María Rostworowski and an invaluable legacy 105 years after her birth

María Rostworowski Tovar de Diez Canseco was a Peruvian historian and social researcher from Peru who would turn 105 today. Her legacy has been seen through her works in the history of our country.

Born in Lima, María Rostworowski stood out for her passion for History. She was born on August 8, 1915, from the marriage between the Polish aristocrat Jan Jacek Rostworowski and Rita Ana Tovar Del Valle from Puno. From a very young age, she studied in different schools in Europe, passing through Poland, France, Belgium and London where she ended up speaking English, Polish and French perfectly. Her interest in politics also became known after her participation in the youth groups of the Popular Action party.

Following her first marriage to her distant cousin, Count Zygmunt Broel-Plater, which resulted in a daughter named Krystyna Broel-Plater Rostworowski, her divorce led her to find love with her second husband Alejandro Diez-Canseco Coronel-Zegarra. After the death of Diez-Canseco, Rostworowski decided to move to Loreto to work as a missionary alongside the work of Maxime Kuczynski Goddard, father of the former President of the Republic, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

In addition, their attendance to free classes at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos is rescued. It is in this university residence that she made contacts with other teachers such as Julio C. Tello, Luis Valcárcel and Luis Jaime Cisneros. Closely linked to the Institute of Peruvian Studies since its foundation, María Rostworowski edited numerous works under its auspices, among which is Historia del Tahuantinsuyo, the best-selling social science book in all of Peruvian history.

Among other works that stand out from the historian are:

  • Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1953)
  • Curacas and successions: north coast (1961)
  • The Ascendants of Pumacahua (1963)
  • Ethnicity and society: pre-Hispanic Peruvian coast (1977 and 1989)
  • Indigenous Lordships of Lima and Canta (1978)
  • Renewable natural resources and fisheries: 16th and 17th centuries (1981)
  • Andean structures of power: religious and political ideology (1983)
  • Women in pre-Hispanic times (1986)
  • Between myth and history: psychoanalysis and the Andean past, with Max Hernández, Moisés Lemlij, Luis
  • Millones and Alberto Péndola, (1987)
  • Conflicts over Coca Fields in XVI century Peru (1988)
  • History of Tahuantinsuyu (1st edition: 1988); (2nd edition 2001); (3rd edition 2015).
  • Doña Francisca Pizarro: an illustrious mestizo (1534-1598) (1989)
  • Pachacámac and the Lord of Miracles: a millennial trajectory (1992)
  • Visits to Cajamarca. 1571-72 / 1578. Documents (1992, 2 volumes, with Pilar Remy)
  • Andean history essays (1993 and 1998)
  • Women in pre-Hispanic Peru (1995)
  • Kon, the flying god, and little Naycashca, with illustrations by Claudine Gaime, (1995)
  • The death of the sun and other tales from Ancient Peru (1996)
  • The Origin of Men and Other Tales of Ancient Peru (1996)
  • María Fernanda Alvarado Ágreda (1996)
  • Pachacútec and the legend of the Chancas (1997)
  • The lordship of Pachacámac (1999).
  • History of the Incas (Lima: Editorial PROLIBRO, Editorial Bruño, 1999)
  • Los Incas (Lima: Fundación Telefónica, 2000) (on CD-ROM).
  • Incas Thematic Encyclopedia of Peru. Edition of El Comercio, Lima (2004) ISBN 9972-752-00-3 of the Collection; ISBN 9972-752-01-1 of the Book; 120 thousand copies.
  • Complete works (2005)

María Rostworowski passed away on March 6, 2016, leaving an unparalleled legacy and what makes her an outstanding woman in the history of Peru for her cultural and literary contribution.

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