Account by Francisco Xeres. Dated c. 1534. A True Account of the Province of Cuzco, Called New Castille, Conquered by Francisco Pizarro, Captaion to His Majesty the Emperor, Our Master. Dedicated to His Majesty the Emperor by Francisco Xeres, Native of the Most Noble and Most Loyal Town of Seville, Secretary to the Said Captain in All the Provinces and Countries Conquered in New Castille, and One of the First Conquerors of That Country. 2nd Edition. Salamanca: n.p. 1547. pp. 1-74 (in) Reports on the Discovery of Peru. Translated and Edited by C.R. Markham. The Hakluyt Society. Series one, Number 47. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1872.

[Francisco Pizzrro left] Panama on the 14th day of the month of November, in the year 1524. He had a hundred and twelve Spaniards in his company … Seventy days after leaving Panama they landed at a port which was afterwards named Port Famine … The captain and eighty men remained in this port (the remainder having [already] died); and because their provisions had come to an end, and there were none in that land, he sent the ship … to the Isle of Pearls [near Panama] to obtain supplies…the ship never returned for forty-seven days, during which time the captain and his companions subsisted on a sea-weed that they found on the shore, collecting it with much trouble. Some of them, being sorely weakened, died. They also fed on some very bitter palm fruits. During the absence of the ship…more than twenty [additional] men died … [after the ship returned] the captain and mariners related how, when the supplies did not come, they had eaten a tanned cow-hide … They boiled it and divided it amongst themselves … [after the ship had returned] The survivors were refreshed with the supplies brought by the ship, consisting of maize and pigs; and the captain set out to continue his voyage (pp. 3-4).

[Pizarro’s second expedition: 1524].

[Pizarro first reached the coast of Peru: 1526].

[Pizarro returned to Spain: 1527].

[Pizarro sailed from Panama for Peru, 1531].

[October, 1532: The village of Caxas was taken and he marched to Guacamba] A broad road, made by hands, connects these two towns; and the same road traverses all that land from Cuzco to Quito, a distance of more than three hundred leagues … At the end of each day’s journey there is a house, like an inn, where those who go and come, can lodge … [at] these two towns, two houses [were found] full of shoes, cakes of salt, a food like albondigas, [small meat balls] and other stores for the use of the troops of Atabaliba … [a messenger arrived and] said to the Governor that his lord Atabaliba had sent him from Caxamalca to bring the present, which consisted of two fountains made of stone, like fortresses, and used to drink out of, and two loads of dried geese, skinned and prepared to be powdered and used for fumigating … [Pizarro] ordered that food should be given to the messenger (pp. 28-30).

The Spaniards rested at Motux for four days … All the villages between this place and the city of San Miguel are in valleys … On this road all the people have the same manner of living … These people are dirty. They eat flesh and fish all raw, and maize boiled and toasted. They have other filthy things in the way of sacrifices and mosques [temples] … they offer up to them the best of all that they have. Each month they sacrifice their own children, and with the blood they anoint the faces of the idols, and the doors of the mosques [temples] … the victims who are sacrificed, go willingly to their deaths, laughing, dancing, and singing. After they have drunk well, they themselves ask that their heads may be cut off. They also sacrifice sheep [llamas] … They sow the crops in the level ground on the banks of the rivers, distributing water through channels. They grow much maize, and other seeds and roots which they eat. In that land there is little rain (pp. 32-33).

[Pizzrro] was very glad to see him, and inquired after Atabaliba. The messenger answered that he was well, and that he had sent ten sheep [llamas]  for the Christians … This ambassador [from Atabaliba] was served as a Lord, and had five or six cups of fine gold, from which he drank, and he gave the Spaniards chica to drink out of them, which he brought with him (p. 41).

The Governor arrived at this town of Caxamala on Friday, the 15th of November, 1532 … The plaza is larger than any in Spain … walls [of houses] are of very well cut stones, and each lodging is surrounded by its masonry wall with doorways, and has its fountain of water in an open court, conveyed from a distance by pipes, for the supply of the house … it began to rain and hail … an Indian arrived from Atabaliba to tell the Governor that he might lodge where he pleased, but not to go up into the fortress of the plaza; and to excuse himself from coming on the ground that he was fasting (pp. 44-47).

[Pizarro meets Atabaliba: after a discussion] Atabaliba laughed, and said that they should drink. The [Spanish] Captains excused themselves from drinking the Indian liquor by saying that they were fasting; but they were importuned by him, and accepted. Presently women came with vases of gold containing chica of maize (pp. 48-49).

Father Friar Vicente … advanced, with a cross in one hand and the Bible in the other, and going amongst the [Inca] troops up to the place where Atabaliba was, thus addressed him: “I am a Priest of God, and I teach Christians the things of God, and in like manner I come to teach you. What I teach is that which God says to us in this Book. Therefore, on the part of God and of the Christians, I beeseech you to be their friend, for such is God’s will, and it will be for your good.” Atabaliba asked for the Book, that he might look at it, and the Priest gave it to him closed. Atabaliba did not know how to open it, and the Priest was extending his arm to do so, when Atabaliba, in great anger, gave him a blow on the arm, not wishing that it should be opened. Then he opened it himself, and, without any astonishment at the letters and paper, as had been shown by other Indians, he threw it away from him five or six paces, and, to the words which the monk had spoken to him through the interpreter, he answered with much scorn, saying: “I know well how you have behaved on the road [before you arrived here], how you have treated my Chiefs, and taken the cloth from my storehouses.” The Monk replied: “The Christians have not done this, but some Indians took the cloth without the knowledge of the Governor, and he ordered it to be restored.” … The Monk told [Pizarro] what had passed between him and Atabaliba, and that he had thrown the Scriptures to the ground … The Monk said: ‘See you not what is happening? Why are you treating with this proud dog, when the plain is covered with Indians. Fall upon him. I absolve you. — Don Alonzo Enriquez says: “Then the rascally friar, who was certainly a peace-breaker, began to call with a loud voice, saying, ‘Christians, I call upon you to avenge this insult to the faith of Jesus Christ.’ … [afterwhich there was a terrible massacre and Atabaliba was seized by the Spaniards] (pp. 54-56).

[Pizarro said to Atabaliba] “Do not take it as an insult that you have been defeated and taken prisoner … I have conquered greater kingdoms than yours, and have defeated other more powerful lords than you, imposing upon them the dominion of the Emperor, whose vassal I am, and who is King of Spain and of the universal world. We come to conquer this land by his command, that all may come to a knowledge of God, and of His Holy Catholic Faith … in order that you may know him, and come out from the bestial and diabolical life you lead … When you have seen the errors in which you live, you will understand the good we have done you … We treat our prisoners and conquered enemies with kindness … you were seized … because you threw the Book to the ground in which is written the words of God. Therefore our Lord permitted that your pride should be brought low, and that no Indian should be able to offend a Christian” (pp. 56-57).

In the square [outside] and on the plain there were two thousand killed, besides wounded. A wonderful thing was observed in this battle. It was that the horses which, the day before, could scarcely move for the cold, were able to charge with such fury that they seemed as if nothing had ever ailed them … The Governor [Pizarro] ordered that all the sheep [llamas] to be set free, because there was a great multitude, and they encumbered the camp. The Christians could kill daily as many as they required [for food]. Some [Spaniards] were of [the] opinion that all the Indian soldiers should be killed, or, at least, that their hands should be cut off. The Governor would not consent (pp. 58-59).

[Along the road to Cuzco] Chincha is a populous district, half-way. Throughout the land there are many flocks of sheep [llamas], and many are wild because they cannot maintain as many as they breed. Among the Spaniards who accompany the Governor they kill one hundred and fifty every day, and yet there would no scarcity if they remained in this valley throughout the year. The Indians usually eat them in all parts of the land (pp. 63-64).

Atabaliba feared that the Spaniards would kill [his brother], so he told the Governor, that he would give his captors a great quantity of gold and silver. The Governor asked him: “How much can you give, and in what time?” Atabaliba said: “I will give gold enough to fill a room twenty-two feet long and seventeen wide, up to a white line which is half way up the wall.” … As for silver, he said he would fill the whole chamber with it twice over. He undertook to do this in two months (p. 65).

The Governor then spoke to Atabaliba, saying: ‘What treason is this that you have prepared for me? For me who have treated you with honour, like a brother?” … After [Atabaliba] was a prisoner, the Spaniards who heard him were astounded to find so much wisdom in a barbarian. The Governor ordered a chain to be brought, which was fastened round the neck of Atabaliba … Then the Governor, with the concurrence of the officers of his Majesty, and of the captains and persons of experience, sentenced Atabaliba to death. His sentence was that, for the treason he had committed, he should die by burning, unless he became a Christian; and this execution was for the security of the Christians, the good of the whole land, and to secure its conquest and pacification (pp. 100-101).

They brought out Atabaliba to execution; and, when he came into the square, he said he would become a Christian. The Governor was informed, and ordered him to be baptized … The Governor then ordered that he should not be burnt, but that he should be fastened to a pole in the open space and strangled. This was done, and the body was left until the morning of the next day, when the Monks, and the Governor with the other Spaniards, conveyed it into the church, where it was interred with much solemnity, and with all the honours that could be shown it. Such was the end of this man, who had been so cruel … Some said that it was for his sins that he died on the day and hour that he was seized. Thus he was punished for the great evils and cruelties that he had inflicted upon his vassals [NOTE: twelve Spaniards protested against the murder of Atabaliba, one of them was Hernando de Soto] … They represented that Pizarro had no jurisdiction over a foreign king, like Atabaliba; that to kill a king who was a prisoner, and whose ransom they had taken, would bring shame and dishonour on the Spanish name… (pp. 102-105).


Account by Miguel Estete [Astete]. Dated 1534. Of the Journey Made by El Señor Captain Hernando Pizarro, by Order of the Governor, his brother, from the City of Caxamalca to Parcama, and Thence to Xauxa. pp. 74-109 (in) Reports on the Discovery of Peru. Translated and Edited by C.R. Markham. The Hakluyt Society. Series one, Number 47. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1872.

He commenced his journey on the 14th of January … passing … Totopamba [where] The Indians received him well and gave him good food … [he reached] Corongo [where] they were given food … and Indians to carry the loads … [they came to] Piga … they departed … and came to a small village, where they were given all they wanted … [they came to another village] where the people came out to receive them as friends and gave food to the Christians, and Indians to carry their loads. This day’s march was through a valley covered with maize … [they came to] a village where the Captain and his companions were well received. At night they reached another village, where the people offered sheep [llamas] and chica [maize beer] and all other necessaries. All this land has abundant supplies of maize and many flocks (pp. 76- 78).

On the 9th of January … [they passed a village] and there were tilled fields, trees, fruit gardens … Next day the Captain stopped at a very large village near the sea called Huara … On the following day the Captain stopped at a village called Llachu [modern Chancay], to which he gave the name of ‘the town of the partridges,’ because there were many partridges kept in cages in all the houses. The Indians of this village were friendly (p. 80).

[They came to Pachacama and the Spaniards visited the Inca temple] He said that he had come, by order of the Governor, for the gold of that mosque [temple], and that they were to collect it … The Captain … said that he wished to go and see the Idol they had, and he went … Here there was a very dirty Idol made of wood, and they say that this is their God who created them and sustains them, and gives them their food … The Captain ordered the vault, in which the Idol was, to be pulled down, and the Idol to be broken before all the people. He then told them many things touching our Holy Catholic Faith, and he taught them the sign of the cross, that they might be able to defend themselves against the Devil (pp. 81-83).

