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Conjuring with Coca and the Inca: The Andeanization of Lima's Afro-Peruvian Ritual

Specialists, 1580-1690
Author(s): Leo J. Garofalo
Source: The Americas, Vol. 63, No. 1, The African Diaspora in the Colonial Andes (Jul., 2006),
pp. 53-80
Published by: Catholic University of America Press on behalf of Academy of American
Franciscan History
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63:1 July 2006, 53-80
Copyrightby the Academy of American



diasporic communities
throughout played the Americas
importantroles in creatingcolonial societies, providingboth a pop-
ulationbase and ways to organizeeverydaylife as evidenced in sub-
sistence activities, housing, language, religion, and artistic expression.2In
the Andes, Afro-Peruvianritualspecialists providean example of black par-
ticipationin forging a place in colonial society duringthe sixteenthand sev-
enteenthcenturies.They earnedboth respect and fear, statusand stigma, for
their ability to solve a variety of problems and illnesses believed to be
caused by the malice of other people or by supernaturalforces. These ritu-
alists also show how people of African descent helped invent widely-
employed strategiesto bridge culturesand link heterogeneouscolonial pop-
ulations in Andean cities.

The cases collected here reveal a gradual and progressive shift in the
emphasis of ritual practice among the colony's non-indigenousritual spe-
cialists, particularlyin urbanareas.First, Native Andeanpracticesserved as

Archival researchin 1995 and 1996-1998 for this article was supportedby Tinkerand Vilas travel
grants,a Social Sciences ResearchCouncil Grant,and a FulbrightDissertationFellowship.A University
of Wisconsin Fellowship for Dissertatorssupportedthe originalwriting.Commentsfrom Kelvin A. Yelv-
ington on my AmericanHistoricalAssociation paper delivered at the Annual Meeting in Boston, 2001
and from the participantsin the 2003 Workshopon MarkingDifferencein Colonial LatinAmericahelped
me improve the analysis. Ben Vinson, III, helped me present my ideas more clearly. I owe a special
thanksto the archivistsin Peru and Spain who helped me locate the documentsused in this article.
2 New works are appearingto document the diversity of the African experience in colonial Spanish

America.Among the collections offering an overview are a special issue edited by MatthewRestall and
Jane Landers, The Americas 57:2 (October 2000), and Matthew Restall, ed., Beyond Black and Red:
African-NativeRelations in Colonial LatinAmerica (Albuquerque:New Mexico, 2005). The participa-
tion of blacks in the militias of Mexico and coastal Peru show one way that membersof this population
carved out a place and limited privileges in a colonial order that defined them at the racial and social
bottom of society. For examples see Ben Vinson, III, Bearing armsfor his majesty:thefree-colored mili-
tia in colonial Mexico (Stanford:StanfordUniversityPress, 2001) and the special issue on African dias-
poric militaryhistoryin LatinAmericaedited by Ben Vinson, III and StewartKing, TheJournal of Colo-
nialism and Colonial History 5:2 (Fall 2004).


a key source of special powers; then a more hybridized,"colonialAndean

practice"emerged that drew upon Iberian,indigenous, and African knowl-
edge and eventuallyresultedin the inventionof unique"colonial"ritualcon-
cepts. For instance,rites includeda newly imaginedIncaprotectorthatover-
saw the well-being and desires of his supplicants, as well as coca leaf
ceremonies that showcased the plant's curative and divinatorypowers. As
these practices developed, particularlyover the course of the 17th century,
Lima's Afro-Peruvianritual specialists often led the way in creating a new
collection of ritual practices and ideas about the supernatural,rooted in
established,but still dynamic, traditions.

Fromthe 1580s to the 1690s, manyAfricansand theirchildrenand grand-

childrenfiguredprominentlyin establishingcommon practicesof witchcraft
and amatorymagic in Peru's cities. In an initial phase (1580s and 1590s),
Afro-Peruvianshelped adapt Iberianand Catholic traditionsto the Andes.3
Early Afro-Peruvian and Spanish involvement in Native Andean ritual
remained limited to hiring indigenous practitionersunder special circum-
stances. In the 1620s and 1630s, a second phase began as Afro-Peruvianspe-
cialists took the lead in tentativeexperimentationwith Andeanproductsand
techniques. By the 1650s, tentative exploration of indigenous knowledge
gave way to urban specialists' desire to more directly control and revise
indigenous methods of exposing the occult and activating supernatural
power. Afro-Peruvianspecialists, therefore,incorporatedand then reinter-
preted Native Andean concepts in urbanwitchcraft.Black specialists cou-
pled these colonial versions of indigenous ideas with their own magical
inventions utilizing colonial drinks and pre-Hispanic remains. From the
1660s to the 1690s, Afro-Peruvianritual specialists helped blend together
Catholic prayers,Native Andean coca leaves, invocations of a re-imagined
Inca ruler,grape brandyand other colonial drinks,into a unique and coher-
ent body of urbanwitchcraftthat the Catholic Churchfailed to effectively
suppress,even when using ecclesiastical investigationsand the Inquisition.

Lima's skilled ritualistsworkedto serve clients and developed theirbody

of specialized knowledge during a period of intense Churchinterestin the

3 The analysis offered here focuses primarilyon Iberian and Andean ritual elements and notions,

leaving a more extensive examinationof possible Africancontinuitiesand sensibilities to anotherstudy.

The degree, nature,and shape of this African influence in both the Americas and Iberianeed to be fully
explored for this period. Juan Carlos Estenssoro Fuchs follows Jean-PierreTardieu and Fernando
Romero (see below) in assertingthatAfrican magic did not appearin an identifiableform in the Inqui-
sition trials.JuanCarlosEstenssoroFuchs, "Laconstrucci6nde un mis alli colonial: Hechicerosen Lima
(1630-1710)," Entremundos. Fronterasculturales y agents mediadores,eds. B. Ares Queija and Serge
Gruuzinski(Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos,1997), p. 431, n. 30.

colonial population'sreligious beliefs and ritualactivities.The campaignsto

extirpateidolatrieslaunchedby Lima's archbishops(1609-1622, 1649-1670,
1720s), and the Inquisitionestablishedin Lima in 1570, constitutedthe two
principalinstitutionalmeans used to expose, document,and controlthe pop-
ulace's religious beliefs and ritualpracticesin Lima and its surroundinghin-
terland.4 These sporadiceffortswere designedto re-director suppressbeliefs
in specific ways, and they createdthe documentsthathistoriansrely upon to
reconstructthose beliefs.5 Idolatry investigations in Lima's archbishopric
began in 1609, following the denunciationby the ruralpriest Franciscode
Avila that his indigenous parishionerswere continuing to worship their
former deities during Christiancelebrations. Over the years, the idolatry
investigatorsburnedancestormummiesandothersacreditems (sometimesin
Lima), orderedfloggings, and exiled Andean religious teachers, often to a
school in Lima's Jesuit-run,El Cercadoparish.Designed to correctbackslid-
ing among indigenous converts, the extirpationcampaigns sufferedfrom a
lack of consistent institutionalsupportand funds. The intrusive and harsh
measures adoptedto impose standardChristianworship, and the economic
burdenof supportingthe investigatingjudges and theirretinues,often alien-
atedcommunitiesfromChurchpersonnelandChristianity.Together,the idol-
atry trials reveal that local religious life-including devotion to ancestors
and-huacas (regionalor local divinity occupying a sacredplace or object
regularlynourishedby offerings), along with the use of conopas (personal
divinity guaranteeingfecundity and often representedby a small figurine)
and a variety of rites/offeringsto guaranteefertility,harvests,and water-
continued at the local level in the Andes, and in many cases blended with
Catholic elements and Christianconcepts. Saints, for instance,became pro-
tectors and intercessorsalongside native deities, local celebrationsmerged
with official Church celebrations, offerings were made simultaneouslyto
saints and huacas.6 The documentationalso reveals that the campaigns'

4 A similar campaign had been carried out by Crist6bal de Albornoz to root out the 1560s Taqui
Onqoy nativist revival movement in the central highlands. Luis Millones, ed., El retornode la huacas
(Lima: Institutode Estudios Peruanos, 1990); GabrielaRamos, "Politica eclesiaisticay extirpaci6n de
idolatrias:discursosy silencios en torno al TaquiOnqoy,"Catolicismoy extirpacidnde idolatrias, siglos
XVI-XVIII,eds. GabrielaRamos and HenriqueUrbano(Cuzco: Centrode Estudios Regionales Andinos
"Bartolom6de Las Casas," 1993), pp. 137-168.
5 For examples of the manualsused to expose and eradicateindigenous practices see; Pablo Joseph
de Arriaga,La extirpacidnde la idolatria en el Peru (1621), ed. HenriqueUrbano(Cuzco: CBC, 1999);
and Pedro de Villag6mez, Cartapastoral de exortacidne instruccidncontra las idolatrias (Lima:Jorge
L6pez de Herrera,1649).
6 Pierre Duviols, Cultura andina y represi6n. Procesos y visitas de idolatrias y hechicerias,
Cajatambosiglo XVII (Cuzco: Centro de Estudios RuralesAndinos "Bartolom6de Las Casas," 1986);
KennethMills, Idolatryand Its Enemies: ColonialAndeanReligion and Extirpation,1640-1750 (Prince-
ton: PrincetonUniversity Press, 1997); Nicholas Griffiths,The Crossand the Serpent:Religious Repres-

investigatingjudges questionedand sanctionednon-Indians,too. They car-

ried out investigationsin and aroundthe city of Lima, where similar ritual
combinationswere taking place. An examinationby AlejandraB. Osorio of
the women accused by the campaigns of witchcraft in the city of Lima
showed "complex combinations of 'dominant' (i.e. Counter-Reformation
Catholic) and 'subaltern'(i.e. Andean,African and Spanish 'popular'prac-
tices) elements, revealing that processes of transculturation
were at work in
colonial Peru" and that marginal women's roles could be pivotal in such
processes.' In Lima and on the coast in general, Afro-Peruviansappear
amongthose involved in the communitiesand activitiesinvestigated.8There-
fore, the Afro-Peruvianrole within these communitiesand activitiesneeds to
be more fully studied, particularlyfor Lima with its black majority.When
combinedwith documentsfrom the Inquisitionand secularcourts,these trials
open a rarewindow into the beliefs and ritualactivitiesof people of African-
descent duringthe first centuryand a half of Spanishrule in the Andes.

