From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana · Copacabana* I COPACABANA is a small town...
SABINE MACCORMACK From the Sun of the Incas to the Virginof Copacabana* I COPACABANA is a smalltownin Bolivia,situated on a peninsula that projects intothesouthern end of Lake Titicaca,and surroundedbyhills still lined by Inca and pre-Inca terraces. In thecenterof the town, overlooking thesquare, standsthe pilgrimage churchof Our Lady of Copacabana, founded in the later sixteenth century, and subsequently much rebuiltand added to.' The frontier between Bolivia and Peru, which runs across the peninsula, dates back to the earlier fifteenth century, when the Incas began penetrating the region. It origi- nallymarked an enclave of territory dedicated to the Inca statecult and popu- lated by statesettlers. Copacabana formedpart of thisterritory;2 across the bay from the town lies the Island of the Sun, where in Inca times stood a great sanctuary of the Sun whichpilgrims from manypartsof the Inca empirevisited, as well as some of the Inca rulers themselves.3 Thus, across the bay, the ancient holy place, now derelict, and the Christian church,to which pilgrims still come on February2 and August 6, to celebrate two annual festivals, face each other (Fig. 1). The annals of missionary Christianity, bothin Europe and elsewhere, record numeroussimilar instances whereby a pre-Christian holyplace survives in Chris- tianguise. Christianity demands conversion, a turning-away from all non-Chris- tian observances and beliefs. At the same time, no one is able completelyto abandon an earlier mode of thoughtand life; a co-existence of the old and the new invariably emerges.4As Pope Gregorythe Great,writing to the missionary bishop Augustine of Canterburyin 601 A.D., comments in a passage quoted approvingly by a Jesuitmissionary who worked in Peru in the later sixteenth century: The temples oftheidols among [the English] should on no account be destroyed.... In this way, wehopethat the people. . . may abandon their error and,flocking more readily totheir accustomed resorts, may cometo know and adorethetrue God.5 But in Copacabana, as in Peru at large, the transition from Inca religion to Christianity was much more troubled than the organic change for which Pope 30 REPRESENTATIONS 8 * Fall 1984 ? THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana · Copacabana* I COPACABANA is a small town in Bolivia, situated on a peninsula that projects into the southern end of Lake Titicaca,
Text of From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana · Copacabana* I COPACABANA is a small town...
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana*
COPACABANA is a small town in Bolivia, situated on a peninsula that projects into the southern end of Lake Titicaca, and surrounded by hills still lined by Inca and pre-Inca terraces. In the center of the town, overlooking the square, stands the pilgrimage church of Our Lady of Copacabana, founded in the later sixteenth century, and subsequently much rebuilt and added to.' The frontier between Bolivia and Peru, which runs across the peninsula, dates back to the earlier fifteenth century, when the Incas began penetrating the region. It origi- nally marked an enclave of territory dedicated to the Inca state cult and popu- lated by state settlers. Copacabana formed part of this territory;2 across the bay from the town lies the Island of the Sun, where in Inca times stood a great sanctuary of the Sun which pilgrims from many parts of the Inca empire visited, as well as some of the Inca rulers themselves.3 Thus, across the bay, the ancient holy place, now derelict, and the Christian church, to which pilgrims still come on February 2 and August 6, to celebrate two annual festivals, face each other (Fig. 1).
The annals of missionary Christianity, both in Europe and elsewhere, record numerous similar instances whereby a pre-Christian holy place survives in Chris- tian guise. Christianity demands conversion, a turning-away from all non-Chris- tian observances and beliefs. At the same time, no one is able completely to abandon an earlier mode of thought and life; a co-existence of the old and the new invariably emerges.4 As Pope Gregory the Great, writing to the missionary bishop Augustine of Canterbury in 601 A.D., comments in a passage quoted approvingly by a Jesuit missionary who worked in Peru in the later sixteenth century:
The temples of the idols among [the English] should on no account be destroyed.... In this way, we hope that the people. . . may abandon their error and, flocking more readily to their accustomed resorts, may come to know and adore the true God.5
But in Copacabana, as in Peru at large, the transition from Inca religion to Christianity was much more troubled than the organic change for which Pope
30 REPRESENTATIONS 8 * Fall 1984 ? THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Gregory had hoped.6 Nonetheless, the Inca pilgrimage to the temple of the Sun on the island and the Christian pilgrimage to Our Lady of Copacabana are connected. Our present purpose is to examine the nature of this connection, and to find out how it came into existence. As will later be seen in greater detail, there are two distinct layers or issues in this inquiry, one general, the other particular. The general issue concerns certain aspects of the genesis of the Inca myth and cult of the Sun, their political role as understood by the sixteenth- and seven- teenth-century historians of Peru, and the connections which were at that time thought to exist between Inca religion and Christianity. Our orientation here will be primarily historiographical. The particular issue is the emergence of the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana, where we will focus on events as distinct from historiography.
Some preliminary considerations concerning the chronology and historiog- raphy of the Inca empire will introduce the first layer of our discussion. Pre- Conquest accounts of Andean history survive in a fragmentary fashion in nar- ratives of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century historians of Peru. Most of them suggest that when the Spaniards arrived, the Inca state had existed in some form for about 500 years. It had been governed by a succession of eleven or twelve Incas, all members of the same dynasty, although some accounts give a different number. Certain important variants notwithstanding, there is also a general consensus about the names of these Incas and the duration of their reigns. But there is no reliable chronology, and several historians, although they do mention the length of some reigns, give no absolute dates at all.7 Within this overall framework, chronologies of the expansion and development of the Inca state fall into two groups. According to one group, which has been proven his- torically accurate, the expansion of the Inca state was rapid and began under the ninth Inca, Pachacuti, in the mid-fifteenth century.8 According to the other group, the chief representative of which is the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, whose Royal Commentaries of the Incas were published in Lisbon in 1609, the expansion of the empire was gradual and began under the very first Inca, whom most accounts name Manco Capac.
As will be seen, a double rationale informs this latter chronology. For, on the one hand, Garcilaso wrote as the advocate of the Inca empire to the Spanish conquerors. Seeing that in the eyes of his learned contemporaries, ancient meant not only venerable but also good, Garcilaso glorified Inca institutions by attrib- uting to them the luster of antiquity. On the other hand, however, Garcilaso did not invent this chronology. Rather, he wrote down a version of Inca history designed to account for the expansion of the empire in the later fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, a version which constituted a response to the political and religious needs of a rapidly expanding state. In recording this version, Gar- cilaso was following what appears to have been an established tradition of Inca
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 31
FIGURE 1. View of Copacabana. Left: church of Nuestra Sefiora de Copacabana, housing the miracle- working image of the Virgin. Right: the mountain frequented by Aymara, as distinct from Hispanic, pilgrims.
historiography whereby past events were reformulated to match current con- cerns. A concrete example of precisely this process of reformulation survives in the declaration which was made before the governor Vaca de Castro by four quipucamayos (keepers of knotted strings [quipus] recording historical and other data) from Cuzco in 1548. The declaration states that after becoming Inca, Ata- hualpa, who ruled the empire when the Spaniards arrived, ordered that the history of the Incas be composed anew to focus on his own reign.9 Garcilaso preserves just such a rewriting of Inca history, attributable, perhaps, to Atahual- pa's brother and rival Guascar, or, more probably, to the father of these two brothers, the Inca Guaina Capac, who died between 1525 and 1527.
Garcilaso's narrative is poised between two different focal points, that of Peru and that of Spain. A similar dual focus also pervades all the other early historians of the Incas, because their views about the Incas, like Garcilaso's, were inseparable from, and in a sense conditioned by, their views about Christian Peru under Spanish rule. In this way, writing the history of the Incas could become a form of political expression. Garcilaso thus idealized the Incas, and in doing so, artic- ulated a latent critique of Spanish colonial government, while historians who gave a less flattering, but in some respects more accurate portrait of the Incas
tended to extoll the virtues of Spanish rule. Although critical scholarship has eroded much of Garcilaso's reputation as a reliable historian, his attitudes, biases, and preconceptions are central to our inquiry. For they not only enshrine a set of late Inca traditions, but also document one aspect of the process whereby pre- Conquest religious notions were modified and transformed by coming into con- tact with Christian notions.
