LETTER FROM HERNANDO PIZARRO TO THE ROYAL AUDIENCE OF SANTO DOMINGO. NOVEMBER 1533. Письмо Эрнандо Писарро Королевской Аудиенции в Санто Доминго, ноябрь 1533.

Письмо Эрнандо Писарро Королевской Аудиенции в Санто Доминго, ноябрь 1533.


To the Magnificent Lords, the Judges of the Royal Audience
of His Majesty who reside in the city of Santo Domingo.
MAGNIFICENT LORDS,—I arrived in this port of Yaguana on
my way to Spain, by order of the Governor Francisco
Pizarro, to inform his Majesty of what has happened in that
government of Peru, to give an account of the country, and
of its present condition; and, as I believe that those who
come to this city give your worships inconsistent accounts,
it has seemed well to me to write a summary of what has
taken place, that you may be informed of the truth, from
the time that Ysasaga came from that land, by whom your
worships will have been apprised of what had taken place
up to the time of his departure.
The Governor, in the name of his Majesty, founded a town
near the sea coast, which was called San Miguel. It is
twenty-five leagues from that point of Tumbez. Having
left citizens there, and assigned the Indians in the district
to them, he set out with sixty horse and ninety foot, in search
of the town of Caxamalca, at which place he was informed
that Atabaliva then was, the son of old Cuzco,1 and brother
of him who is now Lord of that land.2 Between the two
1 Ynca Huayna Ccapac.
2 The puppet set up by Francisco Pizarro, when he murdered Atahu-
•\llpa, and who died two months afterwards.

