Francisca Pizarro , the First Mestiza of Peru

Peru, early XVI century.

A mestiza is a mixed-blood woman, a person of mixed race and culture. The first mestiza of our Peruvian history was called Francisca Pizarro, daughter of the conquistador of the Tawantinsuyu or Inca realm Francisco Pizarro, married to Inca princess remembered by her christian name Ines Huaylas, Pizarro tried with this advantageous wedding to reaffirm its new title of nobel man before the Incan People, love was not part of neither his or her aspirations.

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The destiny of women back in the colonial era was uncertain, her desires, dreams or wishes where out of discussion when a husband had to be found, more a property than an equal to men, they passed from belonging to their fathers, to directly belonging to their husbands, like mere object, as in most of the world until not long ago.

Incan women in the other hand were much freer in many senses that European women, sexually, for example, there are many accounts called chronicles mentioning the initiation of Young women into sexual relations before a marriage was consummated, an ancient custom existing until present days called CERVINACUY , or free union between lovers before marriage, that is still in practice and is even encouraged as an important part of the natural development of a healthy relationship. We know that Conquistadors considered indigenous women to free-spirited, but at the same time many took advantage of this sinful behavior, engaging in relationships and producing MESTIZO children everywhere in this part of the world, no needs to say that those children are the true ancestors of Latin American people and fathers of our culture.

The subject of this article, Francisca, was born in the most advantagious scenario for any girl of her time, the product of a rich conquistador, owner of status and respect, old enought to desire a descendancy and maybe even love his children, and a princess Inka, owner of richess, lands and the respect of many, little Francisca was lucky, even in her misfortunes she was able to live a better life tham most of the children of the conquistadors in America, many the product of forbidden affairs with low Rank women, of sexual abuse, children abandoned and considers bastards with no fathers that could respond for them (in an era when womens Word had no value) , with no glory or welth.

The early days of this lady are quite a mystery, from the accounts we know that she was educated to be the daughter of an HIDALGO (nobel man) with the highest standards of refinement in European manners, but then there is a long silence until she is taken away to Spain and is married… to her uncle. We know only for sure that she never came back to Peru.

This is just one story of many from the first years of the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Rich or poor, noble or commoner, women were considered objects of trade, beautiful things to be exhibited, tools to reach higher positions or status, or simple mediums to get that desired male heir. They where indeed so much more than that, they were all silenced by the men of their time and unfortunately, we are no longers able to hear their voices anymore

If you are interested in learning more about the life this this woman and many more of her time and you can read spanish, I highly recommend you start with Francisca’s biography :

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