Aymaras

AYMARAS

The Aymaras are an ancient culture with a complex and still much understood history. They are people rich in mythology, knowledge and spirituality.

The Aymaras were members of a great yet little unknown culture of the America´s, centred in the ancient city of Tiahuanaco (400 AD. and 1000 AD). Tiahuanaco was the capital of the Inca empire that spanned parts of the south-central Andes mountains.

The  indigenous peoples of the central Andean cultural pattern contrast sharply with that of the other areas of South America. For successful development the Andean economy required rich soil, an adequate water supply, and the absence of both forest and deep-rooted grasses. For maximum development of their land, the Aymara grew crops that were suitable to the high Andean climate. The Alpaca, Vicuña and the Llama were also suited to the high Andean climate, and could be found on most of the Aymaras’ land areas.

These general characteristics were found in the coastal valleys and on the large highland basins of the central Andes. Each major highland basin and each coastal valley was considered to be a distinct cultural unit. Each of these regional states and chiefdoms were geographically isolated by distance and by mountains. They were characterised by local cultural and weaving styles and ceramic pottery traditions,  all well documented in the archaeological records and heritage of the central Andes. Prior to the Inca conquest, the Aymaras were divided into a series of independent states which were concentrated on the high Altiplano steppe,  which nowadays stretches across Chile, Peru and Bolivia.