« ZurückWeiter »
spiritual essence." But their system, far from being limited even to these multiplied objects of devotion, embraced within its ample folds the numerous deities of the conquered nations, whose images were transported to the capital, where the burdensome charges of their worship were defrayed by their respective provinces. It was a rare stroke of policy in the Incas, who could thus accommodate their religion to their interests. 3
But the worship of the Sun constituted the peculiar care of the Incas, and was the object of their lavish expenditure. The most ancient of the many temples dedicated to this divinity was in the island of Titicaca, whence the royal founders of the Peruvian line were said to have proceeded. From this circumstance, this sanctuary was held in peculiar veneration, Every thing which belonged to it, even the broad fields of maize which surrounded the temple and formed part of its domain, imbibed a portion of its sanctity. The yearly produce was distributed among the different public magazines, in small quantities to each, as something that would sanctify the remainder of the store. Happy was the man who could secure even an ear of the blessed harvest for his own granary!"
13 "La orden por donde fundavan sus huacas que ellos llamavan á las Idolatrias hera porque decian que todas criava el sol i que les dava madre por madre que mostravan á la tierra, porque decian que tenia madre, i tenian lé echo su vulto i sus adoratorios, i al fuego decian que tambien tenia madre i al mais i á las otras sementeras i á las ovejas iganado decian que tenian madre, i á la chocha ques el brevajo que ellos usan decian que el vinagre della hera la madre i lo reveren. ciavan i llamavan mama agua madre del vinagre, i á cada cosa adoravan destas de su manera. Conq. i Pob. del Piru, MS.
13 Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., MS.-So it seems to have been regarded by the Licentiate Ondegardo: “E los Idolos estaban en aq! galpon grande de la casa del Sol, y cada Idolo destos tenia su servicio y gastos y mugeres, y en la casa del Sol le iban á hacer reverencia los que venian de su provincial para lo qual é sacrificios que se hacian proveian de su misma tierra ordinaria é muy abundantemente por la misma orden que lo hacian quando estaba en la misma provincia, que daba gran autoridad á mi parecer é aun fuerza á estos Ingas que cierto me causó gran admiracion.". Rel. Seg., MS.
But the most renowned of the Peruvian temples, the pride of the capital, and the wonder of the empire. was at Cuzco, where, under the munificence of suc cessive sovereigns, it had become so enriched tha: it received the name of Coricancha, or “the Place of Gold.” It consisted of a principal building and several chapels and inferior edifices, covering a large extent of ground in the heart of the city, and completely encompassed by a wall, which, with the edifices, was all constructed of stone. The work was of the kind already described in the other public buildinge of the country, and was so finely executed that a Spaniard who saw it in its glory assures us he could call to mind only two edifices in Spain which, for their workmanship, were at all to be compared with it." Yet
24 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 25.
15 "Tenia este Templo en circuito mas de quatro cientos pasos, todo cercado de una muralla fuerte, labrado todo el edificio de cantera muy excelente de fina piedra, muy bien puesta y asentada, y algunas piedras eran muy grandes y soberbias, no tenian mezcla de tierra ni cal, sino con el betun que ellos suelen hacer sus edificios, y estan tan bien labra. das estas piedras que no se les parece mezcla ni juntura ninguna. En toda España no he visto cosa que pueda comparar á estas paredes y postura de piedra, sino á la torre que llaman la Calahorra que está junto con la puente de Cordoba, y á una obra que vi en Toledo, cuando fui á presentar la primera parte de mi Cronica al Principe Dn Felipe." Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 24.
this substantial and, in some respects, magnificent structure was thatched with straw !
