The Uru-Chipayans are a small population of Chipaya speakers on the Bolivian altiplano in southern Oruro; they comprise a small island in a sea of Aymara peasants. Joseph Bastien presents us with a comprehensive ethnography of this often poorly understood minority group, based on many decades of research. He delineates the process of cultural change in Santa Ana de Chipaya, the focus of his research, from 1986 onward. The greatest value of his book is its ethnographic information and its account of how the Uru-Chipaya have adjusted to the considerable changes over the past decades. Its historical portions must be used with caution, as there are many errors of fact and interpretation.

As Bastien shows, the Uru-Chipayans have been able to hold on to their unique culture over the centuries despite pressures from the surrounding Aymaras. They were looked down upon by their...

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