The meaning (and the spelling) of most of the Spanish and Quechua terms
below may vary a great deal, depending on context. Here, and throughout the
book, I have opted for what seems the most accessible, useful version of non-
English words to ease the imagined reader's way, but this glossary may also be
taken as an invitation to further explorations of meaning.
aclIa: A virgin woman chosen to serve the Inca.
aclIahuasi: House of women chosen to serve the Inca.
audiencia: A Spanish viceregal court and governing body, made up of judges
(oidores) and a president.
aylIu: Andean kinship group, made up of people claiming descent from a com-
boota: A woman living under informal religious vows.
beaterio: Community or house of women living under informal religious vows
(also known as recogimiento).
cabildo: A municipal council.
cacique: Caribbean term used by Spaniards throughout the Americas to refer to
indigenous chiefs; in the Andes, a synonym for kuraka.
censo al qui tar: Colonial Peruvian term for a censo consignativo, a credit transaction
giving the creditor the right to collect a yearly income (reditos) on the sum
extended as credit (principal), until such time as the borrower decided to
pay the creditor the full amount of the principal. The transaction is often
compared to a mortgage, since the borrower was required to secure the
deal by offering a piece of property as collateral. (For the attendant risks,
see below, concurso de acreedores.)
censualista: The creditor in a censo transaction.
censuatario: The borrower in a censo al quitar, or lessee in a venta a censo. This
usage, common in colonial Peru, varied elsewhere: censuario; censatario.
chorrillo: An urban textile-producing workshop; such operations were gener-
ally much smaller than Cuzco's obrajes.
concurso de acreedores: Legal action by creditors to recover the principal and an-
nual payments owed on a piece of real property. A concurso involved the