The life and work of Blas Valera, a sixteenth-century Jesuit and Peruvian mestizo historian of the Inca past, has been too little known for too long. The mestizo Valera, who served his novitiate during the rule of viceroy Francisco de Toledo, attempted to reconstruct and interpret the history of the Inca Empire using quipucamayocs (keepers of the Andean system of knotted cords) s as informants, as well as other historical sources, such as Francisco de Chaves’s Relación.

Although considered important, his writings are available only indirectly through a very few sources, so this fresh attempt to study his life and significance, therefore, is met with great interest. Valera’s writings are known only through Garcilaso de la Vega’s Spanish translations, quoted in the Comentarios reales de los Incas, and some quotations in Giovanni Anello Oliva’s Historia del Perú. The anon ymous Relación de las costumbres antiguas has also...

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