Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Toconce – Turi

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Economy

The economies of these communities were based on extensive agriculture and livestock raising, taking advantage of the water from ravines by building systems of terraced gardens and irrigation canals. They also made good use of the forage available, which allowed them to keep large herds of llama. They grew maize in the ravines and quinoa and potatoes in the high Puna, complementing these activities by hunting wild camelid and lesser animals, as well as collecting wild plants. This economic strategy allowed them to take full advantage of the variety of resources offered at different ecological strata, which they did by coordinating their use of complementary resources in different ecosystems, coupled with interregional trading of surplus goods. Their use of llama trains was crucial to the trading activities that characterized this period.