He came to a village called Agoa … It is a good village among the mountains, and is surrounded by fields of maize (p. 92).


Account by Pedro Sancho. Written at the city of Xauxa Dated July 15th, 1534.An Account of the Conquest of Peru. Written by Pedro Sancho Secretary to Pizarro and Scrivener to His Army. Translated by P.A. Means. New York: The Cortes Society, 1917.

[Journey to Cuzco] The Governor with his men arrived at a village which the hostile Indians had sacked and burned, on account of which neither people nor maize was found in it, nor any other food, and the water was very far off because the Indians had broken the aqueducts which came to the city, which was a great evil and of much inconvenience for the Spaniards … [next village was Panarai] … The Spaniards sought so much, that they found some maize and ewes [llamas] … and the next day, early, they set out and arrived at a village called Tarcos [where] they found a good reception … because the cicique had brought to the plaza a large quantity of maize, firewood, ewes, and other things of which the Spaniards had great need (pp. 64-66).

This land, from Tumbez to Chincha has a width of some ten leagues, in some places more, in other less; it is a broad, flat sandy land in which no grass or herbs grow and where it rains but little; it is in places fertile in maize and fruits because the people sow and irrigate their farms with water from the rivers that come down from the mountains … They [the Indians] are a wretched folk, and many of them are blind on account of the great amount of sand that there is … They dress in cotton and eat maize both cooked and raw, and half-raw meat. At the end of the plains which are called Ingres are some very high mountains which extend from the city of San Miguel as far as Xauxa … It is very cold because there is a snow-capped mountain range which extends from Caxamalca to Xauxa and on which there is snow all the year through … [the Indians] are such a wretched and poor folk … that they are fit to be used for nothing else than to carry fish and fruits up into the highlands, for as soon as they come into the mountainous regions, their own land being very hot, they sicken for the most part; and the same thing happens to those who inhabit the mountains if they go down into the hot country. Those who dwell on the other side of the land [east of the Andes] beyond the summits of the mountains, are like savages who have no houses nor any maize save a little; they have very great forests and maintain themselves almost entirely on the fruit of the trees (pp. 145-147).

[Along the Inca road] Along the road each league or two or nearer, are found the dwellings built for the purpose of allowing the lords to rest when they were out visiting and inspecting their land; and every twenty leagues there are important cities … All these large cities have storehouses full of the things which are in the land, and, because it is very cold but little maize is harvested except in specially assigned places; but there is plenty of all the many vegetables and roots with which the people sustain themselves … There are also wild turnips which are bitter. There is a sufficiency of herds of sheep [llamas] which go about n flocks with their shepherds who keep them away from the sown fields … The people [here]…are very polished and intelligent … they eat maize both cooked and raw, and drink much chicha, which is a beverage made from maize after the fashion of beer (pp. 150-151).

The city of Cuzco … there is a house where are kept more than a hundred dried birds because they make garments of their feathers, which are of many colors … Each dead lord has here his house and all that was paid to him as tribute during his life … The Caciques [Chiefs] and lords maintain their houses of recreation with the corresponding staff of servants and women who sow their fields with maize and place a little of it in their sepulchers. They adore the sun and have built many temples to him, and of all the things which they have, as much of clothes as of maize and other things, they offer some to the sun (pp. 158-159).

[Province of Collao] is far off and a long way from the sea, so much so that the natives who inhabit it, have no knowledge of [the sea] … most of the land is sterile, and all the people live on roots, herbs, maize and sometimes flesh (pp. 161-162).


Account by Hernando Pizarro. Dated November 1533. Letter from Hernando Pizarro to the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo. pp. 113-127 (in) Reports on the Discovery of Peru. Translated and Edited by C.R. Markham. The Hakluyt Society. Series one, Number 47. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1872.

Atabaliva said to the Governor that … he could fill [the gold] the room in which he was up to a white line, which was the height of a man and a half from the floor. The room was seventeen or eighteen feet wide, and thirty-five feet long. He said that he could do this in two months. Two months passed away, and the gold did not arrive … Some Indians, who were tortured [by the Spaniards], told us that the [Inca] captains and armed men were at a place six leagues from Guamachuco … I arrived at that town, and did not find any armed men there, and it turned out that the Indians had told lies … [we went to Pachacamá on the sea-coast] … The chiefs and people of the mountains are more intelligent than those of the coast … Their sacrifices consist of sheep [llamas] and chicha, which they pour out on the ground … [temple women] also have the duty of making chicha for the soldiers when they pass … They have stores of fuel and maize, and of all other necessaries. They count by certain knots on cords, and so record what each chief has brought. When they had to bring us loads of fuel, maize, chicha, or meat, they took off knots or made knots on some other part; so that those who have charge of the stores keep an exact account (pp. 120-122).


Account by Pedro Pizarro. Dated January 7th, 1571. Relation of the discovery and conquest of the kingdoms of Peru, and of the government and arrangements which the natives of them formerly had, and of the trasures which were found therein, and of the other events which have taken place in those realms up to the day on which the Relation was signed. Done by Pedro Pizarro, a conqueror and settler of those said kingdoms, and a citizen of the city of Arequipa, in the year 1571. pp. 132-487 (in) Relation of the Discovery and Conquest of the Kingdoms of Peru by Pedro Pizarro. 2 vols. Translated by P.A. Means. New York: The Cortes Society, 1921.

[At the village of Coaque we captured gold and emeralds] About the emeralds there was a shameful mistake on the part of certain persons who did not know their value … Some of the men tried them on anvils, giving them blows with a hammer, saying that if they were emeralds they would not break. Others scorned the stones, saying they were glass. He who knew what they were kept them and held his tongue (Vol. 1. pp. 148-149).

In this [village of] Coaque they found many mattresses of wool from the ceyua, which is a tree they grow there and thus name. And it befell then that some Spaniards who threw themselves down upon the mattresses got up crippled, for if the arm or the leg was doubled up during sleep it could not be straightened out again except with very great difficulty. This was the lot of some people, and it was understood to be the origin of a disease called berrugas [or verrugas], a disease so bad and tormenting that it caused many men to be wearied and worn by pain just as if they had tumours, and even great sores came out all over the body, and some were as big as eggs, and they corrupted the skin, and much pus and blood ran out of them so that it was necessary to cut them out and to throw strong things [herbs?] into the wound to kill the root. [NOTE: this is the first description of verruga peruana or Carrion’s disease, produced by a bacterial infection].  There were other sores as small as measles, because of which the whole body swelled up. Few were those who escaped having them, though they attacked some men more than they did others. Some wished to claim that the cause of this infirmity was some fish which they ate in the provinces of Puerto Viejo, and which the Indians maliciously gave to the Spaniards (Vol. 1. pp. 150-151).

In this island were found five ewes of the country so fat that they could not multiply, but when they were killed not so much as two arreldes [approximately 4 pounds] of good meat were found on them (Vol. 1. p. 154).

The people of this island [of Puna] and those of Puerto Viejo and Tumbez, wear raiment, consisting of very fine silky fibers, on their heads … These people have maize, beans, fish, and other vegetables to eat. Save for those ewes I have mentioned, they have none north of Tumbez … The folk of puerto Viejo were very dirty (Vol. 1. p. 155).

Then, seeing that Tumbez was in revolt and the troops [Spanish] sick, there was great need of eating meat and other things, and Marquis Pizarro sent captain Soto and seventy cavalrymen in search of Chile Masa, for thus was the Lord of Tumbez called (Vol. 1. p. 162).

Atabalipa bade them give him food to eat, and he ordered that all his men should do likewise. These people had the custom of dining in the morning, and it was the same with all the natives of this kingdom. The Lords, having dined, were wont to spend the day drinking until the evening, when they supped very lightly, and the lowly Indians spent the day in toil (Vol. 1. p. 180).

There marched before Atabalipa many Indians singing and dancing … The Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, observing how Atabalipa had now drawn near to the plaza, sent Padre Fray Vicente de Valverde, first bishop of Cuzco, Hernando de Aldama, a good soldier, and Don Martinillo, the interpreter, with orders to go and speak to Atabalipa and require it of him in the name of God and of the King that he subject himself to the law of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the service of His Majesty … The Padre carried in his hands a breviary from which he read the matters which he preached. Atabalipa asked him for it, and he [Valverde] closing it, handed it to him [Atabalipa]. When he had it in his hands he did not know how to open it, and he threw it upon the ground. He [Valverde] called upon Aldana to draw near to him [Atabalipa] and give him the sword, and Aldana drew it and brandished it, but did not wish to plunge it into the Inga. [Note: this is the original spelling of Inca]. When this occurred he [Atabalipa] told them to get them thence, as they were mere scurvy rogues, for he was going to have all of them put to death … [Francisco Pizarro ordered the Spaniards to attack] … the Indians were thrown into confusion and were cut to pieces …[ they killed the Indians who were carrying the litter of Atabalipa] … the Marquis [Francisco Pizarro] gave loud cries, saying: Let no one wound the Indian [Atabalipa] on pain of death…they rushed upon the litter … they turned it over on its side, and thus was Atabalipa made a prisoner (Vol. 1. pp. 181-185).

The Marquis asked him: How much gold and silver would he give? Atabalipa said that he would fill with gold a room where the Marquis was … In truth a great treasure!. And having said these words, the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, acting on the best judgment of his captains and his own, caused a scrivener to be called who put down in writing what this Indian [Atabalipa] ordered (Vol. 1. pp. 186-187).

These Indians say that an Inga arose and became the first Lord. Some say that he came forth from the island of Titicaca, which is an isle in a lake in the Collao which is seventy leagues in circuit, and in it, at times, there are storms as in the sea. A small fish, somewhat more than a palm long, is raised in the lake. The water is a little saltish … No outlet is to be found (Vol. 1. p. 193).

While … Guainacapa was conquering around Quito … he had this Atabalipa by the daughter of the chief Lord of this province of Quito … Having finished the conquest, Guainacapa commanded that a fortress be built … While they were engaged upon this work, there broke out among them a plague of smallpox, never seen among them before, which killed many Indians. And while Guaina Capa was shut up, engaged in the fast which he was wont to make, which took the form of being alone in a room without access to any woman, and without eating either salt or aji, with which they dress their food, and without drinking chichi …while Guaina Capa was thus as his fast, they relate that three Indians never seen before came in to him. They were very small, like dwarfs. They said to him: Inga, we are come to summon you…Then said Guaina Capa: I am about to die. And at once he fell ill of the smallpox. (Vol. 1. pp. 196-197).

The Indians say that [Guainacapa] was a great friend of the poor … that he was very affable to his servants, and very grave…that he was wont to drink much more than three Indians together, but that they never saw him drunk, and that, when his captains and chief Indians asked him how, through drinking so much, he never got intoxicated, they say that he replied that he drank for the poor of whom he supported many. And had this Guainacapa been alive when we Spaniards entered this land, it would have been impossible for us to win it, for he was much beloved by all his vassals. Ten years had passed since his death when we entered the land … had the land not been divided by the ward between Guascar and Atabalipa, we would not have been able to enter or win … Guainacape being dead, they raised up as Lord Guascar his son, to whom the kingdom rightfully belonged, and who was in Cuzco … But after some years had passed by, and Atabalipa got his growth, and he was in Quito [where he became] very manful and bellicose, and for this reason [Guascar was advised to] set himself to re-forming his troops … [but Guascar was little liked because] he was very grave, and he never let himself be seen by his people, nor did he ever come out to eat with them in the plaza, as it was the custom of former Lords to do (Vol. 1. pp. 198-202).

