Regional Museum of Atacama

Copiapo Chile, 2010


Daniel Quiroz[1] and Yuri Jeria[2]

The legislation 19253 [so-called Indigenous Law], created by the CONADI (Nationwide Company of Indigenous Improvement), acknowledges in its first article, 9 ethnic teams in Chiles: mapuche, aimara, rapanui, atacameña, quechua, colla, diaguita, kawashkar y yamana.

The presence of the colla as an ethnic group became a giant shock, not just for the odd individuals, but additionally for the specialists, historians and anthropologists. Within the Larraìn erudite work [1987] the colla group just isn't talked about in any respect. It neither seems within the completely different research textual content made for the elementary and secondary faculty.

The primary anthropology information in regards to the "Chilean colla" come from a textual content that's going to be made up from a degree of departure and primarily based on a supply of backgrounds: "Título para Profesor de Estado en Castellano" (a level examination to Spanish Instructor) developed by C. Rojas [1976] regarding to the "magic colla world", primarily primarily based on interviews had with Mrs. Damiana Jerónimo. The data offered by Rojas is the primary systematic rapprochement to the information in regards to the named regionally collas. This textual content gives, undoubtedly, an unique imaginative and prescient of customs and unusual ceremonies which provoke comprehension and liking.

Between 1993 and 1995 the DIBAM (Course of Libraries, Information and Museums) funded an investigation challenge whose aim was to get some information in regards to the adaptation of the populations who inhabited scattered within the valleys gullies, and watering locations within the vary of Atacama [Castillo, Cervellino & Quiroz 1994, Cervellino, Castillo & Quiroz 1995, Cervellino & Castillo 1996].In the middle of this challenge we get a wide range of information in regards to the ethnic building processes that colla teams had been experiencing at first of the nineties.

There are, among the many materials we bought, three interviews carried out between September 29 and October 1º, 1992 within the Copiapo ranges with Esteban Ramos in Montandón, Zoilo Jerónimo in Potrerillos and with Pedro Jerónimo within the El Jardín  gully.

On this investigation we need to perform, using these interviews and  making use of different form of data [newspapers cuttings and some "colla texts"],  a  reflection in regards to the colla ethnic building processes and desk an thought of the named "colla id", contemplating that we had been, possibly in numerous methods,  privileged witness of this course of.


The CONADI internet web page establishes that the colla "make up an ethic group emerged by a mixing of peoples from Bolivia that took up the northwest provinces of Argentina after which transfer by the Vary hillside between the XV and XVI centuries" [Conadi 2001]. Based on the information we've got there will not be correct numbers, nonetheless there are about 1000 colla individuals dwelling in numerous places, primarily city but additionally rural locations of the Atacama area. [Conadi 2001].

The "official" definition of colla gathers the investigations carried out in our nation till these days. The a lot of the revealed texts agree that the present so-called colla are descendent of households that emigrated from the argentine northwest on the finish of the XIX century or in the beginning of the XX century: "a bunch of households from Argentina [areas of Belén, Tinogasta, others] and the south of Bolivia, settle within the El Jardín gully, between the Potrerillos and El Salvador mining facilities. They're the auto named, that these days are greater than 60 households". [Cervellino, 2001;  cf. Castillo, Cervellino & Quiroz 1994, Cassssigoli & Rodríguez 1995, Manríquez & Martínez 1995, Molina & Correa 1996, 1997, Gahona 2000].

Within the internet web page, developed by the Space of Native Cultures of the Division of Cultures belonging to the Ministry of Schooling, seems a "clear" definition of "being colla":

The colla individuals inhabits within the north space of Chile, in watering locations and gullies of the vary of the province of Chañaral [Atacama Region], between the cities of Potrerillos, El Salvador, Diego de Almagro and Copiapó. The kolla arrived to Chile in two durations: first, within the final stage of the Tiwanaku Empire, within the X century; a second emigration is produced from the Argentinean northwest   and coincide with the Pacific Warfare, on the finish of the XIX century. Essentially the most a part of the kolla arrived from Tinogasta and Fiambala, with a excessive migratory price between 1880 and 1890.

At the moment, the territory inhabited by this individuals contains the Andean foothills and the Andes Vary and a few a part of the excessive Andean plateau of the Chañaral and Copiapó provinces within the third area. Their most necessary demarcations are: the Quebrada de la Encantada within the north and the Copiapó River within the south, an space with a nomadic atmosphere that's situated at an altitude of two.000 and Four.000 meters.

The celebrations and rituals are carried out contained in the tradition however the marriages solely happen between them. The kolla religious world is much like the aymaras. Their primary ancestral believes are associated with the Pachamama, the Mom Earth, which produces life and manage the human life. She is aware of when, how and why issues should occur. The ceremonies are carried out by a yatiri, a discovered one who has been chosen by the religious powers, the yatiri is aware of this election in a dream, to heal illnesses, perform begs and ceremonies. The rituals are carried out primarily within the hills, within the greater locations. The yatiri begs for the assist and the welfare of the group. The kolla commemoration dates are associated with the agropastoral cycles, because the indigenous New 12 months on the finish of June. [Mineduc 2001].

This textual content constitutes a synthesis which represents the results of a decade of colla ethnic building.

The primary paragraph is constitutes a bridge between the present populations that stay within the Atacama ranges, and that are descendents of trans-Andean emigrates who've lived multiple hundred 12 months within the space, with archeological populations that arrived one thousand years in the past. This bond cannot be archeologically proved, however on this course of it doesn't have any value.

