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Map of South American Indians

South America Indians (Physical Map)

THE MONTE VERDE ISSUE: (Chile): Monte Verde is an archaeological site in southern Chile, located near Puerto Montt, Southern Chile, which has been dated to 14,800 years BP. This dating adds to the evidence showing that the human settlement of the Americas pre-dates the Clovis culture by roughly 1000 years. South America Indians Map
- Monte Verde by Tom Dillehay

MUISCAS OR CHIBCHA CULTURE: The Chibcha or Musica meaning "the people" was an ancient culture centered on the upper Magdalena River, around Bogotá, Colombia. Detached tribes of the same stock were found along the Central American isthmus and in Costa Rica. Culturally, the Chibcha resembled the Inca; they practiced farming with the aid of an extensive system of irrigation, wove cotton cloth, and worked gold with a high degree of skill, although they were ignorant of the use of copper and bronze. Excellent PicturesExcellent Information About Natives in Colombia. Pre-Hispanic Societies in Colombia. El Dorado (Gold Art)

TAIRONA CULTURE: The Taironas achieved very high development in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.  A complex road system communicated the plain coast of the Atlantic Ocean with the high Mountains of Santa Marta. Many towns were constructed along the road side, many of them built up the hills with parapet and "terrazas" with planted vegetation to avoid erosion. Their construction skills were superb in comparison to other cultures in Colombia. Excellent pictures. Excellent Information About Natives in Colombia. Satellite Picture (Sierra de Santa Marta)

THE ZENU CULTURE: The Zenú or Sinú is an Amerindian tribe in Colombia, whose ancestral territory comprises the valleys of the Sinu and San Jorge rivers as well as the coast of the Caribbean around the Gulf of Morrosquillo.
The Zenú culture existed from about 200 BCE to about 1600 CE, constructing major water works and producing gold ornaments. The gold that was often buried with their dead lured the Spanish conquerors, who looted much of the gold. With the arrival of the Spaniards, the tribe all but died out.  Channels Picture 1, Channels Picture 2.

CARAL CULTURE: Caral, or Caral-Supe, was a large settlement in the Supe Valley, near Supe, Barranca province, Peru, some 200 km north of Lima. Caral is the most ancient city of the American Continent (Americas), and a well-studied site of the Caral or Norte Chico civilization. Caral was inhabited between roughly 2600 BCE and 2000 BCE, enclosing an area of more than 60 hectares. Caral was described by its excavators as the oldest urban center in the Americas, a claim that was later challenged as other ancient sites were found nearby. Accommodating more than 3,000 inhabitants, it is the best studied and one of the largest Norte Chico sites known. Satellite Picture (Caral) Caral City Reconstruction, Caral Pyramids.

CHAVIN CULTURE: The Chavin culture controlled N Peru from 900 B.C. to 200 B.C. Its ceremonial centers, featuring the jaguar god, survived long after. Chavin architecture, ceramics, and textiles influenced other Peruvian cultures. Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, 1998. Excellent Satellite Pictures. More Pictures by James Q. Jacobs, 1999. Satellite Picture (Chavin de Huantar) Chavin de Huantar Reconstruction. Andean Cultures Map

CHANCAY CULTURE: This culture developed in the valleys of Chancay and Chillon, but they extended their influence to Huaura (to the north) and to the right margin of the Rimac river to the south. (900 - 1400 d.n.e.) The Chancay ceramics come from vast cemeteries located in Ancon and the Chancay valley. This objects have a rough white surface decorated in black. Pitchers with a face shaped on top (called "chinas"), small figures of men and women with their arms held high (best known as "cuchimilcos") are the most representative works. Ceramics had a large scale production beacause of the use of moulds. Andean Cultures Map.

PARACAS CULTURE: The Paracas was an ancient culture of Peru. Paracas was probably influenced by the earlier culture of Chavín de Huantar. The Paracas are known for resin-painted pottery and textiles, for many the best the world has even known. Andean Cultures Map

MOCHE CULTURE: Mo·chi·ca or  Mo·che. A pre-Incan civilization that flourished on the northern coast of Peru from about 200 B.C. to A.D. 600, known especially for its pottery vessels modeled into naturalistic human and animal figures. Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Excellent Satellite Pictures, More Pictures by James Q. Jacobs, 1999. Satellite Picture (Chan Chan) Satellite Picture (Chan Chan Center) Andean Cultures Map.

