Court and Chronicle

Rolena Adorno

in Native Claims

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794850
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919291 | DOI:
Court and Chronicle

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In Spanish colonial Mexico and Peru, natives assimilated to European language and custom served local civil and ecclesiastical institutions and learned through literacy to defend their claims to lands and properties. The case in the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru of a Quechua- and Spanish-speaking Andean, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, illustrates at close range some general principles about indigenous interactions with colonial institutions. When Guaman Poma’s efforts to support land claims on behalf of himself and his kin failed, he turned to writing a history of ancient Peru and an exposé of colonial corruption that included extensive recommendations for governmental reform. This chapter links Guaman Poma’s legal petitioning in the 1590s with his 1615 New Chronicle and Good Government to reveal the relationship between legal argumentation and historical narration in which the demands of the future required creative rewriting of the historical past.

Keywords: Peru; Guaman Poma; New Chronicle and Good Government; land claims; native literacy

Chapter.  10649 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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