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Francisco de Avila

Vicar in the province of Huarochiri of Peru

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Avila, FRANCISCO DE, curate or vicar in the province of Huarochiri of Peru, later curate at Hudnaco, finally Canon of the Church of La Plata (now Sucre), in Bolivia. Born in Peru as a foundling (quorum parentes ignorantur he says himself); date of demise unknown. He was one of the most active investigators of Indian rites and customs of his time. In 1608 he wrote a treatise of the “Errors, False Gods, and Other Superstitions of the Indians of the Province of Huarochiri, Mama, and Chaclla”, of which unfortunately only the first six chapters are known to exist and have been translated into English. It is, even in its incomplete form, an invaluable contribution to the knowledge of the Peruvian Indians and their primitive lore. In 1611 Avila wrote an equally important report on the Indians of Huanaco in eastern Peru, of which the unpublished MS. is extant. Such writings greatly mitigate the charges which the destruction of fetishes and other objects of primitive worship of the Indians have called forth against the Church. (See Pablo Jose Arriaga.)

AD. F. BANDELIER


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