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A - GEOGRAPHICAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC SITUATION

Setting up an inventory of the different populations living in Greater Amazonia is no easy task. Figures are scattered throughout the literature on the subject, and publications vary qualitatively and quantitavely for each of the different countries. All these figures are often in stark contrast with each other ; in extreme cases, a figure may be double the one referred to elsewhere
[9]. The factors behind such problems can be identified as follows :


*In the countries bordering the Andean mountain chain, it is difficult to differentiate between specifically Amazonian populations and those who have only recently emigrated from the highlands. We have excluded the latter from this report because, along with other individuals, nationals, they belong to a pioneer frontier gradually encroaching on the area we are looking at here. But on the other hand, we have decided to include various Quichua speaking populations (a predominant indigenous language in the Andes), originally native American populations, who have been part of the acculturation process for the last hundred years.


*Many ethnic groups live on the boundaries of several countries, which means that they are occasionally not included in the available data or accounted for more than once.


*Within each of these countries, there are native American Indian populations that are completely "detribalized" and therefore no longer linked to the ethnic group they originally came from. Censuses were never more than approximate, and often a gross approximation at that. Whenever the case occurred, we chose to include only those populations that have recently asserted an indigenous identity and for whom reasonable estimates have been put forward.


*Finally, there is the delicate problem of how to define an 'ethnic group'. The main criteria referred to in this particular context has been the concept of a common culture and, more often than not, of a common language. In the case of populations living in a demarcated geographical area, the choice was easy since territory, language and culture overlap perfectly (as for the Arawete or the Piaroa). In the case of populations spread out over wide areas, various problems arise : those living on the fringes of the area may already be firmly integrated in neighbouring groups (as for the Kokama), or even have a high proportion of mestizos (as for the Arawak-Lokono) ; or the idea of their belonging to a wider cultural unit may not exist (e.g. the Yanomami), in which case linguistic and cultural, rather than territorial unity were chosen as criteria. In other cases, populations speaking different languages but belonging to a single territorial, political, cultural and ritual entity were considered as one single group (e.g. the Xinguano, which include 9 small ethnic groups). Other groups were identified on the basis of their compulsory exogamy (e.g. the Tukano which include 18 sub-groups (JACKSON, 1983)). Ethnic groups that were autonomous until recently, and that are at present merging together, are presented as a single entity, though the various names are preserved (e.g. the Wayana/Apalai). Lastly, using linguistic and cultural unity as a basis, a variety of complex territorial and ecological facts have been brought together, as for the Guahibo for example : they are spread out over a wide area, have adapted to different ecological habitats (savannah, rain forest, riparian forest) and their territory includes pockets of other indigenous or mestizos populations.

The different patterns envisaged above are based on the available literature, and it is more than probable that many ethnic boundaries need amending (as for example for ethnic groups speaking a Pano language on the border between Brazil and Peru, such as the Amawaka, Yaminawa and other groups whose name ends with the suffix -nawa (ERIKSON, 1991) ; another case is that of the upper Rio Negro and upper Orinoco Arawak groups such as the Kuripako, Baniwa, Warekena (HILL, 1983)).

Of course, the figures published in this report cannot give any idea of the impact of intertribal marriages, no less important today than they used to be, and which affect ethnic groups in different ways depending on how open they are to each other. Also, if no precise census was available, and unless extra data allowed for accurate estimates one way or the other, we have provided an average figue calculated with the lowest and highes figures available. Allowing for these reservations and criticisms, the following main general sources were used for the identification and demography of ethnic groups living in Greater Amazonia :

- 1971 :Situación del Indigena en America del Sur

- 1982 : Ans, M. d', L'Amazonie péruvienne indigène.

- 1987 :Povos indígénas no Brasil, 1985/86.

- 1987 :ZOLEZZI, G. & RIESTER, J., Lenguas indigenas del Oriente boliviano : classificacion preliminar.

- 1988 : GRIMES B.F. ed., Ethnologue, languages of the world.

- 1988 : Características etnográficas de la población indígena venezolana.

- 1989 : HEREDIA MARTINEZ, W. PERU : Estado das comunidades indigenas amazonicas.

- 1990 : GRENAND, P. & GRENAND, F., Les Amérindiens, des peuples pour la Guyane de demain.

- 1991 : Povos indígenas no Brasil, 1987/88/89/90.

- 1992 : RIBERa, C. N., Reconocimiento, demarcación y control de territorios indigenas : situación y experiencias en Bolivia.

