domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2012




The following article describes the Uru-Chipaya ethnicity in the process of emigration to Chile. Chipayas immigrants entering during months from Bolivia high plateau to the Chilean valleys to work as temporary agricultural workers. But in recent decades have begun to establish permanently engaged with the process of urbanization Aymara indigenous population in the coastal cities. As circulating in the country strategically manage their ethnicity according to the conditions that contextualize their identity expression. On the one hand hide their identity while the other openly express it to the extent that improved socioeconomic status, acquired Chilean nationality to live and settle permanently in the country. Despite the distance, maintain ties with their place of origin of immigrants and hold meetings where even project their ethnic identity in the country by some recognition projects.

Keywords: Urus, Chipayas, Migration, Aymara, ethnicity, Northern Chile, Social inclusion

The Chipayas are the last survivors of ethnic Uru, group considered one of the three major ethnic categories alongside highland Aymara and Quechua (Wachtel, 2001: 15). Other groups are Muratos Urus survivors and Iru-Itus with whom they share language and cultural and historic wetlands developed as the banks of lakes Coipasa, Poopo Titicaca or the Desaguadero, to which were rounded by the Aymara and Quechua (Acosta, 2001: 259-270).

One such place is the delta of rivers that flow into the lake on whose banks the Coipasa Chipayas provide fresh water is essential to all domestic and agricultural activities (Barrientos, 1990: 30) (Delgadillo, 1998: 32). Located above 11,00 feet in the western end of Bolivia (near the border with Chile) administratively belonging to the department of Oruro, which the municipality of Santa Ana de Chipaya is a small community centre where most of the group (Barrientos , 1990: 25) (Guerra, 1991: 55) (Delgadillo, 1998: 35).

The answer mythological in the relationships between the Urus and wetlands found in the story of its origin. The myth says that Andes Chullpas[3] lived in a dark age in which there was no sun and they were warned that this was going to be born soon. However they were not prepared for this event and the time of the appearance of the sun's rays were burnt, except some cautious who hid in caves or sank underwater. Of the latter chullpas are direct descendants current Urus who remained to live forever by the banks and wetlands. Currently Chipayas are known as Chullpa-puchus[4] (leftover chullpas) which is the name used to insult Aymaras (Wachtel, 1997: 12-15).

The Urus was mostly located in the highland aquatic axis (Titicaca-Desaguadero-Poopo) and was described by European chroniclers as "wild Indians" with particular features as language, dress and way of life aquatic (Wachtel, 2001: 335). They were recognized for being an uncivilized and primitive group that was engaged in fishing activities on the banks of rivers and lakes, unlike other groups, such as the Aymara, who grazed or practiced agriculture (Latcham, 1910: 65).

Aquatic and primitive people regarded by Europeans and other Indians as "despicable people" living as "wild beasts" to the shores of the lakes, the Indians most despised among all groups, fishermen less reasoning and dressed so ragged (Vellard, 1963: 30-31). Extremely poor to the point that according to a report by the colonial Inca were forced to pay as tribute a tube full of lice (ditto) (Delgadillo, 1998: 6).

In this respect there is a discussion about whether the Urus were an ethnic group defined by these cartoonish descriptions or whether it was a category that included ethno-heterogeneity of marginal or peripheral, poor, not subject may or may not have if some shared linguistic, territorial, or cultural (Wachtel, 2001: 576-578).

It has been said that the Urus occupied much of the highlands but were losing ground because of harassment from other groups that took over their natural resources (Pauwels, 1998: 55). Metraux (1998: 55) has argued that many groups disappeared or became Urus Aymara or Quechua because inhabiting the territory called the attention of his neighbors. Subjected to a voltage by the pressure had to accept the Uru acculturation and necessarily assume Aymara ethnic identity to retain territory. Those who remained were isolated and near aquatic life were those who bore greater emphasis stigma of being wild.

This stigmatization is reproduced by researchers from the early twentieth century as Metraux (1998: 55-65) who suggested that the secret of the preservation intact of the Uru-Chipayas current environment is precarious and geographical remoteness which they live. Harassment of the Aymara has been essential for the junking that has maintained its language and customs Urus in isolation (Pauwels, 1998: 73).

Even has indicated that current laboratory Chipayas are to look to the past for ancient customs and traits (Metraux, 1967: 252). Today many newspaper articles and the Internet have followed the same line (Muñoz, 2009: 8).

Since the early twentieth century has talked of finding a set of skeletal remains classified as Urus on the coasts of northern Chile (Latcham, 1910: 35-36). His analysis implied the possible existence of this ethnic group early on the coasts from two important facts: the difference with other groups such as the coast-Changos-and similarities with the Urus or Lake Titicaca in Bolivia Desaguadero (Latcham , 1910: 19-20).

However, it is necessary to consider a mixed picture where different ethnic groups live together in the same space and misclassified because of confusion (Wachtel, 2001: 575-579). For example it is possible that the Urus found by chroniclers (and archaeologists) in the Chilean coasts were mitimaes[5] (settlers of Andean) cause the practice of having their people in several parts of the country was common among highland groups as a way to make the most of advantages of each ecological (Van Kessel, 2003: 100).

