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The two great civilizations of America, the Middle American and the South American, appear to have had their rise about the same time, and in each a period of decadence seems to have set in just before the advent of the European conquerors. We have much less information about the civilization we name Inca than the one we name Aztec. Most of what we know about the antiquities of Peru comes from the writings of Garcilasso de la Vega, whose father was Spanish and whose mother was Peruvian, and who regarded himself as a descendant of the Incas and an interpreter of their traditions. Garcilasso has been translated into English by Sir Clements Markham, whose own books upon Peru tell us practically all that is known about the ancient monuments, literature, and traditions of the Incas. In the first story, I have imagined someone like Garcilasso speaking. The second is not mythological; it is probably a folk-tale. But the mythological survivals of the Incas are so scanty that any story that has even a slight connection with their mythology, and that has some portion of their imagination in it, is of interest. "The Llama-herder and the Virgins of the Sun" is retold from a version given by Sir Clements Markham; it was told to Fray Martin de Morua, who was a Quichua scholar, in 1583.

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