Miguel Cabello de Balboa

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Miguel Cabello de Balboa (Archidona, Málaga 1535 - Camata 1608) was a Spanish secular priest and writer. In 1566 he emigrated to Peru in South America; from here he went to Quito, Ecuador, where he began to write the Miscelánea Antárctica, finishing it at Lima in 1586. In the years 1602-1603, he wrote a letter giving valuable details concerning the regions of Pelechuco and Apolobamba in eastern Bolivia, between the Andes and the Beni River. In this letter he does not explicitly state that he visited those districts, but the information imparted is such as to imply this. The letter is taken from a book written by Father Cabello of which nothing else is known. He is also an important source on the northern Andean region, especially the Pacific shore and the forested regions running inland up to the cordilleras of what are now northern Ecuador and southern Colombia.

An exemplary edition of the whole Miscellanea Antarctica was published by San Marcos University (Peru) in 1951, supplanting previous partial editions. The original was (1853) in possession of the historiographer Don Joaquin Garcia Ycazbalceta at Mexico. A complete copy also exists at the Lenox Branch of the New York Public Library. It contains Indian traditional records of the coming to South America of white men who are said to have preached the gospels to the aborigines; also a theory that the Indians of Patagonia and Chile are the descendants of pirates of Macassar. The legendary history of the Inca tribe is expounded at length, and the origin of the Inca given in a manner somewhat at variance with the accounts of other Spanish authors. Writings about the lowland peoples are gathered in a 1945 Ecuadorian volume entitled Verdadera descripción y relación larga de la provincia y tierra de las Esmeraldas.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.