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Criollismo and the Writing of Memory in Jerónimo de Oré’s Symbolo Catholico Indiano (1598)

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April 22, 2021

Event Subtitle / Short Description

Speaker & Affiliation

Catalina Andrango-Walker, Virginia Tech


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
via Zoom


Sponsored by Program in American Studies, Department of Classics, Center for Collaborative History, Program in Latin American Studies, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, PIIRS


In 1584, Italian printer Antonio Ricardo began producing the first printed books in South America. At the behest of the Third Council of Lima (1582-1583), Ricardo published Doctrina christiana y catecismo para instrucción de indios (1584), Confessionario para los curas de indios (1585), and Tercero catecismo y exposición de la doctrina christiana por sermones (1585). All these documents were printed not only in Spanish but also in the principal Andean languages of Quechua and Aymara. These three texts became the official documents for conversion and the only ones authorized until 1598, when Ricardo printed Peruvian born Franciscan friar Luis Jéronimo de Oré’s Symbolo Catholico Indiano. Oré’s book, which responded to the need for material to help missionaries communicate more effectively with the natives, is also a response to the books produced by the Third Council of Lima, which lacked an understanding of Andean culture. Working with two different and even opposing concepts of history, Oré took advantage of his classical humanist education to pen the Andean memories found in the quipus, as well as in oral tales in order to explain the native culture to an European audience and at the same time to explain the main concepts of Catholicism to an Andean audience. Furthermore, Oré’s approach to history also aides in the understanding as to how the imperialist discourse of colonial difference regarding the other, including criollos, shaped Symbolo, a writing of a religious nature.