Flag of Bolivia. Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The most populous group that are recorded for the Andean region of Bolivia, the Aymara, grew rapidly between 600 and 800AD, establishing the Tiwanaku state. It reached its largest proportions around 950AD, after which point a climate shift occurred and resulted in the elite rulers losing power as their resources decreased. During the fifteenth century, the expansion of the Incan Empire saw Andean Bolivia fall under its control. As with Peru, Spanish colonisation brought Bolivia under the control of the Spanish Empire and with it the indigenous peoples of the region were enslaved.

By 1809, a series of revolutions occurred against Spanish rule, with the Chuquisaca Revolution and La Paz Revolution taking place that year. Though unsuccessful, they marked the beginnings of the Spanish American wars of independence. Bolivia gained its independence on 6 August 1825 and was proclaimed a republic. However, local tribal groups, including those brought to Bolivia as enslaved people, continue to elect chieftains and representatives as a continuance of monarchical rule.

You can find out more about some of these local female leaders below!


Gates, Henry Louis, and Franklin W. Knight, eds. Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016

Klein, Herbert S. A Concise History of Bolivia. Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021

Morales, Waltraud Q. A brief history of Bolivia. Second Edition. Infobase Publishing, 2010.

%d bloggers like this: