Codex Murua

Alternate Titles:

Códice Murúa, The Galvin Manuscript, Loyola Murúa

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Códice Murúa
The Galvin Manuscript
Loyola Murúa

Type
Extent / Format

270 pages / 30.8 x 22.2 cm

Origin
Date
1580-1600
Style
Genre
Language
Artist / School

Fray Martín de Murúa (c. 1525 – c. 1618)
Felipe Waman Puma de Ayala

Former owners

Galvin Family

Short description

The famous Codex Murua, also known as the Galvin Manuscript, is one of the most fascinating attestations of Incan culture in Peru. Synthesized at the end of the 16th century, the manuscript also contains other older elements. It is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Spanish missionary Fray Martín de Murúa and Felipe Guaman Pomo de Ayala, an indigenous Inca. Today, the significant manuscript grants a glimpse into the history of the Incas, their forgotten rituals, customs, and the building of their empire, and in doing so, brings history to life!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Codex Murua

The famous Codex Murua, also known as the Galvin Manuscript, is one of the most fascinating attestations of Incan culture in Peru. Synthesized at the end of the 16th century, the manuscript also contains other older elements. It is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Spanish missionary Fray Martín de Murúa and Felipe Guaman Pomo de Ayala, an indigenous Inca. Today, the significant manuscript grants a glimpse into the history of the Incas, their forgotten rituals, customs, and the building of their empire, and in doing so, brings history to life!

Kings, Personal Hygiene, and Culture

An Incan chief with a splendid headdress sits across from an evidently European man dressed in black. They are immersed in conversation with one another. An Incan woman is cared for and served by three other women: one in the middle combs the woman’s black hair, one holds a sunshade above her head, and another hands them such mysterious objects, presumably for skin- and hair-care. Such thrilling depictions illustrate the famous Codex Murua, a late-16th century manuscript from Peru, which is researched today by archeologists and ethnographers in the British Museum in London. The codex is also named the Galvin Manuscript because of its repository in the private collection of Sean Galvin in Dublin.

An Inca and a Missionary

Fray Martín de Murúa (ca. 1525/40-1618) was a Spanish priest and missionary in Central and South America, but primarily in the Viceroyalty of Peru. He is known as the chronicler of the downfall of the Incan Empire. He recorded this in his famous Historia y Genealogía de los Reyes Incas del Perú, de sus hechos, costumbres, trajes y manera de Gobierno, which he composed with Felipe Guamam Poma de Ayala, an indigenous Incan. In this way, the codex is the witness to a fruitful collaboration between a European and an indigenous author. Precious information about the culture of the pre-colonial Incas, their origin and history, their rituals and customs, has been assembled together with a description of the landscape and the cities of the Incan Empire on the Peruvian manuscript’s 270 pages.

Delightful Illustrations

Alongside the text, the manuscript contains over 100 gaily colored watercolors. These colorful illustrations allow the recorded information to come alive before the eyes of the beholder. In addition to an Incan king, there is also a depiction of the initial encounter between the indigenous peoples and the colonists, in addition to exciting maps and plans of the Incan road network in the Andes. With the help of this codex, the Incans were able to convey the life of their people to the conquistadors. Nonetheless, the depictions, some of which are hard to decipher, still hold some secrets to this day…

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