Aymara is an Aymaran language with about 2.2 million speakers in
Bolivia, Peru, where it is an official language, and also in Chile
and Argentina. The majority of Aymara speakers, about two million,
are found in Bolivia, several hundred thousand live in Peru, and a
few thousand in Chila and Argentina.
The Aymara originally used a collection of symbols, mainly pictures
of people or things, as a mnemonic device. The symbols represented the
things they portrayed or similar sounding words but never developed
into a complete writing system. The symbols were originally written on
animal skins using plant or mineral pigments but paper was substituted
after the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. The symbols were
never standardised and there was considerable variation in the way they
were used among different Aymara groups.
Under the influence of the Spanish, the Latin alphabet was adopted to
write Aymara. Many different spelling systems have been divised over
the years. In 1985, the Peruvian goverment introduced a new spelling
system known as the Aymara Official Alphabet or Unified Alphabet.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)