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Aboriginal 



The cultural history of the aboriginal ones that you/they occupied the Venezuelan territory 
during the prehispanic time, is based on the archaeological reconstruction. There were 
migrations from the Asian continent that you/they penetrated in the New World for the 
strait of Behring and they arrived to Alaska, going then to the AND and to the S, toward the 
central plains of North America. Of there they were dispersed to Mexico, Central America 
and Suramérica, and she/he has been able to establish that the first populations that 
occupied the Venezuelan territory date of the time paleoindia, 15.000 years to. C. In a cold 
and temperate climate, the aboriginal paleoindios subsisted of the hunt of enormous 
mammals and of the gathering of wild fruits. The paleoindios inhabited caves or in non 
permanent camps and their instruments were made of bone and stone. Tips of projectile 
lanceoladas, sharp devices or lascas obtained when hitting cuarcita pieces, raspers, leaves 
bifaciales used as axes and leaves with peduncle, they have been found in the main 
locations of that time: Muaco and Taima-Taima and The Jobo in the state Falcon, Tree in 
the Peasant's peninsula and Hairy Ranch in the river Guasare to the NO of Maracaibo. In 
those locations the archaeological material has appeared jointly with the remains of 
skeletons of mastodons and megaterios and the determination of the dates has been possible 
thanks to the radiocarbono. The time paleoindia finished when they modified the conditions 
of the climate around 5.000 years to. C. starting from that moment, the temperature became 
warm, they were extinguishing until the enormous mammals that served from feeding 
source to the paleoindios disappearing and she/he had its beginning the time mesoindia. 
The subsistence of the mesoindios depended then on the fishing and of the exploitation of 
resources of the ecosystem of the swamp. Remains of this time are the concheros or 
deposits of waste of food of the states Falcon and Sucre. Shells, equinodermos remains and 
bones of animals have been found in those locations, jointly with bony tips that were used 
as fishhooks or arrows, and with projectile tips, raspers or gouges made with shells. The 
mesoindios was expert navigators, they built crafts with those that the costs and the 
neighboring islands traveled. The gathering of wild plants and the practice of an incipient 
agriculture supplemented the diet of that time. In the year 1000 to. C. the climate was 
similar to the current one and the aboriginal ones began to practice an intensive agriculture 
and to manufacture ceramic beginning this way the time neoindia. This finished around 
1500 with the Conquest. Although for that then persisted in the territory nuclei of 
population paleoindia and mesoindia, most of the aboriginal neoindios cultivated eatable 
species. The human establishments were more stable and besides the ceramic of practical 
use, they manufactured refined lithic instruments and ceremonial objects. The neoindios 
gave origin to a cultural dicotomía based on the cultivation of the corn in occident and of 
the yucca in east. The western ceramic was characterized by vessels multípodas and high 
ring bases, incisions without modeling and black painting on white. The designs were made 
with thick lines. Metates and hands of milling for pillar the corn, mintoyes and urns 
accompanied by objects votivos and such ceremonials as figurinas of mud, incensarios and 
amulets, suggest a specific cultural development for the occident. In contrast, in the east of 
the country they have been opposing budares for the preparation of the casabe of bitter 
yucca, and a ceramic of simple ring bases, open bowls, lash borders, handles acintadas and 
incisions painted in target on red. The discoveries neoindios suggests that the corn and the 
yucca were basic sources of feeding in occident and in east respectively, and that around 
both cultivations they were formed 2 extreme centers of cultural development, while in the 
center of the country there was a transition area in which western and oriental features 
coincided. With the European contact starting from the 1500 the time indohispana the one 
began which still lasts. It began this way the registration in chronic and other sources 
etnohistóricas of the aboriginal populations that you/they found to their step the European 
settlers and the consequent identification of the different indigenous groups. During the 
conquest, the aboriginal populations that inhabited the Venezuelan territory, belonged in 
their biggest part to the groups caribes and arawak. The caribeses were located in the coast, 
among it Gave birth to and Borburata and in the surroundings of the lake of Maracaibo; 
they also occupied the neighboring islands to the N of the island of Trinidad and the 
riverbanks of the Orinoco and their tributaries. The caribeses were feared by their dexterity 
in the war, for the practice of the cannibalism and for the trade of slaves. The arawak was 
located in the gulf of it Gave birth to and they concentrated from the S of the delta of the 
Orinoco, until the outlet of the Amazons. These well-known natives for their meekness and 
docility with the Spanish conquerors, enemies of the caribeses were hardened: «…los 
aruacas [arawak] she/he is people very friend of the Christian and of other Indians 
whenever they don't eat human meat, and they are enemy mortal of other Indians that they 
call themselves caribes, and they hate them…» The arawak had their establishments in the 
riversides of the rivers. «…Dicen that came of where it leaves the sun in some ships and 
they financed that coast, and because they found those rivers so fertile (...) they entered in 
them and they made friendship with the caribeses that possessed them. That seeing the 
customs of the caribeses that were bad and they ate other Indians, they ran off with against 
them and in big wars they tossed them of the this rivers, and they stayed as possessors and 
towns in them», Rodrigo of Navarrete wrote in 1750. 