Perhaps the richest-and most problematic-source on the beliefs and

practices of Lima's African-basedpopulation is the Inquisition.Approved
by King Philip II in 1569 and beginning operationsin Peru in 1570, Lima's
Tribunalof the Inquisitionheldjurisdictionover the viceroyalty'sblacks and
all other non-Indians. Charged with enforcing religious orthodoxy, the
inquisitors punished a variety of crimes in Lima including Judaizing
(secretly observingJewish rites while publicly practicingChristianity),blas-
phemy,bigamy, solicitationof women in confession, Protestantism,posses-
sion of heretical books, witchcraft,and superstition.The most spectacular
and terrifyingtrails and public punishmentsin Lima's autos de fe involved

sion and Resurgencein Colonial Peru (Norman:University of OklahomaPress, 1995); Antonio Acosta
Rodriguez, "Los clerigos doctrinerosy la economia colonial 1600-1630,"Allpanchis 16:19 (1982), pp.
117-149; Antonio Acosta, "Laextirpaci6nde idolatriasen el Perni:Origen y desarrollode las campafias.
A prop6sitode Culturaandina y represi6n,"RevistaAndina5:1 (1987), pp. 171-195; JuanCarlos Garcia
Cabrera,"Porqu6 mintieronlos indios de Cajatambo?La extirpaci6nde la idolatriaen Hacas entre 1656-
1665,"RevistaAndina 14:1 (July, 1996), pp. 7-53.
7 AlejandraB. Osorio, "El callej6n de la soledad:Vectorsof CulturalHybridityin Seventeenth-cen-
tury Lima," Spiritual Encounters:InteractionsBetween Christianityand Native Religions in Colonial
America,eds. Nicholas Griffithsand FernandoCervantes,(Lincoln:Universityof NebraskaPress, 1999),
p. 218; AlejandraB. Osorio, "Hechiceriasy curanderasen la Lima del siglo XVII. Formasfemeninasde
control y acci6n social," Mujeres y gdnero en la historia del Peru',ed. MargaritaZegarra F (Lima:
CENDOC-Mujer,1999), pp. 59-75.
8 Ana Sinchez, ed., Amancebados,hechicerosy rebeldes(Chancay,siglo XVII) (Cuzco:CentroBar-
tolom6 de las Casas, 1991); Juan Carlos GarciaCabrera,Ofensas a Dios, pleitos e injurias: Causas de
idolatria y hechicerias, Cajatambosiglos XVII-XVIII(Cuzco: Centro Bartolom6de las Casas, 1994).
Afro-Peruviansalso appearin the coca-distributionnetworksin seventeenth-centuryLima and its envi-
rons. See: ArchivalArzobispalde Lima (AAL), Hechicherfas,Leg. 6, Exp. 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 1668-1669;
and the analysis of these documentsin Leo J. Garofalo,"TheEthno-Economyof Food, Drink,and Stim-
ulants:The Making of Race in Colonial Lima and Cuzco," dissertation,University of Wisconsin, 2001.

those accused of Judaizing. However, numerous blasphemy, bigamy, and

solicitation cases were also tried in Lima, and periodically,interestin pros-
ecuting witchcraft and superstitionarose as people voluntarilydenounced
themselves, and as the Holy Office found the time and finances to hearthese
cases.9 Afro-Peruviansappearedfrequentlyin the investigations into blas-
phemy, bigamy, witchcraft,and superstition.

Witchcraftand superstitiontrials provide an unparalleledand complex

source for researchinto gender relations and ethno-culturalchange. Maria
Emma Mannarellifound thatmost of the accused witches in Lima and those
who consulted them were women. Many female solicitors often crossed
ethnic boundariesto meet ritualistsand to participatein clandestine cere-
monies. In these ceremonies,they frequentlysought to control male behav-
ior--especially male sexual behavior-and even discussed theirown sexual-
ity.10 Having examined the Inquisition documents in detail, as well as
documents from extirpationcampaigns,Juan Carlos EstenssoroFuchs and
JavierFlores conclude thatprofessionalhechiceros (sorcererswidely known
for theirtalentsandpossessing the clout to chargefor theirservices) emerged
from among the poorestsectors of Spanish,Indian,black, mestizo, and casta
society living in and aroundLima. The multiple contacts these professional
ritualistspossessed, and their clients, who sometimes learnedto reproduce
the rites that they witnessed, ultimately facilitated access to distinct tradi-
tions, encouragedsome forms of hybridity,and expanded and enrichedthe
knowledgeof each practitioner.1IreneSilverblatt'sstudyof Inquisitioncases
finds this same "triumvirateof racial cultures"in Lima's witchcrafttrials

9 Jose Toribio Medina, Historia del Tribunalde la Inquisici6n de Lima (1569-1820) (Santiago:
Fondo Hist6ricoy Bibliograifico,1956), v. 2, pp. 34-40; Ren6 Millar C., Inquisicidny Sociedad en el Vir-
reinato Peruano: Estudios sobre el Tribunalde la Inquisici6nde Lima (Lima. Santiago:Ediciones Uni-
versidadCat6lica de Chile, 1998); Gustav Henningsen,"La evangelizaci6n negra;difusi6n de la magia
europeapor la Americacolonial," Revista de la Inquisicidn,3 (1994), pp. 9-27; PaulinoCastafiedaDel-
gado and Pilar Hernindez Aparicio, "Los delitos de superstici6nen la Inquisici6n de Lima duranteel
siglo XVII,"Revista de la Inquisicidn4 (1995), pp. 9-35; Paulino CastafiedaDelgado and Pilar Hernin-
dez Aparicio, La Inquisicidnde Lima, v. 1 (Madrid:DEIMOS, 1989); Paulino CastafiedaDelgado and
Pilar Hernindez Aparicio, La Inquisicidnde Lima, v. 2 (Madrid:DEIMOS, 1995).
10 MariaEmma Mannarelli,"Inquisici6ny mujeres:las hechicerasen el Peri duranteel siglo XVII,"
Revista Andina 3:1 (1985), pp. 141-156; Maria Emma Mannarelli,Hechiceras, beatas y expdsitas:
Mujeresy poder inquisitorialen Lima (Lima, Peru:Ediciones del Congreso del Perni,1999).
" For example, Estenssoro Fuchs identified various seventeenth-centuryritual elements including
the culturallysignificant conversion of the Spanish prayerto the anima sola into the invocation of the
"threesouls" (espafiol-negro-indio).EstenssoroFuchs, "La construcci6nde un maisallai,"pp. 415-439;
JuanCarlos EstenssoroFuchs, Del paganismo a la santidad: La incorporacidnde los indios del Peru'al
catolicismo, 1532-1750, trans.GabrielaRamos, (Lima: PUCP,IFEA, 2003), pp. 373-438; JavierFlores,
"Hechiceriae idolatriaen Lima colonial (siglo XVII)," Poder y violencia en los Andes, ed. Henrique
Urbano(Cuzco: Centrode Estudios Regionales Andinos Bartolom6de las Casas, 1991), pp. 53-74.

and links it to the Inquisition'spromotionthroughoutthe populationof the

race thinkingthatcategorizedpeople as espafiol,indio, or negro.12

The investigationsconductedby the Inquisition,ecclesiasticalcourts, and

royal officials gatheredinformationunderpotentiallyvery coercive circum-
stances and must be used with tremendouscare. Researcherscan avoid the
question of what really occurredor what ideas people really acted on by
focusing primarilyon what was said, by whom and why. This discourse
approachrendersrich results and importantinsights into the creation and
maintenanceof systems of power and the labelingthatgoes along with them.
Equally important,however, is the effort to reconstructand understandthe
actionsandideas thatmay have really takenplace andexisted behindthe web
of accusations,charges,countercharges,denials,andpositioningthroughdis-
course thatis always presentin these cases. This articleattemptsto carefully
bring forwardthese insights about actions and ideology. Wheneverpossible
the analysisuses the first testimonygiven or testimonynot guidedby leading
questions or respondingto accusations.To the best extent possible, the arti-
cle combinesecclesiastical,criminal,andInquisitioncases to achieve a broad
view of social behavioras documentedby variouscolonial institutions.So as
to acquirean understandingof routine,ordinarydaily conduct, the analysis
highlights the activities and actions that were not questionedby the parties
involved in the cases, as well as the rites and elements of behavior that
nobody disputed.These practiceswere more likely to have formedthe basis
of the ritualforms employed by Peru'scolonial ritualspecialists.

In the body of the court cases, oftentimesthe most contentiousaspects of

the litigationproceedingswere not the ritualpracticesthemselves,but rather
who was creditedwith leadingthe rites,who knew the most abouttheirpower,
who provedeffective or ineffectivein executingthem,and who receivedpay-
ment but never delivered or never properlyperformedthe rites in question.
People also hotly debatedwhether these actions really contradictedChurch
teachings,or whetherthe devil was invokedas a collaboratoror not.

The cases analyzed here span several decades, involve various sets of
inquisitorsand local informants,as well as many groups of women practi-
tioners and their clients. Interestingly,the language of witchcraftfound in
the cases was also quite uniqueand distinctfrom thatfound in the witchcraft

12 Silverblattalso arguesthat the Inquisitiondefended Spanish colonialism's culturalhegemony and

hierarchiesagainst a transgressivewitchcraft ideology and an enthusiasm for stereotypes of "Indian-

ness." Irene Silverblatt,Modemrn Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World
(Durham:Duke University Press, 2004), pp. 162-185.

manualsthat were circulatingin Peru.13Lastly, it appearsthat the efforts of

Lima's Inquisitionto curb witchcraft,no matterhow serious and disruptive.
of individualpeople's lives, did not seem to halt or reducethe importanceof
ritual specialists in Lima. More people were denouncedor mentionedthan
the Inquisitioncould ever investigate,forcing the Tribunalto concentrateon
the most notorious cases. Additionally, the people investigated and even
forced to penance by the Holy Office sometimes reappearedin court,
charged with having returnedto prohibitedpractices.Despite the real fears
officials had about the appealof indigenous cultureto non-Indiansin urban
centers (as mentionedby Irene Silverbaltt)and the seriousness with which
individual cases of witchcraft were viewed by those directly affected,
Lima's Tribunaland in its supervisorybody (the Supremain Madrid)gen-
erally viewed witchcraft as mere superstition,a much lesser offense than
demonic pacts or idolatry-both of which entailed an outrightrejection of
Christianity.If used carefully,much can be learnedabout how colonial res-
idents of Lima actually thoughtand acted from these documents.

