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Jacinto Collahuazo

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Title: Jacinto Collahuazo  
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Subject: Quechua people, Ecuadorian literature, Ecuadorians, Ecuador
Collection: Ecuadorian Literature, History of Ecuador, Quechua People, Quechua-Language Poets
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Jacinto Collahuazo

Jacinto Collahuazo (born circa 1670; lived past the age of 80, but exact date of death is unknown) was the cacique of Ibarra, Ecuador, he was a Quechuan poet, and historian.[1][2] He was imprisoned by the Spanish for writing a book in Quechua about the war between Huascar and Atahualpa titled: History of the civil wars of Atahualpa and his brother Atoco, known commonly as Huascar Inca.[1] Collahuazo learned to read and write in Spanish, but his work was written in Quechua

The Spanish magistrate of Ibarra could not accept the notion that a native could read and write, or write knowledgeably about history. He ordered Collahuazo arrested, mandated that he destroy his work in public, and sent him to prison where he would spend his final days.[1] In 1708 Collahuazo fulfilled the mandate and burned all of his work publicly. The existence of his literary work came to light many centuries later, when a crew of masons was restoring the walls of a colonial church in Quito, and found a hidden manuscript. The salvaged fragment is a Spanish translation from Quechua of the "Elegy to the Dead of Atahualpa", a poem written by Collahuazo,[3] which describes the sadness and impotence of the Inca people of having lost their king Atahualpa.[4]


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