- undated : SáNCHEZ, E., ROLDáN, E. & SáNCHEz, M. F., Bases para la conformación de las Entidades territoriales indigenas (Columbia).

table 2 : Populations in Greater Amazonia, by country
[10]

Country

indigenous population

number of ethnic groups

average population per group
density of indigenous population (km2)





Bolivia
113 174
26
4 353
0,16
Brazil
145 132
92
1 580
0,02
Columbia
80 431
24
3 350
0,12
Ecuador
47 500
7
6 780
0,36
Guyana
35 360
7
5 050
0,16
French Guiana
4 194
6
700
0,04
Peru
178 471
45
3 970
0,24
Suriname
9 303
4
2 320
0,05
Venezuela
84 677
19
4 460
0,14





TOTAL
698 252
182[11] 3 618
0,14 h/km2

We thus have a total of 698 252 native American Indians for the whole of Greater Amazonia (see table 2). This figure may appear to be very low ; it expresses rather brutally the drastic decrease of indigenous populations since the 16th century, period during which an estimated 6 800 000 people were living in Greater Amazonia (DENEVAN, 1977). But this same figure also shows (ibid.) a sharp increase since the 1950s. For example, the indigenous populations of the whole of Brazil (including areas that have not been taken into account in this report) was estimated by D. RIBEIRO (1979) at 99 700 people in 1957, whereas the present figure is of 228 000 (ACONTECEU, 1986). Even if one does take into account the fact that at the time there were few accurate censuses, in particular for uncontacted groups, there is nevertheless a definite population increase.

Map 2 : The major areas of Indian population settlement in the Amazonia

What comes accross when comparing tables 1 and 2 is a very uneven distribution of indigenous Amazonian populations and that this distribution varies depending on the availability of lowland areas in each country. These figures imply regional concentrations which appear on map 2 ("The major areas of Indian population settlement in the Amazonia"). This map defines 9 major population areas. 64 % of the total indigenous population thus lives concentrated on one quarter of the total area of Greater Amazonia. The map also shows that these 9 areas are on the periphery and often cut accross the borders of two or even three countries (see table 4). They are real havens where populations can seek refuge.

The following table presents a survey of all the different ethnic groups involved in this study.

table 3 : The ethnic groups of Greater Amazonia

number for map reference

ethnic group
Country or countries

The number given to each group refers to its location on map no. 1, Indigenous ethnic groups of Greater Amazonia, Atlas, vol. II.


*Countries are presented in the order of the importance of the given population within each country.

1

Achagua
Columbia
2
Achuar
Peru, Ecuador
3
Aguano
Peru
4
Aguaruna
Peru
5
Akawayo/Ingariko (Kapon)
Guyana, Brazil, Venezuela
6
Amanayé/Anambé
Brazil
7
Amawaka
Peru, Brazil
8
Amuesha
Peru
9
Andoke
Columbia, Peru
10
Apinayé
Brazil
11
Apurinã
Brazil
12
Arabela
Peru
13
Araona
Bolivia
14
Arara (Itogapuk)
Brazil
15
Arara (Karib)
Brazil
16
Arawak-Lokono
Guyana, Suriname,
French Guiana
17
Araweté
Brazil
18
Asurini (Akwa)
Brazil
19
Asurini (Xingu)
Brazil
20
Ava-Canoeiros
Brazil
21
Bakairi
Brazil
22
Baniwa
Brazil, Venezuela
23
Bare
Brazil, Venezuela
24
Bauré
Bolivia
25
Betoye
Columbia
26
Bora/Miraña
Peru, Columbia, Brazil
27
Bororo
Brazil
28
Chacobo
Bolivia
29
Chamikuro
Peru
30
Chayahuita
Peru
31
Chikito
Bolivia
32
Chimane
Bolivia
33
Cinta-Larga (a) (Digüt)
Brazil
34
Cujareño
Peru
35
Emerillon
French Guiana
36
Enauenê-Nauê
Brazil
37
Esse-Ejja
Bolivia, Peru
38
Gavião (Parkatejê)
Brazil
39
Guahibo (Sikwani)
Columbia, Venezuela
40
Guaja
Brazil
41
Guajajara
Brazil
42
Guarayo
Bolivia
43
Guayabero
Columbia
44
Harakmbet
Peru
45
Hoti
Venezuela
46
Huambisa
Peru
47
Ikito
Peru
48
Ingano
Columbia
49
Isconahua (Remo)
Peru
50
Itonama
Bolivia
51
Izoceño
Bolivia
52
Jebero
Peru
53
Juruna
Brazil
54
Kampa
Peru, Brazil
55
Kamsa
Columbia
56
Kanamari
Brazil
57
Kandoshi
Peru
58
Kanela
Brazil
59
Kanishana
Bolivia
60
Kapanahua
Peru
61
Karaja
Brazil
62
Karib
(Galibi, Kaliña)
Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname,