Other aboriginal groups that also occupied the Venezuelan territory when the conquest took 
place they were, among other, the sálivas, the maipures, the guamos, the otomacos, the 
guahíbos, the yaruros and the guaraúnos. The languages of these populations, next to the 
caribes and arawak, they were identified by Felipe Salvador Gilij in 1780-1784, as wombs 
of the region orinoquense. José Gumilla in 1741 referred to these natives highlighting his 
features etnográficos. This way, the sálivas, located in the half Orinoco among the rivers 
Sinaruco and Guaviare, believed that they were children of the earth and that a 
correspondent of the sky conquered and it killed a horrible snake that devoured human 
beings. They counted that of the corrupted bowel of this animal worms that were becoming 
caribes arose «brave, inhuman and cruel». They were pursued and enslaved by caribes and 
Spaniards until their definitive extinction. The maipures: located in the surroundings of 
Cabruta, they stood out for «…la affability and amorosidad with which they treat the 
foreigners. Of here the love that you/they have them all the Europeans that know them». At 
the beginning of the XIX century, the maipures was among the natives of the Orinoco 
«more rational …los (...) their mixed color, brown and white (...) the hair them and them 
fabrics in clinejas, the men with short and shirt, and the women arbitrated fustán, speak 
some and other the clear Castilian and them very you affect the Spaniards…» The guamos: 
also located in the surroundings of Cabruta, they are known by the corporal deformations 
that were practiced, by their laborious cotton crafts and for parties that made of them 
«…juglares dancers (...) nudes of blush and shame we have seen from the mouths of the 
Orinoco until these of how many of it Hurries». The otomacos: they were neighboring of 
the guamos, they married them and enter their features etnográficos they highlighted the 
ritual cry in honor to the deceaseds and the ball game. The otomacos, «…quinta essence of 
the same atrocity, terrible among all the barbarians of Orinoco (...) of a brutal and rash 
value: they left to fight with the caribeses to common campaign, and they never returned 
behind foot until they terrified them the firearms; before the battle they got excited and they 
infuriated each one against itself, being hurt with bone tips the body», she/he stops then to 
say: «it counts that if you are not valiant, they must eat you the caribeses». In Venezuela, 
the maipures, guamos and otomacos, the same as the sálivas, they have extinguished. The 
guahíbos whose language according to Gilij was similar to that of its neighboring chiricoas, 
they were located in the margins of the Goal: «…bien musculados of swollen size (...) the 
character of these natives is warring and sanguinary (...) they prefer the wandering life (...) 
and they don't cultivate the earth». Guahíbos and chiricoas were groups that you/they 
practiced the nomadismo and the gathering of foods. The yaruros, also located in the 
riverbanks of the Goal, they were known as apathetic, sociable and hospital, but also 
«…esta nation (...) it likes of the sedentary life, and it is applied to the arts, their industry is 
tight to some fabrics of tidelands and hammocks (...) they manufacture arrows, and they 
exchange these articles with the immediate tribes. Mature people of both sexes use of the 
coloring, and they put on makeup of red and black (...) their size is stout and well 
constitucionada (...) in sum these Indians are warring and valiant, without being 
sanguinary…» The guaraúnos: they had housings palafíticas in the margins of the pipes of 
the delta of the Orinoco and they exploited the palm of the moriche (Mauritia flexuosa) that 
was foundation of the subsistence: «…todo their to live, to eat, to dress to their way, bread, 
vianda, houses, farm tools of them and the whole tools for their canoes and fisheries (...) it 
leaves the palms that God has given them in those islands, with an incredible abundance of 
them; that call in its language murichi». Other aboriginal groups of the basin of the Orinoco 
that equally Gumilla describes, they were the achaguas, anabalis, atabacas, betoyes, 
guaybas, guayquiris, jiraras, mapoyes and tunebos. 
