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Colonial Loyalties C E L E B R AT I N G T H E S PA N I S H M O N A R C H Y IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY LIMA

M A R Í A S O L E DA D BA R B Ó N

           ,  


University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 www.undpress.nd.edu Copyright Š 2019 by the University of Notre Dame All Rights Reserved Manufactured in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data To Come

∞ This book is printed on acid-free paper.


C O N T E N T S

List of Illustrations

vii

Acknowledgments ix Abbreviations xi   Celebrating the Spanish Monarchy in Eighteenth-Century Lima 1    The Politics of Praise 000     Discourses of Loyalty 000     Staging the Incas 000    From the “Very Noble and Loyal” to the “Heroic City of the Free” 000 Notes

000

Bibliography 000 Index 000


I N T R O D U C T I O N

Celebrating the Spanish Monarchy in Eighteenth-Century Lima

In his Relation du voyage de la Mer du Sud aux Côtes du Chily et du Perou, fait pendant les années 1712, 1713, 1714 (A Voyage to the South-Sea and Along the Coast of Chili and Peru in the Years 1712, 1713, and 1714), published in Paris in 1716 and translated into English only one year later, the famous French military engineer and explorer Amédée-François Frézier relates with outright indignation a number of civic festivals in Lima designed to humiliate the indigenous population. One ritual especially stood out for him: Notwithstanding the Wars and the Destruction of the Indians, there is still a Family of the Race of the Ingas living at Lima, whose Chief, call’d Ampuero, is acknowledg’d by the King of Spain as a Descendent of the Emperors of Peru: As such his Catholick Majesty gives him the Title of Cousin, and orders the Viceroy, at his entring into Lima, to pay him a Sort of publick Homage. Ampuero sits in a Balcony, under a Canopy, with his Wife; and the Viceroy, mounted on a Horse managed for that Ceremony, causes him to bow his Knees three times, as paying him obeysance so often. Thus, at every Change of a Viceroy, they still, in Show, honour the Memory of the Sovereignty of that 1


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Emperor, whom they have unjustly deprived of his Dominions; and that of the memory of the Death of Atahualpa, whom Francisco Pizarro caused to be cruelly murder’d, as is well known. The Indians have not forgot him: The Love they bore their native Kings makes them still sigh for those times, of which they know nothing, but what they have been told by their Ancestors. (Frézier, Voyage to the South-Sea and Along the Coast of Chili and Peru, 272; emphasis in the original) Rather than a description of reality, Frézier’s account is above all an expression of an anti-Spanish sentiment that was shared by many of his contemporaries in northern Europe.1 At no time during the colonial period did the scene depicted above take place during the public entry of a new viceroy. No incoming viceroy made his horse kneel in a mock gesture of obeisance to descendants of the Incas seated for the occasion under a canopy. And “Ampuero” was neither a proper name, as Frézier seems to suggest, nor the “chief ” or leader of an Inca lineage; “Ampuero” was the surname of a prominent limeño aristocratic family of racially mixed ancestry.2 Furthermore, no Spanish monarch ever bestowed on the Ampuero family, or on any other descendant of the Incas for that matter, the title of “cousin.” In fact, it is unclear whether the Frenchman ever witnessed the solemn entrance of a viceroy during his stay in the capital. Nonetheless, this did not prevent the political philosopher Edmund Burke, who acknowledged the French explorer’s account as one of his main sources, from paraphrasing forty years later this very same incident in his comparative history of the Anglo and Spanish American colonies, Account of the European Settlements in America (1758). In contrast to Frézier, however, Burke reached a slightly different conclusion. Like Frézier, he condemned the symbolic violence that was being inflicted on the indigenous residents of Lima, yet at the same time his own interpretation also showed a hint of admiration for the Spaniards: This manner of proceeding may be thought of as the most refined strain of insolent tyranny, and to be as unpolitic as it is insulting; but it is not impossible that those vents, which they suffer the people to take, may carry off a spirit that might otherwise break out in a much more fatal manner. However it is, whether by the division they keep up, or by these vents, or by the management of the clergy, or by what-