There is greater certainty about the presence of hunters in Urus transhumant Chilean Altiplano lagoons showing ancient and permanent transit (Wachtel, 2001: 565). For example it has been suggested that Chipayas well aware of the wetlands and lakes to continue the hunt Chilean Flamencos[6] (Acosta, 1997: 13). Wachtel (2001: 564-565) about the possibility arises that two of these nomadic groups (the Chipayas and Tangles) have been reduced in the sixteenth century to found the present town of Santa Ana de Chipaya from a data obtained from a title given to the year 1548 Retamoso frames.

This has also been a permanent access Chipayas caravan through the ravines Chilean (Wachtel, 2001: 323). The camelid caravan is an alternative that has brought them to exchange their products for the agricultural products of the valleys (Muñoz, 2009: 91).

Another fact that massive immigration is added to the nitrate Chilean Chipaya which some authors could produce the complete abandonment of his hometown and subsequent disappearance, barring the nitrate crisis that stopped the process (Pauwels, 1998: 56-57). Now we know that this did not happen and you can see they have continued the tradition of going to work in the agricultural valleys temporarily Chilean (Barrientos, 1990: 36).

A recent factor is the limited coverage Bolivian education that has led Chipayas children to study Chilean secondary schools (Barrientos, 1990: 85-86). This has led to undesirable consequences for adults due to the incorporation of real and Chilean customs annoying as the rebellious attitude toward parents, music and fashions (Wachtel, 1997: 116-117).

Today we have seen temporary migration has become permanent establishment which has resulted in the acquisition of Chilean nationality, the formation of some colonies Chipayas, and even starting small ethnic claims (Muñoz, 2009: 124-132).

On the border between Chile and Bolivia is the town of Cariquima, which has been a traditional income for some Chipayas walking towards the streams to find jobs as their ancestors did before in days caravanned or hunting. Colchane is another village which houses the international office is now the main access Chipayas entering motorized transport. The final destinations of these trips are broken Azapa walks, Pampa, or the cities of Arica and Antofagasta or Alto Hospicio (Muñoz, 2009: 75).

Before installation of customs control and revenue were free they did not need passports or other documents. Entering walk by streams running from the view of the Chilean police, looking for jobs in agriculture on a seasonal basis, spikes according to their fate or prior contacts with farmers (Muñoz, 2009: 70-74).

The time spent in the country depends on several factors and for which there are basically two types of stays. The temporary stay is for those who are working for short periods in the farming season. Unlike the permanent stay is for those who stay beyond the agricultural seasons and trying to obtain permanent residence to live in the country (Muñoz, 2009: 85).

At present the majority of their income immigrants legally registered in the office requesting a work permit that lasts three months and ending with the return home. But some of them do not register your income or returns, which become illegal immigrants (Muñoz, 2009: 85).

Those who wish to remain in the country for more than three months should prove prolonged stay with a contract of employment from an employer Chile. Other forms include the acquisition of Chilean nationality through marriage or submitting forged documents sometimes (Muñoz, 2009: 72).

The legal stay in Chile guarantees access to welfare state and is motivated to stay longer and try to legalize. The network of state assistance in covering issues like health, education, labour protection or access to housing for those who work only acquire nationality. By contrast, some illegal immigrants as Chipayas pregnant women and their children left out of health care or subsidies against malnutrition (Muñoz, 2009: 78).

Chilean nationality and permanent stay are intimately related. For example those who have extended their stay or caring began leasing properties in the country to acquire property and then permanent housing through the purchase or state housing subsidies (Muñoz, 2009: 80-85).

The extension of tenure has been accompanied in some cases by agglutination of immigrant families in certain places which has given rise to the emergence of "Chipayas Colonies" in the north. Some of the best known are the Azapa Valley, Tirana, Colonia Pintados, Alto Hospicio, and Antofagasta.

The plateau is the gateway to immigrants who by the limited availability of jobs usually go long because there are places dedicated mainly to grazing and where agriculture is almost nonexistent. Some Aymaras survive in abandoned villages without basic services. Young people have migrated to other places in search of opportunity and behind them are the elderly caring rangeland huge unemployed in a process of emptying villages observed throughout the high plateau (Arriaza, 2005: 2-3).

This scenario is favourable for some Chipayas who take care of herds of droves of llamas[7] that mediate take or Aymara shepherds employees that are down from the highlands to work elsewhere. The empty spaces left by the Aymara are covered by Chipayas ranging asking the villages to find jobs (Muñoz, 2009: 83).

The Aymara are not satisfied with their standard of living is going to pursue other opportunities but also want to keep herds and properties that are rooted to their land. In turn Chipayas also escape poverty are transformed into functional labour Aymaras needs. Precarious conditions are what create this situation of co-dependency in which a need for cheap labour and employment newcomers quickly.

