|Regions with significant populations|
| Venezuelan Andes :|
Venezuela (Mérida, Trujillo, Táchira)
|Related ethnic groups|
Timoto–Cuica people were an indigenous people of the Americas composed primarily of two large tribes, the Timote and the Cuica, that inhabited in the Andes region of Western Venezuela.They were closely related to the Muisca people of the Colombian Andes, who spoke Muysccubun, a version of Chibcha. The Timoto-Cuicas were not only composed of the Timote and the Cuica groups, but also of smaller tribes including the Mucuchíes, the Miguríes, the Tabayes and the Mucuñuques.
Pre-Columbian Venezuela had an estimated indigenous population of one million,with the Andean region being the most densely populated area. The two groups lived in what are today the states of Mérida, Trujillo and Táchira. Most scholars agree that the Timoto-Cuicas arose as a distinct tribal group, with the Timotes and the Cuicas as the main components of largely the same identity. They possessed advanced technology and thrived as a civilization much more developed than the nomadic tribes further east. The Timotes were mostly present in the area of today’s Mérida state in Venezuela, the mountainous Andean region, with the sub-group of Cuicas living slightly to the north, in the llano plains.
The chief characteristic of the Timoto-Cuicas culture was their focus on agriculture, primitive industry and trade. They focused heavily on the terraced cultivation system, by creating irrigated platforms on the hillsides of the region – a system often seen in the Andean civilizations. Society was complex with pre-planned permanent villages, surrounded by irrigated, terraced fields. They also stored water in tanks.Their houses were made primarily of stone and wood with thatched roofs. They were peaceful, for the most part and depended on growing crops. Regional crops included potatoes and ullucos.
By creating large ‘steps’, reinforcing them with stone and irrigating them with a system of channels, they managed to succeed in creating an efficient agricultural system. This skillful method of cultivation allowed the Timoto-Cuicas to grow an abundance of vegetables – the earliest sources mention the growing of potatoes and corn, as well as beans, sweet yucca and several indigenous plants: cassava, mecuy, quiba, guaba and agave.
They left behind works of art, particularly anthropomorphic ceramics, but no major monuments. They spun vegetable fibers to weave into textiles and mats for housing.
Oxalis tuberosa is a perennial herbaceous plant that overwinters as underground stem tubers. These tubers are known as uqa in Quechua, oca in Spanish, yams in New Zealand and a number of other alternative names. The plant was brought into cultivation in the central and southern Andes for its tubers, which are used as a root vegetable. The plant is not known in the wild, but populations of wild Oxalis species that bear smaller tubers are known from four areas of the central Andean region. Oca was introduced to Europe in 1830 as a competitor to the potato, and to New Zealand as early as 1860.
In agriculture, a terrace is a piece of sloped plane that has been cut into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or platforms, which resemble steps, for the purposes of more effective farming. This type of landscaping is therefore called terracing. Graduated terrace steps are commonly used to farm on hilly or mountainous terrain. Terraced fields decrease both erosion and surface runoff, and may be used to support growing crops that require irrigation, such as rice. The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the significance of this technique.
The State of Mérida commonly known simply as Mérida is one of the 23 states of Venezuela. The state capital is Mérida, in the Libertador Municipality.
Trujillo State is one of the 23 states of Venezuela. Its capital is Trujillo but the largest city is Valera. The state is divided into 20 municipalities and 93 parishes. Trujillo State covers a total surface area of 7,198 km2 (2,779 sq mi) and, has a 2011 census population of 686,367.
An andén, Spanish for "platform", is a stair-step like terrace dug into the slope of a hillside for agricultural purposes. The term is most often used to refer to the terraces built by pre-Columbian cultures in the Andes mountains of South America. Andenes had several functions, the most important of which was to increase the amount of cultivatable land available to farmers by leveling a planting area for crops. The best known andenes are in Peru, especially in the Sacred Valley near the Inca capital of Cuzco and in the Colca Canyon. Many andenes have survived for more than 500 years and are still in use by farmers throughout the region.
Incan agriculture was the culmination of thousands of years of farming and herding in the high-elevation Andes mountains of South America, the coastal deserts, and the rainforests of the Amazon basin. These three radically different environments were all part of the Inca Empire and required different technologies for agriculture. Inca agriculture was also characterized by the variety of crops grown, the lack of a market system and money, and the unique mechanisms by which the Incas organized their society. Andean civilization was "pristine"—one of five civilizations worldwide which were indigenous and not derivative from other civilizations. Most Andean crops and domestic animals were likewise pristine—not known to other civilizations. Potatoes, tomatoes, chile peppers, and quinoa were among the many unique crops; Camelids and guinea pigs were the unique domesticated animals.