Fr. Guiana, Brazil

63
Karijona
Columbia
64
Karipuna (Pano)
Brazil
65
Karipuna/
Galibi-Uaça
Brazil
66
Karitiana
Brazil
67
Kashibo/Kakataibo
Peru
68
Katukina (Dyapa)
Brazil
69
Katukina (Waninawa)
Brazil
70
Kauixana
Brazil
71
Kavineño
Bolivia
72
Kaxarari
Brazil
73
Kaxinawa
Brazil, Peru
74
Kayabi/Apiaka
Brazil
75
Kayapo méridionaux
Brazil
76
Kayapo septentrionaux
Brazil
77
Kayuvava
Bolivia
78
Kofan
Columbia, Ecuador
79
Kokama/Kambeba
Peru, Brazil
80
Koreguaje
Columbia
81
Kraho
Brazil
82
Krikati
Brazil
83
Kulina
Brazil, Peru
84
Kuripako
Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil
85
Lamistas
Peru
86
Leko
Bolivia
87
Machiguenga
Peru
88
Maku
Brazil; Columbia
89
Makurap (b)
Brazil
90
Makushi
Brazil, Guyana
91
Mapoyo
Venezuela
92
Marubo
Brazil
93
Maxineri
Brazil
94
Mayoruna/Matis
Brazil, Peru
95
Moré
Bolivia
96
Morunahua/
Mastanahua
Peru
97
Moseten
Bolivia
98
Movima
Bolivia
99
Moxo
Bolivia
100
Munduruku
Brazil
101
Mura
Brazil
102
Mura-Pirahã
Brazil
103
Nambikwara
Brazil
104
Nomachiguenga
Peru
105
Nukini (Remo)
Brazil
106
Okaina
Peru
107
Orejone
Peru
108
Pakaa-Nova
Brazil
109
Pakaguara
Bolivia
110
Palikur
Brazil, Fr. Guiana
111
Panare
Venezuela
112
Parakanã
Brazil
113
Pareci/Irantxe/
Myky
Brazil
114
Parintintin
Brazil
115
Parkenawa
Peru
116
Patamona (Kapon)
Guyana
117
Paumari
Brazil
118
Paunaka
Bolivia
119
Pauserna
Bolivia
120
Pemon
Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana
121
Piapoko
Columbia, Venezuela
122
Piaroa
Venezuela, Columbia
123
Piro
Peru
124
Pisabo
Peru
125
Poturuyar
Brazil
126
Poyanawa
Brazil
127
Puinave
Columbia, Venezuela
128
Pukobyé
Brazil
129
Quechua
(Canelo, Quixo)
Ecuador, Peru
130
Reyesanos
Bolivia
131
Rikbaktsa
Brazil
132
Saliba
Columbia
133
Sanema
Venezuela
134
Satere-Maue
Brazil
135
Shapra
Peru
136
Sharanawa/
Marinawa
Peru
137
Shavante
Brazil
138
Shawanawa
Brazil
139
Sherente
Brazil
140
Shipaia-Kuruaya
Brazil
141
Shipibo
Peru
142
Shuar
Ecuador
143
Siona/Sekoya
Ecuador, Peru, Columbia
144
Siriono
Bolivia
145
Surui
Brazil
146
Takana
Bolivia
147
Tanimuka
Columbia
148
Tapirape
Brazil
149
Tembe
Brazil
150
Tenharim
Brazil
151
Tikuna
Brazil, Columbia, Peru
152
Tiriyo/Akulio/
Kachuyana
Suriname, Brazil
153
Tukano (c)
Columbia, Brazil
154
Tunebo
Columbia
155
Txikão
Brazil
156
Umutina
Brazil
157
Urarina
Peru
158
Urubu-Ka'apor
Brazil
159
Urueuwauwau
Brazil
160
Waimiri-Atroari
Brazil
161
Waiwai
Brazil, Guyana
162
Waorani
Ecuador
163
Wapishana
Brazil, Guyana
164
Warao
Venezuela
165
Warekena
Venezuela
166
Wayana/Apalai
Suriname, Brazil, Fr. Guiana
167
Wayãpi
Fr. Guiana, Brazil
168
Witoto
Columbia, Peru
169
Xinguanos (d)
Brazil
170
Yabarana
Venezuela
171
Yagua
Peru
172
Yamamadi
Brazil
173
Yaminawa
Peru, Brazil, Bolivia
174
Yanomami
Brazil, Venezuela
175
Yaruro
Venezuela
176
Yawanawa/
Kamanawa
Brazil
177
Yekwana
Venezuela, Brazil
178
Yukuna
Columbia
179
Yuqui
Bolivia
180
Yurakaré
Bolivia
181
Zaparo
Ecuador
182
Zuruaha
Brazil
(a) The name refers to 4 sub-groups : the Cinta Larga (the actual Digüt), the Surui (Paiter), the Zoro and the Arara (Karo).

