The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539-1543 - Vol. 2

Excerpt

Garcilaso de la Vega, el Inca, was both a literary writer and a historical chronicler of the conquest of the Americas. It was his avowed primary goal to effectively represent the Inca cause before the Spanish Crown. This purpose is clearly stated in the prefaces and preambles of most of his works. As the presenter of the Indian cause, whether of the Indians in Peru or the Native Americans in the United States, he took positions on issues later challenged by historians; nonetheless he was and is among the first and foremost representatives of the mestizo viewpoint in the New World.

The author of La Florida del Ynca, who in Spain claimed his father's name, Garcilaso de la Vega, later adding "el Inca," was born in Cuzco, Peru, on April 2, 1539, and baptized Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, a name still extant on all documentation pertaining to his youth in Peru. His father was Captain Garcilaso de la Vega and his mother was the Inca noblewoman Chimpu Occlo. She was a palla, the granddaughter of the emperor Tupac Inca Yupanqui, niece of the legendary emperor Huayna Capac, and cousin of Atauhuallpa and Huascar. Thus, she represented the old Inca hierarchy, whereas Captain Garcilaso represented the Spanish conquistador. A member of the Spanish gentry, Captain Garcilaso de la Vega had left Spain and Badajoz for adventure in the New World. After a nine-year stay in Mexico and Guatemala, the captain followed Pedro de Alvarado to Peru. In his works Garcilaso stresses his father's leadership roles, his native ability to influence both peers and superiors, and the mixture of strictness and gentleness that endeared him as a father.

Garcilaso's education reflects Captain Garcilaso de la Vega's desire that his son be instructed in Spanish culture and the classics. He studied these subjects in Cuzco, under Father Juan del Cuellar, whose dream it was to send all his young mestizo students to the University of Salamanca. From his mother, Palla Chimpu Occlo, and his maternal relatives, especially his uncle, Garcilaso received instruction in the folklore and oral tradition of the . . .

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