As mentioned above, the population of Bolivia is mainly made up of Indians. Two tribes are of great importance in the nation: that of the Quechúa (v.) And that of the Aymará (v.); the former inhabit the neighboring districts of Peru and are numerous especially around Cochabamba, Sucre and Potosí, while the latter are located on the plateau around Lake Titicaca, in the capital La Paz and its surroundings and in the yungas on the eastern side of the Andes. They are all exceptionally important in Bolivia for their ability as farmers, cattle ranchers and miners, so much so that the population of the highlands and cities lives mainly on what they produce. The repeated revolutionary movements are a clear indication that Indians are not resigned to accepting the conditions in which they live and that among the social problems, it is more pressing for Bolivia to attenuate the differences existing between the Indian proletariat and the composed ruling class. of mestizos and whites. Especially in the highlands it would be impossible to replace the Indian rural population with workers imported from outside, as these would hardly be able to get used to the singular climatic conditions prevailing in those regions.
On the plateau around Lake Titicaca and south of it, live the Uru Indians who probably constitute the remains of the aboriginal population occupying this region before the Quechúa and Aymarás. Rivet, who studied their language, believes they belong to the Arawak family. Neither neither the Aymará nor the Quechúa inhabit the Bolivian plains where, on the other hand, there are many Indian tribes speaking very different languages; some of them still maintain the ancient customs and the ancient way of life and some few are always independent from the Whites. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century emeritus Jesuit missionaries exercised their work in the Bolivian plains especially among the Mojo (Arawak) and the Chiquito. Generally the descendants of the Mission Indians retain very little of their ancient Indian culture, while some tribes have gone extinct and others have been reduced to a few individuals only. Discrete paintings and precious silver ornaments still existing in small churches, are memories of once powerful missions and it is from the writings of the Jesuits that we can form a
In north-eastern Bolivia there is a rather important Guarani tribe, the Guarayú or Guarayo, among whom the Italian and Tyrolean Franciscans are carrying out their mission with alacrity. Among those who have written about them are the Spaniard Father Cardus and the Italians Father Pierini and Father Pesciotti. The Guarayú immigrated from Paraguay to Bolivia at the beginning of the century. XVI and they are spoken of in the first reports under the name of “Itatines”. Another important Guarani tribe is that of the Chiriguano (v.), Established in the southern part of Bolivia, on the edge of the Gran Chaco. Among them the Jesuits first carried out their work and today the Franciscans, many of them Italians, have established thriving missions in the territory. The Chiriguano, like the Guarayu, emigrated at the beginning of the century. XVI from Paraguay by conquering the territory of the Chané Indians, an Arawak tribe of which there are still considerable remains, especially on the Río Parapiti. The Chiriguano and the Chané have a civilization that is in many ways remarkable, producing among other things still beautiful ceramics. At the time the Chiriguano conquered the Chané, they were superior in culture, but the former largely adopted the customs and industries of the population they subjugated. Every year many Chiriguano emigrate from Bolivia to Argentina to find employment in the sugar refineries of the province of Jujuy. producing among other things still beautiful ceramics. At the time the Chiriguano conquered the Chané, they were superior in culture, but the former largely adopted the customs and industries of the population they subjugated. Every year many Chiriguano emigrate from Bolivia to Argentina to find employment in the sugar refineries of the province of Jujuy. producing among other things still beautiful ceramics. At the time the Chiriguano conquered the Chané, they were superior in culture, but the former largely adopted the customs and industries of the population they subjugated. Every year many Chiriguano emigrate from Bolivia to Argentina to find employment in the sugar refineries of the province of Jujuy.
Bolivia comprises a considerable portion of the Gran Chaco between the Río Pilcomayo and the Río Chiquito, where various Indian tribes are found, some of which (those that inhabit the interior of the northern Chaco) are still independent of the Whites (Tapiete, Mataco, Ashluslay, Choroti). While the tribes of the Bolivian plains to which we have already referred, live mostly on the products of agriculture, the Indians of the Chaco mainly support themselves by gathering wild fruits and roots and by hunting and fishing; sometimes they also have maize or cassava crops, but they are generally not very important crops. From the Whites they have directly or indirectly obtained a fair number of cattle, horses and above all sheep. Studying these Indians closely it is observed that they were strongly influenced by the Inca civilization; and it is very probable that they have learned the art of weaving, in which they are usually remarkably skilled, from the Indians of the Andes. They are also very skilled in the manufacture of very well decorated bags, made of fiber ropes of a species of Bromeliaceae. A number of them also travel to northern Argentina each year for seasonal jobs. For Bolivia 2014, please check thesciencetutor.org.
In northwestern Bolivia there are still some small independent Indian tribes, such as the Chacobo on Lake Rojo Aguada and the Sirionó, hostile to the Whites, and who lead a wandering existence in the great virgin forests mainly between the Río Guapay and the Guarayo. It seems that they do not practice agriculture at all and that their civilization is in every respect very primitive. Of the few words of their language that are known, some are Guarani but this is probably not their original language; however, it is assumed that they were first, for a time, under the influence of some Guarani tribe. Sirionó men sometimes have a heavy beard, a character that is never found in other Indians in the region.
The Indian population of northeastern Bolivia was at the end of the century. XIX largely transported to rubber plantations, which largely decimated the indigenous population and damaged and compromised the economy of their country for a long time to come. The tribe best protected against this kind of exploitation was the Guarayu of the missions.
In north-eastern Bolivia there are numerous mounds containing in large quantities funerary urns and other pottery often very well painted, and this pottery has greater affinity with the pottery found near the Amazon River and in the northern part of South America. than with those supplied by the mountainous regions of Bolivia. This is natural because even today in the plains the many navigable rivers facilitate communications with the Amazon region, while on the eastern flanks of the Andes the rivers are not navigable and the region is covered with forests that are sometimes impenetrable, so much so that only very few paths connect. the low Bolivian plains with the Andean plateau.
The mountainous regions of Bolivia abound in Inca and pre-Inca archaeological remains; not far from Lake Titicaca are the famous pre-Inca ruins of Tiahuanaco. Very common are the so-called Chulpas, tombs built in the shape of a house with five large stones. In the islands of Lake Titicaca there are very important ruins from the Inca period, from which the remains of fortifications once built to protect against forest tribes also date. The most important is that of Incallaccta between Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.