LAMBAYAQUE OR SICAN  CULTURE: The Sican culture is also referred to as Lambayeque culture, after the name of the region in Peru. It succeeded the Moche culture. There is still controversy among archeologists and anthropologists over whether the two are separate cultures . Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Excellent Satellite Pictures, More Pictures by James Q. Jacobs, 1999. Andean Cultures Map.

CHIMU CULTURE: Chimu, was an ancient civilization on the desert coast of N Peru that flourished after c.1200. The Chimu were urban people with a powerful military, a complex social system, and well-planned cities such as Chan Chan, their capital. They influenced the Cuismancu empire of central Peru, but were absorbed c.1460 by the Inca. Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Excellent Satellite PicturesMore Pictures by James Q. Jacobs, 1999. Andean Cultures Map.

CHACHAPOYAS CULTURE: The Chachapoyas, also called the Warriors of the Clouds, was a culture of Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazonas Region of present-day Peru. The Incas conquered their civilization shortly before the arrival of the Spanish in Peru. When the Spanish arrived in Peru in the 16th century, the Chachapoyas were one of the many nations ruled by the Inca Empire.   Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Excellent Satellite Pictures, More Pictures by James Q. Jacobs, 1999. Andean Cultures Map.

TIAHUANACU CULTURE: Tiahuanaco, is an ancient ruin in Western Bolivia, near Lake Titicaca. Perhaps the work of the Aymara, it was probably the center of a pre-Incan empire. Building, never completed, began before A.D. 500. Stone blocks weighing up to 100 tons were brought from several miles off, fitted, notched, and dressed with a precision unequaled even by the Inca. Tiahuanaco painted pottery is one of the great achievements of pre-Columbian art. More about Tiahuanacu. Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Excellent Satellite Pictures. Satellite Picture (Tiahuanacu) Satellite Picture (Waru Waru) Sun Gate & Viracocha. Tiahuanacu Reconstruction, Andean Cultures Map.

NAZCA CULTURE: Nazca or Nasca, was an ancient indigenous culture of S Peru, fl. before A.D. 1000. The Nazca are known for their polychrome pottery and skillful weaving and dyeing. Aerial exploration of the arid tableland surrounding their valley has revealed a network of lines interspersed with giant animal forms—probably related to Nazca astronomy and religion. Did the Nazca People used Balloons? Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Satellite Picture (Hummingbird) Andean Cultures Map.

INCAS CULTURE: In·ca noun plural Inca or  In·cas. 1.   a. A member of the group of Quechuan peoples of highland Peru who established an empire from northern Ecuador to central Chile before the Spanish conquest in 1535. b. A ruler or high-ranking member of the Inca empire. 2.      A member of any of the peoples ruled by the Incas. Spanish from Quechua inka, ruler, man of royal linage. There are more than 20 million of Quechuan Indian today among the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Northern Argentina. Excellent Pictures by Philip Baird, (C) 1998. Map: Pizarro and the Conquest 1531. Excellent Satellite Pictures. More Pictures by James Q. Jacobs, 1999. Satellite Picture (Machu Pichu) Satellite Picture (Moray) Satellite Picture (Temple of Pachacamac) Temple of Pachacamac Reconstruction, Satellite Picture (ViracochaTemple) Inca Conquest/Empire.

AMERICAN INDIAN POPULATION ESTIMATES: The population figure for indigenous peoples in the Americas before the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus has proven difficult to establish in exact numbers. Scholars rely on archaeological data and written records from settlers from the Old World. Most scholars writing at the end of the 19th century estimated the pre-Columbian population as low as 10 million; by the end of the 20th century most scholars gravitate to a middle estimate of around 50 million, with some historians arguing for 100 million or more. Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of immigrants from the Old World eventually settled the New World. Hispaniola Indian Population Decline, Mexico Indian Population Decline.

THE ENCOMIENDA, 1503 In the encomienda, the Spanish crown granted a person a specified number of natives of a specific community, with the indigenous leaders in charge of mobilizing the assessed tribute and labor. In turn, encomenderos were to take responsibility for instruction in the Christian faith, protection from warring tribes and pirates, instruction in the Spanish language and development and maintenance of infrastructure.