Within the second paragraph, a steady territory is outlined, with clear established frontiers, an elemental matter within the up to date recognition of the ethnic entities that permits growing a technique of declare of territories in an efficient approach.

Within the third paragraph a world imaginative and prescient is developed, linked with one thing knower: the aimara religious world, unknowing the contributions of the European blended race "the marriages solely happen between them" permits join the colla communities with relationship teams and with this the circle might be closed

We will examine this definition with one developed for the Argentinean Collas If we are able to discuss like this]

The particular course of occurred within the northwest of Argentina make this colla tradition not be a purely indigenous race however a mixing one that permits situated it within the native camp, not just for their cultural historical past however for his or her insertion within the nationwide and regional context. Like this the colla begins to vary themselves from the remainder of the northwest blended race, settling primarily in scattered settlements within the Puna zone, the Humahuaca gully and a few a part of the Calchaquìes Valleys.

Nonetheless, the collas are the true bearier of the normal Andean way of life, by the upkeep of many cultural patterns resembling the peak shepherdess and the potato and maize agricultural economic system; the harvest of carob and salt; the development of housings: the normal medication and the prophecy strategies; the musical devices erques, quenas, pinkullo, sikus and cajas; the worship to the Earth Mom and numerous beliefs, rituals and social practices; the ancestral piety, briefly, past of being designated by the brand new official faith, has coexisted with it, in a brand new approach that has been redefined as common piety. [Rumbojujuy 2001].

The investigations carried out in Argentina are associated to alternative ways to see the existence of the colla group, to completely different types of interpretation of the information. Based on ENDEPA (Nationwide Group of Indigenous Pastoral) [2000], the collas that inhabits in Argentina, "puneños and their descendants, some quebraderos and all the opposite inhabitants of quechua-aymara origin" could be about 170,000 individuals.

In a single hand we've got these investigations which "see" the collas as a brand new ethnic group, "synthesis of diaguitas and omaguacas diluted positively, of apatamas and teams of quechua and aimara origin from Bolivia", are then, "the heir ethnic group of the native inhabitants of the northwest, consolidated all through the XIX century [Frites, 1971][3]. It's curious how the European contribution is disown on this blended race: the collas are, in conclusion, "a part of the no built-in blended race mass within the city facilities", those that inhabit within the hills [Frites 1971].

Within the different hand we've got these investigations which query the continuity of the colla tradition joint to the quechua and aimara cultures and the Andean nature of their tradition, underling their European indigenous blended race profile. [Isla 1992, Lozano, 2000].


The ethnogenesis phrase, as many others used within the anthropology and different disciplines, is a Greek time period that mixes tennos, which implies "the opposite populations", with genesis, which implies "growth". The time period ethnogenesis is used, subsequently, to speak in regards to the origin of populations, primarily these which might be completely different from us [4].

The ethnogenesis might be understood because the sluggish formation of an impartial group, completely different from others, however associated with them Roosens 1989].The formation within the inhabitants of a way of self-recognition is taken into account, largely, the bottom of this course of. This ethnogenesis processes contain compulsory an "ethnic reaffirmation via the cultural reappropiation and reinvention."

The ethnicity, this sense of self-recognition, is the product of the intercultural contact which on the identical time, make up the interplay of the talked about contact, via the choice of sure "distinction emblems" in entrance of others [Dietz 1999]. As Bourdieu [1991: 231], the standard factor of the symbolic logic is to remodel in absolute variations of "all or nothing", the infinitesimals variations". The ethnicity is a side of the social relationships between leaders who take into account themselves as culturally completely different from different teams and with them, they've minimal irregular interactions" [Eriksen 1993: 12]

This absolute and routined variations agree in an id supply with a view to delimit a "we" and "others" and promote an ethnogenesis course of: "the matter that earlier than had been monotonous praxis, now's transformed to present an express politic of id" [Dietz 1999]. This manner a cultural id is made up by a fancy technique of etnogénesis.


As has been proven, the colla "drawback", from an ethnic dimension, was no an issue within the eighties: "the aymaras, atacameños and collas structure, as ethnic actors with a consciousness of ethnic id and requires that query to the society and the federal government, symbolize […] a historic innovation" [Gundermann 2000]. Within the Atacama area, the phrase colla is used to call the individuals who inhabited in "the hills", utilizing the present sources and handle to outlive, the information that they had in regards to the flora, fauna and paths that went by the Atacama ranges.

Zoilo Jerónimo, one of many leaders of the motion for the popularity of the colla as an ethnic group within the nineties, refers about considered one of their remembers: "He's colla, after all, his mom, with all her sources, lived like one within the hill, there you go the bases [Zoilo Jerónimo 1993].

Even the time period "stay like one" refers to an unspecific lifestyle: remembers us that it's extra necessary to stay as a colla that being a colla [We can not avoid to mention that the word colla was also used to designate to the Potrerillos inhabitants in a regional context].

