Tren Andino
Tours Tren Ecuador


(Introductory note...)

…It is usually common practice in a given language, which can define boundaries – but boundaries do not determine the use of a language, even though they generally define and bound nationalities...

Girolamo Benzoni writes (1*):"... Although the peoples of this Province of Quito and also many others of Peru have their own language, the Incas forced them all to learn the language of Cusco, which parents had to teach their children. This is why this language is widely used throughout those countries that were under Incan rule..."

(1*) Benzoni (Gieronimo ) Girolamo. New World History; "Tales of Travel through Lands of Present-Day Ecuador",1547-1550. 2nd Ed. Central Bank of Ecuador, Guayaquil 1985. Imp.Cromos. Guayaquil, Ec. p. 115

"...Friar Hernando Italiano (1*), in his Narrative, brings the following news about Alausí*: "They speak the general language of Incas, which they call Inca QUICHUA. Those who most speak their own language, is in CAÑAR , province of Cuenca, mixed with the PURUYES of the province of Riobamba, and there are different languages among these same Indians, but they can make themselves understood quite well with these two..." (2*)

"... They were governed by chiefs, and had wars with each other. They would fight with clubs, defending their lands, food and belongings, and for other passions of thefts and other happenings. After the Incas came, they got palm spears, macana sticks, chonta sticks, copper hatchets, slingshots and other weapons.
Then they had major wars, when the sons of the Inca came to divide up the land.” “(2*)

"...This town and the others are on hillsides and high places, scattered in the mountains. They are all forts and fortresses". (1*) ( Mocha... (Author-narrator’s note)

(1*) Hernando Italiano: This DOMINICAN friar appeared, as the priest for the natives of Sant Jvan of HAMBATO, on St. John’s day, January 14, 1606 . (Castillo Jácome, July)
(2*) Cordero-Palacios, Octavio. Historical Studies. Selection. Central Bank of Ecuador Publication. Printed by Gráficas Hernández Cia.Cuenca. 1986. pp. 68/69. Primary source. "...the documents we have just reproduced, were written three and a half centuries ago..." This means ca. 1630-1635.

Alausí* was the boundary between these towns mentioned by the chroniclers: Cañari and. (Author-narrator’s note)

SYMBIOSIS... It is always surprising, to say the least, to see the almost perfect symbiosis, for practical purposes of common use, among the various different languages of the conquered peoples, and the single language of the conquerors. The two-way, natural, unconscious assimilation is fantastic. When in ‘our’ times we refer to places (among thousands of others) with absolute normalcy, using their mixed Spanish and Quichua names, e.g. San Francisco de Quito; San Juan de Ambato; San Bartolomé de Pínllo; etc. Saá.


... Up until the mid-18th century, to refer to the native languages of this part of the continent, the Spanish-speaking community in general would refer to them as “the Inca language”, but NOT to Quichua or Quechua or any such name, and the several other languages in day-to-day use in these lands. Saá
*Cat. Gen. Arch. Franciscan Order in Ecuador. 8.2 Books of Parishes and Franciscan Doctrines. "Miscellaneous Doctrines and Indigenous Peoples." # 8-10 VII-VIII

... This was the origin and the driver – perhaps unconsciously – of the ideological and conceptual mixing, two-directional: Quechua-Spanish / Spanish-Quechua (2*),..., which continues to this day, and perfectly well blends into our own present-day way of speaking... (Ref. "Mixing of Languages”) Saá

*1 Peoples, communities, nations...
* 2 (...But not only the various ‘native’ languages of the region, but multi-ethnically, which has now formed a very complex ‘Ecuadorian identity’ with little empowerment, identification, or commitment to the country in the upper-level social classes...)


... On June 9, 1802, Humboldt resumed his trip along with his traveling companion, Bonpland, along the “Royal” road, this time toward Lima, staying a few weeks in Riobamba Nueva, in the home of a brother of Carlos Montúfar who had a high-level position in provincial administration as the Corregidor; soon after, he referred, among others, to the Spanish and Quichua languages: "...predominant in the territories between Quito and Lima..", he says in a letter to his brother, William, from LIMA, (1*):.."... the language is so rich in refined, multiple turns of phrases that young gentlemen usually begin speaking the Quichua language when they have exhausted the treasury of the Spanish language, in order to murmur compliments to the ladies. These two languages and a number of others, equally rich, could be enough to convince one that the Americas had a culture much higher than the one that the Spaniards found here in 1492..."

(1*) Letter from G.von Humboldt to his brother from Lima, on 25 Nov. 1802
(A. Humboldt 1769/1969 Inter Nationen Bad Godesberg, p. 68)



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