1560 TakyOnqoy Clar Heilman

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<ul><li><p>7/29/2019 1560 TakyOnqoy Clar Heilman</p><p> 1/16</p><p>Colonial Latin American Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2002</p><p>A Movement Misconstrued? A Response to</p><p>Gabriela Ramoss Interpretation of Taki Onqoy*</p><p>Jaymie HeilmanUniversity of WisconsinMadison</p><p>Turning the fragile pages of a set of sixteenth-century documents in SevillesArchivo General de Indias one 1963 day, historian Luis Millones found himselfreading a startling set of testimonies. The notarized words of Peruvian priests,encomenderos, and notables told of a millenarian movement among Indianpeoples from the highland region of Huamanga, a movement whose adherentspredicted the imminent and violent end of Spanish colonialism. Soon, very soon,Andean deities (huacas) would bring defeat to the Spaniards God and death toboth Spanish colonizers and their Indian collaborators. Only those Indians who</p><p>renounced all connections with Spaniards and Spanish culture would escape thisdeadly fate. The huacas plans were frightening, and so too was the way theyannounced those plans. The deities were using Huamanga Indiansmen,women, and children alikeas their mediums, invading Indians bodies tospread word of their intentions. The possessed Indians would tremble, shake, anddance insanely, preaching of the impending doom. These taquionqosthosesuffering from the dancing sicknessgained a following of over 8,000 Indiansover the course of the 1560s, and their rebellion threatened to overtake Lima,Jauja, and Cuzco.1 It was only because of a diligent anti-idolatry campaign under</p><p>the direction of the secular priest and visitador Cristobal de Albornoz thatSpaniards nally managed to bring an end to the movement in mid-1571(Millones 1990, 11).</p><p>Luis Millones quickly published news of his discovery, nding in that set ofsixteenth-century documents a powerful example of Andean resistance againstSpanish colonial abuses. Historians like Pierre Duviols, Nathan Wachtel, andSteve J. Stern among numerous others soon moved to study the Taki Onqoymovement in more detail, analyzing that same set of documentsthe informa-ciones de servicios de Cristobal de Albornozfor clues into the nature and</p><p>meaning of the movement. Historians interpreted the informaciones testimoniesas evidence of Indian agency, rebellion, and millenarian vision, and during the1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s they generated nearly two dozen books, articles,and chapters pertaining to the revolt. And then in 1992, the Peruvian scholarGabriela Ramos published her perspective on Taki Onqoy. Like so manyhistorians before her, Ramos had also carefully examined the informaciones. Butshe saw in those documents something very different from what her predecessorshad seen: she saw proof that much of the Taki Onqoy movement was a</p><p>1060-9164 print/1466 1802 online/02/010123-16 2002 Taylor &amp; Francis Ltd on behalf of CLARDOI: 10.1080/10609160220133718</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 1560 TakyOnqoy Clar Heilman</p><p> 2/16</p><p>JAYMIE HEILMAN</p><p>fabrication, an imaginative lie put forth by a careerist cleric and a power-hungryCatholic Church (Ramos 1992).</p><p>Ramoss forcefully revisionist take on Taki Onqoy warrants a response. Hercareful attention to textual problems inside the informaciones raises critical</p><p>questions about the natureeven the existenceof the Taki Onqoy movement,and her interpretation of those problems as evidence of clerical cunning is farfrom unreasonable. This brief essay attempts such a response, looking closely atthe informaciones purpose, construction, and contents to reinterpret the docu-ment sets silences and discrepancies. What Ramos reads as ecclesiasticalmanipulation, I regard as a product of the informaciones function and makeup.My reading suggests that traditional scholarly understandings of the Taki Onqoyrebellion are accurate.</p><p>Building on earlier revisionist arguments that questioned the extent of the Taki</p><p>Onqoy movement and linked Cristobal de Albornozs struggle against thetaquionqos with his careerism, Gabriela Ramos has charged that historiographi-cal takes on Taki Onqoy suffer from their undue reliance on a thoroughlyunreliable source, the informaciones.2 Ramos argues that historians were sointrigued by the exotic descriptions of millenarian revolt contained in theinformaciones that they simply accepted those descriptions literally and failed toproperly question their sources credibility. Had historians actually taken acritical look at the informaciones, carefully examining each of its four compo-</p><p>nent documents, they would have discovered the source to be full of troublingsilences, inconsistencies, and dubious claims. Four textual problems are es-pecially prominent: a total silence on Taki Onqoy in the 1569 informacion,witnesses failure to mention taquionqo dancing or huaca possession in the 1570text, discrepant accounts of the movement in the 1577 informacion, andwitnesses dependence on hearsay in both the 1577 and 1584 documents.