Project-history about the Yampara Indians in South America

A heady mountain wind blows the open windows of the minibus. The lack of oxygen makes his fingertips tingle. After a long journey through the serpentine Andes, we enter the village with a high white church in the main square. Mud houses are connected: walls are hidden inside courtyards. There's a rush at 7:00 in Tarabuco today. Dressed in red, black, and white, the inhabitants of Yamparaes line up in columns on the outskirts of the village and, on command, move to the main square. The dancers' clothing is decorated with patterns in which wild animals - condor, fox, snake, llama - are next to the horses brought to America, and spikes of local cereals - with armed Spanish soldiers. With the monotonous sounds of bells and traditional flute, the main event of the go- yes - Puh-yai festival. A monument of painted plaster stands on the square where the performance unfolds. The four-meter-tall Indian appears to be a giant replica of the dancing: a fancy helmet, a traditional poncho, and characteristic features of the face. But he does not dance: with his foot, he rests the body of a slain Spanish soldier, holding in his hand a heart that has just been ripped from the enemy's chest. The grimace of rage disfigures the face of the Indian, and the mouth is covered with blood.
The statue is lively. Bolivian uroliths - women in bowler hats, blouses, layered skirts (bottom - lace), and clothes inherited from the colonizers - climb through the fence and, repeating the posture of the Indian, are photographed for memory. The little older woman treads the plaster torso with a smile. And next to the men raise glasses with chicha - Maize Braga - for the festival Puh-yai. The ancient harvest festival of the past 200 years has become a triumph for the indigenous people, Yampara, who have achieved independence and tranquillity in their land. INTENSE GEOLOGICAL ACTIVITY on the Altiplano Plateau generously endowed Bolivia with noble metals. The silver of the "rich mountain" of Cerro Rico in the city of Potosi, three hours from Tarabuco, helped finance the Spanish crown for almost three centuries - from 1545 to 1825 when Bolivia declared independence. Only about one percent of the world's silver was mined here in the second half of the HU century! The yampara in the mines were turned into enslaved people. According to historian George Kubler, between 1628 and 1754, the local population working in the mines of Potosi declined by two-thirds. Human losses were in the millions. The yampara still throw potatoes at the photographers and scold the pesky tourists: we still see the descendants of those gringos who brought great trouble here; Six years ago, on my first visit to Tarabuco, I distinctly felt an almost hostile distrust of a man from another world. I only got to know one of the yampara - 7-year-old blacksmith Martin Maldes. In these parts, the blacksmith is significant; his work depends on the community's life. I stayed at his studio a little longer on one of my last visits. Normally silent, Martin started talking. Native Tarabukian, he's doing his He graduated from the local school in five years with a handicraft from the age of 12. "As long as I'm alive, I'll do what I do. He learned from the forge, the sickles, the shovels, the various instruments,' the old master reasoned. - But life is changing; people are leaving their home villages for the cities, less and less engaged in agriculture; work today is less. AT AN ALTITUDE OF 3300 METERS, IT IS STILL POSSIBLE TO grow potatoes, quinoa, and vegetables. Above the deserted Altiplano - cold deserts, salt marshes, and peaks of volcanoes leaning into the sky, Peruvian writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, at the beginning of the HOOP century, described Altiplano as an "icy" land *. Inhabitants do not inhabit it; however, 'because of the multitude of pastures, it is inhabited by countless wild and domestic cattle, and there are many sources of such hot water that it is impossible even to keep our hand in them...".
At altitudes of more than 4 thousand meters in the flowering desert, colorful lagoons with mineral water feed myriad pink flamingos, Andean geese, and seagulls. On the banks of the lagoon, birds are waiting for Andean foxes. These relatives of our red fox love to feast on eggs of Darwinian Nanda, a bird capable of living at heights up to 4,5 thousand meters. The ostrich-like nandu defends - drives away predators; in the canyons and gorges spread real oases of life - an ecosystem of mountain swamps, bofedales. Fresh spring water is collected and held by the typical pineal vegetation of the marshes. Here, on the hard groaning bunches, graze herds of llamas and alpacas, domesticated by Indians 6 thousand years ago. Silvery fish sprout in tiny streams and ducts. THE YAMPARA HAVE LIVED IN THIS REGION SINCE at least the 5th century. Documents from the National Archives of Bolivia and archaeological excavations indicate that the Yampara culture reached its heyday between the 6th and 15th centuries: to this period are ceramic and textile products decorated with anthropomorphic and zoomorphic patterns.
The Yampara were isolated until the second half of the 20th century, when they voluntarily joined the Inca Empire, forming its southern outpost. In the hope of gaining protection from the hostile eastern neighbors, Chiriguzno, most of the yampara, passed into the Inca army. The name of the festival Puh-yai from the Quechua language {namely, it is spoken by yampara} translates as *playing of the wind with cereals in the fields".