In what concerns the aboriginal populations of the occident of Venezuela the most 
important groups they were the motilones, the peasants and the caquetíos. The motilones, of 
the valleys of Machiques, of the river Catatumbo, and of the mountain of Perijá, they 
carried out continuous invasions in the XVII and XVIII centuries to the Spanish 
establishments of the costs of the lake of Maracaibo and they terrified the population 
perturbing the agricultural works in the fertile country properties of cocoa located in the 
riversides of the rivers. Subjected to the missions capuchinas in the XVIII century were 
described by brother Andrés of the Arches like a «…nación wild animal and implacable 
against the Spaniards that the same thing is to see them that to shoot against them an 
infinity of arrows». The peasants: they were described by brother Pedro Simón like «naked 
people completely, until the parts of the honesty that discovered men and women also 
brought, hijackers, vagabonds (...) because they always walk to night and tavern, being 4 
days debaxo of a tree and 2 to the shade of other, and desta luck passes its life, so idle that 
they don't cultivate lands, neither them siembran it sews some, to be enough them for its 
sustenance the fruits of the trees (...) from Deep Bay and The Carries you, until the End of 
the Candle and of this to the river of The Axe that you/they are 12 leagues, is all 
uninhabited earth and without water; and some Indians that there is in her that call 
themselves the goajiros, don't have houses neither certain places neither farms, they are 
sustained of fisheries and of the house of deer and rabbits». Among the aboriginal ones that 
inhabited the riversides of the lake of Maracaibo, the onotos was described by Juan Pérez of 
Tolosa like «gentlemen of the lagoon and they fish with nets and fishhooks much fish 
gender (...) very excellent, and they sell it in their markets to the Indian bubures (...) to 
exchange of corn, and other things. And this way, those some and the other ones have fish 
and corn. These Indian onotos has their houses inside the same lagoon. They are valiant 
men, and they fight with arches and arrows and macanas». Other neighboring populations 
of the onotos, according to Juan Pacheco Maldonado were undermining you, aliles, ambaes, 
toas and quiriquires, Indians «raised that have not been possible to reduce to servitude, 
neither to true peace, to coast of many lives of Spaniards that has cost the this lift, and [of] 
many country properties that have consumed, stealing them in the bar of this lagoon, in 
which you/they impeded that not (one could enter neither to leave for her) [sic]». The 
caquetíos: they were located in the coast between Choir and the lake of Maracaibo: «This 
coast, to leeward and windward, it used to be populated of Indians of nation caquetíos, and 
they had towns medium and a lot of hunt and she/he fishes, and clothes of hammocks. 
She/he is very refined and clean people, and very friend of the Spaniards (...) they sustain 
the Spaniards that reside in chorus, of hunt and she/he fishes, because they are Indian very 
domestic», according to the recount of Juan Pérez of Tolosa. For that characteristic 
meekness, the extinction of these natives was one of the quickest. 
In the Andean mountain range there was, for the time of the Conquest, 20 or more 
independent groups of toponimia Mucu and in the valley of the river Chama was located: 
the mucuchíes, mucurubaes, mucujunes, mucaquetaes, mucarias, mucusiríes, mucutucúas, 
mucumbaes, mucusquis, mucuunes, mucutíes, mucuñoques, mucubaches, mucurandaes, 
tabayes, tateyes, escaqueyes, chichuyes, guaques and jajíes. Chamas and turns with their 
respective subgrupos, they were located in Merida while in Trujillo the cuicas and the 
timotes prevailed. The Andean natives were farming sedentary and they were known by the 
construction of platforms, terraces and watering systems to prevent the erosion in the 
cultivation fields. 
The evidences etnohistóricas has demonstrated that the aboriginal ones prehispanic they 
maintained narrow relationships interétnicas thanks to the trade. The plains of Barinas, 
Portuguese, Cojedes and Hurry they were a strategic crossroad among the Andean 
mountain range, the coast caribe and the basin of the Orinoco. There cultural and 
commercial contacts took place in those that it was used like half of exchange currencies of 
shells of snails of sweet water or quiripa. These exchanges took place through the 
establishment of commercial nets, like it was the case of the beaches of turtles and the 
market of fish of the half Orinoco, the beaches of turtles of the river Guaviare and the 
market of I will cure of the high Orinoco. 
