The Aymara People of the Andes

received_349168949031248-01.jpegThe Aymara people are Native American (First Nations) culture living in the Andes mountains around the borders of where present-day Peru, Chile, and Bolivia meet. The Aymara are considered one of the oldest extant ethnic groups of the High Andes, predating the Inca civilization by thousands of years. The ancestors of today’s Aymara built the highest urban center in the world, Tiwanaku, reaching it’s highest populations between 500-1000 c.e.(the header image from this post are the “stone peoples” of Tiwanaku). However, during the height of Inca power and then during the colonial era, the Aymara were forcibly resettled to their present area. Continue reading

Cold Climates: The Inuit Amauti

Well, I was enjoying the lovely fall colors, the warm days and crisp nights– and then that jerk Winter crept up and put an ice cube down my shirt. So, while I huddle here, fingers frozen, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how traditional artic cultures deal with infant carrying in the freezing temperatures. There seem to be two main approaches: a soft carrier that shares body heat between child and caregiver which we’ll cover in this post; and a hard carrier that creates a micro-climate for the baby that I will cover in a future post. Continue reading