September 5, 2014

View of the Caquetá River near the Port of Descansé, Caquetá Territory

This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows a party of Amerindians crossing the Caquetá River on a flat-bottomed boat, while two others, perhaps fishermen, are busy on the bank. The Caquetá River rises in fertile, mountainous southwestern Colombia and becomes a major waterway as it flows east across the country’s vast plains. In Brazil, where it is called the Japurá, it ultimately joins the Amazon. The region of Caquetá enjoyed special territorial status at times in the 1840s and 1850s. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at a young age and showed exceptional skills as a cartographer and painter. In 1853 he took over the role of draftsman of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission) formerly held by Henry Price (1819–63). The commission, which began work in 1850, was tasked with studying the geography, cartography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). Paz worked under Agustín Codazzi (1793–1859), the Italian-born geographer and engineer who co-founded and directed the commission. In 1859, at Codazzi’s death, Paz was among the collaborators who took on the task of reviewing, completing, and publishing the work that the Comisión Corográfica had undertaken since 1850. As a draftsman, Paz executed watercolors and drawings that were very exact and strove to represent the places and people of Colombia in a naturalistic and objective style. These pictures constitute invaluable documentary records for the history and culture of Colombia. They also provided information pertinent to drawing up the maps that were one of the main objectives of the Comisión Corográfica. More than 90 paintings by Paz are preserved at the National Library of Colombia.

Indian Male and Female of the Macaguaje Nation, Caquetá Territory

This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows an Amerindian family of Macaguaje ethnicity. The Macaguaje speak the languages Macaguaje (also called Siona) and Koreguaje. Very few members of this group are now believed to remain. Paz depicts a couple in traditional dress. The man has a bodoquera (blowgun) used for hunting small animals; the woman carries a child in a basket hanging from a head strap. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at a young age and showed exceptional skills as a cartographer and painter. In 1853 he took over the role of draftsman of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission) formerly held by Henry Price (1819–63). The commission, which began work in 1850, was tasked with studying the geography, cartography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). Paz worked under Agustín Codazzi (1793–1859), the Italian-born geographer and engineer who co-founded and directed the commission. In 1859, at Codazzi’s death, Paz was among the collaborators who took on the task of reviewing, completing, and publishing the work that the Comisión Corográfica had undertaken since 1850. As a draftsman, Paz executed watercolors and drawings that were very exact and strove to represent the places and people of Colombia in a naturalistic and objective style. These pictures constitute invaluable documentary records for the history and culture of Colombia. They also provided information pertinent to drawing up the maps that were one of the main objectives of the Comisión Corográfica. More than 90 paintings by Paz are preserved at the National Library of Colombia.

Correguaje Indians in Their Traditional Garments, Caquetá Territory

This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows members of an Amerindian ethnic group. Paz calls them Correguajes, which is also the name of their language (now usually spelled Koreguaje). Koreguaje speakers live in present-day Caquetá Department in southern Colombia. The people appear to be participating in a ceremonial ritual, with musical instruments, ornate headwear, and necklaces. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at a young age and showed exceptional skills as a cartographer and painter. In 1853 he took over the role of draftsman of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission) formerly held by Henry Price (1819–63). The commission, which began work in 1850, was tasked with studying the geography, cartography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). Paz worked under Agustín Codazzi (1793–1859), the Italian-born geographer and engineer who co-founded and directed the commission. In 1859, at Codazzi’s death, Paz was among the collaborators who took on the task of reviewing, completing, and publishing the work that the Comisión Corográfica had undertaken since 1850. As a draftsman, Paz executed watercolors and drawings that were very exact and strove to represent the places and people of Colombia in a naturalistic and objective style. These pictures constitute invaluable documentary records for the history and culture of Colombia. They also provided information pertinent to drawing up the maps that were one of the main objectives of the Comisión Corográfica. More than 90 paintings by Paz are preserved at the National Library of Colombia.

Priest Manuel M. Albis, with Converted Mocoa Indians, Caquetá Territory

This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows the priest Manuel Albis with Mocoa Indians who had become Catholics. Albis is known to have been interested in learning about the peoples he encountered in southern Colombia, and published scholarly work on the Andaquí language spoken by people living near Mocoa (also called Lowland Inga). These groups lived along the upper Caquetá and Putumayo Rivers in present-day Caquetá Department. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at a young age and showed exceptional skills as a cartographer and painter. In 1853 he took over the role of draftsman of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission) formerly held by Henry Price (1819–63). The commission, which began work in 1850, was tasked with studying the geography, cartography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). Paz worked under Agustín Codazzi (1793–1859), the Italian-born geographer and engineer who co-founded and directed the commission. In 1859, at Codazzi’s death, Paz was among the collaborators who took on the task of reviewing, completing, and publishing the work that the Comisión Corográfica had undertaken since 1850. As a draftsman, Paz executed watercolors and drawings that were very exact and strove to represent the places and people of Colombia in a naturalistic and objective style. These pictures constitute invaluable documentary records for the history and culture of Colombia. They also provided information pertinent to drawing up the maps that were one of the main objectives of the Comisión Corográfica. More than 90 paintings by Paz are preserved at the National Library of Colombia.

Constitutions of This Province of the Twelve Apostles of Peru, 1607

Constituciones de esta provincia de los Doze Apostoles del Peru (Constitutions of this province of the Twelve Apostles of Peru) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1607. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico City. This book is part of a collection of 39 first editions in the National Library of Peru, produced at the press between 1584 and 1619. The collection was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2013. In Latin, Spanish, and several Amerindian languages, these books are an important part of the record of the encounter between two worlds: the Amerindian civilization of the Incas and the European culture represented by the Spanish conquistadors. They are important sources for the study of the dissemination of ideas in the Spanish Empire, including the evangelization process and the diffusion of Catholicism on the one hand and the debate over the indigenous peoples and their condition as human beings on the other. Several of the books provide insights into the political, cultural, and social organization of the vanquished Inca civilization, as well as a record of the Quechua and Aymara languages spoken by the Incas.

Sermon by the Reverend Father Diego de Castro on the Death of Father Luis Lopez, Bishop of Quito and Elected Bishop of Charcas, of the Order of Saint Augustine

Sermon en la muerte del maestro Don Fray Luys Lopez de la Orden de sant Augustin Obispo de Quito (Sermon by the Reverend Father Diego de Castro on the death of Father Luis Lopez, Bishop of Quito and elected Bishop of Charcas, of the Order of Saint Augustine) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1606. Luis López de Solís was appointed bishop of Quito, Ecuador, in September 1592. He was appointed archbishop of La Plata o Charcas (present-day Bolivia) in July 1605, and he died on July 5, 1606. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico City. This book is part of a collection of 39 first editions in the National Library of Peru, produced at the press between 1584 and 1619. The collection was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2013. In Latin, Spanish, and several Amerindian languages, these books are an important part of the record of the encounter between two worlds: the Amerindian civilization of the Incas and the European culture represented by the Spanish conquistadors. They are important sources for the study of the dissemination of ideas in the Spanish Empire, including the evangelization process and the diffusion of Catholicism on the one hand and the debate over the indigenous peoples and their condition as human beings on the other. Several of the books provide insights into the political, cultural, and social organization of the vanquished Inca civilization, as well as a record of the Quechua and Aymara languages spoken by the Incas.