Inca Religion and Customs
University of Texas Press, 28/06/2010 - 279 páginas
Completed in 1653, Father Bernabe Cobo's Historia del Nuevo Mundo is an important source of information on pre-conquest and colonial Spanish America. Though parts of the work are now lost, the remaining sections which have been translated offer valuable insights into Inca culture and Peruvian history.
Inca Religion and Customs is the second translation by Roland Hamilton from Cobo's massive work. Beginning where History of the Inca Empire left off, it provides a vast amount of data on the religion and lifeways of the Incas and their subject peoples. Despite his obvious Christian bias as a Jesuit priest, Cobo objectively and thoroughly describes many of the religious practices of the Incas. He catalogs their origin myths, beliefs about the afterlife, shrines and objects of worship, sacrifices, sins, festivals, and the roles of priests, sorcerers, and doctors.
The section on Inca customs is equally inclusive. Cobo covers such topics as language, food and shelter, marriage and childrearing, agriculture, warfare, medicine, practical crafts, games, and burial rituals.
Because the Incas apparently had no written language, such postconquest documents are an important source of information about Inca life and culture. Cobo's work, written by one who wanted to preserve something of the indigenous culture that his fellow Spaniards were fast destroying, is one of the most accurate and highly respected.
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This volume contains the next two books of Cobo's great work. The first book
presented here is an account of Inca religion, a subject in which our author, as a
Jesuit scholar, had a professional interest. The following book is about other Inca
I have published my thoughts on this list elsewhere.1 The reason that Cobo
included the catalogue of shrines in his account of Inca religion was that he
wanted to make the point that the Incas worshipped many and diverse things,
Cobo. (2nd LlKs inCCLS Those interested in an accurate understanding of Inca
culture must consult the sources, Spanish chronicles written in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. Although the Incas left no written records before the ...
Cobo visited the Lake Titicaca area at least twice, first in 16io and again in 1615.
He did missionary work here, getting to know the people and their languages,
Quichua and Aymara. He also visited the ruins of Copacabana and Tiahuanaco.
This is the only publication to date based on Cobo's original MS. This work
comprised Books 1 1 and 12 of the original. Dealing with the physical features
and customs of the Indians in general, it gives a detailed account of the origin
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