Starting from 1545, the aboriginal populations were subjected to the régime of you 
commend and the caribeses in particular, were subject of captivity and slavery for real 
identification of August of 1503. During the XVIII century it was frequent that the 
aboriginal ones escaped from the conquerors looking for the protection of the forest and 
that the population fell, among other causes, for the illnesses, the wars, the abuses or the 
personal services lent in you commend them. 
During the Independence, the aboriginal population that survived the miscegenation and the 
cultural destruction remained in her biggest part in the wild regions of the country, to the 
margin of the main historical events that you/they led to the emancipation. In 1815, Simón 
Bolívar, when affirming the nationality and the destination of the homeland, in the Letter of 
Jamaica, recognized that for that the Venezuelan population was then no longer neither 
indigenous neither European but fundamentally American: «…mas we that you grieve 
conserve vestiges of what was in another time, and on the other hand we are not Indian 
neither European, but a half species between the legitimate proprietors of the country and 
the Spanish usurpers». In a colonial society in the one that a Creole elite that she/he took 
into account the prevailed «cleaning of blood» and the color of the skin, the black slaves 
occupied the lowest position in the social hierarchy and they were them and not the natives 
who, calls to combat, left the work slave in the country properties to form lines in the army 
patriot. 
During the XIX century, the aboriginal populations, isolated of the rest of the country, they 
were visited by naturalistic travelers, such as Humboldt, Michelena and Red, Codazzi or 
Schomburgk, among other who left registrations in their reports of the customs that 
you/they found to their step. From the beginning of the XX century and up to 1950, a group 
of precursors of the modern anthropological studies was devoted to revise, to compile and 
to interpret, according to the orientations evolucionistas and positivistas, the knowledge 
that existed on the aboriginal populations in chronic and dispersed works written until that 
moment. Red Arístides referred to the caribeses; Gaspar Marcano made a cultural 
reconstruction of the natives of the valleys of Aragua and Caracas, of the guahíbos, of the 
peasants and of the timotes and cuicas; Lisandro Alvarado presented a compilation for most 
of the indigenous groups, as for the material culture, the social organization and politics and 
the religious rituals; Julio César Salas and Tulio Febres Cordero described to the aboriginal 
ones Andean, Theodor Koch-Grünberg to the natives of the Orinoco and Vicenzo Petrullo 
studied thoroughly to the yaruros. These works, next to Alfredo Jahn's work, Tulio López 
Ramírez, Gilberto Antolínez and Walter Dupouy, they served from antecedent to the 
studies that based on field works and in the theoretical and methodological orientations of 
the modern anthropology, they were executed starting from 1950 by professionals of this 
discipline. The indigenous census of 1992 estimated the aboriginal population in 315.815 
individuals (the total population's of the country 1,5%). In what refers to their distribution 
in the territory, the biggest proportions are located in Zulia (63%), Amazons (12%), Bolivar 
(11,2%) and Delta Amacuro (6,6%). Of a total of 28 indigenous groups located in the 
national territory, the biggest population volumes correspond to the wayuu (peasants) 
53,7%; waraos (guaraúnos) 7,6; pemones, 6; añús (paraujanos) 5,5; yanomamis, 4,7; 
guajibos, 3,6 and piaroas, 3,6%. These ethnoses contain 84,4% of the total of the 
indigenous population of the country and of that total, 48% is located in urban areas. 
During the last 30 years, soon after the deep economic and social changes happened in the 
country with the economic transformation and the consequent urban expansion caused by 
the internal migrations the acculturation processes they have been more intense among the 
natives. Also, the miscegenation whose historical roots go back to the conquest, it has 
contributed to hurry even more presently the loss in the way of traditional life of the groups 
still existent. 
The current aboriginal population is distributed in 4 linguistic families: caribe: akawaio, 
mapoyo, yabarana, yekuana, eñepa (panare), pemón, kariña and yukpa; arawak: aruaco, 
wayuu (peasant), añú (paraujano) and the arawak of the Black river (curripaco, guarekena, 
baré, piapoco and baniva). Independent: guahíbo, warao (guaraúno), cuiva, yanomami, hoti 
and yaruro; and chibcha: barí. 

Language caribe: The akawaios: they are hardly about 800 individuals arrived in Venezuela 
of the Esequibo, soon after the rebellion of Rupununi in 1969 and at the moment they are 
located in San Martin of Turumbán, in front of Anacoco and in dispersed villages along the 
axis cartwright The Golden-Santa Elena of Uairén. Extremely aculturados, the akawaio has 
developed commercial cultivations with organization forms introduced by the State. 