At the time of the Conquest in 1532, the Inca empire was in a state of upheaval. Not only were there two claimants to the throne, the brothers Guascar and Atahualpa, but also, rapid expansion of the empire during the later fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries had produced grave tensions between the con- quering Incas and their new subjects. The state cult of the Sun, throughout the empire superimposed on local cults, helped create some semblance of empire- wide unity and cohesion by introducing in provincial capitals Inca rituals as they were practiced in the imperial capital of Cuzco.'0 This aspect of Inca religion was well understood by Guaman Poma, an Indian noble from Guamanga, and author of the Nueva Coronica y Buen Gobierno, a compendium of Andean myth, thought and history which he completed in or before 1613. In this work he attributes to his tenth Inca, Tupa Yupanqui, a long series of reforming ordi- nances, according to one of which "there shall be another Cuzco in Quito and another in Tumi Pampa and another in Guanunco Pampa and another in Hatun Colla and another in Charcas and the head is to be Cuzco."' 1
This ordinance reflects what we know from other sources, that the Incas constructed solar temples, houses for acllas (chosen virgins), and other official buildings modeled on the buildings of Cuzco in provincial capitals throughout their empire. Cuzco thus epitomized not only an imperial style of architecture, but also the political and religious order of the Inca empire. However, the unity and cohesion which the Incas were able to impose on their growing empire during the three or four generations before the arrival of the Spaniards went only skin- deep, as witness the rapid collapse of the cult of the Sun after 1532, and the conflicting accounts of it which were collected by the early historians of the Incas and Peru.
In examining the connections between the solar cult centered on the capital in Cuzco, and the cult of the Virgin in distant Copacabana, we will survey Inca myths of origins in which these two places are juxtaposed. This juxtaposition is an expression, in mythological terms, of the expansion and unity of the Inca empire. At the same time, it will enable us in due course to perceive a strand of continuity between the Inca solar cult and the cult of the Virgin, because a mirac- ulous appearance of the Virgin at Cuzco contributed to the formation of her cult
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 33
FIGURE 2. Origins of Christianity in the Andes according to Guaman Poma. Before the cross of Carabuco, Barthol- omew preaches to a convert whose baptismal name, Anti Viracocha, refutes the Andean creator god.
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at Copacabana. Copacabana thus became "another Cuzco" in the sense envi- sioned by Guaman Poma in the passage cited above, not only with respect to the solar cult, but also with respect to the cult of the Virgin. And second, it will be seen that a chronologically late strand in Inca myths of origins, where the sun is a central theme, provided Garcilaso and others with a method of explaining the conversion of the Incas and their subjects to Christianity (below, sections III-V). Having examined this mythological and theological, but not for that reason unfactual, aspect of conversion as understood in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we will discuss what above we have called the particular, as distinct from the general layer in our inquiry. That is, we will describe the continuity between the cult of the Sun on the island in Lake Titicaca on the one hand and the cult of the Virgin at Copacabana on the other not only in ideological and theoretical, but also in social and political terms (below, sections VI-VIII).
Inca myths of origin and the cult of the Sun are described by the early historians of Peru in the framework of a Euro-centered hierarchy of religions, cultures, societies, for which allowance must be made.'2 On the one hand, the solar cult could be viewed as uniting an entire empire, and also, it could be made to conform to European notions of true religion, because it appeared to have a certain monotheistic dimension. On the other hand, this cult was practiced along- side other cults which to European minds were incompatible with it because they compromised precisely its monotheistic dimension. Spaniards who questioned Indians about their religion accordingly elicited contradictory responses.'3 This was the case especially with respect to the concept of one single invisible creator god'4-a concept which to sixteenth-century Europeans was the indispensable foundation for any form of religion which could approximate or lead to the truth-the truth, of course, being Christianity. The resulting impasse is noted by, among others, the conquistador Betanzos in his otherwise most valuable account of Inca religion and history. "The Indians," he says, "are blind in their under- standing, and, lacking knowledge, sometimes regard the Sun as creator, and sometimes say that the creator is Viracocha.'',5
There was, however, another method of interpretation: given the Western hierarchy of religions and cultures in which Christianity and Europe stood at the peak, it was possible to expound Inca religion without resorting to the idea that the Indians were "blind in their understanding." Such a method was followed by the Inca Garcilaso. Using the Catholic distinction between outward and inward worship, both of which must have their place in true religion, he explained that outwardly, the Incas did indeed worship a visible god, the Sun, whom they under-
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 35
FIGURE 3. The world according to Guaman Poma. Above: "The Indies of Peru, on top of Spain:' symbolically depicting Peru and its indigenous people as Anansaya. Below: "Castille, below the Indies," standing for Spain and its people who, as newcomers, should have been Urinsaya. The opposite is, in effect, what happened.
stood to be the ancestor of the Inca dynasty, but inwardly, they worshipped Pachacamac, the invisible "creator of the universe" (I, 1, 2; 4).
Viracocha, the Andean and Inca creator god of Betanzos and others (cf. Fig. 2), has receded into the background (I, 5, 18). This was because Garcilaso described a later phase of Inca religion, when the cult of the Sun had superseded other, more ancient cults in Cuzco, and, up to a point, elsewhere.'6 In the second place, however, Garcilaso described the Incas, however close he may have been to them by birth and upbringing, and however much he identified himself with them, in the light of the cultural and religious values of sixteenth-century Spain. The picture he created can be confusing, for Inca practice and Christian values con- stantly rub shoulders in his narrative. However, Garcilaso's method of presen- tation is consistent with his adherence to the idea that, since all men are endowed with natural reason, religious truth is universal (I, 2, 21, 27, etc.).
According to Garcilaso, therefore, the Inca empire was worthy of admiration and remembrance because some of its institutions, apart from their venerable antiquity, prefigured Christian institutions. To make this point, Garcilaso told a version of the Inca myth of origin which he claimed to have heard in Cuzco from an old Inca, his maternal uncle. The Incas called the Sun "Father," Garcilaso's uncle said, because in a mythic past which at the same time marked a historical moment, that is, the beginnings of the Inca empire, the Sun had taken pity on men who were living in ignorance and darkness by sending them his son and daughter; they were the first Inca royal couple and instructed the Indians in civilization and solar worship. Like this first Inca couple, all their successors were to bestow the gifts of civilization on everyone, thus imitating the Sun, their ancestor, who shines on all men equally (I, 1, 15).17
In Garcilaso's narrative this myth has a dual function, one political, philo- sophical and polemical, the other historical. On the one hand, the myth serves to characterize the nature and purpose of Inca, as distinct from Spanish colonial government, the corruption of which was much commented on by Garcilaso and others. On the other hand, it records the beginnings of Inca rule as a historical fact, which occurred at a time when, as Garcilaso reminded his readers, Christian Spain was but a poor and struggling small territory (II,1,3ff).
This myth of the origin and descent of the Incas is very different from that recorded by other authors, in that Garcilaso attributes dignity and a providential purpose to the empire of the Incas from its very beginnings. Others did not, but rather recorded an earlier stratum of Inca myths of origins, according to which the Incas originated not in a noble and ancient site, but in a village near Cuzco: Pacaritambo, a huaca (holy site) or pacarina (place of origin) like any other.18 In the Pacaritambo myth, solar themes, duly rationalized according to the criteria fashionable in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are only incidental. For instance, the Mercedarian friar Murua, who recorded one version of the Pacar-
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 37
$al fa ~ CpTA LAucfy A 51D
-Ad~~~~~~~, A Fos SwAt_>__-r-.r nS
FIGURE 4. Recovery of the cross of Carabuco (the return of Christianity to the Andes, according to Guaman Poma). Left to right: Santiago; the Virgin under the advocation of Pefia de Francia; St. Bartholomew, apostle to the Indians.
itambo myth, has it that Manco Capac, the first Inca, convinced his future subjects that they should obey him not because he was, but because he successfully pre- tended to be, the descendant and emissary of the Sun (27).
As we have seen, it was Garcilaso who recorded myths in which solar themes predominate. Here, not only were the first Incas children of the Sun and came from Titicaca; but also, after the deluge, which also figures in other Andean myths, the sun was first seen over Lake Titicaca and the holy island (1,3,25). Sun and Incas are thus joined both by kinship and place of origin. In this new form the myth could play an imperial role, for it states quite explicitly that the Incas were not merely one of many nations; rather, they were born to rule. Garcilaso thus explains the solar worship of the Incas in terms not only of religion but also in terms of statesmanship. The Inca claim of descent from the Sun, combined with the solar cult which they introduced in every province they conquered or absorbed, added weight to their authority as well as order and coherence to their empire. Moreover, myth was reflected in cult, for, according to the imperial theology which Garcilaso expounds, the center of the Sun cult was the capital of Cuzco, where the cult had been initiated by Manco Capac, son of the Sun, and continued by all his successors (1,1,2 1).
