By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza
Xavier Albó, Félix Layme
Literatura Aymara: antología
(La Paz: CIPCA, 1992)
Illustr. - 235 pp.
Published by CIPCA (Peasant Research and Promotion Centre by its initials in Spanish) as one of its Cuadernos de Investigación (literally, Research Notebooks), the book is, according to its authors, one of the first anthologies of Aymara literature. It comprises a collection of former works —shorter in length— by Romualdo, Cáceres, Ochoa, Huanca and Ayala among others, as well as other contents from magazines such as "Jayma" and "Yatiñasawa". In addition, it covers the widest possible geographical range, though it is focused on the region of La Paz, the most prolific contributor to this literature.
The authors —an anthropologist and an Aymara teacher— have brought together this collection of texts providing very careful consideration on the methodology, transcription (using Bolivia’s official Aymara dictionary since 1984) and Spanish translation.
The issues range from colonial prose (17th-18th centuries) to myths of origin, contemporary tales (e.g those popular and well-known featuring a fox), cultural accounts (marital advice, crops and harvesting stories), ritual prayers, historical accounts (The Chaco War, the 1952 Revolution), political texts (the Independence document), to plays, radio serials, sayings, anecdotes and riddles.