A note on transcriptions and translations of colonial documents: Our transcrip-
tions attempt to preserve the orthography and punctuation of the original docu-
ments, while at the same time making them comprehensible to twenty- first cen-
tury readers. Thus, we spell out most abbreviations and generally (but not always)
convert the letter “u” to “v” and the “f” to “s,” but we do not convert “y” to “i” or
add the letter “h” where it is missing. We do not include accent marks in our tran-
scriptions, as they were not used in the colonial period; for this reason, names like
“Popayán” will appear with an accent mark in the text, but without an accent in
documentary citations. We do not attempt to translate punctuation into our mod-
ern system; for example, we retain the equal sign (=) for distinguishing members
of a list. We do not reconcile divergent spellings of a word or a proper name, which
might be spelled in different ways, even in the same document; this is particularly
true for toponyms and anthroponyms in native languages, which Spanish scribes
struggled to grasp using Castillian phonological conventions, although they were
not proficient in the language in question. Our Eng lish translations sometimes omit
the constant use of legal terms such as dicho and dicha (“said” or “aforementioned”)
in an effort to make the quotations more readable. Colonial documentary writing
frequently has run- on sentences. In the interests of making quotations in transla-
tion more readable, we have opted for dividing some run- on sentences into more
coherent phrases; the Spanish originals contained in the notes preserve the run-
on quality of these quotes. In the citations to the Archivo General de Indias (agi),
l. stands for legajo (file, docket), n. for número (number), and r. for ramo (section,
division, department).
1. He is called “Don Diego de la Torre” in documents, but since most publications
refer to him as Don Diego de Torres (Gálvez Piñal 1974; Rojas 1965) and he is
remembered with this name in popular memory in Colombia, we will also call
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