Book Presentations
New Chronicle and Good Government
Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala

The manuscript entitled New chronicle and good government that Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala brought with him to Lima, on a long journey from Ayacucho, represents one of the most forceful allegations made at the beginning of the 17th century against the Spanish crown in order to achieve a reform in the colonial administration to improve the terrible conditions in which the Andean man lived. The text, dated 1615 and with almost 400 illustrations, was addressed to King Felipe III of Spain, but it never arrived with him. We do not know the exact circumstances of the journey that this remarkable document must have followed, but as early as 1662 it was part of the Royal Library in Copenhagen, in Denmark. It was the German Richard Pietschmann who came across the manuscript in 1908, and in 1936, under the direction of Paul Rivet, the Institute of Ethnology in Paris carried out a thorough cleaning of it and delivered it in a facsimile version.

A few years ago the National Library of Peru published a new four-volume edition of Huaman Poma’s work, which was immediately out of print. The edition was in charge of the historian Carlos Araníbar (Lima, 1928-2016). An agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Library of Peru, signed in 2017, now allows a new edition of the New Chronicle and Good Government, in three dense volumes, which includes the facsimile version of the original manuscript.

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