(b) This actually includes a cluster of 13 residual ethnic groups.

(c) The Tukano form a homogeneous cultural unit made of 18 exogamous sub-groups, the main ones being the actual Tukano, the Kubeo, the Desana and the Barasana.

(d) A cultural group made up of 9 small ethnic groups : Aweti, Kamayura, Kalapalo, Kuikuru, Matipu-Nahukwa, Mehinaku, Waura, Yawalapiti and Trumaï.

Population densities in table 2 clearly show that native American Indians have survived better in countries that are actually on the fringe of the Amazon basin, particularly in Peru and Ecuador. Though these areas were hit by epidemics, as others were, it seems that the slavery of the colonial period did not have as much impact, particularly because of the extremely powerful presence of catholic missions. By contrast, Brazil definitely appears to be the country with the lowest figures for its indigenous peoples, relatively speaking. This is partly due to the violence of colonial expansion : the actual valley of the Amazon river is practically noid of its original inhabitants (see map ndeg.1, Indigenous ethnic groups of Greater Amazonia, Atlas, vol. II). Another factor is the bitter and uncontrolled expansion of the extractivist economy which started in the 19th century and continues today, extracting rubber or gold ; the latter will henceforth be referred to as gold-seeking, a translation of the Portuguese garimpagem.

Indigenous populations in these areas are generally large ethnic groups (see table 4), such as the 12 200 Pemon, 15 132 Makushi and 13 467 Wapishana in area ndeg.1 ; 19 727 Yanomami in area ndeg.2 ; 27 000 Tukano in area ndeg.3 ; 25 637 Tikuna in area ndeg.4 ; 25 000 Aguaruna and 30 000 Shuar in area ndeg.5 ; 20 000 Shipibo and 31 919 Kampa in area ndeg.6 ; 40 000 Chikito and 30 000 Moxo in area ndeg.7 ; 8 313 Guajajará in area ndeg.8 ; and 19 573 Warao which constitute the whole of area ndeg.9's population.

table 4 : Ethnic groups overstepping international borders

ndeg.

Ethnic group

total population

Countries, in decreasing order





2
Achuar
5 000
Peru, Ecuador
7
Amawaka
1 220
Peru, Brazil
9
Andoke
210
Columbia, Peru
16
Arawak (Lokono)
14 510
Guyana, Suriname, Fr. Guiana
22
Baniwa
5 967
Brazil, Venezuela
23
Bare
3 265
Brazil, Venezuela
26
Bora/Miraña
2 280
Peru, Columbia, Brazil
37
Esse-Ejja
2 400
Bolivia, Peru
39
Guahibo (Sikwani)
29 869
Columbia, Venezuela
54
Kampa
31 919
Peru, Brazil
5, 116
Kapon (Akawayo, Patamona, Ingariko)
4 866
Guyana, Brazil, Venezuela
62
Karib (Kaliña, Galibi)
21 714
Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname,
Fr. Guiana, Brazil
73
Kaxinawa
4 000
Brazil, Peru
78
Kofan
1 550
Columbia, Ecuador
79
Kokama/Kambeba
20 831
Peru, Brazil
83
Kulina
2 500
Brazil, Peru
84
Kuripako
4 814
Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil
88
Maku
2 327
Brazil, Columbia
90
Makushi
15 132
Brazil, Guyana
94
Mayoruna/Matis
2 422
Brazil, Peru
110
Palikur
1 145
Brazil, Fr. Guiana
120
Pemon
12 200
Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana
121
Piapoko
2 331
Columbia, Venezuela
122
Piaroa
12 500
Venezuela, Columbia
127
Puinave
4 643
Columbia, Venezuela
129
Quechua (Canelo, Quixo)
22 000
Ecuador, Peru
49, 105
Remo (Nukini, Isconahua)
400
Brazil, Peru
143
Siona/Sekoya
770
Ecuador Peru, Columbia
151
Tikuna
25 637
Brazil, Columbia, Peru
152
Tiriyo/Kachuyana/Akulio
1 753
Suriname, Brazil
153
Tukano
27 000
Columbia, Brazil
161
Waiwai
1 400
Brazil, Guayana
163
Wapishana
13 467
Brazil, Guyana
166
Wayana/Aparai
1 102
Suriname, Brazil, Fr. Guiana
167
Wayãpi
850
Fr. Guiana, Brazil
168
Witoto
7 000
Columbia, Peru
173
Yaminawa
1 303
Peru, Brazil, Bolivia
174
Yanomami
19 627
Brazil, Venezuela
177
Yekwana
3 308
Venezuela, Brazil





