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Thu Jun 4, 2015, 03:33 PM

The Three Most Magnificent Indigenous Groups In Latin America

The Three Most Magnificent Indigenous Groups In Latin America



Published by Julie King June 4, 2015 3:20 pm

There are an estimated 40 million indigenous people in Latin America that belong to approximately 600 different ethnic groups within the region. Nearly 13% of all Latin Americans and around 40% of the rural population identify as indigenous.

Despite such a strong physical presence, these native people suffer discrimination and exploitation. Since the Spanish Conquest, Latin America’s indigenous population has endured slavery, massacres, forced migration, exclusion from the mainstream social and economic systems, and a blatant disdain for their culture. While indigenous groups are more likely to become trapped in poverty, their resilience against a dominant society and ability to survive centuries of hardship are incredibly inspiring.

The five Latin American countries with the highest indigenous populations are: Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. No indigenous population is the same. Each carries its own history, culture, language and perspective of the world. Since these native people pre-date State lines and geopolitical boundaries, it is accurate to categorize them based on ethnicity rather than by country.

1. The Quechuas (Population: 10 million)



The Quechua population comes in first place with a whopping 10 million people. They are the original descendents of the Incan empire, and inhabit the Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Because of the 8 million Quechua speakers in Peru, it has been deemed an official language of the country, equating it to the same level of Spanish.

More:
http://xpatnation.co/the-three-most-magnificent-indigenous-groups-in-latin-america/

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Reply The Three Most Magnificent Indigenous Groups In Latin America (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2015 OP
brer cat Jun 2015 #1
Peace Patriot Jun 2015 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jun 4, 2015, 06:41 PM

1. Very interesting, Judi Lynn.

Disgraceful treatment of indigenous people is widespread throughout the Americas.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 5, 2015, 03:13 AM

2. It is going to be one of the most beautiful ironies of history,

say, a hundred years from now, when it turns out that these despised groups--the Indigenous Americans--hold the secrets for human survival on a planet that has been ravaged by the stupid, wasteful, careless, rude, crude, polluting, de-foresting, GMO-izing, monoculturist, ocean-killing, Arctic-melting, Conquistador societies.

One story from Michael Pollan's book, "The Botany of Desire," illustrates what this beautiful irony will be. The potato was unknown in Europe until the Conquistadores set across the sea, "discovered" America and brought the potato back in ships, from Peru. At first this seemed like a good thing. In Ireland, for instance, where the British 0.01% had stolen all the good agricultural land and the poor Irish were left with only scrub land on which to grow food, the potato seemed a godsend, cuz potatoes grow well in poor soils. The trouble was that the Conquistadors had introduced only one species of potato and absolutely none of the traditional agricultural wisdom of the people from whom they took it. Those people--the Peruvian Indigenous--grew thousands of varieties of potato, as a hedge against plant disease and crop failure. The poor Irish didn't know this, and guess what happened? The Irish potato crop failed, catastrophically, and a million people died of starvation.

If only they had known the wisdom of Andean agriculture--quite the same thing as the wisdom of Nature: VARIETY!

There are many, many, many more aspects to the wisdom of Indigenous cultures--but I think they can be summed up as reverence for Nature as the Mother of us all. If you have proper reverence for Nature, you observe Nature carefully, with all of your soul; you learn from it, you imitate it, you honor it. You must also PRESERVE YOUR NATURE-LOVING CULTURE from destruction (which the poor Irish obviously failed to do, during that era--they, too, were indigenous and Nature-loving, but they allowed themselves to be stripped of their native wisdom as well as their land). This is something quite special about Latin American Indigenous cultures--their survival. Such courage! Such strength! And we must now turn to them for their understanding of Nature--these despised people, these spit-upon people, these people who, as late as the 1960s, were not allowed to walk on the sidewalks in Bolivia, who were beaten, raped, murdered with impunity throughout Latin America, who were treated as badly as blacks were treated in slave countries--hold the wisdom that we must now learn, for the very survival of the human race itself.

I wish I could live that long. I think a hundred years is a good guess for how long we have if we continue our pace of planet destruction--destruction of our only home, destruction of Nature itself. The World Wildlife Fund gives us 50 years, at current levels of pollution, consumption and de-forestation--50 years to the death of the planet--but I'll stretch it a bit, and say that, around 2100 A.D., either world culture will have mended itself with the teachings of Latin America's Indigenous people on agriculture, preservation of the wild and other vital matters, or we will be well on our way to extinction. I hope that the irony turns out to be beautiful and not tragic.

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