Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Ancient Peruvians – Part VII

Continuing from the previous post regarding the connection between the Land of Promise and Andean Peru.

Like the Maya and Aztecs of Mexico, the Incas of Peru and the Aymaras in Bolivia, the Muyscas Muisca and the Tairona people of the Chibchan at the time the Spaniards arrived, had developed beyond primitive civilization, and were ruled by cacique, or “kings” (Alexander von Humboldt, Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, Muisca calendar, Part 1, Luis Ángel Arango Library, Bogata Colombia, 1807; Rafael Martín and José Puentes, “Cultures of Individual Colombians“).

The condition of the people composing the Peruvian empire at the time of the Conquest bore witness to an ancient history something like that reported by Montesinos. There were indications that the country had undergone important revolutionary changes before this empire was established. The Peruvians at that time were not all one people.

Left to Right: Aymaraes, Chibchas, and Huancas


The political union was complete, but there were differences of speech, and, to some extent, of physical characteristics. Three numerous and important branches of the population were known as Aymaraes, Chibchas, and Huancas. They used different tongues, although the Quechua dialect, later spoken by the Incas, and doubtless a dialect of the Aymaraes, to whom the Incas belonged, was the official language in every part of the empire.

There was a separated and fragmentary condition of the communities with respect to their unlike characteristics, which implied something different from a quiet and uniform political history. These differences and peculiarities suggest that there was a period when Peru, after an important career of civilization and empire, was subjected to great political changes brought about by invasion and revolution, by which the nation was for a long time broken up into separate states.

Here, as in Mexico and Central America, there was in the traditions frequent mention of strangers or foreigners who came by sea to the Pacific coast and held intercourse with the people; but this was in the time of the old kingdom (BC time). It is certainly not improbable since the Malays and other island people under their influence formerly traversed the Pacific.

At the time of the Spanish conquest, there was believed to have been half million to 3 million people—a number that was quickly decimated and reduced into thousands. Though the Spanish, over time tried to eliminate the Muisca, and nearly did, some pockets of continue even today, though numbers are greatly reduced, with only 14,051 known today. Anciently, the Muisca were proficient in agriculture, salt mining, trading, metalworking and manufacturing, and their time in the area dates back to the so-called Late Archaic Period (time of the Jaredites).

Some have assumed that the Peruvians had no communication with the Mexicans and Central Americans, and that the two peoples were unknown to each other. This, however, seems to be contradicted by the fact that an accurate knowledge of Peru was found among the people inhabiting the Panama Isthmus and the region north of it.

Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish Conquistador, who crossed the Panama Isthmus and discovered of the Pacific Ocean


The Spaniards heard of Peru on the Atlantic coast of South America, but on the Isthmus Balboa gained clear information in regard to that country from natives who had evidently seen it. To what extent there was intercourse between the two civilized portions of the continent is unknown. They had vessels quite as good as most of those constructed at Panama by the Spanish hunters for Peru, such as the balsas of the Peruvians and the “shallop” of the Mayas seen by Columbus, which made communication possible up and down the coast; but whether regular intercourse between them was ever established, and everything else relating to this matter, must necessarily be left to a calculation of probabilities.

It should be noted when reading about ancient Peruvian cultures, that after the conquest, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman leaders monopolized western knowledge from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, managing information prior to censorship, punishing with death any deviation in dogma. This propensity to repress anything that contradicts the official truth moved to the Americas after the conquest and also affected the chronicles that originated in the New World. One such chronicler, who fought against such suppression of the truth was Bas Valera.

He was a child of a native Incan woman and Spanish conquistador father, and was born in 1545, less than 20 years after the fall of the Inca Empire, which allowed him to meet many of its prominent men and also old amautas, or teachers, that transmitted and entrusted him the events that he later narrated in his works.

Blas Valera, among other things was an amautas, or teacher


During Valera's lifetime he had many important jobs and roles throughout Peru, and along with being a priest and a writer, he was also a teacher. Valera taught free Quechua classes to the public and translated Christian religion into Quechua. He also translated the Catholic Catechism into Quechua during third Lima Council of Bishops. Garcilaso de la Vega thought that Blas’ writings of Peruvian history were a valuable source of information with more authenticity and credibility than any other chroniclers of the period.

Luckily this man, who had the opportunity to know people who were able to provide very valuable information to him, was provided with a remarkable talent that distinguished him during his very early studies.

Valera did these first studies in Trujillo and then continued them in Lima. Considering his knowledge of Quechua, Valera took part in the missions that Jesuits had established in Huarochirí, an important pre-Hispanic center of worship that at the beginning of the 17th century was the location of the most intense eradication campaign of idolatry, carried out by Francisco de Ávila.

These skills caused that people entrusted him missions in which his linguistic knowledge was necessary, which simultaneously allowed him to keep on increasing his data gathering, collecting information from the authentic sources of all the places he was visiting. In addition, he took an active part in the III Concilio Limense of 1583. He died in Alcalá de Henares, Spain on 2 April 1597.

Valera’s ethnography of the Peruvian people and of Andean life in his own time along with their history allowed him to learn Peruvian pre-Inca events down through the ages.

According to Blas Valera, there were 92-generations of kings that ruled over the early Peruvians before the Inca

He wrote of ninety pre-Inca rulers, including the kings Capac Raymi Amauta, Capac Yupanqui Amauta, Capac Lluqui Yupanqui, and Cuis Manco. This list of pre-Inca kings was shared with the chronicler Fernando de Montesinos and appears to reject the native traditions of the Quito region. However, he ran afoul of the Jesuit priests and leaders through his written defense of the Peruvians against their Spanish critics, to which he was imprisoned the last 14 years of his life.

Blas Valera, unlike many other chroniclers of the time had first-hand knowledge of the people and their histories throughout nearly every part of the country. He talked with the old men of the Peruvians and learned from them their history and that of their earlier time. He learned their language, the quipus and all their traditions, myths and legends.

It is his work that tells us the ancient Peruvians and their history down through the ages.

There simply can be no question after reading Valera’s writings that the first Peruvians were not a people who developed through the Lithic Period, the Copper Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, but arrived in Peru with an extensive knowledge of building, engineering irrigation, and agriculture far beyond those periods.

This is easily seen in the ruins and artefacts spread all over Peru and elsewhere in the Andes highlands. One look at Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Kuelap, and elsewhere bears this fact out—they were built  anciently, long, long before the Inca, so far back in history they preceded the AD period.
Those in Ecuador go even further back than that, still showing building and engineering techniques that still boggle the minds of professional men of today.

While men of letters try to determine who these ancient Peruvians were, making up stories and histories that fit their training, we know these early people were Lehi’s family and descendants, and that of the Jaredites long before them.


  1. This series of writings are probably the most important you have ever done ,at least to my way of thinking. There is such an overwhelming amount of information available on this subject. I am amazed at the poor scholarship of some our brethren in the Church nowadays. Are we the only ones that have read William Prescott's history of the Incas? I am not a teacher, only a retired carpenter, but even I am more well read than some of these guys. But Del you did not just barely start researching this series of posts, you have obviously been studying this subject many years. THANKS VERY MUCH! I suppose I need to read your books.

  2. Of course the guys I am referring to with the poor scholarship are the Mesoamerican and Heartland boys. It would be nice if they would really study the Book of Mormon instead of teaching what they do not know.

  3. The originators of these theories stay away from the Book of Mormon since their models are not consistent with the scriptural record