[It was the custom that the Inca] Lords who died … [were embalmed and wrapped in many fine clothes] their service of gold and silver was not touched … The Lord who entered upon a new reign [new Inca] … had to take new servants … Whenever [the new Inca] wished to eat, to drink, they said that the dead ones wished to do that same thing (Vol. 1. pp. 202-203).

[At Cuzco] They found Quizquiz … Every morning he had brought to him many birds, alive and with their plumes untouched, and when they were given to him, he let them loose and let them fly away. And any Indian who angered him was made to eat so much aji that he died (Vol. 1. pp. 211-212).

They said to the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro that it was not fitting that Atabalipa should live, for if he were released, His Majesty would lose the land and all the Spaniards would be slain … and against his will he sentenced Atabalipa to death, commanding that they give him the garrote, and that when he was dead he should be burned because he had his sisters for wives … Atabalipa had given his wives and Indians to understand that, if they [the Spaniards] did not burn his body, he would return to them, for the Sun his father would resuscitate him. Then, when they took him out into the plaza to give him the garrote, Padre fray Vicente de Valverde … bidding him become a Christian,. And he asked if they would burn him should he become a Christian, and they told him no, and he said that if they would not burn him, he would be baptized, and so Fray Vicente baptized him, and they gave him the garrote, and on another day they interred him in the church which we Spaniards have in Caxamalca (Vol. 1. pp. 216-219).

This Atabalipa was a well disposed Indian of fine person, of medium size, not too fat … When they took him out to kill him, all the natives who were in the plaza, prostrated themselves upon the ground, letting themselves fall like drunken men (Vol. 1. pp. 220-221).

While he [Atabalipa] was eating one day … [serving women placed his food] upon some thin small green rushes … These rushes … were always spread before him when he wished to eat, and on them they placed all the food in vessels of gold, silver and pottery, and that dish which stirred his appetite he indicated, and, taking it up, one of the said ladies would hold it in her hand while he ate. One day while he was eating in this manner in my presence, and when he raised a portion of the food to his mouth, a drop fell upon the clothing which he wore, and giving his hand to the Indian woman, he raised himself and went into his room to don other clothing, and when he came back he wore a shirt and a mantle of dark brown … I felt the mantle, which was smoother than silk, and I said to him: Inga, of what is this soft clothing made? And he said to me: It is made of birds who fly by night in Puerto Viejo and Tumbez and who bite the Indians … How is it and where could so much batskin be gathered? He replied: Those dogs of Tumbez and Puerto Viejo, what else have they to do than to capture these animals so as to make clothes for my father. And thus it is that the bats of those parts bite the Indians and Spaniards and horses by night, and they suck up so much blood that it is a mysterious thing (Vol. 1. pp. 223-224).

Atabalipa now having died …T hen, a number of troops, a sister of his, and some Indian women having been hung, so that they might go to the other world to serve Atabalipa, two sisters remained [and they lamented] … I told them that the dead did not come back … It was the custom among these Indians that the women should wail for their husbands every year, and the kinsmen carrying the vestments and arms [weapons] of the dead before, while many Indian women laden with chicha went behind the wives … they [went] from hill to hill and from place to place wherever the dead, while still in life, had gone, and after becoming weary, they sat down and drank, and having rested, they wailed again until all the chicha was drunk (Vol. 1. pp. 226-227).

These Indians knew herbs by means of which they can kill at the end of as many months or years as they desired (Vol. 1. p. 228).

Going down from Curamba to a plain where there was a village … the Marquis stopped to eat, and he ordered me to go into those houses to see if there was anything to eat … while I was looking for maize and other things to eat, I entered by chance a hut where I found … slabs of silver … which were as many as ten in number, and had a length of twenty feet and a width of one foot, and a thickness of three fingers (Vol. 1. pp. 240-241).

[At Cuzco] most of who served these dead folk whom I have mentioned, for each day they took them [the bodies of dead Inca kings] all out into the plaza and sat them down in a row, each one according to his antiquity, and there the man and women servitors ate and drink … And for the dead they made fires before them … they burned here every thing which they had placed before the dead in order that he might eat of the things which they eat, and here in this fire they consumed it. Likewise before these dead people they had certain large pitchers, which they call verquis, made of gold, silver or pottery, each one according to his wish, and into these vessels they poured the chicha which they gave to the dead man with much display, and the dead pledged [toasted] one another as well as the living, and the living pledged the dead (Vol. 1. p. 251).

Away from the room where the [Sun god] was wont to sleep, they made a small field, which was much like a larger one, where, at the proper season, they sowed maize … And at the time when they celebrated their festivals, which was three times a year…when they sowed the crops, when they harvested them, and when they made orejones [dried fruit] they filled this garden with cornstalks made of gold, having their ears and leaves very much like natural maize, all made of very fine gold (Vol. 1. p. 255).

Those [women called mamaconas] dedicated to the Sun went to live in his houses … the women busying themselves with making chicha, which was a kind of beverage which they made from maize and drink as we do wine, and with preparing the food as well for the Sun as for those who served them (Vol. 1. p. 257).

From the age of ten years onward they occupied themselves with aiding in sowing the crops of the Sun and of the Inga … these women made chicha for the Indians whoa cultivated the lands of the Sun and of the Inga, on his behalf they gave food and chicha to garrisons of troops who might pass by the land of the Sun (Vol. 1. p. 259).

These women sustained themselves with the food which they collected for the Lord, because in each province they sowed and preserved great supplies of food, and from certain parts they carried it to Cuzco (Vol. 1. p. 260).

[Province governors] made [other people] gather coca, which was a much valued herb which they carry in their mouths and with which they make all their sacrifices and idolatries, and this coca did not relieve them of thirst, hunger and weariness, although they said it did, and this I heard from Atabalipa … They honoured [coca] much because the Lords to whom they gave it used it, and they held to be an honoured thing whatever they ate or had (Vol. 1. p. 262).

From Caxamalca to Cuzco there is a distance of more than two hundred leagues of very rough road through the mountains. On my asking … [an Indian runner] what he ate on this long road, he replied that they gave him food in the villages through which he passed wherever he needed it, but that the burdens had to arrive entire at Cuzco under penalty of death (Vol. 1. p. 263).

I shall now give an account of what was in this city of Cuzco when we entered it … there were stores of … food, of coca … there were found, upon many vessels of gold, lobsters of the sort that grow in the sea, and the vessels [of gold] were sculptured with all the birds and serpents, even spiders, lizards, and all the sorts of beetles (Vol. 1. pp. 265-268).

[Description of Inca celebration] Then they fasted a certain number of days in the manner I have described, that is, by going without salt, aji, and chicha (Vol. 1. p. 275).

And in all these provinces of the Collao, Quillacas and Carangas neither maize nor wheat is grown on account of the great coldness of the land, but certain potatoes, like earthy seeds, are sown by the Indians in large quantities. They likewise gather certain roots which they call ocas, and which are somewhat longer than a finger and have the thickness of two fingers. They also gather a seed called quinua, which grows on some trees like the cenizos of Spain, but which are taller. The seed is very small. These people sow at their own times, and often their fields are frozen. They eat some maize from the valleys which they have in the direction of the South Sea, and which are in the Andes towards the North Sea and they barter for it with wool and cattle [llamas] of which they have much … In these deserts were bred large numbers of mountain cattle which they call guanacos and vicuñas, similar to the tame animals [llamas] The guanaco was a large smooth animal having but little wool. The vicuñas were small, having much very fine wool from which they made clothing for the Lords. These mountain animals were so swift that there were few dogs which were fleet enough to catch up with them. In these deserts there were Indians who watched over the animals for the natives in order that those who passed by should not take any of them, nor any of the birds which lived here, which were partridges and geese. These partridges are like those of Spain, except that their feet and beak are not red. Each year they [the Indians] made circles in which they captured these vicuñas and guanacos and clipped them of their wool in order to make clothes for the Lords, and out of the animals which died they made very fine resin, drying it in the sun … In these deserts there were mad women … The Indians of this province of Collao are a dirty folk … many men go about in the clothes of women (Vol. 1. pp. 280-282).

[While under attack at Cuzco] We lacked for food, especially for meat. Hernando Pizarro decided, therefore, that Grabiel de Rojas should go forth with sixty men toward Gomacanche … to search … for some cattle [llamas] and foodstuffs, and, finding it, to return with it speedily … we were there about twenty-five or thirty days, and we collected as many as two thousand head of cattle [llamas] , and we returned to Cuzco (Vol. 2. p. 328).

Then after some days had gone by, maize ran short and Hernando Pizarro ordered his brother Gonzalo to go to Xaquixaguana …. in search of food (Vol. 2. p. 336).

This maize is a food better than wheat, and these natives eat it, and it is found in all these Indies, and as it is now common in Spain I explain no further (Vol. 2. p. 348). [NOTE: this is an important comment by Pedro Pizarro that suggests maize was common in Spain certainly prior to 1571 when the document was written].

These Andes are some very thick forests with very lofty vegetation. All the year around it rains more or less in these Andes … In certain parts some few Indians are settled, but so few are they that those which up to the present have been seen do not number more than two hundred. These Indians understood the cultivation of an herb which is called coca among them, as I have said, for the Lords. And now many Spaniards have devoted themselves to making plantatinos [plantations] of coca, for it is the thing which is worth the most and has the highest price that there is among these natives, and I believe that there is a yearly traffic in this herb to the amount of more than six hundred thousand pesos, and it has made many men rich. And may it please God that they be not poor in spirit, because, according to what is said, the natives die in this trade, especially those who enter the Andes, for it gives them a sickness of the nose like that of Saint Anthony, and which has no cure, albeit there are some remedies for checking it, yet in the end it returns and kills them. This sickness attacks all those Indians who are not natives born and bred among these Andes, and it even touches some of those who are born there, and for this reason there are so few of them … It is a rugger land with many high peaks and ravines … And although they use horses on the plains they can not be made use of until the whole woodland region is crossed (Vol. 2. pp. 363-364).

This Nasca is sixty leagues from Lima … These valleys are very insalubrious for mountain folk; they have many groves of trees and many reedy swamps. In most of these valleys there are many mosquitoes which weary mankind, by day and by night (p. 377).

[Regarding the women of the region] Mountain women were loaded and carried burdens like the men … If it happened that, while travelling along with a burden, they gave birth to a child, they went aside a little form the road in order to lie in, and afterwards they went to where there was water, and they washed the babe themselves, and then they took it and threw it up on top of the pack they were carrying and went on travelling. I saw this several times … Married Indian women who went to war with their husbands, themselves bore the food for them, the cooking vessels and even, in some cases, chicha, which was a certain drink like wine which they make from maize. From this maize they made bread, chicha, vinegar and honey, and it serves as oats for the horses … The food of the poor Indians was this maize … and herbs, potatoes, and other vegetables which they gathered, together with some small fishes from the mountain rivers. Meat was raised but few ate it save they were the Lords to whom they were ordered to give it, and the daughters of the Sovereigns of this land and their kinsmen … Among the Ladies there were some tall ones, not among the daughters of the Kings, but among those of the orejones [NOTE: term applied to the ruling dynasty in Peru; orejones means “big ears” in reference to the Inca men who wore gold earplugs as insignias].  their kinsmen … These Lords had a house where they killed the cattle [llamas] of the land every day, and from there it was distributed to the chief Ladies and orejones. This cattle of the country multiplied very little, albeit there were many of them in this land…This cattle served as beasts of burden and as flesh when there was need of it … These Ladies …w ere very clean and dainty … The Indian women of the Guancas and Chachapoyas and Cañares were the common women, most of them being beautiful. The rest of the woman-hood of this kingdom were thick, neither beautiful nor ugly, but of medium good-looks (Vol. 2. pp. 468-471).

