The original peoples of Bolivia celebrated Decolonization Day in the Case Grande del Pueblo Friday.
Decolonizing Bolivia’s History of Indigenous Resistance
Each representative of the 36 indigenous communities gave symbols of their nations, including artwork and textiles to Evo Morales, the Bolivian president. The event showcased their native languages, folklore, crafts, and traditional symbols.
Members of the Aimaras, Quechuas, Guarani, Lecos, Mojeños, Urus, Tacanas, and Morés communities, as well as the rest of the Andean peoples, commemorated the day.
"In Bolivia, thanks to the struggle of our people, we have begun to decolonize ourselves," Morales said.
Some of the gifts presented in honor of Decolonization Day will be exhibited in the Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution of Orinoca, Morales’s birthplace, the president said.
The holiday, formerly known as “El Dia de la Raza” (Day of Race) or Columbus Day, was redefined as Day of Decolonization in 2011. Morales stressed that this day represents the Indigenous resistance against European invasion.
“As of today, 1492, Christopher Columbus came to America for the first time. After him, came the Spanish invaders to plunder our natural resources and exploit the Indigenous. With the European invasion began 500 years of resistance and defense of our territory,” he tweeted.
Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day — the Dichotomy of a Celebration
Morales has also called for the International Year of Indigenous Languages to be held in 2019. He said he intends to move towards a "Plurinational America," in the way Bolivia recognizes Indigenous communities.
“As long as there is capitalism and imperialism, the fight will continue. We have already started with a plurinational state, now the objective is a multinational continent for the Jallalla nations and Indigenous peoples!” he said in a tweet.