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The History of Tierradentro

The Chibcha-speaking people arrived in these mountains about 7th-9th century AD. An agricultural society, they crafted weavings, stone carvings and ceramics. Worship focused on death and ancestors. Due to the lack of violent depictions, archaeologists believe the Nasa ancestors were a peaceful nation. Tierradentro and San Agustín were contemporary societies; their sculpture and housing are similar and their settlements were connected by roads.

When the Spaniards arrived here in the mid-15th century, they called this land of rugged terrain, isolated villages and difficult travel Tierradentro, or "Land Within." In 1994, Nevado de Huila erupted, causing an avalanche that swept through the valley of the Páez River, killing over 1,000 people. Today, Tierradentro encompasses 21 resguardos indígenas, or indigenous reserves.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

22 Aug 2011

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