Indigenous peoples in Colombia

Indigenous Peoples In Colombia

Indigenous peoples in Colombia

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The indigenous peoples in Colombia (pueblos indígenas in Spanish) comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country's present territory prior to its discovery by Europeans around 1500.


The two main linguistic ethnic groups that dominated the territory now known as Colombia during the pre-Columbian period were the Carib and the Chibcha. They possessed different organizational structures and distinct languages and cultures. In upper Magdalene region, from 5th to 8th century, many tumuli with sculptures were raised in San Agustin. The region now occupied by the city of Bogotá was inhabited by the Muisca. In the modern area of Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis, the Quimbaya civilization existed until the 10th century A.D. The Muisca based their social organization on trade. They exchanged salt, emeralds, beans, maize and other crops with other Chibchan tribes such as the Chitareros, Guanes and Laches.

A number of centralised chiefdoms were located in the northern Cauca River valley, and along the Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central mountain ranges. One of these, Buriticá, was linked by long distance trade routes, with particularly Antioquian gold traded for a range of items across northern South America, the Antilles, and into Central America. The routes linked a range of different ethno-linguistic groups, including Chibcha, Carib people and Arawak people.Juan and Judith Villamarin (1999), "", in Frank Salomon...
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