Inca Religion and Customs / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

American Antiquity
While Cobo's Historia is not a pristine account, it is hard to imagine what our knowledge of Andean societies would be without it. Four hundred years after Cobo landed in Lima, Roland Hamilton should be congratulated on his translations of the Historia del Nuevo Mundo, which remains a monument to the breadth of vision and intellectual energy of its author.
A translation of the second and third books of Father Cobo's 1653 description of Peruvian civilization. He based his account of religion almost entirely on previous literature his employer having eradicated his subject. His survey of customs is drawn from his own observations. The paper edition $10.95 has the same ISBN. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292738614
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 492,536
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernabe Cobo (1582–1657) was a Spanish Jesuit who lived for many years in colonial Spanish America.

Roland Hamilton is Professor of Spanish at San Jose State University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by John Howland Rowe
Introduction: Father Cobo and the Incas
A Note on the Translation
Book I: Religion
Paganism of lnca Religion
Origin Fables
Viracocha the Creator
Sun Worship
Moon and Star Deities
Worship of the Thunder, the Sea, and the Earth
Pururauca Deities
Guauque Idols
Idolatry of the Deceased
Other Deities
Temple of the Sun at Cuzco
Chinchaysayu Road
Antisuyu Road
Collasayu Road
Cuntisayu Road
Temple of Pachacama
Temple of Copacabana
Temple of Tiaguanaco
Temple of Apurima
Addlitional Sacrifices
Acts of Worship and Prayers
Raymi Festival
Festivals of the Second Month
Festivals of the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Months
Festivals of the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Months
Festivals of the Tenth Month
Festivals of the Eleventh and Twelfth Months
Itu Festival
Coronation of the Inca
Functions of the Priests
Cloistered Women
Omens and Superstitions

Book II: Customs
Quichua and Aymará
Towns and Houses
Home Furnishings
Food and Drink
Building and Stone Work
Silverwork and Metallurgy
Games and Music

Indexes for the Shrines of Cuzco

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