The Chipayas come from one of the highest concentration of rural poverty due to extreme weather and geographical conditions that surround the salt flats. The problems of low productivity of scarce farmland pressure coupled with a growing population migration (Wachtel, 2001: 18). The ability to mitigate somewhat the extreme poverty using the saved resources in Chile by sending remittances temporary work has transformed part of its productive (Muñoz, 2009: 87-90).

The proximity to the border in addition to favourable currency exchange over the Bolivian Chilean helps determine temporary migration. The working day is paid through a salary per working day which includes a daily snack food, accommodation, and any other benefits negotiated with the employer. Some even bear to live in unhygienic rooms and receive used clothing for not spending itself in order to save as much as possible. The low salary is changed by Bolivian currency and efficiently reinvested back to their homes in Bolivia (Muñoz, 2009: 83-90).

In some points Azapa streams, walk, or Tarapacá Chipayas immigrants with impoverished highland Aymara are preferred by the employers they work for low wages, no employment contract, no job security, and also unclaimed by the conference flexible work that sometimes extend to what authorizes labour legislation. A comparative advantage Chipayas worker is their willingness to learn new skills and endure poor working conditions (Muñoz, 2009: 79-84).

Unlike highland streams we see an increase in agricultural activity that enables increased utilization of labour. The villages of streams have always been a subject of services, supply of inputs and labour in the service of the tasks for the former mining and nitrate. Only in times of industry crisis shelter residents to return to their villages to the moment arising attractive alternatives (Van Kessel, 2003: 185-187).

As a result villages have been completely abandoned due to replacements of people from the highlands that fill the empty spaces left by farmers who leave to seek jobs in the cities of the coast or the mining industry. The magnitude of this phenomenon is shown in the Tarapacá gorge where only 22% are families from living up to 87% of immigrants, and especially given that 65% of the highland Aymara immigrants already bought land (Arriaza, 2005: 13).

Chipayas and Aymara immigrants occupy the gaps that occur in the valleys, but this occupation has ethnic differences in terms of job placement and control of agricultural land. Aymara immigrants come to take control of vacant land to farm. The installation process begins with asking immigrant’s employment of agricultural workers to farmers. Agricultural work and learning can lease land or planting half with the owners. Finally buy land and become farmers settling down to live in the valleys (Arriaza, 2005: 3).

Unlike the task that is left Chipayas productive immigrants to planting and harvesting in the offer as braziers part-time workers without a contract or temporary. Have you heard of work in Chile through their relatives come to visit his people and offered to take them and help them get a job or a place to stay (Muñoz, 2009: 73).

Adult immigrants usually are returned at the end of the working season and return to their daily lives at home, unlike young people who take the risk of staying and make life in this country. The phenomenon is more noticeable in some places of the desert cities because of increased opportunities (Muñoz, 2009: 87-90).

Agriculture in places like La Tirana, Colonia Pintados or Huara is intense throughout the year and production is going to the nearby market towns of the coast due to transport fluid. Both droughts and summer floods have motivated the farmers to immigrate and settle in these places. This has led to pressure on the state by increasing arable land that has manifested itself in a political opening that has colonized areas including land delivery and irrigation subsidies (Arriaza, 2005: 2).

The farmers from the highlands, the streams and the Pampa farmland have obtained in these new areas of agricultural colonization opening vacancies are filled by immigrants who come after them. The alternatives of wage labour, sharecropping, lease or purchase allow insertion of Aymara and Chipayas in places with more stable employment.

The existence of some desert cities as Huara, Pozo al Monte and trade approach and state social services to new immigrants who have seen the modern life of the coastal cities where even been able to educate their children to seek better opportunities in the industry.

This has generated not only the constant attraction Chipayas from inside but also the transformation of temporary stay permanent. Those who arrived early for short seasons have been left and bringing relatives into the country. Some began as agricultural labourers’ of the Aymara and then plots and administer care or to even get to purchase their own land. This has enabled the formation of small colonies Chipayas immigrants in places like La Tirana, Azapa Valley or Colonia Pintados (Muñoz, 2009: 85).

But as much Chipayas immigrants have settled to live permanently found in coastal cities like Arica and Antofagasta or Alto Hospicio. These job offers found not only in agriculture but also learned new skills back into the trade, industry or construction, increasing wage income and improving their labour and social security (Muñoz, 2009: 73).

Even the doors were opened to independence because such work in Alto Hospicio fairs are those engaged in the trade of vegetables they harvest themselves. They have acquired their own plots of land plus vans and self-help housing showing a strong desire to progress. Those who possess the Chilean nationality have become leaders who guide and help their countrymen (Muñoz, 2009: 82-85).

In addition, the Chilean has given them access to state social services such as health or education of better quality and varied. Relatives committees formed in the periphery of cities as Alto Hospicio actively work to increase the likelihood of getting Chipayas homeownership through state subsidy (Muñoz, 2009: 75-82).

