Aymara

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Aymara

(īmärä`), Native South Americans inhabiting the Lake Titicaca basin in Peru and Bolivia. The originators of the great culture represented by the ruins of TiahuanacoTiahuanaco
, ancient native ruin, W Bolivia, 34 mi (55 km) S of Lake Titicaca on the Tiahuanaco R. in the S central Andes, near the Peruvian border; also called Tiwanaku or Tiahuanacu.
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 were very likely Aymara speakers. Although subjugated by the IncaInca
, pre-Columbian empire, W South America. The name Inca may specifically refer to the emperor, but is generally used to mean the empire or the people. Extent and Organization of the Empire
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 in the 15th cent. after a long struggle, the Aymara continue to dominate the region, with a population of over 2 million in the mid-1990s. The Aymara languages make up a separate unit; they are spoken in Peru and Bolivia in the Titicaca region. The Aymara, conquered (1538) by Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro, retained their pastoral and agricultural culture. In general, social organization was, and still is, based on the patrilineal family unit. Contemporary Aymara and the related Quechua peasant culture is a blend of aboriginal, Spanish colonial, and modern elements.

Bibliography

See H. Osborne, Indians of the Andes, Aymaras and Quechuas (1952); J. Steward, ed., Handbook of South American Indians, Vol. II (1963); H. and J.-M. Buechler, The Bolivian Aymara (1971); A. L. Kolata, Valley of the Spirits (1996).

Aymara

 

an Indian tribe of South America. The majority of the Aymara live around Lake Titicaca and on the Bolivian altiplano in the southern section of the department of Puno (in Peru) and in the departments of La Paz and Oruro (in Bolivia). The Aymara language is spoken by about 1.3 million people (1964). The ancestors of the Aymara were the innovators of the Tiahuanaco culture. After the Spanish Conquest (16th century) the Aymara, despite severe oppression and discrimination, preserved their language and, to a considerable degree, their culture. The traditional structure of the community headed by an elder was retained in a number of areas. Their religion is Catholicism, although there are considerable vestiges of pre-Christian religious beliefs.

REFERENCE

Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.

E. V. ZIBERT

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Years ago, I had the privilege of living among the Aymara people of Peru.
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The reed vessel is based on the centuries-old, boat-building technology of the Aymaras living near Titicaca Lake on the Peruvian-Bolivian border.