The mapoyos: they are a very reduced group and also very aculturado that doesn't arrive to 
200 individuals. Located in the proximities of the panares, in a village located in the 
savannas among the rivers Caripo and Villacoa in the district Cedeño of the state Bolivar, 
these natives have had in so far in century an abrupt acculturation soon after the 
establishment in the area of extractive companies of sarrapia, balatá and chewing gum. The 
mapoyos speaks Castilian, and their crops of rice, corn, yucca, caraota, yam and batata are 
commercial. The yabaranas: located in the proximities of San Juan of Manapiare in the 
state Amazons, they conform a group of about 300 individuals in extinction roads. 
The yekuanas (maquiritares): located in the riversides of the rivers Caura and Paragua and 
their tributaries, in the state Bolivar, and in the riverbanks of the Ventuari, Cunucunuma, 
Padamo and Cuntinamo and their tributaries, in the state Amazons, with population's total 
that in 1974 it didn't arrive to the 4.500 individuals. Maquiritare is an appointment of the 
missionaries, while yekuana is an autodenominación that expresses a common origin; these 
natives believe that their ancestors came from a hill of the surroundings that had that same 
name. The towns of the heads of the rivers have been more far from the contact with the 
Creole population that the riverside towns. The economy combines the gathering of eatable 
species, the horticulture, the hunt and the fishing being also artisans of a cestería of great 
aesthetic value. The town is a political unit that gathers some 60 people under the control of 
a boss with a leadership that «legitimate but lacking …es of coercion». In other words, the 
boss can not complete his will if he finds opposition among the residents. Their wisdom 
consists on to give the example and to persuade to the other ones to achieve decisions 
balanced in benefit of the very common one and of the harmony. In the society yekuana the 
divergences and conflicts are overcome by means of defined strategies, such as putting to 
circulate rumors or gossips; to make monologues in those that the one wronged, at dawn 
and when their relatives remain in their hammocks, it exposes their complaints aloud so 
that all listen to him or, in extreme cases, to appeal to the temporary isolation undertaking 
accidental trips to look for foods. At the present time and soon after the contact, they have 
arisen among these indigenous evangelical and Catholic groups. 

The eñepas (panares): they are located the S of Caicara of the Orinoco in an area of 18.000 
km2 among the rivers Cuchivero and Suapure in the state Bolivar; the population, dispersed 
among the Creole establishments of the area, it reaches about 3.000 individuals. These 
natives are farming of pruning and she/he burns, they fish, they hunt and they gather wild 
fruits, and they maintain with the Creoles from century beginnings very narrow commercial 
relationships. The production of baskets, carried out by the men, is par excellence the 
commercial activity. The revenues that derive of her have allowed them to acquire 
industrial products, without altering their forms of traditional economic organization. When 
being increased the demand of this craft the elaboration techniques they were diversified 
and the ornamental reasons increased their stylistic wealth. The cestería represents this way, 
for these natives, the main vehicle to establish its social and commercial relationships with 
the Creole populations of the surroundings. 
The pemones: located in the region YOU of the state Bolivar in the Great Savanna, 
embraces 20.000 individuals approximately. From 1930 the capuchinos has advanced 
among them a program very intense misional and they have founded 4 centers of 
importance: Sacred Elena (1931), Kavanayén (1942), Kamarata (1945) and Uonkén (1959). 
To the influence of the Catholicism she/he sinks the Protestant influence in the S of their 
territory, and with her, the formation of communities pemón typically adventistas that 
radically differ of the rest of the population. Among the pemones such religious movements 
have arisen as the Hallelujah, the Chochimuh and the San Miguel, which have given origin 
to a sincretismo in which you/they combine ethical, spiritual, cosmological elements and 
ritual practices of the culture pemón and of the new religions. Nevertheless the changes 
happened soon after the programs misionales, the relationship and the commercial 
relationships continue being among the pemones sources of social integration. 
