Skip to main content

Arguedas, Alcides (1879–1946)

Arguedas, Alcides (1879–1946)

Alcides Arguedas was a Bolivian writer, politician, and diplomat. Born in La Paz on July 15, 1879, Arguedas is considered one of the initiators of realism in Bolivia, and of indigenismo in Latin America. He is well known for his novel Wata Wara (1904), which he rewrote and published as Raza de bronce (1919). His contact with some of the intellectuals of the Spanish "Generation of 1898," mainly with Miguel de Unamuno and Ramiro de Maeztu, is key to an understanding of Arguedas's view of Bolivian reality, as presented in his highly contested sociological study Pueblo enfermo (1909). In this essay Arguedas criticizes his own people for defects of their character, brought on, he suggests, by their oppressive history. This theme was carried over to other books, including his essay La danza de las sombras (1934). Arguedas also wrote historical novels, one of the earliest being Pisagua (1903), which deals with events of the War of the Pacific. His novels, histories, and essays, though controversial because of his biting criticism of Bolivian reality, at the same time were praised for their candid presentation of the nation's past. Arguedas died on May 6, 1946 in Chulumani.

See alsoGonzález Prada, Manuel; Indigenismo; Ingenieros, José; War of the Pacific.


Arnade, Charles. "The Historiography of Colonial and Modern Bolivia." Hispanic American Historical Review 42 (1962): 333-384.

Sanjinés C., Javier. Mestizaje Upside-Down: Aesthetic Politics in Modern Bolivia. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004. See esp. pp. 45-47.

                                           Jack Ray Thomas

                                           Javier SanjinÉs C.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Arguedas, Alcides (1879–1946)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 19 Jun. 2019 <>.

"Arguedas, Alcides (1879–1946)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (June 19, 2019).

"Arguedas, Alcides (1879–1946)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved June 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.