But this is only one strand in Garcilaso's conglomerate of myths; Garcilaso, like many others, knew of the Sun cult on the island in Lake Titicaca, which, as he implies, was independent of, and older than that of Cuzco. However, Garcilaso integrates this cult site into the Inca solar cult in mythological terms, by saying that the Sun deposited his two children on the island in the lake, instructing them to set out from there in search of their lasting abode, which was to be Cuzco (1,1,15; 3,25). This version of the myth of Titicaca is an Inca derivation and adaptation of an older version from the region of Titicaca itself. The myth of creation of the sun by the presolar creator Viracocha as told by Betanzos (1) is one rendering of it, and according to another, the sun rose from a rock on the island of Titicaca after a period of darkness, this being the reason why the rock was afterwards considered holy.19 These two renderings are akin to each other, because both describe the sun as originating in a second era, which had been preceded by an era of darkness.
The myth Garcilaso tells thus exploits an existing, non-Inca mythological connection between the sun and the island in Lake Titicaca, applies it to the Incas and thereby transposes it to Cuzco. Such is the function of Garcilaso's myth in its Inca context. In its Spanish context, on the other hand, the Sun, the first ancestor of the Inca rulers, provides a direct transition to the Sun of Justice, that is, the Christian God. It is in these terms that Garcilaso explains to his readers the content of his version of the Inca foundation myth:
While these people were living or dying as barbarians, it pleased our Lord God that from their midst there should appear a morning star to give them in the dense darkness in
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 39
FIGURE 5. "Conquest: miracle of St. Mary in Cuzco." During the siege of Cuzco in 1536, the Virgin combats Indian besiegers by scattering snow and sand in their eyes.
which they were living, some glimmering of natural law, of civilization and of the respect men owe to one another. The descendants of this leader should thus tame these savages [the Indians of Peru], and convert them into men, made capable of reason and of receiving good doctrine, so that when God, who is the Sun of Justice, saw fit to send the light of his divine rays upon these idolaters, it might find them no longer in their first savagery, but rendered more docile to receive the Catholic faith . .. as indeed they have received it. (1,1,15; cf. 3,25).
A specific example will elucidate further how Christian and European notions were employed by Garcilaso to transform Andean ones. In the passage just cited Garcilaso uses Andean imagery, the transition from a period of darkness to a period of light. Andean myths of origin regularly describe a period before the sun existed, when men lived in the dark. This physical darkness which obtained before the origin of the sun is transposed by Garcilaso into a moral darkness which obtained before the origin of the Incas, children of the Sun. What people of the Andes viewed as cosmological change thus becomes moral and religious change. And, given the possibility of this moral and religious change, which, unlike Andean cosmological change, was interpreted by Garcilaso so as to imply progress, an organic transition from Inca religion to Christianity could be envis- aged. In such a perspective, the cult of the Virgin at Copacabana could be under- stood, as we shall see, as a specific example of a general truth.
There is yet another dimension to this aspect of Garcilaso's thought. We have mentioned earlier the habit of sixteenth-century Europeans of ordering cultures, societies, and religions in a hierarchy in which their own achievements stood at the peak. Garcilaso's interpretation of the Inca Sun cult and of its relation to Christianity figures in this method of ordering reality, because, notwithstanding his admiration for the Incas, he left European supremacy unchallenged. But this observation must be qualified because Garcilaso, while tailoring Inca history to certain European expectations, did record genuine traditions of Inca mythmak- ing. We will therefore examine next the historical foundations on which Garci- laso's solar myths were constructed. Here also there are divergent accounts, and once again, the differences hinge on chronology, that is, on whether the Incas penetrated Collao, the region surrounding Lake Titicaca, early in their history, or late.
A historically accurate account of the contact between Incas of Cuzco and the people of Collao, dating to a late phase of Inca expansion, was recorded by, among others, the soldier-historian Cieza de Leon, who traveled extensively in Peru after 1547, and published the first part of his history of Peru in 1553. Cieza placed this event in the reign of Viracocha, his eighth Inca, who ruled in
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 41
'IA~L~de LA MAAJ/ICA l uuin~~~~~~~~n
FIGURE 6. "Indians. Saint Mary of ... the Rock of France, Copacabana and Our Lady of the Rosary'" Mary is conceived as a holy presence before whom St. Peter kneels, and impersonally, as a statue.
the earlier fifteenth century and arbitrated in a dispute between two curacas principales (chieftains) of Collao, Zapana of Hatuncolla and Cari of Chucuito. Zapana's power had been established from time immemorial, whereas the Cari were newcomers. The region under dispute in the time of Viracocha was Titicaca, then ruled by Cari. In his arbitration, Viracocha Inca supported Cari, evidently hoping to use the occasion to get a foothold in the area, but in the event having to content himself with an expedition against the Canas, Cari's enemies, and a friendly visit to Chucuito (Cr'nica, 100; Sefiorio 4).20 The actual conquest of Col- lao, according to Cieza, followed under Viracocha's successor but one, Inca Yupanqui, known to other historians as Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.
Over fifty years later Garcilaso, who generally liked to leave his disagreements with other historians of the Incas tacit, went out of his way to amend Cieza's chronology, thus proving, if proof were needed, that more was at stake here than mythological niceties (1,3,14).21 Garcilaso ascribed the political absorption of Col- lao to a much earlier stage of Inca expansion, which he maintains occurred under his fifth Inca, Capac Yupanqui (I,3,14f). At this time, Garcilaso implies, the Inca temple of the Sun on the island of Titicaca was already in existence, its ritual being closely integrated with that of Coricancha, the temple of the Sun in Cuzco (1,3,25).22
However, so far as the historical, as distinct from the mythic, date of the conquest of Collao is concerned, Cieza was right and Garcilaso wrong. The con- quest was initiated in the mid-fifteenth century perhaps by Viracocha but more probably by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, whom most early historians count as their ninth Inca. Pachacuti's successor, Tupa Inca Yupanqui, completed the enter- prise and thus acquired control of the cult site on the island of Titicaca (Se forio, 52-55).23
These accounts of the Inca Sun cult and of the Inca conquest of Collao display a certain inner consistency, in that Garcilaso, according to whom the solar cult originated with the first Inca, Manco Capac, also ascribed the conquest of Collao to an early period of Inca history, while those historians who view the solar cult as a product of later Inca expansion attribute a correspondingly late date to the conquest of Collao. If one views both conquest and solar cult as early, the theo- logical link between the capital of Cuzco and the Island of the Sun in Titcaca emerges as truly fundamental to the religious and political functioning of the empire. For the island and its territory could indeed be regarded, in Guaman Poma's words, as "another Cuzco."
At the same time, in a more practical sense, Inca interest in the cult of the island figured in the local politics of Collao, because it helped to cement the alliance between the Incas and the curacas of Chucuito, which later emerged as a precondition for further Inca expansion in the north.24 With this, we turn to the Inca presence on the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca and at Copacabana.
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 43
gLSEiGHpIO.M ES FEAkEO .
entity. In the "second month of February," an Inca sacrifices "gold, silver, a shell, a guinea pig" to a vaca vilca that looks down from and is a rocky enclosure.
Tupa Inca Yupanqui, under whom Inca control of Collao was consol- idated, very evidently intended to leave an Inca mark on the cult of the Sun on the island. He transferred the islanders back to Yunguyo near Copacabana, which was their village of origin, leaving only a few who were to instruct the Incas "in the secrets of the island."25 A temple, accomodation for priests and ac/las, as well as a depository for supplies, and ceremonial gateways giving access to this com- plex of buildings and to the rock from which the sun had risen at the beginning of the second era were constructed (Ramos Gavilan 1,4). On the mainland at Copacabana, a hospice for pilgrims was erected, for Copacabana was the last stage of the pilgrimage route to the island (ibid. 1,20). The pilgrimage, it appears, had been customary before Tupa Inca Yupanqui, but he added significance and a certain religious rigor to it. For no pilgrims were to approach the holy place without having confessed their sins and received absolution, first at Yunguyo and again at Copacabana (Cobo 13,18).
