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...ransomed for God from every
tribe, language,
people, and nation.
Rev. 5:9


Margarethe Sparing-Chávez

Layout and Design:
Bill Dyck

Photographs and Drawings

Cover photo:

*Daniel Fast


*Víctor Churay Roque (pages 107, 117),
from the private collection of Dr. Pablo Macera.
*Karin Pohl (pages 43, 87, 129, 133, 135).
*Stefan Holzhausen (page 142;
watermarks: pages 94, 95, 113, 114).
* Rebecca Fincher (pages 60, 104;
watermarks: pages 38, 39).

Second edition
(1st Ed. 1999)
Copyright © 2005
Summer Institute of Linguistics
Casilla 2492, Lima 100, Peru
All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.

who have become very dear to us. some from WBT or SIL archives. Ruth Cowan. often working extra hours: Director Ronald Ryan and my husband. 73). MSC . NC. They submitted the historical and cultural information on the Nantis. 72. Jorge Chávez and Theresa Nagle were the main researchers. A big applause goes to Bill Dyck for using his creative gifts in doing the layout and giving the People of Peru its outer beauty. and the Peruvian government for allowing us to live among and interact with the people in their isolated communities. Most of the descriptions are based on information submitted by co-workers in Bible translation who have come to know the indigenous people through face to face contact for years. Martha Jakway and Sally Dyck checked the final manuscript. the SIL members of the Peru Branch. We dedicate this book to them. made many cultural blunders while adjusting to life among them. as the main text editor. We also want to thank the indigenous people of Peru. Heather Higley helped keyboard corrections. Sue McMahon organized many of the photographs. Melanie Floyd. working with the Achuar people. Most of the photographs come from personal collections of SIL members. Cal Hibbard of JAARS and Andy Peck scanned many photographs and Andy also kept the computer running. Finally we. My heartfelt thanks go to all my SIL colleagues who submitted texts and photographs. The great majority are members or former members of Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) and the Peru Branch of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). and to those who contributed their time to this project. Some information was gathered from the SIL archives or from books and journals which are listed in the Bibliography at the end of the book. for their generosity and patience with those of us who struggled to learn their languages and. were directly associated with WBT or SIL: Chris Beier and Lev Michael lived among the Nanti people for extensive periods of time. for which I am very grateful. and Rebecca Fincher (SIL). Karin Pohl and Stefan Holzhausen from Germany. and to Daniel Fast. . Loys Mundy came from JAARS in Waxhaw. A number of drawings were done for the book by dear friends and gifted people. however. assisting them with medical and public relations needs. Here I am grateful to Rick and Lynn Norton for a number of Nomatsiguenga photographs. Dr. Theresa Nagle. a native Bora artist. Jorge Chávez. and Mary Ruth Wise edited and corrected many texts. no doubt. Ronald Ryan. Nancy Rowan. Not all contributors. and others were given to me. .Giving Credit . This book is the result of teamwork. who took the snapshot on the cover. I thankfully acknowledge their generosity in sharing their treasures with us. as well as photographs (pp. Rebecca Fincher. want to thank God for calling and equipping us to serve the indigenous people of Peru. Pablo Macera gave permission to use the drawings of his private collection done by Víctor Churay Roque. gave me much wise counsel.

with foundations and organizations like The Bible League and the Peruvian Bible Society that publish Scripture.Catch a Glimpse. and yet remained almost untouched in others. In the midst of life’s inevitable changes. with Peruvian authorities and educators. attend to the material needs of those of their communities.. They have shared their lives with the people . their joys and heartbreaks. Motivated by the love of God. founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators). many more have followed their example. and the common elements of their lives as we have discovered them through the years. produce books. and appreciate the past. Led by “Uncle Cam” (William Cameron Townsend. show you the way things were. encourage and give. Ryan Director . the vast diversity. Some of the views are brand new.. our expectation is that the unchanging Word of God will be a source of hope. All have learned from one another. Their goal was to learn the unwritten languages. and their aspirations. the world around us has changed. their hopes and disappointments. but in a few more years. they were the first teams assigned to work with the Summer Institute of Linguistics among the native people of Peru. For more than half a century. We want you to catch a glimpse of some of the people groups —the cultural richness. create alphabets. Since 1946. these youths set out to live in isolated places among people groups whose languages and cultures were totally foreign to them. Peru. as the future overtakes us. for pictures and words cannot give the full story. Some of the pictures of this book. just as it is for you and me. Your partner in service. Others have grown dramatically.. and with people like you who pray. and translate the Bible. They help us to remember. The foundation of their activity was the deep conviction that all people should have the opportunity to hear and read the Word of God in the language of their heart. teach the people to read and write in their own language... even doubling in population. The experiences vary widely from one group to another. YOU have an important share in this good work! This “People of Peru” book is for you. It will give you “glimpses” only. I hope that reading this book will be an enriching and enjoyable experience that enlarges your vision and appreciation for the people of Peru. Life in the Peruvian Highlands and in the Amazon jungle has also changed tremendously in many places. light and life for the native peoples of Peru.. some of the smaller language groups have assimilated into larger groups or have become extinct. taken many years ago. More than 50 years ago a small group of idealistic young linguists arrived in Lima. they will also become pictures of the past. As the years have passed. when the first Bible translators arrived. It has been a rich experience! The work is done in partnership — linguists and support personnel cooperating with the native peoples. Ronald W.

. . Lambayeque Quechua . . . . . . . Panoan . . . .. . . Huamalíes Quechua . . 9 People of Peru: Highlands QUECHUA LANGUAGE FAMILY . . . . . . . Margos-Yarowilca-Lauricocha Quechua . 14 Ambo Pasco Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . North Junín Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents. . . . . . . . Focus on Scipture Promotion . . . . . . . . 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 People of Peru: Jungle Focus on the Rubber Boom. . . . . . . . San Martín Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 . . . . . .. South Conchucos Quechua . . . . . . La Unión-Cotahuasi Quechua . . . . . . North Conchucos Quechua. . . . . . . . . Huallaga Quechua . . . . . . . Ayacucho-Chanca Quechua . . . . . Focus on Christian Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . Huaylas Quechua . . . . . . . Small Language Families . . . . . . Cajamarca Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pastaza Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 . Wanca Quechua . . . . Focus on Onomatopeia . . . . . . . Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jivaroan and Witotoan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Achuar-Shiwiar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Focus on a New Testament Dedication Pachitea-Panao Quechua . . . . Corongo Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LANGUAGE FAMILIES Arawakan. . . . . . . . . Aguaruna. . . . 7 Peru — The Land of Many Contrasts . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cuzco-Collao Quechua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Isolates . . .

. . 98 Cashibo-Cacataibo . . . . . 148 Glossary. . . 126 Shipibo-Conibo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Amarakaeri . . . . 140 Focus on Literacy . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 Yagua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Caquinte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Sharanahua . 102 Culina. . . 144 Yora . . . . 114 Nanti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Pajonal Ashéninca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 Ticuna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Yanesha’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Ashéninka . . . . . . 152 . . . . . . 80 Arabela . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Capanahua. 92 Focus on a Changed Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Candoshi-Shapra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Amahuaca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Nomatsiguenga . 120 Orejón . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Yine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Yaminahua-Chitonahua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Ocaina . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Taushiro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Focus on a Jungle Telegraph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Huambisa . . . . . . . . . . 100 Chayahuita . . . 108 Machiguenga . . . . . . . . . . 112 Muruí Witoto . . . . . . . . 132 Urarina . . . . 146 Focus on the Story of Jeremías . . . . . . 86 Bora . . . . . 82 Asháninca . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Matsés . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Kashinawa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

org. It is my sincere hope that the reader might discover in the pages of this book the beauty hidden in cultural and linguistic diversity. The People of Peru is about the indigenous people groups that did not exist in the minds of most people living in Lima two to three decades ago. Today. Margarethe Sparing-Chávez Lima. in areas that. Languages with linguistic similarities belong to the same language family. A few years ago they chose to be called Matsés ‘people’. besides translating Scripture.wycliffe. beliefs. who call themselves Juni kuin ‘real people’. The book begins with the Quechua language family consisting of people groups that predominantly live in the Andes mountains and have large populations. there are no people groups living in the jungle that speak languages other than Spanish.” as is the case with the Cashinahuas of eastern Peru. They are rarely complimentary. Many take pride in the cultural and linguistic richness of Peru. Yet they inhabited the land long before Columbus discovered the New World. folklore collections. language. During the 20th century many have become extinct. to a great extent. the so-called isolates. 26 years after my arrival in Peru. This book describes and illustrates 52 of these language groups. the news media. At times the reader will find colloquial expressions that might be unfamiliar. can only be reached on horseback or foot or by small planes or canoes.sil. they have written and are still writing many articles and books on the cultures and languages of the people: ethnographic descriptions. others are names of animals that have become associated with them through their clan system. “We are the real people. Then it describes language family groups that live in the lowlands. Often they are based on a unique characteristic of the group. Other names represent the name the people call themselves. They live in Brazil and Colombia. as well as instructional or text books for the bilingual schools and for adults in the languages of the people. “You are mistaken. for the most part.. April 1999 7 .. The Matsés are a case in point. The population figures quoted are estimates. in italics and their meanings are explained in a glossary at the end of the book. Statistics vary greatly. some are derogatory. the reader might want to browse the Websites of Wycliffe Bible Translators: www. and the courage and tenacity the indigenous people demonstrate in their struggle to survive. and in Ecuador. Sometime in the past Quechua speakers named them Mayoruna ‘river people’ (although they never really lived on the rivers). Within the last few decades a number of people groups have rejected the names given to them by outsiders and have requested to be officially registered with the name of their choice. the public.Preface. It will give the reader glimpses into the or the Summer Institute of Linguistics: www. These people live in the highlands and lowlands. values. too. living up to the claim implied in their own name. But some have clung to their heritage and take pride in their language and culture. and the government have become very aware of the indigenous population of their land and most acknowledge their presence with kindness. customs.” These were the words of a taxi driver in Lima in 1973 when I. It is organized by language families based on the classification of linguists who study South American languages. During the 53 years that members of the Summer Institute of Linguistics have been working in Peru. and daily activities of the indigenous people of Peru. told him of my plans to learn one of the many unwritten languages spoken in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. These are. others have lost or are in the process of losing their linguistic and cultural identity by assimilating into the dominant Spanish speaking mestizo culture. some reflect the geographical location of the group. For detailed information on these publications. some numbering half a million speakers or more. shortly after arriving in Peru. beginning with the larger ones and ending with the smaller ones and those that cannot be classified as belonging to any language family. They have withstood the pressures and temptations to assimilate. The Ethnologue of 1996 lists 103 people groups for Peru. dictionaries and grammars in English and Spanish. Most of the names have been given to the groups by outsiders or neighboring indigenous groups centuries ago. The names of the language groups are those officially recognized in the country. Some of the jungle groups have less than 20 speakers left. but in Peru? No! You came to the wrong country.

8 .

The sierra is the Andes mountain chain with a dozen peaks above 20. It is only when you travel to the jungle that you realize that Peru is in the tropics. From Lima to Huancayo. if you are adventurous. Built in 1870. Together with the rainforest of the neighboring countries. and selva. Lima. Peruvian time is the same as U. the Amazon rainforest is considered the largest in the world. At 22. The Spanish built a stone road across Panama that opened the way for the first conquerors.606 feet at Ticlio.000 ft.PERU —THE LAND OF MANY CONTRASTS. Brazil. The costa is a narrow strip of desert bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Andes mountains. Colombia. It borders five countries: Ecuador. which hangs over Lima and the desert.205 ft. by ship or. More indigenous/native people live in Peru than in all the other South American countries combined: nearly 12 million. 8 percent unmixed white. by car. Peru is the third largest country in South America. 9 . Cuzco. it reaches its highest point of 15. is considered South America’s most spectacular archeological site. The cold Humboldt Current that flows from south to north along the Pacific Coast of South America creates a mist. Where in the World is Peru? Did You Know? Twice the size of Texas. missionaries. the capital. Peru’s population of 24 million consists of 49 to 54 percent native people. travelling in sailing ships across the Atlantic. and Arequipa contrast with fascinating archeological ruins from ancient native civilizations.. It extends from Tumbes in the north to Tacna in the south. driving from the US on the Pan American Highway. and nearly 40 percent mestizos. Fifty-four rivers flow from the high western slopes of the Andes to the Pacific coast where the inhabitants and their agriculture depend on them for their water supply. sierra.000 miles before it pours into the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil.. people of mixed Spanish and native blood. The Chavín civilization dates back to at least 900 B. and others who began to arrive around 1530. Lima’s nearly 8 million inhabitants receive water primarily from the Rimac River. Rivers also flow from the eastern slopes to the jungle. It has a mild year round climate. mostly Spanish ancestry. Bolivia. feeding the river systems of the lowlands. is situated 12 degrees south of the Equator. The jungle rivers are important avenues of transportation. The ancient Lost City of the Incas. The Spanish conquerors reached South America in the 16th century. located near Cuzco. cooling the air and giving the region a temperate climate. the Central Railway of Peru is the world’s highest narrow gauge railroad. Eastern Standard time the year around. The country is divided into three distinct geographical regions: costa. and does not receive rain falls. Machu Picchu. They eventually empty into the great Amazon River which flows another 4.. colonists. and Chile. The selva is the rainforest located in the Amazon Basin.S. In 1513 Balboa discovered that the distance from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean was not very far across the Isthmus of Panama.Travel from Europe and other countries was much easier after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. How Do You Reach Peru? Today you can travel to Peru from anywhere in the world by plane. Ayacucho. after climbing by a series of switchbacks and tunnels. Mount Huascarán is the highest mountain in Peru.C. Beautiful examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the cities of Lima. Another 2 percent is comprised of people from the Orient and of African descent.

resourceful. This makes the jungle the most culturally and linguistically diverse region in Peru.000 jungle dwellers speaking nearly 60 different languages. many of them different enough to be considered different languages. both of their needs and their contribution to the nation of Peru. They were seldom carried out. studying their customs. their self esteem is being restored and they are becoming equipped to participate in the affairs of their local and regional governments. it never became the heart language of the Quechua. Although many Spaniards and Catholic Church leaders spoke out against the mistreatment of the native people.Discovering Peru. these remained in the archives. Even more importantly they are understanding that in the eyes of God they have value as individuals. What has been discovered indicates early peoples who were artistic. But today there is hope in the emerging church and community leadership. Few who arrive in Peru for the first time know much about the country and its history. the native people were despised because of their “inferior” heritage. haciendas. From 1980-1993 two subversive anti-government groups —the Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Movement (MRTA) —wrought havoc throughout the country. Forced labor of the native people in mines. and ingenious in their own distinctive ways. and laws were passed to improve their condition. The real riches of Peru are not to be found in its mineral resources. the Incas discovered the people groups that lived on the coast and in the jungle. Rather they are found in its people. Most travel guidebooks do not go beyond surface impressions. exotic wood. some dating back thousands of years. There are over 300. furs or other products. The Shining Path alone accounted for more than 25. jungle native populations were decimated from the brutal treatment and epidemic diseases they suffered during the infamous “rubber boom” in the Amazon River Basin from 1880 to 1912. The Quechua people (including some groups in the lowlands) are speaking over 20 variations of Quechua. Discovery is finding out what is already in existence. Although Spanish became the official language of Peru. In the past (and in some places still today). No one really knows who were the first to arrive in the different parts of Peru or when. and cultures that remained unknown to Europeans until that time. people. With the analysis of their languages. and translating the Word of God into their mother tongue. combined with the many epidemics which accompanied the white man’s presence. oil. its land. Aymara and the Jungle people. The independence that Peru gained from Spain in 1824 did little to improve the lot of the native people because the roots of colonial society remained. Ancient ruins and artifacts are still being found in the coastal and highland areas today. These were years of exploitation of the land and native people. Since the 1940s the government and the general public has become aware of the importance of the native communities. In the same way. Many discoveries await those who want to understand this land of many mysteries. Spain’s control over Peru lasted from 1532 to 1824. Thus the Spaniard Pizarro and his 200 men in 1532 began to find out many details about Peru. teaching them to read and write. At present the Aymara population in Peru is estimated at 1 1/2 million and the Quechua population 10 million. plantations. recording their oral history and folklore. at an unknown point in time.000 deaths and is active still in isolated areas. accounted for over 10 million deaths in the Highland and Coastal areas. You may discover these things and much more as you read the pages of this book! 10 . Many years later.

In 1962 a pilot project for bilingual education in the highlands was started in Ayacucho. now known as Yine. A center was established at Quicapata. In 1966 linguists were working in 36 native groups including three dialects of Quechua.SIL Discovers Peru. Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø In June 1945 SIL Director William Cameron Townsend signed a contract with the Ministry of Education in Lima. It still functions today. SIL works in partnership with believers around the world in bringing the Gospel to those yet without it. In June 1949 land was obtained for SIL’s center of operations along Lake Yarinacocha. enable the people to read it for themselves and apply it to their own lives. In April 1946 the first 18 SIL members arrived in Peru. established the first training center for men and women from different language groups of the jungle to become Bilingual Teachers in their own communities. The campus was built adjacent to SIL’s Yarinacocha Center. The 27th and 28th were published in 1997. near the jungle city of Pucallpa on the Ucayali River. In November 1952 the Ministry of Education. In July 1946 the first linguistic team started to work among the Aguarunas. 1996 marked SIL’s 50th anniversary in Peru as well as the publication of the 25th and 26th New Testaments. 1960 marked the completion of the first New Testament in a jungle language. a jungle language group. 11 . in cooperation with SIL. The commitment of SIL is to translate God’s Word in the native languages of Peru. thus opening the door for the beginning of the work of the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Peru. Piro.

12 .

5:9 . language.. and nation.. Rev. people.ransomed for God from every tribe..

such as Arabela and Taushiro. “The term Quechua appears to have emerged as the result of the dialectal the . The widest geographic range and the greatest diversity of Quechua languages and dialects are found in Peru. French. Many people think of it as one language with a number of regional dialects spoken in the Peruvian Andes. Portuguese. some with several dialects. An interesting feature of Quechua languages is the use of inclusive and exclusive pronouns for “we”: Ya'anchic ‘we’ includes the person or persons addressed. In the Peruvian highlands Quechua speakers have incorporated many loan words from Spanish and in some areas speakers are slowly replacing their mother tongue with Spanish. ‘In the morning we (including you) will go to Huancayo.’ (Wanca Quechua) Spaniards’ mistaking the word for ‘valley’ in the designation of qheswa simi ‘valley speech’.QUECHUA The Quechua Language Family Quechua is often referred to as the mother tongue of the descendants of the Incas. and Chile. Instead Quechua is the name of a language family that has many members. 14 The Quechuas themselves do not refer to their language as Quechua. ‘In the morning we (excluding you) will go to Huancayo. The degree of difference between individual Quechua languages is similar to the degree of differences between Spanish. ‘human or native speech’. Ya'acuna ‘we’ excludes the person or persons addressed. Peru. and Italian. Ecuador. The name most of them use is runa simi. This phenomenon is also reflected in the verbs: Wälamancha Wanayüta lishun.’ Wälamancha Wanayüta lipäcusha. 1991:6). In addition to the highlands Quechua languages are also spoken in the foothills and lowland areas east of the Andes in Ecuador and Peru. In the Peruvian lowlands on the other hand. some languages are assimilating loan words from Quechua while others. It includes Colombia. are giving way to Quechua. Argentina. Bolivia. for name of the language” (Mannheim. The Quechua language family extends from southern Colombia to northern Chile and Argentina.

Huallaga 8. La Unión 24. Huaylas 3. Sihuas* 6.Quechuan Family QUECHUA The Aymara Language Family The Aymara languages are Jacaru or Tupina and Aymara. San Martín 19. Aymara* *These languages are not featured in this book. Ayacucho 23. Corongo 2. Santarrosino* Group II C 22. North Junín 12. Margos-Lauricocha-Yarowilca 11. Napo* 20. Huamalíes 9. Cajamarca 15. Wanca 13. 15 . North Conchucos 4. Chachapoyas* 24 23 26 Group II B 17. Pastaza 18. South Conchucos 5. Cuzco-Collao Aymara 25. Pachitea 10. Jacaru* 26. Pacaraos* Group II A 14. The former is spoken south of Lima in Peru and the latter in the highlands of Bolivia and southern Peru. 19 20 17 Quechua languages and dialects spoken in Peru: 15 16 18 14 5 1 2 3 4 87 9 10 6 11 12 13 21 25 22 Group I 1. Ambo-Pasco 7. Lambayeque 16. Tigre* 21.

Ambo-Pasco Quechua (Group I) Population: 90. goats. and mules are used as beasts of burden. They raise pigs. in Ambo province in the state of Huánuco. Llamas. Some homes have tile roofs and others use straw. as well as habas (large flat beans) and several varieties of squash. horses. and masha. men or women weave woolen cloth for ponchos. In Pasco they are a blend of agricultural. cattle. and their life-style is remarkably similar to Old Testament times. and rabbits are raised in their houses. there are two different groups represented in this region. plow with yoked teams of oxen. Depending upon the community. The women help in the fields and are responsible for cooking and laundry. Their skirts are dark blues or greens. They are accomplished farmers and herdsmen. and braid it into one or two braids. oca. many kinds of potatoes. Houses are generally two stories tall. Guinea pigs.000. and llamas in the higher regions. They also card and dye wool. blocks with corrugated tin roofs. Men do the construction. and several local tubers like olluco. pastoral. barley. sheep. The women part their hair down the middle. Location: Central highlands. They herd sheep and goats. and tend animals. mantas (large square cloths) and other clothing items. knit clothing. made from large adobe 16 The people of Ambo-Pasco plant corn. and in Pasco province in the state of Pasco. and use an ox goad. chickens. and have a strong attachment to the village of their birth. Ambo-Pasco dress is distinctive from other Quechua groups. wheat. In Ambo the communities are primarily agricultural and pastoral. and mining communities. Although the people of Ambo and Pasco speak the same variety of Quechua. The Ambo-Pasco Quechuas live in villages ranging in size from just a few houses to several thousand inhabitants. The . the farming and fieldwork. They pass their fields down from father to son. The formal hat for women is white pasteboard with a broad rim and a wide ribbon tied around the crown.

Since the early 1500s the Catholic Church has been present in the area. yachra-chi-päcu-shu-nga-yqui-cuna-ta-pis ‘also those things which they taught to you’ 17 in progress Life of Christ video Bilingual dictionary Chaynuy niptin Jesús niran: —Mamä cushicunganpitapis mas cushisha caycan tayta Dios ninganta chrasquicur cäsucogcuna. understand. (The hyphens which are used in this example to separate the A Christian radio station individual suffixes. Just as gluten in wheat makes bread dough stick together. so Quechua SIL linguists began working words permit many pieces of the lanin the Ambo-Pasco area in guage to stick together in one long 1980.” Luke 11:28 . However. The Ambo-Pasco Quechuas are generally familiar with the idea of God our Father. The on the cross. and the final judgtoo. in newspapers. Quechua is an example of an agglutinative language. It appears that the Gospel preached in Spanish is difficult for them to Linguistically. Satellite dishes have brought television to small highland communities exposing the people to many material things. Literature and literacy materials long word to convey the meaning of have been published in the a phrase that requires several words Ambo-Pasco variety of Quechua. The language has word. traditional animistic community of birth. in English. been analyzed and translation bethe Quechua co-translators used one gun. do not appear in broadcasts regularly in Quechua texts. Use of the Quechua language is being affected by Spanish on television. not cotton. and the concepts of men’s poncho designs set them apart sin. When translating II Peter 3:2. The designs identify the owner’s ment. He replied. beliefs still prevail. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. and in schools. This results in dissatisfaction because they cannot obtain the things they see advertised. salvation.Ambo-Pasco Quechua Ambo-Pasco Quechua The mestizo culture surrounding the Ambo-Pasco people has brought many changes to their lives and culture.) Quechua and the Life of Christ video in the language of the people is also available. Jesus the Son who died mantas are wool.

The Battle of Ayacucho took place above the city on December 9. It closely resembles Cuzco-Collao Quechua. and later renamed Huamanga. cholos and indios.Ayacucho-Chanka Quechua (Group II c) Population: 900. Living in villages and communities scattered throughout the region. Many of these people used to work on the large haciendas of the upper class before the Agrarian Reform of the 1960s.000. 1824. 18 The mountain highway north and south of Ayacucho follows the old Imperial Inca road from Quito. giving Peru its eventual independence from Spain. Ayacucho is famous for its colorful Semana Santa (Holy Week) ceremonies. skillfully designed wooden balconies and majestic churches. and Apurimac. which include a mixture of Roman Catholic and Inca traditions. First established as an outpost for the Spanish between Cuzco and Lima. the Ayacucho-Chanka people divide themselves into five social groupings: alta sociedad. Parts of the road were so narrow in places that traffic traveled in one direction on Monday. Housing and living conditions among the cholos are very poor. the village was called San Juan de la Frontera. Location: South Central region of the Andes in the states of Ayacucho. with the main differences primarily in pronunciation and individual words. . called “a corner of 16th century Spain”. Ayacucho. many changes have come to the area. Ecuador to Cuzco. The city still has a strong religious heritage that dates back to the Spanish occupation. The second city founded by the Spanish in Peru in the 16th century. Ayacucho is now the capital of the state of Ayacucho. and the other way on Tuesday! With the introduction of air service and new roads to the coast. is filled with remains of colonial architecture such as ornate patios. decentes. mestizos. Huancavelica. The landowners often granted their campesinos small garden plots to grow food for their own family use. Quechuas in this area speak the Ayacucho-Chanka language.

He replied. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. however. was not easily understood. Many local Quechua leaders recognized the value of educating children in their native language. These conjuntos use music as an evangelistic outTeachers (bilingual in Quechua and Spanish) took reach combining Bible teaching and Scripture set to music. The Ayacucho Quechua New Testament was finished in the late 1950’s. Quechua leaders.Ayacucho-Chanka Quechua Ayacucho-Chanka Quechua was asked to help establish an experimental Bilingual Education program with the Ministry of Education for monolingual Quechua-speaking children in the early 1960s. and an experimental music festivals held in various locations with conjuntos now representprogram in bilingual education ing Ecuador and Bolivia as well as started. By the early 1990s reports estimated there were 200. Two editions of 20. This was a pilot program in the highlands of Peru. The new translation was dedicated in January 1982. The program also included Peru. This first in special concerts and programs.” Luke 11:28 19 1958. As a result there were Quechua readers in more than twenty communities across three states. and other ua-speakers look forward to these professionals. Chaymi Jesusñataq nirqa: —Aswan kusisqaraqmi Diospa palabranta uyarispa kasukuqkunaqa —nispa. The complete Bible was published by the Peruvian Bible Society in 1987. 1987 Life of Christ video . Twenty years later the same translator requested help from SIL to revise the translation. including the most remote corners where Quechua was spoken. They now special university classes in travel all over the country. vocational training and animal husbandry. Vernacular literature was produced. A gifted Quechua man also translated the Old Testament. SIL Two opposite forces were at work during the 1970s: the first Quechua music groups and the early beginnings of a student Marxist group that later developed into the Shining Path movement.000 copies each sold out quickly. The Bilingual Education pilot program had prepared many Quechua readers for just that purpose. A third printing was made. performbilingual education teaching methods in cooperation with the local uni. From 1965 to 1970 thirty-nine teachers were trained in this pilot program. Every year hundreds of Quechversity.000 Quechua readers. The small Quechua music groups developed and started to travel throughout the Andes.

It is thought that Machu Picchu. 1964:328): alta sociedad (the upper class). Today there are approximately 850 such groups registered. and no written language. Spanish is their first language. long before the Incas made Quechua the official language of their empire. the “lost city of the Incas”. There are five social class groupings of Cuzco Quechuas (Lefebvre. Cuzco was established in the 11th century. but often they have been raised by monolingual Quechua nurses. no beasts of burden other than the llama. and that Cuzco was the Quechua “homeland”. From Cuzco the Incas conquered lands as far north as Ecuador and as far south as Chile and Argentina. The Imperial City of Cuzco is called “a monument to a brilliant people who had no wheels. including one in Lima. Puno.000. Today Cuzco and Machu Picchu are world famous tourist attractions. Legend has it that Cusqueños and Arequipeños said Quechua spread only with new Inca conquests. Their ancestors moved to land considered undesirable by the colonists so they were left undisturbed.500. They live high up in the mountains around Cuzco. may have sheltered Inca refugees after the Spanish invasion in 1533. and Arequipa. Today there is consensus among scholars and linguists that there were several dispersions of the Quechua language from the Quechua “homeland” placed in either central or coastal Peru. During colonial times. People of the alta sociedad own large estates and generally own several homes.” (Weaver 1964:254). but established one of the great civilizations and empires of all time. The variety of Quechua spoken in the central and northern highlands was thought to be a “corruption” of the classical language of the Incas spoken in Cuzco. There are many Quechua farmers whose ancestors were never enslaved by the Conquistadores. Location: States of Cuzco. Cuzco was the most important seat of colonial power outside of Lima. no iron. As a result they are usually also fluent in 20 .Cuzco-Collao Quechua (Group II c) Population: 1.

” Luke 11:28 indios are peasants who are not regular residents of the city. 1947. 1988 Life of Christ video Genesis video . mestizos include carpenters. Their children learn Spanish in school but speak Quechua at home and in their neighborhoods. In 1988 the complete revised Bible was pubcholos include construction workers. small businessmen. It is estimated that more than half the Quechuas are cholos. and Spanish in public places. factory workers. All speak Quechua as their first language. learning both Quechua and Spanish during childhood. street in the Cuzco-Collao vendors. If they become residents of the city they are incorporated into the cholo group. are monolingual. They speak Quechua at home and among friends.Cuzco-Collao Quechua Cuzco-Collao Quechua Quechua. Most Quechua dialect. butchers. A Bible in Cuzco Quechua was first printed as early as 1901. such as teachers. Their housing and living conditions are considered among the poorest of all classes of Quechuas. Spanish is their first language though they speak Quechua with varying degrees of proficiency. and soldiers. owners of small haciendas. Paytaq nirqan: —Aswan kusisamiyoqqa Diospa siminta uyarispa hunt'aqkunan. They come to town for occasional jobs and business. domestic servants. storekeepers and policemen. decentes include the professional classes. but with few exceptions. He replied. leather workers. 21 1901. and army officers. truck and taxi drivers. Many cholos used to work on the large hacienda landholdings of the upper class where they were given small plots of land to cultivate for their own needs. SIL expects to do future literacy promotion potters. lished. nispa. Their children are educated in Lima. Most are monolingual Quechua speakers. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. They are bilingual. they refuse to speak Quechua though they understand the language to varying degrees. The New Testament was revised and finished in 1947.

They work together on many community projects. Cajamarca was the place where less than 200 Spaniards under Francisco Pizarro deceived and captured the last Inca. In areas where their fields are not too steep. As a result many bilinguals living in and around the city hid the fact that they spoke Quechua. they use oxen to plow them. The Quechua language is strongest in the district of Chetilla. 22 . In more than 30 communities that circle the city. Many in this region are also skilled artisans. They live at altitudes ranging from 8. The popular “Panama” hat originated in this part of the Andes (just as the “Irish” potato was first cultivated in the mountains of Peru). when the Peruvian government recognized Quechua as an official language of Peru. There are two local organizations which are teaching and promoting the language. Cajamarca Quechua speakers live in the countryside of the province of Cajamarca. The Spaniards broke their word. Quechuas maintain a strong sense of community identity. and in communities starting around 13 kilometers to the north of the city. However.500 to more than 13. In the more traditional areas. is the capital of the province of Cajamarca. Cajamarca Quechua artisans today also make life-like statues and beautiful stone fountains. 45 kilometers by road to the west of the city of Cajamarca. since 1975.000. an important kingdom in pre-Inca times. Following the tradition of their ancestors who carved the intricate stonework found in the cathedrals of the city. Otherwise. like repairing trails. and later a regional center of the Inca Empire. Quechua is also the language of choice. there has been less pressure to abandon Quechua.000 feet.Cajamarca Quechua (Group II a) Population: 30. such as Porcón and Chilinpampa. the Spaniards killed him anyway. roads and irrigation canals. The Spanish-speakers who settled in Cajamarca penalized the Quechuas for speaking their language. they prepare the soil by hand. After the people filled a large room once with gold and twice with silver to purchase the Inca’s freedom. who spin and weave wool for clothing or straw for hats. Location: Province of Cajamarca in the state of Cajamarca. herding is more important than agriculture. Most Cajamarca Quechuas are subsistence farmers and herders. At the higher altitudes. The city of Cajamarca. located about 860 kilometers north of Lima. Today Quechua is being taught in some public schools. Atahualpa. Their dress and ways of speaking Quechua identify their home location.

plus different kinds of devils and evil spirits also cause great fear among the Quechuas. and many Quechua communities have organized night patrols to protect themselves from rustlers. waterfalls. however. stones and sticks to defend their flocks. and pigs are the most common livestock. The New Testament is almost finished. The children are expected to help their parents by caring for their younger brothers and sisters.” James 4:7 In 1981 SIL began working in Cajamarca Quechua. cattle. Sheep. Witchcraft. The women or older children also look after the livestock. though a few Quechuas also raise the more traditional alpacas and llamas. Dyabluta kuntrashunllapa. The most common predators are large Andean foxes and eagles. mountain lions also stalk the animals. Like King David of old. the dangerous spirits of the mountains. Chayshinakuntraptinchiqmi. Quechua shepherds rely on slings. nuqanchiqkunamanda rin mitikaq. and women are responsible for the household chores and spinning the wool for clothing. In a few canyons. taking the animals to pasture.Cajamarca Quechua Cajamarca Quechua Men and women have clearly defined roles: men are responsible for plowing and raising crops. submit yourselves to God. springs and lakes. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child tayta mama pacha yaku nina rupay killa wasi runa warmi wambra ¿Imashinam kangi? ‘How are you?’ Thieves are also a common threat. However.” “Therefore. The Life of Christ video has been dubbed into the language and Quechua literacy classes are being conducted. 23 2004 Life of Christ video . resist the devil and he will flee from you. several thousand Quechua Christians now find comfort and peace in verses like: “Chayri Dyustalla tukuy shunqo kasushpa.

