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Indigenous Native American Tribes and Languages of Bolivia

This is an index to the Native American language and cultural information on our website pertaining to Bolivian indigenous people and the languages they speak. Some pages contain more information than others. If you belong to an indigenous tribe from Bolivia that we do not currently have listed on this page and you would like to see your tribe featured here, please contact us about contributing information to our site.

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There are 37 official languages of Bolivia today: Spanish (which is the country's main language and is spoken by most Bolivians as either a first or second language) and thirty-six indigenous languages. The most prominent of these languages are Quechua and Aymara, each of which is spoken by around three million Bolivians. Overall indigenous people make up a majority in Bolivia, with more than sixty percent of the population identifying as indigenous. Aymara and Quechua are major ethnic languages of Bolivia which are spoken in the home, taught in public school, and frequently used for official government purposes, but the languages of many smaller tribes are endangered today and indigenous elders are working to keep their traditional languages alive for the next generations.

The original inhabitants of the area that is now Bolivia include:

*The Araona Indians *The Aymara Indians *The Ayoreo Indians
*The Baure Indians *The Canichana Indians *The Cavinena Indians
*The Cayubaba Indians *The Chacobo Indians *The Chane Indians
*The Chapacura Indians *The Chipaya Indians *The Chiquitano Indians
*The Chorote Indians *The Ese Ejja Indians *The Guarani Indians
*The Guarayu Indians *The Itonama Indians *The Kallawaya Indians
*The Leco Indians *The Machinere Indians *The Mojo Indians (Moxos)
*The Mooré Indians *The Moseten Indians *The Movima Indians
*The Pacahuara Indians *The Paicone Indians *The Pauna Indians
*The Pauserna Indians *The Puquina Indians *The Quechua Indians
*The Reyesano Indians *The Sarave Indians *The Siriono Indians
*The Tacana Indians *The Tiahuanaco Indians *The Toba Indians
*The Toromona Indians *The Tsimane Indians *The Uro Indians
*The Weenhayek Wichi Indians *The Yaminahua Indians *The Yuqui Indians
*The Yuracare Indians *The Zamuco Indians

Recommended books about Bolivia's Native Americans:
(Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these Amazon links)

*Lines in the Water: Nature and Culture at Lake Titicaca:
    Story of the highland Indians of Bolivia and Peru, told by a man who has lived with them for many years.
*People of the Gran Chaco:
    Interesting book on the cultural survival of the Chacoan tribes of Bolivia and interior South America.
Native Tribes Of Eastern Bolivia And Western Matto Grosso:
    Detailed anthropology text on the native Bolivian tribes.
*The Languages of the Andes:
    Linguistic overview of the Andean region, including Bolivian languages.
*The Tupac Amaru and Catarista Rebellions:
    A good history book on the 18th-century indigenous uprisings in Peru and Bolivia.
Coup: A Story of Violence and Resistance in Bolivia * From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia
    Evo Morales: The Extraordinary Rise of the First Indigenous President of Bolivia:
    Books on the modern history of indigenous politics in Bolivia.
*Bolivian Indian Textiles: Traditional Designs and Costumes:
    Book about how indigenous Bolivian weaving traditions have evolved over time.

Other resources about American Indian history, culture and society in Bolivia:

Indian Tribes of Bolivia:
    Article on the Quechua, Aymara, and other indigenous Bolivian Indians.
Bolivia Lowland Indians:
    Article on the Indian tribes of the Bolivia Oriente lowlands.
Native American Nations in Peru and Bolivia:
    Information and photos of the different Indian tribes living in the Andean region.
Languages in Bolivia * Map of Bolivian Nations:
    Maps showing where Bolivia's native languages are spoken.
Indigenous Peoples in Bolivia:
    Wikipedia article overviewing the Bolivian Indian tribes.
Bilingual Education in Bolivia:
    Article on the status of Quechua and Aymara language use in Bolivian schools.
The Musical Arts of the Bolivian Indian:
    Information on Bolivian Indian styles of music, with pictures of native pipes and flutes.
The Bolivian Pollera:
    Bolivian Indian women's clothing in the modern day.
Bolivia Cultural Artifacts:
    Museum exhibit with photographs of different kinds of Bolivia Native artifacts.
In Bolivia’s High-Altitude Capital, Indigenous Traditions Thrive Once Again:
    Photo-essay about indigenous customs, festivals, and religion in La Paz.
Pre-Columbian Civilizations of Bolivia:
    Ancient history of the Bolivian highlands.
Early History of Bolivia:
    Article on the Spanish conquest and colonization of the indigenous people of Bolivia.
Bolivia's Indigenous Movement Sees Advances And Divisions * Indigenous Peoples Under Attack After Morales’ Departure:
    Bolivia's Electoral Crisis: A Timeline * Bolivia’s Indigenous Masses Have Changed the Course of History
    Standing With The Indigenous People of Bolivia:
    News articles on the fight for indigenous rights and political representation in Bolivia.
Protesters Rally Around an Embattled Indigenous Symbol * The National Flag and the Indigenous Wiphala:
    Articles on the symbolism of the Wiphala indigenous flag in Bolivia.

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