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Ecuador Ethnicity & Culture
(page 4 of 9)

The Huaorani
The Huaroni are a group that strongly protect their territorial rights. From 20,000 sq. km they have been displaced to a territory of 1,605 km 2.

The Huaoranis live from hunting and agriculture; their cyclical migration method always guarantees rich soils for crops. They build houses and then migrate to return later to the settlements that didn't stop belonging to them even though it is abandoned.

Some members of this ethnic group have developed work dependence on oil fields. Also, the road constructed for oil exploration has divided their territory in two, which guarantees future displacement as a result of external colonization. Being conscious of the problem, they defend themselves with their tradition of war where they kill the enemy. They have always been considered by "civilization" to be a violent group and they have been named aucas which means "savages".

The Siona-Secoya
As the name implies, they have arisen from the union of the Siona and Secoya communities that came from the east. They are two groups with similar languages that lets them mix and form one group. They are located on the banks of the Aguarico, Eno and Shushufindi rivers and in the Faunistic Production Reserve of Cuyabeno. A ritual that characterizes them is the consumption of ayahuasca for the purification of the soul.

The Cofán
They live on the upper banks of the Aguarico river and there are almost 5,000 people that live in two countries, Ecuador and Colombia. The Cofán community is currently a people in transition because they have adopted many western customs. Their system of beliefs has changed or has been mutilated completely by the acceptance by the Cofán of western rules of morality and behavior. They are a community with high mortality rate from the introduction of foreign diseases. Their language is catalogued as a language that is totally separate from the other native Americans.

The Záparos
This tribe is made up of very few people, many of its members preferred to die than to be exploited by the rubber industries that surrounded their territory. They subsist mainly through marriage alliances with other Amazonian communities. They are found on the banks of the Conambo and Curaray rivers. The Záparo language is only spoken by more or less seven older members.
They are well known for their typical dress made of llanchama that is the bark of a tree that through pounding becomes like cloth. The jaguar and anaconda represent power and water and they paint their faces with these symbols.

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