Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Constantino Lima and the Wiphala

Constantino Lima was part of the first generation of formally educated Indian intellectuals after the revolution of 1952. One of Lima's more significant achievements was to have re-discovered the wiphala, the old flag-standard of the (indigenous) rebels of 1780 led by Tupac Katari.

The wiphala waved for the first time in almost two centuries during Holy Week of 1970, in the oath-taking of the 147 students of the first school in the province of Pacajes, 150 kilometers from La Paz. Two months later, it waved again in an assembly of campesino leaders in Coro Coro. On that occasion, the sub-prefect of La Paz was present. He told the authorities that "the Indians of Pacajes had flown a foreign flag." That same year the wiphala returned to fly before 30,000 Indians on the 15th of November, at the inauguration of the monument to Tupac Katari in Ayo Ayo. This is one of the national symbols of Bolivia as it is laid out in Article 6 of the constitution of 2009 which the state rewrote.

Read full interview with Constantino Lima here

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