26 – Pretani Associates – Isles of Pretani Series – Ancient Peoples (Central and South America)

Pretani Associates have lived with the  Quechua people in the Andes and have watched the Condors fly in the Colca Canyon, inhabited by the ancient Collagua and Cabana people. .They have climbed the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon in Teotihuacan, Mexico, talking with the Zapotec in Oaxaca and the Arawak in the Caribbean about their ancient history and culture.

The Quechua people were a collection of ancient people who lived and continue to live in regions known today as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia and Argentina. Their language has become Peru’s second official language. Some of the Quechua – speaking people were the Chanka people who lived and still live in the Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac regions of Peru; and the Huancha people of the Junin region of Peru who spoke Quechua before the Incas.

The Arawak are a collection of ancient people who lived in South America and the Caribbean. They continue to live primarily along the coasts and rivers of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana and within the Caribbean such as the island of Barbados. The Lokono and Chantuto are just some of those who belong within the Arawak group. The Chantuto people lived in the coastal region of southwestern Mexico and they relied mainly on a diet of clams and fish.

The Taíno are an ancient people specific to the Caribbean. They were the main inhabitants of most of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bahamas and the northern Lesser Antilles.

The Caribs, also known as the Kalinago, lived in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. They were one of the dominant groups in the Caribbean and the region is named after the Carib people.

The Zapotec people lived and continue to live in the Valley of Oaxaca, which is found in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Located in this region was one of their first major cities called Monte Albain where the building, tombs and grave goods made from gold can still be seen today. The Zapotecs also created a system of writing.

Teotihuacan was the sixth largest city in the world when it was built around 100 BC. This ancient city is located in the State of Mexico, near modern-day Mexico City within the Valley of Mexico and was possibly built by the Nahua, Otomi or Totoac people.