The Aymara are indigenous people of the Andean region of South America. They live in Bolivia, Peru and Chile.
The Aymara culture is regarded as precursor of the Inca culture in the Andine world. The Aymara were for example practicing the Ayllu, a system of community aid based on mutual asistance, which later became the basis for the strong socio-economic organization of the Inca culture. The Aymara lived closely together with their rulers, the Incas. Similarly to the old Inca, the Aymara create today mountain terraces on steep slopes, have a similar irrigation system and they hold the secret of Chuu, the freezing potato.
The native tribes of the Andean region have climbed peaks of up to 6,000 m altitude many centuries before the Europeans. For them those peaks were extremely important. Life in this inhospitable areas have formed over the centuries strong customs and cults which are practiced by the Aymara even to this day. In their Andean philosophy the concept of Pachamama plays a central role. Pachamama, Mother Earth, is the origin of life and divinity at the same time. Life in the Andes is today as hard as it was during the Inca reign. There is still no hi-tech to be found, firewood is lacking and many areas still have no electricity or modern communication facilities. This might explain why the belief in the concept of Pachamama is even today so popular with the locals.