Main content area

Indigenous communities, archaeology and, volcanism in Purace, Cauca, Colombia

Patiño C., Diógenes, Monsalve, María Luisa
Quaternary international 2019 v.505 pp. 85-97
archaeology, indigenous peoples, memory, mountains, risk, society, volcanic activity, volcanoes, Andes region, Colombia
This article deals with archaeology and volcanism in the lands of indigenous communities who live in the mountains of the high Andean region of Puracé, Colombia. The study was carried out in four Indian reservations: Poblazón, Puracé, Kokonuko and Paletará. The effects of the Puracé volcano on community settlements are recorded over the period from 2500 to 500 years before the present. Archaeological sites and cultural materials indicate that these societies were politically homogeneous with an economy based on agriculture; they were linked to one another through the exchange and barter of different products. In the cosmogonies of these communities, volcanoes are related to the ancestral past. Thus, for each community nature and the volcanoes' power are represented as mythical beings. The results of the study contribute to the knowledge of recent volcanic activity in the area and will help to mitigate the risks from future eruptions; at the same time, they record the oral history and historical beliefs in the memory of these indigenous peoples with regard to their territory and the neighbouring volcanoes.