brothers3 there had been a very fierce war, and this Ataba-
liva had conquered the land as far as he then was, which,
from the point whence he started, was a hundred and fifty
leagues. After seven or eight marches, a Captain of Ata-
baliva came to the Governor, and said that his Lord had
heard of his arrival and rejoiced greatly at it, having a strong
desire to see the Christians; and when he had been two
days with the Governor he said that he wished to go for-
ward and tell the news to his Lord, and that another would
soon be on the road with a present, as a token of peace.
The Governor continued his march until he came to a town
called La Bamada.4″ Up to that point all the land was flat,
while all beyond was very rugged, and obstructed by very
difficult passes. When he saw that the messenger from
Atabaliva did not return, he wished to obtain intelligence
from some Indians who had come from Caxamalca ; so they
were tortured,6 and they then said that they had heard that
Atabaliva was waiting for the Governor in the mountains to
give him battle. The Governor then ordered the troops to ad-
vance, leaving the rear guard in the plain. The rest ascended,
and the road was so bad that, in truth, if they had been
waiting for us, either in this pass or in another that we came
to on the road to Caxamalca, they could very easily have
stopped us; for, even by exerting all our skill, we could
not have taken the horses by the roads; and neither horse
nor foot can cross those mountains except by the roads.
The distance across them to Caxamalca is twenty leagues.
When we were half-way, messengers arrived from Ata-
baliva, and brought provisions to the Governor. They said
J Ynca Huascar and Atahuallpa.
« A hut covered with the branches of trees. Apparently a name given
by the Spaniards to the place at which they halted, at the foot of the
5 This was the regular custom of Hernando Pizarro, to torture the
Indians before asking them questions. The consequence was, that he
was told lies, and as in this instance, as will be seen further ou.
that Atabaliva was waiting for him at Caxamalca, wishing
to be his friend; and that he wished the Governor to know
that his captains, whom he has sent to the war of Cuzco,
had taken his brother prisoner, that they would reach Caxa-
malca within two days, and that all the territory of his father
now belonged to him. The Governor sent back to say that
he rejoiced greatly at this news, and that if there was any
Lord who refused to submit, he would give assistance and
subjugate him. Two days afterwards the Governor came in
sight of Caxamalca, and he met Indians with food. He put
the troops in order, and marched to the town. Atabaliva
was not there, but was encamped on the plain, at a distance
of a league, with all his people in tents. When the Gover-
nor saw that Atabaliva did not come, he sent a Captain/with
fifteen horsemen, to speak to Atabaliva, saying that he
would not assign quarters to the Christians until he knew
where it was the pleasure of Atabaliva that they should
lodge, and he desired him to come that they might be
friends. Just then I went to speak to the Governor, touch-
ing the orders in case the Indians made a night attack. He
told me that he had sent men to seek an interview with
Atabaliva. I told him that, out of the sixty cavalry we had,
there might be some men who were not dexterous on horse-
back, and some unsound horses, and that it seemed a mis-
take to pick out fifteen of the best; for, if Atabaliva
should attack them, their numbers were insufficient for de-
fence, and any reverse might lead to a great disaster. He,
therefore, ordered me to follow with other twenty horsemen,
and to act according to circumstances.
When I arrived I found the other horsemen near the
camp of Atabaliva, and that their officer had gone to speak
with him. I left my men there also, and advanced with two
horsemen to the lodging of Atabaliva, and the Captain an-
nounced my approach and who I was. I then told Ataba-
liva that the Governor had sent me to visit him, and to ask
him to come that they might be friends. He replied that a
Cacique of the town of San Miguel had sent to tell him
that we were bad people and not good for war, and that he
himself had killed some of us, both men and horses. I an-
swered that those people of San Miguel were like women,
and that one horse was enough for the whole of them; that,
when he saw us fight, he would know what we were like;
that the Governor had a great regard for him : that if he
had any enemy he had only to say so, and that the Governor
would send to conquer him. He said that, four marches
from that spot, there were some very rebellious Indians who
would not submit to him, and that the Christians might go
there to help his troops. I said that the Governor would
send ten horsemen, who would suffice for the whole country,
and that his Indians were unnecessary, except to search for
those who concealed themselves. He smiled like a man
who did not think.so much of us. The Captain told me
that, until I came, he had not been able to get him to speak,
but that one of his chiefs had answered for him, while he
always kept his head down. He was seated in all the
majesty of command, surrounded by all his women, and
with many chiefs near him. Before coming to his presence
there was another group of chiefs, each standing according
to his rank. At sunset I said that I wished to go, and
asked him to tell me what to say to the Governor. He re-
plied that he would come to see him on the following morn-
ing, that he would lodge in three great chambers in the
courtyard, and that the centre one should be set apart for
That night a good look-out was kept. In the morning
he sent messengers to put off his visit until the afternoon;
and these messengers, in conversing with some Indian girls
in the service of the Christians, who were their relations,
told them to run away because Atabaliva was coming that
afternoon to attack the Christians and kill them. Among
the messengers there came that Captain who had already
met the Governor on the road. He told the Governor that
his Lord Atabaliva said that, as the Christians had come
armed to his camp, he also would come armed. The Go-
vernor replied that he might come as he liked. Atabaliva
set out from his camp at noon, and when he came to a place
which was about half a quarter of a league from Caxamalca,
he stopped until late in the afternoon. There he pitched
his tents, and formed his men in three divisions. The whole
road was full of men, and they had not yet left off marching
out of the camp. The Governor had ordered his troops to
be distributed in the three halls (galpones)6 which were in
the open courtyard, in form of a triangle; and he ordered
them to be mounted and armed until the intentions of Ata-
baliva were known. Having pitched his tents, Atabaliva
sent a messenger to the Governor to say that, as it was now
late, he wished to sleep where he was, and that he would
come in the morning. The Governor sent back to beg
him to come at once, because he was waiting for supper,
and that he should not sup until Atabaliva should come.
The messengers came back to ask the Governor to send a
Christian to Atabaliva, that he intended to come at once,
and that he would come unarmed. The Governor sent a
Christian,7 and presently Atabaliva moved, leaving the armed
men behind him. He took with him about five or six
thousand Indians without arms, except that, uuder their
shirts, they had small darts and slings with stones.
6 The word galpon is not Spanish. Garcilasso says that it belonged
to the language of the Windward Islands, and that the Spaniards adopted
it. ‘ The word means a large hall or court. The Yncas had such halls
attached to their palaces, which were so large that festivals were held in
them, when the weather was rainy. Such vast halls may still be seen
among the ruins of Hervay and Pachacamac. In Cuzco they have been
converted into modern houses. The villages of slaves in modern haci-
endas on the Peruvian coast, which are enclosed by high walls, are called
7 Xcrcs says that he refused to send the Christian. See p. 50.

