Posted by: | 17th Oct, 2008


The second part of this book was very unlike the first. I felt like I was reading a different book altogether. The tone, the narrative as well as the focus all seemed to change abruptly after page 87. The first part of this book felt like a dedication, a celebration and preservation of the Incan traditions and culture. It was a wonderful and new look into the Incan way of life from a rare point of view. Something that really stuck out for me in this book was towards the end of the first part. Garcilaso de la Vega provided his readers with the different labels that were given to the different “mezclados”. These labels also came with a predetermined hierarchy. It was interesting to see that these ‘labels’ became very elaborate as the ethnic mixing became ever more intricate. Through Garcilaso de la Vega’s work it becomes apparent that the further you look down this complicated hierarchy and its classifications the cruder the labels became: “Al hijo de negro y de India o de indio y de negra, dicen mulato y mulata. A los hijos de éstos llaman cholo…quiere decir perro.” (pg. 86) The more ‘mixed’ that you were suggested the lower you found yourself within the hierarchy.

For me this book being divided into two parts the way it is really exemplifies the change of the Incan culture before and throughout the conquest/evangelization. Garcilaso de la Vega could not maintain the same tone as he did in the first half because the Incan culture and traditions had drastically changed: “Dándole gracias por la merced que les había hecho en traerlos a su verdadero conocimiento; también rendían gracias a los españoles sacerdotes y seculars, por haberles enseñado la doctrina critiana.” (pg. 114)

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