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Series:

Peter Eeckhout

Abstract

The late pre-Columbian period in the region of Lima has mainly been studied and described thanks to the help of ethnohistorical sources. Urban development has destroyed many pre-hispanic ruins, but nevertheless a growing amount of archaeological data is now available. It is especially since 2008 that renewed interest in the pre-hispanic past of Lima has emerged, including through the development of rescue archeology and heritage management. In this chapter, I propose to use these different types of sources to develop a synthetic picture of the sociopolitical organization of the area under the Inca Empire.

Series:

Carlos Alberto González Sánchez

Abstract

In the Iberoamerican world, printing and written culture in general, proliferated in episcopal and university venues, enclaves which also had institutional, economic, and political equipment in tune with the typographic developments of the time. In 16th-century Spanish America, Lima was an important center of administrative and governmental infrastructure. Additionally, it was a center of learning and research, home to convent libraries, research centers, and even a royally sanctioned university, the Universidad de San Marcos. Lima, therefore, was home to a wide-ranging literary public made up of the clergy, professors, scholars, students, employees, and liberal professionals. At the end of the 16th century, Lima could boast of being the most dynamic cultural enclave in the South America, equipped with material far superior to that of many Spanish and European medium-sized cities.

Series:

María Gracia Ríos

Abstract

This chapter argues that British piracy in Spanish American territories impacted the Peruvian viceroyalty both politically and culturally, inspiring new ways of reflecting on challenges to the Spanish Empire from within its colonies. At first, maritime predation became a rhetorical tool for Spaniards to claim sovereignty and possession over the New World. Later on, it helped to justify the need of a well-organized and trained American army that could defend the American coasts from English maritime forces and the inland region from rebellious indigenous groups. As I conclude, the presence of European enemies in the Viceroyalty of Peru fostered a new literary voice that sought to represent Lima as its distinctive place of enunciation.

Series:

Susan Finque

Abstract

In rediscovering a business contract drawn up in 16th-century Callao, an entire culture of secular, professional theater in 16th-century Lima is revealed. Inarguably creating the first theater company in the Western Hemisphere, the contract has male and female signatories, a democratic structure, business sophistication, and synchronicity with theater practices in Shakespeare’s London. Asking what motivated the profession’s movement west, I argue the causes included restrictions on women (and all) actors and the zeitgeist of colonial fervor. Players were onstage in Spanish America 100 years earlier than current hegemonic narratives have suggested; the contract’s neglect reveals pervasive biases in historiography. Theater culture makes a case for Lima as an underappreciated, diverse, modernizing early center of artistic development, cultural mixing, and women’s independent agency. Embodied cultural texts contain evidence of artistic continuity and evolution, but an archival discovery such as this contract demands new perspectives on the genealogy of American theater history.

Series:

Giancarlo Marcone Flores

Abstract

The founding of the city of Lima was made in a territory of geopolitical importance and with a long trajectory of occupation of powerful social formations. Its founding corresponds to another stage in the long cultural trajectory of the Peruvian central coast as a result of 2000 years of interaction between man and the environment. This interaction shaped the territory, so the cultural manifestations present in it must be contextualized in a longer time frame. In this chapter, we introduce the concept of territory and we make a brief review of the cultural manifestations that shaped the territory where contemporary Lima was founded. In addition, we want to broaden the historical vision of the city – by incorporating the social processes of the region into a single long-term historical trajectory that exemplifies the relationship between man, history, and the environment.

Series:

Alexandre Coello de la Rosa

Abstract

This chapter provides valuable information about the economic and political activities of the lawyer Don Juan de Padilla, one of the first creole administrators of New Granada and Lima’s Real Audiencia in 17th-century Peru. Traditional historiographical narratives described Padilla as an exemplary man whose concern for the indigenous population led him to write the famous Parecer (Lima, 1657). My research shows, however, that Padilla’s privileged position as a public officer allowed him to divert public attention away from the scandals that took place in his household. I also suggest that Padilla’s defense of Jesuit missionary activity in Peru must be framed within the Crown’s struggle to resume full jurisdiction over the indigenous populations in the Viceroyalty of Peru, although these efforts often diluted the power of local bishops and priests in indigenous parishes.

Series:

Ximena A. Gómez

Abstract

This chapter uses the case of Lima’s sculpture of the Virgin of Copacabana to examine how an image derived from European aesthetics could be strategically materialized and deployed by an indigenous confraternity to operate in the fluid religious context of early colonial Lima. Through a combination of visual analysis, a close rereading of Archbishop Mogrovejo’s report of the foundation of the cult, and new information from unpublished archival sources, this chapter suggests that the indigenous sodality actively commissioned, defined, and re-interpolated its devotional image of the Virgin as the community’s location and needs shifted. The circumstances of the Virgin of Copacabana’s creation and mobilization by her devotees thus contribute to our understanding of the evolving visual and religious culture of 16th-century Lima, especially of its indigenous residents.

Series:

Gabriela Ramos

Abstract

This chapter highlights the diversity of Lima’s indigenous population in the 16th century. The native population of the Lima valley was severely decimated by the effects of the Spanish invasion, especially Old World disease and violence. In the decades following the founding of Lima, an important proportion of the city’s inhabitants labelled as Indians originated from other areas of the viceroyalty. Although it is not easy to understand how these men and women made a living, it appears that most worked in activities such as peddling wares, farming, and domestic service. A tiny privileged group was composed of artisans and small to middle-sized landowners. As they traded their produce, gave and obtained money loans, or offered and sought protection, Lima’s Indians of all economic positions routinely interacted with Spaniards, individuals of African descent, and mestizos. The examination of Lima Indians’ living conditions and material possessions further corroborates its multifariousness.

Introduction

Locating an American Capital in the Early Modern World

Series:

Emily A. Engel