He came in a litter, and before him went three or four
hundred Indians in liveries,8 cleaning the straws from the
road and singing. Then came Atabaliva in the midst of his
chiefs and principal men, the greatest among them being
also borne on men’s shoulders. When they entered the
open space, twelve or fifteen Indians went up to the little
fortress that was there and occupied it, taking possession
with a banner fixed on a lance. When Atabaliva had ad-
vanced to the centre of the open space, he stopped, and a
Dominican Friar, who was with the Governor, came forward
to tell him, on the part of the Governor, that he waited for
him in his lodging, and that he was sent to speak with him.
The Friar then told Atabaliva that he was a Priest, and that
he was sent there to teach the things of the Faith, if they
should desire to be Christians. He showed Atabaliva a
book which he carried in his hands, and told him that that
book contained the things of God. Atabaliva asked for the
book, and threw it on the ground, saying:—u I will not
leave this place until you have restored all that you have
taken in my land. I know well who you are, and what you
have come for.” Then he rose up in his litter, and addressed
his men, and there were murmurs among them and calls to
those who were armed. The Friar went to the Governor
and reported what was being done, and that no time was
to be lost. The Governor sent to me; and I had arranged
with the Captain of the artillery that, when a sign was
given, he should discharge his pieces, and that, on hearing
the reports, all the troops should come forth at once. This
was done, and as the Indians were unarmed, they were de-
feated without danger to any Christian. Those who carried
the litter, and the chiefs who surrounded Atabaliva, were
all killed, falling round him. The Governor came out and
seized Atabaliva, and, in protecting him, he received a knife-
8 In liveries of different colours, like a chess-board, Xeres tells us.

cut from a Christian in the hand. The troops continued the
pursuit as far as the place where the armed Indians were
stationed, who made no resistance whatever, because it was
now night. All were brought into the town, where the
Governor was quartered.
Next morning the Governor ordered us to go to the camp
of Atabaliva, where we found forty thousand castellanos and
four or five thousand marcos of silver. The camp was as
full of people as if none were wanting. All the people were
assembled, and the Governor desired them to go to their
homes, and told them that he had not come to do them
harm, that what he had done was by reason of the pride of
Atabaliva, and that he himself ordered it. On asking Ata-
baliva why he had thrown away the book and shown so
much pride, he answered that his captain, who had been
sent to speak with the Governor, had told him that the
Christians were not warriors, that the horses were unsaddled
at night, and that with two hundred Indians he could defeat
them all. He added that this captain and the chief of San
Miguel had deceived him. The Governor then inquired
concerning his brother the Cuzco,9 and he answered that he
would arrive next day, that he was being brought as a
prisoner, and that his captain remained with the troops in
the town of Cuzco. It afterwards turned out that in all this
he had spoken the truth, except that he had sent orders for
his brother to be killed, lest the Governor should restore
him to his lordship. The Governor said that he had not
come to make war on the Indians, but that our Lord the
Emperor, who was Lord of the whole world, had ordered
him to come that he might see the land, and let Atabaliva
know the things of our Faith, in case he should wish to be-
come a Christian. The Governor also told him that that
land, and all other lands, belonged to the Emperor, and
that he must acknowledge him as his Lord. He replied that
9 Ynca Huascar.