Focus on Scripture Promotion

Our heads aren’t tired*
Cajamarca Quechua Scripture Promotion
he Cajamarca Quechua people along with many
other Quechua speakers throughout the Andes
have a low opinion of their mother tongue. Mistakenly they have come to believe that their
language is inferior to Spanish.


In many local mountain churches, even where few
people speak Spanish well, their mother tongue,
Quechua, was not used for church services. Therefore
the promotion of Scripture in Quechua began long
before the translation of the New Testament, in order
to prepare the Quechua speakers to receive God’s
word in their heart language.

read,” said others, or, “Didn’t you bring any bread to
But some people stopped to look. “Is that really God’s
Word? Please read it to me!” And when they heard,
they said in amazement, “This doesn’t make
my head tired, like Spanish does.” “I’ve been an
evangelical for years,” said one, “but I have never before heard how God made the world.”

The people’s reaction ranged from apathy to mild interest to great excitement. The evangelical churches in
the Quechua areas have also shown mixed reactions.
Some church leaders are opposed to using Quechua
In the early years of the Cajamarca Quechua transla- in church, even though their members do not understand the Spanish Scriptures. Other leaders allow
tion program, Cruz, a native Quechua speaker and
one of the co-workers of the translation team, stood in newly trained teachers to read Quechua Scriptures in
their services, but they have never preached or taught
the crowded plaza of his village of Chetilla. In his
in Quechua themselves, even though it is their first
hand was a bundle of Old Testament Stories in
Quechua, the first published Scripture, that had just
come off the press. Cruz had helped translate those
A complicating factor is that most Quechua
people expect church services to be ritual, but
“Would you like to see this book?” he said to each
not communication. They feel no need to hear
person who passed. “It’s God’s Word in Quechua.”
Scripture, hymns or sermons which make sense. They
“Not now,” some replied. “I’m in a hurry.” “I can’t
go to church to please God by participating in a religious ceremony.
Can anyone come to a
genuine knowledge of the
Lord under these circumstances? Some do—especially the very few whose
Spanish is better than
most. But the vast majority simply follow a
set of rules. They live
cut off from effective
sources of spiritual

*Adapted from Heidi Coombs,
In Other Words, Vol 12, 1986.


et, God is working. One day
Cruz walked to a neighboring
village to attend a baptism. He
took along copies of the Old Testament Stories and Quechua chorus
booklets. The entire church service
was conducted in Spanish, as usual,
but afterward the people gathered
around to see the books. Cruz began
talking to them in Quechua. “Do you
really understand what you’re hearing?” he asked, “Now listen.” Then
he read a brief passage of Scripture in Spanish and asked questions about the content. No one
could answer correctly. Next he
read the same passage in Quechua
and asked the same questions. Even
those who had never gone to school
could answer. “Read us some more!”
they begged.


Cruz began to read the story of Joseph. By that time a large crowd had
gathered and his narration was punctuated by exclamations of delight
and nodding of heads. About halfway through he paused. “I don’t
want to tire you, we can finish later,”
he said. “No, go on!” they cried.
“Our heads aren’t tired! We
want to hear the end!”

translated New Testament books are
used as the basis for the words to the
songs, and melodies reflect the well
loved Quechua tunes. These songs
have created more interest in studying God’s Word in Quechua.
In many churches, Quechua
Christian leaders are teaching
Bible based courses in Quechua. Pastors and leaders have learned
to read more fluently and to prepare
lessons and sermons in Quechua using culturally relevant illustrations.
They are also using drama, music,
and the Life of Christ video to communicate the Good News in

The Cajamarca Quechua people are
beginning to understand that their mother
tongue is capable of giving life to a
message that has been considered dead
for so long.

So Cruz went on. Soon he arrived at
the part where Joseph’s brothers, not
recognizing him as the ruler of Egypt,
said to him, “Our brother died many
years ago.” The crowd burst into
laughter. They loved the irony. And
when Cruz finally finished very
late that night, no one wanted
him to leave. So he stayed until the
next day, teaching Quechua choruses to the people and reading
more Scripture.
In more recent years, music festivals, cassette tapes, and a
Quechua hymnal have stirred up
great interest in Quechua Christian music. When people hear the
words in their native language accompanied by their own style of music, the message reaches their hearts
and truly speaks to them. Recently


Corongo Quechua

(Group I)

Population: 8,500.

Location: Northern region of the
state of Ancash, at the northernmost
part of the Cordillera Blanca (White

The capital of the province
of Corongo is also called
Corongo. It has become
known as “the town
of the padlocks” because over the last
30 years, perhaps
more than half of its
inhabitants have
locked up their
houses and gone to
live in Lima or elsewhere on the coast.
Many young people of the surrounding communities have done the
same, in search of further education,
jobs, and better lives. Most of them
do not return to live in Corongo
once they leave. Many, however,
make an effort to return home for the
annual fiesta of Tayta Pedru (celebration of Saint Peter) on June 29,
traveling in caravans of buses from
the coast. Those who make the trip
are demonstrating loyalty to the
place of their birth and their youth,
and also to their families. This fiesta
time in June is the main time of year
when extended families get together.

Corongo is located approximately
557 kilometers north of Lima—the
trip taking about 24 hours. The Pan
American Highway going north takes
the travelers first through one of the
driest deserts on earth, a ribbon
of sand along the Peruvian Pacific
coast. Leaving the highway, the bus
turns east and slowly winds up
through the mountains. Crossing a
14,000 foot pass it descends into the
beautiful green Callejón de Huaylas
(Huaylas Valley). The bus continues
descending alongside the Santa
River through the Cañon del Pato
(Duck Canyon), where it passes
through a myriad of tunnels. After
traversing yet another desert at about
4,000 feet, it climbs back up to over
10,000 feet and arrives at the city of
Corongo’s pallas are well known
throughout Peru. They have an important part in the June fiesta. No
one knows exactly how this custom
originated, but it appears to be many
centuries old. The palla dancers
perform a graceful dance in the
streets that imitates the soaring
of a bird. The wide sleeves of the
costume represent the bird’s wings,
and the elaborate headdress, covered with multicolored flowers, ribbons, and feathers represents the
bird’s head plumage. Traditionally,
only young ladies who have not yet
married are chosen as pallas. But as
the population in the area has decreased, married women have been
allowed to participate. Little girls begin learning the dance when they are
very small.
The dancing pallas are accompanied
by a musical group of three or four
men who play the traditional violin,
reed flute, skin drum, and sometimes


The melodies are soft. The flute player also simultaneously plays the drum. Language survey done by personnel in l986-87 showed that the people of Corongo need reading materials distinct from those being produced in Conchucos and Huaylas.Corongo Quechua Corongo Quechua a harp. While the animals rest. is the language of choice on the streets of the city of Corongo. cabbage. haunting. Shacsha dancers wear bands of shacapa seeds tied around their lower legs that rattle when they dance. 27 . onions. Every year a new melody is created especially for the fiesta and is added to the repertoire of former melodies. Here children still enter school speaking very little Spanish. They grow wheat. The seeds provide a pleasing percussion sound when the dancers stomp their feet at the appropriate times. Alfalfa is grown to feed their guinea pigs. using a sickle. Too steep for tractors. In the outlying communities. the language of high prestige. corn. The people carry large bundles of sheaves on their backs to the threshing floor where horses and mules tread the grain. The Quechua women prepare an infinite variety of flavorful soups. barley. New personnel are being assigned to Corongo to research possible translation needs. and several varieties of potatoes. peas. family members throw the threshed grain into the air with wooden winnowing forks which blows much of the chaff away. Spanish. however. Grains are harvested by hand. survey of translation need in progress father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child tëta mama patsa yacu nina rupë quilla wasi runa warmi wamra ¿Imanöllatan quëcanqui? ‘How are you?’ Family cooking is done in clay pots set on a fire of eucalyptus wood. people feel more comfortable speaking Quechua. SIL Corongo Quechuas live much as their fathers and grandfathers did as subsistence farmers. the two varieties of Quechua most closely related to Corongo Quechua. and sometimes a little sad. beans. habas. their fields are plowed using a wooden plow and a pair of oxen. and many kinds of herbs. The family could probably eat soup every day for two months and not have one repeat.

folklore. Because the people were generally denied education. Amarilis. Pachitea has preserved some beliefs and practices that date back to the time of the Incas. but also in some independent communities in the more remote areas. Culturally Huallaga Quechuas closely resemble the Pachitea Quechuas in beliefs. From then until the Agrarian Reform of 1968. There are some independent communities in the more remote areas. such as having an altar near each house to make offerings to the spirit of the mountain. agriculture. along the eastern Andes. These two groups show a close affinity to each other. marriage practices. The Pachitea Quechuas are generally a bit more conservative than the Huallaga Quechuas. particularly in the rich valleys that surround the upper Huallaga River. Huánuco. Pachitea Quechua is considered a “relic dialect”. and San Francisco de Cayán in the Province of Huánuco. the Huallaga and Pachitea Quechuas do differ linguistically and culturally. They became quite westernized and subservient as a result. Santa Maria del Valle. Location: The Districts of Churubamba. The Huallaga River flows through these districts and the several communities located in the province of Leoncio Prado in the jungle. most agricultural land was held as haciendas.Huallaga Quechua (Group I) Population: 40. Spaniards invaded the Huallaga valley before 1540. Linguistically the vocabulary varies greatly between the Huallaga and Pachitea dialects. Because they are on the geographic edge of the Quechua-speaking area. The Huallaga Quechuas live in the geographic center of Peru. 28 . The Huallaga Quechuas were made to be completely dependent on their patróns.000. style of dress. most Quechua speaking adults today have little or no formal education. It has been the last to undergo the waves of changes coming from the “centers of innovation” to the west. Despite the many common practices. Culturally. and regard the Quechua people to the west and to the south as different. house styles and diet.

black. There is a great demand to show these in churches and municipalities.Huallaga Quechua Huallaga Quechua Most of the older Huallaga women wear traditional dress of a long. the Gospel of Luke and the book of Genesis have been dubbed into Huallaga Quechua. a white blouse with elaborate embroidery on the front. faithful audience. multipleated skirt over many woolen petticoats. Genesis. The reading and rereading of books from the Old and New Testaments has created a large. and radios. Some have benefited considerably from the boom in the cocaine industry and as a result many young men now own cars. Thousands of people have been deeply impressed by seeing the videos while hearing the Scripture in their own language. SIL Niptin “Chaypa rucanga cushicuchun Dios willacachishanta wiyar rurajcuna” niran. From the New Media Bible. Spanish. and English has also been completed. Younger Huallaga women now tend to wear skirts and blouses in bright solid colors made of store-bought cloth rather than homespun. One is worn over the head to protect them from the hot Andean sun. Non-print media is very important in the Huallaga Quechua area because the educational level is low. Traditionally the men migrate seasonally to the jungle to work crops such as coca and tea. which closely follows the text of Scripture. and numerous homespun white shawls. Modern technology and materialism have brought many changes to the traditional Quechua world. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. Bible translation of both the Old and New Testaments is in progress. For more than five years Huallaga Quechua Christians have conducted a 25-minute radio program in Quechua each weekday morning. A tri-lingual dictionary in Huallaga Quechua. and even at big birthday parties. motorcycles. and Acts Trilingual dictionary 1999 Quechua-Spanish-English . televisions. began working with Huallaga Quechua in 1973. He replied.” Luke 11:28 29 in progress Luke. Primers and reading materials are being prepared to encourage the people to read in their mother tongue. It combines Bible reading in Quechua and Quechua Christian music. Video is another important non-print media.

A typical daily menu may include such interesting dishes as toqosh. The number of fields and animals a family owns generally measures a family’s wealth. a pudding-like dish made of potatoes that have been buried in a well for several weeks.500. The language area begins approximately 90 kilometers northwest of the city of Huánuco. wheat. Shinti is made much like hominy. 30 Huamalíes Quechua women are experts in preparing hot. Outsiders are told that if they can get past the strong smell and the slightly slimy texture. as a special meal for the family and their guests. Herbs and grasses are also collected each day to fatten up the guinea pigs which thrive in the warmth and security of dark corners in the kitchens. It is served with a spoon and a large cup of coffee.000 feet. Machca is a breakfast food made from toasted whole-grain barley. Cooking is done in large pots over an open fire of eucalyptus wood. Huamalíes is rich with pre-Inca ruins. The upper Marañón River is a natural geographic boundary to the region. The women or children usually take the animals to graze on nearby slopes while the men do the farming. including corn. barley. Toqosh. Location: The eastern slopes of the central Peruvian Andes in the provinces of Huamalíes and Dos de Mayo in the state of Huánuco. and machca. Most Huamalíes Quechuas are subsistence farmers living in small villages scattered along the slopes at altitudes of 10. shinti. Most mix spoonfuls of the powdered substance with their coffee and eat it as a paste.000 to 12. a high-protein Andean grain. but from toasted habas.Huamalíes Quechua (Group I) Population: 72. the taste is delicious. A word of caution for the novice: inhaling while eating machca can be hazardous to your health. Others take it dry and follow it with a big gulp of coffee. A wide variety of potatoes and tuber crops are grown. and quinua. The hills surrounding the villages are a patchwork of fields cultivated mostly by the use of a hand-held foot plow called a chaquitaclla. Bordered on the west by the state of Ancash. . The guinea pigs are butchered only on festive occasions or when guests arrive. including the interesting cliff dwellings at Inca Nani as well as the multi-leveled structures or “skyscrapers” of Tantamayo. it drops down into the Amazon jungle in the east. is a local favorite. tasty soups to warm and nourish their families.

they have a natural fear of falling.Noga munashgäno cawayänayquipäga manami ajasu caycan. hand-woven blankets on mattresses of piled sheepskins. Clothing is mostly woolen for warmth. SIL 31 Life of Christ video . The New Testament is in final revision. 2003 Sayno niptin Jes'us nergan: —Mäma cushicushgannölami tayta Diosninsi nishganta chasquicur wiyacogcunapis cushish caycäyan. Literacy activities are encouraging the people to learn to read. and women wear a colorful blanket-like shawl called a jacu. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.. People sleep with heavy. which are a cheerful contrast to the earthen tones of their environment.Huamalíes Quechua Huamalíes Quechua Homes have very thick walls made from packed earth.” Luke 11:28 Because the Huamalíes Quechua live and work perched on steep mountain slopes. Though they are dark and cave-like with their earthen walls and floors. Perhaps that’s why Bible verses such as Matthew 11:28. and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy.” “Come to me. They are also intimately familiar with the concept of heavy burdens since the main way of getting things from place to place is by tying incredibly heavy bundles on their backs. This is reflected in their language. usually with only one opening for a doorway. Men wear large ponchos. The Life of Christ video is being shown in the language. which includes many different words to express falling. all ye that labor and are heavy laden.. 30 hold vivid encouragement for them: “Ima ruraytapis mana camäpacur laquish cawagcunaga lapayqui nogata chasquicayämay.” began working among the Huamalíes Quechua people in 1980. and my burden is light.. the houses are constructed without windows to keep the frigid Andean air from further invading the living area. Chasquicayämaptiquega ali cawaytami goyäshayquipä. He replied. They especially like bright colors.

each with they found hot peppers growing. To variations. Yungay. The valley includes the provinces of Huáraz.205 feet above sea level. Other speakers of the language live in the adjoining provinces of Aija and Huaylas. and Recuay.000 feet above sea level. Mount Huascarán. Caraz. 32 . they could carry. foods. language that the lake had begun to refill. When someone in the this day. and a few vegetables for their family’s consumption.000. cabbage soup and squash pudding is usually served. the festive atmosphere. At wakes in the lower end of the valley. Location: Callejón de Huaylas in the state of Ancash. Laguna Rocotuyoq (lake where hot peppers grow) near the community of Vicos supposedly got its name when two shepherdesses discovered it to be dry one day. once when cooks from Recuayhuanca tried their prank on the bricklayers at a house-roofing party in another town.500 feet) at 22. the unsuspecting bricklayers were offended. Most speakers of Huaylas Quechua live in small communities along 125-mile Callejón de Huaylas. grains. and quickly left the party. The brickThe Callejón de Huaylas layers have their own preparation of has a moderate climate lime water. Names of places often commemorate significant events. Chicken soup made with whole wheat and spicy roast guinea pig is the meal of choice for special occasions. the cooks always prepare an extra pot of hot chi. two large boulders in the community of Recuayhuanca has a shape of women are visible just behouse-roofing party. The exchange adds to where farmers cultivate potatoes. Nowhere else in the world. even in the Himalayas. of numerous mini-regions. corn. cha morada (purple corn punch) to throw at the bricklayers. At wakes in the upper end of the valley boiled hominy and meat stew are generally served.Huaylas Quechua (Group I) Population: 336. stands above Yungay (8. they didn’t notice dress. The fertile valley between the Cordillera Negra and Cordillera Blanca Mountains is dominated by 30 major peaks more than 20. The Callejón de Huaylas is made up Where once there had been a lake. It is said that as far back as Inca times the community of Qollawasi (woman house) produced some of the most beautiful women of the area. the highest glacier located in the tropics. In their greed to pick all the peppers its own distinct customs. and in some cases. However. Carhuaz. do towns with substantial populations like those in the Callejón exist so close to glaciers like those in the Andean Cordillera Blanca range.low the surface of the lake.

After spending the night in the town of Mancos. God mercifully responded to their tears and sorrow by turning them into mountains of ice that are with us today. He replied. mas kushishqaqa kayan. Scripture promotion courses. A story is told about how Huascar and Wandï. It is estimated that a fourth of the population lost their lives. and radio programs are other activities successfully producing an enthusiastic audience for the New Testament.Huaylas Quechua Huaylas Quechua Legend says that people inhabited the area long before the Inca Empire. but word got back to one of the kings when a guard spotted them. Scripture translation is in progress. began work in the Callejón de Huaylas in 1965. SIL Another legend tells how Inca messengers passed through the Callejón de Huaylas carrying gold to ransom Atahualpa. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. they retraced their steps. the messengers forgot one of their sacks of gold. Huascar is Mount Huascarán whose tears continue to fill Orqon Qocha.” Luke 11:28 33 2006 Life of Christ video . Wandï is Mount Huándoy. the only people to survive were those attending a circus located on a hillside and those fortunate enough to reach the top of the cemetery hill. bilingual teacher training courses. right where they had left it. the Life of Christ video. children of the powerful opposing kings fell in love. much to their parents’ displeasure. Print and non-print literature production and distribution. The town of Yungay was buried under twenty Tseynam Jesus yaskirqan keynow: —Antis Dyospa palabranta wiyar kasukur alli ruraqkunam. and there it was. The couple would meet secretly. In 1970 the Callejón de Huaylas was hard hit by an earthquake measuring 7. Soldiers were sent out. the pair was tied to seats facing each other. feet of mud when the shaking jarred loose a huge chunk of ice from Mount Huascarán. Her tears continue to fill Chïnan Qocha in the mountain pass between the two peaks. and as punishment. A few days later when they realized it was missing. who was being held captive by Pizarro in Cajamarca at the time. In the three minutes it took for the alluvión to reach them.7 on the Richter scale.

the program to air. a mother whose sons had moved to the coast. Pushpi and Yepo knew of a promising new radio station in Yungay. How wonderful it is in our When a young girl about eight years old heard that Quechua language. Each Saturthe radio program she enjoyed so much could soon day we wait with anticipation for go off the air. They too sent in an offering.L. and give the We don’t want this program to earnings to help the radio program continue? end. sell it. The program is now FULLY supported by the offerings from Quechua listeners. Here is a letter from one Quechua man: Each Saturday afternoon the two men made the hour-and-a-half bus trip from Huáraz to Yungay to broadcast their program Dear Brothers. was regularly taping Alli Willaquï and sending the cassettes to them. the program Alli Willaquï (Good News). After two months the offering had nearly run out. They decided to air a weekly Scripture-based program in Quechua called Alli Willaquï (Good News). offering that would help keep the program on the air a bit longer. both old and young alike. I can give something too!” He (Signed). “If a small girl can help keep this good program on the air. 34 . sent in a generous offering. and We greet you from the hamlet of the men began saying Chancarumi. We are listening to good-byes to their audience. co-translators of the Huaylas Quechua translation program. Would it be possible to take one of the sheep she cared for to market. another listener His Holy Spirit. The owner of the radio station says the tremendous response from listeners tells him this is the most popular program on his station. Some letters were even written in Quechua! In nearly two years hundreds of letters have been received. They thoroughly enjoyed receiving the tapes. May God cover you with Hearing about the little girl’s offering. I Offerings continued to arrive at the radio station with many letters of appreciation for the program. In the remote village of Aruhuay. now rebuilt. received a money gift from a US visitor to use however they saw fit. she approached her father with an idea. that was buried under mud and rocks in the 1970 earthquake. With this letter I send a small offering. decided.C. J. They are for Over the air Pushpi and Yepo thanked the girl for her all. live. the town. The money from the sale of the the things that you say and your sheep was given as an offering to the radio program.Focus on Christian Radio AN OFFERING MULTIPLIED BY GOD Christian Radio Programs in Huaylas Quechua n 1997 two Quechua men. counsel by radio. We appreciate very much Her father agreed.

In the same way our hearts are often dry and thirsty for God’s Word. During the first two weeks they received six letters. which is food for the soul and body.” “I am 10 years old and will celebrate my birthday on May 8. worries. goes on bringing joy and consolation into many Quechua homes in the Callejón de Huaylas. Nobody consoles me like you do. It is encouraging and helpful because it causes us to reflect on our lives. I sometimes even cry. God has given Pushpi and Yepo a gift in holding the interest of their audience. And you brothers are God’s messengers whom I always listen to on the radio. it began to pour. and daily activities. The fields were extremely dry. My life has been difficult but I am getting better from an illness thanks to our divine Creator who is my only refuge. N “Your program on Radio Alegría is listened to all over our neighborhood. they envision that they are in the homes of their Quechua audience. The ground has been so dry and now it’s just soaking up the rain. in the provincial capital in order to expand their audience. (Signed) Abelardo 35 .” And so. While broadcasting. So gather around your radios and let’s enjoy God’s Word during this hour together and be satisfied. not out of sadness. On one occasion the people had been waiting for rain with much concern.early a year ago Pushpi and Yepo began airing the Good News program on a Huaraz radio station. They try to relate the words they share with the people’s joys. the weekly Good News program sustained by offerings multiplied by God. teaching us according to God’s Word. Pushpi got on the radio and said: “Isn’t this wonderful that the rains have started. Here is an excerpt written by a young boy who apparently suffers from epilepsy. As the men set out one Saturday morning to air the radio program. but for joy.

and all crops are There is no extra available land for agriculture to support an increase in population. More than 600 years ago the people constructed thousands of terraces to convert parts of the canyon wall into strips of land that could be cultivated. hundreds of llama and alpaca herders live as nomads. Most villages don’t have enough water and the people say. Outside the valley on a vast high plateau. province of La Unión. Some communities may also enjoy a bullfight.000. so many of the Cotahuasi young people are migrating to larger cities or the coast in search of work. The Inca “foot-plow” is still used widely in the area because a team of oxen pulling a plow is too wide and cannot turn on the narrow terraces. The bullfighters are the ones who may suffer injuries. a custom that was introduced by the Spaniards. Today blades for the foot-plow are made from discarded truck springs! It is hard work to till the soil by hand so the men like to work together in rhythm to the sound of music. share news and gossip. parts of which fall two miles below the rim. Each town and village has two or three fiestas every year. The bulls are of great value to their owners and generally are not hurt. They come down to the valley periodically to trade dried meat for corn and potatoes. The matadores (bullfighters) and the bulls are from the local community. Alcoholism is a major social problem. Location: State of Arequipa. Using their llamas they transport produce down to road stands where the owners sell it. but are valued for their fine wool. “If only we had more water. They chose to make these fields along the hillsides where the valley walls were not too steep! grown by a combination of irrigation and rain. where no crops can grow. The Quechua people of the Cotahuasi area live near one of the world’s deepest canyons. Days before the ceremony they prepare a lot of 36 . we wouldn’t fight so much!” Work parties often turn into drinking parties.La Unión-Cotahuasi Quechua (group II c) Population: 19. It is a time when they perform traditional dances. Many who have left their communities make a visit home during one of the annual fiestas. Every February the people perform a ceremony to bless their cows. The area is semi-arid. and during harvest time to trade work for produce. The alpacas are not pack animals. eat good food and drink a lot.

Next they string the fruit onto ropes and decorate the cows. where the ceremony takes place.” Luke 11:28 drink. He gives each guest one of the prepared cornhusks and asks him to bless the cows. The mountain peak is a revered figure to the Quechuas. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. The owner then prays to the earth saying. Please do not rise up against us!” they hope to appease the spirits of these living rocks. By making a small drink offering in these corrals. Make my animals reproduce! May they have lots of grass to eat!” Then he blows three times onto the little bundle of grain and throws it into a fire to burn. “I honor you. “Mother Earth. began working among the Quechua people of La Unión in 1985. Everybody has a certain peak that protects him. look after my animals. “I offer this to you. grandfather mountain” (giving the name of the mountain). The owner of the cows invites family and friends to the corral. In the past they performed a yearly ceremony to ask the peak to watch over their animals. and wrap small amounts of grain with a bit of fat in corn husks. They dip a thumb and forefinger into the 37 in progress Life of Christ video . like a grandfather. saying. Jesustaq nisqa: —Aswanmi kusisqa Diospa rimasqanta uyarispa kasukuqkunaqa. They also put ribbons in the cows’ ears and throw other fruit at the cows. nispa. Each family member and guest does the same. Then the owner and his guests drink fermented corn drink. Whenever the people drink they pour a few drops onto the ground as a small offering to Mother Earth. and praying. Now they perform a simple ceremony of reverence to the mountains whenever they drink “firewater” or their home-brewed corn drink. SIL There are many mountain peaks on either side of the Cotahuasi valley. asking it to take care of their animals. Bible translation is in progress and teachers are being trained to prepare and use school materials in Quechua so that the school children and their parents learn to read and write in their mother tongue. But some people don’t know which peak is theirs. look after my animals. He replied. At times they burn incense and offer a short prayer to the mountain itself (not to a spirit being).La Unión-Cotahuasi Quechua La Unión-Cotahuasi Quechua fermented corn drink. These rocks cause people to get boils or skin diseases. so they pray to various peaks that are nearby. There are certain old corrals that have a “living rock”.” Or he may pray to the local mountain peak saying. buy fruit. then snap that finger toward the mountain. “Grandfather Mountain.

000 to 3. potatoes. which generations past. They plant corn.000 speakers have migrated to the coastal cities. Location: State of Lambayeque in northern Peru. They are considered to be living beings. The Quechuas of Lambayeque have maintained their language and distinct culture in the midst of the “Spanish cultural sea” surrounding them. each with their own name and personality. At night children may sit around the kitchen fire in their adobe home while their mother fries delicious tortillas made from the wheat harvested that day. There. Most families have a number of cattle as their “savings account. It is believed that they can grab a person’s sumra ‘soul’. habas (large flat beans). Inside the mountains are societies that resemble human society.Lambayeque Quechua (Group II a) Population: 20. horses are driven combines Roman Catholic and around a circle over heaps of haranimistic beliefs and rituals. The people living in the mountain area are spread across four political districts in approximately 130 towns accessible mostly by foot or on horseback. They raise sheep for wool and meat. 2. They have kept their traditional dress.” hand-woven sacks for the year to come. The sirkakuna ‘mountain spirits’ inhabit the towns. dislodging the sumra from the 38 . Their main protein sources are cheese and legumes. when the person is frightened. In August these farmers cut the stalks The people are very reliof grain with sickles and pile the bungious within their tradidles on a threshing floor. wheat. peas. In February Quechua farmers are in their fields shouldering heavy pouches of wheat and spraying out a shower of seed with each flick of the wrist. The Lambayeque Quechua people are hard working peasant farmers. Once it is threshed and winnowed. a child’s first hair cut. the golden grain is stored in The mountains figure prominently in Lambayeque Quechua thought. religious customs such as naming and baptizing a child. community work practices. and other Andean tubers like ollucos and oqas. as in tional framework. and marriage and burial rites. vest.000.

began working in Lambayeque Quechua in 1991 and Bible translation is in progress. Now there is a greater openness to non-traditional ideas. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. or black and white guinea pig. chaymanta chay nishannullata ruraqkuna! He replied. If the sumra is not called back to its body. 2004 Chaynu nitinmi Jisusqa niran: —Ashwan kusa shumaqqa kanqallapa.Lambayeque Quechua Lambayeque Quechua person’s body. The Lambayeque people are also producing their own radio programs using Scripture reading in Quechua and Quechua music. Both print and non-print media are used to encourage reading in the mother tongue.” Luke 11:28 Historically the people of this area have resisted anything which challenged their traditions. the person will die and his spirit will join the mountain spirits in their community inside the mountains. and the Life of Christ video is being shown in Quechua. Slowly this truth in their language is freeing the people of Lambayeque from their fear of the spirits and is giving them true cleansing from the power of evil. But with the new road from the coast and with improvement in education. The guinea pig is moved over the person’s body and then thrown outside as an offering to the mountain so it will let the sumra go. chay Dyus nishankunata uyar. including more interest in a market economy and new spiritual values. 39 Luke and Genesis videos . the area is experiencing numerous changes. SIL The Word of God—the “Good Seed”—says: “The blood of Jesus … purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). To be cured the person must be cleansed at midnight with a black. Literacy classes are being conducted. grayish.

and Margos. Today. clothes. Potatoes are one of the main staples of this peasant agricultural society. The Quechua speakers in the Yarowilca-LauricochaMargos area share many cultural similarities with speakers of other Quechua dialects. One day. some men removed two ancient mummies from a cave.” This person commits himself to be a life-long marital counselor for the couple. If they aren’t getting along or are having problems. as well as parts of Dos de Mayo in the jungle. Lauricocha. The grandmother or other children take care of the baby while the mother goes about her daily work. Customs and traditions are disappearing in the larger towns. First. joining them in the mid-morning when they bring lunch out to the field. Traditionally. and warn them about the difficulties of marriage. a new couple goes to live with the groom’s parents until they eventually are able to establish their own home. Women often work in the fields alongside the men. in an effort to stop the rain that had continued for months. The rain stopped not just for a few minutes or a few hours. They even inspect the children and adults to be sure they are clean and neatly groomed! The people believe that the mountains are home to the spirit of the mountain. ponchos. family plots have become so small that most siblings now migrate to the cities because there is not enough land to support all of them. and the rest of the household is. in the provinces of Yarowilca. a couple must find someone to be their “guarantee.000. a man also takes time to help in the fields of his in-laws. there is a time of year when “inspectors” may come into a home at any time. Besides tending his own fields.Margos-Yarowilca-Lauricocha Quechua (Group I) Population: 114. Location: State of Huánuco. It 40 . For example. without warning. Entering into a traditional Quechua marriage is no easy matter. Sheep provide the wool they use to make blankets. day or night. The people say their grandfathers and great-grandfathers were rich with lots of land and animals. they still continue. for example. however. In the smaller Quechua hamlets. They check to see how clean and orderly the pots. The mother-in-law teaches the new bride. chastise them. a good counselor is expected to step in and literally “whip them” into shape! Before marriage a prospective couple must endure an all night counseling session during which family members from both sides give advice. blankets. and skirts. They carried the mummies to the mountain peak so the mountain might blow away the rain through the mummies.