On the finish of September 1993, at his dwelling within the Montandón Railway Station, Mr. Esteban Ramos informed us about Potrerillos:

, I don't perceive the colla phrase, the place it comes from. On this place, the outdated individuals had been Chilean, Bolivian, and Argentinean; they had been a set of households that had been from these locations. I at all times discuss like this with individuals however none inform me why.  The individuals within the south title them huasos, "the huasos of the south", and the individuals within the north, the northern individuals, known as them "collas. I at all times title the individuals of this place, the individuals of Potrerillos "colla", if they've born right here, though the household is from the south, [Esteban Ramos, 1993]

Mr. Esteban Ramos states that the colla means within the north the identical the huasos are within the south. This assertion has multiple sense. The Potrerillos Huasos Membership is, unquestionably, one of many primary group instance subsequent colla communities. The brothers Salomón and Zoilo Jerónimo had an necessary participation in that membership:

Salomón has the paperwork of the "collita" authorized entity, that and the huasos membership are the identical factor, however we should not have the authorized entity paperwork of the membership, however in each there are the identical individuals. Salomón and I are contain within the membership, for this Independence Day I invited my family since we'd like signatures to get the doc for the "collita" [Esteban Ramos, 1993]

Mr. Esteban thinks the homonym colla/huaso matches with a similarity within the life type, since they share "a life within the countryside". The colla had been breeder: "all of the outdated individuals had been solely breeder; that they had donkeys, coats, mules, horses, lambs and even llamas because the Jerónimo household as I informed you, all form of animals besides bovine. Muleteer "my father was pioneering, he labored with a wagon and my mom labored making ready the meal for the individuals who labored with the wagons". Miners "then he began working within the Inés Chiica mine within the gold peak and a few had been farmers: "they sowed maize, gourd, and all had been crushed" [Esteban Ramos, 1993, Pedro Jerónimo, 1993]. In addition they hunted foxes, chinchillas, guanacos and vicunas. Later we'll talk about some points of the colla life type.

When Zoilo Jerónimo [1993] defines "being a colla" he cannot keep away from saying "the colla has a big value, the colla is "huaso", he's a horses and mules coach; he can do something".

The creation of the CEPI (Particular Committee of Indigenous Peoples), beneath the federal government of Patricio Aylwin [1990-1994] provoked the reappearing of the indigenous subjects and a dialogue about their appropriateness within the Atacama Area. Like this, on the finish of the eighties, within the bosom of the Potrerillos Huasos Membership, begins to seem a priority between the Jerónimo brothers, in order that they determined to take part within the Nationwide Conferences of Indigenous Cultures, organized by the CEPI.

This concern was promoted and prompted by the lend assist by many individuals and establishments curious about emphasize the colla indigenous nature and like this, embrace them within the Indigenous Legislation, which was going to be enacted, the actions of some politics within the space, such because the Senator Ricardo Nuñez had been highlighted . Within the interviews of 1993, at all times seems the title of the senator's spouse as an "instigator" of the colla motion, even she supported the financing to hold out some ceremonies.

This mutual attention-grabbing, between the collas and the Chilean State, finish within the incorporation of the "colla" within the Indigenous Legislation.

For the El Salvador individuals, Mrs. Damiana Jerónimo was an necessary personage, identified by everybody. Her piety would be the threads that can enable match some cultural items, which might be hardly linked in different approach [Rojas 1976]. The conversations with Mam Damiana permits glimpse the simultaneous existence of ceremonies linked to the Andine world, such was mentioned and the "vilancha" (a colla frequent social gathering) [Cervellino 1993, Gahona 2000], and the catholic spiritual celebrations, because the "Virgen de la Candelaria" [Rojas 1976].

From the conversations we had with Pedro Jerónimo, brother of Mam Damiana, we bought some information that enable contextualize the validity of this ceremonies. For Mr. Pedro Jerónimo, Mrs. Damiana knew the ceremonies, in regards to the candelaria blossom "as a result of she was commit of the saints, we've got by no means been evangelical individuals, we've got simply believed within the saints, in Our Lord and within the Virgin. After we had a variety of herd, we flowered; we put flowers of their ears. I have no idea the pachamama ceremony, however the vilancha I do, however it was earlier than us, who is aware of how the outdated individuals made it" [Pedro Jerónimo 1993]. To Mr. Pedro the Andean ceremonies "had been matter of the older individuals", they had been devotes of the saints".

Zoilo Jerónimo tells us that his curiosity rose twelve years in the past, when the elementary faculty of Potrerillos "make up a piece, to compete within the area, associated to the race values.  The children had been on the lookout for individuals to assist them and so they interview me, they requested me who I used to be, how I used to be born, how I had been carry up, which had been my meals, which had been my pure sources, how my household bought cash, all that seems on this investigation, they bought the primary place". [Zoilo Jerónimo, 1993]. To assist to hold out this investigation allowed him to order his information, "his sources". The identical he informed the youngsters, he informed within the indigenous inhabitants conferences organized by the CEPI.

The second step was the creation of the Colla Cultural Heart and its authorized authentication: in Copiapó we're processing the authorized entity, we're 40 individuals older than 18 years outdated, however as a race we've got greater than 100. We now have good values, good visions, for these causes we've got to affix and manage, and like this we are able to say many issues, to say what we really feel" [Zoilo Jerónimo 1993].

We organized a blossom and a branding to the herd in 1992, with the assist of regional individuals and a few organizations. Zoilo Jerónimo was organizer of the ceremonies "there are completely sacred acts, within the blossom the issues given by the character and God are valued, is the time to present tribute, the providing is quite common, it's within the sacred Holy Scripture, in all of the spiritual legal guidelines there may be the tribute.  Within the tithe, the perfect animal is obtainable, the moist meat; the opposite items are given to the employees. These are, roughly, the issues we attempt to search" [Zoilo Jerónimo 1993]

Throughout 1995 the Potrerillos Colla Indigenous Neighborhood is acknowledged, primarily composed by the Jerónimo-Escalante household, whose aim was "perform a job of collective recovering of the colla sociocultural practices [Paño 1997]. The identical 12 months the Paipote Colla Neighborhood is constituted and in 1996 the Río Jonquera Colla Neighborhood is constituted too. These had been the primary colla registered communities within the Legislation 19.253.


