Abbildungen der Seite

were placed over the provinces, and, in short, filled every station of high trust and emolument.55 Even the laws, severe in their general tenor, seem not to have been frarned with reference to them; and the people, investing the whole order with a portion of the sacred character which belonged to the sovereign, held that an Inca noble was incapable of crime.56

The other order of nobility was the Curacas, the caciques of the conquered nations, or their descendants. They were usually continued by the government in their places, though they were required to visit the capital occasionally, and to allow their sons to be educated there as the pledges of their loyalty. It is not easy to define the nature or extent of their privileges. They were possessed of more or less power, according to the extent of their patrimony and the number of their vassals. Their authority was usually transmitted from father to son, though sometimes the successor was chosen by the people.57 They did not occupy the highest posts of state, or those nearest the person of the sovereign, like the nobles of the blood. Their authority seems to have been usually local, and always in subordination to the territorial jurisdiction of the great provincial governors, who were taken from the Incas. 58

55 “Una sola gente hallo yo que era exenta, que eran los Ingas del Cuzco y por alli al rededor de ambas parcialidades, porque estos no solo no pagavan tributo, pero aun comian de lo que traian al Inga de todo el reino, y estos eran por la mayor parte los Governadores en todo el reino, y por donde quiera que iban se les hacia mucha honrra Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., MS.

56 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 15.

57 In this event, it seems, the successor named was usually presented to the Inca for confirmation. (Dec. de la Aud. Real., MS.) At other. times the Inca himself selected the heir from among the children of the deceased Curaca. “In short," says Ondegardo, "there was no rule of succession so sure, but it might be set aside by the supreme will of the sovereign." Rel. Prim., MS.

It was the Inca nobility, indeed, who constituted the real strength of the Peruvian monarchy. Attached to their prince by ties of consanguinity, they had common sympathies and, to a considerable extent, common interests with him. Distinguished by a peculiar dress and insignia, as well as by language and blood, from the rest of the community, they were never confounded with the other tribes and nations who were incorporated into the great Peruvian monarchy. After the lapse of centuries they still retained their individuality as a peculiar people. They were to the conquered races of the country what the Romans were to the barbarous hordes of the Empire, or the Normans to the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles. Clustering around the throne, they formed an invincible phalanx to shield it alike from secret conspiracy and open insurrection. Though living chiefly in the capital, they were also distributed throughout the country in all its high stations and strong military posts, thus establishing lines of communication with the court, which enabled the sovereign to act simultaneously and with effect on the most distant quarters of his empire. They possessed, moreover, an intellectual pre-eminence, which, no less than their station, gave them authority with the people. Indeed, it may be said to have been the principal foundation of their authority. The crania of the Inca race show a decided superiority over the other races of the land in intellectual power; 59 and it cannot be denied that it was the fountain of that peculiar civilization and social polity which raised the Peruvian monarchy above every other state in South America. Whence this remarkable race came, and what was its early history, are among those mysteries that meet us so frequently in the annals of the New World, and which time and the antiquary have as yet done little to explain. *

58 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 10.-Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. II.-Dec, de la Aud. Real., MS.--Cieza de Leon. Cronica, cap. 93.-Conq. i Pob. del Firu, MS.

59 Dr. Morton's valuable work contains several engravings of both the Inca and the common Peruvian skull, showing that the facial angle in the former, though by no means great, was much larger than that

* [The wildest speculations on this point have not been those of early writers, unguided by any principles of philological or ethnological science, and accustomed to regard the Hebrew Scriptures as the sole fountain of knowledge in regard to the origin and diffusion of the human race. Modern research in matters of language and mythology, while dispelling many illusions and furnishing a key to many riddles, has opened a field in which the imagination, equipped with a quasiscientific apparatus, finds a wider range than ever before. The discoveries of the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg in regard to the origin of the Mexican civilization have been matched by those of a Peruvian scholar, Dr. Vincente Fidel Lopez, who, in a work entitled Les Races aryennes du Pérou (Paris, 1871), has brought forward a vast array of argument to prove that the dominant race in Peru was an offshoot of the great Indo-European family, transplanted at some remote period to the American soil, and not connected by blood with any of its other occupants. This theory is based on a comparison of languages, of architectural and other remains, and of institutions and ideas. The Quichua language, it is admitted, differs in form from all the recognized Aryan tongues. Like the other American languages, it is polysynthetic, though Dr. Lopez, who makes no distinction between the two terms, calls it agglutinative, classing it with the dialects of the Turanian family. But many philologists hold that there must have been a period

in the latter, which was singularly flat and deficient in intellectual character. Crania Americana (Philadelphia, 1829).*

when the oldest Aryan tongues were destitute of inflexions and em. ployed the same modes of expression as the Chinese and other monosyllabic languages. There is therefore a "missing link," which is supplied by the Quichua, this being agglutinative in form but Aryan in substance. The latter point is established by the identity of its leading roots with those of the Sanscrit: that is to say, there are kus, tas, and vas, with meanings capable of being distorted into some similarity, in both. The argument in regard to architecture, pottery, etc., is of a more familiar kind, having been long since adduced in support of various conjectures. The mythological hypotheses are more amusing. Dr. Lopez holds, with M. Brasseur, that all myths are identical; but while the latter insists that their common significance is geological, the former contends that it is astronomical. A single example will illustrate the method by which the author establishes his points. The most ancient Peruvian deity, as Dr. Lopez believes, was Ati, the representative of the waning moon, identical with the Ate of the Homeric mythology. Another step brings us to Hecate,-properly 'Ez-úti, of or by Ate,--and a third to Athene -Ati-inna—and Minerva, both names signifying the same thing, viz., force de la lune. Lest it should be supposed that such conjectures have sprung from the remoteness and isolation in which, as Dr. Lopez complains, the Peruvian scholar is placed, it may be proper to mention that he has been anticipated and even outstripped in his leading ideas by some German savants, who, by a similar etymological process, have identified both the Peruvians and the Aztecs as Celts. "Aber woher kamen diese Kelten?" asks one of these enthusiastic explorers. “Denn dass es Kelten gewesen sind, kann nicht mehr zweifelhaft sein.” And he answers his own inquiry by showing the probability that they were Irish, "the last pagan remains of that people," who rescued their old druidical worship from the inroads of Christianity, and having carried it across the ocean,—whether stopping at Greenland on the way or not he is unable to decide,---planted it on the Andes," that is to say, the beautiful land, from an, pleasant, beautiful, and des, land." Frenzel, Der Belus oder Sonnendienst auf den Anden, oder Kelten in America (Leipzig, 1867).—ED.]

[It seems extremely improbable that Dr. Morton should have been able to obtain any well-authenticated crania of the Incas

[ocr errors]

. With the exception," says Rivero, “of the mummies of the four [?] emperors which were carried to Lima, ... and the remains of which it has been impossible to discover up to this day, the sepulchres of the others are unknown, as well as of the nobility descended from them." (Peruvian Antiquities, Eng. trans., p. 40.) The same writer asserts that all the Peruvian crania figured in the work of Dr. Morton belong to those of the three races which, according to him, constituted the general mass of the population, the Chinchas, the Aymaraes, and the Huancas. · The crania of all these races are, he further states, distinguished by an osteologic anomaly: the presence, namely, of an interparietal bone, of a more or less triangular form, perfectly distinct in the first month after birth, and subsequently united to the occipital, the suture being marked by a furrow which is never obliterated and which is easily recognized in all the crania.-ED.)

« ZurückWeiter »