Schoolimportant that the translator underteachers receive training to teach stand what the people believe and why they believe it. Jesus is called a “living stone.” Luke 11:28 41 2003 Life of Christ video . be sure that the translated Scripture will communicate the correct meaning. The Quechua people are very aware of spiritual powers around them. It is in their mother tongue.Margos Quechua Margos-Yarowilca-Lauricocha Quechua The Quechua church in the Margos-Yarowilca-Lauricocha area is growing. and to His resurrection from the dead. Touching one will cause a person’s flesh to rot away! People claim these rocks have other mysterious powers as well.” This refers to Him as providing a solid foundation for the Christian faith. They love to sing praise songs in their own language. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. but it is still difficult for many leaders to use Quechua Scripture because they do not know how to read Quechua well. SIL Tsaynog niptin Jesús nergan: —Mamä cushicushgannoglami Diosnintsi nishganta chasquicur cäsucogcunapis cushishga carcayan. For them a living stone refers to certain rocks in old ruins. Music has encouraged Quechua believers greatly. In I Peter. some people simply take their Quechua hymnbooks and sing to their friends and neighbors as a way to share their faith. set to their own melodies. Only then can he reading and writing in Quechua. In fact. Chapter 2. stopped raining for days. has been working in the Margos-Yarowilca-Lauricocha area since 1984. The Quechuas have their own idea about what a living stone is. Literacy materials are being developed to Beliefs about powers affect the aid adults to become fluent readers understanding of Scripture. He replied. Scripture translation is in progress.

000 to from the same town but cannot be 13. when a young plastered with mud. ents and continues to cultivate the plow with oxen or horses. he builds his new beams and roofs of clay tile or home next to the home of his parthatch. The Roman Catholic rite of infant baptism is very important for an infant to become a full human being. mon law. Often. with eucalyptus man marries.000 feet above sea level. from Pomabamba to San Luís. and use same land as his father. Not long afterwards. burden. If a couple has no children or only girls. Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo first evangelized the Conchucos area at the end of the 16th century. They herd sheep and goats. Family groups they solidify their marital commitlive in hamlets in the midst of their ment. Franciscan monks established the first church in Pomabamba. Walter and Leif Erickson made an evangelistic trip on donkey back through Conchucos. grains. They grow tubers. The Quechuas of North Conchucos are primarily peasant subsistence The majority of marriages are comfarmers. and in the northwestern part of the state of Huánuco in Huacrachuco. Prospective mates may come fields. Children are highly valued. it is considered a minor disgrace. A number of Pentecostal churches remain today as a result of their campaign. at altitudes from 6. Women are often responsible for herding sheep at higher elevations. a couple will live and corn along with a variety of together and have children before herbs and vegetables. For the sake of solidarity within the culture. Without this rite his soul would go to hell. godparents are sought who have higher social or economic prestige than the parents do. (Group I) Location: In the eastern part of the state of Ancash. as boys are needed to help with farming. During the 1940s. Their cousins either on the father’s or homes are made of adobe brick mother’s side.000. The role of the godparents is to give moral and spiritual guidance to their godchildren.North Conchucos Quechua Population: 250. He and his donkeys and horses as beasts of brothers will eventually inherit the father’s land. Normally. 42 .

Their only for the building. as well as the kind of sickness they inflict. capable of striking people or inflicting illness and even death. however. The Quechuas is animistic children of the North with a strong overlay of folk Catholi. as the icon of human femininity. Most provincial capitals have a parish church. and cause her to conceive a deformed frog or snake. moon.hands of the people. love.Conchucos area have access to cism. Barter and a limited Conchucos Quechua amount of cash exchange exists people in 1981. bilingual clouds. funerals. but for leadideal is for people to help. of Christ video has been one of the greatest tools for allowing The worldview of the the Word of God to take root in North Conchucos the hearts of the people. people find it very difficult to achieve reconciliation. Their songs during masses. earth. and rainbows are revered as education. and the moon. Because theft is wideSIL began working spread. but people will draft of the New Testament sell produce or animals to acquire translation has been comcash needed for market items. where. The people make every effort to participate in the major events of the Catholic liturgical calendar at the nearest parish church. alli käsukoq kaqkunam. Each town has or extended relationships through a special weeklong celebration evthe compadre system. The cating responsibilities and obligations people also worship and revere a between neighbors.North Conchucos Quechua North Conchucos Quechua Tsaynam Jesus kaynaw nirqan: —Tsaypitapis mas kushishqaqa kayan Dyuspa palabranta wiyar. stars.the New Testament are in the ciprocating relationships than on ex. He replied. They pleted and individual books of depend much more. The Life change through selling and buying. There are at least seven categories of rainbows that differ in color and in how. reing prayers. liturgical chants and spect. The first within the economy. her home. He is responsible not solidarity in their relationships. on re. Rifts in relaery year honoring that town’s protionships are very painful. and social structure is based on reciproother religious observances. powerful living beings that serve the Almighty Creator God. and the tective patrón saint. The sun is viewed as the icon of human masculinity. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. plethora of saints. and when they occur. It can chase a woman wearing a colorful skirt into 43 2002 Life of Christ video .” Luke 11:28 The rainbow is perceived as a malevolent being rising up from the earth like a serpent. family members. the sun’s wife. and trust one another. The sun. distrust of neighbors is alwith the North most universal. Each village has its own chapel that is maintained by the local ruQuechuas highly value harmony and ral catechist.

in the east. The lack of fertile land causes them to seek employment elsewhere. Increasingly. or corrugated metal sheets. there are many North Junín Quechua speakers who still treasure their language. or Taramas who lived in and around the Tarma valley. Each community is governed democratically by a council of men. even through isolated areas. In more accessible areas the young people are switching to Spanish. radio broadcasts. the valleys that descend to the jungle of the upper Perené River watershed. and an artistic textile center in the area of Tarmatambo. Potatoes are the chief crop. and the Bombones. the Tarumas. the high ridge which separates Tarma from Jauja. and formal education are conducted in Spanish. The herders of the high plains traded llama and alpaca products for agricultural products from the valleys. However. Sheep and llamas provide meat and wool. television programs. Mining brought in many Spanish speakers and provided employment for Quechuas who had to learn Spanish to work in the mines or on haciendas. The men construct their houses from adobe bricks or rock. who occupied the Junín plain. To the north is the vast mining area of Cerro de Pasco. The area was home to at least two major pre-Incan groups. Isolated communities and homes are scattered throughout the mountains and valleys. Around 1470 the armies of the Inca empire invaded the area and set up two major centers: a grain depository at the site of Chacamarca at the south end of the Junín plain. Location: In north Junín and south Pasco with the following boundaries: in the north.North Junín Quechua (Group I) Population: 60. . The Quechuas are descendants of these ancient people and live very much as their ancestors did. pants. They lead self sufficient lives revolving around the agricultural cycle. ponchos. They are said to have maintained trading relationships. and blankets. The men weave the wool into cloth for skirts. Cerro de Pasco. 44 Being a major crossroad between the jungle area of Chanchamayo and Lima. Soon Spanish became the prestige language. It appears that the higher the altitude and the less accessible the communities. and in the west. in the south. more roads are being built. In addition. shawls. roofing them with thatch. the districts of Huayllay and Paucartambo. the more monolingual speakers are found and the more community solidarity is enjoyed.000. Tarma grew into an important Spanish colonial city in the 1550s. The women shear and spin the wool.

other tubers. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. “How can I forget the clap. It is situated off the beaten track. Everything is then covered with leaves. and the boy shepherd stroking the bleating little lost lamb.” During potato harvest and on other occasions. 45 1997 Life of Christ video . shooting the shuttle from side to side on his homespun wool. The men dig a hole two to three feet deep and three to four feet wide. forever twisting her spindle as she walks and talks. The fields surrounding Yánec are situated on slopes so steep that accidents of people falling out of their fields have been reported. clap. clap of llamas trodding the cobblestone streets. red-cheeked boys and girls dashing out of the classrooms to greet us.” Luke 11:28 These are the impressions of a traveler to Yánec in 1976. the squeaking guinea pigs running across the kitchen floor. Yánec has a plaza municipal (town square) which bustles with activity on Sunday mornings when the men of the community hold sessions to discuss issues of common interest. in the north of the province of Tarma. After the wood and charcoal have been ignited and the rocks heated up. the giant boulders casting spooky shadows at sunset. Reading classes are being conducted to encourage the reading of Scripture in Quechua. meat. Undina’s ‘mamashu’ (grandma) coming down the mountainside. the cool water trickling down the mountain sides. Flat rocks are then placed into the hole. hiding behind pots and buckets. the giggling. The New Testament was dedicated in January 1998. North Junín Quechuas enjoy making a pachamanca (ground-pot) in their field or backyard. SIL He replied. and little black-eyed Undina fondling her bushy-tailed pups and ducks. crossing three high ridges. interspersed with hot rocks. Before the first road was constructed a few years ago. and vegetables wrapped in aromatic leaves are placed in the hole in layers. began working with the Quechua people of North Junín in 1969. the traveler reached Yánec on horseback or foot. women crouching at the riverbank. chatting and beating their clothes with a wooden paddle. They line it with hardwood and/or charcoal. After an hour the meal is uncovered and shared by all. and a layer of earth.North Junín Quechua North Junín Quechua Yánec is a small town where the Quechua language is still vital. a potato sack. the wooly sheep grazing on the rich pastures. the grey heavy clouds pouring into the valley. Don Miguel sitting at his loom. jinaman cäsucugcunam”. Niptinmi Jesusga cay nin: “Antis cushishaga capäcunman Dios ninganta mayacugcunam. Christian music festivals and presentations of the Life of Christ video in Quechua are having an effect on the lives of the believers. potatoes.

and many participants marching from a small park on the edge of town to the main central square. gathered in Tarma. cawagtam niruchi. more than 500 Quechua speakers from all over the North Junín and South Pasco areas in the central Andes mountains of Peru. two bands.’ Cawagtam.” 46 . ‘May we be so forever. Heavy rains during the previous weeks made road conditions precarious. ‘May we be so forever.’ Imaycamas cawagtam. “We esteem this Book not just for how the words fit together and sound good. with a parade including banners in Quechua announcing the event. The mayor of Tarma and members of his city council led in an official flag raising ceremony. but because they bring life and salvation to those who read them.’ Then the mayor spoke. The celebration began at 9:00 a. the district capital.Focus on a New Testament Dedication “Best Seat in the House” North Junín Quechua New Testament Dedication n January 24. for the dedication of the New Testament in the Junín Quechua language. 1998. but that did not stop the people from coming.m. He ended by saying.” ‘Before the sun deprives us of its light. followed by the national anthem sung in Quechua: “Librem canchi cananga O ‘We are free’ Imaysi cacushun imaysi.

the books could be ofjoiced and fered at a reasonable price to the Quechua people. These two closely related varieties of Quechua people through His Word Quechua are spoken by 40. The crowd sat in groups on a large grass next to her Lord! field like when Jesus fed the multitude. et one person was missing.000 people livin the language of ing in villages and towns all up and down the mountains and valleys of the central Andean area. she had the best seat in the house. and wrapped in corn husks). the Lord took sacks of potatoes.” (1 Peter 1:24b. Scripture was read in Quechua. Nancy Black. and Hector Huamán were the other co-translators. The rest are now being made available who now speaks to the North Junín to the North Junín and South Pasco Quechua speaking people. Her brothers.Through the generosity of The Bible League in publishing the New Testament. right dough filled with raisins and meat. habas (large flat beans). During this time she learned to love and appreciate the Quechuas and identified with them in their joys and sorrows. Yulve Yachachín and David Yachachín. the main translator. and the flowers fall away. Everyone re. The crowd cheered. N Señora Maura Yachachín helped with the translation for 25 years. but in fact. She was greatly missed at the dedication. the program broke for a typical Twenty-eight years later. The SIL translator’s two sisters attended the celebration in gratitude to God for their sister and this milestone event in which she had played an important part. Y The grass withers. In 1969 she began work among the North Junín Quechua people. But the word of the Lord will last forever. A priest from Tarma and a representative from the Peruvian Bible Society opened the box and then each held a New Testament up high for the crowd to see.ext the parade moved down the street to a school auditorium where the main celebration took place. presenting the books to God and to the people.000 to 60. A presentation of gifts and certificates of appreciation and recognition was made. and humitas (a Peruvian tamale-like delicacy made of corn her home. celebrated the faithfulness of God Eighty-one New Testaments were sold or given as gifts that day. At 1:00 p. after seeing the New Testapachamanca feast that included 15 sheep.m. a number of people gathered around it and placed their hands on it. It was a special moment. 25) 47 . Sixteen others were honored for their participation in the translation process. their hearts. sacks and ment manuscript sent off for printing. They were recognized publicly several times and warmly greeted by everyone. For five hours the people enjoyed various music conjuntos and speakers representing different Quechua churches and communities. As the first unopened box of New Testaments was presented for prayer.

Panao. but their spirits remained. a bright sweater on a white blouse. Its cultural uniqueness had already been noted by the Spanish during the mid-1500s when Captain Gómez Arias de Avila was sent to conquer the region. districts of Molinos. Farms in the lower valleys of 8. Major communities. some 250 miles northeast of Lima. The Quechua people of Pachitea are peasant farmers. like Panao. Chaglla. The province of Pachitea was established on February 2.000 to 9. but those people were covered up. and cattle. Many more farms and communities are scattered throughout the high country whose peaks reach above 14. and sickness and thieves will stay away from the house. and Umari. which has continued for some 440 years. During the past 60 years Protestant groups have added their efforts. in the province of Pachitea. They shrunk. several communities in the province of Leoncio Prado in the jungle. Reading coca leaves provides answers to questions that otherwise would remain unanswered and thus helps make the important decisions of life. the animals will reproduce. Marriage is one of those major decisions of life.” 48 On the eastern-most side. Some people tried to escape by going into holes and caves in the earth. But in the estimation of the people it does more than that: offerings of coca leaves appease the Mountain so that the crops will produce well. A full black skirt over bright wool petticoats. The clerics that accompanied him began the Christianization process. They are the Spirits of the Mountain. one who knows how to till the soil and harvest its potatoes and corn. Life is hard for the people but they are proud of their ethnic identity and its traditions. On these eastern slopes one discovers what the Panao Quechua people consider the key to life: coca. both must know how to protect themselves from an ever-present threat: the Mountain. They live on the east-central range of the Andes mountains. Furthermore. are located at these lower elevations. and a shiny gold inlayed tooth may all contribute to the external beauty of a young Quechua lady.000. sheep. the mountains fall away into the jungles of the Amazon basin. Their access back to the surface closed off so they remained inside the earth.000 feet cover the mountain slopes. 1956. pigs. They have chewed the coca leaf for centuries. However. and due to recent migrations. Coca also “talks”. and they now inhabit the mountains. Pablo Villogas Javier reflects upon the origin of this animate being: “Tayta Jirka (Father Mountain) originated long ago when it rained fire on the earth. or a real woman. a young . Location: State of Huánuco. chickens. a transparent homespun wool shawl.Pachitea-Panao Quechua (Group I) Population: 50. To be a Panao runa is to be a real man. one who knows how to care for her family. to survive. It provides nutrients and fosters wellbeing for those who live at high altitudes on a diet of carbohydrates. the provincial capital.000 feet.

Pachitea-Panao Quechua Pachitea-Panao Quechua man’s family will want to know more about the girl: can she get up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to cook breakfast? Can she spin? Can she pasture the animals? Can she manage a home and be hospitable? Will she care for her parents in their old age? The young lady’s parents will be asking similar questions about the young man: does he have land on which to plant his crops? Does he know how to cut firewood? Does he drink and chase other women? The answers will come by negotiations between the families and by carefully consulting the coca. beliefs are a mixture of Christian and traditional animistic persuasions.” Luke 11:28 49 in progress Life of Christ video . The reason behind this ritual is that the smell of the cow’s entrails wards off the spirit of the Mountain and prevents him from harming the child. Besides Scripture translation. and be Christians. SIL began its work among the Pachitea Quechuas in 1984. Finally. either Cath. as soon as the cow’s stomach was removed. One day when neighbors were butchering a cow. Then. stench and all. two large openings were made in it. was covered with a cloth. Scripture reading and Christian as the following example shows. primers and reading materials are being prepared to encourage the people to read in Most Quechuas claim to their mother tongue. She has a one-year-old son. who created the mountains for them. her son was undressed and his face Chaynuy niptin. their Quechua music are being broadcast. the child was quickly dressed. The lives of the Pachitea Quechuas are strongly influenced by the fear that the Mountain will make them sick or kill them.” He replied. Jesús niran: “Tayta Diosninchita wiyacujcunami ichanga jatunpacushicunga. and the child was passed through. Presently the Scriptures are being translated into the language so that the people may discover their benevolent Creator. María says that she is a Christian and trusts in the God of the Bible. However. who healed her of programs with olic or Protestant. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

Pastaza Quechua (Group II B) Population: 2. The Candoshi and Achuar who also live in that same general area seem to have resisted the assimilation process. Each group. The Pastaza Quechua communities are located in a wide area. A trip by motorized canoe from one end to the other requires three days. There are bilingual communities found on the Manchari River. A third Pastaza Quechua group (those located in the middle) is looked down upon as not speaking good Quechua. The northern group calls the southern group “Mulato” (which is also their name for the Candoshi). Since many pieces of the puzzle are missing. heart. It appears they are the result of an early attempt at quechuanization of local groups. Location: Northwest jungle area along the Pastaza River and its tributaries in about 15 communities in the state of Loreto. as they call their language. or Inga. It is the language of their Before SIL linguists began working with the Pastaza Quechuas in 1973. though. Many customs of the Pastaza Quechuas show influences from Achuar and Candoshi cultures. and on the Nucuray River. This might be an indication that the people from the south are descendents of a non-Quechua speaking ethnic group. Their use of Spanish is limited to matters of trade and other outside relations. 50 . are more outgoing and fun loving. The women and children understand Spanish only superficially. the origin of the Pastaza Quechua people still remains a mystery. which runs parallel to the Pastaza River. The origin of the Pastaza Quechua people is unknown. thinks the other speaks good Quechua. The people of the northern group speak more rapidly and are more serious and reserved. Those in the south speak more slowly. Alianza Cristiana. the people in the northern villages had very little to do with those from the southern villages. They have different cultural patterns due to the fact that they intermarry with the Achuars. the people in their 40s and over are bilingual in Quechua and Candoshi. They maintained their language. In those villages Candoshi and Quechua are spoken but with a tendency more toward Candoshi. The language shows some resemblance to Ecuador’s Pastaza Quichua and to the Napo and Tigre Quechua languages found in northern Peru and southern Ecuador. In their homes the people speak Quechua. In the largest community. at Lake Anatico. a tributary of the Pastaza River.200.

which include taboos related to pregnancy and childbirth. They strongly believe that revenge seeking spirits will harm an infant at birth if the parents touched. it is believed that its soul has been taken. If it is not returned soon. Some areas of the house are fenced in for storage and protection from rain and wandering animals. The Pastaza Quechuas still cling to some animistic beliefs.Pastaza Quechua Pastaza Quechua Payka aynirka: Ashwan kushilla kankakuna. and the products of their fields. and weaving baskets which the women use to carry produce from the garden. the child will die. If a child suffers from diarrhea and/or vomiting. There are congregations led by Pastaza Quechua pastors in several communities. strings are tied around their wrists and ankles. This is generally done in mingas (work parties). is their household and raising their children. carving paddles and kitchen utensils. Bible translation among the Pastaza Quechua people began in 1973. with roofs made from woven palm leaves. Pastaza men are also responsible for making dugout canoes. Their primary responsibility. Therefore. ate or looked at something which is considered taboo. Literacy materials have been prepared and reading classes are being conducted in Pastaza Quechua. such as cooking bananas and manioc. Under certain circumstances the people also believe spirits can steal the souls of small children. They also raise chickens and pigs and sell their products to river traders or to the oil company located at nearby Andoas. when a child suffers from diarrhea and vomiting. maykankunami Yaya Diospa shiminta uyanahun kasunahun. Only a shaman who is familiar with the use of blowing tobacco can retrieve the soul. Their wooden houses are built on stilts about three to four feet above the ground. hunting. On Christmas day 1997 the New Testament and selected portions of the Old Testament were dedicated. The men are responsible for house building and clearing of fields. 51 1997 Bilingual dictionary . In order to protect the infant from adverse spirit activity. The women make clay pots and drinking bowls from gourds and weave fire fans from palm leaves and belts from cotton for their own use. He replied. of course. it is generally taken to the shaman who blows tobacco smoke into its lungs in order to bring back its soul.” Luke 11:28 The people subsist on fishing. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

” A few young have been exposed to the people have become Christian message in Spanprofessionals ish for many years. writing a grammar. in the hopes it will give them a “better The people of San Martín future. with many finishScripture.Martín Quechua people to get involved in a dictionary making project ious to provide a with consultant help from an SIL high school education for their children linguist. Spanish is the language of the classroom. and many young parents are not speaking Quechua to their children in the hopes of preparing them better for school. be-nurses. especially in their music. Nevertheless. and Sisa Rivers. and architecture. Mayo. with a few on the Chandless River near the upper Purús in the Acre territory of Brazil. Huallaga. teachers. The supplies presents a hardship to the need for a Quechua-Spanish dictiosubsistence-farmers with no steady nary mobilized some of the San income. it has gained considerable prestige. As a result the present generation wants to Education is obligatory preserve their mother tongue in writand schools are located in ten form. often at the expense of leaving not only the home area but also their culture. translating formal education. In 52 .000. This wish has partly been even the most remote vilmet by SIL through analyzing the lanlages.San Martín Quechua (Group II b) Population: 44. Nevertheless parents are anx. It is believed that they are composed of family groups that centuries ago lost their ethnic identities and adopted Quechua as their language. Despite the jungle heat their houses are constructed without windows. Location: In the state of San Martín in the provinces of Lamas. collecting stories. The origin of the San Martín Quechua people is uncertain. Most of the younger generation have a passive knowledge of Quechua. However. and San Martín communities are located along the Huallaga. In the state of Ucayalí they are located along parts of the Ucayalí River. dance. Most children receive some guage. The women wear colorful skirts and blouses resembling a mixture of highland and provincial Spanish influence. cause of language and cultural secretaries. since Quechua was declared one of the official languages of Peru in 1975. In the state of Loreto they are located on the Marañón River and possibly on the lower Huallaga River. Quechua is still spoken in the homes among the people 30 years and older. Although education is free. The lifestyle of the people today very much reflects Andean customs. However. and preing primary schools. and barriers very little was understood. engineers. the purchase of school paring schoolbooks and language learning lessons in Quechua.

participants dress During the early years of the in typical San Martín dress: the men translation process. Keeping within San Martín Quechua culture. he blouses with pretty embroidered also compiled a hymnal by translatflower designs on the front and eling Spanish hymns into his mother bow-length puffed sleeves. began learning the San Martín Quechua language in order to translate the Word of God into the language of the people. the churches rotate responsibilities for the annual music festival. As the time for the festival approaches. Many of these churches have formed Christian conjuntos (music bands) and are beginning to sponsor annual music festivals. He replied. Everyone helps by bringing the needed firewood. the women choose a site for the communal kitchen and go to neighboring churches to ask for assistance in cooking for the four-day festival. one church after another was formed. and the enthusiastically helped with the women wear black skirts and white translation. The men commit themselves to fishing and hunting. Soon contacts with other Andean Quechua churches were established. at the time under another organization. Both men tongue and putting translated Scrip. Everyone works together in the field to bring in extra cash and grow crops that will be used to feed the many visitors. a young wear short white shirts with a string crippled man began to unof buttons and a colorful handkerderstand the Gospel message and chief tied on their heads. This custom is called “voto”. A growing number of musical groups write new hymns throughout the year to be presented at the festival. ture into local tunes. During the festival. This task was completed in 1992. pigs or other animals and to making new clay soup bowls. The people responded with great enthusiasm and as more Scripture was translated and new hymns were written and taught.” Luke 11:28 1965 an SIL linguist. Being gifted in music. 53 1992 Life of Christ video . This has become a traditional and treasured yearly event. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.San Martín Quechua San Martín Quechua Chashna chay warmi willaptinna Jesuska willarkan: —Mamaynimanta ashwan allita kushikunsapa Tata Diospa rimananta uyarishpa kasukuk runakuna. The church chosen to sponsor the music festival for the coming year sets aside a field for growing crops.and women go barefoot. The women commit themselves to raising an agreed upon number of chickens. and in 1993 the Word of God in San Martín Quechua was presented to the people in a special dedication ceremony. As a result of these contacts the San Martín Quechua church began their own annual music festival in 1983.

500 feet. beans.South Conchucos Quechua (Group I) Population: 250. people may live as low as at 8. Cooking is done in clay pots over a fire of eucalyptus wood. If a family needs help he calls his neighbors to form a work party to harvest crops or build a house. The wind carries much of the chaff away. corn. and habas in their fields. The second floor is used primarily to store harvested crops. where horses and mules tread the grain. the family members throw the threshed grain into the air with wooden winnowing forks. tile or straw roofs. After harvesting. A man who is a hard worker and generous is considered to be a good man. The communities are mostly located around 10. Grains are harvested by hand using a sickle. He will be sure the workers are served a bountiful mid-day meal and paid a fair wage in return for their help. many varieties of potatoes and other tubers. and different kinds of herbs for flavoring soups are cultivated in the gardens closer to home. Alfalfa is also grown to feed guinea pigs. Speakers of this variety of Quechua are also found in the Huacaybamba area of Huánuco. east of the Cordillera Blanca. The South Conchucos Quechuas are peasant people who live in farming communities of 600 to 1000 people. men carry the sheaves on their backs to the threshing floor. peas. Cabbage. which forms the continental divide.000 feet or as high as at 14. Fields are plowed with a wooden plow drawn by a pair of oxen because the mountainsides are too steep for tractors.000. Farmers grow wheat. onions. The Quechuas are excellent cooks 54 . The Quechua culture holds hard work and generosity in high esteem. However.000 feet above sea level. Location: East central state of Ancash. barley. While the animals take a rest. Their homes are like others in the highlands—two story adobe brick structures with tin.

” He replied. and food is eaten with spoons. In spite of this trend. and teachers are being trained to teach reading and writing in Quechua. If available. Textbooks with stories in Quechua are being written for use in public schools. “Mamä cushicungannöllam Tayta Dyos ninganta chasquicur wiyacogcunapis masrä cushishga caycäyan. rue. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. in some communities. a couple of eggs are stirred into the pot with some homemade cheese. The Life of Christ video has been dubbed into the language. It is possible to eat soup every day for two months and not repeat.South Conchucos Quechua South Conchucos Quechua began working with the South Conchucos Quechua speakers in 1987. This adds a wonderful smoky taste. On special occasions guinea pig is prepared with hot sauces and potatoes. 55 2002 Life of Christ video . When the vegetables are cooked. often made from gourds. cilantro. although Spanish is gradually being used more due to the influence of radio and. most children enter school speaking only Quechua. Tsaynö niptin Jesus nirgan. the cook may also add chopped green onions. Many children have been learning spiritual truths from Bible storybooks in school. or mint. SIL and prepare different hearty soups daily for their families. Removing the soup from the fire. papa cashqui is made with potatoes and ollucos cut in strips and placed in boiling water. habas will be added along with a pinch of salt. A popular breakfast soup. television. The family sits at the table on low benches to eat. Bible translation is in progress.” Luke 11:28 Quechua is the language of choice among the Conchucos Quechua people.

Wanca Quechua (Group I) Population: 250. which are made further back in the mouth than the standard ch and sh Wanca Quechua is the southernmost of the central in Spanish and English. the be “grammatically pure. The second hat is made from woven straw covered with a layer of plaster. The mainstay of this area is agriculture. The sounds of Wanca Quechua are and peas are some of the most imdistinguished from other varieties of portant cash crops of this area. oflages and among family. Many non-Wanca Quechua speakers do not consider Wanca Quechua to In most regions of the Andes. They never allowed themselves to be dominated by the Incas. Women use them for a number of purposes: to carry their babies. Most of those who live in villages grow their crops for subsistence as well as for profit. Potatoes. with a black ribbon on the band. The combinations of width and kinds of stripes incorporated in the design are distinctive. ten worn to shield the face from the sun while working in the fields. basic styles: the first is a wide use their language freely in their vilbrimmed black or brown felt hat. ceramics and the distinctive carved gourds. Wanca speakers. This white hat.” They rehat distinguishes each Quechua gard the language as an illegitimate group. As a pre-Incan people. Other as l what would be r in other varietvarieties of Quechua further to the ies of Quechua. corn. Wanca Quechuas are known for their mantas (large square cloths). Quechua by the retroflex ch and sh. is the “city hat” and is worn when a Quechua lady is dressed up for a special occasion. The Wancas have a history of being fierce warriors. fava beans. south enjoy much more prestige. province of Huancayo. to 56 . however. the Wanca Quechuas allied themselves with the Spanish against what they considered to be the Inca oppressors. Location: South and east of the Mantaro Valley in the state of Junín. The mantas are woven with numerous colorful stripes and intricate designs. The Wanca women have two dialect.000. The people also have a tendency to pronounce Quechua languages.

Interestingly. of the ritual of the festival. and very large porongos. colorful the mantas reveal the place of origin ribbons are placed in the animal’s of their users. erature in Wanca Quechua are available to encourage reading in the idiom. and Huayno. the festival dance day and night used to make a fermented corn drink through the village streets. Like the hats. They also depict guage and some of the important festivals mini-libraries with litthroughout the region. called chicha and to store grains. Santiago or Tayta Shanti refers to Saint James.” Luke 11:28 57 2006 Life of Christ video . The Wanca Quechuas believe St.Wanca Quechua Wanca Quechua Important festivals for the Wanca people are Santiago. Huaylarsh and Huayno refer to two popular music styles in the region. plates. He replied. James is the patron saint responsible for maintaining fertility of carry firewood. Niptinmi Jesus nila: “AŠhwampa Dios nishanta uyalil cäsucücunaca cushisha capäcuchun paypïpis masta. Huaylarsh. they are only carved Testament is in in Cochas Chico. ears. As part their men in the fields. During this time the participants of teakettles. The town of Cochas Chico is well known SIL began working with the for its matte burlado. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. although the gourds are The transgrown in areas outside of the lation of the New Mantaro Valley. carved gourds. and to take lunch to their domesticated animals. The designs depict progress.” nil. Wanca Quechuas in 1982. Ceramic items include pots. The Life of typical mountain scenes that are arChrist video has been ranged in the order of their agriculdubbed into the lantural calendar. The festival is held from July 25 until the beginning of August.

58 .

.. 5:9 . and nation.. people. Rev. language.ransomed for God from every tribe.

and those who gather the latex are “caucheros” (cow-chair-ohs). Many factors contributed to the Amazon rubber boom of 1880 to 1912.000 miles long. Rubber trees were found in abundance in certain areas of Brazil. Peru. Thousands of rubber products became available. and Europe. In addition there are more than 50. Colombia and Peru. The Spanish name for rubber tree is “caucho”. The sudden demand for rubber and the discovery of an abundance of wild rubber trees in the Amazon Basin attracted European investors. Ocean vessels could travel from the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil to Iquitos. We know the game today as the very popular fútbol or soccer. T 60 . ‘weeping wood’. In 1867 Brazil opened the Amazon River to international commerce and exploration. because the drops of latex oozing from the bark reminded them of big white tears.S.700 miles upriver. he discovery in 1839 of vulcanization (the process that makes rubber stay tough and firm in heat or cold) created a great demand for rubber by manufacturers both in the U. In the late 19th century the lure that attracted “hunters” to the Amazon Basin was not gold but the latex from the wild rubber tree. Access to the areas on these rivers was greatly facilitated by the earlier invention of the steamboat. the native people of South America were using latex from rubber trees to make balls for the game where the ball was butted with the head and shoulders. 2. Ecuador. and Peru. each over 1.000 miles of navigable trunk rivers in Brazil. feed into the Amazon. Colombia. Soon rubber hunters from all over the world flocked to the Upper Amazon in search of rubber trees and their fortunes. F Long before the European explorers arrived.Focus on the Rubber Boom Weeping Wood The Amazon Rubber Boom ortune hunters have always rushed to lands where quick fortunes might be found. Seventeen tributaries. The rubber tree was called “cahuchu”.

