Category Archives: Culture

Indigenous Populations in Latin America / Poblaciones Indigenas en América Latina

In honor of the day of decolonization (celebrated in Bolivia) and the day of indigenous resistance (Venezuela, El Salvador) we celebrate the multitude of indigenous communities in today’s Latin America. According to 2011 UNDP figures, 62.2% of Bolivia’s population identify as indigenous. View the UNDP graph below for a look at the percentage of indigenous people out of the total population of different Latin American countries.

En el día de descolonización (celebrado en Bolivia) y el día de resistencia indígena (celebrado en Venezuela y El Salvador) nosotros festejamos la multitud de comunidades indigenas en America Latina. Según estadísticas de 2011 de la PNUD, 62.2% de la población Boliviana se identifica como indígena. Para conocer la población indígena respecto a la población total en diferentes países Latinoamericanos, vea el gráfico abajo.

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“When Indigenous Fashion Hits the Runway, Details Matter” by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

Read the article below for an insightful exploration of the rise of “chola” fashion and identity both within and outside of Bolivia.

When Indigenous Fashion Hits the Runway, Details Matter

 By Jean Friedman-Rudovsky
All image credits: Yvette Paz Soldan

Fifteen years ago, Glenda Yañez put on the clothes of her ancestors. She had always admired how her grandmother dressed—her wide, layered skirt; a thick embroidered shawl; and a top hat leaning just so, two long and dark braids coming down her back. Yañez, who grew up in the bustling city of La Paz, Bolivia, had come of age in jeans and T-shirts.

That’s because her grandmother’s indigenous dress — known as the chola style — had for centuries been a target of acute discrimination. For most of Bolivia’s history, a Spanish-descended, white minority lorded over the country’s native majority in a system akin to apartheid. The chola wardrobe is a fashion distinctive to Bolivia’s second largest indigenous group, the Aymara people. And it’s one that has endured since the 1700s, even though it has brought with it heightened segregation.

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