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ever means, the Spaniards preserve their conquests with very little force. . . . Things deserving our consideration; as we do not seem to excel in the conciliating arts of government in our colonies, nor to think that anything is to be effected by other instruments than those of terror and rude force. (Account of the European Settlements in America, 1:259– 60) What interests me here is not so much the veracity of the episode as the author’s obvious ambivalence as evidenced in the quote from Burke.3 Burke rightly recognized that colonial celebrations were vital to securing Spain’s political and cultural hegemony in its overseas territories. In Spanish America, festivals were an ideal medium through which the colonizing Iberians could naturalize their power and contain popular unrest by providing not only an outlet for potential aggression, but also, as the author of the official report of Lima’s celebrations for Charles III in 1760 states, because rituals of loyalty reinforced and begot new loyalty to the Crown: These [festivities] in celebration of the proclamation of the sovereigns are the most precious offerings. . . . They are the ones that confirm the truth of the voices that express contentment because they reinforce it, and sowing the love of the empire they leave it even more desirable. They are the ones who inspire new impulses of courtesy in the vassals . . . by means of a circle of affection, a love originating in loyalty newly produces in it more constancy. ——— [Son éstas [las fiestas] en la celebración de las Exaltaciones de los Príncipes, las ofrendas más preciosas a un tiempo. . . . Son las que confirman la verdad de las voces, que expresan el contento; porque lo refuerzan, y radicando el amor para el Imperio lo dexan más apetecido. Son las que influyen nuevos impulsos de fineza en los vasallos . . . por un círculo de afecto, el amor que se origina de la fidelidad, vuelve a producir en ella más constancia.] (Lima gozosa, fols. 159r–159v, misnumbered 156r–156v) Yet these comments address merely one side of the equation. What Burke ignored or failed to explain (and the anonymous author of the 1760 festival account omits) is why the subjects—if no “rude force” was


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used—not only readily embraced and consented to such rituals but even invested heavily in them. Burke did not consider the possibility that the festivals of colonial Latin America, in addition to reasserting the power of the monarch, also opened up opportunities for the American subjects, that is—and this is important to clarify from the outset—for those subjects who had the means and the status to participate in them. José Antonio Maravall’s widely influential work on the inherently conservative nature of Baroque culture—which in the Spanish American colonies extended well into the eighteenth century—and his view that fiestas, as the arts in general, were a tool of state and Church power and “could be a means not only of distraction but also of attraction” (Maravall, Culture of the Baroque, 245) has been, and continues to be, an obligatory point of departure for many studies on colonial celebrations.4 Just as Maravall does (and, as we have seen before him, Burke, among others), other scholars concerned with the Spanish overseas empire have rightly stressed the importance of religious and civic celebrations in distracting the subjects from their ills, in helping to establish and reaffirm the presence of the (absent) king in his overseas colonies, in persuading their colonial subjects of the monarchy’s legitimacy, and in maintaining the colonial order.5 However, as Pablo Ortemberg rightly cautions, “this [Maravall’s] view condemns to passivity the popular sectors . . . who also manipulated the celebrations of power to their advantage” (esta visión condena a la pasividad a los sectores populares . . . que también manipulaban a su favor las fiestas del poder) (Rituales del poder en Lima, 33– 34).6 Indeed, the manifold ways in which local residents (be they of European, Amerindian, or African descent) participated and made use of political and religious festivities as a means to strengthen and/or renegotiate their relationship with the Crown, as an opportunity to (in)directly voice their needs, to define their position within colonial society vis-à-vis other ethnic and social groups, or to assert their central position in the Spanish empire with respect to other competing cities in the Americas have come under increasing scrutiny.7 Still, the subjects’ agency has rarely been the main theme of scholarly monographs on colonial celebrations. Two notable exceptions are Carolyn Dean’s already classic book Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ: Corpus Christi in Colonial Cuzco, Peru (1999), which examines the multiple