Both prospered greatly. I It is ironic that rubber tree seeds smuggled out of Brazil in 1876 provided the stock to establish large rubber plantations in Ceylon. on the Amazon and Manaus. Their dependence on the native people unfortunately led to ruthless exploitation. Nine-tenths of the world’s rubber was coming from the Amazon Basin in 1910. Those who were uncooperative were beaten. epidemics and hardships. petroleum. 61 .ubber hunters quickly found they could increase their profits by rounding up thousands of local native people and forcing them to collect latex. 1. It is said that the “rubber boom” could not have succeeded without the labor of the native Amazon people who located and tapped the trees. Ocaina. became “boom towns” and eventually became cities of international importance.000 native people. sweat and real tears! While tens of thousands of native jungle people. The port of Iquitos. and Resígero were nearly exterminated by the treatment they received and from the diseases of the white man. Brazil. Bora. On the Putamayo River alone (the border between Colombia and Peru) the Witoto. fur and more recently. The outsiders learned how to gather latex from the indigenous people. Although the demand for rubber has now almost ceased. Other native communities to the south were also victims of violent raids that took men to harvest rubber. “Amazon history was forever changed by the sap of the weeping wood”. tortured. In 1860 there were an estimated 50. women for concubines. At the same time in Brazil rubber profits were building palaces in Belém and Manaus. By the early 1900s there were less than 10.700 miles downriver. The Amazon rubber boom died shortly after 1910 when rubber plantations in the Far East began producing an abundant and less expensive supply of rubber for the world market. Peru. Thousands endured mistreatment. the jungle was opened to outside colonization. exotic woods. Changed through much bloodshed. Now both foreign and Peruvian entrepreneurs seek other jungle products such as lumber. or shot. and black and white day laborers worked in the malarial jungles of Brazil and Peru under slave-like conditions. in the Brazilian jungle. R n 1910 rubber exportation represented more than 24% of the total of Peru’s exports. and children to be sold as slaves during the rubber boom years. Malaya and other countries of the Far East.000 still living. Manaus was the site of the most famous opera house in South America where opera star Jenny Lind once sang and the Russian Ballet performed. the “beneficiaries” were living in luxury.

The Italian missionary Filippo Salvatory Gilij first used the term Maipure in 1782. fervently. in order that = intensifier 62 . so that. Peru.. He was among the first scholars to describe an Arawakan language in Venezuela. with reference to) = epenthetic segment (added for phonological reasons) = referential (concerning. in.ARAWAKAN The Arawakan Language Family The Arawakan language family is the most widely dispersed of all language families in Latin America. The term did not gain acceptance.. Arawakan languages are currently spoken in Guatemala. including the first one met by Columbus. John 15. It extends from Central America and the Caribbean islands in the north to the Gran Chaco in the south. very much. Venezuela. really.fruit -DAT -E -REF -E -VERI -E -ABL -PERF -F -R -TEL -INT ‘in order that it may bear even more fruit’ (cf. and Brazil. a speaker of an Arawakan language can say what it takes an English speaker several clauses to say. One characteristic of the Arawakan language family is the multitude of affixes (prefixes and suffixes) that can be attached to verb roots. completely. well. about. Before the Spanish conquest they were also spoken in some Caribbean islands and probably in Argentina and Paraguay. In a single word. which initially included the whole language family. and from the mouth of the Amazon in the east to the foothills of the Peruvian Andes in the west. Following the conquest and as a result of it. the Guianas. with respect to. purpose). the name of a language group spoken along the coast of the Guianas. however. ompitsaraquijacotimentamajatanaquempanijite o -m -pitsaraquij -aco -t -iment -a -maja -t -an -aqu -e -mpa -niji -te 3F -F -bear. Honduras. many of the languages and people groups. The major branch of the Arawakan language family is Maipuran. Bolivia. as the following Caquinte example shows: An example of a LONG Caquinte word. about. earnestly) = ablative (movement away or continuation of the action) = perfective = reflexive = telic (motive. became extinct. Colombia. and was later replaced by Arawak. on account of) = verity (truly.2) 3F F DAT E REF VERI ABL PERF R TEL INT = third person feminine = future / irrealis = dative (for.

Ucayali-Yuruá Ashéninka 7 6. Caquinte 7. *Chamicuro (nearly extinct) 8. Yanesha’ (Amuesha) 16. Pichis Ashéninka 5. Perené Ashéninka 4. Pajonal Ashéninca 14. 63 . Machiguenga 10. Nomatsiguenga 13. *Resígaro (nearly extinct) 15. *Iñapari (nearly extinct) 9.Arawakan Family ARAWAKAN Arawakan language groups represented in Peru: 14 1. Nanti 12. Apurucayali Ajyíninka 3. Asháninca Ashéninka varieties: 2. Yine (Piro) 2 5 15 4 3 13 16 10 8 12 6 9 11 1 * These language groups are not featured in this book. *Mashco-Piro (no contact established) 11.

as for example: Shipibo (‘shipi’ is a small monkey). extending from the Ucayali River to the border with Brazil. Amahuaca.PANOAN The Panoan Language Family The Panoan people groups live in an area extending from the Amazon River in Peru and Brazil into northern Bolivia. as reported by the French anthropologist The Panoan language family is part of the larger Pano-Tacanan Philippe Erikson: the Chacobo in language family. with less access to the major river systems. for example. a plural marker. or in –nahua. the Yoras in 1984. Shipibos and other groups along the Ucayali River have had constant contact with the outside world for more than a century. has four different suffixes to specify when an action or event took place: earlier today. as in Capanahua ‘squirrel people’. 1994:5). An interesting common denominator among two Panoan language groups living 700 miles from each other is their association of rain with the wild boar.000 people. Piyanmun jan yaa rutushinxohnu (one or two days ago). a term making reference to ‘people’. Piyanmun jan yaa rutuyanxohnu (several days ago. An exception is the Shipibo-Conibo people who number 20. Piyanmun jan yaa rutunixohnu (more than a year ago). The Tacanan languages are spoken primarily in Bolivia call rain falling on a sunny Bolivia but Ese’eja is spoken in southern Peru also. Most end in –bo. a Yaminahua subgroup. Those further east.000 persons. day: yawa oi. 64 . One characteristic common to most Panoan languages is their preciseness in expressing past action. and the Chitonahuas. He killed the wild boar with an arrow: Piyanmun jan yaa rutuxohnu (sometime earlier today). in 1995. The Matsés were contacted in 1969. several days ago (up to a month). ‘wild boar rain’. The remarkable cultural and linguistic homogeneity of the Panoan people is reflected in the names of the groups.000 to 23. one or two days ago. In Peru they are located in the east. The Matis in Brazil explain that rain falling on a sunny day is caused by wild boars that are wailing for their peers (Erikson. The Panoan language family consists primarily of small jungle groups with populations ranging from less than 100 to a little over 1. or more than one year ago. up to a month). remained in isolation until a few decades ago.

Cashinahua 5. Yora 6 9 5 3 10 1 11 4 8 *These language groups are not featured in this book. 65 . Sharanahua-Mastanahua 9.Panoan Family PANOAN Panoan language groups represented in Peru: 2 7 1. Matsés 7. Amahuaca 2. Capanahua 3. A number of Panoan languages have become extinct and others are facing extinction. Cashibo-Cacataibo 4. *Panobo (considered extinct) 8. is causing several of the Panoan groups to loose their mother tongue. Also. Yaminahua-Chitonahua 11. for years the people have been told that their culture and language are inferior with the result that many have embraced the mistaken idea that to be “civilized” means to speak Spanish. Today the combination of many young people marrying outside their groups and acculturation to the dominant mestizo culture. The rubber boom and following epidemics took many lives in all of the groups. Shipibo-Conibo 10. *Isconahua (considered extinct) 6.

The Ocaina have adopted Muruí Witoto. Using the wrong tone can totally distort the intended meaning not only of a single word but also of a whole sentence as the following examples show (high tone is indicated by an accent): Mémajchóte. although there are still many speakers in Colombia.’ ‘Let us go eat. Achuar-Shiwiar. Tone is equally important in Bora. and Muruí Witoto. quality.’ ‘The chief is eating. Bora and/or Spanish. Distinctives in Bora. Mayo. The three Peruvian languages in this family. There has been an attempt to revive the mother tongue recently by using Ocaina primers and reading books in the schools. Pastaza. The Jivaroan language family is scattered across northwestern Peru along the Upper Marañón. Ávyéjuube majchó. The Muinane Witoto people in Peru have adopted Muruí Witoto and/or Spanish. Bora and Muruí Witoto are the only viable Peruvian languages in this group. However. The Bora language is distinguished by two main features: its extensive use of qualifying classifier suffixes and its tone system. ‘Go (plural) to eat. The language uses over 350 classifiers.’ ‘The chief ate (some time ago). all three people groups cherish their mother tongue.Arawakan Family JIVAROAN and WITOTOAN Language Families in the North: Jívaro and Witoto The Jivaroan and Witotoan people groups live in northern Peru and across the borders of Ecuador and Colombia. The Witotoan language family groups in northeastern Peru include Bora. Ávyéjuubée majchó. and Huambisa are widely spoken. Mémájchoté. Ocaina. It affects all of the grammatical categories..’ 66 . motion and many other characteristics of things. The classifiers are attached to word roots and express shape. Muinane Witoto. Morona and Santiago rivers. Spanish is spoken with varying degrees of fluency by many of the Jivaroans. Aguaruna. Each syllable has either a high or a low tone. For a Bora speaker it is impossible to count objects without choosing the appropriate classifier. sound..

JIVAROAN and WITOTOAN 5 1 4 6 Jívaroan language groups represented in Peru: 7 6 3 1. Huambisa 2 Witotoan language groups represented in Peru: 4. 67 . Bora 5. Aguaruna 3. Muruí Witoto 7. Ocaina Víctor Churay Roque *This language group is not featured in this book. *Muinane Witoto 6. Achuar-Shiwiar 2.

000 Yaguas have a fairly good command of Spanish. Arabela. The Orejones live in northeast Peru. some quite fluently. Many of them intermarry with the Yagua people and mestizos and consequently are in the process of losing their mother tongue and ethnic identity. The Peba-Yaguan language family consisted of three ethnic groups: Yagua. Tucano. The Secoya language is spoken by an estimated 600 people in the very northern tip of Peru between Ecuador and Colombia and in Ecuador. the only language still spoken today is Yagua. The Arahuan language family has several members in Brazil but only one in Peru: Culina. except Arabela. The Zaparoan language family consisted of six ethnic groups in Peru: Andoa.000 people are considered to be Jeberos. Jebero is nearly extinct. Iquito.500 across the border with Brazil speak Culina. depending on what one eats and how one eats it: to eat meat miaquenu to eat a meal without meat mianu. and only a small percentage speaks limited Spanish. others at a beginning level. Arahua. The Arabelas are situated in the north. are considered extinct or nearly extinct with just a few speakers left. Cawarano. bordering on Yagua territory. Only 20 percent of the population speaks Spanish. still speak the language. close to the border with Ecuador. the Arabela side has nine entries. Although approximately 2.000 to 2. How many ways can you say “eat”? The newly published Arabela–Spanish dictionary gives us examples of the language’s extensive vocabulary: On the Spanish side under the entry for comer ‘to eat’. including international tourism. 25 to 30 percent of the estimated 5. An estimated 300 to 400 people in central east Peru and another 2.SMALL LANGUAGE FAMILIES Small Language Families: Cahuapana. Chayahuita is a viable language with more than 10. The Tucanoan language family is widely represented in Brazil. nujuaaniu. Yameo and Peba. Peba-Yagua. located in northeast Peru. Arabela still has a small group of speakers: an estimated 40 individuals actually use the language and 100 understand it. Záparo The Cahuapanan language family consists of two ethnic groups: Chayahuita and Jebero. and two groups in Ecuador: Omurano and Záparo.000 speakers. only a small fraction. Colombia and Ecuador. the older adults. In most of the communities Spanish and a variety of Quechua are spoken in addition to Arabela. The Peruvian members are Orejón and Secoya.000 to 6. Aushiri. All of these languages. The Yagua people live east of Iquitos where they are exposed to many outside influences. Both are situated towards the south of the Marañón River and towards the west of the Huallaga River. On the Peru side the language is widely used by all generations. However. sanu to eat pieces of meat pulled off a larger chunk shushiriiniu to crack and eat nuts (used for animals) sojonu to eat corn off the cob tiuriyaconu to eat taking the food with the fingers from a bowl tamuenenu to eat something with garlic nacujunu to eat with the hand tamuenu to eat meat that has been cut off a large piece sayojonu 68 .

SMALL LANGUAGE FAMILIES Language groups pertaining to small language families represented in Peru: 7 1 2 6 Záparo 8 1. Arabela 2. *Secoya Peba-Yagua 8. *Iquito Arahua 5 4 3. Orejón 7. Yagua *These language groups are not featured in this book. Culina Cahuapana 4. 69 . Chayahuita 5. *Jebero 3 Tucano 6.

An estimated 8. Ticuna and Urarina. and there remained Amarakaeri/Aratbut people. 70 . estimated that only 12 percent speak a limmid. It is widely used examples: by all generations. gold has drawn seekers from many Cholon. that 2. The Ticuna language has an intricate tone system. Urarina is considered the language of their heart. verb.000 people speak the language in northeastern Peru along the Amazon River. Numbers indicate tone in the following their culture and language. Brazil and Colombia.000 people. Although the people live in areas which are not guages are in this category: Candoshi-Shapra. They of sub-dialects. easily accessible. Taushiro.’ Cha3na3mu3-5 ‘I spear it. Two of these languages are probably no lon. Urarina is spoken in northern Peru by an estimated 3. it has five tone levels: very high. Harakmbet. Huachipaeri.’ Cha3na3mu5 ‘I eat it. It is spoken by approximately 80 percent of the ger spoken today: Only one or two people were known to speak Cholon in 1985. and a number of possible ited Spanish. The language is nearly extinct due to an epidemic in the 1960s and to the fact that most survivors have intermarried with non-Taushiro speakers and have adopted Spanish or a variety of Quechua. Ticuna is used at home and in public. Munichi.ISOLATES Languages Considered Isolates Harakmbet is spoken in southeastern Peru and inA number of indigenous languages spoken in cludes a number of dialects that are mutually intelligithe Peruvian lowlands cannot be classified as ble: Amarakaeri/Aratbut. According Candoshi-Shapra in northern Peru.000 to 3. has only seven people remaining who can speak and Are you TONE DEAF? understand the language. The people take great pride in glides. A sentence that includes all five tones: I1na2ngu3 i4 to5 ‘Another one is arriving. A unique feature of the Urarina language is its word order: object. It is to one analysis.’ A wrong tone results in a totally different meaning: Cha3na3mu3 ‘I weave it.’ Taushiro is spoken in northern Peru. subject.places and Spanish is the trade language of the area.’ Cha3na3mu4 ‘I send it. Although about 40 percent of the people (mainly men) speak some Spanish. three people who spoke Munichi in 1988. The people make great use of communicating through writing. low and very low. Taushiro. The following seven lantoday. Although many of the Ticuna in Peru are learning Spanish. Ticuna is spoken in Peru. and a number belonging to a specific language family. There are an estimated 500 speakers are considered isolates. high. A third language. this order is unusual and found only in Amazonía.000 persons speak is unusual for a South American language.

Ticuna 5.ISOLATES Language groups represented in Peru that are considered isolates: 3 2 5 4 1. Candoshi-Shapra 3. Urarina 1 71 . Taushiro 4. Amarakaeri/Aratbut 2.

They call themselves: Aents ‘people’. The main crops were manioc and cooking bananas for their own use. who are called Jívaros. and hunted and fished using blowguns. were somewhat acculturated when SIL linguists first contacted them in 1961. They obtained the poison for the darts from traders. which was sold to make DDT. Traders selling them goods on credit kept them in perpetual debt and tried to keep them from being educated. often surrounded by high palisades made from palm trees that protected them from sudden night attacks by enemies.500 in Peru Location: Northern Peru in the and 2. The men were polygamists. Now they use shotguns. Their neighbors lived at a distance of about a day’s journey by dugout canoe. and barbasco. rubber. They practiced slash-and-burn agriculture. The Shiwiars on the Corrientes. They had discontinued wearing their traditional clothing.Achuar-Shiwiar (Jivaroan) Population: 3. made from manioc tubers. women. The ground floor was used for work projects and to prepare fariña. They also offered the people sugar cane liquor until they were addicted to it. Around their wrists they wore narrow hand-woven bracelets. along the headwaters of the rivers between the Morona and Tigre rivers. They worked lumber. and corn and beans to be sold to traders.000–3. The oldest male was usually the headman. the food staple of the river population.000 in Ecuador. Their rectangular houses were on stilts high above ground. and their tributaries lived more isolated. The men wore feather headdresses made from red and yellow toucan feathers. A shaman often had as many as four wives. to protect them from snake-bites. Men. They also gathered nuts and fruits from the jungle. Yet that did not keep them from being exploited. Men painted their . state of Loreto. They lived in 72 groups of about 50 people in a large communal house with an oval roof. They lived in small family groups of two or three houses. The Achuars on the Huasaga and Huitoyacu Rivers. The men used to hunt with blowguns. and children used ankle bands. The men wore wrap-around kilts that the women wove from home-spun cotton.

They used ayahuasca. If he is unsuccessful after repeated attempts to cure the person. which is their primary source of nourishment. The preferred marriage pattern used to be between cross cousins. The people used to live in constant fear of a surprise attack. The men moved in with their in-laws. he blames someone. put decorated reed inserts in their pierced ears. ‘Are you home?’ 73 1981. the children can attend child úchi grade school. This protected the girls from abuses by their husbands. (my) mother nukúr After having heard the message land núngka of Christ’s love for them in their water yúmi own language. childbirth. Believers are sun etsáa not afraid of death any longer. When a person dies suddenly. they ple in 1965. Since there are man áints government schools in all the new woman núwa villages. The four wives of one chief lost a total of 25 children. of having bewitched the patient. Only eight lived to become adults. The New Testahad to observe taboos related to ment was first published in 1981. 1994 Bilingual dictionary 1996 Achuar-Spanish . This drug produces a trance-like state in which the shaman tries to determine how the illness entered the body. The relatives of the deceased are obliged to seek revenge. If he agreed. Many children died in infancy. which were performed at night. When a man wanted to marry. thus incurring the wrath of her father and humiliating the suitor. without a lingering illness. revenge killings fire ji have all but ceased. and wore their long hair in ponytails. Girls had no say in the choice of marriage partners. resulting in a never-ending cycle of revenge killings. moon yántu There are now 22 congregations house jéa with many believers. where they are ¿Pujámek? taught exclusively in Spanish.Achuar-Shiwiar faces. Some go to high school and college. The Achuars and Shiwiars were animists who believed that evil spirits SIL began work were lurking in the jungle to harm among the them. a hallucinogenic drug. He sucks on the affected body part and spits out the “sickness”. In 1994 a revised edition with an abridged Old Testament (my) father apár was distributed among the people. Punishment for young men and women who were found together without the approval of the girl’s father was death. the shaman will also blame an enemy. The women made their own pottery. in their curing ceremonies. the girl was obligated to marry the man. he would persuade an influential relative to speak for him to the prospective father-in-law. often an enemy. Her only option was to run away and hide. The people’s fear of death and sickness made the shamans the most influential men. mostly serving-bowls and large fermentation jars for the ever present manioc beer. Achuar-Shiwiar peoIn order not to offend the spirits.

tsukh. As we continue to glide down the river. and cut off the head with the machete. chij. 74 . tungkuij. Tsach! His ax handle breaks. A paujil (cashew bird) joins the chorus. they imitate the sensation with sounds. Shungkarkaka cries a bird that looks like a prairie chicken. and it begins to rain. Whether they go on a fishing trip. we peel off the bark. We paddle over to the riverbank to cut a pole for fishing. sounds the machete as we pull it out of the canoe and then pis. Pak pak pak. Kuth. a curious otter pokes its head out of the water and then disappears just as quickly. it flops around in the canoe. a strong wind is beginning to blow. We quickly tie up the canoe and run for the house to get out of the rain. try to attract birds on a hunting trip. Te te te. a turtle sunning itself on a log slips into the water.” Let us accompany our Achuar friends on a fishing trip and enjoy the art of imitating sounds Achuar style. pukun. We set the line. chikh. Shai shai. because we did not understand Achuar. a dolphin surfaces on the water near our canoe. Tupuut. we paddle away from the riverbank. Tatar tatar. Kath kath. tututut. someone is cutting down a palm tree in the forest. we take the hook out of its mouth. Tapi. Mbuj.Focus on Onomatopoeia The Art of Imitating Sounds in Achuar he Achuar people enjoy imitating sounds. and that it was often used as a substitute for a phrase or even a whole sentence. We quickly paddle back to the port. We discovered that each one of these sound words represented an audible sensation. We tie the line to the pole and throw the hook into the water. Pupupup calls a bird as it flies overhead. tarat! Eet eet. participate in every day activities. such as buzz or hiss in English. and a piranha lands in the canoe. (Onomatopoeia refers to the formation of words in imitation of natural sounds. tatatat.) At the beginning it was difficult to identify these words and no one could help us. They had been replaced by onomatopoetic words. or experience pain. as we cut the pole. SIL linguists and Bible translators Gerhard and Ruby Fast report: T “When we analyzed Achuar texts. the paddle is thrown into a wooden dugout canoe and hits the bottom. a child playing on the riverbank lets a pan roll into the water. kae. Panan. Before long we have a bite. tungkuij. Tang tang tang. But little by little we were able to uncover the system. Tatarat. we noticed the absence of descriptive verbs. screams the fish. From the woods we hear the wild turkey gobble. he begins to cut another tree.

He is also coughing. He has a headache. sair. Grandma follows him. She soon has a fire burning. shau shau. There is no end of onomatopoetic words used in Achuar. and the book dropping to the floor with shuti. it continues raining. peet. 75 . Then the woman sharpens her machete on a stone. kakur kakur. pak pak pak. Kushia kushia. Upon receiving books for the first time. His father gives him some medicine that he swallows without a fuss. the baby begins crying in the hammock.Tuj tuj tuj. shut. chat. She is lame and drags one leg as she walks. Tuk tuk tuk. tung tung tung. she begins peeling manioc tubers. Jaai jaai. tsak tsak. The baby has a stuffy nose and sneezes: hachia hachia. She takes a gourd and pours some water into a big pot. gently patting his back. A little boy hits him. tser tser. Karash. A woman comes home with a bundle of firewood and throws it to the ground. shakai shakai. The family dog stole a bone and is gnawing on it in a secluded spot. Soon the water begins to boil. the turning over of pages was expressed with sair. Chiyu chiyu. she bites off a big piece. ashua ashua. His mother picks him up and carries him in her arms. kunturut. ujua ujua and his tummy says tsukuu. the dog howls and runs out of the house. shai shai. tikia tikia. and goes to her banana patch to cut a stalk of bananas. To the Achuars giving verbal expressions to new sounds adds zing to what could otherwise be merely blah talk. tuyua tuyua. here comes grandpa with his cane. tsuukja. shukarara. As soon as novelties are introduced into their culture the people create new sound words. She returns to her house and starts peeling the cooking bananas with her teeth. Her daughter begins to sweep the floor. Then grandpa polishes the inside of a blowgun. She offers grandpa a bowl of manioc beer that he empties in one long draft.


Population: 45,000.

Location: In the western Upper
Marañón River and the Lower Santiago River in the states of Amazonas,
Cajamarca, San Martín, and Loreto.

They call themselves:
Aents ‘people’ and Pata ‘family’.

The Aguarunas are one of
the largest groups in the Peruvian jungle. They have a
reputation as being aggressive and
progressive. Their name is thought
to come from Quechua: awax
(weaving) and runa (man), but the
Aguarunas call themselves aents
(people) or pata (family). They call
other groups with whom they have
friendly relations uma (sibling).
These include the Candoshis and the
Jivaroan people in Peru and Ecuador such as the Achuar-Shiwiars and
Huambisas. The Jivaroan groups are
related culturally and generally they
have lived in peace with each other.
There have been periods in their history, however, when they have
warred with each other.
The Aguaruna people have
a long history of revenge
killings and head shrinking.
Spanish explorers entered Aguaruna
territory as early as 1549, in search
of gold, but the Jivaroans are the
only indigenous people known to
have successfully resisted conquest
by both the Inca and Spanish invaders. Catholic missionaries were unable to establish permanent missions
among the Aguarunas until the 20th
century, although attempts were
made from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Until 1964 the only access to their
territory was by trail from the coast
or by river from the city of Iquitos.
Aguaruna territory is rugged, rocky
and mountainous, with some peaks
reaching up to 8,000 feet. Travel is
difficult due to swollen rivers during
the tropical rainy season or low water and rocks in the dry season.


For the Aguarunas the spirit
world is the real world. Traditionally the people were
heavily involved in witchcraft and
sorcery. Accidents, diseases, and
deaths were attributed to spirit power
and demanded revenge. To avenge
the death of a relative is the duty of
every honorable Aguaruna. However, changes are being forced upon
the people through national law forbidding any kind of homicide.
It is through the spirit realm that the
Aguarunas derive and maintain their
life force, develop their personality, and
gain status and
respect. They
firmly believe
people must
learn to understand the

1973, 2005
Bilingual dictionary 1996

Life of Christ video


mysteries of the unseen world in order to survive and get ahead in life.
Magical symbolism and practical
thinking go together in solving daily
problems. In hunting, for example,
the Aguaruna men rely as much on
the shotgun or blowgun and darts as
they do on magical songs and rituals.
In gardening the women depend
equally on their practical skills and
their magical nantag stones which
are believed to cause the plants to
grow faster and keep the people
from suffering hunger.

‘Are you there?’

began working among
the Aguarunas in 1947. In
1953 the first Aguaruna
man was trained to become a bilingual schoolteacher. He marked the
beginning of an educational program
that would later extend to the entire
language group scattered over more
than 20,000 square miles. By 1985,
156 communities had schools with
250 teachers serving 7,500 pupils.
More than 300 students have gone
on to post high school education.

To the Aguarunas,
contacts with the
outside world
have brought
challenges. Their
ancestral patterns
of pride and independence, however, coupled with
new skills such as
literacy, have
In 1975 the New Testament was dedicated and helped them to
confront rapid
the 10,000 copies were
soon sold. A second edition of 8,000 changes and maincopies was printed in 1984. By 1985 tain their own identity and
self-respect to a greater extent than
there were more than 100 congremany other indigenous groups.
gations, with well over 8,000
Having their language preserved in
believers. About 120 native pastors
writing and having the New Testawere serving these congregations.
ment in their mother tongue has
The Aguarunas have established and
helped to promote social stability
staffed two Bible schools. Approxiand cultural identity. The roles of
mately 150 pastors and Bible school
pastor and teacher are having a
students have been trained by sevunifying influence.
eral missions.




Population: 250 people in Peru
and 100 in Brazil.
They call themselves:
Yora ‘people’.

Franciscan missionaries
made the earliest known
contact with the Amahuaca
people in 1686 when they encountered a dozen huts on the Conguati
River. The Amahuacas used to be a
hostile people who raided isolated
communities, killing not only men,
but also some of the women and
children. They took the rest of the
women to be their wives and their
children as slaves. They used to be
more numerous. Records show that
in 1925, after the atrocities of the
rubber boom, they still numbered
about 3,000. Revenge killings within
the group and warfare with neighboring groups, particularly with the
Piros, Shipibos, and Yaminahuas,
greatly reduced the population.
While most of the Amahuacas lived
in relative isolation at the beginning
of the 20th century, today only a few
live in areas without permanent

Location: Widely scattered
throughout the southeastern part of
the Amazon Basin in the states of
Ucayali and Madre de Dios on the following rivers: Inuya, Sepahua, Purús,
Curiuja, Curanja, Yuruá, Upper
Ucayali, and Las Piedras.

The people lived in family
groups a day’s walk from
their neighbors. The settlements, usually with about 15 people,
were politically autonomous. They
lacked headmen and shamans. Their
social organization was extremely
simple: the extended family. They
practiced polygamy. Their preferred
marriage pattern was between
cross-cousins. The men would generally marry women who were considered sisters in terms of their kinship
structure. The people were
semi-nomadic, moving every year or
two to a new clearing. They practiced slash-and-burn agriculture. The
main crops were manioc, corn and
bananas. They also depended on
hunting, fishing, and gathering wild
jungle fruits.

Amahuaca men were, and still are,
enthusiastic hunters. One outsider
observed: “Maxoopo has just spotted
some red howler monkeys, but they
In 1953, the small group are already out of sight. With quick
but controlled motions he strips fiof Amahuacas contacted
by SIL on the headwaters of bers from the fronds of a palm tree,
and wraps them into a hoop about a
the Inuya resembled a Stone Age
foot in diameter. Using this hoop on
group. The men wore bark belts,
his feet as a climbing device,
and the women homespun cotton
Maxoopo climbs to the top of the
wrap-around skirts. Using dye exneighboring tree by means of a huge
tracted from jungle fruits, they
vine. From his vantage point above
painted their bodies with black and
the foliage of the other tree, he lored-orange designs. Long strings of
cates the hiding monkeys. He shoots
small black seeds interspersed with
an arrow, a second, a third and then
monkey teeth adorned their bodies.
The men wore elaborate headdresses a fourth. Four monkeys fall to the
made of the inner layers of bamboo, ground. Maxoopo
descends to the juncovered by strips of black monkey
gle floor with a look
fur and woven cloth soaked in red
of accomplishment
dye. Most wore nasal disks.
and satisfaction on
his face.”


Most of these books are in diglot format (Amahuaca and Spanish). using Amahuaca and a rudimentary Spanish. including the once feared Yaminahuas. especially their fear of spirits and death. too. Many are marrying non-Amahuacas.’ John 14:3 has opened the hearts of some Amahuacas and quieted their fears. Now all has changed and we must change. Gradually more of the Amahuacas have become bilingual. Most parents no longer teach their children the mother tongue. the Yaminahuas. some of their animistic beliefs still prevail. Part of the New Testament has been translated along with Old and New Testament Bible stories.Amahuaca father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child hupa huha mai junu chihi vari hoxu tapaz joni xano vacu ¿Miyara min? ‘Is it you?’ During the last four decades of the 20th century. the Amahuacas have been in a process of transformation. Will anyone receive them in the other world? This fear has served as a bridge to introducing Christ’s message of love and acceptance. The move also gave them access to health services and education. Although their outer appearance has greatly changed. which probably started when they moved away from their feared enemies. primers and advanced reading books. after preparing a home for you. The thought of a sudden death terrifies them. Reflecting upon the changes taking place.T. one of the men expressed the people’s attitude towards their own language and culture saying: “The customs of the past served our people well. “Man hiya jaquinhvahinnon mato jati haroxontannimun janoriviz jotan mato hiihi jocatazi hunhcanucanpu…” ‘That you might always be with me. and later with mestizo teachers.. They also have a hymnal. They started their own schools. to be civilized means to speak Spanish.” For them. Soon they began to learn Spanish and assimilate into the mestizo culture.. first with Amahuaca teachers. The Life of Christ video in their language and in Spanish has greatly helped them understand the Gospel message. I will come and take you. There are believers among them who have formed a small church-congregation. and relocated close to Spanish speaking communities. 79 partial N. 1995 dictionary 1980 Life of Christ video .

