Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Aymaras, the chief indigenous race of Peru and Bolivia, whose original home was Lake Titicaca, cradle of the Peruvian Incas. They appear to be the primitive stock from which sprang the Quichuas, that is, the dominant nation of Peru at the time of the Spanish conquest. Both languages are related, Aymara representing a ruder and more archaic, Quichua a more modern and refined form of a common mother-tongue. The physical type is also the same - short, thickset, robust figures, little over five feet high, small black eyes, somewhat arched nose, short legs, small extremities, coppery complexion, very short round head, but mostly compressed by artificial deformation. The Aymaras were formerly a highly civilised and powerful nation, as is evident from the remains of the stupendous monuments scattered round the shores of Titicaca, and the numerous graves discovered in many districts now entirely uninhabited. The pure Aymara race still numbers about 500,000, and the Mestizos (Hispano-Aymara half-breeds) over 100,000. The latter mostly speak Spanish, the former Aymara, but all are now nominal Christians, retaining many of the old Pagan superstitions under the outward form of the Roman Catholic religion. See Clement Markham's "Tribes of the Empire of the Incas," in Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 1871, and D. Forbes "The Aymara Indians," in the Journal of the Ethnological Society, 1870.