The vigor and diversityof Afro-Peruvianreligious and ritualparticipation

reflected the size and centralityof Lima's African-descentpopulation.14 A

13 GustavHenningsen,The Witches'Advocate:Basque Witchcraftand the SpanishInquisition(1609-

1614) (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1980); Silverblatt, Modern Inquisitions, p. 165; Carlo
Ginzburg,Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method, trans.John and Anne C. Tedeschi (Baltimore:The
John Hopkins University Press, 1989).
14 The Inquisitionwas not the only institutionexaminingor bearingwitness to Afro-Peruvianspiritu-
ality.The 1619 Archbishop'sreview of Lima'sparishesand churchespraisedthe religiousconfraternityof
NuestraSefiorade los Reyes, foundedby "negrosde diferentescastas,"as one of the city's best and most
illustriouslay brotherhoods.It was one among at least fourteenAfro-Peruvianconfraternitiesin Lima.The
reportalso mentionedseveralotherbrotherhoodsin the archbishopric'stowns and ruralparishesoutsideof
Lima,andit notedthe importancegiven at times in these organizationsto Africanethnicorigins,as opposed
to black creole heritage.Archivo Generalde las Indias(AGI), Lima 301, "Relaci6nde las ciudades,villas,
y lugares... parrochiasy doctrinasque hay en este Arqobispadode Lima," 20-IV-1619, ff. 1-37r. The
cofradia recordsin the Archbishop'sArchive of Lima and in the archiveof the Sociedadde Beneficencia
Piblica, as well as bequests and last wills and testaments,help to complete the pictureof a vibrantand
active African-descentpopulationin Lima that was engaged with multiple forms of religious and ritual
life. AAL, Cofradifas,Legajos 10, 20, 21, 42; AAL, Testamentos;Jean-PierreTardieu,Los negrosy la igle-
sia en el Peru',siglos XVI-XVII(Quito:CentroCulturalAfroecuatoriano,1997). Not all African-descent
people active in confraternitiesbelonged to those cofradfasfounded by people tracing their origins to
Africa.For example,the mulattoactorand soldierDiego Suirez participatedin anddonatedmoney to var-
ious confraternitiesin Seville and in Peru,none was specifically linked to African-descent.AGI, Contrat-
aci6n, 255, N1, R5, "Bienes de difuntos,Diego Suirez," 1590-1600, ft. 1-185r.Perhapstwo of the best-
documentedexamplesdrawnfromChurchsourcesincludethe devotionto the Crucificadoin Pachacamilla
(later appropriatedby the viceroys and the cabildos as the Sefiorde los Milagros) and the popularblack
religious figures-like San Martinde Porras(1579-1639) and Ursula de Jestis (1604-1666)-living as
membersof prominentreligious communitiesin Lima. Celia LangdeauCussen, "FrayMartinde Porres
and the religious imagination of Creole Lima," diss. University of Pennsylvania, 1996; Maria Rost-
worowski de Diez Canseco, Pachacamac y el Sehor de los Milagros. Una trayectoriamilenaria (Lima:

growing body of scholarshipon Afro-Peruviansin the last two decades has

built upon a small set of seminal studies to offer an increasinglycomplete
and complex pictureof Lima's populationof African-descent.James Lock-
hartdocumentedthe presence of Africans andAfro-Iberiansfrom the begin-
ning of the Spanish invasion and noted their importancein re-producinga
Hispanic society in Peru's colonial cities between 1532 and 1560.15 Freder-
ick P. Bowser, along with GermanPeraltaand FernandoRomero, explained
how the growing demand for urbanand agriculturallaborersand slaves as
status symbols in Lima, and on the coast more generally,fueled the estab-
lishment of the commercial, financial, and governmentalnetworks neces-
sary to make Lima a majordestinationfor the slave tradethrough1650. The
traffic of slaves along the Pacific coast and the growth of the local popula-
tion made Afro-Peruviansforty percentor more of Lima's population,with
significant representationof multiple African ethnic groups. Bowser's in-
depth study of the centralityof enslaved and free Africans in the Peruvian
economy duringthe first half of the colonial periodalso examineddaily life,
resistance and manumission,social integration,and social control.16 Emilio
Harth-Terr6showed how Lima's indigenous population interacted exten-
sively with Afro-Peruvians,even to the point of owning slaves and involv-
ing them in artisanwork.17The agency of slaves and freedmenand the logic
behind their decisions to enter into court battles, working with notariesand
scribes to write their own documents,cannotbe ignored.Jose Ram6nJouve

Institutode Estudios Peruanos, 1992); Susy Sanchez Rodriguez, "Un Cristo Moreno 'conquista'Lima:
Los arquitectosde la fama pdblica del Sefiorde los Milagros (1651-1771)," Etnicidady Discriminacidn
Racial en la Historia del Peru, Ana Cecilia Carrillo Saravia, Ciro Corilla Melchor, Diego Levano
Medina,RobertoRivas Aliaga, RosarioRivoldi Nicolini, and Susy SanchezRodriguez(Lima:Pontificia
UniversidadCat61licadel Pert, InstitutoRiva Agtiero, Banco Mundial,2002), pp. 65-92; Nancy E. van
Deusen, The Souls of Purgatory: The Spiritual Diary of a Seventeenth-centuryAfro-PeruvianMystic,
Ursula de Jesu's(Albuquerque:University of New Mexico Press, 2004).
15 James Lockhart,Spanish Peru, 1532-1560: A Colonial Society (Madison:University of Wiscon-
sin Press, 1968), pp. 171-198.
16 FrederickP. Bowser, TheAfricanSlave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 (Stanford:StanfordU. Press,
1974); GermanPeralta,Los mecanismos del comercio negrero (Lima: KunturEditores, CONCYTEC,
Interbanc,1990); FernandoRomero,Safari africanoy compraventade esclavos para el Perd: 1412-1818
(Lima: Institutode Estudios Peruanos, 1994); CarlosAguirre's excellent overview of Peruvianslavery
cites these figures and mentions that an estimated 100,000 slaves were broughtto Peru duringthe colo-
nial period,Breve historia de la esclavituden el Peru'.Una herida que no deja de sangrar (Lima:Fondo
Editorialdel Congreso del Perti,2005), pp. 21-22.
17 Emilio Harth-Terre,Negros e indios: un estamento social ignorado en el Perdicolonial (Lima:
EditorialJuan Mejia Baca, 1974). Research into the late colonial relations between Indians and Afro-
Peruviansin Limas has generatedtwo differentviews: one of cooperationand coexistence based on mat-
rimonialrecords,and anotherof conflict anddistrustbased on courtcases. See: JesuisCosamal6nAguilar,
Indios detrds de la muralla. Matrimonios indigenas y convivencia inter-racial en Santa Ana (Lima,
1795-1820) (Lima: PUCP, 1999); and Alberto Flores Galindo, La ciudad sumergida. Aristocracia y
plebe, Lima (1760-1830) (Lima:Mosca Azul, 1984).

Martin demonstratesjust how importanttheir interaction with legal and

writtenculturewas in Lima between 1650 and 1700.18Togetherthese stud-
ies establishthe crucialrole Afro-Peruviansplayed in every aspect of Lima's
colonial life and the need to continue the efforts to understandthe personal
and communalgoals thatmotivatedtheir actions and interactionswith other
groups in colonial society.

In this article,consideringthe place of Afro-Peruviansin Inquisitionand

extirpationcampaignsin Lima allows us to explore aspects of black agency
and interethnicrelationsin the earlyAfricanexperiencein Lima. The promi-
nence and activities of Lima's black ritual specialists lead us to question
interpretationsof Afro-Peruviansas primarilyconduits of Hispanic culture
and values. Although typically associated with Spaniardsand American-
born Spanish colonists, Lima's African immigrantsand their descendants
also labored with, and learned from individuals of various African and
Andean ethnic groups. In orderto attractclients and expand their networks
in multiethnic neighborhoods, Afro-Peruvian experts in healing, ritual
cleansing, and amatoryor love magic selectively combined variousmagical
traditions,inadvertentlybecoming culturalmediatorsand helping to estab-
lish a unique colonial culture in Andean cities. This urban culture under
Spanish rule both emphasizedthe crossing of multiple ethnic lines for pur-
poses of ritualproblem-solving,while at the same time continuingto retain
importantethno-racialdistinctions outside of these circles. In the coastal
viceregal capital of Lima and Peru's other colonial centers, Afro-Peruvian
magical specialists resembled other groups of cultural mediators, such as
those who producedand sold food and drink in marketplaces,taverns, and
dry-goods stores.19In both forums,each groupof mediatorsdeveloped ways

18 Jose Ram6nJouve Martin,Esclavos de la ciudad letrada: Esclavitud,escrituray colonialismo en

Lima (1650-1700) (Lima: Institutode Estudios Peruanos,2005). For individualand collective efforts to
secure manumissionand abolition in late colonial and early republicanPeru see: ChristineHiinefeldt,
Paying the Price of Freedom:Family and Labor among Lima'sSlaves, 1800-1854 (Berkeley:University
of California Press, 1994); Fernandode Trazegnies Granda,Ciriaco de Urtecho: Litigantepor amor
(Lima: Pontificia UniversidadCat61licadel Perni,1995); and CarlosAguirre,Agentes de su propia liber-
tad. Los esclavos de Limay la desintegracidnde la esclavitud, 1821-1854 (Lima:PontificiaUniversidad
Cat61licadel Peru, 1993). MarcelVelizquez Castrooffers an equally innovative study of the construction
of the image and discourse about slaves and slavery from the perspective of literary analysis for the
periodfrom 1775 to 1895, Las mdscarasde la representacidn.El sujeto esclavista y las rutasdel racismo
en el Peru'(1775-1895) (Lima: UniversidadNacional Mayor de San Marcos, 2005).
19 Leo J. Garofalo, "La sociabilidad plebeya en las pulperfasy tavernas de Lima y Cusco, 1600-
1690," Mds alld de la dominacidny la resistencia: Ensayos de historiaperuana, eds. Paulo Drinot and
Leo J. Garofalo(Lima: Institutode Estudios Peruanos,2005), pp. 104-135; Leo J. Garofalo,"Labebida
del inca en copas colonials: Los curacasdel mercadode chicha del Cuzco, 1640-1700,"Elites indigenas
en los Andes: Nobles, caciques y cabildantesbajo el yugo colonial, eds. David Cahill and Blanca Tovias
(Quito: Ediciones Abya-Yala,2003), pp. 175-211.

of drawing simultaneously upon the various cultural streams present in

urbanAndean society to markettheir product,without necessarily erasing
the ability to markdifferencesin the process.



As the royal administrativepresence maturedinto an effective colonial

state and the Holy Office was establishedin South America in the late six-
teenth century,the Inquisition'srepresentativesreceived reports of people
engaged in "superstitiousacts"in Peru'smajorurbancenters,particularlyin
the viceregal capital. In Lima in the 1590's, European-and American-born
mulattas and European-bornSpanish women admitted to seeking-with
broken pieces of altar stone and Catholic-style prayers-sources of power
for attractingluck and controlling men. The women questioned agreed on
the general properties of altar stone. By carrying the stone with her, a
woman would enjoy good luck. If she then touched a man, he would desire
her. In order to calm an angry husbandor seduce or marryan eligible but
reluctantman, a woman could grind this potent materialinto a powder and
give it to him in food or chocolate. In one case, a freed black woman born
in Lima (negra horra) colluded with other poor, free black women to use
altar fragments sewn into a sash or in a powdered form to bring material
wealth or secure male partners.These friendsbelieved thatthey could win a
man by kissing him with the fragmentor powder in their mouths and while
invoking its power by saying "sacredaltarfallen from the sky, thrown into
the sea and by the virtue God bestowed upon you, may I be desired and
loved."20 In addition to the altar stone itself, these women borrowed the

