ABSTRACT

In pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial times, invading forces, groups of settlers and itinerants made their way along the more easily negotiated south-western shores of Lake Titicaca, purposely avoiding the problematic, irregular margins of the area under consideration. When approached by the writer in 1971, National Agrarian Reform Service research staff strongly recommended the north-eastern shores of Huinaymarca, Lake Titicaca’s smaller lake, as an ideal location for investigating the long-term impact of Bolivia’s National Revolution on rural communities. The area has a dendritic drainage pattern, with all its rivers and tributaries gravitating towards Lake Titicaca, which acts as the local base level of erosion. The relationship between Lake Titicaca and weather patterns in the immediate vicinity is complex. By reason of its vast size, the lake assumes the nature and properties of an ocean or sea.