Especially the city of Alto Hospicio has grown through land seizures or social housing and currently consists of 11% of immigrants from Iquique, 31% of immigrants in southern Chile and abroad, but most are people inside which corresponds to a 58% (Arriaza, 2004: 4).

The Aymara arrivals have been active in the field footage of Alto Hospicio since many of them were uprooted in the outskirts of Iquique and received land with irrigation water subsidy as compensation provided by the authorities. Some participate to have an additional housing in the city where their children have in school while they are inside watching their flocks or cultivating their fields (Arriaza, 2004: 4-6).

In this city there has been a symbolic appropriation of space manifested in the spontaneous emergence of neighbourhoods’ with names of Indians of the interior villages such as Isluga population, Cariquima population, Quebe passage, Chiapa passage, etc. Some of it is also claimed by the immigrant community in Chile.

Chipayas immigrants on their way through our country hide their ethnicity or express it openly according to situations related to the time and place in which they operate. The lack of protection conditions in which there is the newcomer can create situations prone to withdrawal of their ethnic identity. To the extent that they feel protected have given way to a public display of identity expression Chipaya (Muñoz, 2009: 132).

There are times when you have gone through coercion and the response to this situation has been to deny their origin Chipaya Aymara Indian posing as though are not. In parts of the highlands illegal immigrants that are controlled by police or deny Aymara invent a surname comes from Bolivia. But the danger is to evade justice many Chilean immigrants continued the practice of trying to go unnoticed as Aymara have legalized despite entering the country (Muñoz, 2009: 113-132).

The answer to that practice Chipayas or give other people who know people say that just about everything unknown shyness or a timid character that identifies the ethnic and historical situations comes from pressure that have suffered from other ethnic . History indicates that the Urus in ancient times were cornered and then enslaved to finish recently faced with Aymara Huachacalla for control of some land bordering the salt flat Coipasa (Wachtel, 2001: 340-343).

Some chapters of the Aymara discrimination towards Chipayas repeated today in everyday situations. There is Aymara immigrants resentful of interior villages who have attacked immigrants they accuse Chipayas coming to Chile to take away the job. During carnivals and celebrations in places like walking or Isluga Chipayas remain as passive observers of these parties or participating service providers hired just to play live traditional music (Muñoz, 2009: 110-114).

Despite this there are immigrants who originated Chipaya recognize and promote among their peers even called to express it publicly. These are people who generally are set to live permanently in the country and have a more stable socio-economic situation. Those who have better inserted in Chilean society have been more likely to publicly acknowledge their identity Chipaya (Muñoz, 2009: 134).

The paths for the insertion of these immigrants are overcome initial shortcomings and try to enter public organizations and committees of relatives. The experiences gained can help them form social organic dyed any ethnicity. The presence of some immigrants inserts in Chilean society that make leaders among their peers is basic to the task of promoting clustering and support networks (Muñoz, 2009: 136).

An example can be found in the Aymara living in the coastal town of Alto Hospicio and partnerships that have shaped indigenous or cultural centres. Besides sports clubs have formed representing their hometowns in a football tournament where Aymara recreate historic rivalries and strengthen their identity localism. These organizations provide a social space of belonging where they feel strange or rejected and which recreates the community. This is a particular response of Aymara society in adapting to the city (Arriaza, 2004: 11-12).

The Chipayas not have any indigenous organization in Chile recognizable except for some soccer teams in Alto Hospicio, La Tirana and Antofagasta. They meet on Sundays to play soccer and sports leaders have even organized competitions between teams from various cities. For example Chipayas La Tirana has their own football team emblems own and facing teams in matches Chipayas of Alto Hospicio (Muñoz, 2009: 98-99).

These are developed countless sporting social activities parallel to what happens inside the court as meetings between acquaintances and relatives and exchange of information of all kinds such as errands, news, employment data, etc. This has led to an activation of the social support networks that have enabled the social integration of newcomers (Muñoz, 2009: 131-137).

The Sunday football is an extremely important because it has brought together the community in a space demarcated Chipayas exclusively "by them and for them." There's meeting people allow a display of ethnic identity Chipaya appropriating public spaces which are new meaning as their exclusive community spaces momentary (Muñoz, 2009: 126).

These immigrants than during the rest of the week are invisible organized public meetings which are notorious and define a subjective space that reworks Chipaya community in Chile. The absence of political or religious authorities was supplemented by that transcend sports leaders on Sunday and is indicative of the consolidation of the permanent installation process. Even in these meetings have started developing the first social projects in the country (Muñoz, 2009: 135).

For example in La Tirana have organized to ask the mayor of Pozo Almonte some land to build its own football field and has spoken of the need to also have their own Chipaya neighborhoods. In Alto Hospicio some sports clubs have spoken with city officials to apply for land to build a neighborhood Chipaya with football stadium. Gradually has reared the idea of ​​being recognized as Chipayas Chileans are recognized as the Aymara (Muñoz, 2009: 98-99).