An orejon … a Lord of this land … [said five years] before we Spaniards entered this land, an idol at Purima … to whom they spoke, had ordered that all the Lords gather together, for he wished to speak to them. And, when they were assembled, he said: You must know that bearded men are coming who are destined to overcome you. I have wished to tell you this so that you may eat, drink and spend all that you have so they may not find aught, nor you have anything to give them (Vol. 2. pp. 471-472).


Account by Garcilaso de la Vega, el Inca. Dated 1609-1612. The Royal Commentaries which treats of the origin of the Incas, the former kings of Peru, their idolatry, laws, and government in peace and war, and of their lives and conquests, and everything relating to that empire and its society before the arrival of the Spaniards. Written by the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, a native of Cuzco, and a captain in His Majesty’s service. Dedicated to the Most Serene Princess, the Lady Catarina of Portugal, Duchess of Braganza, etc. With licence of the Holy Inquisition, and ordinary and royal authorization. Lisgon: Pedro Crasbeeck, 1609. Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru by Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca. 2 Vols. Translated by H.V. Livermore. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966.

[Along the coast] Some provinces they worshipped the sardine, which they killed in greater quantity than any other fish, in others the skate, in others the dogfish, in others the goldfish for its beauty, in others the crab and other shellfish … So they had for gods not only the four elements, each separately, but also the compounds and forms of them, however vile and squalid (1:10. p. 32).

There were other Indians less cruel in their sacrifices, who, though they used human blood, did not kill victims, but obtained it by bleeding their arms and legs … for the most solemn occasions they extracted it from the root of the nose between the eyebrows … This bleeding was common among the Indians of Peru … and in case of illness attended by serious headache. Other types of sacrifice were common to all the Indians … Those generally used were of animals such as sheep, ewes, lambs [of llamas], rabbits, partridges, and other birds, tallow, the herb they value so highly called cuca [coca], maize and other seeds, and vegetables, and scented woods (1:11. pp. 34-35).

Elsewhere [the Indians] were astonishingly savage and barbarous in their food and eating; and in many places the two things were found together. In the hottest and consequently most fertile areas they sowed little or nothing, but lived on herbs, roots, wild fruit, and other vegetables that the earth yielded spontaneously … In many parts [of the country] they were extremely fond of human flesh … They had public markets for human flesh, and in order not to waste it they made sausages and polonies of gut which they filled with meat … The passion reached such a pitch with them that they did not spare their own sons by foreign captives taken in war whom they took as concubines. Their children by these women were carefully brought up to the age of twelve or thirteen, and then eaten, and the mothers too, when they were past childbearing … It was in fact a cannibals’ seminary … [these people were] so strongly addicted to devouring human flesh that they buried their dead in their stomaches. As soon as the deceased had breathed his last, his relatives gathered round and ate him roasted or boiled, according to the amount of flesh he still had: if little, boiled, if much, roasted. Afterwards they assembled the bones and gave them a funeral with great mourning … The consumption of human flesh is commoner among Indians of the hot regions than among those of the cold (1:12. pp. 36-37).

The sacrifices offered by the Incas to the Sun consisted of many different things, such as domestic animals, great and small. The chief and most esteemed sacrifice was of lambs, followed by that of rams, and then of barren ewes. They sacrificed tame rabbits and all the birds they are … crops and vegetables (including the coca plant) … They also offered as a sacrifice much of the brew they drank, made of water and maize, and during their ordinary meals when their beverage was brought to them after eating — for they never drank while eating — they would wet the tips of their fingers in the first cup and looking devoutly at the sky, would toss up the drop with a flip of the finger, offering it to the Sun as a thanksgiving for what he had given them to drink (2:8. p. 86).

They [the Inca] certainly divined that evacuation by bleeding and purging was a salutary and even necessary thing. They therefore bled themselves from the arm or leg, though they did not know how to apply leeches or how the veins were disposed for the treatment of various diseases … If they had a bad pain in the head, they bled themselves between the eyebrows above the bridge of the nose. Their lancet was a flint point … In applying purgatives they were ignorant of the humors of the urine which they did not examine, and ignored choler, phlegm, and melancholy. Purges were normally taken when they felt heavy and sluggish, more often in health than in sickness. In addition to the purgative herbs, they took some whole roots like small turnips. They say that these roots are male and female, which they take in equal quantities…After taking it, they stretch in the sun so that the warmth may help the purge to work. After an hour or so, they feel so dizzy they can hardly stand … The head suffers from dizziness and faintness, and they feel as if ants were swarming over their arms and legs, in their veins and sinews and all over the body. Evacuation is almost always by both ways [vomiting; diarrhea]. While it lasts, the patient is giddy and sick … The patient has no wish to eat or drink. He expels all his humors, and readily yields up worms and other vermin that breed inside. When all is over, he is in such good spirits and has such an appetite that he will eat anything set before him … These purges and bleedings were performed by the most experienced of them, especially by old women … and by great herbalists … These herbalists learnt the virtues of many herbs and taught them by tradition to their sons: they were regarded as doctors, who were not supposed to cure anyone, but only kings, the royal family, and the chiefs and their relatives. The ordinary people cured one another by what they had heard tell of medicine. When unweaned babies fell ill, especially if of a feverish ailment, they washed them all over in urine in the mornings and gave the child its own urine to drink when possible. When they cut a new-born child’s navel string, they left a finger’s length of the cord, which, when it fell off, they preserved with the greatest care and gave to the child to suck whenever it was ill. To detect illness, they looked at the root of the tongue: if it was whitish, they said that the child was ill and gave him the string to suck: it must be his own, for that of another person was accounted useless … They did not know how to take the pulse or examine urine. They knew a fever by the excessive heat of the body … when they had given way to their illness, they took no medicine at all, but let nature work and followed a natural diet. They had no knowledge of the usual purging medicine, clysters, or of the application of plasters and ointments, except a few of the very common things. The ordinary, poor people treated illness hardly otherwise than as beasts do. The chill of a tertian or quartan they call chucchu, ‘trembling,’ fever is rupa, with a soft ‘r’, ‘to burn.’ They feared these illnesses a great deal, because of the alternating extremes of heat and cold (2:24. pp. 120-122).

They understood the virtues of the juice and resin of a tree named mulli, which the Spaniards call molle. This has a remarkable effect on fresh wounds: it seems almost supernatural. The herb or shrub called chillca, heated in an earthenware pot, has a wonderful effect on the joints if the cold gets into them … A root, like couch-grass, but much thicker … was used to strengthen and clean the teeth. They roasted it on embers, and then while still hot, split it between their teeth: they applied one part of it boiling hot to one gum and the rest to the other and kept it in their mouths till it was cold … They do it in the evening, and next day their gums are as white as scalded flesh. For three or four days they cannot eat anything that requires chewing and are spoon fed. Then the burnt flesh sloughs off the gums, revealing a new flesh underneath which is very red and healthy … They made many various uses of the herb or plant the Spaniards call tobacco and the Indians sairi. They inhaled it as a powder to clear the head … Another herb they had is excellent for the eyes. It is called matecllu, and grows in brooks and has a single stalk … The Indians eat it raw, and it has a pleasant taste. When it has been mashed, the juice is poured on the ailing eye in the evening and the crushed herb placed like a plaster on the eyelids … In the space of a night it removes a cloud before the eye and eases any pain or harm they have suffered … I was told about it by a Spaniard, who swore that he had gone completely blind with cataract and that he recovered his sight in two nights with this herb … My Indian relatives used many other herbs, which I have forgotten … the Spaniards … discovered that maize, as well as being such a substantial foodstuff, is of great benefit in diseases of the kidneys, pains in the side, stone, stoppage of the urine, and pains in the bladder and colon. They realized this because very few or no Indians have those diseases, and attributed the fact to the habit of commonly drinking a brew of maize. Many Spaniards who suffer from such diseases therefore drink it (2:25. pp. 122-123).

All the coastal Indians of Peru fish in the sea with reed boats … They go four, five, or six leagues out to sea … They fish with harpoons and contrive to catch fish as large as a man … They also fished with nets and hooks … they did not use iron or steel (3:16. pp. 173-174).

They weaned their children when they were two years old or more, and cut off the first crop of hair which they had had since they were born, and which had hitherto not been touched. At the same time the children were given the names they were to bear. The whole family gathered for the purpose … After the presentation followed the ceremony of drinking (4:11. p. 210).

The mothers never took the babies into their arms or on their laps either when giving suck or at any other time. They said it made them crybabies, and encouraged them to want to be nursed and not to stay in the cradle. The mother bent over the baby and gave it her breast. This was done thrice a day, in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. Except at these times no milk was given, even if they cried. Otherwise it was thought they would get used sucking all day long and develop dirty habits with vomiting and diarrhea, and grow up to be greedy and gluttonous men … The mother reared the child herself, and never gave it out to nurse, even if she were a great lady, unless she were ill. During this time they abstained from sexual intercourse, considering that it spoiled the milk and caused the baby to pine and grow weak. Such weaklings were called ayusca …’one who has been denied’ … or more exactly one that has been changed for another by its parents … If the mother had enough milk to feed her child, she never gave it anything to eat until it was weaned, saying that the food would spoil the milk, and the child become dirty and smelly…When the child reached the crawling stage, it approached its mother from one side or the other to be suckled, which it did kneeling on the ground, yet it was never lifted on the mother’s lap. When it wanted the other breast, it was made to go round the other side to get it so that the mother avoided lifting it in her arms. They [mothers] gave birth without midwives, which were unknown (4:12. pp. 212-213).

When the Inca had conquered any kingdom or province and established the form of government in its towns … he ordered that the agricultural land should be extended. This implies, of course, the area under maize. For this purpose irrigation engineers were brought … not a grain of maize was sown unless channeled water was available … The channels for the pastures were destroyed with the Spaniards entered Peru, but traces of them are still to be found … Having dug the channels, they levelled the fields and squared them so that the irrigation water could be adequately distributed … In addition to the irrigated maize fields, other land without a supply of water was divided among them for dry farming and sown with crops of great importance, such as three they call papa, oca, and añus … In this way the poor soil was kept under control … The maize fields were sown every year, and as they were always supplied with water and manure like gardens, they always bore fruit. With the maize they planted a seed rather like rice which they call quinua: it also grows in a cold climate (5:1. pp. 241-242).

They fertilized the soil by manuring it, and in the valley of Cuzco and almost all the highland area they treated their maize fields with human manure, which they regarded as the best. They go to great trouble to obtain it, and dry it and pulverized it in time for the sowing season. In the whole of Collao … the climate is too cold for growing maize, and they sow potatoes and other vegetables: for this they use the manure of the Peruvian sheep, which they regard as more beneficial than any other. On the seacoast, from below Arequipa to Tarapacá, a distance of over 200 leagues along the coast, they use no other manure but the dung of sea birds … The dung of the sea birds produces great fertility. In other parts of the same coast … they manure with the heads of sardines and use nothing else (5:3. pp. 246-247).