The people were hiding from a related warlike group that presented a threat to their survival. beat them unconscious initial conand threw them into the river. The terrain was covered with dense jungle vegetation. surrounded by rushing rivers that were impossible to navigate. an old man claimed to have had a vision of four women burying wild turkey bones to cause the young man to die. Aratbut ‘people’.600 They call themselves: Location: Southeastern Peru. the people tried to determine who caused his death. they fought off outsiders with bows and arrows. Rodent teeth served as carving tools and split bamboo as cutting tools. They slept on palm bark mats just a few inches off the dirt floor.000 ft. a subgroup of the Aratbut people. The people lived in groups of 40 to 50 in long communal houses with the thatch roof coming down to the ground. living in fear of the jungle and river spirits. To clear the forest for their gardens they used crude stone axes. the men sure of shamanistic ability to dressed only in intricate help provide what was necessary red and black designs for life. A warlike people. They lived on a mountain in the Andean foothills. The women also painted their bodies and wore wrap-around skirts made of bark cloth. With their feared enemies gone. and 4. Witchcraft practiced by men and women caused terror and tension. Palm bark cultivating sticks were used for digging and planting and bows and arrows for hunting and fishing. One tact. the revived and escaped and the other Aratbuts were a three drowned. A believed to have a certain meanaked tribe.Amarakaeri (Isolates) Population: 1. above sea level. called Sapite. The people were animists. they seemed to also change their names. A few old men were enpainted on their bodies dowed with special power and (some literally from head knowledge to protect the community 80 . between 3. to toe). Every person was stone-age people. after a healthy young man died without apparent cause. were one of the most isolated groups in the jungle. Until the 1950s the Amarakaeris. A Dominican priest made peaceful contact with one of the subgroups in 1951. Following the death of a man. along the Madre de Dios and Colorado rivers in the state of Madre de Dios. young or old. Outsiders commonly referred to them as “Mashcos”.000 ft. the Aratbuts began moving closer to the headwaters of the Upper Madre de Dios River in search of better land. The men of the village seized At the time of the women. As they changed locations. When they moved down from Sapite. they split into several different subgroups. Another group called the Huachipaire defeated the enemies of the hiding Aratbut. They would add feather adornments for special occasions like puberty rite dances. The story is told that once.

and watches — but their beliefs have not changed as rapidly. Amarakaeri culture has changed drastically with the money and goods available from working gold. A yellow fever epidemic in1963 threatened the people’s survival. When an Amarakaeri died. In 1957 SIL linguists contacted the Amarakaeri subgroup on the Colorado River. Major changes have occurred since initial contact. Land invaders exploring for gold. Literacy classes were conducted in Amarakaeri. Between 1969 and 1974 many left the mission and formed their own communities. then the house and all of his possessions were burned over him. Afterward. the people entered into social and economic relations with the outside world. he was buried under the dirt floor of the house. Those at Shintuya work lumber. A government bilingual school functioned for several years but was replaced by schools taught in Spanish. the people checked the ashes to be sure his spirit had not returned. television. In less than two decades after father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child huaoj huaye barak hue’ey ta’ak niokpo puug jak bokerek ettone’ huasi’po Individual houses have replaced the large communal houses.’ 81 1986 Bilingual dictionary 1995 Amarakaeri-Spanish . Gold extraction has become their main source of income. With modern tools the stone ax has become a rarity.Amarakaeri contact. panning and selling gold and working lumber. dishes. lumber and oil pose a threat to the Amarakaeris’ existence. In 1986 the complete New Testament was dedicated in the community of Puerto Luz on the Colorado River. and metal pots have replaced clay pots. ‘I come. The Amarakaeri believed a returning spirit would leave imprints in ashes. Old and New Testament Scriptures were made available to the people as soon as they were translated and published in individual books. from harmful spirits and to cure people from sicknesses. As a consequence many settled at the Dominican mission at Shintuya. Today the people enjoy many “luxuries” of the Western world — clothing. old and sick people were required to live in little shacks alongside the big house. radios. To avoid having to burn down the communal house as the result of a death. Ijtiaki. Many still fear the spirit world and live in dread of sickness and death.

away from the house. Arabela men used to wear headdresses made of tall macaw feathers fastened with bee’s wax in a semicircle. which reached to their ankles. They also painted their bodies and faces. Whenever the people relocated. An Arabela leader always enjoyed the respect of his people. 82 . Many died from white man’s diseases. letting the red color show through in a typical Arabela geometric design. The style was made so a nursing baby could fit into the folds of the garment. At the beginning of the 20th century they were forced to work rubber. A small group managed to escape to begin a new life. as most Arabela men are. When the baby was heard crying.’ ‘brother. Arabela mothers now give birth at home with the help of relatives. They also wore feather pompons attached to the back of their garments that extended to the knees. Their first peaceful contact with outsiders occurred in 1945. To complete the dress. The rest speak Spanish or a variety of Quechua. woman’s waist so she could nurse.’ In the 19th century the Arabelas were known to practice warfare with neighboring tribes. A round area above the forehead was shaved and painted red with achiote (a natural dye). even if he was soft-spoken. The women used to wear a brown and white bark cloth tube rolled at the top. Non-Arabela men took Arabela women to be their wives. A white cotton-like material from a certain palm tree was pasted on top. They also wore woven armbands on their upper arms and belts around their waists with colorful feather pompoms dangling from chambira or cotton thread that extended to the elbows and knees. and others were taken as slaves. or it could be rolled down to the A chief traditionally governed Arabela villages. The cloth was generally painted with the typical hexagonal designs. Then the mother would take a corn gruel bath and they would return home. Approximately 40 use the language and another 100 understand it. the woman’s mother would assist in cutting the cord. Arabela women used to deliver their babies alone.Arabela (Small: Záparoan) Population: 300. Those who accepted his leadership would settle in the same location. Location:Approximately 150 miles north-northwest of Iquitos on the Arabela River in the state of Loreto. he was the first one to move. They call themselves: Tapueyocuaca ‘family. the parents would remain with him for 8 to 10 days in a small hut separated from the rest of the family. To protect the newborn baby. men sometimes wore a nose plug and decorated sticks in the ear lobes.

They also raise some chickens 83 1986 Bilingual dictionary 1999 Arabela-Spanish . Today there are believers led by In the past the Arabelas Arabela pastors. When the household moved. People would mourn day and night for up to a week. When anyone died. The Arabelas believed in a creator-god who had deserted them because of their wickedness. Their labor was worth so little they could never get out of debt. When the work SIL began working with the is finished. On major projects such as clearing the jungle for a field. The men are responsible for hunting. the group has grown to over 450 people. The New Teschat about the day’s activities. These practices have been discontinued. planting or building a house. animal pelts and rose wood. plus mestizo newcomers.Arabela (my) father (my) mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child cua que cua nucua jiya mohuaca mani pananu raca tia caya maaji mueya ¿Quiaate quyajaa? ‘Are you still living?’ and pigs for market. fishing. and 53 Arabela speakers. particularly among the younger generation. During this time they wailed and marched around to keep awake. resulting in intermarriage. Men and women working together accomplish a lot and enjoy much laughter and joking. lacked experience in trading with outsiders and were locked into the patrón system of receiving goods on credit in exchange for jungle products. and Spanish. At the reburial. Their main source of income now comes from lumbering. the men used to gather rubber. planting and harvesting. the owner will organize a minga (work party) and invite the community to help. Quechua. drink. The wife and daughters of the man who organizes the minga provide fermented manioc drink for the workers. clearing the fields. To have cash for trading. As a result they lived in fear of death and demons. they dug up the bones and reburied them in the new home. everyone gathers in the Arabelas in 1954 with only organizer’s house to eat. Trading has brought several Quechua families into the Arabela villages. tament was printed in 1986. they would repeat the wake. chicle for chewing gum. gathering jungle fruits and nuts. with Spanish becoming the dominant language. Learning to read and write has helped them keep accounts and withstand such abuse. Then the body was buried in the dirt floor of the home. The people in the communities speak Arabela. the body was wrapped in bark cloth and taken to a wake. Since 1964 the Arabelas have schools in their communities. With these additions to the population.

One of the tragic contacts took place during the 1960s when subversive groups devastated even their most remote communities. The Ashánincas have a strong ethnic identity and view their own culture 84 Location: Eastern slopes of the Andes. Hundreds of women were widowed and numerous children orphaned before the government eliminated the threat in that area. The terrain in their area is rugged and the rivers turbulent. This may explain why they value their language and preserve their customs despite strong outside influences. and Ucayali on the Apurimac. not for prestigious reasons. This has changed during the past decades. After a pause. and Tambo Rivers. holding their weapons. the headman of the community (or highest male present) walks solemnly to the group of visitors. often totalling less than ten families with one headman. Perené. They call themselves: Asháninca ‘fellow citizen.’ While most of the so-called Campa groups have had contact with the outside world for several centuries. touches each man in turn on the shoulder while asking “¿Avíro?” (‘Is it you?’) and receiving from each . Spanish is used with outsiders. Cuzco. Anthropologist Gerald Weiss describes such a visit: “The men (one or more) who have come to visit march into the settlement and stand immobile and silent in a prominent place. Junín. and their tributaries. out of necessity. the Asháninca people had very limited contact until the 20th century. Because most of the communities are miles apart the people love to visit each other for just a few days or for an extended period of time. in the states of Ayacucho. to be morally superior to other cultures. In 1954 SIL linguists reported that many Ashánincas had never seen an outsider.000. The people traditionally live in widely dispersed small communities.Asháninca (Arawakan) Population: 30. Ene.

The server fills the bowl. which then passes from hand to hand until it reaches the last man. These formalities over. but there will be conversation back and forth between the two groups. his wife will have her own fire and prepare their food apart. sustained at a single pitch often follow drinking” (Weiss. the hosts and visitors sit down. Asháninca pastors have been trained and there are a number of Asháninca congregations. A committee of three Asháninca men is in the process of translating portions of the Old Testament. It is refilled and passed back along the same route to the last man. “Every settlement has a visitors’ house. The principal host provides sleeping mats. which is passed down the line to the next to last male. A man. A solitary visitor will have his food prepared by his hostess. where visitors are accommodated. Most villages have bilingual schools and people have learned to read.’ 85 1972 Life of Christ video . Long. usually the host.Asháninca one the reply “Norové” (‘It is I’). which he signals on passing back the empty bowl with the word “Ario” or “Ariové” (‘Enough’). the men lounging on the visitors’ platform. The New Testament was completed in 1972. Conversation begins. The bowl is passed back to the server from hand to hand in exactly the reverse order. 1973:385. Other men of the community may do the same. This continues until at last the server can assuage his own thirst. Many believers died for their faith during the adverse circumstances of the past 20 years. who again empties and returns it. The hosts then commonly inspect the contents of the visitors’ shoulder bags (so common is the practice that the visitors may hand over their shoulder bags without being asked). Males and females drink separately. When visiting in a community. or at least a visitors’ platform. hearty belches. and the women seated on the ground near the kitchen. and the women of the settlement bring food. who drains the bowl in a single swallow. the men and women eat separately. serves manioc beer to the other men with a single gourd bowl having a capacity of a quart or more. ‘Is it you?’ ‘It is I.6). whose turn it is to drink. SIL ¿Avíro? Norové. This ceremony is carried out even if the visitors are well known to the hosts. but if he is with his family and staying for a number of days. “A strict etiquette determines the serving of manioc beer when visitors father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child apa ina quipatsi nija paamari poreatsiri cashiri pancotsi shirampari tsinane jananequi are present. began work among the Ashánincas in 1947. This continues until the last man has his fill. The server then fills the bowl. returns to his place.6 and 395.

Their economy depended on subsistence agriculture. hunting. A fourth group lives on the Yuruá River and on the headwaters of the eastern tributaries of the Upper Ucayali River south of its junction with the Pachitea in the states of Ucayali and Huánuco.000. but the Ashéninkas live in closer proximity to other indigenous groups: Yaminahuas. The largest and most cohesive group lives in the Pichis River valley in the state of Pasco. and gathering. Ashéninka communities and territories are widely dispersed. In the Pichis and Apurucayali area outside the district capital of Puerto Bermudez. In the Yuruá / Ucayali-headwaters area. From about 1950 and on. More recently there has been greater participation in the national economy. Amahuacas and Shipibos. fishing. Traditionally the Ashéninkas live in small extended family groups usually numbering from 10 to 30 people. bananas. a medicinal vine). made from homespun cotton the women have gathered and spun. The traditional dress of the Ashéninkas is the cushma (tunic-type garment). with high populations of rural non-Ashéninkas living around them. Stripes of a darker 86 . Two other groups live along the Apurucayali River and the Upper Perené River in the state of Junín. Apurucayali and Ucayali areas. Interaction with the Spanish-speaking culture varies across the Ashéninka language region. larger communities were formed in many areas. along with recent attempts to market Uña de gato (Cat’s claw. Both men and women wear it. oranges. region the primary crops for market are achiote (natural dye). decreasing as one moves from west to east. In the Pichis Location: There are four principal varieties of the Ashéninka language. designated principally by the river systems they occupy. The Ashéninkas on the Pichis River also work lumber to sell in the Pichis. the number of non-Ashéninka people is considerably smaller. there are very few mestizos. The Perené area exhibits the greatest amount of bilingualism and interaction due to the large influx of mestizos and Quechuas into that area. They call themselves: Ashéninka ‘fellow citizens’. as schools were established. and papayas for the commercial market.Ashéninka (Arawakan) Population: 15. In the Perené region they grow coffee.

Yuruá-Ucayali. As a result of their cohesiveness.Ashéninka coarser dyed thread are woven into the cushma: horizontal for the woman and vertical for the men. There are believers ization. successfully overpower subversives and Upper Perené languages. At first this took the non-Ashéninka population by surprise. An indigenous uprising of the in all four Ashéninka language entire Pichis and Apurucayali areas. began working among the Pichis Ashéninkas in 1975. and with international agencies. their territory. The Ashéninka holding these offices have since been credited for running a responsible and honest local government. the Pichis Ashéninkas Pichis New Testament into the were the only indigenous group to Apurucayali.Ashéninka language varieties tivity in Peru. for the benefit of the Ashéninkas. who had taken control of rural areas. This is done under the superviterrorizing the local population. As the Ashéninka people have increased contact with the national culture. They sion of SIL consultants. Ashéninka population reclaimed father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child SIL apa ina quipatsi ñaa paamari ooryaa cashiri pancotsi shirampari tsinane eentsi ¿Eeroca? ‘Is it you?’ 87 Pichis 1996 Life of Christ video . Ashéninkas were elected to hold district and municipal government offices in Puerto Bermudez. The Pichis Ashéninka New The Ashéninkas maintain a firm Testament was published in control of the Pichis and 1996 and the Old TestaApurucayali valleys. the late 1980s and are working on adapting the early 1990s. There is some historical documentation that Franciscan monks introduced the cushma a few hundred years ago. working with ment translation is in proggovernment entities to control entry ress. Two of had attempted to coerce the people these New Testaments are near to grow illicit drugs for commercialcompletion. Several mother tongue of outsiders into the area. use of the cushma is gradually disappearing. The Pichis and Upper Perené Ashéninka communities have strong native community federations (political organizations) which lobby successfully on local and national levels. During the translator teams of the different years of most intense subversive ac.


Population: 375 in Peru and
2,000 in Colombia.
They call themselves:
Mìamúnaa ‘people’.

Historians relate that at
the beginning of the rubber
boom, around 1886, there
were 15,000 to 20,000 Boras living
in the southeastern region of Colombia. By 1926, due to diseases and
abuses by rubber patróns, the population had greatly decreased, and
records show that in 1940 the number was reduced to less than 1,000.
Approximately 350 had fled down
the Caquitá River to Brazil. At about
the same time a patrón brought
groups of Boras, Witotos, and
Ocainas from Colombia to Peru.
They settled on the Ampiyacu and
Yaguasyacu rivers. One of the old
chiefs in 1955 recounted the sad
stories of his childhood years when
many people from every family died
from smallpox. Today, because of
vaccinations and modern medicine,
the number of Bora people is increasing again.


Location: State of Loreto, with
the largest number living along the
Ampiyacu and Yaguasyacu rivers,
part of the Amazon River system.
Others live on the Putumayo River
that borders Colombia.

The patrón system had the Bora
people enslaved for many years because the people did not know the
value of money and were not able to
manage their accounts. Bilingual
schools helped them learn the basics
of math, reading and writing. At
present they freely trade their products and are establishing bonds with
the mestizo culture.
In the past the Boras
lived in large communal
houses. A separate clan occupied each house with its own
chief. The houses were situated at
least a half-hour hike from each
other. Sleeping platforms large
enough for the whole family were
built about six feet off the ground
around the edges of the house. They
were covered with mats. The chief
and his immediate family occupied
the rear of the house, which was
considered the place of honor. Each
communal house had a set of signal

drums which the chief used in order
to send messages to other households as far as 20 miles away. Although Bora lifestyle has greatly
changed over the years and many
people live in individual family dwellings, the drums have survived and
are still an important daily means of
Bora beliefs traditionally
centered on the spirit
world. They used to engage in dancing ceremonies for the
purpose of satisfying the spirits
which, if not appeased, were believed to cause illness and fighting
among the people. Bora folklore says
the evil thunder god used lightning to
split trees from top to bottom and
that he planted the life of a new animal in the ground. In this way he
created the wild and dangerous animals of the jungle. Many animals, especially the jaguar, were believed to
be lesser gods so they were not killed
and eaten.

SIL began working with the
Bora people in 1952. The
New Testament was dediBilingual dictionary 1998
cated in 1982 and has been effective
in helping establish churches in several villages that are ministered
to by Bora pastors. The Bora
villages, however, are becommother
ing increasingly integrated with land
both Witotos and mestizos so
that Spanish is being used
more and more in the church
and in everyday life in the
pécóejpi nuhba
homes. Increasing fluency in
Spanish and a lack of strong
leadership is resulting in the
gradual dispersal of the people child
from their communities to
other locations, and even to
O tsájucóó.
the larger cities like Iquitos. A
‘I am coming.’
Bora grammar and dictionary
have recently
been published and
are being
used in the

The main staple of their diet
is bitter manioc. They use it
to make a starchy drink and
a type of bread called cassava. They
also grow bananas and pineapple.
Hunting and fishing provide meat for
their diets. They work lumber as a
cash crop.

Víctor Churay Roque


Focus on a Jungle Telegraph

Jungle telegraph system
Bora Drums
enturies ago Bora chiefs
sent runners to take messages to chiefs of distant
Bora households. The trips along
muddy trails, across rivers, and up
and down steep hills were cumbersome and time consuming. Then
life became modernized. Using a
set of signal drums called manguaré,
the people devised a system to send
messages telegraph-style that could
be heard in a radius of about 20


rekindled. After the fire has hollowed
out several inches of the log, it is
then directed with a bamboo blowpipe to burn the intended places inside the log. The finished edges are
protected from the fire with wet clay
as the process continues.

Finally, accompanied by a special
ceremony, a slit is cut along the center between the two holes. The
drums are hung on a frame with
space for the drummer to stand between them. The drums are beaten
Bora drums with soft wooden clubs or with clubs
are made in covered on one end with rubber
gathered from the jungle. The drumpairs from
mer beats both drums at the same
hardwood logs.
Each is about five time. Each drum has two tones, one
on each side of the slit. The set of
feet long. The
drums can produce up to four dissmaller one,
tinct tones.
called the male
drum, is about
one and a half
feet in diameter.
The larger, the fe- Drummers use only two of the tones
male drum, is
for sending a message. The system
about two feet in of communication is based on the
diameter. It takes syllable and tone structure of the
up to a month to Bora language where each syllable in
make each drum. a word has either a high or a low
tone. Tone is like a letter in the alphabet and can change the meaning
of a word. So when a message is
Once the tree passed, each syllable receives a corresponding high or low tone beat on
has been cut
the drums. It is the order of the high
down and the
and low tones which makes the meslogs prepared, a
sage received intelligible. However,
hole is started
because many words have identical
with an axe near each
tone and syllable patterns it is necesend of the log. Starting in these
sary to use standardized phrases. A
holes, the log is carefully hollowed
given message may have a number
out by fire. Hardwood chips are
of different phrases which are replaced in the holes and the fire is
peated several times and in varying
fanned with a feather fan. Every so
orders, but the word order in each
often the charred parts are chipped
phrase is rigid.
out of the hole and the fire is


These drums clan name chief name play an important part in the social life of the Bora people. L The following is an example of a typical call-to-come message (the accent indicates high tone. On these occasions the drum operator uses all four tones. By relaying meshigh tech clarity of the modern world’s cell phone. the drums are played continually throughout the day and far into the night. or to call a hunter back from Ícyoocáré dicha memájtsívaki the jungle. they can be communication technology using materials found passed at great distances. E he drums are also used for playing certain songs before important us assume the chief sending a message wants people to come. in the user’s own environment. and if the person or persons should come immediately or at their convenience. The drums are also used to call the tribal council together. however. we sing in order to . the chief plays the name of the clan and then the name or names of the people he wants to come. The words of the songs contain messages for the people. as long as he is within hearing distance the message will reach him. The message needs to specify whether he is calling one or more persons. come ícyoocáré right now very clan has a large communal house where a set of signal drums is kept just inside to the Íñejé tuutávaabe Llicyáhba right of the main door. T 91 dicha come Llicyáhba name memájtsívaki. Since meals are not right now come we sing served at regular hours. the drums in order to communicate to those working in the fields away from the house that dinner is ready. They are used numerous times throughout the day to inform the people of visitors. sages from village to but it certainly represents a bright innovation in village. In order to specify who is to come. Finally the purpose for the call to come is given. low tone remains unmarked): Ícyoocáré right now dicha. No matter where a Bora speaking person is. arrival of river traders with trade goods. to accompany singing and dancing. Preceding these special events. or to call the extended family The use of drums to convey messages based on together for a day of fishthe tone of a language may not approximate the ing. The drums are not used.

Candoshi-Shapra territory is surrounded by Jivaroans known to have been skilled headhunters.” They then give each other gifts of such things as shotgun shells. always think well of me. The Candoshis have a unique way of forming friendships.Candoshi-Shapra (Isolates) Population: 2. Although there are many cultural similarities in these neighboring groups. and a garden. The initiator puts a wild boar skin in the place he has chosen for the ceremony and the two men face one another over it. Location: The Candoshis live on tributaries of the Pastaza River and the Shapras (a subgroup of the Candoshis) on tributaries of the Morona River in the state of Loreto. Then they say to each other. At the age of seven girls learn to keep up their own garden. They themselves claim that the Achuars greatly influenced their way of life. a measles epidemic in 1940 reduced the population even more. nylon rope. they are ready for marriage. This kept them busy. At the beginning of the 20th century the Candoshis still used stone axes to clear their fields. It is thought that many years ago the Candoshis migrated from northern Cajamarca to their present location in northern Loreto. because we are making a friendship contract over this skin. and the woman needs someone to provide meat. and the boys learn to hunt and fish. The man needs someone to cook. to fewer than 100 persons. teaching them how to obtain spirit power as well as the art of headshrinking. According to Candoshi thinking. with neighboring Jivaroan groups.000. Once a child is considered to be a responsible individual. Consequently children are taught these responsibilities early in life. With the availability of firearms the people fought continually among themselves. and with the Peruvian army. their fields were cleared more quickly. their languages are very distinct. neither men nor women can live alone. In addition to the loss of life from their fighting. This small remnant finally united and settled on the Pushaga River. weave and clean for him. When steel axes and machetes were introduced. “Friend.000–3. with little time for fighting. a house. 92 . clothes.

more people demother atáatá cided to obey the Chrisland tsaapo tian teaching. Such gifts are saved and displayed to other people. ‘Good morning.wounded. “A leading war shaman can attempt to retrieve the chief stopped killing.Candoshi-Shapra beads. The Yashigo obey the teachings of Christ as spirits can cause sickness and death taught in the New Testament. ceived the New Testament They can cause these spirits to enter in 1979. He used to live among the people. the wives seal their friendships by hugging each other and giving each other pats on the back while saying to each other: “Friend. two of his the person dies. Traditionally the Candoshis believed in the existence of a Supreme Being called Apanchi (Our Father). The ported one linguist. A person maintains and The Candoshi-Shapras were increases his power through killing. “These are the gifts my friend gave me. Word of this spread and because there was a strong desire for father apaari peace. They believe the spirits of the boa times. The Yashigo spirits men killed. A Candoshi message. he refused to take servance of certain taboos. “Some people began to or travel with the wind.” reby capturing a person’s spirit. revenge. his village was attacked. The first edition sold out and leave people. contacted by SIL linSome shamans are believed to have guists in 1950 and repower over disease-causing spirits. Although the people neither worshipped nor tried to appease him. man kamooza Bringing indigenous teachers woman kiiza from enemy groups together child llora for teacher-training courses also helped to promote friendly relations” (Tuggy Huu´ cuma. Over the next water kógó twenty years the war raids fire somaasï gradually stopped. Apanchi was a force that created all things and controlled the universe.’ 93 1979.” When the men have gone through the friendship ceremony. which live in trees 1993. and he was can be manipulated through the ob. I will always love you and never do you any harm. and blankets. but because they disobeyed him. wants this power to gain control over his enemies. if he fails. opened in the late moon tsoopi 1950s. However. began the spread of lithouse pagoosi eracy among the people. They can invoke and a second one was printed in the Yashigo spirits. As a bridge in their underman begins to mature. matches. and wire for making fish hooks. 1993 Bilingual dictionary 1966 Candoshi-Shapra–Spanish Life of Christ video . jaguar. he seeks the standing of the Christian power through performing private ceremonies in the forest. 1994:92). he is an ever-present force to whom they attribute help in good times and Spirit power is imporpunishment in bad tant and real too. and although human spirit. and hawk can Creator-God served as a help them obtain this power. We never forget one another. he returned to the sky.” These commitments are for life. Their traditional belief in Apanchi as a constrictor. Bilingual sun zaari schools.

they were at the shore. “That’s strange. It was about 6 a. four of them. around the bend upriver. Sure enough.” I answered. but the bullets did not explode.” I thought. Uncle?” “I am here. They were not paddling. po-o. his muscles tensed. but I did not expect them this soon. There was just one wild boar’s skin in the bottom of the canoe. These were my relatives. “Why would they want to kill me?” I said. Old Shutka was my father’s beloved cousin! They seemed possessed. It was like a dream. His were hostile. They were shooting point-blank at me.” “Who could that be? I’m not expecting anyone. They did not sit down. came up to me first and said. Chief of Seven Rivers. here they came. Pirocha and Pinchu. “Well. I should have been terrified. I thought they were beginning to believe. When I said that. they were just floating along in a leisurely manner. Old Shutka and Pirocha. but I was too stunned to be afraid.” He had said they would come back when they had more animal skins to trade. as we Shapras like to do. as had his father who. Tariri. was contorted. Can God change a man like Tariri? Here is Tariri’s own story as told to Loretta Anderson: A I. Brother. The spirit of revenge left no room for mercy and the spirit of anger knew no pardon. Pirocha gripped his Winchester rifle hard. I suppose it could be your father-in-law. In a split second I realized that it was not a friendly visit. rolled up and tied. Why did I feel it was a portent of disaster? I shook my head to throw off such thoughts. Tariri was a man feared by his own people and the neighboring groups. I turned around and looked toward the river.” I said—but with the very utterance of my words came the sound of a cow’s horn. Pirocha kept his rifle pointed at me. Old Shutka. Suddenly he pointed his rifle at me. set forth this truthful declaration: I was naive and trusting.m. The suspicion lingered. “Come in. “How are you? Are you here. They had listened. but I pushed it down into my subconscious.” I said.” The sky was overcast. There was a chill in the air and an ominous rumble of thunder from darkening clouds. by his own confession. A string of shrunken heads gave testimony to his power. his eyes as hard as the steel of the Winchester he was holding.” I said. but before I had time to consider this. a kind of 94 . “Po-o. Why was this happening? I had told them about God. sit down. once loved me. He had closed his heart to me.Focus on a Changed Life Put Through the Refiners Fire Candoshi-Shapra Chief Tariri Nóchomata Yátarira* former headhunter and war chief of the Candoshi-Shapra people. “Don’t shoot me. The signs were all there that they had not come to socialize. His handsome face. black. but my mind rejected that. fear and excitement.” I said to their father. as Pirocha stood staring at me. They pulled the triggers but they just clicked. God protected me. Brother-in-law had come early to help me get a good start. slightly wavy hair hanging down. “Let’s get going. God will protect me. they all pointed their rifles at us—two facing me. “In any case. with the long. Our eyes met. “Sit down. There was fear in his eyes now.” Old Shutka’s sons.

“Don’t kill my Tsuwinki—a witchdoctor—and husband!” As she did so. “Thank long as I died fighting. God is I could not. and then I ran for Word. They said. I would overcame me. Waxhaw.” Richard S. but it was almost imperceptible. loves his enemies and wants Pirocha and the others for killing Brother-in-law and trying to kill me? them to know God also. Tariri. I wanted to kill all the upriver people. But Shutka’s wife Inchi kept nag-nag-nagging. killing him instantly. 95 . tory. gushed out of the hole in my chest. in the same Pucucura. now we know it is really true that you love God. That is why I say. I great! wanted to wipe them out. Now. I want to live and point others to I could not believe it mythe Way of Life. I also told them that the only my life. The doctor took good anger. demanding the sideways to avoid the bullet. 1998. To me. “My them. About the same time young Pinchu Actually. a young man from their community. In sister Arosa had thrown herself on the meantime. piercing my lung and going out my shoul. Instead we kept them with us and treated them well. on the big Morona River. We had no contact with old Chief Shutka and his sons for many years. thank you. God had changed me from a killer to a man who How could I forgive Old Shutka. NC. rather you. They were Brother-in-law. exhilaration. We captured them and the soldiers downstream gave us permission to keep them in custody Pinchu shot again. I thought I saw his hands shake. killing and live in peace with everyed. God If God had not helped me. killing. This was their answer. but I had a new heart. I really was a different person.terrified and sure we would kill gle as Arosa cried and chanted. my baby!” We gave them plenty to eat.I heard later that Shutka and Pinchu had already decided they had better stop killing before they and their extended family were finished off themHe pulled the trigger again. Pittman. their beloved Toripi. SIL. That made me sad. I managed to wrest the gun from Every day I taught them from God’s Shutka’s hands. strayed into our terrihead of the baby on her back. as told to Loretta Anderson. and even being killed was glory—so ger wanted to kill. I was care of me at Yarinacocha. however. husband. old body. this time killing for awhile as hostages. he died before we saw shot at Brother-in-law Chiriapa. I turned selves. old Chiriapa shouting. His them again. Back from the Brink. self—the change in me. but to death of someone in revenge for the no avail. A few years ago I would have stood my ground and fought to reason I was not killing them was because I loved God now and no lonthe death. and when I was well they flew me back to the same old Tariri. fighting. one. I had encouraged them to stop Tariri Nóchomata Yátarira. I was very angry. He overcame my have died. the bullet intended for her husband entered the Kambósoró.death of her much-loved sons der. I felt my heart go shteyee! Blood Tarpaanta and Vawtista.” than killing and being killed. They stayed with us for several months. It entered my chest. I had tried *Adapted from “Point-Blank. The keening death wail could be heard all over the jun. Chief in every way to make peace with them. This was not me.