The absence of traditional festivals and customs of public performance can give the impression of a disappearance or total cultural assimilation Chipayas in the country. However, we must consider the lack of social spaces for the development or deployment of a cultural repertoire, and social conditions that facilitate the expression and public recognition of the origin Chipaya (Muñoz, 2009: 104).

In this regard there are dimensions of identity expression in which personal stories intersect with social contexts. Those who come to support seasonal working poor living conditions and generally replicate or maintain their identity Chipaya in the privacy of the group. Contrary to what happens to those who have settled permanently live and whose experience has made them jump to the precarious state of consolidation that gives security to openly acknowledge its origin.

There are cases of identity expression that manifest fallback in disguising the source Chipaya towards strangers and shelter in the privacy of home. For example, there Chipayas immigrants who have returned to their village purpose of exercising traditional authority after a year after returning back to normal life in Chile. Some people keep their customs practice in the privacy of home listening to traditional music or talking in your language (Muñoz, 2009: 104).

Instead there are cases of open expression of identity and the best example is for those who are trying to project their identity to the rest of society through football teams with specificity Chipaya (Muñoz, 2009: 130).

As a first conclusion must stop considering the Chipayas as a refrigerated culture remains unchanged since ancient times. This ethnic group has proved more than a window to look into the past as has wrongly been described by several authors even today. His tenure in northern Chile has shown that it is a group with full capabilities to adapt to changing social situations without giving up their ethnicity. As evidence of this we have the final installation process of some immigrants has resulted in a settlement of some places on the coast that ignore persistent attempts to fix them in space and time do not match observed reality today.

The process of adapting to a new context means the abandonment of certain elements and replacing them which does not imply the disappearance of the cultural entity. For Chipayas the move to urban living has been a process of redefinition of the concept of "Indian" under new standards. The strength of ethnic identity Chipaya has been demonstrated by the ability of its converting best evidence is the strategic incorporation of soccer as a community aggregation and projection in a new social setting.

A second lesson we have passing through the country also has shown the existence of an interesting phenomenon of people migrating from one place and its replacement new immigrants come to occupy the same places. This chain emigration has a westbound and takes people from the rural interior to the coast towards urban. The Aymara and Chipayas are carried by this chain but its inclusion in these areas as well as in the wider society are differentiated.

As a third conclusion and detached from the above we have that the Aymara have better social integration in their migration destinations and as an example of this we have to come as labourers’ or tenants and soon become owners, as opposed to those who come as Chipayas labourers’ and remain in that category with some exceptions. Issues such as the Chilean nationality make a difference in the form of social integration of immigrants as it gives a better chance to establish their presence in the country and gain access to state social services that allow them emerge and develop.


  • ACOSTA, Orlando 
1997 “Los Urus, cazadores de Pariwanas”. En; “Eco Andino”, VOL 3, Oruro, Bolivia.

2001La Muerte en el Contexto Uru: El Caso Chipaya”, en “Revista Chungará” (Arica), Vol.33, no.2, (online) (citado 26 Diciembre 2006), p.259-270. Disponible en:

  • ARRIAZA, Patricio 
2004 “Migración indígena hacia la ciudad. El caso de los aymaras  de la localidad de  Alto Hospicio-Alto Molle”, Documento de Trabajo, Iquique, Chile.

2005 “Cambios en el patrón de residencia de la población indígena rural de Tarapacá. Los aymaras de origen altiplánico asentados localidades de precordillera de la provincia de Iquique. El caso de la Quebrada Alta de Tarapacá y Camiña”, Documento de Trabajo, Iquique, Chile.

  • BARRIENTOS, Félix 
1990  “Chipaya, Reliquia Viviente”, ED Quelco, Oruro, Bolivia.

  • DELGADILLO, Julio 
1998 “La nación de los Urus: Chipaya 1984”, (Serie Nosotros 4.) ED  Cedipas (Centro Diocesano de Pastoral Social), Oruro, Bolivia.

  • GUERRA, Alberto 
1991 “Chipaya un enigmático grupo humano”, ED Lilial, Oruro,  Bolivia.

  • LATCHAM, Ricardo 
1910 “Los Changos. De las Costas de Chile”, ED Imprenta Cervantes, Santiago, Chile.

  • MUÑOZ Monsalve, Carlos 
2009 “Procesos identitarios en los inmigrantes de origen Chipaya en la región de Tarapacá”, ED Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Santiago, Chile. 

  • METRAUX, Alfred 
1967 “Religions Et magies Indiennes d`Amérique Du Sud”, ED Gallimard, Paris, France.

  • PAUWELS, Gilberto  
1998 “Los Últimos Chullpas, Alfred Metraux en Chipaya (Enero-Febrero de 1931)”, En;  “Eco Andino”, Año 3, VOL 6 ED CEPA, Oruro, Bolivia.

  • VAN KESSEL, Jean 
2003 “Holocausto al Progreso. Los  Aymaras de Tarapacá”, ED IECTA, Iquique, Chile.

