Legendary Chipaya culture (2 days and 1 night)

Oruro region keeps alive the ancient culture chipaya, since the time of pre-Inca period and even pre-pre-Tiahuanaco Aymara. The chipayas live in a small recognized by the Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia territory.

The departure from the city of Oruro is in the morning. After 3.5 hours you arrive at the Chipaya town and have lunch there. The chipaya lunch is nutritious, from quinoa and cañahua, accompanied by Place meat either called or sheep.

After lunch we are going to visit the Chipaya ayllus in Aransaya (below), Manansaya (Up), Vistrullani and Ayparavi.

A purpose of this visit, it is necessary to say that Jorge Ruiz film was produced in 1953, entitled “Vuelve Sebastiana”. The episodes of the film become a reality, this trip. Because this trip is intended to meet the chipaya people.

Chipayas, Muratos Iruitos and preserved their language. Talking to people chipaya people can learn chipaya language. Although today also children know and communicate in the Uru language.

The chipayas uru never stopped speaking their native language, in over 4,500 years. But since 2010, the sons of former chipaya studied linguistics and now build their own alphabet.

Currently, chipaya language is spoken by the people uru-chipayas which includes chipayas, living along the river Lauca. Also Muratos chipaya speak the language. The murato living near chipayas specifically are near Lake Poopó, in Oruro region. Also, Iruitos speak the language chipaya. Iruitos are settled in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca in the region of La Paz. Due to this reason, during the trip is not any iruito during this trip.

The chipayas “water men” call themselves. In chipaya language, “water men” is qhwaz-za zhoñi (kjotsuñi)

Chipaya is an Aymara word meaning which is characteristic networks and the use of “chipas” (networks) to hold the straw roofs of their houses, so that the wind does not carry the roof.

The Aymara also call the chipayas “chullpa puchu”. This means “what remains of chullpas or ancient inhabitants of the plateau.” The chullpas were primitive people who only knew the dark, by the light only with the moonlight. In ancient times the sages of the chullpas had predicted that the sun would rise in the west and they built houses with doors to the East, as otherwise they would not take their eyes from the sun’s powerful rays. So when the time came the sun and calcined at the ancient inhabitants chullpas arrived. Only a couple got into the water and survive.

Then the chullpas lived in the water and at night the surviving partner did his normal life. They did until they got used to the rhythm of day and night. This couple was the origin of the current chipayas.

The village Chipaya see the sunrise in the province Atahuallpa, within the region of Oruro, 280 kilometers southwest of the city of Oruro, the Bolivian folklore capital.

The oral history of the ancient people that the chipaya people suffered attacks of the Aymara and Spanish colonizers. But chipaya people resisted and now faces the challenge of claiming their lifestyle, worldview and language.

The four ayllus of chipaya municipality are Aransaya, Manansaya, Vistrullani and Ayparavi or Union Barras. Then, Chipayas also Muratos and Iruitos, cultured Uru-chipaya language, even if they are demographically reduced to about three thousand speakers. For communication needs, the Aymara people learned their Spanish neighbors and also because it is the official Bolivia`s  language. Then the chipayas, Muratos and Iruitos speak Spanish in cities.

The Uru chipaya language was declared official by Supreme Decree 25894 (September 11, 2000)

The Uru-chipaya language is Amerindian rooted, that means from America and India, and similar to the Aymara structure, the dominant relation of this culture. Nevertheless, it has maintained its phonological features and syntax.

The alphabet basis was built taking into account the fact by Olson and other scholars. There are 37 letters in the alphabet and 5 vowels, although the number is not definitive.

In the Uru alphabet, the articulation vocal characteristic are fricatives, that means consonants are pronounced as whistle. For example, zoqa (cold cuts), schujki (eye).

Some letters and words have palatal sounds, meaning that when spoken tongue movements become backward: shaxpi (banana peel). There is also sucked pronunciations such as blown: khuñi (ear). Postvelares, as the letters are pronounced behind the palate; q’orawa (Honda). Alveolar, producing phonemes that do not exist in other languages: t’aqui, k’a, q’a. Glottalized, with blows of voice, the mouth is closed and two voices to say, for example, t’anta (pan) or ch’ama (force) is articulated. Others are dental: Tani, tola. Nasal: Nini, najna, maska. Sides: lluch’uta. Vibrant: royta. Semiconsonants: Watsi.

Weronika you chipay cashb liw j jh paxax iwcha. “We want our chipaya language is known to all,” says Lazarus. “Young people are the most enthusiastic; They want the chipaya language already talk in the classroom. ”

Traditions, clothing, women’s hairstyles, musical instruments, traditional architecture of their houses has been preserved until today. The chipayas women are characterized by hair combed in many thin braids. The chipaya homes (wallichi koya) are circular with walls of “tepes” which are blocks of soil and roots of grasses lifted straight from the ground, clay plastered with a conical thatched roof held by networks or sparks as a straw braided to prevent it blowing away. No windows. The only opening in the housing is facing east, rather than the sunrise, to prevent the wind drag into the house sand dunes between the living door. For cooking and heating in the harsh cold nights yareta used, which is a creeping highland plant of slow growth and high calorific value.  Other constructions are the phutukus or barns, used as shelters by shepherds. The phutukus have beehive or tear, built with “tepes”.

The chipayas believe in mallkus or male deities and the t`allas or feminine accessories. Mallkus may be hills or small monuments. The chipayas revere certain animals such as the spotted wild cat of the Andes and their dead, those who prepare meals for the day of the dead.

The chipaya culture is one of the most valuable treasures of Bolivians.

It overnight at chipaya town and the typical dishes of the chipayas eat grain-based gold quinoa.

The journey to the municipality Chipaya goes through Challacollo, Toledo, Corque and Huachacalla. These places have colonial churches and other attractions of each place you visit during the round trip, enjoying the beautiful highland landscape.

The cost of the tour includes:
Private transport – return
Food (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Refreshments during walks (water, sandwiches and fruit)
Visits to tourist sites mentioned
Interaction with the locals to take pictures.
Depending on visitors, there is a guide in Spanish, French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese.

The cost of the trip does not include:

Mosquito repellent
Hat for sun protection
Thick and warm clothes against the cold and wind
Extra walking shoes when walking shoes are wet or dirty
Sox. towel
Waterproof clothing
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Personal expenses


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