SPANIARDS PERIOD, POTOSI HILL/CERRO RICO, 1545: Cerro Rico (also called Cerro de Potosí, Quechua Sumaq Urqu) is a mountain in the Andes near the Bolivian city of Potosí. Cerro Rico was famous for providing vast quantities of silver for Spain during the period of  the New World Spanish Empire. The mountain, which is popularly conceived of as being "made of" silver ore, caused the city of Potosí to become one of the largest cities in the New World. After 1800, the silver mines were depleted, making tin the main product. This eventually led to a slow economic decline. Satellite Picture (Cerro Rico)  Cerro Rico, Bolivia, Potosi Coin, Colonial Mines Map

LA COMPANIA DE JESUS: A Jesuit reduction was a type of settlement for indigenous people in South America created by the Jesuit Order during the 17th and 18th centuries. The strategy of the Spanish Empire was to gather native populations into centers called "Indian reductions" (reducciones de indios), in order to Christianize, tax, and govern them more efficiently. Missions Picture, Missions Picture, Latin American Missions Map, Litoral Mission Map.

TUPAC AMARU II: José Gabriel Condorkanki (March 19, 1738 – May 18, 1781) — known as Túpac Amaru II — was the leader of an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish in Peru. Although unsuccessful, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement, as well as an inspiration to myriad causes in Hispanophone America and beyond. Tupac Amaru Picture.

TUPAC KATARI: Túpac Katari or Catari (also Túpaj Katari) (c. 1750–November 15, 1781), born Julián Apasa Nina, was an early leader of the independence activists in Bolivia and a leader of an indigenous rebellion against the Spanish Empire in the early 1780s. His wife was Bartolina Sisa. Tupac Katari and Barrtolina Sisa Picture.

LATIN AMERICA WARS FOR INDEPENDENCE: The Latin American Wars of Independence were the revolutions that took place during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the creation of a number of independent countries in Latin America. These revolutions followed the American and French Revolutions, which had profound effects on the Spanish, Portuguese and French colonies in the Americas. Haiti, a French slave colony, was the first to follow the United States to independence, during the Haitian Revolution, which lasted from 1791 to 1804. Thwarted in his attempt to rebuild a French empire in North America, Napoleon Bonaparte turned his armies to Europe, invading and occupying many countries, including Spain and Portugal in 1808, started the Latin American Revolutions.

AGRARIAN REFORMS 1930-2001: Land reform (also agrarian reform, though that can have a broader meaning) involves the changing of laws, regulations or customs regarding land ownership. Land reform may consist of a government-initiated or government-backed property redistribution, generally of agricultural land. Land reform can, therefore, refer to transfer of ownership from the more powerful to the less powerful, such as from a relatively small number of wealthy (or noble) owners with extensive land holdings (e.g., plantations, large ranches, or agribusiness plots) to individual ownership by those who work the land. Such transfers of ownership may be with or without compensation; compensation may vary from token amounts to the full value of the land.

YANOMAMO TRIBE: The Yanomamo also called Yanomami, and Yanomama, are deep jungle Indians living in the Amazon basin in both Venezuela and Brazil.

AMAZONIAN INDIANS: The Indigenous peoples in Brazil (Portuguese: povos indígenas no Brasil) comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500. Unlike j1Christopher Columbus, who thought he had reached the East Indies, the Portuguese, most notably Vasco da Gama, had already reached India via the Indian Ocean route when they reached Brazil.  On 18 January 2007, FUNAI reported that it had confirmed the presence of 67 different uncontacted tribes in Brazil, up from 40 in 2005.  Brazilian Indigenous people have made substantial and pervasive contributions to the world's medicine with knowledge used today by pharmaceutical corporations, material and cultural development—such as the domestication of cassava and other natural foods. Satellite Picture (Kuhikugu) Kuhikugu Reconstruction

MAPUCHE TRIBE: The Mapuche (Araucanians) people were the first inhabitants of half of the area today known as Chile and Argentina. Before the Spanish arrived in 1541, the Mapuche occupied a vast territory in the A Southern Cone of the continent and the population numbered about two million. At present they number approximately 1.5 million (constituting over 10% of the total population) in Chile, and two hundred thousand in Argentina. Mapuches Today. South America Indians Map. Heroes: Lautaro (1534-1557); Caupolican (????-1558); Galvarino (????-1557)
Book: "La Auracana" by Alonso de Ercilla (1569, 1578, 1589)

AYMARA TRIBE: The Aymara are an ancient people with a complex and still imperfectly understood history. They are a people rich in myth, knowledge and spirituality. The Aymara were the members of a great but little-known culture of the Americas centered in the ancient city of Tiahuanaco. Between 400 AD. and 1000 AD. Tiahuanaco was the capital of an empire that spanned great parts of the south-central Andes Mountains. South America Indians Map

