Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Arica

Social organization

The Arica people lived in small kurakazgos or chiefdoms, in which certain individuals with authority or prestige held a special social status that distinguished them from regular members. Their chiefs were ethnic leaders responsible for performing ceremonies and organizing productive activities within their group. Other individuals in the society were recognized for being experts in a given trade; these included ceramicists, weavers, farmers, herders and fishers. These chiefdoms seem to have had a dual organization, with one chief presiding over the upper part of each valley, and one over the lower.