Information about the Aymara

The Aymara are an ethnic group in the Andes region of Bolivia and Peru. They had been established in the region for centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca, and later of the Spanish in the 16th century. This article is about the Aymara as an ethnic group, not the Aymara language.


There existed rich Aymara kingdoms, which were conquered by Huayna Capac between 1493 CE and 1525 CE. He took their stone masons to Cusco to train them in the Inca style: these masons later helped in building some of the architecture the Inca are now known for. Though conquered by the Inca, due to their isolation in the Altiplano and high regard for their culture and language the Aymara people never adopted the Inca language Quechua.


Most Aymara live in the Lake Titicaca region, and are concentrated south of the lake. The urban center of the Aymara region is El Alto, a 750,000-person city near the Bolivian capital La Paz. In addition, numerous Aymara live and work as campesinos in the surrounding Altiplano.


The native language of the Aymara is also named Aymara; in addition, many Aymara speak Spanish, which is the dominant language of the countries in which they live, as a second language. The Aymara flag is known as the Wiphala; it consists of seven colors quilted together with diagonal stripes. Aymara have grown and chewed coca plants for centuries; over the last century, this has brought them into conflict with state authorities who have carried out coca eradication plans in order to prevent the creation of the drug cocaine, which is created by processing coca leaves.


There are numerous movements for greater independence or political power for the Aymara. These include the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army, led by Felipe Quispe, and the Movement Towards Socialism, a political party organized by cocalero Evo Morales. These and many other Aymara organizations have been involved in activism in Bolivia, including the 2003 Bolivian Gas War and the 2005 Bolivia protests. One of the goals of the movement, as put forth by Quispe, is the establishment of an independent indigenous state, Collasuyu, named for the Aymara region of the Inca empire.

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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