URO TRIBE: The Uros Indians of Peru and Bolivia are a very interesting people. They live high in the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes and on Lake Titicaca on floating islands. They were forced onto the lake as the Incan Indians pushed further and further into their territory. The Uros Islands are made of reeds which grow naturally on the banks of Lake Titicaca. South America Indians Map

GUARANI TRIBE: The Guaraní are best known for their connection to the early Jesuit missions of Paraguay, the most notable mission foundation ever established in America, and for their later heroic resistance -- as the State of Paraguay, against the combined powers of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay -- until practically all their able-bodied men were almost exterminated. South America Indians Map

WICHI TRIBE: The Wichi have lived for millennia on their land in northern Argentina, part of the huge lowland basin known as the Chaco. They live between the Bermejo and Pilcomayo rivers near the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. South America Indians Map

TECHUELCHE TRIBE: Patagonia has been permanently inhabited for around 12,500 years. When the Spaniards came, there were two main groups. To the North of the river Chubut were the GÜNÜN-A-KÜNA or Northern Tehuelche. To the South were the AONIKENK or Southern Tehuelche up to the Strait of Magellan

DIAGUITA TRIBE: The Diaguita, also called Diaguita-Calchaquí, are a groupof South American Indians. The Diaguita culture developed between the 8th and 16th centuries in what are now the northwestern Argentina. South America Indians Map

MOXE TRIBE  The Moxeno culture of Bolivia was once a grand and sophisticated culture believed to have numbered over 8 million at one point. They speak the Arawak language and are native to the department of Beni. They number about 80,000 now and they are known as Bolivia’s “water” culture as they built over 20,000 hills and channels over an extensive area as part of a sophisticated water collection and irrigation system. Their population was decimated when the Spaniards arrived in search of the infamous El Dorado fountain of youth. South America Indians Map. Picture 1, Picture 2

SOUTHERN TRIBES: (Argentina): There are some Indian Reservations in Argentina, and it is believe that the Native American Population in Argentina is around 650,000 natives. South America Indians Map. Satellite Picture (Quilmes) Satellite Picture (Pucara) Satellite Picture (Tastil)

ARGENTINA DESERT CAMPAIGNS, 1870's: The Conquest of the Desert (Spanish: Conquista del desierto) was a military campaign directed mainly by General Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s with the intent to establish Argentine dominance over Patagonia, which was inhabited by indigenous peoples. Under General Roca, the Conquest of the Desert extended Argentine power into Patagonia and ended the possibility of Chilean expansion there. Desert Campaigns Picture1, Desert Campaigns Picture2, Desert Campaigns Picture3, Land Distribution 1, Land Distribution 2.

THE MONTE VERDE ISSUE: (Chile): Monte Verde is an archaeological site in southern Chile, located near Puerto Montt, Southern Chile, which has been dated to 14,800 years BP. This dating adds to the evidence showing that the human settlement of the Americas pre-dates the Clovis culture by roughly 1000 years. South America Indians Map

SOUTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE: Collection of Information of Native People from South America.  Information is provided by country. Map of South American Natives. South America Indians Map

Hunters and Collectors: 1) The Magallanes Group, 2) The Pampas Group, 3) The Chaco Group, 4)The Brazilian Eastern Group.
Crop Cultivators: 1) El Amazonian Group, 2) The Andes Group, 3)The Caribbean Group




Pueblos Originarios de America Excellent Spanish Site


Christopher Columbus (1492) *Biography

Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1513)  *Biography

Fransisco Pizarro (1531-1533)  *Biography

Colombia Exploration (1531-1542)

Diego de Almagro (1535-1537)  *Biography

Pedro de Valdivia (1540-1541)  *Biography

Fransisco de Orellana (1541-1542)  *Biography

South America Exploration

South America Exploration, Argentina

Spanish Viceroyalties Maps  *Information

The Columbian Exchange  *Information


Anacaona, 1503 (Haiti), Hatuey, 1511 (Cuba), Enriquillo, 1520 (Dominican Republic), Cuahtemoc, 1521 (Mexico), Nicarao, 1522 (Nicaragua), Urraca, 1523 (Panama), Tecun-Uman, 1523 (Guatemala), Atlacatl, 1524 (El Salvador), Ruminahui, 1534 (Ecuador), Lempira, 1535 (Honduras), Lambare, 1536 (Paraguay), Caupolican, 1550 (Chile), Guaicapuro, 1560 (Venezuela), Juan Calchaqui, 1560 (Argentina), Garabito, 1561 (Costa Rica), Abayuba, 1573 (Uruguay), Calarca, 1600 (Colombia), Camarao and Clarita, 1614 (Brazil), Tupac Amaru and Micaela Bastidas, 1780 (Peru), Tupac Catari and Bartolina Sisa, 1780 (Bolivia), United States American Indians 

