Indigenous Women’s Strategies of Autonomy: Segregation, Sexuality, and Agrarian Reforms in Bolivia, 1870-1964


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project concerns the development and circulation of discourses of social and economic autonomy among Aymara women. It shows that while internal colonialism was restructured in the making of the Bolivian nation state, Aymara women generated their own mechanisms of decolonization. The study compares the trajectories of four generations of women in Carabuco. By focusing on this indigenous area, it shows that the two Bolivian Agrarian Reforms of 1874 and 1953 were both ultimately concerned only with an ideology that reinforced the dominant heterosexualism and patriariarcalism in a segregated country. By addressing marginalized groups, including single mothers, sexual minorities, and orphaned female children, the work offers an account of this period that reshapes Latin American rural history.