One of the crucial attention-grabbing issues that at all times seem across the colla ethnic description is said to the relationships with the teams which inhabits in Argentina that are bigger.

The colla, particularly within the space of Potrerillos, come primarily from the Argentinean northeast: the title of my grandmother was Eudosia Berazay, however I don't keep in mind the title of my grandfather, solely his final title, it was Ramos, so the title of my father is Jesús Ramos. All they got here from the opposite facet of the vary, from Fiambalá, close to Tinogasta, of Palo Blanco. They got here using [Esteban Ramos, 1993]. The Jerónimo household was "from the north of Argentina, significantly from the Salta Valleys and from Potrero Grande. They got here with their animals and even with llamas and with  them got here the little Mrs. Damiana Jerónimo" [Esteban Ramos 1993]. To Zoilo Jerónimo [1993], "the exceptional values we've got are from Argentinean legacy.

Though Zoilo Jerónimo acknowledges that most of the colla values are "from "Argentinean heritage" and his grandparents got here from Argentina, he could make a distinction between the "colla" and the "cuyano".

I've many mates for instance Aróstica and Del Río Jorquera who've the identical historical past from our, they arrive from Argentina, however they don't seem to be of the "coya" race, however of cuyanas races They're huasos, breeders of animals and miners, there are resourceful individuals, handcraft individuals, and even I used to be informed to make some ponchos, they're lovely [Zoilo Jerónimo 1993]

He doesn't take into account them of the identical "race", however they do the identical issues as them, even some issues such because the ponchos are higher.

Mr. Pedro Jerónimo talks in regards to the fixed journeys to Argentina, his family in Saujil, Tinogasta, Fiambalá, and Palo Blanco; and in regards to the items they exchanged:

You permit right here within the morning and within the noon you arrive to Fiambalá. We carried the coat leather-based, shovels, ointments, menthol; the individuals purchased a lot of these. In addition they purchased Chilean shovels as a result of the Argentinean shovels had been so unhealthy, they had been used. These issues we offered, and with the cash we purchased the provides, they had been low-cost, the sugar, flour, every little thing to cook dinner, we additionally purchased garments, the cash was sufficient. [Pedro Jerónimo, 1993].

The Trans Andean bonds are a present matter within the talks in regards to the colla world.


After the inscription of the Potrerillos and Paipote communities in 1995, additionally had been registered Río Jonquera y sus Afluentes in 1996, Pastos Grandes and Sinchi Wayra in 1998 [González 2000]. In December 2001 there have been 5 communities legally registered: Diego de Almagro, Sinchi Wayra, Pastos Grandes, Comuna de Copiapó y Río Jorquera y sus Afluentes. These communities got here from three completely different geographic areas with collas: Tierra Amarilla, Diego de Almagro and Copiapó, all of them had been dominated by settlements within the city areas[5]. In 2002 a division within the Río Jonquera Neighborhood was produced and two new communities rose: Wayra Manta Tujsi and Pacha Churicay.

These communities primary aim is, undoubtedly, "the recovering of lands and water" [Paño 1997], though, their histories are completely different [Paño 1997, González 1997, 2002].


The primary of the authors involved in regards to the ethnicity phenomenon, spotlight the value of the written texts within the ethnogenesis of the human teams who attempt to differ themselves in a cultural approach   [Eriksen 1993, Dietz 1999].

After we talked with Zoilo Jerónimo in 1993, and we requested him about some written texts he confirmed within the Indigenous Cultures Nationwide Conferences, organized by the CEPI, he answered that "he didn't carry written paperwork; he carried crafts, pattern board, marai (in mining, a giant stone the place the mineral is grinded), iron issues, however they had been in small measurement, I left the actual ones [Zoilo Jerónimo, 1993].

On this 4 pages textual content, González first raises the issue of the cultural continuity. He traces the kolla inhabitants origin to "the ultimate stage of the Bolivia Tiwanaku Empire, a fantastic Andean Inca civilization" [2000: 1] and describes a sequence of phases that reveal that the present colla of Copiapo are the descendants of the colla manor between 1000 and 1100 A.D. [2000, 1-2]. As well as, he offers to the existence of the colla within the area, a historic depth and locates it within the XVIII[6] (though all the information we've got, find it on the finish of the XIX century and in the beginning the XX century.

Second, he's involved to reveal his relevance to the colla world, level that an ancestor, was president of the Muleteer Labor Union in 1912 which is taken into account the primary colla group. This was Santos Gonzalez Vallón[7]. He additionally created the Sinchi Wayra Neighborhood which is made up by the "ayllu" of the González Vallón-Quispe.

Third, he places the kolla as an object of the Navy Authorities of Chile from 1973 and like this "they had been cornered the place they lived […] usually the navy males went across the vary, abusing the girl such because the Quispe sisters who sacrificed themselves, providing up their lives to the Pacha" [González 2000: 3].

