This work is an exciting addition to the field. It presents a source hitherto unavailable in English; it illustrates aspects of Spanish views of Andean religion that are often neglected; and it considers issues of great contemporary relevance, such as the problem of translation of Christian concepts into native languages. Both the translation and the accompanying substantial commentary are highly readable, and therefore suitable for undergraduate readers and the general reader. This is a scholarly, original, and interesting work. --Nicholas Griffiths, University of Birmingham
Not all Spanish missionaries were out to extinguish native Andean religious practices and concepts as works of the devil. Sabine Hyland has focused on an extraordinary mestizo Jesuit, Blas Valera, whose highly sympathetic and perceptive account of the Inca gods and world viewpoint has been vividly brought to life by her excellent translation. This is a major contribution to Andean history and anthropology. --Michael D. Coe, Yale University
This translation of An Account of the Ancient Customs of the Natives of Peru is a wonderful addition to the corpus of meticulously edited colonial chronicles available in English. The lengthy and careful treatment of Andean religion by the Jesuit priest Blas Valera is distinctive and fascinating, and its importance is enhanced by our knowledge that, unlike many chroniclers, Valera spoke and understood Quechua and was exposed to native religious customs in several areas. Sabine Hyland's discussion of the life and writings of Valera successfully provides the cultural and historical context for the manuscript and greatly enriches the volume. I strongly recommend it to all scholars attempting to understand pre-Hispanic Andean religion and the early efforts of Christian missionaries. --Richard Burger, Yale University
About the Author
Sabine Hyland is Associate Professor of Anthropology at St. Norbert College.