that he discusses, as well as specifically examining the work and impact of Bartholomé de Las Casas as an example of the model of ecclesiastical rhetoric that Guamán Poma employs to argue his case of colonial reform. What is known about Guamán Poma’s life suggests a fairly marginal existence, which makes it all the more fascinating the strategies that he employs to take a position before the King of Spain and ask for profound reforms to Spanish foreign policy and Andean colonial status. I examine the roles of religion, writing, and visual art as central themes of his argument. Above all, the reason why I study Guamán Poma and his Nueva corónica is simply because of the usefulness of examining a period from another perspective. Most of the studies I find on the conquest and colonization of Peru are from the European point of view, this domination of a specific look imposes limitations and biases on our understanding and conceptualization of the past and history. The study of sources written from other perspectives, such as indigenous or African, helps us realize what is different, what is noted, what changes and the transformation of narrative. The inclusion of more than a perspective is essential in historiography because it gives us more depth and better scope in our historical research. Moreover, it emphasizes that there is not only one experience or narrative about an event or period, but multiple that encapsulate the whole range of human experience.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

This work is protected by a Creative Commons license. Any use not permitted under that license is prohibited.