At the same time, certain parallelisms were established between the solar cult of Cuzco and that on the island. Both in Cuzco and on the island, worshippers, including the Inca, could only approach the holy place barefoot.26 And, just as after the imperial festival of Situa in Cuzco cakes made of sacrificial blood and maize were distributed among the entire population, both Inca and foreign, as a token of fellowship, so grains of the maize grown on the Island of the Sun in Titicaca were distributed all over the Inca empire to further the growth of the crops and as a token of fellowship and communion.27
In this way, the cult of the island acquired a very explicit imperial dimension, which was also reflected in the social changes which the area underwent at this time. While the original population of the island was replaced by priests, aclias and their attendants, as well as those who would cultivate the maize of the Sun, Copacabana became a place of settlement for forty-two nations of mitimaes (state settlers), Incas from Cuzco among them, all of whom were in some way connected with the service of the holy island, and were supported by the indigenous pop- ulation (Ramos Gavilan I, 12). Such was the origin of the enclave of territory dedicated to the state cult which was described at the outset.
The immigration of the mitimaes appears to have caused a far-reaching social transformation in the area, for in Copacabana and Carabuco, on the east shore of the lake, it was the newcomers who were classified as Anansaya (Upper), mak- ing the indigenous people Urinsaya (Lower), whereas according to the traditional Andean pattern-observable both among the Incas and elsewhere-the indig- enous people constituted Anansaya, and the newcomers, the less privileged, were Urinsaya. This reversal of Andean social organization, which was caused by Inca patronage of the cult of the Sun on the island, matched the social organization
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 45
of Cuzco, where also the newcomers, that is, the Incas, had become Anansaya, thus displacing the indigenous people, who became Urinsaya (cf. Fig. 3).28 The establishment of the Inca solar cult on the island in Titicaca, and the political, social and economic changes which accompanied it, spell out just how much upheaval and dislocation Inca conquest could entail. At the same time, however, upheaval and dislocation served the purpose of integrating the newly conquered region and its people into the overall framework of the Inca empire.
The chronology which places the Inca penetration of Collao and the Inca reformation of the solar cult of the island in Titicaca at a late stage in the history of the empire helps us to understand the cult of the island in its actual context because it is historically accurate. The cult emerged prominently at a time when the strains and stresses of a great empire were becoming apparent, and was formulated to bring together the very diverse populations of this empire in a shared ritual and a shared allegiance, which comprised the Sun and the Incas in one entity. The tradition reported by Garcilaso, however, removes the political and military events which led to the establishment of the cult in its Inca guise into the long distant past and makes the Inca rulers descendants of the Sun. Myth and history now interpenetrate each other so as to form a coherent imperial ideology. This ideology, as we have seen, was expounded by Garcilaso as an Andean praeparatio evangelica.
Apart from this general Christian orientation, moreover, Garcilaso's ideas about the Inca solar cult were capable of acquiring a further quite specific tra- jectory in relation to Christianity, such as he himself did not envisage. When Garcilaso left Peru in 1560, the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana did not yet exist and he did not write about it. But others who did adapted Garcilaso's model of praeparatio evangelica to the particular circumstances of the solar cult of Titicaca and the cult of the Virgin at Copacabana. Ramos Gavilan, the first historian of the image of the Virgin of Copacabana, whose work was published in Lima in 1621, was thus convinced that the Inca rituals performed for the Sun on the island foreshadowed the Catholic rituals of the pilgrims of Our Lady, and Cald- eron based a play about the conversion of the Incas on a theory of divine prov- idence active in history which is in part derived from Garcilaso.29
The tangible historical origin of the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana was, however, more pragmatic than such theoretical considerations would suggest. To this tangible origin we now turn by examining certain sociological and political continuities in Copacabana before and after the Spanish Conquest.
Forty-eight years intervened between the fall of the Inca empire, which brought with it the collapse of the cult of the Sun on the island of Titicaca, and the ceremonial reception at Copacabana of the image of Our Lady of February 2, 1583. In 1548, the licenciado Pedro de la Gasca granted to the licenciado Garcia de Leon Copacabana and its dependent villages in encomienda, with all the trib-
utary Indians resident there. They are described in the document as mitimaes brought to the area for the service of the temple of the Sun, and were ruled by Conde Mayta, an Inca, and four other principales.30 This means that of the forty- two nations of mitimaes who were settled in and around Copacabana by Tupa Inca Yupanqui,31 five remained: a telling indication of the very sudden and radical changes which the Spanish Conquest brought with it. Ramos Gavila'n, who published the history of the image of the Virgin of Copacabana in 1621, mentions six nations resident in Copacabana at that time and gives their names: apart from Incas from Cuzco, there were Lupacas, Chinchaysuyos, Aymaraes, Collas and Uros (1, 12). An international community drawn from all parts of the Inca empire has thus settled back to the bedrock of village life. That is, all but a few of the foreigners, who had been imposed on the locality by a distant Inca, had either gone home, or had been absorbed into local society by abandoning their national characteristics.32 Seventeen Dominican friars evangelized the area; their activities gave rise to much scandal and in 1572 occasioned an official inquiry, the findings of which were kept secret to preserve the semblance of a good name for the church. Nonetheless, Christian ideas spread and mingled with existing ones.33
At Cacha, Cieza de Leon was shown a statue of Viracocha which some Spaniards believed to represent a Christian apostle. Cieza was critical (Sefiorio 5). However, most Spaniards could not conceive that such religious concepts among the Indians as they found acceptable, for instance the idea of one creator god, could have been the product of the unaided native intelligence. They therefore speculated as to whether one of Christ's apostles might have visited the Indians, and concluded that St. Thomas, the apostle of India, had also reached the Indies of the West.34
Andean myths and stories were accordingly transformed into Christian sacred history; moreover, as we shall see, relics were discovered to provide documentary evidence for this Spanish historiographical endeavor of integrating the Indians into Christian history. Initially Spaniards often greeted such relics as yet another form of Indian idolatry, but in due course, the relics came to be accepted with pious respect (Ramos Gavilan 1,10,11). Furthermore, Christian attempts at reformulating the history of the church so as to integrate the Indians were matched by Andean counterparts. Thus, Guaman Poma also thought that the Indians had been visited by an apostle, not St. Thomas, however, but St. Bartholomew (92- 94). It accords with Cieza's story of the statue of Viracocha at Cacha as repre- senting an apostle that Guaman Poma's Bartholomew shows some features of Viracocha. For instance, where in Andean myth Viracocha had been angered by
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 47
the people of Cacha and had threatened to destroy them by fire, it was now, according to Guaman Poma, the apostle who had such an encounter with the people of Cacha.35
One of the principal relics of the apostle, were he Thomas or Bartholomew, was the cross of Carabuco (a small town on the east coast of Lake Titicaca; see Fig. 2). It is not without interest to our analysis of the continuity between Andean religion and Christianity at Copacabana that this cross was "found" in the course of an outbreak of animosities between Anansaya, the moiety of newcomers, and Urinsaya, the moiety of indigenous people of Carabuco (Ramos Gavilan 1,9). For the origin of the image of the Virgin of Copacabana was in some respects anal- ogous. In February 1582, frost threatened to destroy the harvest. The parishon- ers of Santa Ana of Copacabana accordingly wished to form a confraternity in honor of a patron saint who might avert famine, but disagreed as to who should be chosen. Urinsaya favored San Sebastian, who in sixteenth-century Spain was called upon in times of pestilence,36 while Anansaya, the moiety which comprised the Incas, chose the Virgin, one of whose feast days, the Purification, fell on February 2 (ibid. 11,2,115). This is the time when in the Andes part of the harvest is brought in. Anansaya's choice was thus an obvious one, but it also had other and more long-standing reasons.
By 1582, a body of opinion had come into existence according to which the Virgin was the patron and protector of the conquerors. For instance, it was thought that in 1536, during the siege of Cuzco, she had appeared to save the Spaniards from the armies of Manco Inca, son of Guaina Capac (see Fig. 5), under whom some members of the Inca ruling family and their supporters in the empire had rallied against the invaders.37 The siege of Cuzco was a turning point in the Conquest. Manco Inca was defeated and withdrew into the inacces- sible valley of Vilcabamba, north of Cuzco, where he founded an Inca empire in exile.38 It survived until 1572, when the viceroy Toledo captured and executed Manco Inca's son and successor, Tupac Amaru.
