Books by Eusebio Topooco

WAIRA'S FIRST JOURNEY by Eusebio Topooco
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

This simple story of an Aymara Indian girl's trip to an open- air market in the Bolivian altiplano depicts traditional Aymaran life, based on simple agriculture; the importance of the llama is apparent in both text and the strikingly detailed oil paintings. Waira sees the ruins of the ancient city of Tiwanaku, discovers why the condor is her people's spiritual symbol, visits Lake Titicaca and learns about its reed boats, and dances in the Aymara festival. The Aymaras' domination by the Incas and, later, by the Spanish—as well as their current economic and social marginalization—is discussed in endnotes but plays no part in the story. An autobiographical sketch poignantly describes discrimination that the author has encountered in Bolivia and Spain; since the mid-60's he's lived in Sweden, where this book first appeared. Interestingly, Topooco's assertions about religious intolerance, suppression of the Aymaran language, the preponderance of Aymaras in Bolivia's population, and their antiquity are contradicted by standard reference sources, which also differ from one another. Still, an unusual look at a unique and little-known culture. (Picture book. 6-10) Read full book review >