The interior of the temple was the most worthy of admiration. It was literally a mine of gold. On the western wall was emblazoned a representation of the deity, consisting of a human countenance looking forth from amidst innumerable rays of light, which emanated from it in every direction, in the same manner as the sun is often personified with us. The figure was engraved on a massive plate of gold of enormous dimensions, thickly powdered with emeralds and precious
It was so situated in front of the great eastern portal that the rays of the morning sun fell directly upon it at its rising, lighting up the whole apartment with an effulgence that seemed more than natural, and which was reflected back from the golden ornaments with which the walls and ceiling were everywhere incrusted. Gold, in the figurative language of the people,
“the tears wept by the sun,"17 and every part of the interior of the temple glowed with burnished plates and studs of the precious metal. The cornices which surrounded the walls of the sanctuary were of the same costly material; and a broad belt or frieze of gold, let into the stone-work, encompassed the whole exterior of the edifice. 18
Conq. i Pob. del Piru, MS.-Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 44. 92.—" La figura del Sol, muy grande, hecha de oro obrada muy primamente engastonada en muchas piedras ricas." Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 24.
19 " I al oro asimismo decian que era lagrimas que el Sol llorava." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, MS.
18 Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 24.-Antig. y Monumentos del Peru, MS.—"Cercada junto a la techumbre de una plancha de oro de palmo i medio de ancho i lo mismo tenian por de dentro en cada bohio ó casa i aposento." (Conq. i Pob. del Piru, MS.) "Tenia una cinta de planchas de oro de anchor de mas de un palmo enlazadas en las piedras." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., MS.
Adjoining the principal structure were several chapels of smaller dimensions. One of them was consecrated to the Moon, the deity held next in reverence, as the mother of the Incas. Her effigy was delineated in the same manner as that of the Sun, on a vast plate that nearly covered one side of the apartment. But this plate, as well as all the decorations of the building, was of silver, as suited to the pale, silvery light of the beautiful planet. There were three other chapels, one of which was dedicated to the host of Stars, who formed the bright court of the Sister of the Sun; another was consecrated to his dread ministers of ven. geance, the Thunder and the Lightning; and a third, to the Rainbow, whose many-colored arch spanned the walls of the edifice with hues almost as radiant as its own. There were, besides, several other buildings, or insulated apartments, for the accommodation of the numerous priests who officiated in the services of the temple.19
All the plate, the ornaments, the utensils of every description, appropriated to the uses of religion, were · of gold or silver. Twelve immense vases of the latter metal stood on the floor of the great saluon, filled with grain of the Indian corn; 20 the censers for the perfumes, the ewers which held the water for sacrifice, the pipes which conducted it through subterraneous channels into the buildings, the reservoirs that received it, even the agricultural implements used in the gardens of the temple, were all of the same rich materials. The gardens, like those described belonging to the royal palaces, sparkled with flowers of gold and silver, and various imitations of the vegetable kingdom. Animals, also, were to be found there,-among which the llama, with its golden fleece, was most conspicuous,-executed in the same style, and with a degree of skill which, in this instance, probably, did not surpass the excellence of the material.
19 Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 24.–Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 21.—Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., MS.
30 "El bulto del Sol tenian mui grande de oro, i todo el servicio desta casa era de plata i oro, i tenian doze horones de plata blanca que dos hombres no abrazarian cada uno quadrados, i eran mas altos que una buena pica donde hechavan el maiz que havian de dar al Sol, segun ellos decian que comiese." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, MS.The original, as the Spanish reader perceives, says each of these silver vases or bins was as high as a good lance, and so large that two men with outspread arms could barely encompass them! As this might perhaps embarrass even the most accommodating faith, I have preferred not to become responsible for any particular dimensions.
If the reader sees in this fairy picture only the romantic coloring of some fabulous El Dorado, he
23 Levinus Apollonius, fol. 38.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 24.- Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., MS.-"Tenian un Jardin que los Terrones eran pedazos de oro fino y estaban artificiosamente sembrado de maizales los quales eran oro asi las Cañas de ello como las ojas y mazorcas, y estaban tan bien plantados que aunque hiciesen recios bientos no se arrancaban. Sin todo esto tenian hechas mas de veinte obejas de oro con sus Corderos y los Pastores con sus ondas y cayados que las guardaban hecho de este metal; havia mucha cantidad de Tinajas de oro y de Plata y esmeraldas, vasos, ollas y todo genero de vasijas todo de oro fino; por otras Paredes tenian esculpidas y pintadas otras mayores cosas, en fin era uno de los ricos Templos que hubo en el mundo.” Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 24.