By Sara ShahriariBolivia’s majority indigenous population is led by President Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian. During recent decades the country’s indigenous groups have made themselves increasingly heard, fighting for rights to land, political representation and their culture. But living in pockets alongside, and increasingly mixing with, the Aymara and Quechua Indians who make up the majority of the country’s 10.5 million people is a small, often overlooked population. They are Afro-Bolivians, who have shared in many of the indigenous population’s trials over hundreds of years.
Numbering about 35,000, Afro-Bolivians struggled for recognition in their country. In saya–traditional music born during slavery–they found the tool that gives their small community a big voice.Comment: For more on the subject, see Native Stereotypes in Bolivia and Bolivian Indigenous Hip Hop.