Paths of Power and Politics: Historical Narratives at the Bolivian Site of Tiwanaku

  • David Kojan

On January 23, 2006, Evo Morales was formally inaugurated as Bolivia’s new president in the capital city of La Paz. Primarily because of his political allegiance with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and his outspoken opposition to US policy and corporate interests, Morales’ election and inauguration received significant international press coverage. But for many Bolivians, his “spiritual” inauguration the day before at the archaeological site of Tiwanaku represented the watershed moment in recent Bolivian political life. Evo Morales is the first indigenous president of Bolivia, and the first indigenous national leader in South America since the defeat of the Inca Empire by a small Spanish army almost 500 years ago. Since the sixteenth century, the majority Indian population of New Spain, and later Bolivia has been suffering under a variety of oppressive colonial systems ruled by the minority white and mestizo elites. So dominant have the structures of power been, that right up until Evo Morales’ election and inauguration, an Indian head of state in Bolivia seemed a fundamental impossibility.


Archaeological Site Archaeological Research Historical Narrative Corporate Interest American Antiquity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Kojan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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