Spaniards Beating African Slaves, Peru, 1600-1615


Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala [Guaman Poma], El primer nueva coronica y buen gobierno; edited by John Murra and Rolena Adorno with translations from Quechua by Jorge L. Urioste (Mexico, 1980; a facsimile edition), Vol. 3, p. 867.


Title of drawing, translated: How the Spaniards abuse their African slaves; a Spanish woman (center) beats an African female (left) with a tree branch or cudgel, while the foot of a Spanish male (right) forces down the head of an African on the ground in front of him. Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala was a native Andean from southern Peru who addressed his lengthy critique of Spanish colonial rule to King Philip III of Spain. It was written between 1600 and 1615, and is composed of 1,200 pages, including 398 full-page drawings seven of which show blacks or Africans. The original manuscript is in the Danish Royal Library (Copenhagen); a complete and searchable digital facsimile, which includes the drawings, is available on the Internet as The Guaman Poma Website. The title translations we use are taken from the website. The drawing is in Chapter 31, image 337, of the original manuscript. (See Frederick P. Bowser, The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 [Stanford University Press, 1974], passim, for the historical context of this drawing.)


Guaman Poma de Ayala, Felipe

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