Apology Official Documents Written in North America:

- Canada Official Government Apology to American Indians in 2004

- US Official Government Apology to American Indians in 2009

- US Official Government Apology to American Indians in 2010 (page 45)


Source: The Last of the Incas: The Rise and Fall of an American Empire by Edward Hyams and George Ordish

Pizarro and his men found the camp where Atahualpa was staying, and upon sending in Hernando Pizarro, Francisco's brother, Atahualpa agreed to meet with the Spanish. Now, he was not ignorant of their ways, nor was their arrival a surprise. in fact he had been expecting them. After several days of making the Spaniards wait, Atahualpa rode to meet them. However, when he arrived at the agreed place there was no one in sight, for they were hiding in order to make a surprise attack. The first person to reveal himself was Vicente de Valverde, a Dominican Friar. Through a translator, he told the Inca Atahualpa that he and his people must convert, and if he refused they would be considered an enemy of the Church and Spain. Atahualpa refused (Hyams and Ordish 221). His refusal gave Pizarro a perfect reason to begin an attack on the Inca people. They did not practice the true faith and therefore were totally justified in attacking them in the name of Christianity. The Spanish opened fire and attacked the Inca soldiers that were there with Atahualpa (221). In the struggle, Pizarro's men went after the Inca, intending to kill him. But Pizarro had other plans and in saving Atahualpa's life was the only Spaniard injured in the showdown (225). Atahualpa was then captured and taken prisoner (226).

The amazing part of all this is that the Inca had such power and influence over his people that even the civil war and the capture of Atahualpa had little effect on everyday society (227). Aside from the fact that the brothers were divided, things were still running fairly smoothly. Upon his capture, Atahualpa was not treated badly but with respect and was allowed to communicate with his people, including his troops (228). Of course Atahualpa wanted to be free again and decided to make a deal with Pizarro. He agreed to fill a room with gold and silver in return for his release, and they signed a contract to that effect (231). In the meantime, Pizarro had no intention of letting Atahualpa go because he needed his influence over the Inca people to keep order once the Spanish started to take over. Huáscar, who played only a small role in things, was still alive and Atahualpa feared that as long as Huáscar lived, Pizarro might not need him. For Huáscar would make a better puppet ruler than Atahualpa. He feared for his life and thus ordered the execution of his brother Huáscar (232).

The contract was finally filled, but, as can be expected, Pizarro did not fulfill his end of the bargain. He did not free Atahualpa. Under the guise of a possible insurrection among the Inca against the Spanish, Pizarro decided to bring Athualpa up on charges. There were twelve total, the most important of which were attempting to revolt against the Spanish, practicing idolatry, and murdering Huáscar (250). Pizarro and Almagro acted as judges and a defense person was provided for Atahualpa, as was a prosecutor. As even Atahualpa himself expected, he was found guilty and sentenced to be burned (251).

With all due haste, Pizarro decided to execute Atahualpa that night, fearing that the rest of his men may learn that there was no insurrection, and that Atahualpa had been falsely accused. After being lead to the place of execution, Atahualpa begged for his life (253). At this time Valverde, the priest that started the whole thing at Cajamarca, told Atahualpa that if he agreed to convert, he would reduce the sentence. He agreed to be baptized and was garroted instead of burned (254). The day was August 29, 1553. "With him died...the independent existence of a noble race" (254).

The "Fall" of the Incas

The death of Atahualpa at Cajamarca was the beginning of the end for the Inca people. "With the death of Atahualpa, Peru was to discover what it was like to suffer the dominion of a European hero" (254). The situation went quickly downhill. Pizarro had Toparca, Atahualpa's brother named Inca and used him as a "puppet" ruler until he died unexpectedly. Manco Capac, Huáscar's brother was then named ruler and also set up as a "puppet." Here everything fell apart. Remote provinces of the Incas extensive empire revolted and in some cases even allied with the Spanish against the Incas (259). Lands and crops were neglected and the people experienced a famine they had never known. The Indians, now wise to the Spanish motive of getting out all the gold and silver they could, started looting and hiding it from everyone. Addiction to coca and alcohol were commonplace all over the kingdom (256,257). Disease also played a huge role. Those diseases that had once been running rampant all over Europe in the previous century, were now destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of Incas. Inflation was terrible. The gold that Pizarro and his men had wanted so badly was everywhere and prices soared. A bottle of wine was $1,700 and a good horse was $7,000. Grain became more valuable than the Spaniards precious gold (257). The great civilization no longer existed.