The kariñas: located in the oriental plains in the central area, they have a population that 
reaches the 11.000 individuals. Soon after the oil exploitation and the extraction of the iron, 
these natives have survived one of the most drastic processes of sociocultural change, 
happened among the societies aboriginal Venezuelans in so far in this century. The yukpas: 
well-known in the literature like those «meek motilones», about 4.000 individuals embrace 
and they inhabit the mountain of Perijá, in the state Zulia. Integrated by the subgrupos 
irapa, japreria, macoíta, parirí, shaporú, viaski, wasana and the town of the mission of the 
Tukuko, this it is the group caribe located more to the OR of the country, for what is 
supposed that their previous migraron from the Amazons to the current hábitat. The 
subgrupos, integrated by extensive families, forms independent political units presided over 
by a boss. The men are excellent artisans of baskets and ceramic and the women spin and 
they knit the cotton in vertical looms. The economy of the yukpas is based on the «I 
cultivate newspaper» according to the one which, they alternate short periods of cultivation 
with long periods of rest in those that the earth remains in fallow. The cambur cultivations, 
yucca, corn, ocumo, caraotas and vegetables are carried out of agreement with a cycle that 
covers the phases of selection of the conuco, pruning, she/he burns, it harvests and fallow 
land. The agriculture, foundation of the subsistence, it is practiced jointly with the hunt, the 
fishing and the gathering of wild plants. 

Language arawaka: In what refers to the groups of language arawak, a small aruacos group 
still survives, located in the frontier with Guyana known as the jokonos in the Delta 
Amacuro; these natives whose number doesn't arrive to the hundred of individuals, are 
aculturados extremely. Besides speaking to the Castilian, they know English's vocabulary 
and they have been integrated linguistic and culturally to their neighbors the waraos. 
The wayuu (peasants): located between Paraguaipoa and Castilletes in the narrow fringe 
that corresponds Venezuela in the peninsula of the same name, they have a near population 
to the 170.000 individuals. The peasants you autodenominan wayuu and they designate as 
kusina to other indigenous groups of the surroundings (motilón, yucpa) and they use the 
term alijuna to refer to any other person that is not neither peasant, neither Indian. Wayuu 
means «person» or «people». The peasants are organized socially in groups exogámicos of 
descendant matrilineal (lineages and clans), called by the Creole population «chaste». They 
exist 25 clans at the present time, each one of which she/he has a common animal ancestro. 
These relationship units are not same to each other, since some have, like it is the case of 
the clans of the tiger or of the dog, bigger economic and social preponderance that the other 
ones. It is belonged to these relationship units by birth. The peasant has not neither escaped 
to the urban transformation and the cultural tradition from those that have been exposed to 
the influence of the cities he has received deep changes that every day integrates its 
neighbors, the alijunas of Maracaibo more and more. The women peasants have had a 
preponderant position in their social context, in reason of the approach of descendant 
matrilineal that governs the relationship, and of the norm of marriage matrilocal or 
uxorilocal, according to which the husband comes to reside in the wife's house or in the 
mother-in-law's proximities. It is necessary to notice that the myths and stories peasants, of 
a great wealth, refer to the road that continues to the death, they evoke the sexuality, the 
adolescence and the frustrations of a social reality, in which ghosts also exist. 
The añús (paraujanos): near to the 17.000 individuals, they inhabit housings palafíticas the 
lagoon of Sinamaica, to the NO of Maracaibo, in the state Zulia; they speak to the Castilian, 
they have married the Creole ones and they are not distinguished of the neighboring 
populations. 
The arawak: located in the state Amazons, they are integrated by the kurripakos, located in 
the riversides of the rivers Isana and Guainía and their tributary ones. These natives 
constitute a dialectal subgrupo of the wakuénai. Extremely attached to their rites, they 
possess a system of musical expression in which the symbols are codes to interpret the 
social behavior. The cosmology, the cures of sick, the conceptualization of the raw thing 
and that cooked, the spiritual world, the ceremonial exchange of food among groups, they 
persist presently in spite of the translation to the kurripako of the New Testament for the 
Protestant missionaries, and in spite of all the agents of sociocultural change that exist in 
the area. The guarekenas, located in the Casiquiare in the population White Guzmán, in the 
river Guainía, state Amazons, don't pass of 150 individuals. Previously they occupied 
establishments densely towns in the pipe San Miguel or Itinivini, tributary of the Black 
river, but of these towns today they are only prints and an abundant toponimia that it 
designates places, turns of the river, flagstones, flora and topographical accidents in 
guarekena. The guarekenas is plurilingües: they speak Castilian, Portuguese and other 
languages arawak of the neighboring groups. Also, they possess a mythical thought 
characterized by the presence of a circular movement among the cardinal points, which 
shows in the ritual practice. The barés: extremely aculturados, reaches a thousand of 
individuals located in its biggest part in Santa Rosa of Amanadona, a small town beside the 
Black river, in the state Amazons. The language well-known baré still for a reduced group 
of indigenous, it is in extinction roads. The piapocos, near also to the thousand of 
individuals and in disappearance roads, they are to about 30 kms to Puerto Ayacucho's S; in 
Colombian territory they still persist this population's nuclei. The piapocos has conucos for 
the subsistence, they dress acquired clothes to the Creole merchants and they speak 
Castilian. They form extensive families, they practice the polygamy and the residence 
postmatrimonial it is patrilocal. The banivas reaches the thousand of individuals equally 
and, located in the town of Maroa and in the high Isana, they have been integrated to the 
Creole population. 

