Bolivia

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Bolivia History

The Incas did not change the organization of the Aymara kingdoms, and generally allowed them to be autonomous. In fact, most local governors kept their positions, answering to the Inca, and members of the Aymara elite were allowed to keep private property and send their children to schools in Cuzco, Peru, the center of the Incan Empire. However, in 1470 two Aymara kingdoms rebelled against the Inca and were thoroughly defeated. After that, the Inca fully established their rule over the Aymara and the entire Kollasuyo region. The Inca were not successful in overtaking other cultures in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia and the ruins that remain of the Incan empire in this region are evidence of that. Today, the indigenous cultures of eastern Bolivia live in much the same way as they did hundreds of years ago.

Bolivia

The Quechua-speaking Incas entered the Altiplano in about 1450 A.D. conquering and assimilating other cultures including the Aymaras, bringing with them their traditions and customs, and controlling this area for about 75 years until 1525 when the Spanish arrived in search of gold and silver. The Incan Empire was divided into four major administrative units. The Bolivian highland region, which they called the Kollasuyo, became one of those four units ruled over by a high official who answered only to the Inca himself. (This is why today, people from La Paz are referred to as "kollas"). This high official in turn supervised several provincial governors who controlled members of the Aymara nobility. Throughout this time in history the Incas forced local natives to work in their mines or on their construction projects, or to serve in their armies by means of a forced draft called the "mita" system (although they were fully compensated for all work they did).

The Incas had a highly advanced and socially organized culture. Their civilization was carefully managed by a government structure as well. They created a system of roads, aqueducts and hanging bridges, some of which still exist today. Their system of aqueducts allowed them to discontinue their nomadic lifestyle and become the agricultural and militaristic masters of the region.

The Incas did not change the organization of the Aymara kingdoms, and generally allowed them to be autonomous. In fact, most local governors kept their positions, answering to the Inca, and members of the Aymara elite were allowed to keep private property and send their children to schools in Cuzco, Peru, the center of the Incan Empire. However, in 1470 two Aymara kingdoms rebelled against the Inca and were thoroughly defeated. After that, the Inca fully established their rule over the Aymara and the entire Kollasuyo region. The Inca were not successful in overtaking other cultures in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia and the ruins that remain of the Incan empire in this region are evidence of that. Today, the indigenous cultures of eastern Bolivia live in much the same way as they did hundreds of years ago.

On Lake Titicaca tourists can cross the lake from Copacabana to the Islands of the Sun and the Moon to view Incan Ruins. Today Quechua and Aymara are still spoken by a large part of Bolivia’s population and are 2 of Bolivia's over 20 official languages.