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Spanish King Of The Incas

Spanish King Of The Incas: The Epic Life Of Pedro Bohorques

Ana María Lorandi
Translated by Ann de León
With a Foreword by Peter Klarén
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    Spanish King Of The Incas
    Book Description:

    Described in his lifetime as "mad," "a dreamer," "quixotic," and "a lunatic," Pedro Bohorques is one of the most fascinating personalities of Spanish colonial America. A common man from an ordinary Andalusian family, he sought his fortune in the new world as a Renaissance adventurer.

    Smitten with the idea of the mythical cities of gold, Bohorques led a series of expeditions into the jungles of Peru searching for the paradise of El Dorado. Having mastered the Quechua language of the countryside, he presented himself as a descendent of Inca royalty and quickly rose to power as a king among the Calchaquíes of Tucumán. He was later arrested and executed by the crown for his participation in a peasant revolt against Spanish rule.

    InSpanish King of the Incas, Ana María Lorandi examines Bohorques as a character whose vision, triumphs, and struggles are a reflection of his seventeenth-century colonial world. In this thoroughly engaging ethnohistory, Lorandi brings to light the many political and cultural forces of the time. The status of the Inca high nobility changed dramatically after the Spanish conquest, as native populations were subjugated by the ruling class. Utopian ideals of new cities of riches such as El Dorado prevailed in the public imagination alongside a desire to restore an idealized historic past. As the Middle Ages gave way to the new belief systems of the Renaissance, ingenuousness about mythical creatures became strong, and personal success was measured by the performance of heroic deeds and the attainment of kingdoms. Charismatic and bold, Pedro Bohorques flourished in the ambiguous margins of this society full of transition and conflict.

    Ann de León's artful translation preserves both the colorful details of the story and the clarity of expression in Lorandi's complex analyses.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7089-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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    (pp. vii-viii)
    Peter Klarén

    The saga of the late-seventeenth-century conquistador Pedro Bohorques is an extraordinary life story that has been pieced together from painstaking archival research both in Spain and America. It is a perplexing story, at once heroic and hallucinatory, fantastic and picaresque, that reveals many of the contradictions and excesses of baroque America. The book, I predict, will take its place in the historical literature of the period as one of the most complete, carefully documented, and interpretative biographies of a conquistador who proclaims himself Apo Inca and leads a rebellion against the colonial order. In this sense it is reminiscent in...

    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Ana María Lorandi
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-7)

    ON August 8, 1657, the governor of Tucumán, don Alonso de Mercado y Villacorta, held a gathering with hisvecinos(citizens) in Pomán at which he granted the Spaniard Pedro Bohorques Girón the titles of lieutenant to the governor and general captain. His purpose was to introduce Spanish jurisdiction over the Calchaquí valley, a region that had been politically autonomous for more than a century. Three days later, on August 11, the same authorities gave Bohorques the right to use the title of Inca and to introduce himself as such to the Indians in the Calchaquí valley. For the same...

  4. I Ethnic Complexity and Social Conflicts
    (pp. 8-31)

    EVEN though most of the events in this book took place in the seventeenth century, they were sustained by an imaginary with roots in the previous century and even earlier, from pre-Hispanic times. Since the social structures of Spain’s new overseas kingdoms were designed in the sixteenth century, the narrative will sometimes return to earlier periods to provide a better conceptual framework for the problems I will discuss.¹

    The Andes during the seventeenth century have often been characterized as socially stable. However, scholars have debated whether there may have been an economic crisis,² and historians have shown that the century...

  5. II The Incas in the Colony: The Construction of Memory
    (pp. 32-72)

    THE utopian dream of restoring the Tawantinsuyu, the Incan empire, has a long history in the Andes, but as a messianic and eschatological movement it began to take shape through the myth of Inkarrí during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.¹ The collective imagination was refueled by theatrical performances, ritual dances, tournaments, paintings, and festivals, whose importance was surely equal to myth for the purpose of “inventing a tradition,” in the words of Eric Hobsbawn. The myth of Inkarrí presents a global vision of the world and creates a link between past, present, and future. The modern versions of the myth,...

  6. III Routes to the Utopia: The Magnificent Paytiti
    (pp. 73-98)

    ENTIRE libraries are devoted to works about the myths of El Dorado in all their versions and variations; the Paytiti is one such variation. The purpose of this chapter, though, is not to summarize a huge bibliography, or to present a complete account of the expeditions carried out in search of these mythic cities, but will instead focus on areas pertinent to this book’s theme. I invite readers to place themselves in the rough terrain of constructing these utopias. My starting point will be the conception of the marvelous and heroic; I will examine the design of the imaginary as...

  7. IV Pedro Bohorques in Peru
    (pp. 99-142)

    IMPOSTOR, hoodwink, hero, or visionary: any such term could describe Pedro Bohorques, an emotionally unstable yet witty and seductive man from Andalusia capable of unexpected and contradictory behavior. The bishop of Tucumán, Melchor Maldonado, described him as a man of “noble understanding, not of a strict wisdom but astute.”¹ He was a figure of his time, an example of the passions and extravagant desires of the conquistadors. He was rash, shrewd, intuitive, ambitious, and unscrupulous, but sensitive to the social ferment that fed the collective imagination of the seventeenth century. Many scholars have studied in this time period the adaptive...

  8. V Calchaquí: The Restoration of the Tawantinsuyu
    (pp. 143-188)

    CHAPTER 4 describes how Bohorques and Villanueva were banished to Valdivia in the kingdom of Chile and sentenced to six to ten years in prison (according to different versions), but we do not know exactly when they arrived or when they left for Tucumán.¹ We do know that Bohorques arrived at Mendoza in late 1656 or early 1657, which could suggest that he served a six-year sentence. Information about his stay in Chile comes primarily from theRelaciónof friar Hernando de Torreblanca,² to which Pedro Lozano added some details (and contradictions). Torreblanca was the missionary sent by the Jesuit...

  9. VI Death in Lima
    (pp. 189-198)

    BOHORQUES arrived in Lima in late August or early September 1659. On September 18, the viceroy informed the king that Bohorques had been held at the jail of the court and that because he attempted to escape, they were debating whether he should be pardoned. From this point on, documents came and went from Lima to the Council of the Indies, without any definitive decisions being made. Decisions could not be made by the viceroy and the Audiencia de Lima because they thought it was the problem of the Council, and they in turn claimed that the completeautosof...

  10. Epilogue: The Saga of Pedro Bohorques
    (pp. 199-214)

    THE life of Pedro Bohorques leaves us perplexed for many reasons. At times he acquires an almost heroic profile, at others a hallucinatory or mythic one, and yet at others, one of an Andalusianpícaro(rogue), as Constantine Bayle would call him. He arrived in Peru around 1620, living a marginal life among Indians and mulattos. He searched for a new horizon, launching himself after the Paytiti; he wrote fantasticmemorialesto the viceroy and finally obtained official authorization to carry out the conquest of the Cerro de la Sal. He claimed to have established Quimiri and other cities; he...