June 2, 2014

1092 BOLIVIA - A Bolivian Aymara little girl

The ethnic composition of Bolivia, officially known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is very diverse, the majority (55%) being formed from Indigenous, also called "originarios" or Amerindians, to which are added mestizo (30%), white (15%), Afro Bolivians, and Asians. The largest of the approximately three dozen native groups are the Quechuas (2.5 million), Aymaras (2 million), Chiquitano (180,000), and Guaraní (125,000). Andeans, as the Aymaras and Quechuas (which formed the ancient Inca Empire), are concentrate in the western departments of La Paz, Potosí, Oruro, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca, and the oriental ethnic population, composed by the Guaraní and Moxos, among others, inhabit the departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Tarija and Pando.

Aymara people live in the Andes and Altiplano regions, as well as some small regions near the tropical flatlands, but also, in smaller numbers, in Peru and Chile. Their ancestors lived in the region for many centuries before being conquered by Inca in the late 15th century, and later of the Spanish in the 16th century. The Spanish classified a number of ethnic groups as Aymara, identified by chieftainties, including the Charqa, Qharaqhara, Quillaca, Asanaqui, Carangas, SivTaroyos, Haracapi, Pacajes, Lupacas, Soras, among others.

Most of contemporary Aymaran urban culture was developed in the working-class Aymara neighborhoods of La Paz. Both Quechua and Aymara women in Peru and Bolivia took up the style of wearing bowler hats since the 1920s. According to legend, a shipment of bowler hats was sent from Europe to Bolivia via Peru for use by Europeans working on railroad construction. when they hats were found to be too small, they were given to the indigenous peoples. The elegant and cosmopolitan Aymara Chola dress, which is an icon of Bolivia (bowler hat, aguayo, heavy pollera, skirts, boots, jewelry, etc.) began and evolved in La Paz, becoming part of ethnic identification by Aymara women.

For this postcard I have to thank to Marcelo Rojas Calderon, tour leader at Inday Tours & Expeditions. If all the employees of this tour operator are as friendly and helpful as Marcelo, then this is the company that you must to contact when you will want to travel in Bolivia. Its presentation say all about its politics: "Maybe we are not a giant tour operator, but our strength is our long experience interacting with some kind visitors that we had the great chance to meet. And so we understand mostly their expectations about Bolivia."


About the stamps
The first stamp is part of a series of two, issued on 2013 to commemorate 183 years of the death of Simon Bolivar. On the stamps was used the facial reconstruction of the Liberator, made through the use of advanced technologies:
• 1.50 BOB - it's on the postcard
• 9.00 BOB

The second stamp was issued to celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day.

The third stamp belong to a series dedicated to the International Year of Quinoa (2013), issued on December 18, 2012:
• Pandela rosada (Chenopodium quinoa) (1.00 BOB)
• Vencedora de Quinua (3.50 BOB) - it's on the postcard
• Parcela Semillera var Negra (4.00 BOB)

The fourth stamp is part of a series named Wildlife Extinction in Bolivia - Endangered Species of Wild Fauna, issued on July 22, 2013:
Hippocamelus antisensís (0.50 BOB) - it's on the postcard
Lonchorhina aurita (1.00 BOB)
Nymphargus pluvialis (9.00 BOB)
Vultur gryphus (10.50 BOB)

The fifth is part of a series of two, PUASP America - Discrimination and racism are crimes, issued on 2013:
• 0.50 BOB - it's on the postcard
• 15.00 BOB

Bolivia ethnicity - Wikipedia
Aymara people - Wikipedia

sender: Marcelo Rojas Calderon
sent from La Paz (La Paz / Bolivia), on 23.04.2014
photo: Eric Bauer

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