Her date of birth is uncertain, some sources give it as August 24, 1753, while others give it as August 12, 1750. Together with her husband and sister-in-law Gregoria Apaza, she led an indigenous uprising against the Spanish in Bolivia at the head of an army of some 40,000 which laid siege to the city of La Paz in 1781. Katari and Sisa set up court in El Alto and their army maintained the siege for 184 days, from March to June and from August to October. Sisa was a commander of the siege, and played the crucial role following Katari's capture in April. The siege was broken by colonial troops who advanced from Lima and Buenos Aires.
Bartolina Sisa was captured and executed by the Spanish on September 5, 1782. She was hanged after being publicly humiliated in the Colonial Square (now Plaza Murillo), beaten and raped. Once dead, the Spanish cut her body into pieces, showed her head in public to intimidate the natives, and sent her limbs to be exhibited in different villages.
In her honour, the 5th of September was instituted as the International Day of the Indigenous Women since 1983.
- Valencia Vega, Alipio (1978). Bartolina Sisa — la virreina Aymara que murió por la libertad de los indios (in Spanish). La Paz: Librería Editorial "Juventud".
- del Valle de Siles, María Eugenia (1981). Bartolina Sisa y Gregoria Apaza — dos heroínas indígenas (in Spanish). La Paz: Biblioteca Popular Boliviana de "Ultima Hora".
- Ari, Marina (2003). Bartolina Sisa — La generala aymara y la equidad de género (in Spanish). La Paz: Editorial Amuyañataki.
- Thomson, Sinclair (2002). We alone will rule: Native Andean politics in the age of insurgency. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-17790-4.
- Iván Ignacio, "OUR HOMMAGE TO COMMANDANT BARTOLINA SISA, INCORRUPTIBLE AYMARA LEADER," accessed 07/14/06.
- Hylton, Forrest (2007). Revolutionary horizons: Popular struggle in Bolivia. London: Verso. ISBN 978-1-84467-070-3.
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