Topics: Indigenous peoples, Bolivia, South America Pages: 2 (1355 words) Published: November 1, 2014

Potatoes may not seem like much to the average person, but to the Quechua people, it is the most important aspect in which their life revolves around. The Quechua are an extremely large indigenous group of the Andean region of South America, with the population of almost eleven million people which are mostly present in the following six countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. The Quechua practice the Roman Catholic religion and speak Spanish and other Quechua languages. It is well known that indigenous groups have a nexus, in which their lifestyle resolves around almost entirely and with the Quechua people, their nexus is the potato. In their culture they use over two thousand-eight hundred types of potatoes which all differ in flavour, colour, and texture. As a food source it is extremely healthy and very high in antioxidants but they do not just use the potato for food, but many other things as well. The potato is a part of ceremonies and celebrations such as marriage. The potato is also used for a large variety of other things which include; medicine, gifts, and income. Most Quechua peoples rely on subsistence farming and trade of goods for their livelihood. Farming mostly potatoes but also corn and grain which have all adapted to the high-altitude environment. The land is still farmed using the traditional Inca method of terracing on the steep slopes of the hills which they live on. Although this approach to agriculture approach requires a tremendous amount of time and extremely labour-intensive, the Quechua believe that following what their ancestors taught them is best. Since farming is so time consuming and important in their life style there is little time left to spend on other economic activities. Trade is highly developed between different villages and regions. In addition to agricultural products of which they have farmed such as potatoes, many communities produce pottery, textiles, belts, hats, and other handicrafts...
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