Inca loyalties during the Conquest were divided, and from the beginning the Spaniards had indigenous supporters. One of these was Paullu Topa Inca, like Manco Inca a son of Guaina Capac. Before the advent of the Spaniards, Paullu had fled to Copacabana to escape Atahualpa's reign of terror in Cuzco and then emerged to assist in Almagro's campaign against Chile in 1535.39 His companion- in-arms on this campaign was Apuchalco Yupanqui, a descendant of Viracocha Inca and curaca of Copacabana at the time of the Conquest (Ramos Gavilaln 1, 12). In this way, the Incas of Copacabana were allied to Inca supporters of the Span- iards in Cuzco at an early stage of the conquest. Manco Inca in Vilcabamba avenged himself on Apuchalco, whose murder he was able to arrange for, but Paullu Topa Inca died a peaceful death in Cuzco as a Christian in 1549 (ibid.).40
Paullu's career, his support of the Spaniards and conversion to Christianity, may be viewed as a prelude to the inauguration of the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana and as an indication of what this cult stood for in political terms. For, Paullu's ally Apuchalco Yupanqui was the grandfather of Don Pablo Inca and Don Alonso Viracocha Inca, who were the gobernadores of Anansaya at Copa- cabana at the time when Anansaya wanted to choose the Virgin as patron saint (ibid.). We now see that this choice fits into the political alignments of the Incas of Copacabana almost from the beginning of the Conquest. The Virgin as patron of Copacabana could be connected with the Virgin who had miraculously inter- vened at the siege of Cuzco on behalf of the Spaniards and their allies, among whom could be counted the Incas of Copacabana. The Virgin whom Anansaya wanted for Copacabana, then, was the Virgin who had brought the Spaniards victory, just as the Sun had brought victory to the Incas. In this way, one may view the Incas of Copacabana as integrating themselves into the new ruling class. They did this by using a time-honored Inca method: seeing that the Sun could no longer be an imperial deity, the victorious Virgin of Cuzco41 succeeded the Sun in this role, and in this way became the Sun's successor at Copacabana.
This interpretation is confirmed by the independent evidence of Guaman Poma, who relates the Virgin who saved the Spaniards at Cuzco to the Virgin of Copacabana by identifying them both with the Virgin de la Pefia de Francia, to whom he had a personal devotion (see Figs. 5, 6).42 Guaman Poma's concept of the Virgin should be correlated with the legend of the cross of Carabuco. When the apostle Bartholomew's converts at Carabuco fell into apostasy they tried to burn this cross, but the cross would not ignite. Similarly, according to Guaman Poma, during the siege of Cuzco, before the Virgin rescued her worshippers, Manco Inca attempted to burn a cross, which Guaman Poma depicts housed in a small shrine, but here also, the cross did not burn (400-401; Ramos Gavilan 1,9).
We have thus, both in Cuzco and in the Titicaca region, a cross which dis- played miraculous powers in that it could not be burned. And in both places the history and symbolism of the cross are tied up, according to Guamam Poma, with the Virgin.43 Having earlier noted certain parallels between the Inca solar cult of Cuzco and of Titicaca, parallels which illustrated the imperial nature of the cult, the way in which Titicaca was "another Cuzco," we may now observe that such parallels continued after the Conquest, although in Christian guise. More- over, we find the Virgin at Copacabana specifically associated with the Incas, and this highlights in sociological terms what Guaman Poma's association between the Virgin of Cuzco and the Virgin of Copacabana suggests in terms of cult.
However, this is looking into the future. In 1582, there was as yet no confra- ternity of the Virgin, nor was there an image, and both were needed for the
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 49
establishment of the cult. At the same time, Urinsaya continued opposing the patronage of the Virgin. And, having explained the political allegiance of the Vir- gin's advocates, and the alignments of ideas which led Anansaya to support the Virgin, we can understand that Urinsaya's continued objections were not moti- vated merely by that uninformed obstinacy which Ramos Gavilan attributes to them. Urinsaya at Copacabana were the indigenous people, and for them the advent of Spaniards in league with Incas, that is, of yet another group of "for- asteros, gente sin patria," who would have to be supported "por piedad," because according to recent Inca precedent they would be incorporated into Anansaya, was not a welcome prospect (Ramos Gavilan 1,9; cf. Fig. 3). Hence their support of San Sebastian, who, although like all saints was Spanish, might, unlike the Virgin, be presumed to have no political commitments detrimental to Urinsaya.
But Anansaya overrode Urinsaya's objections. The brothers Paulo Inca and Alonso Viracocha Inca obtained the license for a confraternity of the Virgin at Copacabana from the bishop of La Plata, albeit with some difficulty (ibid. II,3).44 The story of the image, however, was more complicated.
Sixteenth-century Spanish Christianity, whether in Spain itself or in the missionary context of Peru, was inextricably tied up with religious images. Images served as a vehicle to teach Christianity, and also were a means of accul- turating the Indians to European perceptions in a broader sense, for they drew on a European, not an indigenous artistic tradition. Moreover, they were them- selves cult objects, a fact which gave rise to the Indian observation that Christian images were the huacas of Spaniards-an observation extremely difficult to con- tradict (cf. Fig. 7).4 The only way which Spaniards found to contradict it was to keep Andean and Christian ideas and forms of worship strictly segregated, so as to allow no syncretism. However much, in theory, Inca religion might have led the way into Christianity, when it came to any form of religious expression, the gulf between the two religions, according to most Spaniards, could not be bridged.46 As a result, most Spaniards, and, as we shall see, some Indians as well, thought that a Christian image had to be a Spanish image, preferably one imported from Spain.
At Copancabana, however, a compromise occurred, which reveals, once again, the influence of Anansaya. And at the same time, it demonstrates that, regardless of the attitudes of the missionary church, which tended to see little of value in Inca and Andean religion and culture, fusions between Andean or Inca religion and Christianity were possible and did happen. It is thus appropriate at this point to recall our discussion of Garcilaso, who adumbrated just such a fusion in his exegesis of Inca religion as preparatory to Christianity, and in his rendering
of Inca history and statecraft. He argued, as we have seen, that both in religious and cultural terms the Incas were ready to receive Christianity, to join, as it were, "the polished nations of Europe." In short, Garcilaso's Royal Commentaries repre- sented in the realm of historiography what the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana represented in terms of religious practice, a bridge-although a somewhat Euro- centered one-between Peru ruled by the Incas and Spanish Peru.
Before the agricultural crisis of 1582 Francisco Tito Yupanqui, a relative of Pablo Inca and Alonso Viracocha Inca, had made a clay image of the Virgin with the help of his brother Don Felipe de Lion. This image was placed on an altar with the consent of the priest who was at that time cura of Copacabana. But it was removed to a sacristy by the next cura, Montoro, who was still in office in 1582: to him, the idea of an Indian making a Christian image was unacceptable (Ramos Gavilain 11,6). Others agreed with him, as emerges very graphically from Tito Yupanqui's own account of his attempt to obtain a licence to make religious images from the bishop of La Pata.
Next I went to Choquisaca to ask for a licence from our Lord Bishop for a confradia of Our Lady, and to be a painter and to make images. And I brought him an image of the Virgin painted on a panel. .. with a petition saying that I wanted to be a painter and make images of the Virgin. And he replied to me, "I do not want to give you a licence so you can be a painter, or that you make images of the Virgin or statues, and if you want to be a painter you can paint the monkey with its tail, for I do not want to give you a painter's licence. And if still you want to paint and make images of the Virgin, I will punish you very thoroughly." And I went out from there saying, Jesus, Saint Mary, may God help me with the Virgin his mother. (Ibid.)
More surprisingly, some of Tito Yupanqui's fellow townsmen from Copacabana also objected to his making a Christian religious image (ibid. 11,3,4). Christianity, they appear to have thought, was for Spaniards. Insofar as Christianity was accepted by Indians, it was accepted as the alien system of thought which indeed it was. Furthermore, the servitude of the Indians and the annihilation of so many of their institutions seemed to leave them little other choice. Nonetheless, not every- one was pressured into complete submission, as we learn from, among others, Guaman Poma. He depicts two Indians working on a very European-looking image of Christ on the cross; the accompanying text however points out that a true image maker should be known by the quality of his life, "For he must be a Christian, even though he is a sinner, because a drunkard, however much he is a Spaniard, is an idolater" (673; 674).47
Like Garcilaso, Guaman Poma envisaged that Christianity could take root among Indians, and that it could do so without Spanish patronage and super- vision. Indeed, according to Guaman Poma, the way had been prepared, not so much by the Inca Sun cult and Inca statecraft, but by indigenous Andean reli- gious traditions48 and the preaching of the apostle Bartholomew. In this context,
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 51
the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana may be viewed as a concrete expression of an overall religious continuity.