When hunting for skins was still allowed. They call themselves: Noquen caibo ‘our people’. Intermarriage ultimately led to the breakdown of Capanahua culture. and preparing masato which is consumed in large quantities. metal pots and other utensils obtained by working as laborers. Capanahuas were still living in very primitive conditions. weaving strainers. sewing. doing household chores. When the rubber boom ended around 1912. They wear western type clothing. They wore little or no clothing and depended on hard-to-acquire stone implements. the Buncuya. making pottery. They needed laborers for rubber and log extraction from the jungle and therefore brought other outsiders in to settle in Capanahua territory. they traded jaguar. but lost their communal house life as they scattered along the river to work the rubber trails. During the years that followed. Many perished due to diseases and epidemics. when some Capanahuas visited a Franciscan mission on the Ucayali River. further reduced the Capanahua population as the survivors fled to urban areas for refuge. hunting and fishing. Stones are not common in this part of the jungle because the mud base of the river basin has no stones. use iron tools. Capanahua men are responsible for clearing fields. Location: State of Loreto on the eastern tributaries of the Ucayali. tigrillo and peccary hides. such as the Mayorunas (now called Matsés) who raided Capanahua villages to steal women and children. 96 . the Capanahuas acquired metal tools. They fled after a short stay because an epidemic broke out among other visitors at the mission. and Tapiche Rivers.Capanahua (Panoan) Population: 300. some outside rubber workers stayed on in the jungle as patróns. Attacks by other indigenous groups. Until only two or three generations ago. The women dedicate themselves to raising the children. During the latter part of the 19th century explorers seeking rubber latex established residence on the Tapiche River and employed Capanahua men as laborers to gather latex. They also work lumber. Today the Capanahuas have almost completely integrated into mestizo culture. planting gardens. and are skilled in basket making. The first known contacts with the people go back to 1817.

ion has broken down. and two schools taught in Spanish in father papa the Capanahua commother mama munities. This keeps them above The “man with helpers” was a man the high water level during the rainy who had many daughters and conseseason. with a known to always return from the floor built 4 to 5 ft. He was completely open. man bebo woman haibo child baque ¿Min jahuin? ‘Have you come?’ 97 1978 Bilingual dictionary 1998 Capanahua-Spanish . threat to those who maintain their animistic beliefs. A unstable. captured servants or attracted workers because of his dynamic personalParents traditionally arrange marity. As a rule the older man who knew how to organew couple will go to live with the nize a community. or arrange an wife’s family. The fact land mai that they have books water jene in their own lanfire chihi guage has greatly imsun bari proved the moon hoxne self-esteem of the house xobo people.Capanahua Capanahua shamans attempt to combat such influences but find themselves frustrated because shamans of outsiders are considered more powerful. and generally one small him. leaders among the Capanahuas were men who stood out because of their hunting skills or organizational ability. Mixed marStories of the Old Testament have riages with outsiders are often also been printed and distributed. This has strengthened the spirand the spirit world is a itual life of the believers. group of Shipibo Christians has been teaching Bible courses once a year in Traditionally the one of the Capanahua villages since Capanahuas are animists 1990. tion for the new wife when her husband had to be away for a number SIL linguists began working of days hunting or working lumber. Or he could be a man who had room is walled in for sleeping.New Testament was dedicated. They also gual schools fear evil outside influences. off hunt with his basket full of wild meat. The “master of the word” was an riages for their children. In 1979 the the stability of the husband-wife un. This provided protecexpedition. For example. Roofs are thatched with quently many sons-in-law to serve palm leaves. They live in conThere are stant fear of spirits that inhabit the three bilinjungle surrounding them. the “basket-maker” was a man with The houses are usually excellent hunting skills. among the Capanahua peoThis traditional marriage pattern and ple in 1954. the ground. In the past.

desired to start their own village. In the largest village of about 160 people. nor having to work together. tributaries of the Tambo and Urubamba Rivers in southeastern Peru. An SIL team began learning their language in July of 1976. and have the Scriptures translated into their language. Two of the communities have a church. there is a fair amount of diversity in the vocabulary used by the different family groups. The Caquintes are a quiet people with a strong family structure. Changes in these areas have slowly taken place over the past 25 years. the people have enjoyed good spiritual and educational leadership. the Christians have met daily. One time many died in an epidemic and they 98 Location: In the foothills along the Poyeni and Agueni Rivers. in the states of Junín and Cuzco. Tsoroja. which is closely related to Caquinte. Since the Caquinte people have often lived separated from one another and have been influenced to varying degrees by the neighboring languages. Three times in their history they attempted unsuccessfully to live as a community. Two more times they were scattered after attacks from neighboring groups. During that time the New Testament was in the process of being translated into the Machiguenga language. build their own school. The Caquintes now live in three main communities. In 1975 they established the village of Quitepampani.Caquinte (Arawakan) Population: 300–350. even though they understand one another. a practice that is especially important for the spiritual growth of those who cannot read. In the past they lived in small family groups. One group left the area and went to live in a Machiguenga community for several years. The majority of Caquintes in both villages are believers. Caquinte oral history relates that they are offspring of a man who came “from the big waters” and married an Asháninca woman. dispersed. inviting many Caquintes still living in fear and isolation to join them. The Caquinte people were not accustomed to an authority structure. Ever since the founding of the first village. The Caquintes who heard the Gospel for the first time in Machiguenga. . At that time the Caquintes split into three separate groups. but numerous words are distinctly different from other Arawakan languages. They have a health post and an elementary school in each village. Caquinte is a Maipuran Arawakan language. The same is true in the village of Quitepampani. They call themselves: Caquinte ‘people’.

others build ress. Generosity and visiting one another are strong values in the culture. make bows and arrows. The Caquinte women tend the home and children and help har. The hut is often not large enough to stand up in or to originally as “the naked ones”. with the preferred marriage being to a cross-cousin. Translation of the entire with palm leaf thatched roofs. which to sit and sleep. They all make straw mats on distributed. plant and tend the been provided for adult litfields. The workday usually ends at three in the afternoon so they have time to visit their neighbors before dark. She is groups. 99 2005 father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child aapani iinani quepatsi oja / nija paamari catsirincaiteri taai tsovironaqui shirampari manquigarentsi chaajaniquiri Savincaguitetanaji.anxiously waiting for the day when the complete New Testament will be ily. simi. they say their ancestors sometimes made stretch out. which they used at night for warmth. The Caquinte people are cotton to weave garments for the fam. soil is very productive. and the marriage. she is prepared for marriage by being restricted to a very small hut built within the confines of the Although the Caquintes were known family home. spinning cotton in order to make her first cushma. given large quantities of food so she The Caquinte area is rich will be plump and attractive for in game and fish. She may not converse with nor be seen by any male. they generally are sisters. Literacy materials have Men hunt and fish.of Genesis are in the hands of the vest the crops. ‘It is day again. When a man has two wives.for her father. which is usually They have since adopted the hand-woven tunic-like cushma. Each New Testament and portions of home is designed differently: some the Old Testament is in progbuild on the ground. When a Caquinte girl reaches puberty. Individual books and portions from a foot to several feet above the of the New Testament and the book ground.’ . A few know how to make clay pottery. and construct their houses from palm bark eracy programs and for the bilingual schools.Caquinte Polygamy was a common practice and is still practiced in a few instances. however. lar to those worn by neighboring Her head is usually shaved. The current marriage practice is monogamy. Some pound and spin people. Here she spends anycoarse material out of pounded bark where from one to three months.

began organizing “invasions” into the Alto Aguaytía and Sungaruyacu areas. The majority of these communities have a school. The Cashibo-Cacataibos traditionally lived in isolated extended family groups. fishers. in the state of Ucayali. feasts. They caused the death of thousands of CashiboCacataibos through forced labor and exposing them to epidemic diseases. Many Cashibo men began learning a rudimentary jungle Spanish. Though the CashiboCacataibos actively resisted contacts by Spanish missionaries in the 18th century. their whole way of life changed. CashiboCacataibos are also found on the Sungaroyacu River. They also exchanged their traditional clothing of G-strings and shoulder bands worn by the men. The same man organized the Cashibo people to work on opening the highway between Aguaytía and Pucallpa around 1940. and woven-fiber skirts worn by women. As their material culture changed. shotguns. fishnets. Simón Bolívar Odicio. In the process they learned to use modern equipment. along the Aguaytía River and its tributaries. power saws. and the San Alejandro and Shambuyacu rivers. .500–2. 100 Location: Eastern Peru. for western clothing. They were politically and economically independent. and use of language. and slash-and-burn farmers to become lumber and rubber workers and panners of gold. Today most Cashibo-Cacataibo people choose to live in communities ranging from 80 to 400 inhabitants. They call themselves: Cacataibo ‘authentic person’. He captured his own people and took them to live among the Shipibos to bring them into contact with mestizos. including their traditions. a tributary of the Pachitea. Many Cashibo men became slaves of patróns.Cashibo-Cacataibo (Panoan) Population: 1. with the children receiving instruction first in their own language and in higher grades also in Spanish. They forfeited their customary roles as hunters. This caused a speedy acculturation to mestizo ways of life. with an elder functioning as their leader. and metal pots. during the 19th and 20th centuries they greatly suffered at the hands of aggressive outsiders. who had been captured as a child and raised by the Shipibos. A family cluster generally consisted of several nuclear families living under one roof.000. In 1925 the people still avoided civilization. such as iron tools. but a few years later one of their own people. rites. Neighboring indigenous groups and mestizos carried out raids in their attempt to make the territory accessible to the outside.

Going to heaven it receives a new identity and a new name. without consequences to the individual. destroying the possessions of the deceased. The leaders were divided over Cashibo and Cacataibo and thus retained both names. There are several congregations with mother tongue pastors. They maintained that all living beings and material things have an immaterial component. just to go for a walk. ‘vampires’. This can also refer to speakers of their own language. The name issue actually caused an identity crisis among the Cashibos in the1980s and the leaders held two conferences to decide on their name. The people themselves refer to the members of their family group as uni ‘man’. members of his family provide his soul with a weapon (a bow) to protect itself. After leaving its “owner” the bëru ñunshin must forget him. began working among the Cashibo-Cacataibos in 1946. The bëru ñunshin stays with his “owner” during his lifetime. and drink. in the sense of human being. They love each other. When the individual dies. food. The person has a reciprocal relationship to his soul. ‘the spirit of the eye’. to teach and help him. and leaves the body at the moment of death. SIL 101 1978 Bilingual dictionary 1987 Cashibo-Cacataibo–Spanish Life of Christ video . The term uni was eliminated as not being representative of the entire group. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child papa tita me 'umpax taban bari 'uxë xubu uni xanu bëchicë ¿Uisa caina ’ain? ‘How are you?’ The Cashibo-Cacataibos used to adhere to animistic beliefs. The soul enters the person before birth. the name identifying the ethnic group has been given to the people by outsiders. money. It means ‘bats’. It is usually derogatory. meaning. It is thought that the neighboring Shipibos attributed the name Cashibo to this group. At times the people hear a bëru ñunshin whistle in the woods. His “owner” gives him food and helps him in times of crises. The main function of the soul is to protect his “owner”. All others are considered unima ‘not-man’. and give him good dreams. matures with him.Cashibo-Cacataibo As is often the case. The New Testament translation was distributed in 1978. At this point it becomes a rara itsi. Others say it is present in the whole body. The people have had bilingual schools for more than 45 years. It might leave the person. burning the body and drinking the ashes of his bones in a ritual. ‘another ancestor’. It actually has two possible interpretations: “an authentic person” and “the uncivilized of the woods”. At the first conference an additional name was suggested: Cacataibo. and with other useful items like matches. The soul of mankind is called bëru ñunshin. They urge the bëru to leave the body and the vicinity through clapping their hands. Some say it resides in the pupil. “not a family member”. the soul.

The central figure was the shaman who was able to protect his friends from evil spirits and use the evil spirits to harm their enemies. At the end of her isolation. made their own pottery. They often stained their teeth black. Each woman would cut off locks of her hair and give her advice about how to be a good wife.700. Over the years there have been many changes through increased contact with the outside world and because of the impact of the Bible 102 . The husband moved into the home of the new wife and usually lived there at least until the first child was born. Both men and women painted their faces with fine intricate designs to enhance their beauty. men who had gone through rigorous training from a master shaman. The people feared if the taboo was broken some physical disaster such as a storm or flood would occur. wove their skirts and elaborate decorative bands for their husbands. A small group lives in the state of San Martín. Location: In the state of Loreto on the Paranapura. sometimes before puberty. practiced slash-and-burn agriculture. More powerful shamans were scattered throughout the tribe. The women worked in the fields. and In the early 1950s the Chayahuitas lived in small extended family groups with limited contact between groups because of frequent feuds. and cared for the household. Puberty rites for girls were strictly observed throughout the tribe. fished. They were greatly feared by everyone. They were obsessed with food items were considered taboo during this time. fear of the spirits of dead people and many evil spirits in the jungle. well-constructed houses from jungle materials. spending her time The spirit world was very spinning cotton until she had made enough for at least one skirt. The Chayahuitas live in a 150 mile triangle bordered by the Marañón River to the north. built large. Many real for the Chayahuitas. and made dugout canoes. the Andean foothills to the west. Many Chayahuitas also practiced white magic. During the rite the girl had to live in a small enclosure. Cash crops were wild rubber and barbasco. They call themselves: Canpo’ Piyapi ‘we people’. Cahuapanas rivers. Chayahuita girls married very young. The men hunted. and the Huallaga River to the southeast. Sillay. using smoke and various herbs for curing illnesses. the girl was placed in the center of a circle of women relatives.Chayahuita (Small: Cahuapanan) Population: 13.

The inroads of Western culture have brought some negative influences but in the Christian villages the impact has been greatly reduced. however. high schools have been added in strategic locations. Moving from scattered groups to village living has greatly changed the Chayahuita social structure. Singing was never part of the culture before translation of the New Testament. ‘Good day. the death rate has been greatly reduced. As village populations have grown. with more than 100 students in many of the schools. SIL translated into their language. Today. small family groups joined together to establish schools and churches. with many Chayahuitas active in evangelism and discipleship.’ 103 1978 Bilingual dictionary 1988 Chayahuita-Spanish Life of Christ video . For more than 20 years they have had schools and the Scripture in their own language. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child Fear and superstition no longer control those that have responded to the Gospel. As the Chayahuitas learned and accepted the Christian message.Chayahuita began working among the Chayahuitas in 1950. Approximately 50 villages have churches. Christian choruses written in Chayahuita by the people themselves play a key role in spreading the message of the Gospel in music from place to place. Through modern medicine and regular vaccination of the children. pa’pin a’shin no’pa’ i’sha pën pi’i yoqui pëi’ quëmapi sanapi hua’huishin Huë’cama.

peanuts. cultivating the fields. both tributaries of the Yuruá River. however. they discarded their with sticks. The men keep busy. they tug at a plant. This is no longer possible today. the bark cloth garments for men gather and go fishing. with hunting and fishing. Location: In Peru. hunting. and building and repairing their houses. The Culina culture has an interesting practice. and wild fruits. beans. Through singing 1940s the Peru.certain songs. purple potatoes. For clothing they wore beaten bark cloth held up with a belt. For example: early in the forest to live along the morning the women may gather tomain rivers and work for gether and go from house to house mestizo lumbermen. eating bananas. and making cotton hammocks and baskets. which lasted about four decades. While singing. in Brazil. making it more difficult for them to earn money.Culina (Small: Arahuan) Population: 300–400. watermelon. spin and weave cot. Fish and wild meats are important parts of the Culina diet. When the rubber boom ended the Culina resumed their former life-style as a seminomadic people. The women are responsible for raising children. When singing a short “go fishing” song to the women learned to the men. They lived in large communal houses with thatched roofs. Superstitions and fear of revenge killings also caused them to seek a new area frequently. clearing new fields. Other foods which supplement their diet are corn. gathering firewood. moving into a new location when food supplies dwindled. Explorers and Catholic missionaries first encountered Culinas during the second half of the 19th century in Brazil on the Xiruá and Tarauacá rivers. 104 . Those years claimed many lives. or gathemerged from the deep ering. in the state of Ucayali on the Purús’s shirt and rap on his house ton. sweet potatoes. At one time the men could earn money by gathering rubber latex and hunting jaguar and other wild cats for their skins. Later that morning. They call themselves: Madijá ‘people’. The Culina men adopted western style clothing as they worked for mestizos. papaya. along with green plantains and manioc. they command each vian Culinas other to go fishing. coarsely woven skirts. ripe plantains. rice. brought the Culinas into a more permanent contact with outsiders. called a “ComDuring the mand Party”. The “rubber boom”. palm nuts. on the Purús and Yuruá rivers.

The men all eat together and the women return to their houses to eat with the children. This practice seems to be dying out among the Peruvian Culinas. although the belief in their powers is still strong. hang it in the house of the They also helped establish and su“bride-to-be”. they are considbecame the next important task folered married.Culina The women will then all go to the field and get manioc. helping to improve the health quito net of the “groom-to-be” and and life expectancy of the people. are you well?’ 105 . they get the moswork. In 1954 SIL linguists began working among them. Because singing was such an important part The Culina shaman is respected and feared by of the Culina culture. lowed by Bible translation. The women hurry to the chief’s yard and prepare to receive the fish by laying banana leaves on the ground. Then the women gather the fish and take it home to cook. ¿bica tinaqui? ‘Hi. The men signal their return at the end of the day by whooping and hollering as they return to the community. During the early 1950s the Culinas lost many of their people to a smallpox epiWhen a family wants a demic. The girl’s mosquito net is taken away and hidden. As a result. the chief blows a horn calling the men to come and the women to bring the food. At first they son or daughter to were heavily involved in medical marry. in progress Life of Christ video rituals and tests. Every man is a potential shaman. the Gospel was his own people as well as by first introduced through translated Scripture set to their traditional outsiders. Very few make it. land nami water passo fire dsipo sun maji moon abadsico house odsa man maqquideje woman amoneje child ejedeni Nija. If the pervise the first bilingual schools. They sing another song as the men walk by single file and drop their fish on the leaves. The Life of Christ video in the people’s father abi language is a great help in their unmother ami derstanding of the Word of God. Training Culina teachers and preparyoung couple accept each other as ing school materials in their language marriage partners. only a small elite group is allowed to practice magic and lead in curing ceremonies. The translation of the New Testament and Old Testament pora shaman he has to pass a series of tions in Culina is in progress. When the fish and manioc are ready. but in order to be ranked as tunes.

Spanish and other intruders out of their territory. troduced and is now the material of oil workers. and the power spirit. patróns. by having visions through the use of ayahuasca. Today the men spend less time weaving though sewing clothes siders than the Aguaruna. consequence their culture has changed more rapidly. This hindered the economic development of the Huambisa communities to a large extent.The women wore a “wrap around” sarong-type dress made by beating bark until it became soft. 106 . a hallucinogenic drug. uniting for centuries to keep the Incas.’ The Huambisa geographical area covers more or less 1800 square miles in the Andean foothills. In 1925 the Nazarene Mission finally succeeded in establishing friendly contact with the Huambisas and did much to help change attitudes toward outsiders.Huambisa (Jivaroan) Population: 5. Traditionally the men had long hair with headdresses of bright bird feathers and other hair ornaments of feathers and woven bands worn in their ponytails. hunt and extract lumber for them at very low wages. The individual could build up this power through acts of bravery. After death.choice. the spirit of the after-life. the spirit of the after-life would take the deceased to continue living in the “happy hunting ground”. There are about 35 Huambisa communities located between the Achuars to the north and the Aguarunas to the south. They call themselves: Shuar ‘people.600. Traditionally the Huambisa people were animists. The spirit of power could impart great strength and invincibility to the one who received it. Three kinds of spirits greatly impacted their lives: The spirit of revenge. As a by hand or on the sewing machine is still one of their activities. Patróns obligated them to work in their fields. Later In the past the homespun and woven cotton was inHuambisas had much more contact with traders. Location: Northern Peru in the states of Amazonas and Loreto on the Morona and Santiago Rivers. Huambisa men wore skirts which they themselves wove using crude fibers. When a person was killed the spirit of revenge would seek to revenge his death. and other out. They relied much on witchcraft and spirit power. The Huambisas have a common history with the Achuars and Aguarunas.

a Huambisa man under the supervision of an SIL translation consultant adapted the Aguaruna translation of the New Testament into Huambisa. Through the years it sold out and the people requested a father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child apach egkach nugka entsa jii etsa nantu jea ashmag nuwa uchi ¿Weamek? Are you going? 107 1975. the spirit shows itself tion every year (the length of the courses depends on through the man’s personal force. kill.Huambisa revised edition. the food supplies available loud speech. The first SIL workers arrived in 1950. with consultant help from an SIL linguist. Since the Huambisa language is closely related to Aguaruna. The new edition. 1997 Bilingual dictionary 1987 Huambisa-Spanish . Once having entered the man. There are about 50 churches among the Huambisas and two indigenous Bible instiand through killing someone. bravery.tutes that offer courses of three to five weeks duratim’s power spirit. and power to at the time). which included the book of Psalms. It was the work of three Huambisa mother-tongue translators who worked under the supervision of a Peruvian fraternity of jungle churches. In 1975 the Huambisa New Testament was published and presented to the people. called FAIENAP. If he killed a man he could acquire his vic. The same team of three men is currently working on an abridged Old Testament translation. was printed and dedicated in September 1998. The Huambisa people have an extensive bilingual education program with twenty-seven schools and about 40 teachers.

Some Kashinawas decided to flee across the border to Peru.Kashinawa (Panoan) Population: 1. During the first decade of the 20 th century.000 in Peru and maybe 1. In the past they lived in large communal houses with dirt floors and thatched roofs that extended almost to the ground. Others worked rubber for patróns in Brazil who used the typical debt-peonage system. and Breu Rivers. off the ground and palm thatched roofs with eaves. tired of being looked down upon because of their ethnic identity. Around 1951 another epidemic claimed many lives causing the survivors to seek more permanent contact with the outside. thus creating a life-long dependency on their masters. Curanja. They lived in isolation until about 1945. Location: In the state of Ucayali along the Upper Purús. contacts with rubber patróns and their workers at the turn of the 20th century became violent. The space between the eaves and the raised floor is often walled in with another type of palm bark. some Kashinawas. The men construct the houses with palm-bark floors 8 to 9ft. 108 .000 in Brazil. and epidemics claimed still more lives. in order to obtain metal tools such as machetes and axes. The Kashinawas live in family groups of close relatives. particularly with traders on the Curanja River. They kept the workers in constant debt. This has changed and now nuclear or extended families live in settlements of smaller separate mestizo style houses along the riverbanks. decided to adopt the mestizo way of life.’ While contacts between Brazilian non-indigenous people and the Kashinawas around 1860 appeared to be peaceful. The houses were located in a clearing on top of a hill at a considerable distance from the next house. At this point some of them returned to the Embira River in Brazil while others remained and sought contact with non-indigenous people. They call themselves: Juni kuin ‘real people. resulting in great loss of life. Many Kashinawas were massacred.

and dyed. Generally cross cousins enter into a husband/wife relationship. In recent years the men have been helping with this chore because of the dangers involved in having to get firewood from far away. multi-wife household. Girls are raised to function in a polygamous. If the family members accept the young man. cooking. cleaned. 2004 Bilingual dictionary 1981 Kashinawa-Spanish father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child epa eva mai jene chi badi uxe jive juni ainbu bake Ma en mianu juaii ‘I have come to you. Polygamous marriages are said to be desirable by men and women. The people love to eat meat and don’t consider a meal complete without it. and a few weeks later corn. The women weave large hammocks and shoulder bags with intricate geometric designs using the cotton they have grown. They generally do not water the plants.Kashinawa The Kashinawaas adhere to a rather strict division of labor. and it is their responsibility to grow cotton. he simply moves in and assumes the typical male role in the household. gathering the produce from the gardens. spun. It takes approximately two months for the cut vegetation to dry and in August or September it is set on fire. A man’s primary responsibility is hunting. Currently most of the 13 villages have their own school. and papaya. and manioc. making canoes and baskets. plantains. Marriage is the coordinating relationship in the Kashinawa three generation households. When the ashes have cooled. They also chop and carry firewood from the gardens. the wife’s family would make sure to make him feel at home by giving him a second wife. Years ago the Kashinawa women also made their own pottery. Bilingual schools with trained Kashinawa teachers were established in 1970. sewing.’ . if he appeared to be a good hunter. generally one of his wife’s sisters. squash. First they plant eating bananas. but today clay pots have been replaced by metal pots. Two villages in addition have a secondary school. but wait for the rain to soak the ground. The place of residence is the wife’s family. in recent years the outside world provides a lot of competition to the claims of Christ through the availability of different media that reach most of the isolated areas of the jungle. a young man marries his mother’s brother’s daughter or daughters. Young girls learn women’s tasks by working alongside their mothers and grandmothers. Other tasks for men are fishing. There are a number of different stages involved in clearing and planting the gardens: In May or June they clear the underbrush with machetes and fell the large trees with steel axes. Women often help with planting and weeding. For example. picked. SIL The New Testament translation was completed and distributed among the people in 1981 and Kashinawa pastors have been trained. Traditionally. washing. began working with the Kashinawa people in 1955. sugar cane. Other women’s jobs are caring for the children. This is done with torches of dried palm leaves. There are believers in several of the communities. the planting season has begun. tubers. 109 1980. and preparing new gardens each year using the slashand-burn method. However.

larly avoided personal encounters 110 .700. However. The rubber boom. They call themselves: Machiguenga ‘human being. It is believed that as a result of maltreatment and epidemics thousands of Machiguenga people died. and Manu Rivers. a few decades later. Picha.Machiguenga (Arawakan) Population: 8. These were fashioned from the short black feathers of a large jungle fowl woven into a narrow band. fishing. the Machiguenga people were burdened by the constant were semi-nomadic need to observe certain taboos. women more commonly used nosepieces. feathers. birds to keep them from doing harm. brought an increased number of bark seekers into the area. because the people were illiterate and unable to keep accounts. vertical stripes and “V” shaped necklines for the men. Outsiders continued to be present in the area when haciendas were established. Both men and women wore cushmas. and herbal medicines in exchange for metal tools. feathers. ing certain foods. Camisea. They traded wood. Machiguengas live on the following principal rivers and their tributaries: the Upper and Lower Urubamba. coca leaves. One important contact with outsiders during the centuries was trade relations established with Andean people. They particuagriculture. Working for these landowners gave the Machiguengas some protection from other outsiders but. Their style of dress consisted of homespun hand-woven beltless tunic-type robes known as cushmas. Both sexes used necklaces. Timpia. and horizontal stripes and straight necklines for the women. cotton. isolationists living in During pregnancy they avoided eatsmall extended family groups. beads. left its imprint on the Machiguengas. The men customarily wore headbands low on their foreheads. Machiguenga society was animistic with beliefs characterized by fear of everything from certain varieties of ants to eclipses of the moon. At other times they They lived from day to avoided naming certain animals or day by hunting. Following a death in the family they and using the slash-and-burn method of avoided certain activities which were considered dangerous. bones. The women adorned the shoulder seams of their cushmas with nutshells.’ Early European invaders and Catholic missions had little impact on the Machiguenga people. Slave trading was still fairly widespread as recently as the 1950s. they were always in debt. arm bands. In 1847 the discovery of the sarsaparilla bark. used in the manufacturing of quinine for the treatment of malaria. dye. The people Traditionally. and woodcarvings. Location: Scattered across the southeastern part of the Peruvian Amazon Basin in the states of Cuzco and Madre de Dios. and nosepieces fashioned from flattened silver coins.

light and being replaced by truth began to overcome the dark“God will be very ness of their beliefs. including selected passages from the Old Testament. I’ll be dead before the presence of a loving God. many new communities were established around bilingual schools.Machiguenga with life-threatening spirits. an indigenous short term Bible Institute. The translated New Testament was presented to the Machiguenga people in January. Until the early 1950s the political organization of the Machiguengas was limited to the selfappointed post of headman for each small family group. Their only hope lay in a shaman’s varying degrees of ability to secure the help of good spirits or in some other way affect a soul’s destiny. life was short and hard with an uncertain destiny after death. ¿pokakevi? ‘You have come?’ 111 1976. was distributed in June 1997. and growing congregations of believers in a dozen communities. usually an orator in the uniquely traditional Machiguenga pattern. God has raised up strong Christian leaders.” is and understanding grew. Many Machiguengas still observe the traditional life style and During the late 1950’s. such as sawmills. and won’t see me again. multiplied. During the intervening years. but for others the old Word of God began to way of saying enter the Machiguenga goodbye. was able to command respect and persuade others. At best. cargo-launch transportation to carry products to market.” father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child apa ina kípatsi nia tsitsi poreatsiri kashiri pánkotsi surari tsinane ananeki Viro. as the translation progressed you come back. gracious to you and keep you. “You world of hopelessness and fear with the message of eternal life. Community development projects. the belief system. Little by little. That person. A revised and expanded edition. and small stores and clinics. 1977. 1997 Bilingual dictionary 1998 Machiguenga-Spanish Life of Christ video .

After six years of attempting contact. They. when SIL pilots and linguists spotted from the air a small group living on a tributary of the Chobayacu River. By 1960 almost all of the adult men had at least one wife captured from outside their territory. Larger houses at times had a door on each side as well. and with much success. However. either mestizos or other ethnic groups. others in Peru in the state of Loreto. they suffered attacks from the Shetebo (now extinct) and also fought with the Yaguas who tried to expand into their territory. Except for a few. who had been captured. Twelve to one hundred persons would occupy a house. Outsiders. The pitch of the roof was quite steep with the thatched roof extended to the hard-packed dirt floor. they became reintegrated with the Matsés who had remained in isolation. The Matsés used to build communal houses in the middle of their fields. Doorways were located at each end of the house.200. captured Matsés women and children. Several decades later the survivors once more settled at a mission and in 1762 established their own village there. along the Lower Yaquerana River (also called the Upper Yavarí) and its tributaries: the Lobo River in Brazil and the Chobayacu and Gálvez rivers in Peru. did the same to others. success finally came in August of 1969. The hammocks of the men and boys hung from the upper of two parallel poles and those of the women and girls hung from the lower poles. They call themselves: Matsés ‘people’.Matsés (Panoan) Population: 1. All of them had escaped from the group. Initial contact between a group of Matsés (formerly called Mayorunas) and Catholic missionaries dates back to 1621. At least one small group lives near the Upper Amazon. The linguists had learned some of the Matsés language from a Matsés man and a mestizo woman and her son 112 Location: Some live in Brazil. after the withdrawal of the Jesuits. Being able to communicate in the language helped a great deal at the contact. The houses had pointed ends and near the front entrance there were two logs where men of the house and male visitors sat to eat and chat. During the 19th century while they continued living in relative isolation. Fires were built under the hammocks for warmth and to keep mosquitoes away. then. the Matsés resisted the attempts of the rubber barons to enslave them. The Matsés slept in hammocks made of palm frond fiber. . A small group lives on the Lower Yavarí in Peru and an uncontacted group on rivers farther inland. A wide hallway cut through the middle of the house and rooms were partitioned off on each side. The Matsés became integrated into a mission station which they abandoned in 1686 when epidemics claimed many lives.

ankle and knee bands made from chambira fiber or cotton.Matsés The translation of the Word of God and the introduction of literacy have greatly impacted the lives of the Matsés people. Both sexes at times painted their bodies and/or faces with achiote and huito that turned bluish-black when applied. and pottery. but most still lack the ability in Spanish to state their desires when they differ with an outsider. The men make large bows. or clearing the jungle to make fields. and spears. At present only a few continue to tattoo their faces and build communal houses. They also wore wrist. armbands. being translated and the Life of Christ video is widely shown in the Matsés communities. The women added an upper armband. Women had long hair with bangs and wore knotted palm fiber or bark cloth mini-skirts. Their hair was cut in a bowl shape. and the women weave hammocks. At times the people of different households help one another on the bigger jobs like gathering thatch for a roof. They tattooed their faces using the blue-black paint. Bows and arrows are still used to some extent for hunting. teachers of primary and secondary schools. Those belonging to the same household prepare their fields together. The New Testament in their language was dedicated in April of 1994. The Matsés have less fear of outsiders. some woodworkers. a dentist. The women inserted long palm straws into the side of each nostril. fishnets. arrows. There are Matsés pastors. They wore several strands of seeds criss-crossed front and back. health promoters. Old Testament passages are The men wore a palm frond headband and a palm frond belt around the loin. they discontinued many of their practices. and mechanics. When some of the Matsés learned how the outside world lives. The men wore thin brittle sticks in holes made along the upper lip. 113 father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child 1993 Life of Christ video papá titá nidáid acté cuëtsiádoté badiádën uëshè inchëshën uëshè shubú dudá chidó bacuè ¿Áda chó? ‘Did you come?’ .

they soak the tuber in water for two or three days. Then they grind it and squeeze out the liquid using a special woven strainer. But their outlook on life is still dominated by their ancient animistic beliefs in adverse spirit beings. Living on the rivers. Following contact with outsiders during the rubber boom in the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. along the Ampiyacu.strips. for sleeping and storing valuables.Muruí Witoto (Witotoan) Population:5. Sometimes there is an enclosed area third method is the use of barbasco. After the war between Peru and Colombia. stream or lake. Spirits are perceived as a constant threat to their existence. which they bake on clay griddles. They use several methods of fishing. many were killed and a great number died from diseases brought in by outsiders. the relatives might consult the local witch doctor. fish is one of their main sources of protein. stunning the fish. Through the use of hallucinatory drugs he determines whether or not some spirit being caused the illness. the Witoto scattered. Some The Witotos live in jungle fish are caught in funnel-shaped houses typical of the Amazon Basin. Manioc is their main food staple along with fish. Finally they shape the dough in the form of a large disk. In order to extract the poison. They are simple traps made of reeds or thin palm structures.000 in the 19th century before the rubber hunters invaded their territory. 114 . They grow a bitter manioc that is poisonous. in the 1930s. Location: In Peru. They call themselves: Muruí ‘people’. A form covered by a thatched roof.600 living in Peru and Colombia. consisting of a raised plat. This is reflected in the many fiestas they hold in order to appease their “gods”. especially in making tapioca. caught easily. The Hammocks are used for resting in fish come to the surface and are the daytime. it is swished through the water of the The people cook over wood fires. Sweet manioc is also grown and used in a variety of ways. After it is crushed. Putumayo. and Napo rivers in the state of Loreto. tied together with vines. It is estimated that the Witotos numbered about 23. They also use spears and fishhooks. Those living in Peru established villages widely separated from each other. a poisonous root. When a person becomes sick. Outwardly the Witoto appear quite acculturated to the mestizo way of life.

Someone beats the drums rhythmically with two mallets.Muruí Witoto father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child 1978 moo ei enìrue jìnuì iraì jitoma fìvui jofo ìima iñaìño urue Bilingual dictionary 1983 Muruí Witoto-Spanish ¿Itìo? ‘Are you there?’ The Witotos. Law now forbids trading in animal skins. The Witoto language has six vowels and is distinguished by having as many as seven consecutive vowels in a word. 115 . use signal drums to communicate with their people across a distance of many miles. SIL Most of the adults are now literate. One drum is slightly larger than the other. One of the pastors. In the past they worked in the jungle gathering rubber and wild animal skins. Now they sell produce from their own gardens. and corn. pineapples. The drums are used in sets of two. And still others make and sell artifacts to tourists who visit the area from Iquitos. Mother tongue pastors have been trained to serve the Witoto congregations. such as bananas. The New Testament was published in 1978.’ began working among the Witoto Muruí in 1955. thus using a type of telegraph system to pass on important messages such as announcing a fiesta. Bilingual schools have been functioning on the Ampiyacu River since the late 1950s. ‘He always wants to go hunting. They also raise ducks and chickens to sell. like the Boras and Ocainas who belong to the same language family. as in Rauaioiacade. Francisco Diaz. has become a traveling evangelist and in recent years others have joined him in reaching out to other Witoto communities. rice. constructed from the trunk of a certain hardwood tree.