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meanings this Catholic feast had for Andean participants, and Lisa Voigt’s more recent Spectacular Wealth: The Festivals of Colonial South American Mining Towns (2016), an equally insightful comparative study of Creole, Amerindian, and Afro-Brazilian celebrants—and their intervention into the historical record—in the colonial mining towns of Potosí and Minas Gerais. The engagement of the local participants in Lima’s civic festivities (royal proclamations, funerals and nuptials, and the city’s reception of the new viceroy) during the eighteenth century and the ways in which they used these celebrations for their own ends will be the primary focus of this book. Colonial Loyalties does not follow a chronological order but rather centers on three aspects of Lima’s festive culture that help elucidate the relationship between the overseas vassals and their sovereigns, and explain the complex local network of political interests and rivalries. My focus is less on how civic festivities were strategically designed to assert political and cultural hegemony—a topic that has already received considerable critical attention—and more on how Lima’s residents sought to employ them for their own benefit. All three main chapters of this book, therefore, foreground to different degrees the subjects’ protagonism in celebrating their king and their viceroy during royal celebrations and the solemn entrance of the new viceroy through a careful reading and contextualization of varied primary sources, which include official festival accounts, speeches, poetry, plays, traveler accounts, petitions for favors, the correspondence between Lima and Spain and between the viceroy and the cabildo (city council), and the books of the city council. Some of the findings of this study are clearly unique to Lima, a conservative stronghold of the Spanish monarchy and the last viceregal capital in South America to declare its independence from the metropolis. However, I also believe that the more general insights gained here into the subjects’ agency in ritual contexts can be extended to other parts of the Spanish Empire, and beyond. In chapter 1, I consider the politics underlying the limeños’ praise of royal authorities through the analysis of the most prominent printed records that were produced for regal and viceregal festivities. I examine the following sets of texts: first, the speeches (oraciones panegíricas) that were pronounced at the University of San Marcos during the academic welcome of the new viceroy together with the lengthy prose announcements


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of the poetic contest (carteles del certamen poético) for the new dignitary that preceded the reception; second, the celebratory poetry that was composed for both the king and the viceroy; and, third, the official court-sponsored festival accounts (relaciones de fiestas) that were dispatched to the Council of the Indies and the monarch once the festivities were concluded. Despite their differences, these texts share one common trait: they all follow the conventions of the epideictic genre, one of the three branches of rhetoric outlined by Aristotle, used to offer praise (or assert blame) during ceremonies and festivals. Colonial panegyrics have, to date, garnered little scholarly attention. This I attribute in part to their questionable literary quality, and also to their alleged servile tone, which is not compatible with a literary historiography intent on seeking traces of a growing Creole self-consciousness. These texts, however, are well deserving of critical scrutiny because they can help us to paint a more nuanced picture of the complex relations between the local elites and the metropolitan and viceregal authorities. I argue that panegyrics are not solely an expression of servility but that they fulfill other purposes too. Praise is not just a constative utterance that describes the virtues of the authorities being exalted; it has also an illocutionary force because it assigns said authorities an essence by telling them what they are supposed to be and how they are expected to conduct themselves. This performative quality of praise, in addition to the fact that most of the texts not only acclaim the royal dignitaries but also make space for the exaltation of the viceroyalty and its capital, confers to this panegyric corpus a certain ambiguity that at times displaces the focus from the dignitaries to those who eulogize them. Consequently, not one but two protagonists emerge from the relaciones de fiestas, the laudatory poetry, the oraciones panegíricas, and the carteles del certamen poético: the king and/or the viceroy, on the one hand, and the local residents, on the other. I begin chapter 1 by looking at the welcome reception held traditionally for the new viceroy at the University of San Marcos several months after his solemn entry into Lima. The academic welcome, I claim, was instrumental in forging a strong alliance between the viceregal court and the university, a stronghold of the Creole elite. It allowed the viceroy to connect with the local intelligentsia, whose members, furthermore, often occupied important administrative positions; it offered an opportunity