</p><p>These textual problems are of serious consequence in Ramoss interpretation.To her, the differences between and within the four informaciones establishproof of ecclesiastical mischief in relation to the Taki Onqoy movement. The</p><p>tremendous shifts between each successive documents depiction of the move-ment suggest that the informaciones compilerCristobal de Albornozpro-gressively constructed a tale about Taki Onqoy, inventing ever more dramaticdetails about the movement as his careerist ambitions heightened. Just asimportant, the disconnect between the testimonies from eyewitnesses to the TakiOnqoy revolt and the statements from those who learned of the movementthrough ecclesiastical circulars demonstrates that the Catholic Church alsoexaggerated claims about the rebellion, aiming to afrm and consolidate Churchpower in early colonial Peru. These two factors compel Ramos to deem Taki</p><p>Onqoy a quotation-marked movement and to argue that historians havemisconstrued both the scale and the nature of the rebellion. Ramos stops justshort of saying Taki Onqoy never happened, but that is the conclusion herargument implies (Ramos 1992, 149, 167).</p><p>As I hold the informaciones in my handsmy copy not the fragile originalbut a typewritten transcription with neatly bound and numbered pagestwoforms of response to Gabriela Ramoss argument seem necessary. The rst formentails a look beyond this set of documents to the much larger realm of colonial</p><p>124</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 1560 TakyOnqoy Clar Heilman</p><p> 3/16</p><p>RESPONSE TO RAMOSS INTERPRETATION OF TAKI ONQOY</p><p>Latin American religious life. Existing historiography of that massive subjectarea shows that, for all its strange details, the Taki Onqoy case was not overlyexceptional. From Diego de Landa in the Yucatan to Juan Sarmiento de Viveroin Chancay to Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon in the New Spain parish of Atenango,</p><p>colonial clerics found themselves in a continuing struggle against the religiousrecidivism of indigenous peoples (Clendinnen 1987; Sanchez 1991; Taylor 1996,63 68). In colonial Peru, ecclesiastical authorities concern about idolatrytheir usual term for Andean religionwas so great that they launchedcampaigns of extirpation that ran intermittently from 1609 to 1670. Con-sidered in view of other colonial idolatry cases carefully examined by scholarslike Pierre Duviols, Nicholas Grifths, Pedro Guibovich, Kenneth Mills, andothers, Taki Onqoy seems in keeping with the general patterns of colonialAndean religious life, distinguished from other idolatry cases mainly by its</p><p>widespread popularity and its militancy. This contextualization alone helpsrender Albornozs claims about Taki Onqoy believable. But we can go furtherstill. In the Peruvian parish of San Pedro de Acas, Cajatambo, idolatry investiga-tor Bernardo de Novoa learned that local religious leaders were teaching thatthe malquis and huacas are angered with the Indians for worshipping theSpaniards God and these leaders predicted that if Indians continued to neglecttheir Andean gods they would suffer terrible illnesses and be condemned towalk poor and desolate and [] all waste away (Mills 1994, 116 17). The</p><p>religious leaders message was strikingly similar to that preached by thetaquionqos, but what is especially interesting is the issue of timing: Novoasinvestigation in Acas began in 1656, almost a century after Cristobal deAlbornoz made his claims about Taki Onqoy (Mills 1994, 28). Indeed, Albornozcompiled his informaciones decades before any of the formal extirpationinvestigations even began in Peru. If Albornoz in fact invented many of thedetails of the Taki Onqoy movement, he proved incredibly prescient in hisimaginings of what an Andean religious rebellion would look like.</p><p>Reference to historical context is helpful, but contextualization alone cannot</p><p>adequately address the queries that Gabriela Ramos has rightly raised. A secondform of response is needed, one that considers the composition and purpose ofAlbornozs informaciones. By thinking about what these documents were, andabout how and why Cristobal de Albornoz compiled them, I can begin to builda counter-interpretation of the textual problems that Ramos has pointed out.What I need rst is a denition, a statement explaining what the informacionesactually were. The denition I have arrived at is this: the informaciones werenotarized testimonials from witnesses who detailed Albornozs clerical accom-plishments and merits for the purpose of recommending him for ecclesiastical</p><p>promotions. Rather than judicial records documenting the statements of peoplesaccused of religious recidivism or ofcial reports detailing the situation inHuamanga, the informaciones were essentially four elaborate and legalisticletters of reference for Cristobal de Albornoz.