Marriages between groups were often arranged. They introduced them to metal tools. tools that The women wore woven skirts made were shared with several settlements. In 1992 a community named Montetoni was formed by a Machiguenga schoolteacher and settled by several Nanti family groups. the men were entirely naked. The family group shared one large round dwelling. Bundles of bark fiber cord were worn bandoleer-style over the shoulder and breast. the Nantis have a little knowledge of natural medicine. They lived in small family settlements of 20 to 50 people near small tributaries of the larger river. the schoolteacher and some of the Nantis moved a few kilometers downriver to form a second community called Malanxeato. In 1996. Their desire to obtain more metal tools caused several Nanti groups to move to the Camisea River. One Nanti man acquired a machete and a knife. of Cuzco. and little in the way of supernatural beliefs or mythology. Location: Southeastern Peru on the Upper Camisea River in the state Until the late 1980s. They were not familiar with cotton. and gradually downriver until they established contact with the Machiguengas in the late 1980s. 116 . The women wore nose-disks made from the scales of fish. Unlike most Amazonian groups. Contact between Dominican missionaries and some Nantis in the mid-1970s had a profound effect on the people. these tools wore out. Except for their adornments. from a coarse thread of bark fiber. hidden deep in the jungle. The men were and still are expert hunters using bows and arrows to shoot both game and fish. Their diet also included a variety of wild fruits. After many years of heavy use. The Nantis used broken stones without shafts to clear land for their small gardens of manioc and plantains. with a separate cooking fire for each adult woman. The school that started in Montetoni is now located in the second location.Nanti (Arawakan) Population: 600. Their culture seems to be remarkably simple. Additional small groups of Nanti are known to be living in the headwaters region of the Timpia River. the Nantis lived in secluded communities of the upper Timpia. These settlements had infrequent but generally friendly contact with one another. Both the men and women wore adornments of plant seeds and monkey teeth.

and two Nanti young men recently received intensive training in reading and writing. A number of things in their lives have changed during the last decade. Living in a large settlement with several different family groups is a radical change for the Nanti people. besides hunting and fishing. poxaxena. like the Machiguengas.’ The Nanti people are beginning to recognize the cost of their lifestyle changes and new connections with outsiders as they deal with previously unknown illnesses and with individuals who would exploit them. A small amount of reading materials in the language have been developed. They are grateful for the abundance of food available. but some have also adopted western clothing styles. 117 in progress . will certainly serve them well in the challenging years ahead. (my) father (my) mother land water fire sun moon house man woman (his) child apa ina xípatsi nia tsitsi xyenti poreatsiri pánxotsi surari tsinane itsere ¿Poxaxenpi? Neje. For instance. A recently initiated effort to help the people to be less vulnerable to outside domination and exploitation is bearing fruit. but they have adapted well. the Nantis now farm numerous large gardens. Presently a Machiguenga couple is learning the Nanti language and with consultant help from SIL linguists is beginning to translate Old and New Testament passages. which expresses itself in the solidarity of the Montetoni Nanti. ‘Have you come?’ ‘Yes. They are beginning to pass along these skills to their own people. I’ve come. Many Nantis still wear traditional adornments. The Nantis are learning the skills necessary to navigate the still distant modern world that is slowly but inexorably drawing closer.Nanti The teaching of Biblical values and skills in reading and writing coupled with their spirit of mutual trust and cooperation. Some of the women have learned to weave cushmas (tunic-type garments).

118 . Location: In the foothills of the Andes in the state of Junín between the Ene and Perené rivers on the Pangoa and Anapati River system. They pound the root of the plant and put it in the stream. All outsiders were expelled from the area. rodents. they continue to wear hand-woven cotton shoulder bags. More than a century later.400 ft. The altitude varies from 2. More recently most of the people have switched to Western style clothing. From the Santa Cruz de Sonomoro mission they tried to evangelize Nomatsiguenga settlements. However. Besides game.Nomatsiguenga (Arawakan) Population: 5. The women are reexistence. They dye the material rust brown. washing the earth. using the bark of a special tree. partridges. deer.’ Franciscan missionaries made several attempts to establish mission stations during the 17th century in an area called Cerro de Sal (Salt Mountain). It releases a liquid that stuns the fish briefly causing them to surface. in 1868. They later learned to grow and spin cotton and weave cloth to make cushmas (tunic-type garments). During the 1970s Nomatsiguengas were caught in the middle of confrontations between guerilla groups and the military. Today they mostly use shotguns. and clothes and caring for the children two below. In 1742 a general uprising took place under the leadership of Juan Santos Atahualpa. seven above sponsible for cooking. During the dry season they catch fish using a plant called barbasco. A decade later during the 1980s. the city of La Merced was founded. Approximately 25 communities are scattered along small rivers. resulting in a syncretism of both belief systems. the people’s animistic beliefs became mixed with Christian teachings. to 3. which peaked at the time when the rubber boom was phasing out and ended with a new uprising in 1914. and wild turkeys with bows and arrows. During the last 30-40 years they have purchased tocuyo (unbleached muslin) to make cushmas. armadillos. They believe in the Besides hunting the men are responsible for clearing presence of many spirland. new subversive groups caused much terror among the people. They then can be caught easily. they also eat fish. Nomatsiguenga men used to hunt tapir. the earth.600. planting and cultivatits and in ten levels of ing their gardens. Centuries ago it is believed that the people wore bark-cloth skirts. above sea level. This opened the way for colonization and exploitation of the people. They call themselves: Atiri ‘fellow citizens. wild pigs. When the Franciscans established their missions.900 ft. Traditionally the Nomatsiguengas are animists.

The people sleep on platforms of
palm slats covered with woven palm

(girls 6-7 years old automatically become baby sitters). They also dig
manioc from the garden and carry
home big baskets full to cook and
make a drink called masato. Manioc
is the main staple of their diet, but
they also eat other tubers and corn.
During the last 20 years the
Nomatsiguengas have begun growing rice, beans, papaya, oranges,
peanuts, and coffee as cash crops.
They also raise chickens and ducks.
Cooking is mostly done over a wood
fire in the cookhouse adjacent to the
main house. Aluminum pots that can
be purchased in local stores have replaced traditional clay pots. In the
past gourds served as plates and
spoons, but today they buy metal
utensils. Their stone axes have been
replaced with steel axes.
The Nomatsiguenga houses
are constructed with
palm-slat or bamboo walls
with palm thatched roofs. Palm trees
are becoming scarce so sometimes
they use grass for the roof. A few
houses have corrugated metal roofs.


Villages often consist of extended
families of brothers and sisters and
their children. When a young man
wants to take a wife, he is expected
to build a house for her in the village
of her parents. After living a number
of years near her parents, the couple
is free to move wherever they want.
began working with the
Nomatsiguenga people in
1956. The New Testament was dedicated in 1981.
An Old Testament summary followed in 1982. The Life of Christ
video was dubbed into
Nomatsiguenga in 1994. Many
Nomatsiguengas have become Christians and no longer live in fear of
spirits. When the creation story was
first shared with them one elderly
man commented, “Thanks for giving it to us straight.”

The Sendero Luminoso terrorists
moved into the Nomatsiguenga area
in the late 1980s, burning seven villages, killing many of the leaders
and leaving many widows and orphans. During those years SIL linguists had to stay in Mazamari, a
district capital. While there a group
of Nomatsiguengas came and
asked for New Testaments to
replace those burned by the subversives. They had understood the importance of reading the Word in
order to walk with the Lord.

¿Nega pijáque?
‘Where are you going?’


Life of Christ video
Genesis video
Bilingual dictionary 1996


Population: 150, only a few
speak the language.

Location: In the western Upper
Marañón River and the Lower Santiago River in the states of Amazonas,
Cajamarca, San Martín, and Loreto.

Originally living in Colombia, the Ocaina people
were little known until
1886. White men moved into their
territory and discovered the
Putumayo River area to be rich in
rubber, and began to extract the latex. At the time the Ocainas along
with the other Witoto language family groups were estimated to be over
50,000 people.
The people were exploited
heavily by the rubber patróns.
Many were slaughtered and all were
exposed to the white man’s diseases.
By the first decade of the 20th century it was estimated there were only
7,000 to 10,000 survivors. About
2,000 were Ocainas. Between 1930
to 1935 many Ocaina people were
transported by landowners across
the Putumayo River from Colombia
to Peru during a border dispute. Until recently the Ocainas have continued to work on haciendas. In the
late 1950’s about 200 were living in
Peru and possibly three to four families in Colombia.
As is common for the
groups belonging to the
Witoto language family, the
Ocaina social organization is based on a clan system.
Each clan bears the name of a jungle animal like the deer, the sloth,
and the peccary. The people’s traditional marriage pattern is to marry
outside of their own clan.
The Ocainas practice the
slash-and-burn method to
prepare their fields for growing manioc, bananas, corn,


pineapple, and peanuts. The men
hunt and fish while the women are
responsible for most of the fieldwork,
food preparation, child rearing, and
other household chores. Food staples are cassava bread, and tapioca,
both made from manioc. They keep
well and therefore are good food
items for the men to take on hunting trips.

across a distance of many miles. The
drums are used in sets of two, constructed from the trunk of a certain
hardwood tree. One drum is slightly
larger than the other. Someone beats
the drums rhythmically with two
mallets, thus using a type of telegraph system to pass on important messages such as
announcing a fiesta.
When SIL began
working among the
Ocaina in 1952, an
All night fiestas are very imporestimated 55 to 60 percent of the
tant to the Ocaina people. A lot
Ocaina people were intermarryof preparation goes into getting
ing with the Witotos, Boras, and
ready for such an occasion. During
mestizos. They were disconthe fiesta they sing to the boa. In the
tinuing the use of their own
past they used to dress stalks of tolanguage and were switching
bacco and coca plants which, acto Spanish, Bora or Witoto.
cording to their old beliefs,
Almost all the Ocaina people
represented persons. They are accusspeak some Spanish. Despite
tomed to working in mingas to help
their tendency to abandon
each other plant fields or build
their mother tongue, several
bilingual teachers have been
trained and two Ocaina bilinThe Ocainas make hammocks, bas- gual schools were still funckets, carrying bags, and body adorn- tioning in 1998.
ments to sell. They also sell some of
their produce like bananas, peanuts,
Portions of the New
corn, and pineapple to a near-by
Testament and
military station.
some Old Testament Bible stories were
Like the other members
translated and distributed
of the Witoto language
among the people.
family, the Ocainas
Primers and reading mause signal drums as a terials were prepared for
means of communithe bilingual schools.
cation with their people

moon / moonjon
ñoon / ñunjun
foo / foojo

‘Brother, how is it?’


selected portions, 1968
Bilingual dictionary 1969

attempt was made to gather the people in missions. Today they size was reached. Coto and Orejón. mentioned in church docu. Through education smaller ones until the desired they learned to liberate themselves from the patrón system. Because their lished in 1722. the believed that the people plant and cultimoon was God’s vate small gardens. a name not at all appreciated by the people. earplug that had growing cooking bananas. Algodón. The Orejón feed their families. trade with local river traders. but was soon abandoned culture was looked down upon and their language was considbecause the people feared being enslaved ered inferior to Spanish. hunt game and The Coto are catch fish. This people group is known by two names. and then lumber. prowere as large as duce and artifacts for four or five clothing and other inches in diamegoods. exSome balsa plugs changing game. In 1729 another mestizo way of life. corn. fruits from the jungle. and gone rolling across manioc. Location: In the state of Loreto on the Sucusari.Orejón (Small: Tucanoan) Population: 200–300. made from balsa wood. 122 . In order to ter. The first Coto guage and most of the culture of mission was estabtheir forefathers. in their earlobes. at first extracting leche balsa plugs inserted into caspi. For several Traditionally Orejón decades the Orejón men worked boys would have small for patróns. Coto means “howler monkey”. Orejón comes from Spanish and means “big-eared”. The people were given this name because they used to wear large round discs. Once more it failed. Several decades later they were grouped together once more with neighboring indigenous people at local missions.people decided to adapt to the ors. They did not receive fair wages larger plugs replaced the for their labor. They also gather nuts and the sky. and Putumayo rivers. During the rubber boom at the turn of the 20th century the people again experienced great suffering and the loss of many lives. though the younger ments as early as generation has abandoned the lan1682.Almost all the surviving Orejón speak some Spanish. In 1761 many died from smallpox. the by Spanish conquer. When the holes in their earlobes good trees were depleted the people starting at about 10 were given seeds to begin agriculyears of age. Gradually ture. Yanayacu. They call themselves: Maì ja ‘we people’.

’ Scripture portions were translated and distributed among the people. 123 Scripture portions. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child jaquì aquì jaco ago yao ja oco ja toa ja mai aguì ñamihaquì aquì ue ja ìjì aguì nomio ago ñitu aguì/ago Mì ue daiyi.Orejón The spirit world has always been very real to the Orejón. The whistling sounds of locusts when they rub their hind legs on their front wings were thought of as sounds produced by spirits. Because they traditionally practiced SIL linguists worked revenge for any harm inflicted upon among the Orejón from them. An expectant mother would avoid looking at a boa for fear that it might kill her unborn baby.plained to the people at great length and translated in such a way that lar and help the Orejón learn Spanthey would be clearly understood. These terms had to be exOrejón-Spanish dictionary. The children have access to mother tongue has greatly impacted the lives of the Orejón public schools. Evil spirits were believed to live in tall trees. and grace were unknown to them. 1965 Bilingual dictionary 1981 Orejón-Spanish . the people suspected that the person had seen an evil spirit. which served to both preserve the vernacu. analyzing their language and compiling a small mercy. It would be okay though. 1958 to 1976. A number of reading primers and folklore texts in Orejón were also The Gospel message in their printed. They never kill a boa constrictor for fear that the spirit of the dead boa would enter the killer and cause great harm. for an outsider to kill a boa. If someone died from an undetermined cause. ish. ‘I am coming to your house. people. such concepts as forgiveness.

Deep gorges.Pajonal Ashéninca (Arawakan) Population: 12. and several the Gran Pajonal in 1730 potato substitutes. They live in the Gran Pajonal in the eastern Andean foothills. The word “Pajonal” means grassland. presence in the patróns in coffee plantations. mostly along the ridges. The practice of slave raiding and the sale of Ashéninca children to other groups have also had a disruptive effect on the population growth. bananas. Patches of grassland are found scattered throughout the area. The outsiders began to pen. As late as the 1950s and 1960s measles and other epidemic diseases killed 50 to 75 per cent of the population. a second north of the Tambo-Ene valleys. that closed the mission stations In the 1980s SIL initiated a commuand essentially closed nity development program. food is in short Juan Santos supply. Asheninca ‘people’. now region. take ownership of the sheep and catSince then they have tle that were made available to them. and the third east of the Pichis valley. Any initial nuts in the jungle. Generally. Epidemics. They call themselves: Location: The central Gran Pajonal area and tributaries on the west side of the Ucayali River in the state of Ucayali. The 100 years. 124 . Due to these circumstances the people have been reluctant to form any large communities. had a continuous. separate the terrain. were a threat to the survival of the Pajonal Ashéninca people. but While in the past they worked for small. colonists. they began their own coffee production for cash crops. at times. The Pajonalinos are one of several Ashénincaspeaking groups. The Gran Pajonal is a triangular shaped plateau situated between three mountain ranges: one to the west of the Ucayali River.Pajonal” was established to coordiies. and valleys at elevations ranging between 3. Atahualpa. pineapple. Access to the Gran Pajonal is very difficult because of the rugged mountainous terrain. and priest who established several mispapaya.000. The men hunt and success was lost in the fish. They plant several kinds of manioc. Traditionally the Pajonalinos practice slash-and-burn agriculture. Higher mountains surround the plateau. Credit for the discovery of some corn. hills. Commuthe Gran Pajonal to all nities were organized with the outsiders for more than election of leaders. In the early “Organización Ashéninca del Gran 20th century missionar. game and fish is 1742 uprising. led by scarce. beans.500 and 5. Other crops are goes to a French Franciscan peppers.000 ft. However. taro. and other nate the development activities. The people gather fruits and sion stations.communities were encouraged to etrate the Pajonal.

Literacy materials have been prepared for the bilingual schools. In 1981 the Peruvian government established the first bilingual schools. The men and boys wear vertically striped cushmas with V-necks. To decorate their clothes they simply rub the achiote on them. began working in the Gran Pajonal in 1966. To this they add black lines from the nose across the cheek. young and old. They generally paint a rectangular shape from their eyes down to the mouth completely covering the nose. The New Testament translation is nearing the final revision stage. shouting. The people love to “party” which consists of drinking masato. a dye extracted from the fruit of the achiote bush. whereas the women and girls wear horizontal stripes with a straight boat neck. Colonists and landowners tried to keep them uneducated so they could continue to exploit them. few Pajonal Ashéninca had attended school. Such parties continue until the masato runs out. With the establishment of bilingual schools the people who used to live in extended-family groups have come together to establish communities. With the drinking comes a lot of talking. beer made from manioc.’ 125 2002 Life of Christ video Genesis video .Pajonal Ashéninca Both men and women wear the cushma (a tunic-type garment). and dancing that can last all night. Until recently. The people like to paint their faces with achiote. Everyone. generally two to three days. There are individual believers in most communities who meet together. laughing. ‘It is really I. participate. Before bilingual education became available in the 1980’s. Today there are about 25 bilingual schools in the Gran Pajonal and more than 25 in the Ucayali Ashéninca area. these lines were tattooed. usually on the garment seams. SIL father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child pava nana quipatsi iñaa paamari ooryaa cashiri pancotsi shirampari tsinani eentsi Naacavee.

and firearms.Sharanahua (Panoan) Population: 450. but also to revenge their dead and to obtain some of the goods the intruders possessed. such as knives. Upper Purús River near the Brazilian border. they found no other native settlements in the vicinity. The earliest mention of the Sharanahua people dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. In some instances they even attempted to capture and enslave them. The Sharanahua people group consists of 3 subgroups: Sharanahua. smallpox. Traditionally the Sharanahuas were a semi-nomadic people who moved to a better location when game became scarce and the gardens unproductive. tuberculosis. From there they moved to the Upper Curanja and Upper Embira rivers. machetes. Mastanahua. to the Upper Purús River in Peru. however. In addition the people waged war with their traditional enemies. This was probably because the inhabitants fled when the rubber hunters entered the region. 126 The Sharanahuas say they were numerous when living in Brazil but the cruel treatment of the intruders and exposure to many diseases at the time of the rubber boom depleted their numbers. whooping cough. and Marinahua. During the last decades. Approximately 35 years later they moved again. Rubber hunters along the main rivers of Brazil were conscripting native peoples for labor. when the Sharanahuas first settled near the Upper Purús. In the communities the one or the other subgroup might be dominant. flu. It is estimated that during the first half of the 20th century over 50 percent of the group died from such diseases as measles. and others which raged through the area for decades. axes. It seems that they left their home territory because other native groups and Brazilian settlers began to crowd them. Their previous history is uncertain. The Sharanahuas resisted and fought back. They call themselves: Onicoin ‘real people’. Mastanahua is more distinct. While Sharanahua and Marinahua are closely related dialects. they have become more sedentary. yellow fever. Location: State of Ucayali. By 1945. Their main source of cash income is working lumber. . the Yaminahuas and Culinas. not only to defend themselves. At contact they lived near the headwaters of the Tarauaca River in the southwestern corner of Brazil.

whom they believed surrounded them. Although The New Testament was dedicated they cherish their mother tongue.Sharanahua Hunting. story.” When people sleep in homespun. fishing. but to God. and dances. Traditionally the people were animists who did not believe in a benevolent Creator God. many Sharanahua men are learning in 1996.’ . beans. clearing new fields. This has now become a pattern for the Sharanahua ture. basket weaving. The women are responsible for cooking. 127 1996. caring for the children. They feared a multitude of spirits instead.” And he began to confess his Wanting to assimilate to mestizo cul. Translation of Old Testament portions is in to communicate in a rudimentary jungle Spanish. and house building. he said: “Stop! I have to pray. corn. gathering food from the gardens. and papaya. They also make bows and arrows but seldom use them unless they have run out of shotgun shells. ‘I have arrived. SIL The power of God’s Word in their own language was vividly portrayed during a translation session of the Book of Acts with the Sharanahua chief. Their main staples are manioc. tions. 2003 father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child upa uhua mai unu chii fari oshu pushu nocofunu ainfo facu Mun nocoa. plantains and other banana varieties. bringing in firewood. and turtle eggs from the river beaches during July and August. and that which including their traditional celebrais done openly is confessed openly. They also plant watermelon along the riverbanks after the rainy season when the rivers recede. began working with the Sharanahuas in 1953. so they can relate to the outside world. the chief grasped the meaning of the hand-woven hammocks. people: that which is done in secret is confessed in secret. Several villages have a congregation of believers led by Sharanahua pastors. music. The villages have bilingual schools now and many people have learned to read and write in their own language. In the account of Ananias and Sharanahua houses are Sapphira in the fifth chapter it says: simple constructions “What made you think of doing such with a thatched roof and a thing? You have not lied to men pona floors (bark of a palm tree). spinning and weaving cotton hammocks. The men are responsible for hunting. fishing.secret sins to God. The this. When Ananias heard Many homes do not have walls. he fell down and died. and slash-and-burn agriculture were and still are the basis of Sharanahua subsistence. This is a necessity for progress. the Sharanahuas have dropped many of their customs. them. They supplement their diet by gathering nuts and fruits from the jungle. canoe making. peanuts.

Conibos. Shipibo-Conibo as a linguistic entity comprises three groups: Shipibo. While Shipibo men exchanged their . ended in the death of the intruders. Contact with the Western world dates back to the 17th century when missionaries and Spanish soldiers entered their territory. Although the skill of interpreting the designs has most likely been lost. possibly due to the fact that they lived on one of the major rivers with many outlets. But they successfully resisted getting involved in the so-called peon-patrón credit system. along the Ucayali River and its tributaries and on the Pachitea River.200. and Shetebos were known in the past as being very aggressive. fabrics. The landowner system posed a threat to the Shipibo-Conibo people during the 19th century. The rubber boom at the beginning of the 20th century with its devastating effects on most ethnic groups affected the Shipibo-Conibo people to some degree. however. These early contacts. The Conibos also lost their separate identity through intermarriage with the Shipibos and today they are considered one ethnic group. Conibo. Subsequent efforts to establish mission stations always ended in massacres until the end of the 18th century. 128 Despite many years of contact. The style has prevailed for centuries and seems to have significance beyond being purely aesthetic.Shipibo-Conibo (Panoan) Population: 20. and Huánuco. They call themselves: Joni ‘people’. One unique feature of their culture is their art of intricate geometric designs. The designs appear to present a codified system of meaning that is tied up with their values and beliefs. The majority of the population lives below or above Pucallpa. They raided smaller groups in the area. and their proximity to the city of Pucallpa. and Shetebo. and body paint display detailed geometric patterns. Location: In the states of Ucayali. the designs continue to be used for decorative purposes. The Conibos are said to have sold their captives as slaves in exchange for metal tools. the Shipibo-Conibos have preserved their language and culture. However. beadwork apparel. Clay pots of all sizes and shapes. The Shipibos. Loreto. A small number lives in the state of Madre de Dios on the Inambari River. The Shetebos were greatly decimated through epidemics and warfare and eventually became integrated with the Shipibos through conquest and intermarriage. they fared better than most Amazonian groups.

According to an SIL observer.” Shamans have always played listener exclaimed: “Now I know where the dolphins came from. An eclipse is caused first exposed to the Bible when the sun is closing his eyes. 129 1983. and gall. Those who used the fat turned into golden-tailed orioles. They also water jéne have their own association of fire chíi churches. telling into the sea where they drowned. terpret meteorological phenomena in When the Shipibos were at animate terms. Shipibo decorative artifacts have become a great attraction not only locally. Eventually the people killed the Inca and smeared themselves with his fat. but also nationally and internationally. the women still proudly wear their skirts with painted or embroidered designs. after conversation between the souls of entering the pigs. They are called upon in times of illness. a dead man tumble down the cliffs and plunge sings to his orphaned sister. People who tried to obtain these things were stung on their forehead by a swarm of hornets and when they fled to the river they turned into alligators. A group of Shipibo men mother títa is revising the previously transland mái lated New Testament. We a significant role in the Shipibo culnever knew that before. woman aínbo They also have well educated politichild báque cal leaders. in progress Bilingual dictionary 1993 Shipibo-Spanish . a her he is making thunder with his heels. caused them to the dead. they interpreted putting on a black garment. the Shipibo typically in. traditionally are animists those with the blood turned into brilwho fear the spirit world liant red macaws. people. A story recorded in Luke 8 about the whirlwind is a huge dancing demon that attempts to snatch away the soul man indwelled by a legion of evil spirits caught their attention. rev. and they can put curses on to the Shipibo is a water demon. Shamans drink ayahuasca in order to contact the spirit world. In one song. He was stingy and had a monopoly on corn. all under Shipibo leadmoon ášhe ership. In 1998 the first young Shipibo man was admitted to ¡Johué! Oxford University in the United ‘Come!’ Kingdom for graduate study in politics and economics. and fire. The people have their own house šhóbo educational system with bilingual man bénbo teachers and school supervisors. The back to his normal appearance. When of a child.Shipibo-Conibo A supreme legendary figure of the people is the Inca. The people then appeal to the sun to change what they heard in the light of their own beliefs and environment. manioc. cushmas for western style shirts and trousers.” A dolphin ture. The Shipibo-Conibo people blood.gall turned into bluebirds. and those with the surrounding them. Thunder is interpreted as they heard that the demons. Today most ShipiboConibo villages have churches with indigenous father pápa pastors. or message. and work among women sun bári and children.

the Taushiro were living whooping cough and smallin small huts with a dirt pox. The following year. near the Ecuadorian border on the Aucayacu River. They slept in epidemics. By the 1990s the figure dropped to seven. Those who remained settled together near the mouth of the Ahuaruna River.Taushiro (Isolates) Population: Seven speakers of the language. From the Tigre River they traveled more than six hours by speedboat through the Ahuaruna River to its Aucayacu tributary. and by 1960 to 70. working for a patrón for several years. Mestizos took oth. For the next nine years. ers.500 people. and a number of others living between the Chambira and Pastaza Rivers. There they found a family of seven Taushiros who were dying with a high fever due to influenza. Catholic priests first contacted them in 1684. By 1737 there were 136 people living at the mission. Many died during those floor and no walls.’ The Taushiros were formerly also known as Pinches or Pinchis. In 1846 the figure had dropped to 100. particularly the women. With some medication and much prayer the people survived. Meanwhile the Taushiros conWhen first contacted. near Intuto. they decided to merge with the mestizo culture and speak Spanish. They have intermarried with lowland Quechuas and mestizos. In doing so. in the state of Loreto. until 1989. Epidemics claimed many lives so that by 1975 their numbers were reduced to 18 people. The next known information was that the village of San José de los Pinchis on the Pastaza River disappeared. Another group of Taushiros moved to the Legia Stream. 130 . Location: Northern Peru. At the time they numbered 2. They call themselves: Ite’chi ‘people. tracted such diseases as flu. The linguist obtained a word list from them and discovered that the language was drastically different from any other language studied by SIL linguists up to that point. they stopped chasing them. a team visited the people once a year. When they learned the Taushiros were peaceful.hammocks hung around the fire. The work continued until 1980. and 14 years later relocated most of the Pinchis in two mission stations. Older Taushiros say that in the past soldiers had hunted their ancestors probably believing that they were hostile. in 1972. In 1971 an SIL linguist accompanied by his Orejón language helper flew from Iquitos to the Tigre River. SIL began working among the Taushiro people in order to help them survive. and to document as much of the language and culture as possible.

bags. An interesting fact about the language is that it lacks bilabial consonants such as b and p. Hechu tan u. and baby carriers. but numerous comparisons with languages of that family did not substantiate this hypothesis. men’s cushmas. The planting manioc. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child Ni tan u. woman’s skirts. These portions were printed and Their tools consisted of a stick for recorded on audiotapes. quitoes. many years before. from clay combined with ashes. because Jesus loves me) Hechu avancuntarturo ui. this: The women made pots and bowls Hechu tan u. (Jesus gives me strength. Therefore it is being included in the language isolate group at present.) iya’ ño‘on u’untu vei honto’ a’cu’ atova añi ava’vu iyi iva’ Uñuntero. piranha teeth for cutting hair and other things. Selected Scripture passages from the Old and New Testament were transThis gave them protection from mos. an alphabet was devised and a few reading books were prepared for them. baskets.lated into the language. bats. ‘Good day. and wild animals. Although only two Taushiro men were young enough to learn how to read and write.Taushiro The Taushiro language was at first thought to be a member of the Zaparoan family. and A favorite Taushiro chorus goes like stones that they used as hammers. Their main industry was weaving with chambira: hammocks. Hechu tan u anechion Their ceramics were very rough and (I want Jesus. ahuane un Hechu (Him I want.’ 131 Scripture portions . usually black without any decoration. I want Jesus now) fragile. a machete that they people used them for more had obtained from a white man than ten years.

but today their activities center around gardening for food and trade.Ticuna (Isolates) Population: 2. The Ticunas are excellent craftsmen. The men prepare their gardens using slash-and-burn method.000 in Peru. This trend was solidified when SIL began working among them in 1953. During the 18th and 19th centuries the Ticuna suffered greatly under raids and enslavement. The women help with the planting and harvesting along with household tasks. and later during a period of lumber extraction. and papayas. Ticuna men do the major part of the work in clearing the forest for their gardens. Government intervention during the middle of the 20th century brought relief and made it possible for the Ticuna people to live in peace. as well as fishing to provide protein for their diet. plantains. Location: Along the Amazon River from Isla Cajacuma in the state Historical records of the Ticunas go back to 1639 when Cristóbal Acuña recorded the first contacts with settlements along the Amazon River and nearby tributaries. Ticuna settlements vary from just a few homes to communities with as many as 4. of Loreto in Peru to Fonte Boa in Brazil They call themselves: Du5ü3xü2 ‘people’. Ownership of the land is based on their having worked it and even after the crops have been harvested and the land grows back to jungle. Their main crops are manioc. Many years ago the Ticuna people were hunters and gatherers. bananas. such as 132 . Their curare was traded in distant places for items they needed. Traditionally their thatch-roofed houses had split-palm floors and no walls.000 persons. Ticuna dugout canoes are prized throughout the region for their stability as well as for their craftsmanship. Mestizo settlers colonizing the area exploited them first during the rubber boom. pineapples. They also used to be well known for their long blowguns and potent curare poison used on the darts. people recognize the original owner. Each teardrop-shaped paddle is an individual work of art. Today many of their houses have board floors and quite a few have board walls as well.

In later years this was The women gather palm fi. The girl was secluded after her first menstruation. shotgun shells. electricity. Institute. 133 1986 Life of Christ video father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child na2na2tü3 na2e2 na2-3a5ne5 de3xa1 ü4xü3 ü3a5xcü3 ta3we2ma4cü2 î2pa2ta3 ya3-5tü5 nge3xþ2 bu3xþ2 / bu3xe4 Nu4xma1e4. and kitchen utensils. Those who do not belong to the bird clan are considered the “all other” clan. Six women took their places around her to pull out all of her hair. Formal education for the Ticuna child is the number Money realized from the sale of one priority over all other Ticuna products provides cash for activities. salt. can still be found in diggings in the area. The children Colombia. sugar.’ . and masonry. These axes. ‘Hello. Each year belong to their father’s clan.changed and the girl’s hair was cut. Bilingual schools where the buying such basics as clothes.addition to six normal oral vowels. stone axes.gations with indigenous pastors in site groups with cross-cousin marvarious Ticuna villages in Peru. Family many Ticuna pastors and Christian groups tend to live near those to leaders attend the Ticuna led Bible whom they are related. The ceremony began with beating drums. moschild can learn to read and write in quito nets. ma. Large Ticuna child can have an education purchases such as peque-peque boat and a future comparable to that of motors and bicycles are also among other children in their country. Tribal names for each The New Testament was person indicate the clan group to completed in 1986.chanics. kinds of baskets. Following the ceremony she was declared ready for marriage.Ticuna drinking. Another custom was to file their front teeth into points to enhance make various their beauty. which they belong. riage being preferred. carpentry. since stones were non-existent in Ticuna territory. A their acquisitions. Marriage takes There are numerous congreplace between members from oppo. puberty rites for girls were a time for great celebration. Bark cloth was used in The Ticunas speak a complithe past for cated five-tone language with nasleeping mats salized and laryngealized vowels in but today blan. which later were replaced with modern tools. pastors. dressed up with macaw feathers and painted black with huito dye. and eating festival. kets have replaced them. blankets. It means the lamps. bers to weave The practice is seldom heard of tohammocks and day.Ticuna are a bridge to the national chetes. Then her family worked for months to gather food and prepare masato drink for the occasion. fuel for their language and culture. was brought out for the three-day dancing. On the last day of the festival she was seated in the middle of the floor. and technicians in fields such as meTicuna society is organized in clans. and Brazil. Historically. number of Ticunas are now schoolteachers. One clan is called “bird peo. health promoters. ple”. and the girl.