These Afro-Peruvianusers of the altarstone and those mentionedabove employed similarwords.
Each mentionedthe altarmaterial'scelestial and wateryorigins, its sacredquality,and its ability to affect
human affections and fortunes.Archivo Historico Nacional (Madrid)(AHN), Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro
1028, "[Relaci6nde causas despachadasde abril 1594 a 14-111-1595],"Lima, 1595, ff. 321-322. The
hechiceriacases againstAna de Castafiedaand Joanade Castafiedain the 1580s and 1590s documentsim-
ilar uses of ara and prayersto Saint Marthafor similarends. Both women continuedtheirwork aftertheir
initial chastisementby the Inquisition:in 1611 and 1612, the two unrelatedmulattasagain found them-
selves accused of amatorymagic and of mixing the sacred with the profane.AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima,
Libro 1029, "Relaqionde las personasque salieronal auto publico de la fee que se qelebropor la Inquisi-
cion del Piruen 10 de deziembredel afio de 600 y de sus causas y de las que se han despachadofuerade
auto desde abrilpassado hasta fin de Marqode 1601," Lima, ff. 4v-5v.; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro
1030, "Relacionde causas despachadasentre 1-V-1613 y 31-111-1614,"f. 20; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima,
Libro 1028, "[Relacionde personasque salieronen el auto de fe 30-XI-1587],"Lima, ff. 180-180v.;AHN,
Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1028, "Relaci6nde causas determinadasen auto publico de fe, domingode Qua-
simodo [5-IV-1592],"Lima, ff. 231v.-233; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1029, "Relaci6n de causas
despachadas...entre 30-IV-1611 hasta 30-IV-1612,"Lima, ff. 478v.-479; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro
1029, "Relaci6nde causas despachadas...[entre 17-VI-1612 hasta 30-IV-1613],"Lima, ff. 499-507.

words of the CatholicCredoandthe prayersto St. Marthaand the Holy Trin-

ity. In the 1580s and 1590s, Afro-Peruvianwomen believed in St. Martha's
capacity to intercede on women's behalf and make men "as tame and
humble as Christ coming to the cross."21 Strikingly similar activities
appearedin highlandcities, too, amongAfro-Peruvian,Spanish-born,Span-
ish creole, and mestiza women. They used these Church-derivedwords and
materialsfor theiramorousends and in clandestineeffortsto placateunfaith-
ful or violent spouses for themselves or female clients.22

In this initial periodin the sixteenth-century,Afro-Peruvianmagicalprac-

tices in urban areas most resembled southernIberianbeliefs. Not surpris-
ingly, many of the women involved as ritualistshad grown up in the Span-
ish and PortugueseAtlantic slave system. Many had lived in Cape Verde,
Lisbon, or Seville, or were born in these cities and their surroundingtowns
to enslaved or free mothers from Africa, and European or Afro-Iberian
fathers. Several witnesses and defendants,including Spaniards,testified to
the importanceof learning ritual practices in Seville or from women who
were raisedin that greatcity. Indeed,for the CatholicChurchand the Span-
ish Inquisitionmore specifically, this famous gateway to the Americas rep-
resentedsomethingof a blot on the religious body of the Peninsula.Located
in Andalusia, Seville once sheltered Muslims and Jews. Even after the
expulsions and forced conversionsof these groups,many families and com-
munities of uncertainfaith remainedor moved to Portugueseports or Por-
tuguese holdings overseas. Furthermore,the concurrence of merchants,
sailors, and otherforeignersin the portraisedfears in the Holy Office about
the introductionof Protestantism.23 The Inquisition'ssuspicions found con-

21 In popular Iberian traditionduring the early Catholic Reformation,the faithful considered St.
Martha,the sister of Maria Magdalena,the female conquerorof the tyrannicaldragon-man-devil.Ana
Sanchez, "Mentalidadpopular frente a ideologifaoficial," ed. Enrique Urbano, Poder en los Andes
(Cuzco: CentroBartolom6de Las Casas, 1991), pp. 50-5 1; Nanda Leonardiniand PatriciaBorda, Dic-
cionario inconogrdficoreligioso peruano (Lima: RubicanEditores, 1996), p. 172.
22 AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1028, "Relaci6nde causas determinadasen el auto publico de fe

celebradodomingo de quiasimodo5-IV-1592-y de otras determinadasfuera de auto hasta 16-V-1592,"

Lima, 1592, ff. 233-235, 262-262v., 282-282v.
23 Henry Kamen, Inquisition and Society in Spain in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
(Bloomington:IndianaUniversity Press, 1985); Henry Kamen,Spain, 1469-1714: A Society of Conflict
(New York:Longman, 1991); Antonio Dominguez Ortizand BernardVincent,Historia de los moriscos.
Vida y tragedia de una minoria (Madrid:Biblioteca de la Revista de Occidente, 1978); Luis Garcia
Ballester,Los moriscos y la medicina. Un capitulo de la medicinay la ciencia marginadasen la Espaiia
del siglo XVI (Barcelona:Labor Universitaria,1984); Ricardo GarciaCircel, Herejia y sociedad en el
siglo XVI:La Inquisicidnen Valencia,1530-1609 (Barcelona:Ediciones Peninsula, 1980); Jos6 R. Abas-
cal y Sainz, Brujeriay Magia (Evasiones del pueblo andaluz) (Seville: Foundaci6nBlas Infante, 1984);
Stephen Haliczer,Inquisitionand Society in the Kingdomof Valencia,1478-1834 (Berkeley:University
of CaliforniaPress, 1990). In the Novelas ejemplares,Miguel de Cervantesincorporatedthe stories he

firmation in a vibrant community of sophisticatedritual specialists, who,

despite Churchhostility, continued to flourish in Seville and inspired the
spread of their practices to the Americas.24Lisbon and Seville-and more
generally southern Iberia-stood out as the source for many Peruvian
colonists' beliefs and practices,particularlyin the 1580s and 1590s.

Enslavedpeople's effortsto performand maintainotherceremoniesfaced

stiff opposition in Peru. In the late sixteenth century, Lima's municipal
authoritiesand ecclesiastical courts cooperatedsuccessfully in suppressing
drumming,dancing, and virtuallyevery other attemptby people of African
descent to gatherpublicly.Religious confraternitiesunderthe supervisionof
priests and friars may have provided more leeway for preservingelements
of Afro-Peruvianceremonies, as special efforts were made to understand
and evangelize African populationsarrivingto and living up and down the
Andes.25In the 1580s and 1590s, Afro-Peruvianbeliefs regardingthe super-
naturalseemed to experiencea betterchance of survivaland transmissionin
the context of hidden IberianandAfricanpracticesalreadyin the process of
changing and flowing throughthe Atlantic world and into the Americas.

Indigenousinfluences on African and Europeanimmigrants'urbanmagi-

cal practices, likewise, remained weak in the sixteenth century,except in
ruralareas. Where colonists lived in greaterisolation from the developing
urban society, Native Andean diviners and curers found believers among
immigrants.Along with amatorymagic, divinationrapidlybroughtcolonists
to consult indigenous practitioners,particularlyin heavily indigenous rural
areas.However,the non-Indianclients still treatedNative Andeanspecialists
as expertsin a body of knowledgethey deemed separatefrom theirown, and
rarelyattemptedto learnor copy theircraft.For example, a Spanishcleric in
a ruralIndianparishbelieving thattwo pieces of silver plate had been stolen
from him, fully assentedto the authorityof an ethnic chief, consultingan old

heardabout a famous and historic witch in the Andalusiancountryside,a region where he worked as a
procurerfor the Spanish Armada.Alvaro Huerga, "El proceso inquisitorialcontra la Camanch,"Cer-
vantes su obra y su mundo,ed. Manuel Criadode Val (Madrid:EDI S.A., 1981); Miguel de Cervantes,
Novelas ejemplares,v. 2, ed. HarrySieber (Madrid:Ediciones Caitedra,1985).
24 AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1028, "Relaci6nde causas...,"Lima, 1592, ff. 233-235.
Religious strategiesto classify, evangelize, and controlAfricansin Spanish SouthAmericacan be
found in Alonso de Sandoval, De InstaurandaAethiopumSalute, ed. EnriquetaVila Vilar (Madrid:
Alianza Editorial, 1987) and Diego de Avendatio,ThesaurusIndicus, trans.Angel Mufioz Garcia(Pam-
plona: Universidadde Navarra,2001). Many examples of the extraordinaryand day-to-dayrestrictions
appearin the Librosde cabildo de Lima, 14 libros, ed. JuanBromley (Lima:Torres-Aguirre,1942-1963)
and in the unpublished"Librosde Cedulas y Provisiones de Lima"and "Librosde Cabildo de Lima"in
the Archivo Municipal de Lima. Restrictions and their violations and enforcement are analyzed in
Bowser, TheAfrican Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650, and Harth-Terr6, Negros e indios.

Indian woman about the silver's whereabouts.Meanwhile, in anotherhigh-

land village, an encomenderasought the local priest's aid to find an Indian
herbalistwho could help her locate missing household items and determine
the cause of her illness. Anotherruralpriest boasted of possessing his own
indigenous "witch"for consultations.All of these cases point to sixteenth-
century efforts by colonists who were isolated in the countrysideto enlist
Native Andean authoritiesand specialists to help restore good health and
missing property.In moments of personal crisis or need, these immigrant
clients even accepted indigenous theories about divination or disease. For
example, they came to believe (at least on the surface)that social disequilib-
rium, such as adultery,caused bodily illness.26Notably, these immigrants
avoided attemptingto personallyreplicatethe magical services renderedto
them. Instead they hired or manipulatedthese indigenous specialists and
eventuallycountedthem among theirotherhouseholdservantsand retainers.

Signs of this same phenomenonof seeking indigenousspecialists for spe-

cific tasks also appearedin Lima amongAfro-Peruvians.Born in Chile to an
Indian mother (described simply as an "india")and a black father (negro)
but living in Lima's port,Callao, at the end of the 1500s, the forty-five-year-
old Joana de Castafiedareached out to Lima's indigenous population for
help in solving life's problems,but withouttryingto masteror transmitthese
teachings herself. To improve her chicha corn beer sales, for instance, she
enlisted the aid of indigenous men whom she called hechiceros (sorcerers).
They gave her special herbs to rub on her earthenjugs that were filled with
chicha so that the corn beer would sell well.27Her networkof contacts with
native hechiceros was facilitated by the settlement patternsof indigenous
migrantsthroughoutthe city of Lima and its neighboringtowns. Despite the
efforts of the Spanish government,indigenous people resided amongst peo-
ples of African descent, just as in the countryside blacks resided among
Andeans in their communities.28In short,however, duringthe first phase of

26 AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1027, "[Relaci6nde causas que se han sentenciadosy determina-
dos desde IV-1580 hasta IV-1581],"Lima, f. 149v.;AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1027, "[Relaci6nde
causas que se han sentenciados desde 10-III-1571 hasta 12-11-1573],"Lima, ff. 6v., 16v., 36; AHN,
Inquisici6n, Lima, Procesos de f6, Leg. 1647, Doc. 19, "Informaci6ncontraDofia Ines de Villalobos y
Dofia Francisca de Villalobos, su hermana,sobre sospechas de supersticiones, hechisas," Huamanga,
1588, ff. 38v.-40v.
AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1029, "Relaqion...[10-XII-1600to IV-1601]," Lima, f. 5v.
28 Miguel de Contreras,Padrdn de los indios que se hallaron en la ciudad de Los Reyes del Peru'
hecho en virtud de comision del excelentisimo de Montesclaro Virreyde el, ed. Noble
David Cook (Lima: Universidad Nacional Mayor San Marcos, 1968 [1613-1614]); Teresa Vergara
Ormefio, "Migraci6ny trabajofemenino a principios del siglo XVII: El caso de las Indias de Lima,"
Hist6rica (Lima) 21:1 (July 1997), pp. 135-157; Paul J. Charney, "El indio urbano: un anilisis
econ6mico y social de la poblaci6n india de Lima en 1613,"Histdrica (Lima) 12:1 (1988), pp. 5-31.