he was content, and, observing that the Christians had col-
lected some gold, Atabaliva said to the Governor that they
need not take such care of it, as if there was so little ; for
that he could give them ten thousand plates,1 and that he
could fill the room in which he was up to a white line, which
was the height of a man and a half from the floor. The
room was seventeen or eighteen feet wide, and thirty-five
feet long. He said that he could do this in two months.
Two months passed away, and the gold did not arrive, but
the Governor received tidings that every day parties of men
were advancing against him. In order both to ascertain
the truth of these reports, and to hurry the arrival of the
gold, the Governor ordered me to set out with twenty
horsemen and ten or twelve foot soldiers for a place called
Guamachuco, which is twenty leagues from Caxamalca.
This was the place where it was reported that armed men
were collecting together. I advanced to that town, and
found a quantity of gold and silver, which I sent thence to
Caxamalca. Some Indians, who were tortured,2 told us
that the captains and armed men were at a place six leagues
from Guamachuco; and, though I had no instructions from
the Governor to advance beyond that point, I resolved to
push forward with fourteen horsemen and nine foot soldiers,
in order that the Indians might not take heart at the notion
that we had retreated. The rest of my party were sent to
guard the gold, because their horses were lame. Next
morning I arrived at that town, and did not find any armed
men there, and it turned out that the Indians had told lies;
perhaps to frighten us and induce us to return.
At this village I received permission from the Governor
to go to a mosque of which we had intelligence, which was
1 Tejuelos, square pieces of metal, on which the points of gates or
large doors turn. Quoits are also called tejuelos.
2 Here the ruffian is at his torturing tricks again; and is again only-
told lies for his pains.

a hundred leagues away on the sea-coast, in a town called
Pachacama. It took us twenty-two days to reach it. The
road over the mountains is a thing worth seeing, because,
though the ground is so rugged, such beautiful roads could
not in truth be found throughout Christendom. The greater
part of them is paved. There is a bridge of stone or wood
over every stream. We found bridges of network over a
very large and powerful river, which we crossed twice,
which was a marvellous thing to see. The horses crossed
over by them. At each passage they have two bridges, the
one by which the common people go over, and the other for
the lords of the land and their captains. The approaches
are always kept closed, with Indians to guard them. These

Indians exact transit dues from all passengers. The chiefs
and people of the mountains are more intelligent than those
of the coast. The country is populous. There are mines in
many parts of it. It is a cold climate, it snows, and there
is much rain. There are no swamps. Fuel is scarce. Ata-
baliva has placed governors in all the principal towns, and
his predecessors had also appointed governors. In all these
towns there were houses of imprisoned women, with guards
at the doors, and these women preserve their virginity. If
any Indian has any connection with them his punishment is
death. Of these houses, some are for the worship of the
Sun, others for that of old Cuzco,3 the father of Atabaliva.
Their sacrifices consist of sheep and chicha,4, which they
pour out on the ground. They have another house of
women in each of the principal towns, also guarded. These
women are assembled by the chiefs of the neighbouring
districts, and when the lord of the land passes by they select
the best to present to him, and when they are taken others
are chosen to fill up their places. These women also have
the duty of making chicha for the soldiers when they pass
3 The Ynca Huayna Ccapac.
* Fermented liquor from maize.

