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Francisco de Avila



Curate or vicar in the province of Huarochiri of Peru, later curate at Huánaco, 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 Provinces 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 In 1611 Avila wrote an equally important report on the Indians of Huánaco in eastern Peru, of which the unpublished manuscript. 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 JOSÉ ARRIAGA.)

Fables and Rites of the Incas (Hakluyt Society, 1872); MENDIBURU, Diccionario historico biografico del Peru (1874); ARRIAGA, Extirpacion de la Idolatria del Peru (Lima, 1621); JIMENEZ DE LA ESPADA, Tres relaciones de antiguedades peruanas (Madrid, 1879), Introduction.

AD. F. BANDELIER








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