The Aymara are the indigenous (native) people who live in the altiplano (high plains) of the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. The Aymara faced great hardships under Spanish colonial rule.Bolivia has the highest proportion of indigenous peoples of any country in South America. In 1570, the Spanish decreed that the natives would be forced to work in the rich silver mines on the altiplano.
At about two years of age, when it is unlikely that he or she will be stricken with the many childhood diseases in the Andes, the child's head is shaved bare.
The Aymara are not confined to a defined territory (or reservation) in the Andes.
Many live in the cities and participate fully in Western culture.
The Aymara celebrate the same holidays as other Bolivians: the civic holidays such as Independence Day and the religious ones such as Christmas and Easter.
Another important holiday is Día del Indio, on August 2, which commemorates their cultural heritage. Carnival is a festival held just before Lent begins. Dancing to drums and flutes accompanies a week-long celebration.