that way. They took Indian girls out of these houses and
presented them to us. All the surrounding chiefs come to
these towns on the roads to perform service when the army
passes. They have stores of fuel and maize, and of all other
necessaries. .They count by certain knots on cords, and so
record what each chief has brought. When they had to
bring us loads of fuel, maize, chicha, or meat, they took off
knots or .made knots on some other part; so that those who
have charge of the stores keep an exact account. In all
these towns they received us with great festivities, dancing
and rejoicing.
When we arrived on the plains of the sea coast we met
with a people who were less civilised, but the country was
populous. They also have houses of women, and all the
other arrangements as in the towns of the mountains. They
never wished to speak to us of the mosque, for there was an
order that all who should speak to us of it should be put to
death., But as we had intelligence that it was on the coast,
we followed the high road until we came to it. The road is
very wide, with an earthen wall on either side, and houses
for resting at intervals, which were prepared to receive the
Cuzco when he travelled that way. There are very large
villages, the houses of the Indians being built of canes; and
those of the chiefs are of earth with roofs of branches of
trees ; for in that land it never rains. From the city of San
Miguel to this mosque the distance is one hundred and
sixty or one hundred and eighty leagues, the road passing
near the sea shore through a very populous country. The
road, with a wall on each side, traverses the whole of this
country; and, neither in that part nor in the part further
on, of which we had notice for two hundred leagues, does it
ever rain. They live by irrigation, for the rainfall is so
.great in the mountains that many rivers flow from them, so
that throughout the land there is not three leagues without
a river. The distance from the sea to the mountains is in
some parts ten leagues, in others twelve. It is not cold.
Throughout the whole of this coast land, and beyond it,
tribute is not paid to Cuzco, but to the mosque. The bishop
of it was in Caxamalca with the Governor. He had ordered
another room of gold, such as Atabaliva had ordered, and the
Governor ordered me to go on this business, and to hurry
those who were collecting it. When I arrived at the mosque,
I asked for the gold, and they denied it to me, saying that
they had none. I made some search, but could not find it.
The neighbouring chiefs came to see me, and brought pre-
sents, and in the mosque there was found some gold dust,
which was left behind when the rest was concealed. Alto-
gether I collected 85,000 castellanos and 3000 marcos of
This town of the mosque is very large, and contains grand
edifices and courts. Outside, there is another great space
surrounded by a wall, with a door opening on the mosque.
Tn this space there are the houses of the women, who, they
say, are the women of the devil. Here, also, are the store-
rooms, where the stores of gold are kept. There is no one
in the place where these women are kept. Their sacrifices
are the same as those to the Sun, which I have already
described. Before entering the first court of the mosque,
a man must fast for twenty days; before ascending to the
court above, he must fast for a year. In this upper court
the bishop used to be. When messengers of the chiefs,
who had fasted for a year, went up to pray to God that he
would give them a good harvest, they found the bishop
seated, with his head covered. There are other Indians
whom they call pages of the Sun. When these messengers
of the chief delivered their messages to the bishop, the pages
of the devil went into a chamber, where they said that he
speaks to them; and that devil said that he was enraged
with the chiefs, with the sacrifices they had to offer, and
with the presents they wished to bring. I believe that they
do not speak with the devil, but that these his servants de-
ceive the chiefs. For I took pains to investigate the matter,
and an old page, who was one of the chief and most con-
fidential servants of , their god, told a chief, who repeated it
to me, that the devil said they were not to fear the horses,
as they could do no harm. I caused the page to be tortured,
and he was so stubborn in his evil creed, that I could never
gather anything from him, but that they really held their
devil to be a god. This mosque is so feared by all the
Indians, that they believe that if any of those servants of
the devil asked them for anything and they refused it, they
would presently die. It would seem that the Indians do
not worship this devil from any feelings of devotion, but from
fear. For the chiefs told me that, up to that time, they had
served that mosque because they feared it; but that now
they had no fear but of us, and that, therefore, they wished
to serve us. The cave in which the devil was placed was
very dark, so that one could not enter it without a light,
and within it was very dirty. I made all the Caciques,
who came to see me, enter the place that they might lose
their fear; and, for want of a preacher, I made my sermon,
explaining to them the errors in which they lived.
In this town I learnt that the principal Captain of Ata-
baliva6 was at a distance of twenty leagues from us, in a
town called Jauja. I sent to tell him to come and see me,
and he replied that I should take the road to Caxamalca,
and that he would take another road and meet me. The
Governor, on hearing that the Captain was for peace and
that he was ready to come with me, wrote to me to tell me
to return; and he sent three Christians to Cuzco, which is
fifty leagues beyond Jauja, to take possession and to see
the country. I returned by the road of Caxamalca, and by
another road, where the Captain of Atabaliva was to join
mo. But he had not started; and I learnt from certain
5 This was Chalcuchima.

