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2020-11-20 08:37:05
COCAINE TRAFFICKING IN CUZCO, 1559<br>“Tocante a la coca del cuzco…”
1559. Folio [34 x 21.5 cm], 1 leaf, written on paper in brown ink in a neat Spanish hand, 30 lines of text, including note at foot comprising 4 further lines of text. Subject heading on verso, and folds typical of documents sent through the post. Cuzco, 6 August 1559. Signed by Hurtado and his secretary. Deacidified, with expert re-margining at left edge.Early manuscript ordinance in the name of the 5th viceroy of Peru, Hurtado (1555-60), evidently unpublished, relating to the cultivation of coca leaves in early colonial Peru, and an important document for the importance of the coca trade for both Spanish commercial interests and social control of the indigenous population. The ordinance is signed by Hurtado and presumably a secretary, dated Cuzco, 1559, a very early date for manuscript material from colonial Peru. Opposed for its use in Indian superstition and ritual and castigated by Las Casas no less for its lethal effects on the native population, coca had such economic importance that it forced successive governors into regulating rather than abolishing or even diminishing its cultivation and trade. The most significant reason, as given by coca proponents, was that it formed the principal medium of exchange for silver plate (cf. Gagliano, 1996). Workers were initially given their wages in coca and forced to work grueling hours, often leading to death by starvation: coca was an appetite suppressant, and other diseases followed in the wake of addiction. Contemporary estimates of mortality rates range between one-third and one-half of the work force annually. Nonetheless, … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Martayan Lan, Inc. [United States]
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