Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Tiwanaku in the north of Chile

Social organization

Tiwanaku society was organized into different social classes in the following hierarchical order: leaders, priests, administrators, artisans and lastly the large masses of peasants and herders. In these times the power of Tiwanaku extended to the Azapa valley, home of the Cabuzas, an agricultural society and heir to the Alto Ramírez tradition, whose local authorities or governors upheld the power of Tiwanaku, though at a lower socio-political level than the central State. More marked social distinctions operated in the Atacama oases, where the Atacameño elite controlled inter-regional relations and the busy caravan traffic to and from the center of the empire.