Biography of Felipillo (c.1510-1536)

Nickname that is known to the interpreter of Pizarro (US has not reached its real name), born about 1510 probably in Puna or Poechos (on territory of Tumbez) and died in 1536 in Chileque. He/She played a decisive role during the conquest, translated the requirement to Atahualpa and was involved in his death. He/She then betrayed Almagro and participated in the conquest of Chile, where also acted with deceit until he/she was discovered and killed.

Felipillo and Francisquillo were the two indigenous boys that Francisco Pizarro in Tumbes collected during its discoverer trip from Peru (1526) to teach them Spanish, so that they serve him after interpreters. Felipillo accompanied Pizarro to Panama, also to Spain on his journey of 1528, Herrera said, and later acted as interpreter in the conquering expedition in 1532. When it arrived at the island of Puna, before reaching Tumbes, their chieftain Tumbala prepared a trap to kill Spaniards, but Felipillo were warned to Pizarro, he/she undid the plot, killing several leaders of the natives.

The young indigenous then accompanied the Spaniards in its penetration by the Peru, although with little success, according to Inca Garcilaso, since he/she said was "clumsy in both languages", Spanish and quechua. Because of this he/she twisted the words of Hernando de Soto when he/she went to visit Atahualpa "as barbaric and awkwardly, many said in contrary sense, so that not only afflicted to the Inca, but he/she angered listeners". Came then the encounter of Cajamarca, where Felipillo redid its deplorable linguistic qualities gala translating Atahualpa Valverdefather's words. The same chronicler said that this was due to that "it was natural of Puna and people very plebeian, waiter I still just had twenty-two years, badly taught in the language general de los Incas, as in the particular of the Spaniards, and that of the incas learned not in the Cozco, but in Tumpiz, of the Indians who spoke there as foreigners... and also learned language Spanish unless no one taught it", but of hearing the Spaniards". It is therefore possible to make a bad interpretation of the requirement that the interpreter translated it. Either way the Inca threw the Bible showing by father Valverde, combat ensued and Atahualpa was prisoner of the Spaniards.

Following the well-known events ensued the episode of the death of Atahualpa (1533), Garcilaso also denounced the intervention of Felipillo: "Urdiose the death of Atabalipa where less thought: ca Felipillo, language, he/she fell in love and amigó one of their wives to marry her if he/she died". Effectively he/she falsely accused Atahualpa's be gathering troops to put an end to the Spanish, "that it was evil of Felipillo, declaring the sayings of the Indians who took, as it suited him to witness". The Inca was sentenced to death by traitor Spaniards and for trying to send to assassinate his brother Huascar.

Felipillo was then to Quito with Diego de Almagro, who had met with Pedro de Alvarado. The Indian committed cheapness of passed to Alvarado and "gave notice of the few people who had don Diego", which was about to kill him. Then produced the Concord of the two captains, Felipillo turned to Almagro, who forgave him without rancor. He/She then went to Cuzco and was with Almagro to the campaign of Chile, with the aim of spying for Pizarro. There he/she fled with other Indians to know of the rising of Manco Capac. Almagro sent to capture him, kill him and dismember you. The father Gómara dedicated this epilogue "confessed the evil at the time of his death having falsely accused his good King Atabaliba, by lying safe with one of their women." It was a bad man Poechos Felipillo, light, fickle, liar, friend of riots and blood, and very Christian, baptized".


GARCILASO DE LA VEGA, the Inca complete works... Madrid, Atlas, 1960, 5 vols.

López DE GÓMARA, F. General crónica de Indias, primitive Indian historians. Madrid, Atlas publishing, 1946, vol. I.

MENDIBURU, M., biographic dictionary of the Peru. Lima, press Gil, 1931-1938, 15 vols.

Manuel Lucena Salmoral