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Indigenous peoples in Colombia


The indigenous peoples in Colombia (pueblos indigenas in Spanish) comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country's present territory prior to its discovery by Europeans around 1500.

The two main linguistic ethnic groups that dominated the territory now known as Colombia during the pre-Columbian period were the Carib and the Chibcha. They possessed different organizational structures and distinct languages and cultures. In upper Magdalene region, from 5th to 8th century, many tumuli with sculptures were raised in San Agustin. The region now occupied by the city of Bogota was inhabited by the Muisca. In the modern area of Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis, the Quimbaya civilization existed until the 10th century A.C. The Muisca based their social organization on trade. They exchanged salt, emeralds, beans, maize and other crops with other Chibchan tribes such as the Chitareros, Guanes and Laches.

Individual indigenous groups have a variety of governance structures. A number of indigenous groups are represented through the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC - Organizacion Nacional Indigena de Colombia). Increasing organization and agitation have sharply broadened the indigenous land base over the past forty years. The government titled more than 200 new reserves from 1960 to 1990, with 334 total operating as autonomous municipalities by 1997 .

Related websites

Ethnic groups of Colombia (es)

Video of the Wayuu Indigenous People of Colombia

UN report on indigenous issues in Colombia

UNESCO report on education of indigenous peoples in Colombia

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Indigenous peoples in Colombia


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