In fourth place, he level these communities "have stay traditionally of their Andean habitat and proudly owning to socioeconomic strain, the bulk descend to the cities o settlements […] these days our inhabitants has recovered progressively the follow of our tradition. The ceremonies, carnivals, rituals, the tributes, "dulce mesa" (a desk served on the ground as a tribute to the Pachamama) and the brand new years are being slowly consecrated in some communities" [González 2000: 4]

Based on González [2002: 1], the native colla of the third area will not be in extinction, they've simply saved their traditions privately, even they keep away from their very own youngsters inherit this tradition".  González names this concept his "normal speculation" as a part of the textual content he indicators as Oscar Pacho-Kolla González, ethnographer [sic]. Oscar Pacho-Kolla González named himself not simply as "ethnographer", but additionally as "hill spirit", [2000], "the amauta" (one who taught the the Aristocracy youngsters).


The collas have chosen a set of ceremonies that act as ethnics markers:  the branding, the blossom, and the vilancha amongst others. As an example, within the every day "La Cuarta" of june 28, 2002, seems the next sentence: "as a result of celebration of the Indigenous

Peoples Nacional Day the colla carried out brandings and blossom:

COPIAPO. - With branding and blossom of herd, a ritual the place the animals are adorned with multicolor wools and marked within the ears, the members of the colla group, that inhabits within the Andean foothills space, celebrated within the park El Pretil the Indigenous Populations Nationwide Day.

It was an exquisite conventional celebration, full of colours. It was carried out by the colla managing director of the Río Jorquera city, Zoilo Jerónimo. First, the chief thanked to the Pachamama (mom earth) and begged for a greatest 12 months not solely within the abundance of the harvest or the rise of the animals, but additionally within the becoming a member of of all of the indigenous populations, together with the diaguita that these days doesn't seem as a acknowledged ethnic group within the Indigenous Legislation.

Later, the colla girls with the Atacama governor Yasna Provoste Campillay who has diaguita ancestry, and the SEREMI (Ministerial Regional Secretary) of Planning and Coordination, Claudio López Klocker, bought in a coat farmyard ready within the place and commenced the ceremony.

The primary ritual consists of brand name the animals within the ears to tell apart who's the proprietor. Whereas the blossom is said to the animals' life cycle, for this, multicolor wool ornaments are made up, and are put within the animals ears.

This a collective celebration carried out within the countryside the place the younger collas can felt in love and discover couple.

There was additionally a tasting of conventional meals, resembling embers bread, mate, churrascas (bread quick made in a grill) roasted coat, nuts, dried figs and raisins. Additionally a handcraft commerce honest was introduced to the general public, there the presence of the diaguitas that got here from the Alto del Carmen city was exhibit. Some multiethnic organizations that absorb pascuenses, aymaras and mapuches, descendants had been joined too. There have been canticles and dances which had been celebrated by the general public that was within the place.

The intendant use the chance to substantiate the following handing of eight,900 hectares of lands to the colla ethnic group within the Atacama Area, this permits them to resolve the goats fodder drawback throughout the winter which have meals difficulties. Claudio López added that this land handing to the Copiapó, Pastos Grandes and Sichi-Wayra cities is the popularity to the colla tradition and to the concrete actions of integration that the regional authorities is finishing up.

In an event, when the colla group of Copiapo [Estación Paipote], gained a Fondart challenge, they celebrated the vilancha or pay inka[8] and in addition the branding and the blossom:

The colla carried out worship to the Earth Mom in a city chosen by the ancestors, with meals and typical clothes.

Within the Bolo space, within the Quebrada de Paipote, the Colla Neighborhood carried out the Pay Inka ceremony or Inca Carnaval whose aim is to maintain their rituals and traditions in pursuit of the welfare of the inhabitants, city, animals and land.

The "Ceremonial Desk" was constituted throughout the celebration that started at 00:00 hrs. There the animal chosen by the group was  consecrated after which sacrificed with the arrival of the "New Solar" and whose coronary heart was given alive to the pacha mama or mom earth. Later the "Blossom Carnival" and the "branding of the brand new animals", these rituals enable, in accordance their traditions, improve the variety of animals and strengthen them.

On that event, Juan Pérez Bordones, the top of the group mentioned that "as a colla inhabitants we really feel very proud to have gained a Fondart challenge because it helps us to maintain the traditions, unify the completely different colla communities and switch us right into a inhabitants" additionally he insisted within the becoming a member of that should exist between the completely different colla communities of the area and likewise he highlighted the work carried out by the Schooling Ministry of Atacama and of the Tradition division of this group and for the priority and assist to the native peoples .
[Mineduc 2002]

These ceremonies are the media by the colla present themselves to the remainder of the regional society as a unique physique.


Since 1994 a technique of fiscal lands switch to the colla communities has been developed.  In 1997 the Investigation Group TEPU was commissioned by the Conadi to do an investigation the place seems the primary territorial authorized motion for about 50,000 hectares to a few indigenous communities: Potrerillos, Paipote and Río Jorquera [Molina and Correa 1995, 1996]. Then a geodesic research was additionally commissioned to the INAS Ltda in 1996. This research establishes an obtainable floor of 45,000 hectares.

The 2002 the switch of about 9,000 hectares was decided, these had been cut up into 1,279 hectares for the Diego de Almagro Neighborhood, 1,608 for the Sinchi-Wayra, Pastos Grandes communities and the Copiapo Municipality, and 6,108 for the Río Jorquera Neighborhood.