Within this continuity, Guaman Poma sought to comprise Andean artistic expression even if it had to be in Hispanic guise, and his image makers are thus Indians. In this respect also, Guaman Poma's ideas had found concrete realization at Copacabana. For on consultation with his kinsman Alonso Viracocha Inca, Francisco Tito Yupanqui decided to learn image making from a Spanish master, Diego Ortiz of Potosi. After studying various images of the Virgin, he determined on copying a Virgin of the Purification, La Candelaria, whose feast day is Feb- ruar-y 2. This image also met with ecclesiastical censure and with mockery by Spaniards and Indians alike. At the same time, however, its advocation was pre- cisely the advocation which Anansaya of Copacabana had wanted for their Virgin, and this was perhaps not accidental. In due course, various individuals accepted Tito Yupanqui's statue as a true Christian image and approached it with the reverence which, as such, it was entitled to receive. And in Copacabana itself, ultimately even Diego Churatopa, the gobernador of Urinsaya, paid his repects to Tito Yupanqui's image (Ramos Gavilan II,3-5).49
On February 2, 1583, this image was therefore solemnly brought into the town, and a miracle ratified what was a ceremonious but inevitably tension- ridden occasion. A heavy bronze processional cross fell on the head of the cor- regidor but did him no harm, this being "an occurrence which astonished every- one and which was greeted as a miracle." Another miracle overcame the reser- vations which the cura Montoro still felt about the artistic merits of the image. According to the cura, the Christ Child sat so high in the Virgin's arms that his crown hid her face. Tito Yupanqui being "with some severity" called upon to remedy this flaw was at a loss as to what to do-but next morning, the Child was found reclining in his mother's arms in such a way as to leave her face perfectly visible (Fig. 6; Ramos Gavilan 11,5).50
Tito Yupanqui's attitude to his image in later years reveals its growing power. The old Inca would only stand at a distance from it and with deep reverence. For the Virgin herself had come to reside in her image and imbued it with life (ibid. 11,34). Worshippers watching the image accordingly found that its coun- tenance could change: the Virgin would look pale and serious on some occasions, smiling and flushed on others (ibid. 11,33). Furthermore, the image conversed with some of its Indian-though never its Spanish-worshippers. A lame boy who spent the night at its feet in church was thus told in a sweet and quiet voice: "Leave these crutches, because I have already cured you. Walk without them and you will find that you are well" (ibid. 11,15). And to Catalina Guampo from Ayo
Ayo, who was blind and came to the church in 1593, the Virgin first said that she was to confess her sins and then cured her (ibid. 11,26). But miracles did not always happen quickly. A lame young man having spent some considerable time in Copacabana without being healed
stood at the altar rail of the Virgin and began reasoning with her. He said, "Is it, Lady, that you give health to all who come to your house and no one leaves it without comfort, but you want to dismiss me in this way, sick and in pain? Since, then, there is no way of obtaining what I so much desire and have implored with tears, I have decided to go back to my village and I will always have this complaint against you." Nonetheless, he agreed to stay in the church for the last night . . . and in the small hours he saw the Mother of God come down from her place and deposit her most holy son (whom she held in her arms) on the altar. She came to where the lame young man was, made some signs of the cross on his knees, and left him healthy and well. (Ibid. 11,16)
In these miracles, the image behaves as an independent agent: it has power, it lives, just as the huacas of the Incas had power and lived. In such a perspective, the distinction between pagan idol and Christian image which was made by the sixteenth-century missionaries is indeed a narrow one, for it can only be drawn on the basis of artistic tradition. In all but appearance, the image of the Virgin of Copacabana could replace a huaca. We may thus juxtapose it with the person- alized holy presences to whom Guaman Poma's Incas offer their sacrifices (238- 40;246-49; esp. 261-62). Here also, the devotee speaks, and the holy presence responds without the intervention of any creator god, whether Andean or Christian.
We can draw together our findings. We have seen that the Inca solar cult and its myths at all stages of their development served not only religious, but also political and indeed imperial purposes. Both myth and cult were designed to cement the diverse populations of the empire, and to highlight and strengthen allegiance to the Inca rulers. At the same time, the Inca reform of the cult of Titicaca changed the social organization of some places in the vicinity, including Copacabana. It is here we can identify a quite indisputable continuity between Inca religion and Christianity. There is continuity because the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana was initiated and organized by the descendants of the very people whom the Incas had brought to the area as mitimaes to supervise the cult of the Sun on the island in Lake Titicaca. These people opted, not for the agricultural Saint Sebastian, but for the Virgin of victory, patron of the Spanish Conquest. In organizing the new cult, the Incas of Copacabana laid claim to the same political and social prominence which they had enjoyed before the arrival of the Spaniards. Furthermore, it could be envisaged that the Spaniards would be inte- grated into society as newcomers and mitimaes (see Fig. 3), exactly as would have
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 53
been done had the Incas still ruled. The cult of the Virgin of Copacabana thus perpetuated certain aspects of the organization the Inca empire, but in a Chris- tian guise.
Our examination of the local politics of Copacabana and its vicinity in and around the year 1582 demonstrates that the Virgin of Copacabana, like her predecessor the Sun, was, at least at the outset, a political as much as a religious entity. On this basis, a merging, or syncretism, of Andean religion and Christi- anity did indeed take place. The cult of the Virgin succeeded and replaced that of the Sun in the sense that both cults were organized by the same group, and this provided the core of such historical continuity as there was. For, from the official Christian and Catholic standpoint of the sixteenth century, no compro- mise could be made with the "false" gods of another religion. Sociological con- tinuity, according to this standpoint, was the only permissible kind. From the Andean and Inca standpoint, on the other hand, continuity could and did include religious values and practices; this is what in different ways both Garcilaso and Guaman Poma sought to explain.
In examining the genesis of the image of the Virgin of Copacabana, as dis- tinct from the origin and organization of her cult, vi touch on another aspect of this question of continuity and syncretism. Here the issue expands from being religious and political to being artistic and cultural as well. It was this both in the eyes of those Spaniards who insisted that religious images should be formed in accord with a European artistic tradition, and by those Indians who agreed with them. For practical purposes therefore, European views which rejected Andean and Inca religion in all their aspects prevailed over views according to which Inca and Andean religion could flow into, or provide a basis for Christianity. However, the story does not end here, since, from the very beginning, the observances of pilgrims perpetuated concepts which had nothing to do with Spanish Catholi- cism. Accordingly, a merger of concepts of Andean origin, and others of Chris- tian origin, took place.
Sixteenth-century Spaniards were impressed by the overlap between some observances in Catholicism and in Andean and Inca religion. For instance, they were surprised to find that Indians fasted, confessed their sins, and did penance for them, and that the practice of virginity was institutionally validated by the Incas.5' However, as with religious images, so with fasting, confession, and the practice of virginity: Spaniards, especially missionaries, felt a need to differen- tiate Christian from non-Christian observance. One way of doing this was for Christians to maintain that Andean confession, for instance, comprised only sins of deed, not sins of thought and word, and therefore it was merely external. This view fits into a general pattern of Christian apologetic that expressed views against Andean religion. The Indians may have fulfilled the letter of the law, thanks to being endowed with natural reason, but it was impossible for them to
have attained the spirit of it. Most observers of Andean religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries would thus praise the Indians' faithfulness in observ- ing their own religious precepts, while at the same time pointing out that the true fulfillment of these precepts could only occur in Christianity. This fulfill- ment, to their minds, was what the image of Our Lady of Copacabana, a Christian image, existed to foster. Christianity had superseded paganism as the revealed and ultimate truth.
But this is not how Indians, even those who had converted to Christianity, necessarily viewed the situation. For many of them, during the first decades after the Conquest, Christian confession, fasting, and the practice of virginity merely validated and confirmed these same observances in Andean religion, and the importance of some ancient holy places, including Titicaca itself, was, if anything, heightened. In such a context, the pilgrimage of Copacabana was a means of perpetuating ancient loyalties.2
The Augustinian friars who administered the shrine after 1589 appear to have been aware of this fact, for among the miracles which Ramos Gavilan rec- ords, a significant number have the purpose of inculcating the tenets of Chris- tianity.53 They were not altogether successful, in that contemporary Andean Christianity is richly tinged with pre-Christian concepts and practices. As for the cult of the Virgin of Copacabana, it allowed two different perspectives, the Chris- tian and the Andean, to converge, or, at any rate, to co-exist.
