Skip to main content

Chayanta, Revolt of (1777–1781)

Chayanta, Revolt of (1777–1781)

Revolt of (1777–1781) Chayanta, an indigenous insurrection in Chayanta Province of Upper Peru (modern Bolivia). It began earlier than the more famous 1780–1781 revolt of Túpac Amaru, with which it became associated.

In 1777 the Aymaras in Macha began protesting the colonial government's failure to protect traditional land practices and rights to cacicazgo (chieftainship). A corregidor (provincial governor), Nicolás Usarinqui, appointed as a cacique (chief) of Macha a mestizo, who had no legitimate claim to leadership within the ayllu (kinship unit). Among other duties the cacique allocated ayllu lands, but this one did so to his own rather than to the community's advantage. By so doing he harmed the villagers, who depended on their agricultural production to pay tributes and provide food and other things for their ill-paid mitayos drafted for the mines of Potosí. To protect his people, Tomás Catari, the rightful cacique, protested this corruption and abuse to royal treasury officials in Potosí, who decreed the false cacique's removal. Nonetheless, the new corregidor, Joaquín Alós, disregarded the ruling.

Between early 1778 and January 1781, Catari appealed four times to the Potosí officials and four times to the royal Audiencia of Charcas. Seeking redress, he also traveled by foot to Buenos Aires, where he met with the viceroy. The colonial bureaucracy repeatedly approved his petitions but did not force local officials to comply. For his troubles, Catari suffered beatings, five arrests, and ten months in jail. Threats and riots by his followers secured his release. Violence mounted, and disturbances spread to neighboring provinces. The audiencia and Alós conspired to eliminate Catari, who was murdered during the night of 15 January 1781.

The insurrection in Chayanta intensified following Catari's death, with his brothers Dámaso and Nicolás helping lead the movement. Chayanta was crucial in spreading rebellion throughout Upper Peru, where dissatisfaction with repartos (forced distribution of merchandise to Indians), the Mita (forced labor), and the colonial system generally was explosive. Although the Spanish suspected that the revolts of Tomás Catari and Túpac Amaru were linked, and in fact there was correspondence between the two, the causes of the Chayanta revolt were peculiar to its Aymara peasantry.

See alsoAymara; Bolivia: The Colonial Period.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

An excellent analysis of the revolt's causes is Sergio Serulnikov, Reivindicaciones indígenas y legalidad colonial: La rebelión de Chayanta (1777–1781) (1989). Also see Lillian Estelle Fisher, The Last Inca Revolt, 1780–1783 (1966), esp. pp. 53-94; and María Cecilia Cangiano, Curas, caciques, y comunidades: Chayanta a fines del siglo XVIII (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Hylton, Forrest, ed. Ya es otro tiempo el presente: Cuatro momentos de insurgéncia indígena. La Paz: Muela del Diablo Editores, 2003.

Jacobsen, Nils, and Cristóbal Aljovín de Losada. Political Cultures in the Andes, 1750–1950. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

Serulnikov, Sergio. Subverting Colonial Authority: Challenges to Spanish Rule in Eighteenth-Century Southern Andes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

Stavig, Ward. The World of Túpac Amaru: Conflict, Community, and Identity in Colonial Peru. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.

Stern, Steve J. Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.

Walker, Charles C. Smoldering Ashes: Cuzco and the Creation of Republican Peru, 1780–1840. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.

                                   Kendall W. Brown

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chayanta, Revolt of (1777–1781)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chayanta, Revolt of (1777–1781)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chayanta-revolt-1777-1781

"Chayanta, Revolt of (1777–1781)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved September 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chayanta-revolt-1777-1781

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.