#13 from The Extirpation of Idolatry in Peru
(Pablo Jose de Arriaga, 1621)

What Those Who Hang Themselves Really Are

They do not stop those who hang themselves because of what they are. [They consider them] something more than human, and they invoke them, and call on them for some things, and it could be that this was one of the reasons why in some areas some hang themselves so easily, like the other Indian boy and prince, who while enjoying himself some months in a fiesta or drinking occasion with some Indians with whom he was not very friendly, he said one day, at the beginning of the night and at the end of the fiesta, and they understood that he said it while he tapped his feet, I have to see who among you has good will toward me, if he will come to hang himself with me and with this he left the house, and going to search for him here and there, thinking that he had gone a distance away, they came to find him hanged near the very house. And it must have been a little more than a month ago, that the judge holding a sorcerer prisoner with a pair of irons, and not having pressured or squeezed him at all, instead treating him well and feeding him from his own table, after he had been a prisoner for two days in his own room, he went out of it one night, without being heard, and with a piece of a very thin cord like those they wear on their head, which they call huaraca, he hanged himself at the door of the house, in such a way that he remained on his knees and in this posture I found him and ran into him in front of our chamber in the morning when I went out at dawn. We had him taken away outside of the town, being dragged by the feet, and burned him so that he would be a lesson for others.

[#13] “What Those Who Hang Themselves Really Are,” from Pablo José de Arriaga, La Extirpacion de la Idolatria en el Peru (Lima: Imprenta y Libreria Sanmarti, 1920, pp 61-61), tr. Carolyn Morrow.

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