Peru's urbanwitchcraftfrom 1580 to 1600, Afro-Peruviansand other city

residents' tentativeuse of indigenous techniques for bringing good fortune
and divining remained indirect-in Native Andean hands-and coexisted
with ritualpracticesof Iberianorigin.

Cases triedbefore secularauthoritiesin the sixteenthcenturyconfirmthis

general pattern,or at least a patternof accusationsclaiming that indigenous
people were the practitionersof sorcerycontractedby others, especially by
Afro-Peruvians.In Lima, for example, the slave Sim6n (labelednegro in the
documents)was accusedby his owner andothersof going to an Indianhealer
called Poma with soil collected from the places his masterhad stepped and
wool from his pillow, in order to change in his master's angry behavior
towardhim.29In anothercase, a priest estrangedfrom the favor of the new
Viceroy Francisco de Toledo followed the court to Cuzco. Here, he either
tried to affect a reconciliation,accordingto some witnesses, or to harmthe
Viceroy, accordingto others. Either way, he allegedly consulted a woman
identified as a free black (morena horra) pastry maker who had lived in
Cuzco for thirtyyears to put him into contactwith an indigenouswoman that
could eithermagically win back the Viceroy's favor,or poison him.30

Catholicism provided anothersource of supernaturalpower for colonial

ritualists.By incorporatingaltar stone and appealingto St. Marthain their
ceremonies, Afro-Peruviansand other immigrantsembraced Catholicism;
but they did so in ways thatblended the sacredwith the profane.Afro-Peru-
vians turnedto both altarstone and St. Marthaas importantsourcesof Chris-
tian supernaturalaid when addressingconcernssuch as marriage,pregnancy,
economic support, and respectful treatment.Women of African heritage
relied upon the altar stone's association with Catholic mass and its central
location in the church to bring them beneficial relationships.31They also

29 Also includedin this residenciais the testimonyof dofia Ines, wife of Franciscode Ampuero,who

sought help from an indigenous women, Ylonga Yanque,to stop her husband'sbeatings. AGI, Justicia,
451, "La querellade FranciscoSanchez cirujanoante el licenciadoCepeda sobre que dice que un negro
suyo le quiso matarcon hechizos con induzimientode unas indias,"in "Residenciatomadade los licen-
ciados Diego Vizquez Cepeda,... [1549]," 1547, ff. 623r.-623v., 877-889r.
30 AGI, Lima, 300, "Informaci6ncontrael PadreLuna sobre haberquerido darhechizos a su Exce-
lencia," 1571, ff. 2r.-20v.
31 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1028, "[Relaci6n de causas despachadasde abril 1594 a 14-111-

1595]," Lima, 1595, ff. 321-322; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1029, "Relaqionde las personas que
salieron al auto publico de la fee que se gelebro por la Inquisiciondel Piru en 10 de deziembredel afio
de 600 y de sus causas y de las que se han despachadofuera de auto desde abril passado hasta fin de
Marqo de 1601," Lima, ff. 4v-5v.; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1030, "Relacion de causas
despachadasentre I-V-1613 y 31-111-1614,"f. 20; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1028, "[Relacion de
personasque salieronen el auto de fe 30-XI-1587]," Lima, ff. 180-180v.;AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro

believed in utilizing andchannelingthe sacredpower of Catholicprayersand

Churchitems to empowertheirown lives. The Church,of course, objectedto
Afro-Peruvians' claims of holding privileged Christian power, and the
mixing of Catholicicons and sacredmaterialswith ordinaryfood, drink,and
bodily fluids. The Inquisitionused fines, whippings, public shaming, and
exile to punish magical practitioners,but scarcely discouragedthe spreadof
popularfaithin the efficacy of these remedies.32Indeed,Afro-Peruvianreme-
dies combining the sacred with the profane enduredthroughoutthe seven-
teenthcenturyand existed in a milieu of numerousfemale intercessors,both
inside and outside of the Church,as highlightedby the case of one of Lima's
famous mystics-the Afro-Peruvianand formerslave, Ursulade Jesus.33
Africantraditionsandunderstandingsalso influencedPeruvianbeliefs and
practices.Many of Lima's Afro-Peruvianspecialists or their parentspassed
throughthe Portugueseand Spanish slave tradingsystems and Iberianports
and Atlantic Islands before reachingthe Andes, making it difficult to deter-
mine the exact origins of their contributionsto the colonial cultureof ritual
practice and healing. Nevertheless, a fundamentalepistemologicalbelief in
the supernatural'srole in causing and combatingillness no doubt informed
African-descentritualists'understandingsof how to recognize and eliminate
the causes of sickness and adversity.Ancestors, deities, and spirits were
ambivalentforces that could either help or harm a person or a whole com-
munity.Trainedritualistshelped manage the relationswith these supernatu-
ral forces and theirimpacton the living. Furthermore,specific techniquesfor
protectionand diviningexisted in west andcentralAfrica and may have been
combinedwith IberianandAndeantechniques.In many cases, specific colo-
nial Andean ritual practices resembledboth African and Native Andean or
Europeanritualpractices.Divining by interpretingthe arrangementof sticks,
beans, or leaves tossed onto the groundor into a liquid, for instance, found
parallelson all threecontinents.34Africantraditions,therefore,quitepossibly

1028, "Relaci6n de causas determinadasen auto publico de fe, domingo de Quasimodo [5-IV-1592],"
Lima, ff. 231lv.-233; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1029, "Relaci6nde causas despachadas...entre 30-
IV-1611 hasta 30-IV-1612," Lima, ff. 478v.-479; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1029, "Relaci6n de
causas despachadas...[entre 17-VI-1612 hasta 30-IV-1613],"Lima, ff. 499-507.
32 Silverblattargues that the rationalizationof the Inquisition'sviolence and the bureaucraticdefin-

ing of these practiceshelped create Spanish imperialismand the modus operandiof the modernstate in
ModernInquisitions,pp. 163-185.
33 van Deusen, Souls of Purgatory,pp. 14-19.

34 These influences are the subjectof on-going researchin Spain, Portugal,and Mexico. For African
influences in Mexico see JoanC. Bristol, "NegotiatingAuthority:Africansand theirDescendantsin Sev-
enteenth-CenturyNew Spain," dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2001; Frank T. Proctor, III,
"Slavery,Identity,and Culture:An Afro-Mexican Counterpoint,1640-1763," dissertation,Emory Uni-
versity, 2003; and the classic study by Gonzalo AguirreBeltrin, Medicinay magia: El proceso de acul-
turacidnen la estructuracolonial (Mexico: Fondo de CulturaEcon6mica, 1963).

contributedboth at an epistemologicallevel and with specific ritualforms in

many cases in colonial Andeancities, and west and centralAfricantraditions
undoubtedlyfound importantresonancesand parallelsin Iberianand Native
Andeantraditionsin the sixteenthcentury.

In the 1580s and 1590s, what the Inquisitioncalled incidentsof witchcraft

and superstitionin the viceroyalty's majorcities involved mainly Hispanic
or African women and men. Their practices most obviously drew heavily
upon a rich store of Iberianfolk knowledge transportedto the Americas by
immigrantsand colonists' Europeanpredecessors.Among these Iberiantra-
ditions, southernSpanishinfluences stood out. By the late sixteenth-century,
amatorymagic and divinationbecame mainstaysof urbanAndean people's
magical and ritual methods of meeting pressing needs and allaying uncer-
tainty. In this first period, colonists and African immigrants and their
descendants consulted indigenous practitionersof divination and amatory
magic; but they treatedthe Native Andeans as the possessors of specialized
knowledge that non-indigenouspeople neitherpresumedto understandnor
tried to replicate.35


In the early seventeenth century, however, a partial Andeanization of

select rites and rituals occurred. Individuals within Lima's Afro-Peruvian
populationexperimentedmore confidently with Native Andean methods of
predictingthe future, discovering the unknown, and returningharmonyto
relations between men and women. Longer, more sustained associations
between Native Andeans and blacks in the city's neighborhoodsand house-
holds seem partially to account for the skilled specialists' new confidence
with indigenous knowledge. In this second period, the fundamentalcharac-
teristics of Lima's witchcraft universe from the first period-a focus on
amatorymagic and divinationand the favoring of southernSpain's magical
traditions--did not disappear.Of course along with city officials, Lima's
Churchfeared negative spiritualconsequences from the increasingcultural
and racial proximity of the indigenous and non-Indianpopulations in the
city and, therefore, the Archbishop and the Inquisitors felt compelled to
launch anti-idolatrycampaigns in the countryside and an anti-superstition
campaignin Lima.

35 For sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuryMexico, Laura Lewis argues that blacks mediated the
power of witchcraftbetween Indiansand the Spanish,Hall of Mirrors:Power Witchcraft,and Caste in
Colonial Mexico (Durham:Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 132-166.

In the Peruvian viceroyalty's major cities, men and women-although

primarilywomen--employed special baths, fetishes, and potions to be con-
sumed by the object of affection.While these activities incorporatedIberian
magical elements, in seventeenth-centuryLima they also took on increas-
ingly strongAndean attributes.This partialAndeanizationof select rites and
ritualaids took place as the casta or "mixed-race"and plebeian populations
underthe purview of the Santo Oficio grew, and as Afro-Peruvianritualspe-
cialists experimentedmore boldly.

