Aymara - Settlements



As the Aymara switched to pastoralism and agriculture, they settled in small clusters throughout the altiplano area. Several millennia later, during the colonial period, two types of highland communities came into existence in Bolivia: the hacienda-dominated community (inhabited by colonos ) and the marginal, freeholding community (inhabited by comunarios ), which contributed to the development of diverging settlement patterns. Homesteads in the comunario community are often widely dispersed, whereas in the colono community living quarters are mostly built in close-knit clusters. The buildings of each unit (for an extended family or some related families) are surrounded with a wall. Aymara frequently own dwellings in more than one location because of their traditional engagement (landholdings, trade, or barter) in different places. In the 1950s, when the Aymara began substantial migration to urban centers, they kept their settlement pattern, including having a wall around the dwelling of a nuclear or extended family.


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