In the whole of the province called Colla … maize does not grow. A great deal of quinua, which is like rice, is grown, as well as other plants and vegetables, which give root crops, including what they call papa. This is round and damp, and because of its dampness it easily rots. To preserve it from corruption it is spread on the ground on straw, of which there is a good supply in the fields. It is left out for many nights exposed to the frost, which is severe in that province throughout the year. After it has been repeatedly frozen it is as though cooked, and is then covered with straw and gently and skilfully trampled on so as to squeeze out the natural moisture of the papa and the dampness of the frost. When it has been well pressed, it is exposed to the sun and protected from the dew until it is thoroughly dry. Prepared in this way, the papa can be kept for a long time, and the name given to it in this form is chuñu. All the potatoes produced on the lands of the Sun and of the Inca were treated in this way and kept in the storehouses with the other seeds and vegetables (5:5. p. 250).

In order to keep a record of the great multitudes of sheep [llamas] the Incas had, they were divided according to their colors … In this way the flocks were easily counted and recorded by means of the knots, the threads being of the same color as the flocks in each case (5:10. p. 260).

They had a law about ordinary expenditure which prohibited … excess in banquets and meals: it required that all the inhabitants of each village should eat together two or three times a month in the presence of their Curacas … The law and favor of the so-called poor required that the blind, dumb, lame, and paralyzed, the aged and inform, chronic invalids, and others who were unable to till the soil and feed and clothe themselves by their own labors should be maintained form the public stores … [there was also] the domestic law. It had two points: the first, that no one was to be idle … even children of five were given very light tasks suitable for their age; and the blind, lame, and dumb were also given various tasks, provided they had no other ailments … the second part of the same law provided that the Indians should dine and sup with their doors open so that the officials and judges should be able to inspect them freely (5:11. pp. 263).

By the Inca’s orders, the salt that was collected from salt springs or from sea water, fish from the rivers, streams, and lakes, and the fruit of wild trees, cotton, and hemp was common to all the natives of the province where they grew; no one was allowed to reserve them for himself, but all were to take whatever they needed and no more. Everyone was allowed to plant what fruit trees he liked on his own land and to enjoy their fruits as he wished. Cultivable land, whether producing cereals or other fruits and vegetables the Indians grew, was divided by the Inca into three parts, the first for the Sun and its temples, priests, and officials; the second for the royal patrimony, the product of which was used to support governors and royal officials when they were away from their homes and also to contribute to the common storehouses; and the third for the natives of the province and inhabitants of each village … What was left over from the lands of the Sun was also assigned to the poor, or disabled, lame, limbless, blind, paralyzed, and so on (5:14. p. 271).

Throughout [the land of the Inca kings] it was forbidden to hunt any kind of game except partridges, doves, pigeons, and other small birds used for the tables of the Inca Governors and the Curacas … The hunting of all other game was prohibited … Thus no one dared kill a bird for fear of being killed himself for breaking the Inca’s laws … The laws were in fact so strictly observed … there was so much game, both animals and birds, that it even entered the houses. The law did not prohibit them from turning deer out of their gardens and fields if they found them there … [all game on royal hunts] was taken by hand. Female deer … were at once released … The old ones which were past breeding were killed. They also released such males as were necessary as sires, picking the best and largest. The rest were all killed and their meat was divided among the common people. The guanacos and vicuñas were shorn and then also released … These [royal chase called chacu] hunts took place in each district every four years … The plebeians [common Indians] were in general poor in flocks, except the Collas, who had a great many. There was therefore a lack of meat, which they only ate by favor of the Curacas or when they celebrated a great occasion by killing one of the rabbits they bred in their houses, called coy. In order to supply this general want [for meat], the Inca organised these hunts and had the meat divided among the common people. They turned it into pemmican which they call charqui and which lasts the whole year until the next hunt, for the Indians were vary sparing with their food and kept their dried meat very parsimoniously (6:6. pp. 326-327).

In their dishes they eat all the herbs that grow in the fields, both sweet and bitter, provided that are not poisonous. Bitter herbs are boiled two or three times, dried in the sun, and kept until fresh herbs are not available. They do not spare the cress like plants that grow in streams, which they also wash and preserve for use. They also eat some green herbs raw, as lettuces and radishes are eaten, but they never make salads of them (6:6. pp. 327-328).

[At Xauxa; Jauja; Huanca. in earlier times] They were warlike, and they flayed those whom they captured in war. Some of the skins of their victims were stuffed with ashes and placed in a temple as trophies … In the ancient days of their heathendom, before they were conquered by the Incas, they worshipped the image of a dog as their god. They had dog idols in their temples, and so relished the flesh of the dog that they would do anything for it … Thus even now … the tribe has received a nickname which will persists, and when anyone mentions the name Huanca, he adds ‘dog-eater.’ This powerful tribe of dog lovers was conquered by Inca Cápac Yupanqui (6:10. pp. 334-335).

Native of these provinces of Tarma and Pumpu … Men, when they observed fasts, ate neither meat, nor salt, not pepper, and did not sleep with their wives (6:11. p. 336).

[Province of Pincu] The Incas merely held their own, waiting until hunger and the other concomitants of war should reduce them to surrender. When they [the Inca] found women and children abandoned by the enemy in his withdrawal and wandering in the fields or the deserted villages, they treated them with care and kindness and gave them food … both sides persisted in the struggle for five or six months, until the starvation and death of the weakest, the children and the more delicate of the women, made themselves felt … [then they surrendered to the Inca] (6:13. p. 341).

They generally prepared themselves for the Raimi of the Sun by observing a strict fast, eating nothing for three days but a little raw white maize, a few herbs called chúcam, and some plain water … After the fast, the night before the feast, the Inca priests appointed to attend to the sacrifice had the sheep and lambs [llamas] made ready, as well as the other offerings of food and drink … That night the women of the Sun busied themselves with the preparation of enormous quantities of a maizen dough called çancu, of which they made little round loaves the size of an ordinary apple, and it is to be noted that the Indians never ate their corn kneaded and made into loaves except at this festival and another called Citua: even so they did not eat these loaves during the whole meal, but only a few mouthfuls at the beginning. Their usual meal in place of bread is the sara roasted or cooked in the grain. The flour for this bread, and especially that which was to be eaten by the Inca and the members of the royal family, was ground and kneaded by the chosen virgins, the wives of the Sun, who also prepared the rest of the food for the feast … An infinite number of other women appointed for the purpose kneaded the bread and prepared the mal for the rest of the people. The bread, though it was for the community, was compounded with care and attention that at least the flour should be prepared by damsels; for this bread was regarded as something sacred and not allowed to be eaten during the year, but only at this festivity which was their feast of feasts (6:20. pp. 357-358).

The things they feared were bitter wars, the sterility of their crops, the death of their sheep [llamas], and similar evils … After they had sacrificed the lamb, a great quantity of other lambs, ewes, and rams was brought for the common sacrifice … their throats were cut and they were flayed. Their blood and hearts were all kept and offered to the Sun … Everything was burned to ashes (6:22. p. 362).

[Inca men wishing to become warriors] More or less every year or every other year … young Incas … underwent the military ordeal. They had to be over sixteen years of age … candidates were required to observe a very strict fast fir six days, receiving only a handful of raw sara (maize) apiece and a jug of plain water, without anything else, either salt or uchu (Indian peppers), a condiment that flavors and enriches the poorest and meanest meal, even if it is only a dish of herbs … Such a rigorous fast was not usually permitted for more than three days, but this period was doubled for the initiates undergoing their ordeal, in order to show if they were men enough to suffer any hunger or thirst to which they might be exposed in time of war … Anyone who showed weakness or distress or asked for more food was failed and eliminated from the test. After the fast they were allowed some victuals to restore their strength and then [they were] tried for bodily agility. As a test they were made to run from the hill called Huanacauri … to the fortress of the city, which must be a distance of nearly a league and a half … [those who arrived first, second, third, fourth, and down to tenth were held in great honor] … those who flagged or fainted on the course were disgraced and eliminated. Their parents and relatives exhorted them as they ran (6:24. pp. 366-367).

[Preserved sayings of the Inca Pachacútec] On … [a] sheet I found some of the wise sayings of this Inca Pachacútec. They are as follows:

Envy is a worm that grows and consumes the entrails of the envious.

The physician or herbalist who is ignorant of the virtues of herbs, or who knows the virtues of some but does not seek to know the virtues of all, knows little or nothing. He must work until he knows them all, whether useful or injurious, in order to deserve the title he lays claim to (6:36. pp. 396-397).

The Inca kings used to transplant Indians from one province to another. Their motives were partly the good of their subjects, and partly their own advantage in securing their dominions from rebellions and risings. As the Incas proceeded with their conquests, they found some provinces which were naturally fertile and productive, but which were thinly populated … To them … they sent Indian settlers who were brought from places of similar climate and conditions lest they should be harmed by the change of surrounds…They also shifted Indians from poor and sterile provinces to settle in fertile and productive ones … Such was the case throughout Collao … where the climate is too cold to produce maize or uchu, which the Spaniards call pimiento, though other plants and vegetables that do not occur in the hot zones, such as papa and quinua, grow in great abundance, and there are infinite flocks of sheep. From all these cold provinces they removed many Indians at their own expense and settled them to the east, that is towards the Antis [Andes], and to the west, in the direction of the coast where there were great fertile valleys capable of bearing maize, pimento, and fruit … [along the desert coast] settlers irrigated the soil and levelled it so that the land might benefit … The Incas … benefited from this by obtaining enough maize for their armies … In this way the kings had an abundance of maize in that cold and sterile land, and the Collas carried on their sheep commodities … a great quantity of quinua and chuñu, or dried potatoes, and much jerked meat or charqui — returning laden with maize, pimentos, and fruit which did not grow in their own country (7:1. pp. 401-402).

The Incas celebrated four solemn festivals a year in their capital. The chief … was the festival of the Sun called Raimi … The second … was when young men of the royal blood were armed knights … The third festival was called Cusquieraimi. It took place after the sowing and when the maize had appeared. Many lambs, barren ewes, and rams [llamas] were offered up to the Sun, with prayers that he should not send frost to spoil the maize … As maize was the chief food of the Indians and frost was so harmful to it, the Indians would implore the Sun with sacrifices, feasts, dances, and drinking to prevent the frost from damaging it. The flesh of the animals slaughtered in these sacrifices was all eaten by people who came to attend the feasts, except the first lambs offered to the Sun and the blood and inwards of the other animals, all of which was burnt and offered to the Sun, as at the festival of Raimi (7:5. pp. 412-413).

The fourth and last solemn feast … was called Citua. It … represented the expulsion from the city and its district of all the diseases and other ills and troubles that man can suffer … preparations for this festival included fasting and abstaining from women. The fast was held on the first day of the September moon after the quinox [equinox]. The Incas had two strict fasts, the one more so than the other. The first consisted of only maize and water, the maize being uncooked and minute in quantity. As this fast was so severe, it lasted only three days: the other was milder, and roasted maize was permitted in rather larger quantities, together with uncooked herbs (as we eat lettuces and radishes) and aji, which the Indians call uchu, and salt, while they drank their beverage, but ate no meat, fish, or cooked vegetables. In both fasts they could only eat once a day. The fast is called caci, and the severer fast, hatuncaci, ‘the big fast.’ After everyone –men, women, and even children– had made preparation with a day of rigorous fasting, they kneaded the bread called çancu the following night. It was cooked in balls in dry pots, for they had no ovens, and left half-baked and doughy. They made two kinds of bread. To the first they added the blood of boys or children of between five and ten, which they obtained by bleeding and not by killing the victims. The blood was obtained from between the eyebrows, above the nostrils, and the same bleeding was practiced in case of illness: I have seen it done. Each sort of bread was baked separately, as it was intended for different purposes … Shortly before dawn on the night of the baking, all those who had fasted washed their bodies and took a little of the dough mixed with blood and rubbed it on their heads, faces, chests and shoulders, arms and legs, as if cleansing themselves so as to rid their bodies of infirmities. This done, the eldest relative, the master of the house, anointed the lintel of the street door with dough, leaving some sticking to it as a sign that the ablution had taken place in the house and that their bodies had been cleansed … When the Sun came out they had adored him and begged him to banish all the ills, inward and outward, that afflicted them, they broke their fast with another loaf, kneaded without blood (7:6. pp. 413-414).

