Theodor De Bry and his family's volumes of the America series, as well as their entire collection of narratives and engravings depicting the newly “discovered” worlds of East and West, illustrate only half of the story: the world as seen by European eyes. This essay focuses on Guaman Poma de Ayala, a citizen of Tawantinsuyu living under Spanish rule in the viceroyalty of Peru, who finished his Primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno by 1616 (during the middle years of the De Bry enterprise). This essay considers an important element of the “silenced half” of the story of Spanish-Indian contact in the Andes, to the coexisting Indian version of the same place and the same people. The essay also attempts to redress the historiographical imbalance, while taking into account the power differential between Europeans and Indians. By looking at De Bry from the perspective of what Guaman Poma teaches us, the essay delinks from interpretations grounded in the sources upon which De Bry composed his engravings and narratives.
Walter Mignolo; Crossing Gazes and the Silence of the “Indians”: Theodor De Bry and Guaman Poma de Ayala. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 January 2011; 41 (1): 173–223. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-2010-016
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