Independent: In what refers to the independent groups, the guahíbos is distributed among 
the plains of it Hurries, the oriental plains of Colombia, the valley of the Manapiare and the 
riversides of the Orinoco between Santa Rosa and the outlet of the Goal. The guahíbos has 
an approximate population of 11.500 individuals, which are aboriginal populations' 
survivors that maintained important commercial nets in the plains. These natives have 
adapted to the hábitat agreement llanero with 3 strategies of subsistence: the hunt and the 
gathering in the areas interfluviales, the seasonal cultivation in the tributary rivers and the 
recurrent cultivations in the riversides of the rivers Goal and Orinoco. Organized in hunters' 
local bands and recolectores, these groups end up having between 20 and 50 individuals 
when they are nomadic and seminómadas, and they can pass of 100 when they are farming 
sedentary. The local band is a group based on relationship nexuses and in informal and 
flexible social relationships, presided over by a boss that well can be the oldest or the most 
capable in the group. The local bands are formed around a basic nucleus of relatives to 
which you/they leave adding other families married by consanguineous nexuses or of 
marriage. The descendant in these groups of relatives is bilateral since she/he takes into 
account as much the maternal line as the paternal one. Several local bands integrate 
regional bands those which, bounded in a specific territory, they increase the context of the 
social relationships. Thanks to this modality of social organization so particular, they could 
survive until the present. The waraos (guaraúnos) whose population has been estimated in 
24.000 individuals, they occupy in the delta of the Orinoco the intermediate area of low 
salinity and the coastal fringe. Fishermen and recolectores, the waraos at the present time 
still inhabits housings palafíticas the riverbanks of the rivers. The economic organization, 
based traditionally on the gathering of the products of the tree of the moriche, it could adapt 
to the recent cultivations of Chinese ocumo (Colocasia antiquorum) for the subsistence and 
of rice for the commercialization, but she/he could not support without disintegrating the 
introduction of the salaried work and of the agricultural credits. Both factors when 
individualizing the work of the warao, didn't only weaken the bonds of solidarity and 
mutual help that based on the relationship, they were foundation of the social and economic 
cohesion of the extensive family, but rather they also affected the traditional hierarchy 
among bosses and workers, the magic-religious beliefs and the social importance of the 
quack doctors. The yaruros, located in an approximate number of 5.000 individuals in the 
plains of the one Hurries in the riverbanks of the rivers Capanaparo and Sinaruco, you 
autodenominan pumé (human beings). Nomadic, hunters, fishermen and recolectores, the 
wildness of the yaruros contrasts with the wealth of its mythical recounts and with the 
religious depth of its cosmological beliefs. Nevertheless, the ceremonial songs have begun 
to extinguish and with them the world of the chamanes by means of which there were up to 
now been able to face the death and the illnesses. The hotis whose population doesn't arrive 
to the 700 individuals, they are located in the river Kaima and in the pipes Majagua and 
Iguana in the serranía of Maigualida in the bordering area of the states Bolivar and 
Amazons. The subsistence of these natives is based on the conucos cultivation in those that 
siembran banana and corn, in the hunt of small animals, and mainly, in the gathering of 
«honey, larvas, palm fruits and crabs». Organized in local bands, the nuclear family is «the 
basic economic unit». The biggest pressures aculturativas that presently perceive the hotis, 
they come from the Protestant missions settled down in the area for more than one decade. 
The yanomamis whose population has been estimated in about 15.000 individuals, they are 
located in the rivers Mavaca, Manaviche, Orinoco, Ocamo and in the high Siapa and high 
Matacuni in the state Amazons. This is one of the groups aboriginal Venezuelans that has 
remained more isolated of the pressures aculturativas than it exercises the national society. 