In the early seventeenthcentury,ritualspecialists begin to identify multi-

ple sources of inspirationfor their acts. The mulattaMariade Bribiescas in
Lima's port of Callao provides a useful example. Born in Panama, Bribi-
escas grew up in Lima where a multi-ethnicgroupof women taughther dif-
ferent ways of influencingpeople's desires and of predictingthe future.For
instance, when Bribiescas sought help at moments of crisis in her own life,
a certaindofia Petronillade Saldafiainstructeda jealous Bribiescas on how
to predict in a glass of water,her futurewith a lover who absconded steal-
ing her clothes. Meanwhile, her mulattafriend Marqelashowed her how to
use a rosary to accuratelydeterminea lover's returnand a mestiza named
Juana Diaz, along with a Galician woman, explained the "suerte de las
habas." Through this process, broad beans (habas), charcoal, salt, and a
lodestone were randomlytossed onto a floor and their scatteredarrangement
carefully interpreted.Finally, an Indianwoman instructedher in furtherrit-
uals and spells. By 1628, Bribiescas had mastered these techniques and
became a resourceto other women seeking similar aid.36

In the 1620s and 1630s, ritual cleansing proved to be a point in which

common pan-Andeantraditionsinfluenced a multi-ethnic group of urban
practitionersof amatorymagic. In one case, a woman asked for Bribiescas's
help in taming (amansar) her husbandwho was mistreatingher. Bribiescas
gave the aggrieved wife baths with differentherbs and maize while reciting
certainwords to herself and rubbinga guinea pig over the supplicant'sbody.
Both the baths and the use of a guinea pig to rituallyclean and re-empower
a body figuredprominentlyin the accountsof pre-Columbianand post-Con-
quest indigenous rituals.The practiceassumed that the guinea pig absorbed
the illness or impuritythat afflicted a person or broughton their affliction.
By slaughteringand then examining the internalorgansof the guinea pig, a
Native Andean healer might even succeed in pinpointingthe cause of sick-
ness or social imbalance. There is no indication that Bribiescas killed the

AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1030, "[Relaci6nde causas de 1631]," Lima, 1631, ff. 383v.-386;
AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1028, Lima, ff. 522-523v.

guinea pig or aspiredto be able to read its entrails;nonetheless, it is note-

worthy that she had learned and employed this rite along with her ample
store of European-styledivination practices (interpretingglasses of water,
rosaries, and invoking various saints and a heavenly choir). The baths on
Monday,Wednesday,and Friday with select herbs and other additives con-
stituted a practice of shared Andean and Iberian ancestry. Both cultures
placed importance on this form of cleansing and divining to improve a
person's lot in life. Bribiescas sought to secure a spouse's affability, love,
and economic supportfor her clients.37The presence of maize in particular
baths points to an Andean inspirationfor Bribiescas's version of this cere-
mony or at least her willingness to incorporatehighly valued Andean ele-
ments. In short, European and indigenous traditions coexisted and were
carefullyjuxtaposed in Bribiescas's repertoire,and in the kinds of services
specialists in the 1620s and 1630s were typically expected to provide.

When elaboratingher testimony before the Holy Office's commissioner

in Callao, and later before the Inquisitionjudges in their tribunalhall, Bri-
biescas often referredto both indigenous and Catholic sources of her power.
The indigenous sources included the knowledge she culled from her female
teachersand the Andean sacrificialitems featuredso prominentlyin her rit-
uals: she used guinea pigs to dispel evil and rejuvenateher subjects; she
offered chicha to a desiccatedbird;and she even called upon the strengthof
the sun. Perhaps,like her fellow specialists in Lima, she began to replace
powdered altar stone with ground seashells in her rituals, a sacred item in
Andean ceremonies. Yet, Bribiescas and her clients also believed her to be
able to mobilize specific saints and even Christhimself with special prayers
and invocations. Conjuringwith broadbeans, for instance, derived efficacy
from calling upon them in the name of Christ. Meanwhile, Bribiescas also
was known to repeat prayers to St. Peter and St. John three times over
glasses of water, egg, and wine covered with a handkerchief;she also rec-
ommendedthat her clients employ a rosaryand pray the Credo. Despite her
deviant Christianpractices, her being the mother of illegitimate children,
and the blatant disapproval she incurredfrom the Inquisition, Bribiescas
faithfully identified herself as a baptized Christianwoman who dutifully
confessed each year.38For Bribiescas and other urbanspecialists of this era,
tentative experimentation with Andean products did not entail an automatic

37 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1030, "[Relaci6n...],"Lima, 1631, ff. 383v.-386; AHN, Inquisi-

ci6n, Lima, Libro 1030, "[Relaci6nde las causas despachadasen el auto publico que se celebro en al
capilla de la Inquisici6nde Lima en 27-11-1631],"Lima, 1631, ff. 373v.-377v., 380-383v.
38 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1030, "[Relaci6n de las causas... 27-11-1631],"Lima, 1631, ff.

rejection of Christianityor even foregoing participationin the rites of the

Catholic community.39

Bribiescastypifiedmanyof the otherAfro-Peruvianwomen broughtbefore

the Inquisitionunderthe suspicionof witchcraftin the 1620s and the 1630s.
She found multiplesources of inspirationin Andeanand Hispanictraditions,
practicesshe made strongerby her ferventCatholicconvictionin the willing-
ness of her God and the saints to intervene-when properlyrequested-to
changeevents on Earth,or to at least help her predictthe course and outcome
of those events.40 She disagreedwith the Inquisitionover the proprietyof her
requestsand her associationof sacredprayersand personageswith profane
everydayobjects such as eggs, handkerchiefs,and broadbeans.
Fearful of the popularityof these practices and the prominenceof Afro-
Peruvianand otherritualists,Lima's Inquisitionissued a particularlythreat-
ening edict of faith in 1629. It warnedof the city's dire spiritualsituationand
called upon all Limefios to confess attackson the faith, or to denounce the
attacks made by others. The overwhelming response stymied the Holy
Office's capacity to effectively investigate, prosecute, and punish the
tremendousnumberof recently identified plebeian-class ritualistsand par-
ticipants. Therefore,Lima's Inquisitiondeclared the majorityof these acts
"superstition"(i.e. requiringless vigorous prosecution)and limited itself to
catching the most renownedmagical specialists that came to its notice.41
The flowering of religious and ritual activity paralleled and intersected
with an expansion in the opportunitiesand forms of petty commerce and
daily consumption.Both small-scale productionand marketing,as well as
religion and ritual, opened up creative cultural spaces in urbanlife. In the
first half of the seventeenth century, blacks' engagement with Native
Andeans and their economic activities deepened. Afro-Peruviansmastered
and transmittedNative Andean practices and technologies (such as chicha
brewing).They also appropriatedcertainprofessions that broughtthem into
permanentcontactwith indigenousproducers-fish mongeringfor instance.

39 By contrast,Ruth Behar found in seventeenth-and eighteen-centuryMexican Inquisitionaltrails

that women more frequentlyagreed with judges and denouncedtheir ritualand magical acts as unchris-
tian and illegitimateuses of power. RuthBehar,"SexualWitchcraft,Colonialism, and Women'sPowers:
Views from the Mexican Inquisition,"Sexualityand Marriage in Colonial LatinAmerica, ed. Asunci6n
Lavrin,2nd ed. (Lincoln and London:University of NebraskaPress, 1989), pp. 178-206.
40 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1030, "[Relaci6n de las causas... 27-11-1631],"Lima, 1631, ff.
41 Jose ToribioMedina,Historia del Tribunalde la Inquisicidnde Lima (1569-1820), v. 2 (Santiago:
Fondo Hist6rico y Bibliogrifico, 1956), pp. 34-40; Castafiedaand Hernandez,La Inquisicidnde Lima,
v. 1, pp. 369-374.

In addition,blacks came to run many commercialestablishmentsof Iberian

origin (such as pulperias) as sites for socializing, granting loans, offering
mutualaid, andeven engaging in prohibitedceremonies.Even underChurch
auspices, Afro-Peruviansfound places to congregate that shielded them
from the municipal constables. They formed confraternitiesand organized
elaboratefuneralprocessions thatprovidedthem with opportunitiesto com-
bine and reinvent distinct culturaltraditions.42It is importantto stress that
Afro-Peruvianeconomic and ritual activities/associationsnot only helped
ensure their own survival in the colonial system, but also helped to better
unite the Andean city's various populations in common enterprises.The
Crown's efforts to normalizeunsanctionedeconomic activity throughvari-
ous composiciones, and the Church's efforts to normalize unsanctioned
ritualactivityby dismissing it as "superstition"or channelingit throughcon-
fraternities,allowed a degree of flexibility in city life for all populations.In
the following decades, Afro-Peruvianritualistsexploited this flexibility to
move themselves and othersin the city to createnew colonial symbols, con-
cepts, and ritualpractices.



From the 1650s until the end of the century,Afro-Peruvianritualspecial-

ists helped colonial urbanmagic blossom by incorporatingNative Andean
coca, Inca symbolism, newly introducedalcoholic drinks,and pre-Hispanic
remainsinto theirpractices.For non-Indians,embracingcoca and a defeated
Indianleaderin theirculturalpracticeswas a surprisingdevelopment.In the
sixteenthcentury,the colonial state had designatedthe stimulantcoca as fit
only for sustaining Indians' grueling manual labor in the mines. By the
beginningof the 1600s, most missionaries-especially those in Lima--den-
igrated coca as "dirty" and "vice-ridden"whenever the leaf was used
socially, or as a ritual item. Consequently,the incorporationof coca chew-
ing, divination,and medicine into the daily social routineand magical prac-
tices of Lima's diverse, non-Indianpopulationwas unexpected.Not only did
manyAfro-Peruviansand othernon-Indiansaccused of witchcraftin the late
seventeenth century personally employ Native Andean techniques to
unleash supernaturalor personalpower, but they also attributedthe efficacy
of these ritualaids to the items' Andeanorigins and their indigenousor Inca
associations. Stripping away the cultural validity of Native Andeans, remov-

42 Bowser, African Slave, pp. 247-251: Jean-PierreTardieu.L'Eglise et les noir aul Pdrou (Paris:

ing their leaders' legitimacy, and segregating the indigenous population

from other groups had been cornerstonesof the colonial model of Spanish
administrationin the Andes since the 1500s. Yet by the 1650s and 1660s,
Afro-Peruviansguided other city residentsprecisely to the indigenous cul-
turalconnections that colonial rulershad hoped they would shun.

However, during this third period of Afro-Peruvianritual genesis the

strategies used to comprehend the occult and surreptitiously influence
human relations and fortunes shifted away from more clearly defined
"indigenous"or "Peninsular"origins, to more hybridizedstyles and colonial
sources of inspiration.This shift includedemploying the power of new colo-
nial drinksand tobacco to transformbehaviorand a person's state. Fromthe
1650s to the 1690s, Afro-Peruvianritual specialists found effective ways to
appeal to a wider range of clients and to intervenein their lives by conjur-
ing with colonial versions of coca, invoking the reinvented figure of the
Inca, and utilizing brandyor cane alcohol.

Over the course of the seventeenthcentury,coca ritualsand Inca invoca-

tions evolved to form the core of strategiesemployed by Lima's ritual spe-
cialists for resolving specific kinds of personalproblems.The popularization
of coca from the1650s until an ecclesiasticalcampaignto suppressthe leaf's
urbanuse in1666 focused on three interrelatedritual activities. First, many
specialists and non-specialistgroups masticatedcoca in intimatesocial set-
tings comprisingsmall groupsor pairs.Second, when chewing the leaf, users
focused on sensing changesin the taste or textureof the coca in theirmouths.
Third, when revealing the unknownor predictingthe future,coca ritualists
attemptedto decipherfigures and motion in the masticatedleaf once it was
spit into a basin of water or wine. For example, Ana de Ulloa, a daughterof
a Spaniardand a mulatta,convertedcoca into a focal point of her social inter-
actions with a group of friends. In the evenings, de Ulloa and her daughter
regularlymet with a Spanishwoman and her acquaintancesto socialize and
chew coca. Using coca and tobacco, togetherthe friends divined the resolu-
tion of personalaffairs.43Over time, Spanish creole women followed Afro-
Peruvianwomen into taking leading roles in coca circles and in promoting
the use of the leaf for divination. Their groups included Afro-Peruvian
women and other Spanish creoles; and they employed masticatedcoca to
summonmen to love them, to improvetheir fortunes,and to ferretout sick-
ness. In group settings, coca use facilitated personal connections with the
supernaturalin orderto allay everydaydilemmas.