  • VELLARD, Jean 
1963 «Civilisations Des Andes; Évolution des populations du Haut-Plateau Bolivien», ED. Gallimard, Paris, Francia.

  • WACHTEL, Nathan 
1997 “Dioses y Vampiros. Regreso a Chipaya”, ED. Fondo de Cultura Económica, México.

2001 “El Regreso de los Antepasados. Los indios Urus de Bolivia, del siglo XX al XVI”, ED Fondo de Cultura Económica,  México.

[1] This translation corresponds to the article "URU-CHIPAYAS IN CHILE" published in the journal Social Science University ARTURO PRAT in Iquique, Chile. The original article in Spanish is available to read and download from the following link:
[2]  The author is a social anthropologist from the University Academy of Christian Humanism, Santiago, Chile. He currently lives in the city of Curico, Chile.  (+56) 82459629. 
[3] Chullpas Andean mythological beings who lived in the time of darkness before the creation of the sun that came to enlighten the world today.
[4] Chullpa-Puchu  the beings half man and half Chullpa or incomplete humans implying racial inferiority in the Andes.
[5] Mitimaes are settlers who were sent to different places by the authorities of the Andean peoples to strengthen cultural domination by sending elements of capital to local ethnic groups and learning exchange. They represent the voice of the authorities in places colonized and in conjunction with local authorities manage the construction of advances, agricultural production, trade and manufacturing, taxes, and many other aspects of social life Andean.
[6] Flamencos are birds that live in lakes and salt flats.
[7] Llama is one of the four species of camelids living in america. It is the most important animal domesticated in the Andes which is used for meat, wool, leather and also as cargo in the caravans that cross the Andes.

sábado, 29 de enero de 2011

Chipayas and travel to Chile

Chipayas and Travel to Chile
Carlos Muñoz Monsalve
social anthropologist
Who are the Chipayas?:
Chipaya are the only semi-autonomous social group that survives of the Urus, and are characterized by a profound awareness of identity, characteristics of the clothing and lifestyle, in addition to language pukina, remain so to this day, despite talk Castilian and Aymara (Wachtel, 2001, pp. 16). However, in the eyes of a non-expert it is difficult to differentiate a one Chipaya Aymara, as the differences that set for example in the locker room, only perceptible by those who live or combine, on scenarios of ethnic relations . But now, this type of identity letterhead is losing more and more important, and particularly young people are moving away from these types of differentiators, except puquina language, which is sometimes used to communicate between Chipayas in order to keep secret talks .

They are the last representatives of the Indians Urus, usually hunters, gatherers and fishermen, after composing a quarter of the population of the highlands in the sixteenth century, now are reduced to about 5 small isolated groups of population (Wachtel, 2001, pp. 15).

Chipayas inhabit the vicinity of salt Coipasa, about 220 km southeast of Oruro, in a semi-desert territory, with plenty of salt, and whipped by winds, where only the miracle of the river Lauca allows some living conditions (Wachtel, 2001, pp. 18). Belong to the department of Oruro, specifically the province of Atahualpa, in the Bolivian altiplano from the 4,000 meters above sea level. Its territory measures 425 square kilometers. Winter is often hit by floods in the many rivers that traverse its territory for download from the lake Coipasa. According to the census enumerated population in 2001 is 5,790 Chipaya inhabitants (INE Bolivia, 2001). The people of Santa Ana de Chipaya (center of public life Chipaya) arises from the reduction of Urus-Chipayas in 1572.

Chipaya Source:
Most research refers to the age of what is sometimes referred to as "people", "culture" or "ethnicity" Chipaya. They were often attributed to be "the oldest", "presolar" most ancient culture is preserved until now, "a cultural time capsule" classifications that help keep all the stereotypical "savages" has been built by Aymara neighbors, and has been reactualized by external researchers. Anthropological and ethnohistorical information realizes that Chipayas considered presolar culture has been maintained over time, despite the adversities of nature.

The Chipayas are part of the First Nation "Uru" which also includes Muratus, Iruhitus, who try to vindicate his other brothers, choirs, Capillus, Uros, the Isluga, etc. (Acosta, 2001). Uru status largely explains the type of interethnic relations established with neighboring Aymara;
"From this comes the contempt in which they Aymara neighbors, who refer to them as chullpa-Puchu, ie" waste "of presolar and was excluded from humanity today" (Wachtel, 1997, pp. 12).

Andean mythology states that are known as Chullpa Chipayas-puchus (leftover chullpas) which is the name used to insult the Aymara and refer to the Chipaya. According to Andean myth, the chullpas are direct descendants of a pre-humanity, of an earlier age than that of males (Wachtel, pp. 15);
"These people chullpas beings who, according to the original myth, inhabited the earth before the appearance of the sun. When this came up, everyone chullpas were burned by the fire from heaven, but some of them taking refuge in lakes. Of these survivors of the first trial Chipayas descend and the other Urus, last witnesses in this world of primordial humanity "(Wachtel, 1997, pp. 12).

