This community, one of the oldest of Latin
America, live for centuries in almost total self-sufficiency in a particularly
hostile environment, the Bolivian high plain, to the north of “Salar de
This community is
remarkable and noticeable because the people achieved to keep their special and
own identity though the ages and, despite the various attempts to annex and
assimilate from the Tiwanakota, the Aymara, the Quechua/Inca and the Spanish.
Today, this community lives the stresses of new religions and Protestant sects.
Over the centuries,
this people kept its own language, the Puquina,
structurally different from the Aymara,
the Quechua or from any pre-Hispanic
language. It has also keep its own world view, where Nature rules and demons
share their daily life, legends from its own origin, descendant of “water-men”,
magic rites and, on 2 November, the cult of the dead (which are annually
unearthed to be feed and bless in order to avoid troubles in the Beyond). They have
also keep their organization and social hierarchy, where intergenerational
interaction has an important role to play in the transmission of component from
the cultural identity.
Clothes are also very distinctive: men are
used to wear brown/beige clothes and women brush their hair into numerous and
small braids. The visit of the village is very limited as a result of their
desire to preserve their cultural specificity.