The Indians also performed another private ceremony, each in his own house. After having shut their crops in the granaries, which they call pirua, they burnt a little tallow nearby as a sacrifice to the Sun. The richer and nobler people burnt the tame rabbits called coy, as a thanksgiving for his having provided bread to eat during the year. They besought the Sun to bid the granaries to take good care of the corn [maize] he had provided for the support of men (7:7. p. 416).

[Description of Cuzco] four streams…to irrigate the whole valley … a splendid fountain of briny water for making salt … healthy air … In Cuzco … which … is cold and dry rather than hot and damp, meat does not go bad. A piece of meat hung in a room with the windows open will keep a week, a fortnight, or thirty or a hundred days until it is as dry as a bone. I have seen this done with the flesh of the Peruvian sheep. I do not know if it can be done with the flesh of the sheep introduced from Spain, or whether, as the Spanish sheep is more hot-blooded than the Peruvian sheep, its meat will keep in the same way or not stand such treatment … Because of the coldness of the temperature there are no flies in the city, or very few … Stinging mosquitos are not found (7:8. pp. 418-419).

I [the author] received new reports of lamentable disasters that occurred in Chile in 1599 and in Peru in 1600 … great earthquakes and a shower of ashes from an erupting volcano which lasted twenty days and left an ashy deposit more than a vara [Note: a Spanish unit of length – c. 33-34 inches] deep in places … The result was that the vineyards and maize and wheat fields were buried, and the orchards and other trees were stripped and bore no fruit, while all the animals died for lack of pasture … Herds of five hundred cows [cattle] were found dead, and flocks of sheep and goats and bands of swine were buried … For many days the sun was so obscured by fog and falling ash that lights had to be lit in the middle of the day (7:25. p. 458).

The fruits of the earth on which the natives of Peru lived before the Spaniards came were of various kinds, some of which grew above ground and others below it. Of the fruits that grew above ground the most important was the grain the Mexicans and the inhabitants of the Windward Islands call maize and the Peruvians sara, for it is their bread. It is of two kinds, one hard kind called murchu, the other soft and very tasty, called capitas. They eat it instead of bread, roasted or boiled in plain water … The seed of the hard maize is the kind that has been introduced into Spain: the soft sort has not been brought here … For their solemn sacrifices, they used … a maize loaf called çancu, and they made the same bread to eat as an occasional delicacy; they called it huminta … The flour was ground by the women on broad flat stones … They did not grind with pestle and mortar, though they had these implements … They also made porridge, which they call api, and ate it with great relish, because it was only consumed on rare occasions … flour was separated from the bran by pouring it on to a clean cotton cloth and smoothing it over with the hand. The pure flour is so fine that it sticks to the cloth while the bran … remains detached and is easily removed … The sifting of flour was intended for the bread consumed by the Spaniards rather than for Indian use … sieves … arrived from Spain with the introduction of wheat until I was nine or ten years old I was brought up on sara or maize, the bread of which is known by three names — çancu, bread for sacrifices; huminta, special bread for celebrations; and tanta … common bread. Roast sara is called camcha, ‘toasted maize.’  … Cooked sara is called muti … With maize flour the Spaniards make little biscuits, fritters, and other dainties for invalids and the healthy. As a remedy in all sorts of treatment experienced doctors have rejected wheat flour in favor of maize flour. The same flour is mixed with plain water to brew their beverage, which can be soured in the Indian fashion to make a very good vinegar. An excellent honey is made from the unripe cane, which is very sweet. The dried canes and their leaves are of great value, and cattle are very fond of them … Some Indians, who are more intent on getting drunk than the rest [steep] the sara and keep it there until it begins to sprout. They then grind it and boil it in the same water as other things. Once this is strained it is kept until it ferments. A very strong drink, which intoxicates immediately, is thus produced. It is called viñapu, or in another language soras. The Incas forbade its use (8:9. pp. 498-499).

The second most important of the crops that are grown above ground is that called quinua, or in Spanish ‘millet’ or ‘little rice’ which it rather resembles in the color and appearance of the grain. The plant is rather like the wild amaranth in stalk, leaf, and flower: it is the latter that produces the quinua. The Indians eat the tender leaves in cooked dishes, for they are very tasty and nourishing. They eat the grain in pottages prepared in many different ways. The Indians also brew a drink from the quinua, as they do from maize, but it is only produced in regions where maize does not grow. The Indian inhabitants use flour made of quinua in various illnesses. In 1590 I was sent some of the seeds from Peru, but they were dead, and though planted [in Spain] at different times never sprouted (8:9. pp. 499-500).

In addition, the Peruvian Indians have three or four kinds of beans, shaped like broad beans but smaller: they are quite good to eat, and are used in cooked dishes. They are called purutu. They have lupins like those in Spain, though rather larger and whiter: they are called tasrui. Apart from the edible types, there are others not suitable for eating: they are round and look like cut turquoises, though they have many different colors and are about as big as chick-peas. The general word for them is chuy … They are used in many different games played by boys and by grown men: I remember taking part in both sorts (8:9. p. 500).

Many other plants grow underground … The principal one is called papa [potato] which serves as bread. It can be eaten boiled or roasted and is also put in stews. After exposure to the frost and sun for preservation according to the method … already mentioned, it is known as chuñu. Another type is called oca which is very tasty: it is as long and thick as the big finger of a man’s hand, and is eaten raw, since it is sweet, or cooked in stews. It is placed in the sun to make it keep, and without the addition of honey or sugar becomes like jam, for it possesses a great deal of sweetness. It is then called cavi. There is another like it in shape, though not in taste: it is rather the opposite, for it borders on bitterness and can only be eaten cooked. It is called añus; and the Indians say that it reduces the procreative powers (8:10. pp. 500-501).

What the Spaniards call batatas [sweet potatoes] and the Peruvian Indians apichu are found in four or five colors: some are red, others white, yellow, or purple, but there is little difference in taste. Those that have been brought to Spain are the least good. They also have the calabashes or melons known as Roman calabashes in Spain and in Peru as sapallu. They grow like melons, and are eaten boiled or stewed, but cannot be eaten raw. There are many good calabashes for making vessels, and they are called mati. The edible kind and those grown in Spain were unknown until the Spaniards arrived. There is another fruit that grows underground which the Indians call ínchic and the Spaniards mani [peanuts] — all the names the Spaniards apply to the fruits and vegetables of Peru were taken from the language of the Windward Islands and have now been adopted in Spanish, which is why we give them. The ínchic is very like almonds in consistency and taste. It is bad for the head if eaten raw, but tasty and wholesome if toasted. With honey it makes an excellent marzipan. An excellent oil useful for many illnesses is also extracted from ínchic. In addition to these fruits another that grows underground is called by the Indians cuchuchu: I do not know that the Spaniards have yet given it a name, for this fruit does not occur in the Windward Islands, which have a very hot climate, but [it appears] only in Collao, a very cold region. It is sweet and tasty, is eaten raw, and is very wholesome for weak stomachs. The roots are much larger than those of anise. The plant has no leaves, but the surface of the soil where it grows appears greenish, and it is thus that the Indians know that there is cuchuchu below. When the greenness disappears, the root is ready and is dug up. This plant and the ínchic are luxuries for epicures rather than staple foods of the common people, though they do collect them and present them to the rich and powerful (8:10. p. 501).

There is another excellent fruit which the Spaniards call cucumbers, because they rather resemble these in shape, though not in taste or in their wholesomeness for those suffering from fever or in the ease with which they are digested … Another fruit called chili reached Cuzco in 1557. It has an excellent taste and is a great delicacy. It grows on a low plant which almost rests on the ground. It has berries … though instead of being found it is rather elongated in the shape of a heart (8:11. p. 502).

There are many other fruits … to begin with, there are what the Spaniards call guayavas and the Indians savintu. These are round and about the size of the average apple, which they resemble in having a skin but no rind: inside, the pulp has a great many round seeds or pips rather smaller than those of a grape. Some are yellow outside and others red, and the red ones are found in two varieties, one so bitter as to be inedible and the other sweet with a very good taste. Still others are green outside and white within, and are much superior to the red variety … The Spaniards have made preserves of this and other fruits since the time when I left Peru, when such things were not made. I have seen a preserve of savintu in Seville (8:11. pp. 502-503).

Another fruit is called pácay by the Indians and guavas by the Spaniards. It grows in green pods … Inside the pod there are some little white wads exactly like cotton … They are very sweet, and if exposed to the sun can be kept a long time. Inside the wads or pods there is a black pip like small beans, which is inedible (8:11. p. 503).

The fruit the Spaniards call pears, because they resemble Spanish pears by their green color and shape, are called palta by the Indians … They are twice or three times the size of large Spanish pears. They have a thin and tender rind under which is the pulp, about a finger in thickness. In the middle there is a stone, or kernel … No investigations about its uses have been carried out, but the fruit is very palatable and wholesome for invalids: eaten with sugar it makes a very rich preserve (8:11. p. 503).

There is another coarser fruit which the Indians call rucma and the Spaniards lucma … It is a rough fruit, with nothing rich or delicate about it, though it is sweet rather than sour or bitter, and there is no proof that it is harmful. Nevertheless it makes poor and coarse eating. The fruit is the shape and size of oranges…There was a sort of plum which the Indians call ussun; they are sweet and red: the day after they are eaten they discolor the urine which becomes so red that it seems tinged with blood (8:11. p. 503).

The tree called mulli … grows wild in the countryside. It produces long, narrow bunches of fruit in the form of red berries the size of dry coriander seeds … When ripe the outside of the berry is sweet and soft and very tasty, but beyond this the rest is very bitter. A beverage is prepared from these berries, by gently rubbing them with the hands in hot water until all the sweetness has been extracted: care must be taken not to get to the bitter part of the drink is spoilt. The liquid is strained and kept for three or four days until it is ready. It makes a delightful drink, being full of flavor and very wholesome for diseases of the urine, and side, kidneys, and bladder. If mixed with the maize beverage, the latter is improved and made more appetizing. If the water if boiled until it thickens a very pleasant syrup is left … the milk and resin of mulli is [excellent] for wounds. The liquid made by boiling the leaves in water is good for washing the body and limbs and for curing eczema and healing old wounds. The tender branches make excellent toothpicks (8:12. p. 504).

[The best fruit according to the Indians is the] condiment they invariably take with everything they eat, whether stewed, boiled, or roasted. They call it uchu, and the Spaniards say pimiento de las Indias, though in America it is called ají, a word from the language of the Windward Islands. The inhabitants of my own country are so attached to uchu that they will eat nothing without it, even for instance a few uncooked herbs. Because of the pleasure [obtained] from it, they used to prohibit the eating of it when they were observing a strict fast … The pimento is found in three or four varieties. The commonest is thick, rather long, and not pointed. It is called rócot uchu, ‘thick pepper,’ to distinguish it from the next sort: it is eaten either ripe or green, that is before it takes on its final red color; others are yellow or purple, though I have only seen the red kind in Spain. There are other peppers about a geme [uncertain merasurement] long and as thin as the bigger finger, which were regarded as nobler than the others and therefore used in the royal household and among all the royal kin: I cannot remember its separate name … Another small round pimento resembles exactly a cherry with its stalk. It is called chinchi uchu. It is incomparably stronger than the rest, and only small quantities of it are found, wherefore it is the more esteemed … I heard a Spaniard from Mexico say that it was very good for the sight, so he used to eat two roast peppers as a sort of dessert after every meal. All the Spaniards who come to Spain from the Indies are accustomed to it and prefer it to Oriental spices. The Indians esteem it so highly that they set it above all the other fruits we have mentioned (8:12. pp. 504-505).

