Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

Page 79

to which the strange races became gradually accustomed. A spirit of loyalty sprang up by degrees in their bosoms, and before a generation had passed away the different tribes mingled in harmony together as members of the same community.

In following out this singular arrangement, the Incas showed as much regard for the comfort and convenience of the colonist as was compatible with the execution of their design. They were careful that the mitimaes, as these emigrants were styled, should be removed to climates most congenial with their own. The inhabitants of the cold countries were not transplanted to the warm, nor the inhabitants of the warm countries to the cold. Even their habitual occupations were consulted, and the fisherman was settled in the neighborhood of the ocean or the great lakes, while such lands were assigned to the husbandman as were best adapted to the culture with which he was most familiar. And, as migration by many, perhaps by most, would be regarded as a calamity, the government was careful to show particular marks of favor to the mitimaes, and, by various privileges and immunities, to ameliorate their condition, and thus to reconcile them, if possible, to their lot.

broken off. In traditional cultivation in the cold, harsh uplands, the plant may take up to a year to reach harvest size. The longer it is left in the ground, the greater the yield; after 2 years, it may produce more than 50 tons per hectare. However, a normal yield seems to be about 20 tons per hectare.

Commonly, mauka is interplanted with crops such as corn. Although sometimes planted in normal furrows, it is more often planted in shallow pits because the seedlings are somewhat delicate.2


So little is known about mauka that it has only recently been collected, grown in observation plots, and studied by agronomists. Practically nothing is understood of its potentials or vulnerabilities. For example, it may have restrictive environmental requirements or be susceptible to particular pests and diseases. In the Cajamarca area, however, the mauka plots are remarkably free of pests and diseases. (The major pest seems to be the larva of a fly or butterfly that penetrates the subterranean parts, causing the foliage to wither.)

2 Growing crops in pits is common in traditional Andean agriculture—pits provide protection from winds and from chill creeping close to the ground, and they help collect and retain water.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement