This thesis analyzes the role of animals, specifically llamas, in El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno, a manuscript that dates to 1615-16, and was hand-written and illustrated by the Andean author Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. Through the lens of animal studies, I analyze the manner in which Poma represented llamas to convey greater ideas surrounding the nature of colonial life under the Spanish empire, as well as the nostalgic remembrance of Inca practices before the conquest.

My study focuses on three of the Corónica’s drawings: “The second age of the world: Noah,” and how its reinterpretation of the eponymous biblical narrative expanded it to include the Andean world; “One of the many thieves who prosper in this kingdom,” and its representation of early modern anxieties over corruption and mestizaje; and “Feast of the Inkas: wariqsa, dance; arawi, song of the Inka. He sings with his red llama,” and its illustration of the connections between llamas, their environments, and the legacy of the Inca Empire through ritual space. Ultimately, I propose that llamas in the Corónica must be understood as active historical agents and visual representatives of Andeanness.

Degree Date

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name



Art History


Adam Jasienski

Second Advisor

Amy Freund

Third Advisor

Adam Herring

Subject Area

Art, Art History/Criticism/Conservation, History, Humanities, Humanities, Linguistics

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Monday, May 06, 2024