Every year on the third Sunday in March, men perform a ritual dedicated to the renewal of life and the abundance caused by the rains.
In the field beyond the village, the people of Tarabuko erect a pukara, a tower" dedicated to Mother Earth, the goddess of fertility and abundance, Pachamama. The building has fruits, vegetables, bread, canned goods, beer, and soda cans. A huge cow carcass is placed on the top, and pumpkins and watermelons are propped below the navel. This is where the ritual takes place.
Puh-yai is an ancient way of communicating with nature. Yampara believes that disasters and droughts come from the misuse of natural resources.
Wooden Hutu's sandals on a high platform separate the dancing from the lower world of demons - Supai, bell-decorated wide leather straps, and spurs with jagged records create the rhythm of the dance (ringing spurs, like a hat-bowler, Indians borrowed from their long-time enemies - Spaniards).
People from other regions of the country come to Tarabuko on this day. Cholita Girls with the North, from Cochabamba, tap dancing. Men dance with a sling of male dancers to keep their movement alive, and the Amazon Valley Indians, dressed in leopard-print suits and feathered parrots, perform their traditional dance with jumps. The highest officials of the country are present at the celebration. Even President Evo Morales danced here in the formal attire of a Tarabukian: he is a native of the lands of the yampara. THE FIRST EUROPEANS TO VISIT TARABUCO WAS IN 1527: Eldorado the Portuguese Alegu Garcia with his retinue. Only two decades later, the lands of the yampara were incorporated into the Spanish Viceroyalty of Upper Peru.
In the early twentieth century, punitive expeditions of Spanish battalions repeatedly passed through Tarabuco: the country's national liberation movement was growing. Angry soldiers looted and burned houses, taking all the anger out of the villagers, and raped women. When the daughter of one of the leaders was the victim of violence, the yampara promised to avenge the honor of their women and the entire nation by going on the rebellion,
At the end of February 1816, another Spanish battalion of 800 men arrived in the region. Faced with barricades and ambushes in every village, the battalion commander, On March 12, 1816, in the Umbate Gorge, the Lieutenant Colonel ordered a severe punishment of the rebels. The soldiers encountered 2,500 insurgents from the villages of Sopachui and Tarabuko.
The peasants were inventive: they dressed cacti in traditional Tarabukian ponchos to take on some of the bullets. Then they began showering the Spaniards with a hail of large stones from the hill and attacked the enemy, killing the Spaniards with spears and sticks. Legend has it that, blinded by rage, the yampara opened the chest of defeated enemies, ripped out hearts, and ate them.
Only a 14-year-old drummer was left alive. The boy was ordered to spread the news around the district and to tell in all details about what happened.
"After those events, the Tarabukans were nicknamed the Sinkumicus," says Nicolas Gastelou Patico, a Bolivian Ministry of Culture consultant. - In Quechua, this word means "heart eaters." But yampara is not man-eaters. It happened only once when The people have become so desperate."
In memory of March 12, 1816, in 2006, Nicholas created the same monument; the Indians are eager to take pictures of him. The model was a resident.
LOST ON THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE ANDES, the Yampara retains the traditional way of life. With my guide, a native of the south of Bolivia and talented car mechanic William, we go to the southern borders of Bolivia. We aim to reach the village of Cienega, 600 kilometers southwest of Tarabuco. There the yampara live at the maximum distance from civilization. Some farms are so hostile to Europeans that William had to introduce me as his bride - and from others, on the contrary, we left with a pelvis of fragrant corn and fresh goat cheese.
We reached the goal in two days. In the golden beams of the sunset, all six adults, The villagers, came out to greet the unexpected guests. There are only a dozen in Cienega mud courts. A new primary school building and a "concert hall," a public house with one dark room, where sports mats and a generator are stored. That's the room we were given.
All the men came to the joint Russian-Bolivian dinner. Don Sixto, the head of the settlement, trying the buckwheat we brought, made a verdict: "Russian quinoa! It's delicious!"
In the morning, Beatrice, the wife of Don Sixtus, and I wash the dishes in the basins in their modest courtyard at home. When my voice is heard, my neighbors' children are poured out into the street, and they are stunned. Afraid to move, Overcoming embarrassment, one of the girls decides: "What did you do with your hair? Why are they so bright! !" No foreigners have ever been seen here. In Cienega, all children are no older than eight years old: schoolchildren are sent to live and study in a guesthouse in the nearest village, where there is a Spanish teacher. Their parents also go to the cities to earn a living. In the town, therefore, only the little ones and the old ones remain. Sixto and Beatrice are in their forties, and that's more of an exception.
"How do you live here?" I ask Beatrice.
"Happy!" she replies. - We have wheat, potatoes, corn, red apples, a pair of hens, donkeys, and goats. Here's a present for you. _". Beatrice hands me a large pelvis of steaming, fragrant white corn with a smile.