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Aymara ethnic group

The Aymara or Aimara are a native ethnic group in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America; about 2 million live in Bolivia, Peru and Chile. They lived in the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca, and later of the Spanish in the 16th century.

The Aymara have existed in the Andes in what is now Western Bolivia, Southern Peru and Northern Chile for over 2,000 years, according to some estimates. The region where Tiwanaku and the modern Aymara are located, the Altiplano, was conquered by the Incas under Huayna Capac (reign 1483-1523), although the exact date of this takeover is unknown. It is most likely that the Inca had a strong influence over the Aymara region for some time. The architecture for which the Inca are now known is clearly modeled after the Tiwanaku style. Though conquered by the Inca, the Aymara retained some degree of autonomy under the empire. There were a number of ethnic groups which were later to be called Aymara by the Spanish. These were divided upon different chieftainties. These included the Charqa, Qharaqhara, Quillaca, Asanaqui, Carangas, SivTaroyos, Haracapi, Pacajes, Lupacas, Soras, among others. Upon arrival of the Spanish, all these groups were spread in what today is Bolivia.

Looking at the history of the languages, however, rather than their current distribution, it is clear that Aymara was once spoken much further north, at least as far north as central Peru, where most Andean linguists feel it is most likely that Aymara originated (see 'Geography' below). In fact, the Inca nobility may themselves originally have been Aymara-speakers, who switched to Quechua only shortly before the Inca expansion. For example, the Cuzco area has many Aymara placenames, and the so-called 'secret language of the Incas' actually appears to be a form of Aymara.

Related websites

"Los Hombres del Lago"

fragment from the film

Kolata, Alan L.

Valley of the Spirits: A Journey into the Lost Realm of the Aymara

Aymara site in English

Society: an essay

Aymara worldview reflected in concept of time

NGO Chakana

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Aymara ethnic group

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