a common reader

Guaman Poma de Ayala, New Chronicle and Good Government

· 22 July 2006 |  by Janantoon
· Published in: English texts · geschiedenis · Zuid-Amerika

Anyone interested in the history of South America, of the Incas and the Spanish conquista will know about this very special manuscript. Guaman Poma was an indian that worked for the colonial administation. In 1615 he presented to the Spanish king, Philips III, a unique work: Nueva corĂ³nica y buen gobierno. Nothing indicates that the king ever saw the document, nor is it known how the manuscript came to be in the possession of the Danish Royal Library.

This small book by professor Rolena Adorno was published at the occasion of the publication of the complete manuscript of Guaman Poma’s chronicle from Colonial Peru. The manuscript can be found at: http://www.kb.dk/elib/mss/poma/.

Professor Rolena Adorno’s book presents an overview of studies related to this manuscript: Guaman Poma’s life (and its presence in other sources), the period of Spanish conquista, the calligraphy, the languages, etc.

Guaman Poma’s manuscript gives us some insight in a terrible period, but also in the human capacity to adapt to new conditions. Guaman Poma worked as a civil servant and as an interpreter in Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. In his work he’s protesting — in vain — against cruelty and injustice, but he also enjoys the newly found culture: the written word, the images, the religion. There were others like him; read for instance The Jesuit and the Incas; The Extraordinary Life of Padre Blas Valera, SJ by Sabine Hyland or Eduardo Galeano’s trilogy Memoria del fuego.


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