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for the members of the viceroy’s entourage to insert themselves shortly after their arrival into Lima’s society; and it was a means by which the faculty members could establish political relationships with the new governor, court his patronage, and thereby potentially further their political career. A close reading of the oraciones panegíricas that were delivered throughout the eighteenth century, and an examination of their pragmatic context, demonstrates that even those speeches deemed ambiguous or even explicitly critical of royal officials did not threaten the important, mutually sustaining bond between the king’s representative and Lima’s leading educational institution. As with other panegyrics discussed in chapter 1, the celebratory poetry composed for the king and his alter ego, the viceroy, served as a vehicle for the residents to display their cultural capital—in addition, of course, to demonstrating material wealth—by impressing with their wit, ingenuity, taste, and erudition. In keeping with the guidelines stipulated for the epideictic genre since classical antiquity, the poetic program devised for the celebrations remained unchanged throughout the colonial period and comprised three parts: first, the exaltation of the ruler’s royal or noble ancestry; second, the exaltation of the traditional virtues of a model leader; and, third, the beneficial effects that his subjects would derive from his government. Poetry was, thus, not just a ludic exercise. The repetition of the same thematic repertory was crucial in instructing and persuading the subjects of the legitimacy of their rulers. Nonetheless, the poetic compositions—which were painted on tarjas (signboards or decorative panels) and used to adorn the cathedral, the university halls, and the main square—simultaneously conveyed, if subtly, the subjects’ aspirations and the pivotal role they played in maintaining the Spanish Empire, thereby serving as reminders of the mutual pact of obligation between the ruler and his vassals. The final set of texts, official festival accounts (relaciones de fiestas) that were commissioned by the viceroy, undoubtedly provide scholars with the most extensive printed source for the analysis of royal and viceregal celebrations. Similar to the commemorative books of Renaissance court spectacles, which by the mid-sixteenth century had become a literary genre of their own (Strong, Art and Power, 21– 22), the relaciones de fiestas related all the minutiae of the preparation and execution of the festivities.


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And much like these Renaissance festival books, the reports penned in Lima were intended to display and immortalize regal magnificence. Yet as the name indicates, relaciones de fiestas were also indebted to another textual tradition, the relación, a genre of Spanish provenance. The relación in its different manifestations— for instance, as relación de la conquista or as relación de méritos —was a report solicited by the Crown from its vassals describing, among other topics, the subjects’ deeds for their monarch. Consequently, the relaciones de fiestas were not just centered on the ruler but served also as a conduit for showing the subjects’ agency during the festivities. After all, and unlike the Renaissance court spectacles, the financial burden of the festivities in Lima fell entirely to the city and its residents, not the king. In addition, the relaciones de fiestas allowed for the incorporation of long segments detailing the history and present state of the viceroyalty and its capital. At the center of my study of the relaciones de fiestas are the accounts depicting the first four large-scale civic celebrations held during the Bourbon reign from 1701 until 1723: the royal exequies of Charles II (1701); the proclamation of Philip V (1701); the solemn entry of Viceroy Castell dos Rius (1707); and the nuptials between Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand and the Princess of Orléans (1723). The interplay between monarchical propaganda and the display of the vassals’ merits is certainly a defining characteristic of all the relaciones de fiestas authored during the late colonial period. The close examination of these four official accounts, however, shows that the emphasis from propaganda to “merit report” began to shift in 1723, once the reign of the new dynasty had been consolidated. The relaciones depicting the three earlier celebrations, which took place during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), formed—in tandem with the festivities, of course—part of the ritual propaganda campaign that was mounted to further the Bourbon cause. Similar to the celebrations, the written accounts were strategically used by their authors (most notably, Pedro Peralta y Barnuevo) to pledge allegiance to the House of Bourbon and to persuade the local readership of the legitimacy of the new ruling dynasty. Once this goal had been achieved, the relaciones de fiestas from 1723 onward reveal a shift in emphasis from the objects of celebration to those who celebrated them. Chapter 2 explores the nature and the rendition of the subjects’ fealty to their king and their viceroy. I am interested in three distinct yet interre-


