by Lara Nebout
In 18th-century colonial Peru, Felipe Tupac Inca Yupanqui, claiming to be related to Tupac Amaru II, the head of the large but unsuccessful 1780 uprising against the Spanish Crown, leads with the same goal an indigenous rebellion in the province of Huarochirí. His attempts are unsuccessful and he is arrested and trialled in Lima in 1783 for his treason, along those who helped him. Among these are two women, Felipe’s common-law wife Manuela Marticorena and Maria Rodriguez, who sheltered Felipe in her house with her husband while he was hiding from the soldiers trying to arrest him in Lima.
The goal of this research is to shed light onto the role of these two women in the revolt as well as their fate after the trial which condemned them both, by gaining more knowledge about the place they were sent to, the Beaterio de las Amparadas de la Purísima Concepción in Lima. Their role in the revolt, albeit not leaders, is crucial to Felipe’s undertaking, and was already understood as such as they had been led to court to explain their actions, the only two women alongside Felipe’s accomplices: their example can help us see how women judged guilty of complicity in a crime were dealt with and perceived at the end of the 18th century in Peru.