Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Semi-arid North > Copiapo


When they adopted an agricultural and pastoral way of life, the people of the Copiapó Valley differentiated themselves from groups living in the southern valleys of the Norte Chico. This was especially seen in the fluid exchange of products and ideas between the Copiapó people and contemporary populations of the Atacama Puna and the valleys of northwest Argentina. These interactions promoted the development of a unique cultural identity for the Copiapó people, and when the Inka arrived in the region they encountered strong resistance from its inhabitants. Ultimately, however, the valley was conquered by the Tawantinsuyu Empire with the assistance of allies living further to the south, the Diaguita people.