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Waorani Indian Tribe

Picture of a Waorani Indian Tribe warrior from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.  The Waorani (often called the Huaorani or Waos) are a native Amazon tribe from the Ecuadorian Amazon.  The word "Auca" is commonly used by the neighboring Kichwa tribe and by non-indigenous Ecuadorians.  However, "Auca" is considered an insult in that the word means "savage" in the Kichwa language.   The Waorani Indian Tribe is comprised of approximately 4,000 individuals with the majority still speaking the Waorani language as their primary language.  Interestingly, the Waorani language is classified as a language isolate by linguists, with no living related languages in their linguistic family.  The territory of the  Waorani Indian Tribe is situated between the Curaray and Napo rivers, approximately 50 miles south of Coca, Ecuador.  Unfortunately, the traditional lands of the Waorani Indian Tribe are currently being invaded by oil company employees and illegal loggers.  The Waorani Indian Tribe has protected their lands from outsiders (who incidentally are refer to as "cowode," meaning "nonhuman cannibals") for centuries. The survival of Waorani Indian Tribe depends on their ability to continue doing so.  In twenty years, the Waoranis may find their culture and language essential destroyed, with little remaining of a once proud and independent people.


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Photograph Copyright 2007-2008 Jacek Palkiewicz,  all rights reserved
Text Copyright 2007-2008,  all rights reserved, Waorani Indian Tribe