43 AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde causas de Fe," Lima, 1666, ff. 508-509v., 527-

The specialistsin coca divinationselaboratedupon EuropeanandAndean

methods of prediction.The practices described above included the use of
liquid-filled basins and glasses or vials of water hailing from Iberiantradi-
tions. Lima's specialists also followed more indigenous patterns, such as
reading masticatedcoca juice that they spit on their hands or into a pot of
boiling liquid. Or they simply burnedcoca leaves andotheritems in a candle
or other flame.44Both forms of techniques centered upon activating the
power of Andeancoca and decipheringits messages for the purposeof solv-
ing men and women's personalproblems.
However, when dealing with membersof the opposite sex, women gen-
erally tended to gathermore frequentlyto chew coca in a man's name. Typ-
ically they sought to bring back an errantand stray husbandor lover, seek-
ing to keep him dedicated to treating his wife and children with love and
providing for their materialsupport.45For example, dofia Luisa de Vargas,
an Afro-Peruvianinnkeeperand native of Lima, masticatedcoca to returna
man to her with amatorymagic. She spoke to her coca, "Mamamia, coca
mia, I chew not you, but the heartof fulano as many turns as I give you in
my mouth, you give his heart,as ground,as I grindyou in my mouth,bring
him to me without sleep, without eating unrested,Inca."Womenmight also
ask the chewed coca to lift the curse of a husband'sjealousy.46Men knew
about and often feared the coca magic that was mobilized against them by
women and Afro-Peruvianspecialists; their awarenessmade the practition-
ers' acts all the more effective.

Coca consumptionprovideda forum for colonial women to consult with

each otherand, in this sense, offered a degree of social solidarityamong city
residents.In one case, a mestiza and a black slave met in a Callao corn-beer
tavern to chew coca and consider the prospects of the younger woman
reuniting with her beau. In another instance, an Afro-Peruvianpulpera
(operatorof dry-goods and wine shop) hosted a group of three Spanishcre-
oles and anotherblack woman in her fish-marketstreet pulperfato chew
coca together.47Such groups customarily focused their attention on the

44 GuamanPoma de Ayala, El primer nueva crdnica y buen gobierno, v. 1, eds. John Murra,Rolena
Adorno, and Jorge Urioste (Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno, 1980), pp. 247 (274)[276], 251 (278)[280];
Arriaga,La extirpacidn,pp. 97, 135, 137.
45 AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1032, "[Relaci6nde las causas de fe pendientesen el Santo Oficio
de la Inquisici6ndel Peru en 1655]," Lima, 1655, f. 389v.
46 AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1032, " 1692- 1696,"Lima, 1696, [case begins 1689,

auto in 1693], ff. 383.

47 AAL, Hechicerfas, Leg. 7, Exp. 1, "Proceso de ser hechicera y supersticiosa contra Juana
Bernarda,mestiza tuerta, que vive en la casa que era del regidor Figueroa,"Lima, 1669, f. 6; AAL,
Hechicerfas,Leg. 6, Exp. 13, "CausacontraClarade Ledesma, mulata,por bruja,"Lima, 1668, ff. 1-7.

person with greatest ritual knowledge, but among gatheringsof non-spe-

cialists, the woman with the greatestcharismaor imaginationfor using coca
to entertainthe group might hold sway. Coca consumptionserved to bring
women together within a distinctive hierarchy that was based upon a
woman's ability to manipulateand read the leaves.48

Coca consumptionmay have also facilitated bridging social divides. A

poor, Afro-Peruvianwidow in Lima, not even a specialist, gatheredpeople
in her home to chew coca. The gatheringsalso includednuns, but sometimes
proxies masticatedthe coca on behalf of more "respectable"women. The
proxy and two otherwomen formeda separatecoca circle thateven included
an unnamedman who workedfor the Holy Office of the Inquisition!49 Like
sharinga meal or drink,or as in the coca exchange (hallpay)between kin or
equals among Native Andeans today, Lima's colonial coca sessions often
fostered a medium of cooperationand conviviality.

By masticatingcoca in a group, social coca chewers retrievedloved ones,

bestowed wealth and esteem, and harmedenemies or rivals. Lone specialists
and women's coca circles respectfully conjuredthe force in the herb itself
and of the Inca whose empirethey imaginedhad reveredthe stimulant.With
careful propriety,specialists and their apprenticesstrokedand caressed the
leaves, lovingly murmuring"coca mia, madre mia" and invoked both the
leaf and the Inca in deferentialtones. For the coca's help in bringing a man
to her clients, an Afro-Peruvianwoman (quarterona)from the city of Pisco
south of Lima reportedlychanted:

My coca, my master,my darling,my beloved,I conjureyou in the nameof

(andrefersto thesaidman)althoughI conjurecocamine,I do notconjurefor
the said(herethe saidname)I conjurewiththe lamedevil,beinglighter,to
bringhim in a flightto whereverI mightbe: I conjureyou withthe earthin
whichtheyplantedyou withthe waterwithwhichtheywateredyou,withthe
mattockwithwhichtheydugyou,withthe sunthatdriedyou,withthemoon
andstarthatilluminated youmy CocaI conjureyou withtheInca,withallhis

48 ANH, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031, Lima, 1664, ff. 487-487v.; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Proce-
sos de F6, Leg. 1648, Doc. 18, "Relaci6nde Causas despachadasentre 16-II-1659 y 8-VII-1660 y auto
publico de 23-1-1664,"ff. 51v.-56.
49 ANH, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde las causas... VII-1660 hasta X-1662," Lima,
1662, 487-487v., 494-501v.; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Procesosde F6, Leg. 1648, Doc. 18, "Relaci6n...,"
Lima, 1664, ff. 31v.-53v., 56-58v.
50 "Coca mia, iaia mia, queridamia, amada mia, io te conjuro en nombre de (i refierie a el dicho
hombre) aunque te conjuro coca mia, no te conjuro a el dicho (aqui el dicho nombre) conjuro con el
diablo cojuelo, por ser mas lijero, que lo traigaen un vuelo donde io estubiere:io te conjurocon la tierra

Variationson invokingthe Inca abounded.One includedtoastinghim with

wine and calling upon him in Quechuato be beloved as he was by men and
women, and to be wealthyas he was afterdiscoveringgold and silver.Other
verbalpetitionsin the 1650sofferedto baptizehim withwine to replacethe holy
waterhe had never received.Some specialistscalled him "Incadon Melchor
Sara."Whenpeeringinto a basinfilled with coca and wine, they even claimed
to see the Incaastridea horseandaccompaniedby his wife dofiaIsabel.51Prais-
ing the coca leaf and its inherentpower (talkingabout its growing, harvest,
drying,andpacking),andinvokingthe Incaandhis officialconsortas beingrep-
resentativeof indigenousnobilityand power,constitutedimportantfeaturesof
ritualceremonyduringthis periodandcontinuedinto the 1690s.52

The production of unique colonial drinks and the looting of Andean

tombs offered additionalopportunitiesfor ritual innovation and for better

en que te sembraroncon el agua con que te regaron,con la lampa con que te cabaron,con el sol que te
seco, con la luna y estrella que te alumbroCoca mia io te conjurocon el inga, con todos sus basallos y
sequaqes...."AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1032, "[Relaci6nde las causas de fe pendientesen el Santo
Oficio de la Inquisici6ndel Peru en 1655]," Lima, 1655, f. 383; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031,
"Relaci6n de un auto particularde Fe que se qelebro en la yglesia de el hospital y del Collegio de la
Charidadque esta en la Plaza de la Inquisici6nen 16-11-1666,"Lima, 1666, f. 531; AAL, Hechicerifasy
Idolatrias,Leg. 6, Exp. 10, "Proceso contra hecha de oficio contra Alonso Carillo, negro, verdugo,"
Lima, 1669, f. 6; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6nde las causas de fe, que se han sen-
tenciado en el Santo Oficio de la Inquisici6ndel Peru desde... VI-1672 que la haze el Senor Inquisidor
Doctor Don Juande AvertaGuttieres...VI-1675,"Lima, 1673, f. 181.
51 Don Melchor Inca and some of the other Incas mentioned by name were actual Inca nobility in
colonial Cuzco and apparentlyknown elsewhere. For Don Melchor Inga, for example, see AGI, Lima
300, "Relaci6ndel pleito criminal,"1600; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde las causas
que estan pendientes...,"ff. 375, 389v., 390-390v.; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde las
causas que estan pendientes...,"ff. 382-383v.; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6n de las
causas de fee despachadasen el santo officio de la de Lima desde el afio de 1692 asta [enero]
1696," Lima , 1696, ff. 427v.-427v.; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1031, Lima, 1666, ff. 508-509v.,
527-531. AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1032, Lima, 1693, ff. 380-384v.; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima,
Libro 1032, Lima, 1696, ff. 458-465v.; John Hemming, The Conquest of the Incas (London:Abacus,
1972), pp. 451-473; Guillermo Lohmann Villena, Los americanos en las drdenes nobiliarios (1529-
1900), v. 1 (Madrid:Consejo Superiorde InvestigacionesCientificas, 1947), pp. 199-200; Teresa Gis-
bert, Iconograffay mitos indigenas en el arte (La Paz: Talleres Escuela de Artes Graificasdel Colegio
"Don Bosco," 1980), pp. 153-157; Ella DunbarTemple, "Don Carlos Inca,"Revista Hist6rica del Insti-
tuto Histdrico del Peru, 17 (1948), pp. 134-179; Ella DunbarTemple, "El testamentoin6dito de Dofia
Beatriz ClaraCoya de Loyola, hija del Inca Sayri T6pac," Fenix 7 (1950), pp. 109-122; CarolynDean,
Inca Bodies and the Body of Christ: Corpus Christis in Colonial Cuzco, Peru (Durham:Duke Univer-
sity Press, 1999), pp. 102, 112-113.
52 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde las causas... VII-1660 hasta X-1662," Lima,

1662, ff. 383-383v.; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6n de las causas que estan pendi-
entes...,"Lima, 1656, 389v.-391; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde un auto particular...
16-II-1666,"Lima, 1666, ff. 531-531v.; ANH, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1031, "Relaci6nde las causas...
VII-1660 hasta X-1662," Lima, 1662, ff. 496v.-499; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6nde
las causas de fe despachadasen el Santo Officio de la de Lima desde el ahiode 1692 asta
1696," Lima, 1696, ff. 458-465v.

incorporatednew colonial productsinto theirpracticesby following the new
products' inherent properties and logical associations. Afro-Peruvianspe-
cialists in Lima adaptedto their rites the variouscolonial versions of chicha
they brewed and dispensedin Lima's households and markets,includingthe
chicha blanca supposedly preferredby Spanish colonists.53As sugar cane
productionexpanded,Afro-Peruvianbrewers specialized in a drink of fer-
mented cane juice called guarapo.Black specialists taught Lima's indige-
nous residentsto include guarapoin foul potions dumpedat an enemy's door
to harm the inhabitant.The advent of Peruvian grape brandy in the mid-
1600s and the popularizationof cane alcohol by the end of the centuryled
to their incorporationas offerings to the coca leaf, as mediums in which to
dissolve the small wad of chewed leaves for examination, and for boiling
masticatedcoca leaves.54 As Afro-Peruviansrealized the superioralcoholic
potency of the cane drinks, they revered the intoxicant's power and com-
bined it with their coca rituals.55In a like manner,urbanritual specialists
began to use Native Andean bones, figurines, as well as other human
remains and offerings taken from pre-Hispanicburial and ceremonialsites.
They treatedthese remainsas if they were endowed with supernaturalforce,
almost like Catholic relics. Lima's ritualistscalled them "Inca"and made
offerings to them. During the second half of the seventeenth century, the

