Note on Orthography
From the time the first Spaniards recorded the word Pirú (later Perú), not
comprehending what indigenous Andeans said to them, spelling native
words has been nothing if not difficult. Quechua (Keshwa, Quichua), the
language of the Inka as well as many other Andean peoples, has had an
especially vexed orthographic history. What started as Inga became Inca
and then Inka. The latter orthography reflects modern efforts to introduce
consistency, as well as to spell words in Quechua, a language unaccom-
panied by its own writing scheme, without reliance on the particulars of
Spanish pronunciation. However, the pronunciation of Quechua was not
consistent throughout the Andes in pre-Hispanic times, nor is it constant
today. Rather than a note on orthography, this might better be character-
ized as an explanation of unavoidable heterography.
I have elected to spell most Quechua words following Rodolfo Cerrón-
Palomino’s dictionary of southern Quechua (1994). Where alternate
spellings might be more familiar to some readers, I have listed them in
parentheses upon the first usage. When reference is made to a particular
historical source, the original spelling is retained with alternate spellings
provided in parentheses. Site names are spelled according to common
practice. In cases where there appears to be no agreement (as in Pisac/
Pisaq or Sacsahuaman/Saqsaywaman), I have selected the spelling that
seems to be most commonly used at present; again, alternate spellings are
provided in parentheses in an effort to minimize confusion. In particu-
lar, Cuzco, the Inka capital, was spelled both Cusco and Cuzco by early
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