Francisco Pizarro himself turned out to be an ineffective ruler. He had problems controlling his own men let alone the Indians. Because there were so many disagreements among the Spanish at the time, King Charles of Spain had to step in. In effect, he gave modern Peru to Pizarro and modern Chile to Almagro. However, they still had fights over the Inca capital of Cuzco, and Pizarro finally sent his brother Hernando to confront Almagro. He did just that. He won the city and proceeded to have Almagro garroted. In return for this, Almagro's Inca son and his followers had Pizarro killed.

Although we can see that the Incas obviously existed after the death of Atahualpa, it is also obvious that with his execution came the end of a great civilization. The cultures of the Spanish and Incas clashed to such a great extent that it brought about the demise. The differences in their backgrounds, such as religion, support this. "Spanish Catholicism was by Peruvian standards, atrocious" (260). The Incas could not understand how a religion could justify what the Spanish were doing to their people.

The Peruvians were used to war, but it was a war conducted according to strict rules, it was relatively mild and humane, and victory was wisely and economically used. They now found themselves opposed to a new kind of human being who waged war à outrance, inspired by a terrifying religion which enabled them to use treachery, hypocrisy, cruelty, torture, and massacre in the name of a God of Love; who were indifferent to the suffering they inflicted and superhumanly stoical in bearing suffering which their own conduct entailed for themselves...(260)

Besides the clash of religion there was also the Spaniards greed for gold. As we have seen, Pizarro and most of his men were from the lower classes in Spain and had little to do with such wealth prior to their involvement with the Incas. What better motivation is there for conquering a people without caring for their welfare if not gold and riches? "It must have seemed to these wretched people that they had fallen into the hands of all-powerful devils, for their conquerors were for the most part heartless and, moreover, clearly mad, since they mistook gold for wealth and valued it above the heart's blood of a great nation" (262).

God, gold and glory. These three words are often used to describe the conquest of the natives of the New World, and with the situation of the Incas it could not be more true. Because of these three words, an entire empire of people fell and will never return to their former glory. The Spanish gave little thought to it though. The Indians "were enslaved, tortured, and worked to death to provide the Europeans with gold. They were infected by the newcomers with tuberculosis, measles, and smallpox" (262). They were forced to convert to a religion that they did not believe in. Edward Hyams said it best with his use of an analogy. He compared the Inca civilization to that of a dance where all of the patterns are the same and it continues day to day without faltering or interruption. He says, "the great dance had been their reality; they awoke into the nightmare of chaos" (263). It was a chaos that destroyed to lives that they knew and that would be forever changed.

Source: The Last of the Incas: The Rise and Fall of an American Empire by Edward Hyams and George Ordish

The Native American population of Latin America is estimated at 26.3 million (some said 40 million to 70 million), of whom 24 million live in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Generally classified as campesinos (peasants) by the governments of the countries in which they live, the vast majority live in extreme poverty in remote rural areas where they eke out a living from the land. Native American campesinos make up 55 percent of the total population of Bolivia and Guatemala. In all of Latin America, only Uruguay has no remaining indigenous population.

Only 1.5 percent of the total Native American population of Latin America is designated as tribal, mainly in Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela. Many of the tribal groups live in the remote jungle environment of the Amazon Basin, where they subsist by hunting, fishing, and gathering manioc and other roots. Current Brazilian expansion into the Amazon, however, threatens the physical and cultural survival of the Amazon tribes, as diseases brought by outsiders decimate the indigenous populations, and mineral exploration and highway construction destroy tribal hunting grounds.

The largest unacculturated Brazilian tribe today is the Yanomamo, numbering more than 16,000 people, for whom the Brazilian government plans to create a special park where they may be protected. Anthropologists estimate, however, that the Yanomamo would need at least 6.4 million hectares (16 million acres) in order to continue their traditional life-style.

The total indigenous population of Latin America includes slightly more than 400 different Native American groups, with their own languages or dialects. Like the Native Americans of North America, they live in vast extremes of climate and conditions, ranging from the Amazon jungle to the heights of the Andes, where one group, on Lake Titicaca, subsists on artificial islands of floating reeds.

Source: Microsoft Bookshelf  and Microsoft Encyclopedia, 1996-1997.

Sources: Most of the sources in this page come from Wikipedia