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Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The corregidor as dragon and the encomendero as lion: symbolic language to depict antisocial behavior in Guaman Poma’s Andean colonial world
Authors: Dedenbach-Salazar, Sabine
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Keywords: Quechua
colonial indigenous discourse
animal imagery
colonial administration
symbolic language
Guaman Poma
Issue Date: Jul-2014
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton & Akademie Verlag
Citation: Dedenbach-Salazar S (2014) The corregidor as dragon and the encomendero as lion: symbolic language to depict antisocial behavior in Guaman Poma’s Andean colonial world, STUF - Language Typology and Universals, 67 (2), pp. 149-173.
Abstract: With his Primer nueva coronica y buen gobierno Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala (ca. 1535-post 1616), the best known Andean early-17th century author of indigenous descent, created a comprehensive and complex work about the indigenous past and the colonial present of his time. Colonial language data and information in an Amerindian language, interpreted from within the writer's framework as well as parting from Andean and European traditions, can be used to better understand the author's objectives for employing a certain text genre and language. This paper gives a sociolinguistic and ethno-historical analysis of Guaman Poma's work. Guaman Poma uses animal imagery of wild beasts in order to portray colonial society. Certain functionaries are likened to animals which threaten the indigenous people. The critical author presents these menaces in two sections of his work: in a critique of the administration which contains an illustration that links wild animals and functionaries directly and explicitly, and through prayers seeking protection from these same threats. Making use of symbolic language, textual and visual imagery, Guaman Poma associates uncivilized elements of nature with the barbaric behavior of the authorities. Nature and culture have always been closely linked in the Andes, and Guaman Poma makes extensive traditional and at the same time innovative use of this connection. I argue that in doing so he creates a new colonial indigenous discourse and uses subversion in the repressive context of the time to call the attention of the reader to the social problems created by colonial rule, thereby making an innovative use of both his native language and Spanish traditions.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in STUF - Language Typology and Universals, Volume 67, Issue 2 (Jul 2014), pp. 149-173 by De Gruyter. The original publication is available at:
Notes: In: Special Issue: A Colonized World Revisited: Linguistic Perspectives from Unpublished Colonial and Postcolonial Documents (Astrid Alexander-Bakkerus and Otto Zwartjes, eds.), vol. 67, no. 2. Berlin 2014.
Affiliation: SLCR: Spanish

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