53 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6n de las causas... VI-1675," Lima, 1673, f. 181;
AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6nde las causas de Fee despachadasen esta Inquisici6nde
Los Reyes del Perudesde 10-VI-1678 [hasta21-VIII-1678],"Lima, 1678, ff. 225-225v.; Jose de Acosta,
Historia naturaly moral de Indias (Mexico: Fondo de CulturaEcon6mica, 1962), pp. 170-171; Bernab6
Cobo, "Historiadel Nuevo Mundo,"Obrasdel Padre BernabW Cobo, v. 1 (Madrid:Biblioteca de Autores
Espafioles, 1956 [1653]), p. 162; Pedro Le6n de Portocarrero,Descripci6n del virreinatodel Peru',ed.
Boleslao Lewin (Rosario:Universidaddel Litoral, 1958 [composedca. 1615]), pp. 49-50.
54 With the leaves, the spell-caster symbolically boiled the person they hoped to attract.AHN,
Inquisici6n,Lima, Procesos de F6, Leg. 1648, Doc. 19, "Relaci6nde causas de fe despachadasentre 1696
hasta 1707," Lima, 1707 [1690, 1692], ff. 87-94, 103-110;AAL, Hechiceriasy Idolatrias,Leg. 6, Exp.
10, "Proceso hecha de oficio contra Alonso Carillo, negro, verdugo," Lima, 1669, ff. 3-4v.; AAL,
Hechicerfasy Idolatrifas,Leg. 6, Exp. 6, "CausacriminalcontraJuanade Mayo,"Lima 1668, ff. 17-17v.;
AAL, Hechicerfasy Idolatrifas,Leg. 6, Exp. 6, "Causacriminalcontra Juanade Mayo," Lima 1668, f.
37; AHN, Inquisici6n,Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6nde las causas... VI-1675," Lima, 1673, f. 181;AHN,
Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6n de las causas... [hasta 21-VIII-1678]," Lima, 1678, ff. 221-
221v.; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Procesos de F6, Leg. 1648, Doc. 19, "Relaci6n de causas de fe
despachadasentre 1696 hasta 1707," Lima, 1707 [1696, 1698]. ff. 113, 119.
55 AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Libro 1032, "Relaci6n de las causas... desde el ahiode 1692 hasta
1696," Lima, 1696, f. 426; AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Procesos de F6, Leg. 1648, Doc. 19, "Relaci6n
de causas de fe despachadasentre 1696 hasta 1707," Lima, 1707 [1690], ff. 106v.- 110;AHN, Inquisi-
ci6n, Lima, Procesos de F6, Leg. 1648, Doc. 19, "Relaci6n de causas de fe despachadas entre 1696
hasta 1707," Lima, 1707 [1705], ff. 179v.-180. Limefios also offered aguardiente to coca when
mochandola. AHN, Inquisici6n, Lima, Procesos de F6. Leg. 1648, Doc. 19, "Relaci6n...," Lima, 1707
[1692], ff. 97-98v.

ritual complex of coca and its incorporationof colonial alcohols and pre-
Hispanic remainsexemplify the ritualspecialists' willingness and ability to
bridgeculturaltraditionsfor theirclients withoutfully erasingthe ethnic dis-
tinctions of the concepts and items in use. In fact, these distinctions
bestowed much of the power thatritualiststappedin orderto solve theirpeti-

The proliferationof magical items, coupled with the colonial recreation

of Native Andean coca thatAfro-Peruvianspromotedby the 1660s, forced
the Archbishops'campaignsto extirpateIndianidolatriesand Lima's Inqui-
sition to reachever more frequentlyinto Lima's city parishes.They targeted
coca distributionand the expanding ceremonial use of the leaf among all
ethno-racialsectors of the city. Witnesses and judges fully believed a spe-
cialist's knowledge of herbs and magic could be used to harm or control
another person. Despite the rationalistorientationof the Spanish Inquisi-
tion's highest authorities(the Suprema)who reviewed Lima's decisions, the
majority of the functionariesof Lima's Inquisitionlived immersed in the
society they watchedover; these functionarieswere not indifferentto super-
stition and the threat of witchcraft.56In seventeenth-centuryLima and its
surroundingtowns, threats and fear of magical attack arising over sexual
rivalry,conflicts over male and female obligations, and economic disagree-
ment became a centralpart of a common conceptual universe.57Investiga-
tors and prosecutorsalso feared that coca magic and Inca invocations could
lead beyond witchcraft to idolatry and a wholesale rejection of Church
authority.Therefore, the groups that the inquisitors, and later the Arch-
bishop's investigators,most vigorously sought to find and discouragewere
the coca suppliers, sellers, and conjurers. Ironically, despite their best
efforts, in 1664, the Inquisitionconceded that prohibitedritualpractice and
divinationappearedso prevalentin Lima so as to make the eliminationof its
practitioners-much less their clients-impossible. As a result, Church
courts again retreatedto a plan of selective persecutionof the most famous
offenders of the faith.58

56 AAL, Hechicerfas, Leg. 9, Exp. 2, Lima, 1691. Conflicts over property and theft when com-

pounded by illness or sudden death sparked battles over sorcery. AAL, Hechicerfas, Leg. 2, Exp. 9,
Huacho, 1646, ff. 1-9; AAL, Hechicerfas,Leg. 9, Exp. 4, "QuerellacontraMatias de la Rosa y su mujer
Francisca por hechiceros," Lima, 1694; AAL, Hechicerfas, Leg. 7, Exp. 3, Lima, 1670; AAL,
Hechicerfas,Leg. 7, Exp. 10A, Lima, 1674.
57 AAL, Hechicerfas,Leg. 7, Exp. 3, Lima, 1670; AAL, Hechicerfas,Leg. 9, Exp. 2, Lima, 1691;
AAL, Hechicerfas,Leg. 7, Exp. O1A,Lima, 1674.
58 Castafiedaand Hernandez,La Inquisicidnde Lima, v. 2, pp. 336-337.


Peru's populationof African descent actively participatedin creatingthe

traditionsof cooperationand argumentthat constitutedurbancolonial cul-
ture.Only between the years 1580 and 1600, did Afro-Peruvians'ritualprac-
tices seem to partiallyconfirmthe theorythatAfricansand theirdescendants
in Peru served to increase the numberof Spaniards,therebymagnifying the
colonizers' culturalimpact. However, even during this period, many prac-
tices consideredto be Iberianmay have alreadybeen changedby Sub-Saha-
ran Africans living in Portugal and Castile. Afro-Iberiansprobably con-
tributed to shaping southern Iberia's heterogeneous witchcraft and other
populartraditionsbefore helping carrythem to the Americas. In the 1620s-
1630s, a period of limited cultural experimentationand borrowing,Afro-
Peruviansbegan leading other urbancolonists away from a primarilyHis-
panic ritual model into learning Native Andean ritual practices and skills.
Interestingly, in addition to teaching non-Indians, Afro-Peruvians then
helped transmitthese native Andean skills, as well as their knowledge of
HispanicandAfricanceremonialpractices,to new indigenousarrivalsto the
city. In the 1660s to 1690s, when magic specialists began giving new
emphasis to pre-Hispanicmaterials and symbols, Afro-Peruvianritualists
helped society overcome the stigma of the coca leaf as an Indianidolatrous
item. During the late seventeenth century,Afro-Peruvianritualists scram-
bled to take direct control over Native Andean ritual knowledge, products,
and icons, often to reinvent them with new colonial significance. In the
process, the Afro-Peruvians'own cultural creativity and contributionsto
magical elements and ritualknowledge became clear.
Afro-Peruvianritualists'reworkingof Andean and Hispanic magic and
witchcraftalso markedthe Church'schanging definitions of religious cul-
pability in seventeenth-centuryLima. The 1629 Edict of Faith had called
upon all Lime-ios to examine their consciences and memories for any
thoughtsor acts againstCatholicism;however, the inquisitorsand ecclesias-
tical authoritiesfound themselves unable to investigate and prosecute the
numerous cases of religious infractions brought before them. Mixing the
sacredwith the profane,therefore,remainedcentralto what could be termed
a popular Catholicism and evidenced a degree of reconciliation among
varied cultural streams emanating from the IberianPeninsula, the Andes,
and perhapsWest Africa. Between the 1660s-1690s, the effervescence of
local magic once again outstrippedChurch mechanisms to suppress what
churchmenconsideredharmfulto the faith (idolatry,witchcraft,and super-
stition).Forcedto accepta colonial cultureof breachesbetween strictureand
practice,Lima's Catholic establishmentprosecutedonly the most notorious

practitionersof the artsof amatorymagic and divination.The Churchchose

to distinguishbetween genuine heresy,to be combatedvigorously,and mere
superstition and magic, to be grudgingly tolerated or lightly punished.
Despite its repressivepower, the PeruvianChurchcould not derailthe long-
term,culturallegitimacy won by popularmagical beliefs and coca use in the
capital. This culturallegitimacy sprang from a firm conviction in the use-
fulness of magical interventionin relationsbetween men and women, coca's
religiously inoffensive function in revealing the unknown, the re-invented
Inca's magical benevolence, and the camaraderieand mutual supportthat
often took place duringmagic ritualsand gatheringsof coca chewers. Such
practices, fostered by Afro-Peruvians,served an essential role in Limefios'
lives by the mid-to-lateseventeenthcentury.

In this process, magical specialists broughttogetherand conjuredpowers

thatwere consideredto exist in the diverse ethnoculturaltraditionsof magic
and supernaturalpower presentin colonial Peru.The widerpopulace'sbelief
in the existence of such powers in each tradition,even hidden ones, made
them particularlyuseful resources in the hands of skilled ritualistsas they
solved problems and sought clients. To convey a mystique of success and
attractnew clients into their network, specialists by necessity recognized
and drew upon differentkinds of culturalknowledge. By drawingtogether
differentkinds of powers, the specialist built a reputationand drew together
differentsorts of people. In their coca ceremonies for example, the ritualist
bound diverse people together,even though outside the ritual circle ethnic
distinctions and social hierarchiesremainedrelevant. In this practicalway,
magical specialists mediated contradictorytendencies in the society. They
worked with people who might not normally associate with them or with
each other.The specialist's mediationcreatedthe paradoxof a society with
few specialists and no social consensus, but with many users of magical
practiceand many circles of sociabilitythatrancontraryto official and unof-
ficial norms without necessarily overturningthem.

ConnecticutCollege LEO J. GAROFALO

New London, Connecticut