Within the pages of the every day "La Cuarta" of Santiago, on June 18, 2002 it's emphasised the handing of about 6,000 hectares to the Rio Jorquera Neighborhood.

COPIAPO. – A gathering was carried out within the head workplace of the colla ethnic group of the Río Jorquera space. On this assembly the group was knowledgeable in regards to the normal preparations contained within the switch decree of fiscal lands, the situations of the handing of 6,108 hectares, and in addition the prohibitions and protections that the Indigenous Legislation grants.

Plenty of leaders of establishments associated to the matter had been preset within the assembly, leaded by the Regional Ministry of Nationwide Items, Rodrigo Rojas along with thirty members of the colla ethnic group of Río Jonquera, an space the place inhabit about130 households.

It was knowledgeable that the lands switch is by the use of group for all of the circumstances and they'll represent hereditary lands with all of the rights, makes use of, customs, and lively and passive easement, freed from mortgages, prohibitions, interdictions and litigation.

Accoring to the Course of Frontiers and Boundaries, the properties are connected to the authorized laws at the moment in power of the frontier areas: the group should enable the SAG (Agricultural and Cattle Service) order sanitary measures to animals and fields in danger as a result of Argentinean frontier. Likewise, the profit group, proudly owning to the dry ecosystem fragility and the vulnerability of the agro forestry sources, should enable the regarding establishments implement and use the required measures for the sources.

The handing prohibits reducing down the timber and native shrubs, additionally they have to defend the fauna wild species such because the vicuna, guanaco, chinchilla, viscacha and piuquén, amongst others.

The indigenous lands cannot be alienated, seized, taxed or acquired by authorized precept, besides amongst group or indigenous individuals of the identical ethnic group. Neither might be let, handed over in commodate nor transferred to 3rd individuals in use, possession or administration.

The corresponding folders had been handing, these include all of the information, that are defined, in regards to the switch of fiscal lands. And likewise some questions on water and hunt requested.

The managing director of the Río Jorquera colla group thanked for the assembly and mentioned that they don't seem to be   with any motion in opposition to the regional authorities since they assume the great conversations they've had till now, have resulted extra advantageous that an aggressive perspective.

The final sentence mentioned by Zoilo Jerónimo, now within the Río Jonquera Neighborhood, is sort of important, since is the reflection of a division that's being producing now among the many colla communities

As an example, Pablo Segundo Escobar, additionally a "consultant of the colla indigenous group of the Rìo jonquera y sus Afluentes" mentioned regardless that they've had advances the final years because of the chief's effort, the federal government "anti-indigenism" drawback persists [Bravo 2001]:

The Indigenous Legislation association which point out that when a matter about us is mentioned, should be current no less than "one brother of the group", just isn't observed- he reported. Furthermore, we face a continuing discrimination from the federal government servants […] however from the thousand hectares that exist, they simply need to give us 600, and that's insufficient to suckle our livestock mass which is the most important within the III Area with forty thousand heads. We can be obligated to place a coat over different one and briefly time, they are going to die by hungry. And the collas too",

As a solution to protest they tried to take the top workplace of the Copiapo Regional Supervisor's workplace with the assist of different indigenous organizations. This perspective is shared by different leaders, resembling Oscar Pacho González, chosen as Coordinator of the Indigenous Issues of the Kolla Native Communities Council, who in a press convention on April 26, 2002 signifies:

I'm colla; I'm not Chilean, since we've got completely different ideas, actions, ceremonies, and religiosity and till the federal government doesn't give again our lands, I'll by no means take into account myself as a Chilean […] it is a gibe as a result of we should educate the coats to stroll in line […] we're keen to take excessive measurements, since we all know we're in a position to cease the regional financial growth and to hold out this we'll block roads and extra. [El Chañarcillo, 27 de abril del 2002], we'll insurgent in opposition to the State and everybody who damages the ancestral rights we've got on this nation. El Atacama, 27 de abril del 2002].

Each emotions symbolize alignments in favour or in opposition to some authorities departments:  Pacho González in opposition to the Conadi and favored by the Well being and Schooling Ministry and Zoilo Jerónimo favored by the Conadi. These two males have provoked a breaking between the communities, however Pérez Bordones desires to play it down:

I respect the steps carried out by the training and well being sector within the assist to the resurgence of the colla individuals. We now have labored nicely with them and so they have encourage us to go forward y obtain sure objectives. There will not be discords among the many numerous communities however there are discussions. With the great participation of the communities we reveal the becoming a member of, reliability that exists among the many communities to work, perform issues, handcraft, and so on. [Mineduc 2000]


About fifteen years in the past, the Colla Individuals centered their ritual life across the devotion of La Virgen (de la Candelaria and others whose photos had been positioned in sure gullies, resembling in Paipote). Some individuals can affirm behind this exercise is hidden the traditional Pachamama worship (equivalence Pachamama/Virgen). In all probability one thing like this existed. These days, the Colla Individuals can simply see within the Aymara world a door for "returning once more" to the previous and from that time, their "returned" id will take form. The Pachamama worship was thought of the perfect starting. And maybe, due to this, it has been left the Virgen worship apart in discursive phrases, though not in sensible phrases.

In entrance the darkish outlook that blocks their native situation, the Colla Individuals notice they should be completely different in an excessive and evident approach. A few of them journey the way in which again, wanting on the previous, wanting on the ancients, resembling Jerónimo, and rework the Virgen worship into the Pachamama worship. This may be thought of a primary piece that we may name the "Colla new age" and which is current from 9 or ten years in the past preserving a extra "conservative" profile, nicely, if that phrase can symbolize it precisely. This generates a course that clearly we'd describe as ethic, that within it, we on the lookout for contents and ritual in a position to carry us nearer to the Earth and growing a brand new relationship philosophy in concord with it.

