Aymara Culture

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Bolivia, home of the legendary Aymara community, is the poorest country in South America, and it is widely known for its cultural diversity. Moreover, a large percentage of Bolivia’s population is indigenous and continues to practice religious, cultural, and economic practices that emerged thousands of years ago in the Andean Highlands. The Aymara community emerged as predecessor of the great Tiahuanacan empire, which was amongst the most famous Pre-Inca civilizations. This community has survived cultural hegemonies during the Inca, Spanish invasion, and during the “modern” era because of their implausible cultural adaptation. Hence, more than 1.6 million Bolivians speak the Aymara language and practice and respect the community’s cultural…show more content…
Nonetheless, it is also important to mention that many members of the Aymara community have adopted Catholicism as a religion, and follow the catholic calendar and holidays, but continue to maintain their traditional beliefs as well. Aymaras believe the Pachamama has the power to provide fertile soil and good crops. Additionally, the community constantly prays to her and asks for their overall welfare. There is an ongoing tradition, in which every first Friday of the month, people prepare a “offering” composed of a small quantity goods with symbolic value, which are burnt in her honor in medium of prayers and offerings. The same are offered either in Spanish or in Aymara, the community’s official language. As mentioned before, the Aymara Language is still practiced amongst members of the community, especially in the cities of La Paz and Oruro. This language has such a significant influence and importance in the country that it has been included as one of Bolivia’s official languages. The Aymara alphabet is a phonemic alphabet, which is composed of twenty-six consonants and three vowels (rodyna.cz). Socio-linguistics¬ have played an important role in the community because many of the members had to learn Spanish in order to properly interact with people and other families in the city, hence, most of the community’s members are bilingual today. Family is the community’s most relevant social unit, and it is often composed of parents, grandparents and children. Within these families, Gender roles are clearly defined, but female roles are not considered inferior because they are usually agricultural roles, which are vital for the community’s survival within the Bolivia’s economic system. When it comes to diversity within the community, most of the members are either indigenous or Mestizos which

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