By Waltraud Q. Morales
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Extra info for A Brief History of Bolivia, 2nd Edition
The great creator god of the ancient Tiwanakans was Viracocha, or Pachacámac, whose shrine was located near modern-day Lima, in Peru. The Inca incorporated the Tiwanakan sacred shrine and the worship of Pachacámac into their own religion, and the site remains a sacred place for most native Andean religions to this day. Tiwanakan technology was relatively sophisticated—artisans knew how to alloy copper and tin to create bronze, for example—and the civilization’s complex social and economic organization made it possible for Tiwanakans to build an extensive system of roads and maintain communications over long distances.
The northeastern departments or states of Pando and Beni have joined Tarija and Santa Cruz in common cause against the highlander and indigenous-dominated central government. Together, these four lowland departments comprise the Media Luna, or Half-Moon, region, a product of the country’s growing east-west political polarization and resource disparity. The eastern states are resource-rich; they contain the vast majority of oil and natural gas reserves and export most of the country’s agricultural products.
The rich natural resources of the gold and silver mines, the forests, and the vast flocks and herds of animals were tightly controlled by the Incan ruling class as state monopolies. The land’s produce and resources were always divided into three parts and distributed among the Inca ruling caste, the priests, and the ayllus. Within the ayllus, land was collectively owned by the entire community as it had been in the Andean world for time out of mind but was distributed for cultivation according to the size and composition of each household in the ayllu.
A Brief History of Bolivia, 2nd Edition by Waltraud Q. Morales