Others select for "parody", aiming at an esthetic orientation. Thus, the very first thing is highlighted is the rising Colla's dances and the trying to find new "conventional" clothes, completely different from what Colla individuals put on at current. A few of them put on blankets and feathers and dance resembling "rain dance", a clearly memory of the North American "far west". The ladies of Jorquera River put on lengthy tight black clothes, with a scarf. This new "ethnic livery" is in disagreement with what ethnic orientation sector has saved, whose search for the differentiation attempting preserving and growing the worth of the "conventional clothes", the flowered gown (from China), with headband and straw hat. This was publicly identified by Leonidas Jerónimo (Sister's Zoilo): the real Colla clothes is that this, and every other is simply an invention of some individuals. [9]"

Later of the esthetic differentiation, a brand new ritual ethos it was assumed from the arrival of a Bolivian Inca elder and the "priestly ordination" of three Inca elder in Cuestecilla in 2002. From that second, we are able to discuss a progressive aymarización within the Colla rituals and adopting new kinds, with names inspirited in Quechua and Aymara. Since 2003, characters recognized as Religious Guides in some communities, had been known as "Yatiris", because the case of Mrs. Jesús Cardozo, of the Comunidad Comuna de Copiapó, the place it already has included the determine of Inti, mixing it with emblems that use iconography of the natives from the west of North America as primary items. A lot of the Colla communities have been added progressively to this present. Right here it rise the curiosity and necessity of exploring intimately the various methods, and esthetic and ethic options within the ethnogenesis course of (or re-ethnification) of Colla individuals.


Undoubtedly this subject just isn't ended. There are discussions, not solely among the many Colla Individuals, but additionally among the many specialists, in regards to the previous, current, and way forward for the Colla Communities. It is sensible, fascinated with the "historical past true" of the Colla Individuals, simply because it was outlined in a doc that factors out "this belongs to the official model of the Last Inform of the Subgrupo de Trabajo Pueblo Colla, of the Grupo de Trabajo Pueblos Indígenas del Norte" of the Comisión de Verdad Histórica y Nuevo Trato (2002):


We outline us because the individuals from the heights, the snow, the chilly and the puna. We're the native Colla individuals from the third area in Chile.


The Colla individuals are native from this territory, which frontier zones weren't invaded by Spanish empire or throughout the creation of the Republics. We now have at all times been an Andean individuals.


All through our early occasions we had our personal language, which is unknown to us at current. Within the religious-spiritual matter, the Pachamama play a task of integration of all power. We imagine in Spirits Guides resembling Solar Dad and Moon Mum. In our territory we constructed oratories and cairns. We imagine in souls and spirits. Earlier than any exercise we take, resembling journey or harvest, choices are introduced lighting "oil lamps", which use animal fats as gas. Each November 1st we have a good time "The Spirits and Souls Day". Right this moment is June 21th and we have a good time the "Renewal of the 12 months". We now have spiritual women and men who remedy illnesses and ship infants. There's a shut communication with the character and its forces: stars, animals, water.

With regard to household, the wedding agreed by dad and mom upfront, it's carried out by individuals belonging to varied household teams.

One of many ideas that decided our habits and which our ancestors taught us, is that this that prohibit youngsters seeing an animal sacrifice since they had been delayed within the studying technique of the right way to communicate. The identical was prohibited to pregnant girls. When youngsters had been born, throughout the baptism, some family members (dad and mom, grandparents, uncles and aunts) give a gift that often is an animal for cultural, financial, and educative functions. The baptism consisted of taking a shower of water and herbs. As well as, our ancestors had their very own video games or entertainments resembling La Taba which is maintained at current.

The Colla individuals economic system in early occasions was primarily based in cattle elevating, agriculture, mining and worldwide commerce. The cattle rising consisted of breeding animals (llamas, alpacas) and which included the usage of well being insurance policies. Due to the environmental options of our land, we needed to transfer with the animals throughout winter and summer time, in addition to at the moment, and regardless that was seized huge a part of historic land. Additionally there was sustainable exploitation of free animals (guanaco, vicuna and chinchilla as an illustration).

The whole use of animals (in addition to meat, milk, wool, and leather-based) allowed the event of saddlery and textile merchandise. The agriculture was the method of grain cultivation in stone terrace. Mining consisted of the exploitation of copper, silver, and sulphur mines on a small scale permitting the Colla goldsmith. Within the worldwide commerce, the buying and selling of merchandise had been made with completely different Andean peoples what meant going in direction of the North of Chile, the North-east of Argentina, and the lands that belong to Peru and Bolivia at current.

Or maybe, it may be helpful some phrases of Oscar Pacho González, and so they had been written in his reminiscence about La Comunidad Colla de Paipote:

Right this moment, in the beginning of the 21st century, the kolla of this group attempt revaluating his cultural context, and this manner, this native group has slowly marked the start of what we may name Utopia, returning to its unique atmosphere carrying a unique tradition which doesn't belong to them as if it was a heavy load, nevertheless, it's the just one they've identified [González 1997].