</p><p>A consideration of the informaciones as a text makes one thing very clear:Gabriela Ramos is right, in part. Cristobal de Albornoz was indeed desperate fora promotion and he cast his efforts at combating Taki Onqoy as grounds for thatadvancement. There can be no mistaking that Albornoz sent these informaciones</p><p>125</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 1560 TakyOnqoy Clar Heilman</p><p> 4/16</p><p>JAYMIE HEILMAN</p><p>to the Spanish Crown with the express purpose of winning a higher clerical post.The opening lines of each document carefully noted that Albornoz was suppli-cating the Crown to promote him to a specic post. In 1569, Albornoz wasseeking a move from his position as visitador in Huamanga to one of two</p><p>recently vacated clerical posts. In 1570, he was seeking a transfer out ofHuamanga and in 1577 he wanted the Crown to place him in charge of idolatryextirpation in Cuzco. By 1584, Albornoz aimed for the Cuzco bishopric(Albornoz [1569 1584] 1990, 45, 60, 167, 204). Albornoz was ready to do muchto win these promotions. He was prepared to collect witnesses, hire notaries, anddraft leading questions for his witnesses to answer.3 He was also prepared to lie.As Ramos correctly notes, Albornoz admitted his reliance on a Quechua-speak-ing translator in the 1570 document, but in the 1577 and 1584 informaciones heclaimed to have spoken directly with Quechua Indians during his stay in</p><p>Huamanga, so uent in Quechua was he (Ramos 1992, 151 52; Albornoz[1569 1584] 1990, 64, 169, 205).</p><p>References to the Taki Onqoy movement played a primary role in Albornozspetitions for promotion. To win the advances he sought, Albornoz had to meetone or more of three Crown guidelines for ecclesiastical promotion: universityeducation, experience in similar positions, and anti-idolatry efforts (Taylor 1996,121 22). Albornoz, it seems, could satisfy only the last criterion.4 As such, heclearly needed Taki Onqoy to make himself appear worthy of promotion, and the</p><p>more exotic and threatening the movement, the better he would look. Thepriests dependence upon the movement only increased as the late 1560sadvanced into the 1570s and 1580s, for Albornoz was not winning his desiredpromotions. The Church was instead awarding him only horizontal transfers,punctuated occasionally by temporary stays as provisor in substitution of anabsent bishop (Guibovich 1990, 30 34). Albornozs understandable temptationwould have been to exaggerate details of the movement to bolster his careeristprospects. Other Peruvian priests in different contexts and times had certainlydone as much (Acosta 1987; Grifths 1996, 149, 170). That temptation would</p><p>have been greatest in 1584, when Albornoz compiled the naland mostdetailedinformacion. Not only had he gone 15 years without a meaningfulpromotion, Albornoz had also suffered a humiliating arrest two years earlier asa consequence of a complicated power struggle between his clerical superiors(Guibovich 1990, 32 33, 37). Though Albornozs incarceration was short-lived,that jail stay was a stain on his reputation and probably made the temptation toexaggerate the scale and character of Taki Onqoy almost overwhelming. It maywell be, as Ramos argues, that Albornoz actually succumbed to that temptationand fabricated details of the movement. It may also be that the Catholic Church,</p><p>eager to ensconce its power, readily accepted and trumpeted that fabrication inan attempt to prove to lay Spaniards and Crown ofcials alike that the Churchwas crucial to the success of Spains colonial project.</p><p>Ramoss argument that informaciones silences and shifts represent ecclesias-tical manipulations is a persuasive interpretation, but it is only thatan interpret-ation. By looking closer still at the informaciones, a different interpretation ispossible. This counter-interpretation holds that some of the silences in theinformaciones were actually intentional. Reaching this counter-interpretation</p><p>126</p></li><li><p>7/29/2019 1560 TakyOnqoy Clar Heilman</p><p> 5/16</p><p>RESPONSE TO RAMOSS INTERPRETATION OF TAKI ONQOY</p><p>requires recognition of the informaciones as a carefully constructed set ofdocuments. We need to understand that Cristobal de Albornoz exercised tremen-dous control over the informaciones; he made the choice to produce them andhe decided what form they would take. The priest also determined which</p><p>witnesses he would ask to speak in his defense, selecting individuals respectableenough to make their words warrant attention and cooperative enough torecommend him highly. It seems no accident that the priest Luis de Olvera wasnot included in Albornozs group of witnesses for the 1569, 1570, and 1584documents, even though this priest had direct knowledge of Albornozs workagainst Taki Onqoy. The trouble with Olvera was twofold: the Church hadrecently reprimanded him for his abusive behaviors toward Indians, and Olverabelieved himself the rst Spaniard to have discovered Taki Onqoy, probablymaking him none too eager to accept Albornozs claim of having single-hand-</p><p>edly uncovered the movement (Albornoz [1569 1584] 1990, 178 79).The most critical source of Albornozs control over the informaciones came</p><p>from the leading questions he posed to his witnesses. These questionsif theycan even reasonably be called questionsdid not invite input from the witness;they invited straightforward afrmation. Questions usually began with the phraseDoes the witness know that and then offered a paragraph-long burst ofinformat...</p></li></ul>


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