The Aymara Language in Its Social and Cultural Context: A Collection Essays on Aspects of Aymara Language and Culture

The Aymara Language in Its Social and Cultural Context: A Collection Essays on Aspects of Aymara Language and Culture

The Aymara Language in Its Social and Cultural Context: A Collection Essays on Aspects of Aymara Language and Culture

The Aymara Language in Its Social and Cultural Context: A Collection Essays on Aspects of Aymara Language and Culture

Excerpt

The Aymara people, approximately two million in number, are concentrated on the altiplano around Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia, extending south into southern Bolivia, west into southern Peru, particularly Moquegua and Tacna, and southwest into northern Chile (see map). There are considerable communities of Aymara speakers in Buenos Aires. Argentina, and in Lima, Peru, immigrants from rural areas seeking greater opportunities in urban settings.

The Aymara are primarily an agricultural people. Traditionally they have lived in free communities, but many were forced into the Spanish hacienda system. Only since 1952 in Bolivia, and more recently and to a lesser extent in Peru, have the Aymara been able to recoup to some degree the lands they had lost. Land is of extreme importance to the Aymara, as reflected somewhat in essay 2, by Miracle and Yapita, Many Aymara who now live in urban environments maintain ties with the rural commities to thier mutual advantage. The Aymara women, particularly as market women, travel a great deal and consider it an ideal to have a house at which to arrive at each stop. Kinship, both real and fictive, form important networks to accomplish this ideal (see essay 5, Pyle).

The Aymara are, among themselves, loquacious but courteous (see essays 7, Gallaher, and 8. Briggs), putting a very high value on skillful use of language, both on public occasions. where the arts rhetoric is highly esteemed, and in private, where the arts of persuation, suggestion, and indirection are highly valued, as are more traditional talents such as storytelling.

Within the framework of a corporate society, the Aymara are an entrepreneurial and individualistic people. Some lands are held in common, some lands are both private and common depending upon season and . . .

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