Among these fruits we may include that of the tree the Spaniards call maguey and the Indians chuchau … the plant is ugly to look at … the pith is spongy and very light, and is used by painters and carvers of images. The leaves are thick and about half a fathom long … The leaves might more properly be called sheaths: they have spines like those of the thistle. They yield a very bitter juice, which can be used for removing stains from clothing, or for curing cancerous sores or inflamed wounds, or for getting worms out of sores. The same juice when boiled with the roots in rainwater is excellent as a wash for relieving tiredness and for various medicinal purposes … [mention that nets made from maguey fibers stretched between hills were used to trap birds] … leaves of the maguey are concave and they collect rainwater, which is useful for various diseases. The Indians collect it and make a very powerful drink by mixing it with maize or quinua or the seed of the mulli tree. They also make honey and vinegar with it. They grind the roots of chuchau and make little cakes of soap which the Indian women use for washing their heads, relieving headaches (8:13. pp. 505-506).

We shall now refer to some of the most remarkable [fruits] that grow in the Andes of Peru which are the hottest and dampest districts … The first place must be given to the tree and fruit the Spaniards call plátano, the plantain, or banana … The trees grow wild and require a rainy climate … The fruit is found in bunches … some have been encountered with three hundred bananas. The banana has a skin which is neither rind nor bark, and is easily removed … [the tree] is soft and delicate and useless for wood or even as fuel. The bunches are ripened in jars and covered with a certain herb that keeps them to mature. The inside is tender, soft, and sweet. If exposed to the sun, it becomes like a preserve. It is eaten raw or roasted, boiled, or stewed in pottages, and tastes very good in all these styles. Various preserves are made of the banana with a little honey or sugar … The bunches that ripen on the tree are sweeter and tastier (8:14. p. 507-508)

Another fruit is what the Spaniards call piña because in appearance and shape it resembles a Spanish pinecone, though there is no other connection between the two plants. The Peruvian piña, when the rind is removed with a knife, reveals a very tasty white pulp, all of which can be eaten. It has a faintly acid taste which makes it even more palatable … There is also in the Antis [Andes] another fruit which the Spaniards call manjar blanco, since when cleft in two it resembles two bowls of manjar blanco in color and flavor. It has inside black pips like small almonds, which are not edible … Inside the much-esteemed pulp is found. It is sweet but with a slight bitter tang which makes it luscious (8:14. p. 508).

Many other fruits grow wild in the Antis [Andes], such as what the Spaniards call ‘almonds’ and ‘walnuts’ because of some slight resemblance with those of Spain. For the first Spaniards who went to the Indies had a mania for applying the names for Spanish fruits to American fruits with very little likeness and no real connection. Indeed when compared the fruits are seen to differ in far more respects than they resemble one another, and some are even the opposite, not only in taste but in their properties, as are these walnuts and almonds, which are of little importance (8:14. p. 508).

It would not be right to pass over the herb the Indians call cuca and the Spaniards coca, which was and still is the chief source of wealth of Peru … [I will quote from Padre Blas Valera who said] … Coca is a certain small tree as big and as high as a vine … They have a good, but not a soft smell … Indians and Spaniards alike call the leaves cuca. It is so agreeable to the Indians that they prefer it above gold, silver, and precious stones. They display great care and diligence in planting it and greater in harvesting it. They pluck the leaves by hand and dry them in the sun; and when so dried they are eaten by the Indians, but they do not swallow them, merely savoring the taste and swallowing the juice … Indians who eat it are stronger and fitter for their work: they are often so satisfied by it that they can work all day without eating. Coca protects the body from many ailments, and our doctors [Spanish] use it in powdered form to reduce the swelling of wounds, to strengthen broken bones, to expel cold from the body or to prevent it from entering, and to cure rotten wounds or sores that are full of maggots …. It has another great value, which is that the income of the bishop, canons, and other priests of the cathedral church of Cuzco is derived from the tithe on the coca leaf, and many Spaniards have grown rich, and still do, on the traffic in this herb … some people, ignoring these facts, have spoken and written strongly against this little bush [and say] the use of coca should be completely suppressed and prohibited … The herb is plucked every four months, or thrice yearly … Among the other virtues of coca, it is said to be good for the teeth (8:15. pp. 509-511).

[Regarding what the] Spaniards call tobacco and the Indians sairi. Dr. Monardes [?] writes wonders of it. Sarsaparrilla needs no one to sing its praises, for its effects against the buboes [bubonic plague] and other diseases in both the Old World and New speak loud enough. There are many other herbs in Peru of such virtue for medicinal purposes that … were all known there would be no need to bring herbs from Spain or elsewhere; but the Spanish doctors set so little store by them that even those which used to be known to the Indians have in the main been forgotten. Because of their vast numbers and their smallness [that limit use] it would be difficult to mention all the herbs: suffice it to say that the Indians eat them all, sweet and bitter alike; some they consume raw, like lettuces and radishes, others are put in stews and pottages and form the staple diet of the common people who have no great abundance of meat or fish as the wealthy do. Bitter herbs such as the leaves of the bushes they call sunchu and others like them are cooked in two or three waters [extractions ?], dried in the sun, and kept for the winter when there is a lack of such things. They go to such pains to seek and store herbs to eat that none are overlooked: even the waterweeds and creatures that grow in rivers and streams are collected and prepared for food (8:15. pp. 511-512).

The domestic animals that God gave to the Indians of Peru were … conformable to the mild character of the Indians themselves. They are indeed so tame that a child can drive them anywhere … In general the Indians call them by the name llama, ‘cattle’: To distinguish, the larger are called huanacullama because of their similarity to the wild animals called guanaco from which they only differ in color, the tame animals being of all colors, as horses are in Spain, while the wild guanaco has only one color … These creatures are as tall as European deer, and resemble no other animal so much as the camel, without its hump and without a third of its bulk. They have long smooth necks … The llama is also used by Indians and Spaniards for the transport of merchandise … The chief article they bring to Cuzco is the herb called coca … If one persists in trying to get them to rise .. .they defend themselves with the dung they have in their maw which they bring up and spit at the person nearest to them, aiming it at his face for preference … Despite the great difference between them and European animals, the Spaniards call them rams and sheep…Their meat is the best in the world: it is tender, tasty, and wholesome. The meat of the four- or five-month-old lamb is recommended by doctors for invalids in preference to chicken (8:16 pp. 512-513).

Of the smaller stock, the pacollama, there is less to say, for they are of no use for transport or any other service, but only to eat, their flesh being slightly inferior to the other…The Indians do not use the milk of either kind of animal either to drink or for cheese-making … In my time cheeses were sent from Majorca to Peru, and no others. They were much esteemed. The milk [of llamas] was called ñuña (8:16. p. 516).

Before the arrival of the Spaniards the Indians of Peru had only the two types of domestic cattle we have mentioned, paco and guanaco. They had more wild cattle, but treated it like the tame … One of the wild varieties was called guanaco … The flesh of wild guanaco is good, though inferior to that of the tame kind … There is a wild animal called vicuña which resembles the smaller domestic animal, the paco. It is a delicate creature with little flesh, but much fine wool … The flesh is edible, though less so than that of the guanaco. The Indians appreciated it because they had little meat (8:17. pp. 516-517).

There were deer in Peru … The Indians call them taruca … There are also smaller or fallow deer … There are domestic and wild rabbits which differ in color and taste. They are called coy, and are also different from Spanish rabbits. The tame kind have been brought to Spain, but are little esteemed: the Indians, being poor in meat, regard them highly and eat them as a great treat. Another type of rabbit is the vizcacha, with a long tail like a cat’s. They breed in desert places where there is snow (8:17. pp. 517-518).

The Peruvian Indians had no domestic fowl except a variety of duck, which are very like those in Spain and are called ducks by the Spaniards. They are middle sized … The Indians call them ñuñuma …f or they gobble as they eat as if they were sucking. There were no other tame fowl in my country (8:19. p. 520).

There are two sorts of partridge in my country; one is like a laying chicken and breeds in the deserts the Indians call puna. The other is smaller than the European bird and has excellent flesh, more palatable than that of the larger variety … They are called yutu … I have not heard the Spanish partridges have ever been introduced into Peru … There are ringdoves … They are called urpi … The Indians call the tame pigeons introduced from Spain Castilla urpi … There are turtles [turtledoves] as in Spain … they are called cocohuay … There are small grey birds the Spaniards call sparrows … the Indians call them paria pichiu … In the kingdom of Chile … there are ostriches which the Indians call suri … There are various sorts of wild bees. The domestic kind kept in hives were unknown to the Indians, and the Spaniards have not taken the trouble to breed them. The wild bees … in the cold zones … feed on poor plants and produce little honey, and it is disagreeable and bitter, while the wax is black and useless. In warm or hot areas they live on good plants, and make an excellent honey, clear, white, fragrant, and very sweet: if transported to a cold climate it solidifies and resembles sugar. It is much esteemed, not only to eat, but for use in various medicines, for which purpose it is of great efficacy (8:20. pp. 523-525).

There is in fact little fish, at least in the parts of the rivers that fall in Peru … The few fish there are are quite different from European river fish, and seem to belong all to the same kind. They have no scales, only skin. The head is broad and flat like a toad’s and they therefore have very wide mouths. They are tasty, and the skin can be eaten, for it is so delicate that there is no need to remove it. They are called challua, ‘fish.’ Few fish enter the rivers that run into the sea … There are a great many fish in the great lake of Titicaca. Although it is the same shape as the river fish, the Indians distinguish it with the name suchi. It is very fat, and needs no grease but its own for frying. There is also another smaller fish in the lake which the Spaniards call bogas: I have forgotten the Indian name. They are small, ugly, and ill-tasting … Both sorts of fish breed in quantities in this great lake (8:22. pp. 529-530).

[pages 562-563 discuss giant humans: probably fossilized mammal bones].

[p. 577 gives the Prophecy by Inca Huaina Cápac on the arrival of the Spaniards].

As it will be agreeable for those of this and future generations to know what things were not found in Peru until the Spaniards conquered it, I have thought fit to devote a separate chapter to them, so that the reader may see and understand how many things that are apparently necessary to human life the Indians were able to do without. And they were very satisfied without them … they had neither horses nor mares for warfare or festivities; neither cows nor oxen for ploughing and sowing; neither camels, asses, nor mules as beasts of burden; neither the coarse Spanish sheep nor merinos for wool and meat; neither goats nor pigs for dried meat and leather; nor even pedigree dogs for hunting, such as greyhounds, beagles, retrievers, setters, pointers, spaniels, whippets, or mastiffs to guard their flocks, or even the pretty little creatures called lap dogs. [We had in Peru] a great many of what in Spain are called curs, large and small. Neither had they wheat nor barley, nor wine nor oil, nor fruit nor vegetables of the Spanish varieties (9:16. p. 579).

At the beginning of the conquest…the Indians throughout the New World believed that rider and mount were all in a piece, like the centaurs of the poets (9:16. p. 582).

