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DW: Cultivating Tradition: Tradition vs. modernity: the Kolla in Argentina



High in the Andes, the Kolla are fighting to preserve their traditions. Argentina’s indigenous Kolla people live an austere life in the high desert plains. This is their home where they thrive.

Maria and her sisters Norma and Nelly are Kolla. They share an inheritance that they have looked after ever since their mother passed: a piece of land and a herd of llamas. Nelly and Norma live with their families in the village El Moreno, Maria’s family lives farther away in the small town of Tilcara in the Quebrada de Humahuaca valley. But it’s up in the Puna grasslands that the sisters really feel at home. At first, Maria was excited about city life and left the puna to study. But at the age of 31, she decided to return. Since then, she has been pushing for more responsibility for the Kolla women. While the men are often away working for weeks and months at a time, it’s up to them to safeguard their families’ way of life on the steppe. The film takes the viewer on an emotional journey of discovery into the Andes to meet these resolute women who love their country, and observe and preserve the traditions of their people their own way.

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