Thus, the Aymara who at the present day go on the pilgrimage to Copaca- bana do indeed visit the church and the image. Some of them even watch the image being carried in procession around the square in front of the church on the main day of the festival. But while Spanish-speaking pilgrims from La Paz and elsewhere stay in the hostels of Copacabana with its hispanicized houses, the Aymara have their own site outside the town at the foot of a rocky mountain overlooking the lake. Here they pitch tents. During the day they perform their own rituals of blessing and divination on the mountain, and leave offerings. At sunset, they prepare the evening meal and when, after dark, the town is occupied with the secular celebrations which accompany the pilgrimage, the Aymara may be seen covering up or extinguishing their fires and going to rest. The Sun of the Incas has gone, but the ancient pre-Christian holiness of the place remains.
* For John Murra on the Day of St. Bartholomew. I would like to thank the American Philosophical Society (Penrose Fund), and the Institute of Latin American Studies of the University of Texas at Austin for their support of research contributing to this paper.
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 55
1. J.V. Murra, "Un reino aymara en 1567," in his Formaciones economicas y politicas del mundo andino (Lima, 1975), 193-223.
2. See "Documentos sobre Chucuito," Historia y Cultura 4 (Lima, 1970), 5-48, at p. 5, where Copacabana is referred to as being distinct from the province of Chucuito, which was part of the Lupaqa kingdom. On the chronology of the Inca penetration of this region see Catherine Jean Julien, "Inca Administration in the Titicaca Basin as Reflected at the Provincial Capital of Hatunqolla," Ph.D. dissertation, (Berkeley, 1978), pp. 210ff.
3. "Visits of Inca Rulers to the Temple of Titicaca," Fr. Alonso Ramos Gavilhn, Historia de Nuestra Sefiora de Copacabana (Lima, 1621; La Paz, 1976; hereafter Ramos Gavilhn, with further references in text) 1.3, 26. An account of the site which remains most valuable is A.E Bandelier, The Islands of Titicaca and Coati (New York, 1910). This article will not examine the cult of the moon on the island of Coati (see, e.g., Ramos Gavildn I, 28). This cult was related to the cult of the Sun on Titicaca. The interde- pendence of the two cults and the effect of it on the Christian cult of Copacabana make a further and distinct inquiry.
4. A set of illuminating discussions of this issue: R. Horton, "African Conversion," Africa 41 (1971), 85-108; "On the Rationality of Conversion," Africa 45 (1975), 219-235 and 373-399. See alsoJ. Lafaye, below, n. 6.
5. Bede, Ecclesiastical History 1,30, ed. C. Plummer (Oxford, 1896), with notes ad loc., and Jose Acosta, De procuranda Indorum Salute (Salamanca, 1589), Spanish translation by E Mateos (Madrid, 1952), 3, 24.
6. Despite some useful studies (E de Armas Medina, Cristianisacion del Peru, 1532-1600 [Seville, 1953]; P. Borges, Metodos misionales en la Cristianisacion de America, siglo XVI [Madrid, 1960], the history of missionary Christianity in Peru remains to be written, for insufficient attention has been paid to the rationale of Indian responses to Chris- tianity and to the colonial environment which conditioned all contacts between mis- sionaries and their audience. For Latin America, R. Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico (Berkeley, 1966), thus remains a landmark. On the acculturation of Christian belief and practice to non-European circumstances see J. Lafaye, Quetzalcoatl et Guad- alupe. La formation de la conscience nationals au Mexique 1531-1813 (Paris, 1974). As regards the dilemma of missionary Christianity, much can be learned from TO. Bei- delman, Colonial Evangelism. A Socio-Historical Study of an East African Mission at the Grassroots (Bloomington, Ind., 1982). On early colonial society in Peru, see now S.J. Stern, Perus Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest. Huamanga to 1640 (Madison, Wisc., 1982).
7. An interesting contrast is Miguel Cabello Valboa, Miscelanea Antarctica (Lima, 1951), who juxtaposes events in Peru and Europe within one single chronological frame- work, thus producing an absolute, but not always accurate, chronology.
8. For an outline of events, see J.H. Rowe, "Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest," in J.H. Steward, ed., Handbook of South American Indians (Washington D.C., 1946), pp. 201ff.
9. Relaci6n de la Descendencia, Gobierno y Conquista de los Incas, J.J. Vega, ed., (Lima, 1974), p. 20; Garcilaso himself mentions a rewriting of Inca history: Royal Commentaries I, 3, 25; see also, Sarmiento de Gamboa, Historia Indica, R. Levillier, ed., (Buenos Aires, 1942), p. 79, historical compilations under Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.
10. R. Schaedel, "Formation of the Inca State," in R. Matos Mendieta, ed., III Congreso Peruano, El Hombre y la Cultura Andina, Actas y Trabajos, I (Lima, 1978), pp. 112 -156. E Pease, Los ultimos Incas del Cuzco (Lima, 1972), p. 45ff.
11. Guaman Poma de Ayala, El Primer Nueva Cor6nica y Buen Gobierno, ed. J.V. Murra and Rolena Adorno (Mexico, 1980; hereafter Guaman Poma, with further references in text), 111; 182ff at 185. On Cuzco as the model of all other cities in the empire see also Martin de Murua, Historia General del Peru, Origen y Descripci6n de los Incas, ed. M. Ballesteros Gaibrois (Madrid, 1962; hereafter Murua), 24-25; Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas (hereafter Garcilaso, with further references in text), I, 1, 16; 6, 29; 7, 2 (on learning Quechua in Cuzco); 7,9; cf. Fernando de Montesinos, Memorias antiquas historiales y politicas del Peru, M. Jimenez de la Espada, ed., (Colecci6n de libros Espafioles raros o curiosos 16, Madrid, 1882), chaps. 24, p. 142; 25, p. 142- 143; 28, p. 167.
12. Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man. The American Indian and the Origins of Com- parative Ethnology (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 50ff; 67ff; 87ff; 191; D. Defert, "The Col- lection of the World: Accounts of Voyages from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries," Dialectical Anthropology 7 (1982), pp. 11 - 20.
13. Cf. R. Horton, "African Conversion," p. 100, on the identification of the Yoruba Supreme Being with the Christian God. Contrary to the expectation of most sixteenth- century missionaries, conversion is of course not entailed by making such an identi- fication, even when it is made by non-Christians.
14. E Pease, El Dios Creador Andino (Lima, 1973) evaluates the sources from an Andean standpoint. This work is fundamental to the arguments here presented.
15. Juan de Betanzos, Suma y Narraci6n de los Incas (Biblioteca de Autores Espafioles 209, Madrid, 1968), 11 (hereafter cited in the text). The texts on Viracocha and on the origin of the Incas are collected from the early sources in H. Urbano, Wiracocha y Ayar. Heroes y funciones en las sociedades Andinas (Cuzco, 1981).
16. Sarmiento de Gamboa, Historia Indica (above, n.9), based largely on information about Cuzco, attributes a subordinate role to the Inca solar cult (see pp. 71-72, 75, 79, 86- 87), while elsewhere the cult is not mentioned at all. For Huarochiri, George L. Urioste, Hijos de Pariya Qaga: La Tradici6n Oral de Waru Chirn (Syracuse, 1983); for Guamachuco, "Relaci6n de la religi6n y ritos del Peru ... (1550)," Colecci6n de Docu- mentos ineditos relativos al Descubrimiento, Conquista y Colonizaci6n de las Posesiones Espanoles en America y Oceania III (Madrid, 1905), pp. 3 - 59.
17. Cf. 6, 20-24 on Inti Raimi.
18. Pedro de Cieza de Le6n, El Seftorio de los Incas, C. Aranibar, ed., (Lima, 1967, pp. 6-8; hereafter cited in the text); Bentanzos 3-5; Sarmiento, ed. Levillier, pp. 35ff.
19. Bernabe Cobo, Historia del Nuevo Mundo (hereafter Cobo, and cited in the text), pp. 13, 18; cf. Pedro de Cieza de Le6n, Cr6nica del Peru, Biblioteca de Autores Espafnoles 26, p. 103 (hereafter Cr6nica, and cited in the text); and Ramos Gavilan 1,19.
20. In 1567, when the Lupaqa kingdom was described in a royal visita (W Espinoza Soriano, EP. Gutierrez Flores and J.V. Murra, Visita hecha a la provincia de Chucuito por Garci Diez de San Miguel en el anio 1567 [Lima, 1964]), its rulers were two young men, Martin Cusi for Maasaa (Urinsaya) and Martin Qhari for Alasaa (Anansaya), the latter a descendant of the Cari mentioned by Cieza. We have here further evidence of that sociological and institutional continuity in pre-Conquest and early colonial Peru which is discussed here from the religious point of view. See also, Catherine Jean Julien, "Inca Administration" (above, n. 2).
