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Account of the Fables and Rites of the Incas

Only a few decades after the Spanish conquest of Peru, the third Bishop of Cuzco, Sebastian de Lartaun, called for a report on the religious practices of the Incas. The report was prepared by Cristobal de Molina, a priest of the Hospital for the Natives of Our Lady of Succor in Cuzco and Preacher General of the city. Molina was an outstanding Quechua speaker, and his advanced language skills allowed him to interview the older indigenous men of Cuzco who were among the last surviving eyewitnesses of the rituals conducted at the height of Inca rule. Thus, Molina's account preserves a crucial first-hand record of Inca religious beliefs and practices. This volume is the first English translation of Molina's Relacion de las fabulas y ritos de los incas since 1873 and includes the first authoritative scholarly commentary and notes. The work opens with several Inca creation myths and descriptions of the major gods and shrines (huacas). Molina then discusses the most important rituals that occurred in Cuzco during each month of the year, as well as rituals that were not tied to the ceremonial calendar, such as birth rituals, female initiation rites, and marriages. Molina also describes the Capacocha ritual, in which all the shrines of the empire were offered sacrifices, as well as the Taqui Ongoy, a millennial movement that spread across the Andes during the late 1560s in response to growing Spanish domination and accelerated violence against the so-called idolatrous religions of the Andean peoples.
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Table of Contents

Preface: Translators' Notes Acknowledgments The Life and Times of Cristobal de Molina Introduction by Brian S. Bauer Account of the Fables and Rites of the Incas Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Origin Myths Chapter 3: Of Quipus and Inca Yupanqui Chapter 4: The Sorcerers Chapter 5: The Rituals of the Months of the Year Chapter 6: The Ayuscay, Rutuchico, and Quicochico Rituals Chapter 7: The Capacocha Chapter 8: Taqui Onqoy Appendix: Editions of Cristobal de Molina's Account of the Fables and Rites of the Incas (Relacion de las fabulas y ritos de los incas) Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

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Based on eyewitness accounts of rituals conducted at the height of Inca rule, this is a key document that provides an unparalleled account of the prayers and religious celebrations of the Inca in a context of rapidly changing cultural practices.

About the Author

Brian S. Bauer is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. VANIA SMITH-OKA is Nancy O'Neill Assistant Professor of Anthropology, as well as a Faculty Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, at the University of Notre Dame. GABRIEL E. CANTARUTTI is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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