The Urarina were once a large group of people living along the Chambira River. jungle rodents. as well as string nets placed at the mouth of small streams. lies. and rice to traders to provide them with a cash income. The bridegroom then moves in with the in-laws and helps his new father-in-law in the fields. The area is swampy and land Urarina women do not work parcels suitable for in the fields except to gather farming are not large. 134 . and gather firewood. They prepare Their houses consist of a and cook the food. birds.children stay with her family and will be given to another suitor. with hunting and fishing. His wife and small communities of only about 3 to 15 fami. Hooks. During the rubber boom of the late 1800s and early 1900s. monkey. In the also weave sleeping mats and bags. Should the young man not measure up to the family’s expectations. and other men’s chores. they will simThe Urarinas now live along ply stop washing his clothes and cooking for him. spears. and election. Their first contact with Catholic missionaries was as early as 1651. past the people lived in They sell plantains.Urarina (Isolates) Population:600 in Peru. lumber large communal houses. and on the Corrientes River. but today they build mostly single family dwellings. A young Urarina man wishing to marry will ask the parents of the girl for their permission. Game animals are deer. Some raised platform made from pona wood. Those who survived this period scattered. the rubber hunters pursued the Urarina people. care for the chilthatched roof over a dren. Blowloosely governed by an gun use has been curtailed by a lack of the curare poison used on the older man selected by darts. chickens. and barbasco are used in fishing. Some of the people escaped to the headwaters of the Chambira River. Generally he gets the rivers in the idea and leaves. Each village is Shotguns are used for hunting. food to cook. Missions were sucessfully established among them at various times through the 1700s. wild consensus or by boar. Location: State of Loreto on the Chambira and Urituyacu rivers (tributaries of the Marañón). Those caught were enslaved along the Marañón River where their numbers were further decimated by epidemics.

While accepting many items have replaced the drinking parfrom the outside world. SIL The New Testament translation is nearing completion. the Creator” made them. The Urarinas believe it was “Our Creator" who gave him the names. that a supernatural beAlthough there are not many being whom they call “Our lievers among the people. manioc beer used to be one of the most important social activities in the lives of the people. Word in their own language.’ 135 2006 Life of Christ video . The ball -Bill -hit.Urarina linguists began work among the Urarina people in 1960. the local shaman would gather the babies and decided they should no longer drink strong alcoholic beverages. which often resulted in many maintaining their own language and problems. ‘It is daytime. The book of GeneThe Urarinas believe sis in Urarina was printed in 1997. small children and give each a special name. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child nihaca neba atane acau usi enoto atene loreri cacha ene canaanai Janohara. Having such a name meant that the person was known by God and would be received by Him when he died.) OSV languages are a rarity. they When the moon was full. The names were revealed They are trusting God to help them overcome this habit. Other peo“yeast” of the Gospel is penetratple are from a lower order and ing their hearts and minds. Few Urarina communities now have a person who performs this function. they are ties. The Urarina language has an unusual word order: object-subject-verb (ie. Preparing and drinking culture. FreUrarinas are not to intermarry with quent worship gatherings seem to them. after he drank a small amount of ayahuasca. As they Years ago the Urarinas had occahave read and listened to God’s sional child-naming ceremonies.

now frequently intermingled with mestizos whose culture they are adopting in large measure. The people live scattered over a rectangular area 150 miles wide and 300 miles long stretching from Iquitos east to the Brazilian border. In 1932-33 the Peruvian-Colom. the tourist industry. thatched-roof houses on stilts with a palm bark floor on which the people sleep under mosquito nets.Yagua (Small: Peba-Yagua) Population: 3. and later on the Franciscans. Lumber patróns and animal hide traders drew them once more to the Amazon River. maintain tourist lodges in the jungle with one or more Yagua families on call to dress up for the tourists. hammocks and other artifacts.500. Spanish explorers contacted the Yaguas as early as 1542. Spirits and demons are believed to reside in the jungle and rivers and are associated with such jungle creatures as the . Many of the children are being taught only Spanish. and the Jesuits in 1693. Small huts for cooking were built in the vicinity. Peru. Settlements were generally one to three days distance apart from each other. There are demons who can cause harm. Today most Yagua people live in small. most of the tourist agencies operating out of Iquitos. and sell woven palm fiber bags and 136 Location: In the northeastern Amazon River region in the state of Loreto. along with epidemic diseases. and Leticia. and later forced labor by rubber boom patróns. However. attempted to get the people to settle in mission stations. They live in small family groups. They call themselves: Nijyamwi ‘people’. sometimes transforming themselves into humans in order to deceive people. demonstrate the use of their blowguns. Yagua settlements traditionally consisted of one large communal house called a cocamera. Some of their myths refer to a creator whom they at times call “Our Father”. The moon is a mythological figure also referred to as “Our Father”. slave raids on the missions by the Portuguese. One kind can be detected because he has a twisted foot. In recent years another entity has had a great pull on the Yagua people. the people’s world view and belief systems tend to be more resistant to change. Colombia. The Yaguas perform dances. caused the Yaguas to flee back into the less accessible areas. Their religious beliefs are a mixture of animism and theism. Because of the colorful and exotic nature of the Yagua’s traditional palm fiber clothing. The Jesuits. It was oval in shape and had a dome-like thatched roof that reached to the ground. The sun and stars are also perceived as animate beings. It was situated close to the headwaters of a small river on high ground to avoid flooding in the rainy season.bian border dispute presented another threat to their existence. Despite these many outward changes.

most an experienced witchdoctor. duced many other Yaguas into joining their group. jaguar. Some Yaguas who never learned to read or write could perform mathematical computations in their heads 137 1994 Bilingual dictionary 1995 Yagua-Spanish Life of Christ video faher jay mother jnoda land mucadi water ja fire jiday sun jiñi moon vuje house roriy man vanu woman cadnatu child dera ¿Teesiy jiryiita? ‘Where are you coming from?’ . The Yagua language is difficult and complex. told how Jesus’ warning.cult which proclaimed that their derneath.There are Yagua believers in several ered vulnerable. There are two kinds of witchdoctors: healers and evil-doers. learns to use drugs. Later. To become a communities. Unlike many other jungle languages it has a sophisticated numerical system capable of handling numbers into the thousands. ants.Yagua faster than others could do them with pencil on paper. Witchcraft continues to have a powerful influence in Yagua and SIL began working with the mestizo communities where it is both Yagua people in 1952 and the New practiced and believed. A commuTestament was dedicated in 1995. A Yagua girl who had learned to read Spanish taught herself to read Yagua by listening to tape recordings of Scripture with accompanying pictures and written text. Most of the children witchdoctor. He of the teaching is in Spanish. Mark 13:5-6 and 21-23. nity without a witchdoctor is consid. The condor is an imporleader was Christ. which she Yagua cosmology as reflected in had learned from the recording of their myths is extremely complicated. when as an adult she helped with the final revision of the New Testament. but even eral months or years of training by where the teachers are Yaguas. the person needs sevhave access to schools. and termites. Modern medicines do not heal from these spells. acquires knowledge about the secrets of the spiritual world and the techniques of diagnosis and healing. This cult had setant mythological figure. Evil-doers cast spells of sickness or death on people which either he himself or another can break through healing power. had kept It projects the existence of eight her and her family from following a worlds above the earth and two un. she boa.

ing on the Yuruá River are now close to the army post on the Brazil Men provide fish and game. always moving downriver. 138 . Women care for the children. Chitonahua ‘naked people’. The women also grow and spin cotton and make string hammocks. it is the women’s job to butcher. cultivate the gardens. and gather produce. the younger generation became accustomed to migrating by prefers living in houses with a raised whole villages about every six years. government funds. the Yaminahua people and no walls. wash clothes.Yaminahua-Chitonahua (Panoan) Population: 350 Yaminahuas live in Peru (plus an undetermined number in Brazil and Bolivia) and 39 Chitonahuas in Peru and a small number in Brazil. plant. and prepare their own share for cooking and roasting. incircular nets) or with hook cluding a school built with and line. A large open space for fiestas and dances was located in the center and the living areas were situated around the edges of the construction. constructing the houses. They hunt with bows and arrows or shotguns. remained hidden for four more decades. gather firewood. Other responsibilities of the men are felling trees to make canoes. The Yaminahua men make their own bows and arrows and fish nets. While the older generation prefers living under a roof with a dirt floor After contact. Those liv. During the rubber boom some Yaminahuas had contact with the outside world. and clearing land for gardens. In 1995 a group of lumbermen contacted them. many of them moved back into the forest where they remained for several decades. prepare food. however. Traditionally the Yaminahuas lived in large oval shaped communal houses. But when they witnessed the cruel treatment the native people received. At present. the people live in small separate family dwellings.They frequently rebuild their homes. along the Yuruá and Mapuya rivers. a subgroup of the Yaminahuas. the present village of San Pablo may continue in the same location for a longer period of time. Location: In the state of Ucayali. Part of the group resumed contact with the outside world in the 1950s. The Chitonahuas. A small number of Yaminahuas live in Sepahua. When the men return with fish or game. border. They call themselves: Nõko Kaifo ‘our people’. Because of the establishment They fish with tarrafas (large of more permanent buildings. pona (palm bark) floor and walls. share the meat with others in the village.

There are bilingual elceremonies. In the past. Strings of small white beads passed under the nose and were carried around over the ears and tied behind the head. and the dead are now being buried in a cemetery. As a marriages were often turbulent and result many of the young short-lived. 1997 a high school was essometimes at age 9 or 10.Yaminahua-Chitonahua The body attire of early years has been discontinued. lages on the Yuruá. and commercial beads. Scripture in their mother tongue which is having a stabilizing effect on their lives. The translation of the New Testament and selected Old TestaMarriage patterns are very simment passages is in its final ple. Only the older people remember them. They claim this allowed them to see family members who were living at a distance and learn of their well being. stingray tailbones. The men used to wear only belts made from plants. Gold teeth and eyeglasses have become fashionable and duckbill caps have replaced the headdresses. They also wore necklaces and bracelets made of black seeds. These tablished in San Pablo. when someone died. In the past. Close family members cut their hair short as a sign of mourning and wailed for many days. coins. The couple simply ementary schools in two vilbegins living together. the body was buried immediately under the house and the house was burned. Now they dress in shorts or trousers and shirts. Now they seem to marry adults and school age at age 15 or 16 with an increase of children are reading more peaceful and stable marriages. Women wear western style skirts. and in girls used to marry very young. SIL 139 2003 father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child epa efa mai faka chii xini oxe pexe feronãfake xotofake fake ¿Mî oimê? ‘Have you come?’ . Most of these adornments have been discontinued. A round metal piece was strung from the septum of the nose. There are no festivities or stages. One of the co-translators has been the pastor of the Yaminahua church in the village of San Pablo for ten years. dresses or pants. Some of the people have begun to write their own hymns. monkey teeth. began working among the Yaminahua people in 1975. Most of these customs are changing. Sometimes they reminisce about chanting all night under the influence of ayahuasca (a hallucinogenic drug). A hole was made in the lower lip for a chin ornament. Both men and women used to wear headdresses made from the outer bark of bamboo on which they painted geometrical designs or tied woven bands decorated with strands of seed beads around their heads. The fiestas and dances of the past have been discontinued.

Yompur referred to the sun. however. was granted a large tract which deprived the indigenous population of much of their land. they always believed in a supernatural deity called Yompur (‘Our Father’). The Yanesha’ are very gentle. Yanesha’ teacher Pedro López remembers that they would try to entice pretty little birds to come close to them. possibly through a song. Another century passed before attempts were made to again establish a mission at Oxapampa on the headwaters of the Pozuzo River. they might receive a word from Yompur. and another host of settlers from neighboring groups and the highlands invaded the area.Yanesha’ (Arawakan) Population: 7. . For years the people desired to communicate with Yompur. In recent years a road was constructed through Yanesha’ territory. To them. but they did not know how. friendly people. the indigenous people expelled all outsiders from the area during the 18th century. In the 17th century the same mountain attracted Franciscan missionaries who repeatedly constructed mission stations at the mountain site. Or they would sit up all night chewing the narcotic coca leaf in hopes that in one way or another. The Cerro de Sal (Salt Mountain) located in their territory has long attracted neighboring jungle groups who came to gather salt many centuries before the Spaniards colonized Peru. Anger has always been considered the number one ‘sin’ to them.000. whispering sound. Aspirated vowels give the language a soft. peace loving. The Yanesha’ people (formerly called Amueshas) have been in contact with the outside world for many centuries. Even their language reflects this. Under the leadership of Juan Santos Atahualpa Inca. The concept of a supreme being may have been superimposed upon their animistic worldview by the Incas. called Peruvian Corporation. As far back as the Yanesha’ people can remember. thinking they might be bringing a message from Yompur. Location: In the eastern foothills of the Andes in the states of Pasco and Junín. Again and again they were destroyed due to hostilities. They call themselves: Yanesha’ ‘we people’. In the 1860s German speaking 140 Tyrolean colonists settled along the Pozuzo and a few decades later a British company.

‘Good morning. the first Yanesha’ believer. I often doubted that the sun was really the true ‘Our Father’. and the life. Today there is a high percentage of literacy among them. Their tra. Many have since studied God’s Word in their own language in the Bible school and carried the Gospel mesYears later.Yanesha’ Thinking back upon his childhood years Pedro also recalls. as all my people did. no their own people. we thank you that you wanted us to have your Word in our own language.” Peru’s first indigenous Bible school was taught by Valerio Pishagua. The Yanesha’ continue to evangelize the way. “Our Father. The dedication of the New Testament took place in 1979. It helped retheir language was inferior to Spanish because it lacked a their self-esteem as a people group with a language and culture matical system. including 15 organized indigenous ‘Our Father’s’ message for them. when Pedro first heard John 14:1-6 where Jesus says. which they love to sing. the truth. Many of his people agreed. The coming of For centuries the Yanesha’ God’s Word and literacy opened a were told by outsiders that new world to them.’ 141 1978 Bilingual dictionary 1998 Yanesha’-Spanish . “Even as a child when I used to pray to the sun. Many feel as Francisco did when he prayed at the completion of the Yanesha’ New Testament.churches where their own people are the teachers and preachers. The Yanesha’ people themselves have written the majority of the Christian songs in their hymnbook. There are now one comes to the Father except by me. Once I prayed that if the sun were not the true ‘Our Father’ that someone sometime would come and tell us who the true ‘Our Father’ is. This made the people ashamed of their mother tongue that are unique and valuable. and they did not want to be heard speaking it. “I am sage to their home villages. SIL began working among the Yanesha’ people in 1947. Bilingual schools starting father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child apa ach pats oñ tso’ yompor/atsne’ arrorr pocoll encanesha’ coyanesha’ chesha’ Puetare’.” in 1953 and Scripture translation greatly influenced the lives of the Yanesha’ people. ditional belief system served as a bridge toward the understanding of the Gospel message.” he was convinced that this was 48 congregations of believers.

our birds. It also know: birds and serves with which to burn our fields. the students eagerly write down the things they are observing and experiencing in their own world. trees much serves all people. writing continues to be the most fascinating “game”. Other students describe the jungle world “Fire very much it serves us. Fire very animals. an outing to where the white people live. others have been incorporated in reading books. a river trip that ended in a turned-over canoe in the rapids. S medicinal uses. are great writing materials. or a trip to search for birds’ nests hidden in One boy wrote on the use of fire. Legends that have been passed down from generation to generation but have never before been recorded. The topics include recent fishing trips. There we boil our they so intimately bananas.” their domestic or 142 . To the children attending the bilingual schools. The books are distributed to all the bilingual schools in Yanesha’ territory. Some of these compositions have been used in the primers for the bilingual schools.Focus on Literacy Newly Literate Yanesha’ Become Authors hortly after the Yanesha’ language received an alphabet. our fish. In their spare time and during classes in writing. high trees. Each child has a notebook especially for his own creative writings. There are not any people and plants and anywhere who can say fire does not serve them. the people became ardent fans of pencil and paper. our yuca. The author’s name appears with the story which motivates him to continue to write.

. he picked up his book and continued reading where he had left off. In Fair of the Pacific). no matter how poorly they mastered it. There were all kinds complicated alof things. including more than 500 different bird names and over 1000 tree and plant names. and many cars that almost stepped on us.” same man had to be taken to a hospital for surgery. There were many wires and trees that held the wires that nant clusters. The mountains were bare. After they returned home they filled many pages two weeks he with their observations: learned to read independently. On another occasion a boy wrote a list of 661 different tree and plant names. zons for the Yanesha’ peoThe book caused him to forget to be ple and helped preserve afraid. laid down his book. The Yanesha’ Grammar was published in 1998. The art of expressing themTaking a book selves through the written along. grammar. They are also excited about getting their own copy of the dictionary which contains several thousand words in their language. had recorded 336 different bird names.. It almost scared ing mastered a us. or centuries the Yanesha’ people were told by outsiders that their language is inferior to Spanish because it lacks a grammatical system. After he awoke from the anesthesia surrounded by friends who anxiously awaited his story of what happened during the surgery. Very pretty phabet of 30 letwere the streets there where we walked. But the boy who won. Consequently the people felt ashamed to use their language in public. An adult man who was unable to Two school boys were chosen to go to Lima to participate in an exwork for a while hibit by SIL at La Feria Internacional del Pacifico (The International entered school. Each design has its own name. Many different things we saw in complex consoLima. he read until the moment he word has opened new horiwas rolled into the operating room. preferring to use Spanish. The went to where the goverment was. like Spanish.A contest was held in a bilingual school: Who can write the largest number of different bird names? Each child’s list was well into the hundreds.. There weren’t many forters with many ests. We went walking everywhere in the town. and the Yanesha’ (Amuesha) Spanish Dictionary just a year later. During surgery he reluctantly their language and culture. 143 . has F Pages 416-419 in the appendix of the dictionary illustrate 39 intricate designs used by the Yanesha’ people in the weaving of bands used around their headdresses or wrists. the compilation of which began soon after the language received its alphabet. Young and old are eager to receive their own copy so they might see for themselves that their language. hav“Then we went and saw a large lake (the ocean).

as one linguist observed. and to this day the idea of equality between men and women prevails.000. They used to pursue a semi-nomadic lifestyle.500–3. They call themselves: Location: In the states of Loreto. By 1981 it had more than doubled. was valued so low that it was practically impossible for them to become debt-free. grafting of fruit trees. “It is the custom to ‘forget’ offenses or to move away from the village. living in small settlements in houses without walls. Many lives were lost. Besides becoming literate they also learned to make themselves understood in simple Spanish. However. One linguist reported that in less than 30 years nearly all the people living in villages with schools learned to read. and Piedras Rivers. and Madre de Dios. Everyone from the youngest child to the adults up to 40 years of age learned to read. Instead. devised an alphabet and began translating the New Testament. the Yines are a shame-oriented people. Today most of them are settled in established villages. on the Urubamba. the so-called landowners. Both . linguists learned the Yine language.’ The Yine people (previously known as the Piro) suffered greatly under the rubber patróns during the beginning of the 20th century. This motivated the people to learn to read. Many families also build more substantial houses and enclose their homes with palm bark. in case of an offense. cane or boards. Yine. Cushabatay. In 1953 the population on the Urubamba River was between 400 and 500 people. and breeding livestock. crop rotation.” The traditional dress of Yine men was a woven cushma (a tunic-like garment) painted with geometric designs. SIL 144 The chief’s role has always been to lead the people rather than dictate to them. It wasn’t until the establishment of bilingual schools by SIL. The people’s labor. Courses in agriculture have exposed the people to many new ideas such as reforestation. This has had a positive influence on their health and on population growth. The women used to wear homespun wrap-around skirts with the same kinds of designs. The experience of the bilingual teachers with leaders from other jungle communities. Madre de Dios. Peruvian educators. ‘people. who gave them trade goods on credit in exchange for labor. Traditionally the Yine people practiced slash-and-burn agriculture and supplemented their diet with fish and game. Ucayali. They strive to live in harmony. During the following decades they became enslaved to another set of patróns. the conflict is not resolved through seeking forgiveness and granting pardon. As is the case with most face-to-face societies.Yine (Arawakan) Population: 2. and government officials helped considerably in establishing peace between the Yine and the world around them. Cuzco. that the Yines learned to keep accounts and finally were able to free themselves from the bondage of the patrón system. in cooperation with the Peruvian government in 1953. however.

Christianity first came to the people in the 17th century through Roman Catholic priests using the Spanish language. at that time the Christian doctrine did not take root. the people would fast and/or use hallucinatory drugs such as ayahuasca. Metal pots and plates have replaced clay pots and bowls. the Yine did not worship any gods. Western type clothing has gradually replaced the traditional garments. Now there are churches in most of the villages. In order to contact the invisible world. However. 2002 Bilingual dictionary 1986 Yine-Spanish . Religious practitioners were believed to receive supernatural power under the influence of drugs that enabled them to heal or inflict illnesses. Since 1960 the New Testament has been in the hands of the people. During the translation process believers began to gather for informal worship services led by their own people.Yine garments were woven on a backstrap loom. father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child girchi ginrochi chiji giga pawchi tkachi ksuru panchi yineru suxo mturu ¡Galu! ‘Hi!’ Seventh-Day Adventists began working among the Yine in 1930. but not until the New Testament was translated into the Yine language. the women began to sew and wear brightly colored blouses with their skirts. A revised version will be published in the near future. did the people really understand the Christian message. Before the Word of God was introduced. 145 1960. As the people obtained access to goods from traders. most likely due to the language barrier.

We gathered all the tools. and quickly dragged it back to the riverbank. They were called Nahuas. Having been frightened by “Big Father” in the sky (an oil company plane). 250 Yoras left their isolated corner in the jungle saying: “We want to stop killing and learn to live in peace.Yora (Panoan) Population: 400. which they thought to be a spirit. some lumbermen captured Raya and several Yoras. However. Culturally and linguistically. while the Yoras are short and slight. The lumbermen fought their way against the swift current and safely got back to the riverbank. SIL’s work among the Yora people began with a medical team caring for the sick and giving vaccinations. and fled into the protection of the thick jungle undergrowth. Lumber workers who ventured too close to Yora territory were killed. and I was very frightened. kettles. The effects were devastating. a young Yora man.” Shortly before the Yoras decided to make contact. meaning ‘not us’. There I saw a sight I could not believe.” When Raya and the other Yora men returned to their people upriver. avoiding contact with lumbermen or mestizo colonists. however. I kept asking myself. the Yoras preferred to remain living tucked away deep in the jungle. Yora ‘people’. My father and I caught the canoe. by other groups of the Panoan language family. and having heard loud noises at night (seismic testing). They call themselves: Location: Southeastern part of the Peruvian lowlands at the juncture of the Serjall and Mishagua Rivers in the state of Ucayali. recalled an attack on lumbermen: “We shot arrows at their dugout. there are differences. and anything else we could carry. The men 146 were so afraid they jumped into the fast-flowing river. “We were treated well and taken to Sepahua. During the summer of 1984. they didn’t know that a deadly companion accompanied them: a flu virus. The Yoras were known to appear on the riverbanks and aim their arrows at anyone in sight. Fifty Yoras died during the next six weeks before the virus ran its course. One is quite obvious: the Yaminahua people are relatively tall and husky. Reflecting upon life before contact. Reports of sightings had circulated through the small jungle town of Sepahua for years—a wild group of nomads would kill anyone they encountered. Raya.” At that time they established peaceful contact with the world outside. why does he have two sets of eyes? We thought the man was some kind of spirit. . the Yora people closely resemble the Sharanahuas and Yaminahuas. which they thought were caused by spirits fighting in the dark. I had never seen stone-face-things on people’s faces before.

“Epa Niospa keyokoi yorafo noiki afe corn.’ have built their houses. bananas.” Those were difficult days. the to three locaSharanahua translation tions. Bestability. Na ikoira fafo tii community was under a lot of presomiskoipakenakafoma a fe sure to leave their traditional ways. the Creation and other father mother land water fire sun moon house man woman child epa efa mai ene chi fari oxe pexe nokofene afi fake ¿Mã mî aimê? ‘You are coming already?’ 147 in progress . No children were born in two of the groups for three years. They live with him. Those peoYora people: ple for a time even lost their motivation to plant their gardens of manioc. about four of the New Testament or five days can serve as a starting away from each point for using a special other. planted large gardens and have a school. The cause the language is reYoras dispersed lated to Sharanahua. The children and adults are learning to read in their language. translation into Yora. The Life of Christ. Scripwere filled with ture translation is in the considerable inbeginning stages. nipanakafo. Sharanahua and Yaminahua Christians have introduced the Yora people to the Gospel message. but will one community. fere fisti ato nichixoni nai meraxo A group living close to the mestizo atoonoax nayono. They had computer program to never lived so adapt the Sharanahua far apart before. One group was left so Jesus’ words as recorded in debilitated from the virus that they John 3:16 mean a lot to the had little physical energy.Yora videos have greatly The first five helped in the people’s years following understanding of the the epidemic Christian message. ‘Father God really loving all people sent his only son from the sky to Today the Yora people where the people are in order to die. cotton. and papaya. have come together in They believing will not suffer.

Finally. His mother had died of the flu. We prayed that he would not suffer. For some time his father carried him on his back. Jeremías was not with them. themselves debilitated by the flu. but it does not always teach them to be merciful. did not feel able to take care of Jeremías. P Hardship teaches people to survive. others don’t. Why give it a name? It will probably die. The next day the father went into the jungle. The weather reflected our mood. but we were able to tell them we were looking for the boy. His father had taken another wife. even ornaments for beauty. Jeremías was malnourished and was unable to walk. Carolyn remembers: “We only knew a few words in Yora. “tomorrow”. Women give birth and raise their little ones under the most adverse circumstances. the fragile become a burden. SIL linguists recently assigned to the Yora people. The couple. When they returned several hours later.Focus on the Story of Jeremías Saved from Certain Death The Story of Jeremías eople who live a nomadic life-style have amazing abilities to provide themselves with food. It rained off and on. We should have anticipated the couple’s decision because the child was not able to walk. As they went again. eremías was born a couple of years before the Yora people underwent a time of severe crises: initial contact with the outside world. but he returned twenty minutes later without Jeremías. We felt terrible that we had missed the clues. the boy’s father said. shelter. had gone to Jeremías’ shelter every day at dusk to give him vitamins. they found Jeremías missing.” . Kim and Carolyn Fowler. Often a child is not given a name until it is 2 or 3 years old. We pointed down the trail the family had taken and said. which means little boy in Yora. As they move around. What could they do? J 148 One day they left their humble shelter with Jeremías on the man’s back. clothing. The next two days passed slowly for us. “That afternoon the entire family left. and utensils necessary for existence. “wakushta”. followed by a flu epidemic that claimed many lives. The sky was gray and the air was cool. Some survive.

“This is your grandfather. They longed for a son. I am your dad. this is your cousin. Jeremías crawled back into camp on his boney little hands and knees. this is your mom. When he arrived. A Sharanahua couple had remained childless for years after their marriage. Just before dark on the third day of his absence. God had protected him. What chance would a little frail boy have to survive the countless dangers of the jungle where large vicious cats roam and poisonous snakes crawl through the underbrush? U Then an incredible scene unfolded. this would be the end of the story. Preparations were made and Jeremías was taken to Gasta Bala on the Purús River where they lived. Is anything too difficult for God? N While Kim and Carolyn cared for Jeremías for several months. his new parents took him through the village to all the family members. God found a home for him. had increased his strength and given him a sense of direction. this is your uncle.” 149 .nder normal circumstances. Jeremías was home again! Home? His parents would not receive him. ow Jeremías is a healthy teenager going to school and participating in the community life in Gasta Bala. this is your brother.

Considered a delicacy and Callejón: Alley or a narrow passage. refer to mud. an outer shell and an inner cover. ranch. It is not snow capped. It is not poisonous. covered mountain range that borders the eastern side of the Callejón de Huaylas. farm. Cordillera Negra: ‘Black Mountain Range’. and placed into the lake or river to stun fish which then can easily be caught by Curare: Poison used on blow-gun darts. Fava/Haba: Large flat edible bean which resembles the Lima bean in shape. A celebration that usually results in a great deal of drinking and drunkenness. They are covered with a greasy red substance which is used as a face paint and dye. Creation Video: Video by the Genesis Project Series Barbasco: Root of a jungle plant used for catching that has been dubbed in some of the infish. A system of fictitious kinship among adults through the ritual sponsorship of a child in baptism. Used in mountain house Cordillera Blanca: ‘White Mountain Range’. Adobe: Thick bricks made from mud and hardened in the sun. Fariña: Chambira: Palm fiber used to make hammocks. It creates a network of reciprocity. ‘co-father system’. The root is beaten to release its sap digenous languages. Alluvion: Used synonymously with “avalanche” to in the state of Ancash. bands. Achiote: Conjunto: A group of musicians. Chaquitaclla: Hand-held foot plow used in some highland Quechua areas. Compadre system: Literally. garments. Generally a large tract of land owned by people of Spanish descent. hand. Mountain range that borders the western side Ayahuasca: A hallucinary brew prepared from stalks of the Callejón de Huaylas in the state of of several jungle vines and the leaves of a Ancash. snow. Cuy: Guinea pig. Huaylas refers to the narrow valley between the white and black mountain Debt-peonage system: A system whereby land ranges where the city of Huaraz is owners pay their workers in advance with situated. Hacienda: Plantation. ice. and rock flows due to heavy rains. certain shrub. and the like. It can be of homespun cotbark of certain palm trees until it beton or made from commercial muslin comes soft and pliable. Both must be removed before cooking. 150 .Glossary. Cushma: A tunic-like garment often reaching down Bark cloth: A coarse material made from beating the to the ankles. It has two shells. Callejón de served on special occasions in the Andes. goods to keep them in constant debt.. water. fish nets. Conquistadores: The Spanish conquerors who took possession of large areas of Peru and other South American countries in the 16th century. It is used for material and dyed brown or black. Snow construction throughout the Andes. Fiesta: Chicha: See Manioc. Fermented or unfermented corn drink. The pigment is bright red and not permanent. who also owned the native people that lived and worked for them. Chacra: See Slash-and-burn agriculture.. Seeds from the annotto bush. bags.

Life of Christ Video: Portrays the Life of Christ according to the Gospel of Luke from the Genesis Project Series. Manioc: Manta: Masato: Mestizo: (Spanish yuca). They are also raised for their wool. produce or other things on their back. Peón-Patrón System: See Debt-peonage system. Slash-and-burn agriculture: Clearing land for fields or gardens (Spanish chacras) by Minka/Minga: Quechua term for collective labor mocutting the underbrush. A multicolored hand woven square cloth used by the Quechua women to carry their babies. A member of the cat family. It has medicinal qualities and is used as a remedy for a variety of ailments. including cancer. Muslin material. Periodically and especially before publication their work is Tocuyo: checked for accuracy by a consultant. A tuber which serves as the staple food of most jungle peoples. . meat and skins. often after mastication or by adding sugar. Porongo: Large clay pot used for making a fermented corn drink. Puna: Flat. and the people use it to paint their bodies and faces. Papa Cashqui: A breakfast soup made from potatoes and ollucos. Large circular net for fishing. Dubbed into several native languages. Oca and Olluco: Two kinds of native Andean tubers grown by farmers at high elevations. Pona: Bark of a palm tree used for raised floors and occasionally for walls in jungle houses. A person of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry. called chicha. Peccary: Small jungle animal. and roasted as a grain. A natural black dye extracted from the fruit of a tree growing in the jungle. For the most part they translate independently. or to store grains. Mother Tongue Translators: Native people who Tarrafa: have received training in translation and are translating Scripture into their mother Tigrillo: tongue. Puchero: A cabbage soup made with chunks of beef and whole vegetables.Huito: Pachamanca: A method of cooking meat and vegetables on hot stones buried in the ground. It is eaten in different ways: boiled. called fariña. Plantain: Cooking banana. above 13. and finally works. Yuca: 151 See Manioc. Uña de gato: “Cat’s claw”. Patrón: A land owner or employer who exploits his workers by creating a system of permanent dependency through keeping his workers in debt. a jungle vine with thorns resembling a cat’s claws. A type of beer made by fermenting boiled manioc mash in water.000 ft. felling the trees. windswept high plain of the Andes. Machete: A large heavy knife with a long blade which serves as a tool for many purposes. dried. Animals of the cameloid family that are used as beasts of burden in the Andes. burning it. hunted for meat. It is not permanent. Llama: Pronounced “Yama”. that roams the jungle. Quinua: A grain high in protein that grows in the lower parts of the puna. bilized for communal tasks or public letting the vegetation dry.

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