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lated dimensions: the textual (that is, the articulation of a discourse of loyalty, particularly in the relaciones de fiestas and the petitions for favors); the material (the actual costs involved in the execution of the festivities); and the performative (the common habitus that was acted out by the elites of Spanish descent during the oath ceremonies and the public processions). Reflections on the importance of rituals of loyalty for both the monarch and his subjects are part and parcel of many festival accounts. Taking as a point of departure Peralta y Barnuevo’s Jubileos de Lima (1723), the official narrative of the nuptials of Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand, which, as I claim, served many subsequent eighteenth-century writers as a model for their own festival accounts, I show that these reflections were articulated in two ways: on the one hand, through the use of an economic tropology that insinuated the relationship of reciprocity between the king and his vassals, and, on the other, through the very structure of festival narratives in which passages panegyrizing the viceroyalty of Peru and Lima and their loyalty to the king alternated with paragraphs or sections that hint at the needs of their residents and their expectations of the future monarch. This relationship of give-and-take, or the “economy of favor”—to borrow an expression coined by Alejandro Cañeque— was spelled out explicitly in the subjects’ petitions for mercedes (favors) that were sent to Spain once the festivals were concluded. Yet, as I demonstrate, it was also implicit in the preceding relaciones de fiesta, which served to establish the base for merit. I contend that the manifold reminders of this mutual pact of obligations should not, however, be mistaken as a relationship of equality between the two parties involved. It is important to bear in mind that these reminders took place in a space created by the Crown. After all, this gift economy was first initiated by the Spanish king in the real cédula (royal decree) announcing his succession to the throne and requesting demonstrations of loyalty, and subsequently continued to be controlled by him, because it was the monarch who concluded the process by deciding what specific favors to bestow and when to bestow them. The gift economy, or “circle of vassalage,” as Peralta called it in his 1723 relación, followed a well-established, four-step sequence: it began with the king’s real cédula (1), to which the relaciones de fiestas responded (2); then the subjects’ petitions for favors (3), to which the monarch again responded through another real cédula conceding said favors(4).


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The subjects’ interest in celebrating the king and the viceroy, their eagerness to show their fealty, and their hope of reaping material or symbolic rewards is furthermore evident in the financial burden they were willing to shoulder. The Bourbon administration’s repeated attempts to curb public spending by reforming ceremonials for the reception of the incoming viceroy consistently met with strong resistance by Lima’s local authorities, particularly the city council, and ultimately had little success. The underlying tacit understanding was that the extent of the subjects’ loyalty was measured in financial terms: the more you spent and the more spectacular the display of magnificence, the greater also your loyalty. This premise, in turn, translated into the relaciones de fiestas in which the space and length of the description accorded to each of the festival sponsors—be they administrative institutions, city guilds, individuals, or the nación índica— was more or less proportional to the perceived material value of their contribution. Investigations conducted by Crown-appointed officials during the second half of the eighteenth century revealed the distressing state of public finance: so depleted were the city’s coffers that at times it had even embarked on deficit spending to cover the costs of the festivities. Finally, I narrow the focus to the performance of loyalty during the public procession and the oath of allegiance administered by a small group of local dignitaries. This select group consisted exclusively of members of the Spanish and Creole elites. Their performance of fealty was not just directed at the absent king and his representative, the viceroy, but also at the rest of Lima’s population. Through their visual display of a common habitus and through their sharing of the same symbolic practices, they presented themselves before the wider population as one single homogenous group that embodied the political authority in the viceroyalty. Their conduct and demeanor before, during, and after the festivities, I posit, runs counter to the oft-alleged dichotomy between Creoles and Spaniards. The examination of the petitions for favors and of the bitter legal disputes over ceremonial etiquette reveals that whenever conflicts arose in the course of these celebrations, they were not between españoles peninsulares and españoles americanos, but rather between different administrative institutions, most notably the audiencia and the cabildo. Chapter 3 shifts attention from the Spanish and Creole elites to the king’s Amerindian subjects and their demonstrations of loyalty. It centers

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Excerpt of "Colonial Loyalties"  

"Colonial Loyalties" is an insightful study of how Lima’s residents engaged in civic festivities in the eighteenth century. Scholarship on f...

Excerpt of "Colonial Loyalties"  

"Colonial Loyalties" is an insightful study of how Lima’s residents engaged in civic festivities in the eighteenth century. Scholarship on f...

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