The Andean civilizations were South American complex societies of many indigenous people. They stretched down the spine of the Andes for 4,000 km (2,500 mi) from southern Colombia, to Ecuador and Peru, including the deserts of coastal Peru, to Chile and northwest Argentina. Archaeologists believe that Andean civilizations first developed on the narrow coastal plain of the Pacific Ocean. The Caral or Norte Chico civilization of coastal Peru is the oldest known civilization in the Americas, dating back to 3500 BCE. Andean civilization is one of the six "pristine" civilizations of the world, created independently and without influence by other civilizations.
Indigenous horticulture is practised in various ways across all inhabited continents. Indigenous refers to the native peoples of a given area and horticulture is the practice of small-scale intercropping.
Indigenous people in Venezuela, Amerindians or Native Venezuelans, form about 2% of the total population of Venezuela, although many Venezuelans are mixed with indigenous ancestry. Indigenous people are concentrated in the Southern Amazon rainforest state of Amazonas, where they make up nearly 50% of the population and in the Andes of the western state of Zulia. The most numerous indigenous people, at about 200,000, is the Venezuelan part of the Wayuu people who primarily live in Zulia between Lake Maracaibo and the Colombian border. Another 100,000 or so indigenous people live in the sparsely populated southeastern states of Amazonas, Bolívar and Delta Amacuro.
The Timotean languages were spoken in the Venezuelan Andes around what is now Mérida. It is assumed that they are extinct. However, Timote may survive in the so-far unattested Mutú (Loco) language, as this occupies a mountain village (Mutús) within the old Timote state.
Timote, also known as Cuica or Timote–Cuica, is the language of the Timote–Cuica state in the Venezuelan Andes, around the present city of Mérida and south of Lake Maracaibo.
The history of human habitation in the Andean region of South America stretches from circa 15,000 BCE to the present day. Stretching for 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, the region encompasses mountainous, tropical and desert environments. This colonisation and habitation of the region has been affected by its unique geography and climate, leading to the development of unique cultural and socn.
A ruana is a poncho-style outer garment native to the Colombian and Venezuelan Andes. In Colombia, the ruana is the characteristic and traditional garment of the department of Boyacá, initially made by indigenous and mestizo people, although it is also made in the departments of Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Nariño, Bogotá, Santander (Colombia), Norte de Santander and Caldas. In Venezuela it is widely used and made in the Andean states of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo, used since the colonial times by all Venezuelan inhabitants, currently only in the Andean region its traditional use is maintained.
The Pre-Columbian period in Venezuela refers to the period before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th century, known as the Pre-Columbian era. It covers the history of what are now known as the indigenous peoples of Venezuela.
The Otavalos are an indigenous people native to the Andean mountains of Imbabura Province in northern Ecuador. The Otavalos also inhabit the city of Otavalo in that province. Commerce and handcrafts are among the principal economic activities of the Otavalos, who enjoy a higher standard of living than most indigenous groups in Ecuador and many mestizos of their area.
The potato was the first domesticated vegetable in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BCE. Cultivation of potatoes in South America may go back 10,000 years, but tubers do not preserve well in the archaeological record, making identification difficult. The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancón, dating to 2500 BC. Aside from actual remains, the potato is also found in the Peruvian archaeological record as a design influence of ceramic pottery, often in the shape of vessels. The potato has since spread around the world and has become a staple crop in most countries.
Pre-Columbian cuisine refers to the food and drink consumed by the people who inhabited the Americas before Christopher Columbus explored the region and introduced food and crops from Europe. Though the Columbian Exchange introduced many new animals and plants to the Americas, cultures of their own already existed there, including the Aztec, Maya, Incan, and Native American. The development of agriculture allowed the many different cultures to transition from hunting to staying in one place. A major element of this cuisine is maize, which began being grown in central Mexico. Other crops that flourished in the Americas include amaranth, wild rice, and lima beans.
Pre-Columbian Bolivia covers the historical period between 10,000 BCE, when the Upper Andes region was first populated and 1532, when Spanish conquistadors invaded Inca empire. The Andes region of Pre-Columbian South America was dominated by the Tiwanaku civilization until about 1200, when the regional kingdoms of the Aymara emerged as the most powerful of the ethnic groups living in the densely populated region surrounding Lake Titicaca. Power struggles continued until 1450, when the Incas incorporated upper Bolivia into their growing empire. Based in present-day Peru, the Incas instituted agricultural and mining practices that rivaled those put in place many years later by European conquerors. They also established a strong military force, and centralized political power. Despite their best efforts however, the Incas never completely controlled the nomadic tribes of the Bolivian lowlands, nor did they fully assimilate the Aymara kingdoms into their society. These internal divisions doomed the Inca Empire when European conquerors arrived.
The pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia refers to the ancient cultures and civilizations that inhabited Colombia before the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century.