chiefs that he had not movea, and that he had taken me in.
So I went back to the place where he was, and the road
was very rugged, and so obstructed with snow, that it cost
us much labour to get there. Having reached the royal
road, and come to a place called Bombon, I met a Captain
of Atabaliva with five thousand armed Indians whom Ata-
baliva had sent on pretence of conquering a rebel chief;
but, as it afterwards appeared, they were assembled to kill
the Christians. Here we found 500,000 pesos of gold that
they were taking to Caxamalca. This Captain told me that
the Captain-General remained in Jauja, that he knew of
our approach, and was much afraid. I sent a messenger to
him, to tell him to remain where he was, and to fear nothing.
I also found a negro here, who had gone with the Christians
to Cuzco, and he told me that these fears were feigned; for
that the Captain-General6 had many well-armed men with
him, that he counted them by his knots in presence of the
Christians, and that they numbered thirty-five thousand In-
dians. So we went to Jauja, and, when we were half a
league from the town, and found that the Captain did not
come out to receive us, a chief of Atabaliva, whom I had
with me and whom I had treated well, advised me to advance
in order of battle, because he believed that the Captain in-
tended to fight. We went up a small hill overlooking Jauja,
and saw a large black mass in the plaza, which appeared to
be something that had been burnt. I asked what it was,
and they told me that it was a crowd of Indians. The
plaza is large, and has a length of a quarter of a league. As
no one came to receive us on reaching the town, our people
advanced in the expectation of having to fight the Indians.
But, at the entrance of the square, some principal men came
out to meet us with offers of peace, and told us that the
Captain was not there, as he had gone to reduce certain
chiefs to submission. It would seem that he had gone out
6 Chalcuchima.

of fear with some of his troops, and had crossed a river
near the town by a bridge of network. I sent to tell him
to come to me peaceably, or else the Christians would de-
stroy him. Next morning the people came who were in
the square. They were Indian servants, and it is true that
they numbered over a hundred thousand souls. We remained
here five days, and during all that time they did nothing
but dance and sing, and hold great drinking feasts. The
Captain did not wish to come with me, but when he saw
that I was determined to make him, he came of his own
accord. I left the chief who came with me as Captain there.
This town of Jauja is very fine and picturesque, with very
good level approaches, and it has an excellent river bank.
In all my travels I did not see a better site for a Christian
settlement, and I believe that the Governor intends to form
one there, though some think that it would be more con-
venient to select a position near the sea, and are, therefore,
of an opposite opinion. All the country, from Jauja to
Caxamalca, by the road we returned, is like that of which
I have already given a description.
After returning to Caxamalca, and reporting my pro-
ceedings to the Governor, he ordered me to go to Spain,
and to give an account to his Majesty of this and other
things which appertain to his service. I took, from the
heap of gold, 100,000 castellanos for his Majesty, being the
amount of his fifth. The day after I left Caxamalca, the
Christians, who had gone to Cuzco, returned, and brought
1,500,000 of gold. After I arrived at Panama, another
ship came in, with some knights. They say that a distri-
bution of the gold was made; and that the share of his
Majesty, besides the 100,000 pesos and the 5000 marcos of
silver that I bring, was another 165,000 castellanos, and
7000 or 8000 marcos of silver; while to all those of us who
had gone, a further share of gold was sent.
After my departure, according to what the Governor
writes to me, it became known that Atabaliva had assem-
bled troops to make war on. the Christians, and justice was
done upon him. The Governor made his brother, who was
his enemy, lord in his place. Molina comes to this city,
and from him your worships may learn anything else that
you may desire to know. The shares of the troops were, to
the horsemen 9000 castellanos, to the Governor 6000, to me
3000. The Governor has derived no other profit from that
land, nor has there been deceit or fraud in the account. I
say this to your worships, because if any other statement is
made, this is the truth. May our Lord long guard and
prosper the magnificent persons of your worships.
Done in this city, November 1533. At the service of
your worships.