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Aymara, with the stress on the final syllable, is the second of the major Indian languages of western South America. There are about 2 million speakers, of whom about three-fourths live in Bolivia, the rest in Peru. Aymara and Quechua constitute a single subfamily of the Andean Equatorial family of languages.
The Aymara language has traditonal form of picture writing, used until quite recently to produce versions of Christian religiou texts. In Modern Bolivia, where the largest community of speakers is to be found, Aymara is now written in the Latin Alphabet.Many Bolivians are trilingual in Aymara, Quechua and Spanish. Thus, besides its Quechua elements, Aymara has now many Spanish loanwords, though they are altered to fit the sound pattern.
Aymara is spoken/used in the following countries:
Family: Central South American Indian
Subgroup: Andean Equatorial
Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.
The Aymaras lived in tribes or families. The large tribes were as follows: Urus, Parias, Umasuyos, Pacajis, Sicasicas, Karankas, Yuncas, Laricajas. Before they learned the customs of the Peruvians, these people worked the soil and mined gold, silver, and other minerals from the bowels of the earth.
Other large tribes were called: Charcas, Chichas, Kochapam-pas, Atacamas, Yuras, Killacas, and more. All these tribes and families once spoke distinct dialects, which were forgotten when the Incas taught them to speak Quechua.
Each of the Aymara tribes was subject to the orders of a great chief called Mallku, to whom other authorities of lower rank, such as the Jilacatas, deferred.
These people were good fishermen and hunters, and also raised llamas and sheep for food.