21. For a modern perspective on the type of issue here discussed, see WH. McNeill, "The Care and Repair of Public Myth," Foreign Affairs, Fall- 1982, 1-13.
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 57
22. On Coricancha, see John Rowe, An Introduction to the Archeology of Cuzco (Peabody Museum Papers 27: 1943-47), pp. 26-4 1.
23. Sarmiento de Gamboa, ed. Levillier, pp. 87ff, 95ff, 113f; Cobo 12, 12-14; cf. 13,18. 24. Under Guaina Capac, see Miguel Cabello Valboa, Miscelanea Antartica (Lima, 1951),
pp. 3,21; Cobo 12,17. 25. Ramos Gavilhn 1,4; 12; Cobo 13,18; on resistance to these changes Ramos Gavilhn
1,28. 26. Ramos Gavilan 1,4; 13; Cobo 13,18; cf. Garcilaso 1,3,25. 27. Cabello Valboa (above, n.7) 3,19 p. 351; cf. Garcilaso 1,6,20, and 1,3,25. 28. For Inca newcomers as Anansaya in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Copacabana,
see Ramos Gavilhn 11,2; newcomers as Anansaya in Carabuco, Ramos Gavilhn 1,9, and also 1,12; the Inca reorganization suspended the rules of heredity: R.T Zuidenla, The Ceque System of Cuzco. The Social Organization of the Capital of the Incas (Leiden, 1964), p. 100. An illuminating discussion of these complex issues is to be found in C.N. Wallis, "Some Considerations on Social Classification in the Inca Empire. The Concept of Viracocha and Its Response to the Spanish Invasion" (M.A. thesis, Social Sciences, Durham, U.K., 1975, sadly unpublished), pp. 56ff.
29. Ramos Gavilhn 1,8, pp. 44f; cf. Fr. Andres de S. Nicolhs, Imagen de N.S. de Copacavana, portento del Nuevo Mundo (Madrid, 1663), pp. 18ff; S. MacCormack, "Calder6n's Aurora en Copacabana . . . "Journal of Theological Studies 33 (1982), 448-480.
30. W. Espinoza Soriano, "Copacabana del Collao. Un documento de 1548 para la etno- historia Andina," Boletin del Instituto Frands de Estudios Andinos 1(1972), 1-16.
31. The forty-two "nations" settled at Copacabana reflect the social organization of Cuzco; see R.T. Zuidema, Ceque System (above, n. 28), pp. 3-4, 81-82, 213, and his article, "The Inca Calendar," in A.E Aveni, ed., Native American Astronomy (Austin, 1977), pp. 219-259.
32. Ramos Gavilan I, 12; on La Gasca ordering the mitimaes in general to go home, see Francisco Lopez de G6mara, Historia de las Indias (Biblioteca de Autores Espafioles 22), p. 274.
33. The friars: Visita hecha ... (above, n. 20) 15; the inquiry is published as "Documentos sobre Chucuito" (above, n. 2).
34. This idea dates back to 1492; see L.A. Vigneras, "Saint Thomas, Apostle of America," HispanicAmerican Historical Review 57 (1977), 82 - 90; for Peru, S. MacCormack, "Antonio de la Calancha: Un Agustino del Siglo XVII en el Nuevo Mundo," Bulletin Hispanique 84 (1982), 60-94 at p. 85.
35. Guaman Poma 93; Cieza, Sefiorio 5; Betanzos 2; on Viracocha and the apostle see further Garcilaso 1,5,22, where also the apostle is Bartholomew.
36. W. Christian, Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Princeton, 1981), 41; 42; 67-8. The feast day of St. Sebastian was January 20; from the canonical point of view he was thus as suitable a protector as the Virgin of February 2.
37. The earliest historians of the Conquest do not mention this episode. But Garcilaso II, 2, 25, has an account of it which closely resembles Guaman Poma 402-403; see also R. Vargas Ugarte, El culto de Maria en Iberoamerica II, Madrid (1956) 232ff. The appearance of the Virgin during the siege of Cuzco is treated by Calder6n in his La Aurora en Copacabana: see MacCormack (above, n. 29).
38. G. Kubler, "A Peruvian Chief of State: Manco Inca (1515-1545), Hispanic American Historical Review 24 (1944), 253 -276.
39. Relaci6n de la descendencia ... (above, n. 9) p. 56-59. Ramos Gavilan 1,31: after the advent of the Spaniards, Paullu married a daughter of Guaina Capac who had been a virgin consecrated to the Sun of Titicaca. His association with the Incas of Copa- cabana was thus not merely accidental.
40. Relaci6n (above, n. 9), pp. 71-73; Garcilaso 1,6,2. It is indicative of Paullu's political allegiances that he forced his sister to marry a Spaniard, somewhat against her will: Garcilaso 11,6,3.
41. Note Guaman Poma's expression: "Santa Maria ... de la Vitoria que hizo milagro la primera en la ciudad del Cuzco" (640).
42. Guaman Poma 403; 639; 640; 827; 919. Guaman Poma's devotion to this obscure Spanish cult may be explained by the fact that two collections of the miracles of the Virgin of la Pefia de Francia were published in the sixteenth century: Historiay milagros de Nuestra Sefiora de la Pefia de Francia con nueva correccion, y con las indulgencias concedidas a los cofrades y a las personas que visitan la dicha ymagen (Salamanca, 1567), and with a third part of further miracles added (Salamanca, 1583). One of these volumes is likely to have figured among Guaman Poma's Spanish readings, on which see R. Adorno, "Las otras fuentes de Guaman Poma: sus lecturas Castellanas," Historica (Lima) 11 (1978), 137-158.
43. Cuzco cross and Virgin, Guaman Poma 400 with 402; cross of Carabuco with Virgin of Copacabana, Guaman Poma 639.
44. Cf. 0. Celestino and A. Meyers, Las Cofradias en el Peru: regi6n central (Frankfurt, 1981). 45. Ed. R. Vargas Ugarte, ConciliosLimenses(1551-1772), (Lima, 1951-54), Lima II, sessio
iii, const. 95, on Andean holy objects hidden in the statues of saints; Ramos Gavilan 1,14, idols hidden in the wall behind the altar of the church of Totora.
46. This is spelled out repeatedly in the records of the missionary church of Peru. See, e.g., R. Vargas Ugarte, Concilios Limenses I-III, Lima (1951-54), Lima I, naturales 13; 39; 40; Lima II, sessio iii, 95-108; 115 (note thejustification of religious coercion in this constitution); Lima III, actio ii, 42; actio iv, 7.
47. On Andean resistance to colonial rule see S. Stern (above, n. 6); I. Silverblatt, "Andean Women under Spanish Rule," in M. Etienne and E. Leacock, Women and Colonization: Anthropological Perspectives (New York, 1980), 149 -185.
48. Jan Szeminsky, "Las generaciones del mundo segun Don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala," Historica 7 (1983), 68-69.
49. On the image, see Teresa Gisbert, Iconografla y mitos indigenas en el arte (La Paz, 1980), pp. 99ff.
50. On the buildings which were in due course erected to accomodate the image and pilgrims visiting it see Ministerio de Educaci6n de la Republica Argentina, El Santuario de Copacabana de la Paz a Tiahuanaco (Documentos de Arte Colonial Sudamericano VII, Buenos Aires, 1950). On the first miracles, see also Antonio Vazquez de Espinosa, Compendio y Descripci6n de las Indias occidentales (Bibioteca de Autores Espafioles 231), 5,2.
51. Such observations led to severe religious persecution and coercion: e.g., Concilios Limenses (above, n. 45), Lima I, naturales 26; Lima II, sessio iii, const. 107; Lima III, actio ii, const. 42. On Andean confession, Lima II, sessio iii, 75, and Ramos Gavilan 1,75; virginity, Ramos Gavilan 1,18-9.
52. Note Ramos Gavilan on the temple of the Sun on the island: "cuya memoria durara cuanto durare la que estos naturales tienen de se principio (1,14-16, on Andean rites practiced in the author's own day). The continuance of Andean modes of expression
From the Sun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana 59
in visual art is examined in a work which repays careful study: T. Gisbert, Iconografia y mitos indigenas en el arte (La Paz, 1980). Part I deals with the Titicaca region, including Copacabana.
53. For the Augustinians at Copacabana, see E de Armas Medina, Cristianisaci6n del Peru (1532-1600) (Seville, 1953), pp. 143-44, 165, citing AGI Indif. 2.869, lib. IV, fol. 2. Regarding didactic miracles, Ramos Gavilhn I, 15 and II, 10 are particularly explicit examples.