Prototype: Titu Cusi
In our collaboration, Sarah and I decided to render Cumminsâ€™s theory of â€œwitness objectsâ€ and their importance in Inca histories as speakers with different vantage points. The qiru, or ceremonial drinking cup, is a protagonist as well as the mummy-ancestors that may very well have accompanied Titu Cusi and his amanuensis, Martin de Pando, as he narrated his version of the encounter of Cajamarca to two Augustinian friars in Vilcabamba, the territory held by the neo-Inca state, in 1569.
ForestsÂ â€œMontesâ€ in 16th-century Peruvian Spanish means forest, wild or fallow land and not elevated land as it can be sometimes understood in modern usage. Although SebastiÃ¡n de Covarrubias Orozco glosses this term in 1611 asÂ montaÃ±a Ë†â€™highlandâ€™ (812), theÂ Diccionario etimolÃ³gico de la lengua castellanaÂ notes that although â€œmontesâ€ had taken on the meaning of â€œhighlandsâ€ in Peninsular Spanish by the late 16th century, the Old Castilian usage of â€œforestsâ€ was retained and transmitted in Peru (Sandoval de la Maza 4:131). Vilcabamba is a region of cloud forest, or in a literal translation of the SpanishÂ ceja de selvaÂ it lies on the brow of the Amazon, a mountainous region at 2,000 meters above sea level.
CapacÂ Â Inca accounts emphasize each protagonistâ€™s genealogy on the male and female lines. According to Catherine Julien, capacÂ status â€œflowed through both males and females descended from the pair of dynastic progenitors, â€Â Manco Capac andÂ Mama Occllo, also his sister (296). Huayna Capac was the first Inca ruler born to the union of a brother and a sister from the preceding dynastic generation [â€¦] he could thus claim the honorificÂ capac because he embodied a concentration ofÂ capac, as the progeny of two individuals who were closes in descent terms to the original brother-sister pairing (30).
Viracocha(s)Â Who are they? If theÂ SpanishÂ areÂ falseÂ viracochas then who are theÂ realÂ ones? The reception of invaders as â€œgodâ€-like or â€œuncannyâ€ beings has received the attention of numerous scholars in the AndeanÂ regionÂ as well as Mexico and Hawaii. See the annotated bibliography for a longer discussion of the state of the question.
N.B. on Titu Cusiâ€™s appearance: Several accounts describe Titu Cusi with smallpox scars. Inca Huayna Capac, Titu Cusiâ€™s grandfather, died of smallpox in 1527, leading to the wars of succession between Atahualpa and Huascar.
Illapa is theÂ Lightning Bolt in Quechua but also with â€œmusket fireâ€ and â€œartilleryâ€. See GonzÃ¡lez HolguÃn for theseÂ colonial glosses of theÂ Illapa (367).Â IllapaÂ is another aspect of Saint James the Greater.
ChichaÂ is a word of Tahina origin, which the Spanish first heardÂ in the Caribbean and they later applied it to the fermented corn beer,Â aqha in Southern Quechua, that they encountered in Peru. It is a sacred libation to propitiate to the Pachamama, the Apus and oneâ€™s ancestors. See the annotated bibliography for the larger discussion on the colonial experience with chicha drinking.
In â€œFailing to Marvel,â€ Patricia Seed has interpreted this exchange as one of reciprocated offenses:â€Atahualpaâ€™s gesture of throwing the book on the ground mirrors the gesture that preceded itâ€“the Spaniardâ€™s pouring the chicha on the groundâ€“and thus establishes a symmetry between Inca and Hispanic behaviors, each one causing an object sacred to the other to end up on the groundâ€ (21). For Frank Salomon, these parallel gestures of offense offered a comparison between Inca and Spanish forms of aggression (see â€œChronicles of the Impossibleâ€).
QillqaÂ was glossed by Diego GonzÃ¡lez HolguÃn as â€œpapel carta, o escripturaâ€ â€˜letter paper or writingâ€™ (301). In hisÂ Vocabulario de la lengua general de los Ingas (1561), Domingo de Santo TomÃ¡s had translatedÂ quillqaÂ as â€œletra, o carta mensagera; libro, o papel generalmenteâ€ â€˜letter or messenger letter; a book or generally, paperâ€™; the verb quillqayÂ is rendered as â€œpintar, o escrevir generalmente; labrar alguna cosa con colores generalmenteâ€ â€˜to paint, or write in generally; work with colors in generalâ€™ (357).
yungas are the inhabitants of the â€œlowlands.â€
Sapay IngaÂ according to GonzÃ¡lez HolguÃn means â€œrey de esta tierraâ€ â€˜the king of this landâ€™ (78). Â SinceÂ sapayÂ means â€œthe one and onlyâ€Â Sapay IngaÂ is an honorific that could be glossed as â€œthe Chosen Incaâ€ or â€œthe One and Only Inca,â€ in contrast to the leader from the other members of his kin.