Until hardly about 50 years ago, the yanomamis used stone axes to clear the conucos and 
their pruning cultivations and she/he burns they had a fundamental importance in the 
economy. The relationship nexuses still have particular relevance. This way, the 
community of the relatives is indispensable for them, they speak continually of its family, 
of that they make or they stop to make, each relative is insustituible in this mark of 
relationships. The conflicts among the local groups are violent because they take place to 
each other among relatives so bound that can not have among them neuter feelings: or they 
are solidary in the friendship or they have conflicts tinged by the hate. The yanomamis also 
has a wisdom that is overturned in the myths. The chamanes knows long mythical 
repertoires that relate in dramatic form, under the effect of hallucinogens and with the 
influence that you/they exercise on them, the animal spirits, vegetables or natural called 
hekura. The piaroas, located in the half Orinoco and their tributary ones, also in the Sipapo 
and in the margins of the Ventuari, they have a population estimated in 11.500 individuals. 
These natives possess between 12 and 15 political units or territories, each one of which it 
is integrated by about 5 or 6 local groups separated by paths in the forest that you/they are 
traveled on foot by days that they last until half-day. The local group or residential unit, 
commonly reach about 50 individuals in a great housing in a conical, well-known way as 
the «churuata». This local group, integrated by related families, carries out in the society 
piaroa, diverse functions since it constitutes it doesn't only unite relationship unit, but also 
an economic unit, politics and ceremonial. The conucos, distributed around the housing 
communal and main source of subsistence is subject of right of individual property. The 
hunt, the fishing and the gathering of foods like a complement, they vary with the stations 
along the year. The matrimonial exchange is the most important institution in the 
achievement of the social cohesion and the perpetuación of the group. 

Language chibcha: The barís, located in the mountain of Perijá, in the state Zulia in the 
frontier colombo-Venezuelan, they are also known as the motilones «brave»; the motilón 
appointment appears for the first time in historical sources of the XVIII century and she/he 
has for meaning «to cut you the hair» in clear allusion to the habit of these natives of taking 
the very short hair. The barís has been object of a long contact process and pacification 
since the area was colonized between 1529 and 1622. The first references to the motilones 
date of that time. The pacification took place between 1772 and 1818 and, with the oil 
exploitation, between 1913 and 1960. At the present time, the population barí reaches about 
1.500 individuals. The housing, center of the social life, is the result of a laborious 
construction in which commits the collective work of the men. The disposition of the 
access doors and the distribution of the space among hammocks, the vents and utensils, 
they reflect the foundations of the social organization. The boss of the housing barí has 
been the middleman in the relationships extraétnicas with missionaries and visitors. The 
conucos, in those that siembran yucca, cambures, potatoes, pineapples, avocados and cane 
of sugar for the subsistence, they operate of agreement with cultivation cycles and they are 
located around the collective housings. The cosmovisión of these natives in which you/they 
highlight the origin of the universe and of all that surrounds them, it is expressed in their 
mythical recounts. The ritual, on the other hand, has great importance in the social life, 
since most of the such daily events as marriages, the end of the construction of the 
housings, the fishing, the hunt, the production of hammocks and guayucos, or the 
production of arrows, they are carried out making ritual songs for the occasion. Besides the 
aboriginal ones described, 2 groups of unknown linguistic filiation exist in the high Paragua 
of the state Bolivar: the arutanis and the sapés. Also, they still exist in Margarita island, in 
the surroundings of Porlamar, ethnic vestiges of populations guaiqueríes. Now then, in 
what refers to the relationships between the natives and the Venezuelan society, the article 
77 of the Constitution points out that «…la law the exception régime that requires the 
protection of the indigenous communities and its progressive incorporation to the life of the 
Nation will settle down…» 
It is therefore, responsibility of the State to look after the protection of the aboriginal 
populations with an eye toward their integration. The acculturation process has become to 
the aboriginal communities rural and urban populations, and the sociocultural changes have 
been of such a magnitude that seemed that the ethnic and cultural disappearance is 
unavoidable. The aboriginal ones belong to a history that goes back to 15.000 years to. C. 
and like they are located in border regions of great strategic value in terms of security and 
defense, or in urban and rural nuclei where they are in the middle of process of 
«criollización», it is certain that, now more than ever, the intervention of the State, of 
agreement with the constitutional command that establishes this way it, will be met in next 
years to achieve a harmonious and deeply human synthesis among the duty of protecting 
and the duty of integrating 


 

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