There is no certainty the origin of the Chipayas. In this regard there are only a few hypotheses to explain its arrival in their current place of origin. There are hypotheses that suggest that they could arrive from the jungle, or come from the Peruvian and Chilean coast, and even after arriving from Polynesia. The truth is that some of these assumptions may seem quite risky, while others need further scientific inquiry (Barrientos, 1990, pp 115).

One of the main characteristics of the Chipaya, which have attracted the interest of researchers has been the architecture of their houses, dress, and language. The Chipaya puquina claim to speak the language. This is a central feature of the identification Chipaya, and is an element that is constantly used by linguists to keep track of this group. The Bolivian government also uses language as a hub classifier in its characteristics to identify and classify the indigenous and nonindigenous (CEPAL, 2001, pp. 22-37). Language is constantly argued as an essential and primordial identity Chipaya since time immemorial.

However, researchers have discovered that this ethnic group speaks a language inherited from different historical situations in which they have been submitted by other groups, the result of that submission is the replacement of the original language by the imposed language. Puquina (Arnold et all, 2002) is precisely the language of the puquinas, an ethnic group disappeared, which had an amplitude in use, judging from distant places where their use has been discovered (Galdos, 1982; pp 18).

At some point it is established that puquina now spoken by the latter groups Urus was the original language (of the Urus), and somehow puquina Uru and were the same (idem). However, it is clear that the other ethnic group puquina was cohabiting with the Urus, in an area of great geographical extent, and that somehow we do not know the Urus allowed to speak their original language (the uriquilla) and began to speak Puquina (Cerron-Palomino, 1998, pp. 85-120)

The issue of adoption of the language puquina by Urus has left a pall of confusion. It is possible, "and know the scope that the Urus-despite being a fairly spread through the highlands, have not been strong enough to withstand the onslaught initially puquina, and then the onslaught Aymara. It is also likely that the Urus strategically adopted the languages of the groups became more powerful in front of them as a way to negotiate an ethnic survival. What we know so far is that the Urus pukina adopted, and kept him as their own language until a new adoption of the Aymara language, with few exceptions (Arnold et all, 2002).

The only thing we can be clear, is that most groups Urus, who once spoke uriquilla, replaced his tongue Puquina, then by the Aymara (idem). Some groups still retained Puquina, with local variations, are in the process of replacement of puquina by the Aymara. Chipaya are precisely one of those groups, and are the last center of resistance of puquina language, as they have refused to adopt the Aymara ethnic identity and language, and we skip many questions regarding the reasons why which brought about this phenomenon.

That stubbornness Chipaya by the time he has doubled his hand to the target, as the conscience of indigenous assemblies has begun to stop the process of language aymarización puquina-Uru-Chipaya now called, -having it be declared the official language- thus introduced into school curricula for Chipayas.

Primitivism Chipayas
Its age or ethnic characteristics that appear to be older than the rest of the other groups, are also a feature called attention to the Urus. We could say that primitivism is another feature that has drawn attention to all researchers, even from those early contacts (Wachtel, 1998, pp. 1128).

During the early settlement of Urus were recognized for being uncivilized and primitive group because they were engaged in fishing activities on the banks of rivers and lakes in which they lived, unlike other groups that practiced grazing or agriculture. Urus then by their socio-economic-taxed differently from other ethnic groups, and some researchers that this condition may help lower their language has been maintained (Arnold et all, 2002).

The old habits caught the attention of Alfred Metraux, who from an evolutionary perspective interprets the Uru-Chipayas as early exponents of the old pre-Hispanic;
"Live in Chipaya a primitive race of people that almost no contact with other peoples of the altiplano. Her dresses that can be traced to the fifteenth century, are as identical as those covering their chullpas " (Metraux, quoted in, Pauwels, 1998, pp. 60).

Particularly full of pagan ceremonies, in which the worship of idolatry exceeded Andean-Christian practices (Metraux, 1967, pp 252) and a number of strange customs, strongly called attention Metraux, who did not hesitate to call this group as a relic of the colonial past and even pre-Columbian (Matraux, quoted in, Pauwels, 1998, pp 73).

The researcher raised quite seriously that Chipayas were a window into the past and specifically its current customs and traditions of the Aymara were the colonial. Chipayas Metraux sees the Aymara tribe as the situation of isolation has escaped the influence it has changed precisely the current Aymara, therefore, the Chipayas are as have been before the Aymara (Pauwels, 1998, pp. 48-73).

This vision still remains primitive, and many claim that Chipayas are so old that would be related directly to the culture Wankarani 4,000 BC. old. Currently, any text or press article referred to the Chipayas part by giving emphasis on the age of Chipaya culture, in ancient traditions, in short, the primitive it represents. We believe that seniority was a major exo-categories that circulate around the Chipayas.

Relations with its neighbors
We believe that in addition to the influence of outsiders, the factors that maintain this are also relationships they have established with their neighbors. Colonial reports indicate that the Urus occupied much of the highlands and other places as well, but were losing ground and disappearing, largely because of harassment from other groups such as the Aymara and Quechua, who took over their natural resources (Pauwels, 1998, pp. 55).

