Aymara Indians

File:Banner of the Qulla Suyu.svg
File:Banner of the Qulla Suyu.svg

The Aymara Indians are an ethnic group in Latin america. There are about 2 milliom of them in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. They mainly stay to the Andes mountains and have lived there for hundreds of years. The speakers of the Aymaran language mainly live around Lake Titicaca. The flag of the Aymara Indians is called the Wiphala and it has diaganol striped consisting of seven different colors as shown above (Encyclopedia Brittanica). The Coca plant plays a very large part in the Aymara culture. They use the leaf for offerings to the sun god however unfortunately the Coca plant is also used to make Cocaine so it has put a huge dent in the culture of the Aymaras. The rules put on by the Bolivian government affect the Aymarans cultures identity. The Spanish conquest put a gigantic dent in the population of the Aymara's as a result of Epidemic, warfare, and colonial exploitation. The current estimate for the Aymaras is between 600,000 and 900,000. Before 1430, The Aymaras were Seperated in to different states but like many Indian tribes they were eventually conquered by the Incans. They Aymarans today are mainly just agriculturists and herders who farm things such as: Corn, Wheat, and Barley. However they live in an area of terrible climate and harsh soil (Encyclopedia Brittanica).

Today, the Aymaras are mainly Roman Catholic however they also tend to incorporate their own indeginous religion. For instance the Amymarans believe that everything has a spirit such as Rivers, Mountains, Lakes, etc. etc (Encyclopedia Brittanica). They believe that once you die you may not go to heaven but instead you may habitate in one of these areas. They aymarans believe that their intermediaries (inbetween spirit and human worlds) are sort of like magicians that keep the bond between the spirit world and the human world. They believe that these magicians can be useful in courtship, to cure illness, childbirth, planting and harvesting rituals, and weather controlling rites. Tying into the medicine, The Aymarans believe that illnesses can be cured one of two ways, the super natural phenomenon and or natural medicines. The medicines they get can deprive from tree rots and plants and are combined with western modern medicines.

the passage to the afterlife is very interesting in the aymaran culture. Funerals are formalized however food and drink is believed ot be an important rite to the afterlife. Similar to the day of the dead in Mexico, "Santos" on the first and second of November is when the spirits return to Earth and the humans are supposed to take very good care of all of them. For instance they must give them food and drink, not to mention clothing and other things like kindness. This way, They do not take vengance on the humans (Encyclopedia Brittanica).