Or maybe, we should take into account a sworn statement, regardless that if it has been manipulated an excessive amount of, of a 4 12 months youngster, from Los Loros, commune of Tierra Amarilla, situated in Copiapó Valley. This testimony it may very well be used as an unfinished conclusion of this work:

Those that stay within the city are Collas and play the guitar and bass drums. We dance Cueca: any person performs the guitar and we dance. The Colla individuals play bass drum however it's performed by youngsters solely. The women can't use it. Additionally we play with stones. This recreation is throwing stones, however they don't seem to be actually stones however animal bones, resembling dinosaur ones. The Colla individuals make weave; within the kindergarten the trainer educate us the right way to weave. For weaving we use wool to make cloths. It's simpler weaving with the weaving machine as a result of knots are made. It's simpler than tie a shoe. The weaves might be put over there as little piece of fabric within the cooker. I did it one for my mum [Cuevas 2001].

Or maybe … as a result of it isn't has been mentioned the final phrase of this ethnogenesis complicated course of.



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2001        Gobierno, ¿anti-¿indigenista? []


1995    Estudio Diagnóstico de la población colla de la III Región. Investigación Antropológica. Santiago, SUR Profesionales Ltda & Univesidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Departamento de Antropología [ms]


1994a Los collas, fantasmas de la cordillera. Informes Fondo de Apoyo a la Investigación 1993, Santiago: Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, pp. 32-35.

1994b  Los collas, fantasmas de la cordillera. Contribución Histórica del Museo Regional de Atacama [Copiapó], Four:


1993    Ritos de los collas en la región de Atacama. Museos, 15: Four-5.

2001    Relaciones culturales prehispánicas entre el valle de Copiapó-Chile y el noroeste de Argentina


1996    Ecología y cultura en las comunidades de pastores de la cordillera de la región de Atacama: la comunidad de Valeriano. Informes Fondo de Apoyo a la Investigación 1995, Santiago: Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, pp. 23-28


1994    Pobladores de la cordillera de Copiapó: dimensiones socioculturales de comunidades tradicionales. Contribución Histórica del Museo Regional de Atacama [Copiapó], Four:

1995    Señores de la cordillera: crianceros y arrieros en la región de Atacama. Informes Fondo de Apoyo a la Investigación 1994, Santiago: Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, pp. 46-52


1994    Collas, pueblo del Salar de Pedernales. Contribución Histórica del Museo Regional de Atacama [Copiapó], Four:


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2000    Las organizaciones étnicas y el discurso de la identidad en el norte de Chile, 1980-2000. Estudios Atacameños, 19: 75-91.


1992    Dos regiones, un origen: entre el silencio y la furia. A. Isla [ed.] Sociedad y articulación en las tierras altas jujeñas: disaster terminal de un modelo de desarrollo. Buenos Aires: MLAL, UBA.


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1979.   El kakán, lengua de los diaguitas. Sapiens (Chivilcoy, Argentina) three: 1-33.


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[1] Social Anthropology, Grasp in Archeology and Physician of Historical past. Documentation Heart of Patrimonial Items, DIBAM.

[2] Social Anthropology, Grasp of Pedagogy. Atacama Regional Museum, Copiapó, DIBAM.

[3] E. Frites, an Argentinean colla males, say his ancestors inhabited in an enormous territory within the northwest of Argentina which earlier than, within the XVI century, was inhabited by the apatama, omaguaca and diaguitas, who when blended between themselves the colla individuals raised [1971: 375-376].

[4] R. Williams [1976: 19] say that ethnos initially means "pagan" in Greek, and was used to check with the no Greek individuals.

[5] Within the Diego de Almagro county the collas are situated within the Diego de Almagro, Potrerillos [currently in a eradication process], Inca de Oro cities and within the neighbouring gullies; within the Tierra Amarilla county there are city inhabitants within the Tierra Amarilla and Los Loros cities  and rural inhabitants in Río Jorquera, Río Pulido and neighbouring gullies; within the Copiapó county there are  city inhabitants in Paipote and Copiapó and rural inhabitants within the Hacienda La Puerta, Quebrada de San Miguel,  Bolo space and Pastos Grandes [Conadi 2001].

[6] Oscar Pacho González assist that the primary information in regards to the collas in Chile date from 1750, in Taltal, and so they had a personal languague named kakán, which existed till the arrival of a American mining firm The kakán language corresponds, in truth, to the language spoken by the diaguita (Nardi 1979).

[7] González say  that "the kollas who inhabits within the Potrerillos environment set up a labor union of muleteers" [2000: 2]

[8] Juan Pérez Bordones assist "This Inca Carnival happens elsewhere, it's known as pachacuti. The breeder perform a ceremony the place the animals are branding and on the identical time, as a convention, and considered one of them is scarified. The New 12 months is widely known with a lamb or coat; the aymarás ready them with a llamo. On this carnival we hand over that energy to the one who donates the animal. Additionally throughout the ceremony the title of the following breeder is thought. The blessing is for the animal, to it grows stronger, to extra animals exist and over all to the proprietor of the animal. On this carnival we wished to affix with all of the others populations. As colla inhabitants we really feel very proud to  have gained this Fondart Undertaking because it assist us to maintain our traditions and to unify the completely different colla communities and switch us right into a just one inhabitants" [Mineduc 2002].

[9] One 12 months in the past, a pacesetter of the Diaguita Cultural Heart in Copiapó requested for data to A. Gahona and Y. Jeria in regards to the Diaguitas, since "we've got to make up some typical Diaguitas" (Jaime Campillay).

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