Cows are thought to have been introduced immediately after the conquest … The same could be said of pigs and goats, which I remember having seen as a child in Cuzco [NOTE: the author, Garcilaso de la Vega, was born at Cuzco in 1539] … The first oxen I saw ploughing were in the valley of Cuzco in about 1550 … I was taken to seem them by a whole army of Indians who gathered from all sides for the purpose, amazed and bewildered by so monstrous a spectacle, which was as new to them as it was to me. They [the Indians] said that the Spaniards were too lazy to work and forced these great animals to perform their labors for them … cattle became wild in the Windward Islands … Some are kept in folds for the use of their milk, cheese, and butter, but otherwise they are found in greater numbers on the hillsides … In Santo Domingo, Cuba … the cattle would have multiplied even more if they had not been so molested by the packs of hounds and mastiffs which were introduced in the early days: these have also gone wild and increased to the point where men dare not travel unless in groups of ten or twelve together … In order to kill the cattle [on Cuba] the Spaniards wait until they come down to the savannas to graze: the animals are pursued on horseback with lances … The whole Spanish fleet could be supplied from the meat that is wasted on the islands, but I fear that this cannot be dried owing to the heat and damp of the region, which causes it to rot (9:17. pp. 582-584).

Before there were no camels in Peru, but now there are some … The first donkey I saw was in the district of Cuzco in 1557 … Mules have since been bred in great numbers for the carrying trade … I saw [goats at] Cuzco in 1544 and 1545. Since then they have multiplied so much that they are not esteemed except for their leather (9:18. pp. 584-585).

[When first introduced, pigs were more expensive than goats] … In 1560 [pigs were at] Cuzco. Now [fat pigs are needed for their] lard, which is esteemed for its value in curing mange among the Peruvian sheep, and also because the Spaniards, lacking olive-oil, which cannot be obtained, use lard for cooking on Fridays and in Lent … The Indians call pigs cuchi (9:19. pp. 585-586).

Castillian sheep … were first introduced at an unknown date … The first I saw were in the district of Cuzco in 1556 … Nor were there any domestic cats before the arrival of the Spaniards (9:20. p. 586).

Rabbits were also not found in Peru, either the wild Spanish variety of the domestic rabbit. They have been introduced since I left … The Indians took care not to kill the first rabbits, which multiplied to such an extent that they spread over the land and have been taken thence to many other places … There were no hares, and I have not heard of their being introduced (9:21. pp. 587-588).

Rats … also arrived with the Spaniards and did not exist [in Peru] until they came … They are now found on the coast in such quantity and of such size that no cat dare look them in the face, let alone attack them. They have not [yet] found their way up to the mountain towns, nor it is feared that they will do so, on account of the cold and snow between, unless they find some way of going past under cover (9:22. pp. 588-589).

We must refer to the birds that have been introduced into Peru … consisting only of chickens and domestic doves of the kind called duendas [goblins]. I am not aware that pigeons bred in dovecotes called zuritas have yet been introduced. One writer maintains that chickens existed in Peru before the conquest … the Spaniards introduced cocks and hens among the first things brought from Spain to Peru … In addition to the hens and pigeons brought from Spain to Peru, we may mention that turkeys also were taken there from Mexico and were not found in Peru before … it is worthy of note that hens did not raise chicks in the city of Cuzco or its valley despite every possible care, for the climate of the lace is cold … [in 1560 when I left] there were still none [in Cuzco] (9:23. pp. 590-593).

The first who introduced wheat into my country … was a noble lady called María de Escobar, married to a gentleman called Diego de Chaves, both of whom were natives of Trujillo … I do not know in which year she brought it in, but the quantity of seed was so small that it was kept and increased for three years before any bread was made … During the first three years the grain was divided out at twenty or thirty seeds a settler … In 1547 there was still no wheaten bread in Cuzco, though there was wheat … It is not known who introduced barley, but it is believed that some grains came in with the wheat. However much these two seeds are kept apart, they are never completely separated (9:24. pp. 594-595).

The honor of introducing the plant of Noah [grape vine] belongs to Francisco Caravantes … [who] brought black-grape vines from the Canaries. Thus almost all the grapes were dark, and the wine is all claret and not completely red. Although other vines have been introduced since, and even muscatels, there is still no white vine … a Spaniard … made a nursery of seedlings from currants brought from Spain, and that a few of the seeds of the currants germinated and produced shoots … the currants happened to be from black grapes, so all the wine in Peru has turned out red or claret … The first to grow grapes and bring them into the city of Cuzco was Captain Bartolomé de Terrazas, one of the first conquerors of Peru … I knew this gentleman … [he planted grapes on his land] and in 1555 he showed the fruits of his labors [and sent] thirty Indians laden with splendid grapes to my lord Garcilaso de la Vega [NOTE: this was the writer’s father: the writer was the son of a Spanish conqueror of noble lineage and an Indian princess, a second cousin of the last two Inca rulers, Huáscar and Atahuallpa] … I enjoyed my full share of the grapes, for my father chose me as ambassador for Captain Terrazas, and I and two Indian pages carried two bowls of them to each of the principal houses (9:25. pp. 595-596).

The Catholic monarchs and the emperor Charles V had offered as a reward from the royal treasury to the first person who newly introduced into any Spanish colony a Spanish crop such as wheat, barley, wine, or olive oil, and produced a specific quantity of it … these rewards [were enough] to stimulate Spaniards to cultivate the land and bring in such Spanish crops as were not found there … Pedro López de Cazalla [at Marcahuaci; 9 leagues from Cuzco] did not wish to make wine out of covetousness for the sake of the prize, for he could have sold the grapes for much more than its value, but simply to have the honor and fame of becoming the first to produce wine from his own vineyards in Cuzco. Other Peruvian cities, such as Huamanga and Araquipa had wine much earlier, and it was all claret … Vines are irrigated everywhere in Peru … it is therefore not surprising that the seasons have their effect on plants and crops at any month in the year according to whether water is supplied or not … Until 1560, when I left Cuzco … it was not usual for the vecinos [Spaniards who own Indian slaves] to give table wine to ordinary guests, unless they needed it for their health. In those days wine drinking seemed rather a luxury than a necessity: the Spaniards had won [the Inca] empire without the aid of wine or similar comforts … In 1544 and 1555 there was a great shortage of [wine] everywhere in Peru. In Lima it grew so scarce that there was none even to say mass with (9:26. pp. 596-598).

Don Antonia de Ribera [in 1560] … took back with him [to Peru] some young olive plants from Seville, but in spite of every precaution only three were still alive when he reached Lima … He planted these three survivors … where he had already produced grapes, figs, pomegranates, melons, oranges, limes, and other fruits and vegetables from Spain … Don Antonio de Ribera planted the olives … and surrounded them with a great army of more than a hundred Negroes and thirty dogs who watched his precious cuttings night and day so that not even a leaf could be removed and planted elsewhere … But it happened that someone was wider awake than the dogs, or else managed to [bribe] the Negroes … one night one of the trees was spirited away, to make its appearance a few days later in Chile, six hundred leagues from Lima, where it propagated so successfully for three years that every shoot that was taken from it, however small, soon developed into a fine tree … At the end of three years [after complaints] the migrant tree was returned to [Don Antonio] and appeared in the very place from which it had been removed, and was restored with such skill and secrecy that he never found out who had taken it, or who had returned it. In Chile the olives flourished better than in Peru … In Peru this tree grows better in the mountains than in the coastal plain. At first three olives, no more, were offered to a guest as a great feast and a tremendous display of luxury. Now oil has been imported from Chile to Peru (9:27. pp. 598-599).

There were no figs, pomegranates, citrons, oranges, sweet or bitter limes, apples of any kind, quinces, peaches, apricots, or any of the many kinds of plums found in Spain. There was in fact only one variety of plum, quite different from those found in Europe, though the Spaniards use the word cirkuela for it: the Indians call it ussun … There were no melons, and no Spanish cucumbers, or the gourds that are eaten cooked …. In Lima, as soon as pomegranates were produced, one was carried in the litter with the Holy Sacrament in the procession for Corpus Christi … I would like to have found the names of those who introduced these plants, so as to mention them, their place of origin, and the year, in order that each may receive the praise due to him for such benefits (9:28. pp. 599-600).

In 1580 a Spaniard called Gaspar de Alcocer … brought in cherry trees and mazards [A type of small black cherry: the word means head or face in English]. I have since been told that they failed … Almonds have been introduced, but I do not know if walnuts have yet been brought in. Previously there was no sugarcane in Peru, but nowadays … there is such an abundance … The first sugar mill in Peru was in the region of Huánucu … Some Spaniards have taken such an interest in agriculture, as I have been told, that they have grafted Spanish fruit trees on those of Peru, producing wonderful fruit to the great astonishment of the Indians on finding that one tree can be made to bear two, three, or four different fruits in the same year (9:28. pp. 600-601).

None of the vegetables eaten in Spain existed in Peru, such as lettuces, endives, radishes, cabbages, turnips, garlic, onions, eggplants, spinach, beets, mint, coriander, parsley, garden or wild artichokes, and asparagus (there were however pennyroyal and purslane). Nor were there carrots or any of the herbs used in Spain. As regards seeds, there were no chick-peas, beans, lentils, anis, mustard, rocket, caraway, sesame, rice, lavender, cuminseed, marjoram, fennel, or oatmeal, or poppies, or clover, or garden or wild camomile. Nor were there roses, or any of the various sorts of Spanish carnations, or jasmine, lilies, or musk-roses … All of the flowers and herbs [just] mentioned, and others I have failed to recall, now exist in such abundance [in Peru] that many of them are regarded as weeds, for example turnips, mustard, mint, and chamomile … They have in fact multiplied so much that they have overgrown the original names of the valleys and imposed their own as in the case of Mint Valley on the seacoast, which was formerly called Rucma, and others. In Lima the first endives and spinach grew so high that a man could hardly reach their shoots with is hand (9:29. pp. 601-602).

[According to Padre Acosta] I have not found that the Indians ever had gardens with different kinds of greenstuffs: in the country they cultivated their land in pieces with their own vegetables such as what they call frijoles and pallares which they use instead of chick-peas, beans, and lentils. And I have not discovered that these and other kinds of European vegetables existed before the arrival of the Spaniards (9:29. p. 603).

Flax was also unknown in Peru … I remember how in 1555 or 1556 García de Melo, a native of Trujillo … sent my lord [the author’s father] Garcilaso de la Vega three Spanish asparaguses with a message inviting him to eat this Spanish fruit which was new in Cuzco … In order to celebrate fittingly this Spanish herb, my father ordered it to be cooked in his own room over the brazier he kept there, in the presence of seven or eight gentlemen who supped at his table. When the asparagus had been cooked, oil and vinegar were brought and my lord Garcilaso divided the two largest with his own fingers and gave a mouthful to each of his guests. He ate the third himself … In this way they ate the asparagus with more rejoicing than if it had been the phoenix bird, and though I served at [their] table … I did not get [to eat] any (9:30. pp. 605-606).

At about the same time Capatain Bartolomé de Terrazas sent my father three carrots sent from Spain. These were a great gift and were put on the table whenever there was a new guest, and a single root was offered as a most munificent gesture (9:30. p. 606).

Aniseed also made its appearance in Cuzco at about this time, and was put in bread as a thing of the greatest rarity such as the nectar or ambrosia of the poets … I do not know whether asparagus has flourished or if carrots have yet been grown in Peru [since I left] … They have also planted mulberries and taken silkworms, which also did not exist in Peru: but silk cannot be manufactured owing to a serious difficulty in the process (9:30. p. 606).