Original Title: Confessionario para los curas de Indios
Pronunciation: Confessionario para los curas de Indios
MATERIAL: Vellum
TYPE: Manuscript
COMPONENTS: 205 manuscript pages, 4to
CONDITION: Contemporary vellum, moderate wear. Faintly visible; minor worming on inner margin, minor wear. This copy lacks the title page, and begins with the dedication to linguist Diego de Torres by Fernando Niño de Guevara as Archbishop of Seville (as printed).
NOTES: Both editions are quite scarce; only two copies of the 1603 edition are traced in libraries today, at the John Carter Brown Library and New York Public Library.

We suspect it is not the original printer's copy, as the diacritic marks have not been brought over from the printed text. In addition, we suspect a priest out in rural Peru wrote out this manuscript transcription for his own use in the early 17th century.

Quechua /ˈkɛtʃwə/, also known as runa simi ("people's language"), is an indigenous language family, with variations spoken by the Quechua peoples, primarily living in the Andes and highlands of South America. Derived from a common ancestral language, it is the most widely spoken language family of indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably some 8–10 million speakers. Approximately 13% of Peruvians speak Quechua.

It is perhaps most widely known for being the main language of the Inca Empire, and was disseminated by the colonizers throughout their reign. Quechua was not only spoken by the Incas, but in some cases also by long-term enemies of the Inca Empire. These include the Huanca (Wanka is a Quechua dialect spoken today in the Huancayo area) and the Chanka (the Chanca dialect of Ayacucho) of Peru, and the Kañari (Cañar) in Ecuador. Quechua was spoken by some of these people, for example, the Wanka, before the Incas of Cusco, while other people, especially in Bolivia but also in Ecuador, adopted Quechua only in Inca times or afterward.

The Aymara or Aimara people are an indigenous nation in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America; about 1 million live in Bolivia, Peru and Chile. Their ancestors lived in the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca in the late 15th or early 16th century, and later of the Spanish in the 16th century.

With the Spanish American Wars of Independence (1810–25), the Aymaras became subjects of the new nations of Bolivia and Peru. After the War of the Pacific (1879–83), Chile acquired territory occupied by the Aymaras.

For more on the original printed text, see European Americana 603/67; Medina BHA 475; and Palau 59200.

Reference information:
The last known available copy of the 1603 edition printed in Seville sold at Sotheby’s in 1971. There is now a copy of the of 1585 first edition printed in Lima for sale in New York. The 1585 edition was the second book printed at the first press in South America, and an exceptionally rare work.

Lima was only the second city in the New World to establish a printing press, and the first such city in South America and indeed in the southern hemisphere.

The first edition is thus one of the very earliest New World and southern hemisphere incunabula.

The first three books from the Lima press were all the work of Jesuit father Jose? de Acosta, though Medina notes that Diego Alcobaza (tutor to Garcilaso de la Vega) participated in the composition of this work.

A Jesuit priest, Acosta spent seventeen years in American missions in Mexico and Peru between 1571 and 1588. While in Peru, he was instrumental in founding the printing press there, and its first productions were prepared by him in 1585. Not only was Acosta an accomplished linguist, he was one of the first to formulate a systematic theory of anthropology, suggesting a classification of different peoples into different types, which foreshadowed later ideas of social evolution.

Catechisms and early religious conversion aids such as this are of outstanding importance for our understanding of the ethnological and linguistic history of early colonial Peru, as well as for the history of the spread of religion for its own sake and as a tool of the colonial powers.

The 1585 volume was printed by Antonio Ricardo, the first printer in South America. Antonio Ricardo began his publishing career in the New World in Mexico, where he was the fifth printer. Publishing had begun there in 1539, less than twenty years after the conquest. A native of Italy, he arrived in New Spain in 1570, and it is assumed he spent the first years in the country working for other printers, most likely Pedro Ocharte. Although he only printed in Mexico under his own name between 1577 and 1579, Ricardo produced no less than ten works during that time, including Indian language imprints, medical works, and books in the classics for the students of the Colegio de San Pedro y San Pablo.

Ricardo left Mexico in 1580 to settle in Peru, where he became the first printer in South America. After several delays, due largely to the antipathy of governmental and ecclesiastical authorities to printing in any form, he produced the first Peruvian publication in 1584, the four-page proclamation entitled PRAGRAMATICA SOBRE LOS DIEZ DIAS DEL AN~O, and the first book in Lima, the magnificent trilingual religious work entitled DOCTRINA CHRISTIANA Y CA- TECISMO PARA INSTRUCCION DE LOS INDIOS.

He continued printing in Peru until his death in 1605, publishing over thirty works on his press in Lima. During this period he was the only printer in South America, and the only New World printer besides those in Mexico City and Puebla.
ITEM ID: 4197
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Aymara and Quechua Language Manuscript Confession Book

PRONUNCIATION: Confessionario para los curas de Indios
DATE
Century: 17th (1601-1700)
Notes: Np, early 17th century

This volume is a faithful manuscript transcript of the 1603 second edition (issued in Seville) of the “Confessionario para los curas de indios,” (first edition published in Lima in 1585). We suspect it is not the original printer’s copy, as the diacritic marks have not been brought over from the printed text. In addition, we suspect a priest out in rural Peru wrote out this manuscript transcription for his own use in the early 17th century.

Some of the preliminary text is in Latin, much of the text is in Spanish, and large sections are in Quechua and Aymara in parallel columns.

ARTISTS
Name: Diego de Torres
Type: Linguist