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Word Count: 4,232
Some ten to twenty-five million people that is less than 1 ofthe earths population currently make ithigh altitude zones theirhomeMoran143 The adjustment high altitude populations must make are firstlyphysical and secondly cultural Although most people adapt culturally to theirsurroundings in a high altitude environment these cultural changes alone arentenough Many physical adaptations that reflect the genetic plasticity common to allof mankindMolinar219 have to be made to survive and even more than that thrive inthis type of environment In this paper I will describe the high altitude stresses Along withadaptations made by the populations living in them The two high altitude populationswhich I will examine in this paper are the Tibetan people of the Asian Himalayas and theQuechua of the South American Andes The Quechua are an Indian people who inhabit the highlands of Peru andBolivia They speak Quechua which is a branch of the Andean-Equitorial stock They showmany remnants of Inca heritage by their houses music and religion which has pagan ritesunder the Roman-Catholic surface Their villages consist of kin groups Their marriagepartners are taken from within each village Agriculture isthe dominant subsistence pattern in the central Andean region but the Nunoa region wherethe Quechua reside can only support a few frost-resistant crops Which include bitterpotato sweet potato and a few grain crops of quinoa and canihua The rest of the fruitsand vegetables of the Quechua come from the eastern mountains on its way to themarkets The most important subsistence pattern for the Quechua is stock raising Which islimited to the few animals that do well in the high altitudes Their stock includealpacasllamas and sheep In the Himalayas only 5 of the geographical areaBaker36can be used for agriculture The main crops are barley wheat and buckwheat The crops aregrown between 3500 and 4300 meters These few crops are threatened by drought hailfrost snow and erosion The Himalayas also have extensive pasture areas which are used bythe nomadic and sedentary peoples The
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