AKATAKSA is a non-profit organization (ONG...see credentials below) begun in 1996 to produce handmade Andean products and promote traditional indigenous activities as attempts in helping to preserve and restore Native American culture in Bolivia. The name "AKATAKSA" comes from the Southern Aymara expression, "This, Our Path." The entire leadership (equivalent to the Board of Directors) of the association consists of indigenous Native Americans who work with a single foreign ethnographer-advisor.
AKATAKSA is the association at the forefront of the rapidly becoming famous, CONAMAQ organization (Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas de Qullasuyo), which was organized in 1997. CONAMAQ is the most powerful, legitimate indigenous leader's organization in South America. It is led by the only three Apu Mallkus (Grand Divine Condor Leaders) and their Mamatallas (Divine Mothers) in Bolivia. The organization claims original traditional leadership responsibility for over 5 million Native Americans. On March 23 of last year, (the Aymara year was 5507...5509 begins with the winter solstice on June 21, 2001) CONAMAQ led a momentous march of thousands of "original" Native Americans in traditional dress through the streets of La Paz, Bolivia to gain recognition as the legitimate traditional leaders of Qullasuyo (Bolivia). Members of the Bolivian National government formally accepted the CONAMAQ claims.
The greater majority of the participants of AKATAKSA include members of the llama-herding Condori lineage who live in the Bolivian altiplano above elevations of 13,000 feet. For generations these humble, yet tough "originals of the earth" have led llama caravans from the high deserts of the altiplano to the lush valleys of the Bolivian lowlands. Their wanderings placed them in trading contact with Chipayas, Urus, and various groups of the Aymara and Quechua nations. All of the adults in the association speak Aymara and Quechua and nearly all of the men and less than half of the women speak Spanish. Both Castilian and Northern Aymara (the language of La Paz) were introduced within the last 19 years. Several would like to learn English.
Their Southern Aymara communities are comfortably isolated without vehicular roads, electricity or plumbing. They raise llamas, alpacas, sheep and a few friendly dogs. Condors, eagles, and hawks control their skies. Foxes, deer, and viscachas roam free through their hills. Sacred sites and ancient spirits abound. The Indians grow quinoa, barley, garlic, and numerous varieties of potatoes. Isolated as they were since before Western contact, the Southern Aymara were never under Spanish hacienda rule. Their exposure to the ubiquitous Catholic Church has done little to change their traditional Andean beliefs. In less than two years, however, the great Pan American Highway will be paved through their territory. Its manifest path through other Bolivian communities has caused irreparable damage, destruction and change to Native culture. The members of AKATAKSA know that the indirect effects of that construction can also cause their demise.
In just the last few years literally hundreds of Native American villages in Bolivia have been abandoned. In many communities young children no longer speak the language of their parents. Traditions have been abandoned. Livelihoods have been altered. Religions have changed. Truths forgotten. And among most larger communities the creation of arts and the production of crafts are now activities of the past. Nationalism and Western capitalism are fast destroying rich cultural resources that have guarded these environments for so long. These are beautiful, intelligent human beings, many of whom have never heard a radio broadcast much less seen a television set. Adults who could not name more than one country in the world but who know more about our Mother Earth than all of those reading this combined...saviors and saints whose names will never be recorded. Their participation on the Internet is one of many activities aimed at helping to save and give life to a people who of themselves have no alternative but to die with changes that they alone cannot fight.
AKATAKSA is interested in participating in cultural and spiritual activities and expositions around the world. All of the male members in the association are musicians who play traditional Andean instruments and all of the women are soul-stirring singers. They maintain a 500-piece weaving collection that represents the most complete of its kind in the world; its emphasis is on the history and spirituality of Andean textiles. The collection has been exhibited in the United States and is available for immediate display. AKATAKSA is also currently involved in documenting indigenous Andean traditions and preparing that documentation for publication. They would very much like to discuss this project with potential publishers and photographers.
If you might have any interest in helping us with our cause and our projects, please visit our WE NEED YOUR HELP page.
OFICINA CENTRAL DE CONAMAQ
CALLE BOQUERÓN NO. 1507
ZONA SAN PEDRO
Email us at: AKATAKSA JILIRINAKA
Thank you for your support of Indigenous Native peoples.
Feliciano Condori Llanque.......Irpiri
Angel Condori Ayaviri.......Arqiri
Bernardo Condori Llanque.......Qellkheri
Evaristo Condori Calisaya.......Khamani
Rosalia Llanque de Condori.......Parlthapiyiri
Domingo Condori Lampa.......Awiskipiri
Lorenzo Fritz G........Ch'amanchiri
Resolución Camaral No. 046/99-2000
TESTIMONIO NO. 40/2000
ONG...ORGANIZACION NO GUBERNAMENTAL
ASOCIACION CULTURAL Y ARTE TEXTIL DEL AYLLU KULTA SAWUÑA AKATAKSA
Fecha: 18 de Abril de 2000
CÓDIGO CIVIL Artículo 58
10 de Diciembre de 1999
RUC (Registro Nacional Unico de Contribuyentes) Number = 10032827
Email: AKATAKSA JILIRINAKA
Please visit our PHOTOS PAGE
Please visit our WE NEED YOUR HELP PAGE
Please read THE NEW PACHA which defines the basis of our hopes.