It is even possible that this harassment to the Urus is even before the arrival of the Spanish, and has appeared as a continuous process from the colony so far in Urus which have lost their land, their language, their customs, have been enslaved, and have been shelved until the last habitable places where even continue to suffer such harassment.

Chipayas consider themselves jas-Shoni "water men" as opposed to "dry men", the Aymara, strengthening their identity against the contempt of the other Indians, particularly the Aymara neighbors of those who Chipaya Huachacalla emancipated themselves from the bondage in which were kept from the colony (Wachtel, 2001, pp. 15-18). The Chipayas still keep the mistrust of the Aymara, the product of the way in which historically have been mistreated by them.

We believe it is quite likely that the relations of inferiority that the Aymara have imposed Chipayas, has generated has cornered that maintain their language and customs. Metraux think the secret behind the preservation intact of the Chipayas this geographic isolation, and the precariousness of the environment in which they live (Pauwels, 1998, pp. 55-65) .

It is possible that the territory in which they remain in the past has been more productive than it is now. However, the Chipayas have kept the territory, despite the precariousness, is still attracting the interest of the Aymara neighbors. However, most evidence suggests that: "The Chipayas remained as Urus, that those who had (already) not worth taking away" (Pauwels, 1998, pp. 55). The suspicion Chipayas still retain the Aymara and avoid marrying them, and send their children to study in schools of the Aymara (Barrientos, 1990, pp. 37).

Migration to Chile?
The Chipayas constantly have had to emigrate from their homeland. Either temporarily or permanently, the Chipayas must leave their land and move to other places, mainly in search of work (Barrientos, 1990, pp. 36). Their presence in Chile is quite old, and there is evidence to confirm their presence at the time of nitrate in the first region (Pauwels, 1998, pp. 56). There is little evidence that allow us to confirm whether Chipayas worked directly in the tasks nitrate, or rather if they worked in the network of external service provision, although Bernardo Guerrero tells me that there is descriptive information indicating that the Bolivian and Peruvian farmers reached work directly to the mine, on an equal footing with Chilean workers (personal communication).

With respect to migration Chipaya in times of nitrate, some researchers argue that there is a real possibility that the Chipayas had emigrated to Chile and completely abandoned his people, which would have generated its ultimate demise, as, "If the price of nitrate had not fallen as much market value, sold out almost on the Chilean coast the work of the nitrate, and had migrated Chipayas definitely be leaving Chipayas" (Poznansky, 1937, quoted in, Pauwels, 1998, pp. 56) . This is another of the visions that ventured the disappearance of the Chipayas, a fact that did not happen eventually.

Chipayas certainly have not remained confined to their homeland, and have been on the increasingly it has been necessary. For example we know that Chipayas well aware of the wetlands and lagoons Chilean - and Bolivia, to continue the hunt flamingos (Acosta, 1997, pp. 13). This shows that the traffic in Chile has been permanent, and possibly older than they seem. With respect to the previous point, the linguist Professor Elias Ticuna suggests that like any other group tour the highlands and streams, ignoring national boundaries whose efficacy is rather recent (personal communication) .

Even before the opening of secondary education in the village Chipaya, many young people moved to Chile to secondary school (Barrientos, 1990, pp. 85-86). The potential scope for having the overlapping of different educational traditions (eg the historical interpretation of the Pacific War) in those students, it raises an interesting concern for issues of ethnic identity and citizenship.

Migration rates recorded by statistics of Bolivia (INE Bolivia, 2001) indicate that the rate of migration for the people Chipaya registered in 2001 is -4.7. This rate is similar to those of other localities of the department of Oruro, which we find that temporarily or permanently migrate more than other people. Chipaya belongs to the department of Oruro, which is the second (after Potosí) departments or expelling more negative migration of population (CEPAL, 2001, pp. 56).

The indigenous population of the department of Oruro migrate mainly to the departments of Cochabamba (more than 10%), to La Paz, to Santa Cruz and in that order of preference (ibid, pp 57-62). The important issue is that, unlike these other peoples, Chipayas Chile as his preferred destination, and not to those departments, which raises many doubts (Barrientos, 1990, pp. 36-37).

Data from a national census of population of the village Chipaya of 1988 clearly indicate the age at which migration is triggered. We can see from the graph below the age cohort 16 to 20 years represented 12.5%, is passed to the next age cohort 21 to 25 years which represents 6.8%. The decrease in the percentage of young people living in the village, indicates that half of the cohort of 16 to 20 years longer lives in the village, and most likely have migrated (at least for the census) .

There is general agreement that indicates that poverty is the main driver of migration of Chipaya settled out of town. Some census data from 2001 indicate that poverty is highly concentrated in indigenous households. Well as socio-economic characterization of the Bolivian population indicates that the rural indigenous and nonindigenous extractive devoted to productive activities, mainly primary activities.


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