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Santillan's mixing strands of firm opinion, curiosity, and evident preoccupation in the first decades after the conquest can be detected in many interpretations of Andean sacred phenomena. Indeed, the Dominicans' earlier discovery about the Yungas' shifting loyalties between huacas represented only the beginning of the problem from the point of view of the most attentive Catholic Christian purveyors. Individual huacas had the ability to enjoy multiple selves, to propagate beyond original territories, take over new specializations, and win local loyalties by making themselves differently indispensable.

Conquest and efforts at evangelization seemed not to extinguish but perhaps even to quicken these capacities for multiplication. Santillan himself noted the findings of his contemporary and fellow lawyer Polo de Ondegardo, who claimed in 1561 to know of more than 400 temples (adoratorios) within one and a half leagues of Cusco at which offerings to huacas were actively being made.23 Closer to the ground of an emerging early colonial local religiosity than either of our enquiring and well-informed lawyers was the first set of Augustinian friars stationed in Huamachuco in the northern Andes in the 1550s. While they faced and attempted to destroy a number of provincial huacas in what had clearly been a bustling pre-Hispanic religious landscape, they found themselves particularly embedded within the realm of a powerful divinity named Catequil.

As with Pachacamac on the central coast, the oracular fame of Catequil had been fanned by close association with the Inca dynasty and, in his case, with the Inca Huayna Capac. Despite the fact that this Inca's son, Atahuallpa, had turned against this huaca after unfavourable news and attempted his destruction, Catequil's essence in a large hill and high rocky cliffs had proven impossible to extinguish. Yet because the 'children' or new expressions of Catequil had already begun to spread, the huaca enjoyed a great number of ways to endure. Sometimes he moved with resettling peoples and as part of the resettlements tied to Inca political policies.24 What is more, the pattern of cultic diffusion appears only to have expanded as more and more of Catequil's children -chips off the old block, tangible 'pieces' of the divinity in the wake of the physical assault upon his physical abode by the Inca Atahuallpa - were spread by other mobilizing devotees. A perplexed Fray Juan de San Pedro, writing on behalf of the divinity's newest enemies, the Augustinians, claims to have discovered some 300 of Catequil's 'sons' arrayed through various towns and smaller settlements in the region. Most were particularly beautiful stones that seemed easy enough to confiscate and grind into dust, but there was the

23 Ibid., p. 112 and n. 1. 24 Topic etal., 'Catequil', p. 326.

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