International Handbook of Research on Indigenous Entrepreneurship
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International Handbook of Research on Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson

The comprehensive and thoroughly accessible International Handbook of Research on Indigenous Entrepreneurship aims to develop a multidisciplinary theory explaining entrepreneurship as a function of cultural perceptions of opportunity. The Handbook presents a multitude of fascinating, superbly illustrated studies on the facets of entrepreneurship amongst indigenous peoples.
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Chapter 35: Bolivia: Land of the Aymarás and Quechuas

Léo-Paul Dana


Léo-Paul Dana Introduction Rees and Bell wrote, ‘Once a year Indians pitch tents, tether cattle, and hold a livestock fair . . . many have tramped vast distances beside their animals. Here, at Pucarani, they exchange the plateau’s cows, leather, cheese, and frozen potatoes for the lowlands’ coca, fruit, and bamboo, and factories’ clothes, dyes, and gadgets. Such fairs are handed down from Inca times’ (1950, p. 480). As noted by McIntyre (1966), the legendary birthplace of the Indigenous Incas is Isla del Sol, an island in Lake Titicaca,1 the world’s highest navigable lake. Tschopik (1955) spent two-and-a-half years on the shores of Lake Titicaca, researching the local people. He noted, ‘Economic gain, clearly, is not the only motive for commerce’ (ibid., p. 136). Later, Penrose wrote, ‘The fact that businessmen, though interested in profits, have a variety of other ambitions as well, some of which seem to influence (or distort) their judgment about the “best” way of making money, has often been discussed primarily in connection with the controversial subject of “profit maximization” ’ (1959, p. 39). In the attempt to improve their standard of living, Indigenous people head to the city and, as urbanisation takes place, Indigenous people are faced with lifestyle changes (see Figure 35.1). The informal sector in Bolivia absorbs a high migration from rural areas (see Figure 35.1 Recently urbanised mother and child (photo by Léo-Paul Dana © 2005) 445 446 International handbook of research on indigenous entrepreneurship Figure 35.2 Back home (photo...

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