TOTAL :
334 242
native American Indians in this situation
Diagram 1a and 1b show that population size is extremely variable among native American Indians ; even if some of the demographic inequalities are very old, here too, the impact of violent colonial expansion and epidemics is illustrated in the lower numbers of population. Historical research shows that it is highly unlikely that groups of less than 500 people existed in the 16th and 17th century, and even for the following two centuries for isolated areas (HEMMING, 1978 and 1987).

Diagram 1a : Size of ethnic groups in 1970

Diagram 1b : Size of ethnic groups in 1990

Nowadays, 182 different ethnic groups live in Greater Amazonia (uncontacted groups are not included), 37 % of which average less than 500 people.

Very different situations are reflected in these figures : groups that were isolated until recently (e.g. the Cujareño or the Poturuyar) ; or small segments originally belonging to bigger ethnic groups (e.g. the Mura-Pirahã who were originally part of the Mura group) ; or a small group which has undergone acculturation to some degree, an enclave within a mestizo area (e.g. the Kauixana or the Umutina). Such populations are more particularly threatened and require specific measures for their protection. Though obviously very fragile, some of these small populations present a picture of amazing vitality : the Andoke or the Tapirapé are such examples, their respective populations having increased from 100 to 210 individuals within 20 years. Such evolutions often reveal a fierce attachment to the group's cultural values and the preservation of a stable environment, but, unfortunately, it also relies on the personality of one or two leaders or on the constant presence of external aid (doctor, anthropologist, enlightened missionary,...).

table 5 : The 182 known ethnic groups of Greater Amazonia :
comparisons of demographic data of 1970 and 1990

trend :

+ : increase
- : decrease

* : stagnation

no.

ethnic group

population around 1970
population around 1990

trend






1
Achagua
?
115
?
2
Achuar
5000
5000

*
3
Aguano
160+/-
150

*
4
Aguaruna
18000
25000
+ 28 %
5
Akawayo/Ingariko (Kapon)
2000
2991
+ 33 %
6
Amanayé/Anambé
100
153
+ 34,6 %
7
Amawaka
1100
1220
+ 9,8 %
8
Amuesha
4000
5000
+ 20 %
9
Andoke
100
210
+ 52,3 %
10
Apinayé
210
718
+ 70,7 %
11
Apurinã
530 (little accurate data)
3093
?
12
Arabela
300
300

*
13
Araona
47
75
+ 37,3 %
14
Arara (Itogapuk)
100
160
+ 37,5 %
15
Arara (Karib)
uncontacted
127
?
16
Arawak (Lokono)
13000
14510
+ 10,4 %
17
Araweté
uncontacted
159
?
18
Asurini (Akwa)
62
157
+ 60,5 %
19
Asurini (Xingu)
uncontacted
63
?
20
Ava-Canoeiros
uncontacted
37
?
21
Bakairi
230
570
+ 59,6 %
22
Baniwa +
Kuripako[12 ]
5077
11097
+ 54,2 %
23
Bare
1200
3265
+ 63,2 %
24
Bauré
4000
4000

*
25
Betoye
?
379
?
26
Bora/Miraña
2050
2280
+ 10 %
27
Bororo
700
919
+ 12,9 %
28
Chacobo
170 (little accurate data)
800
?
29
Chamikuro
100
150
+ 33 %
30
Chayahuita
3000
6000
+ 50 %
31
Chikito
25000
40000
+ 37,5 %
32
Chimane + Moseten
5000
5200
+ 3,8 %
33
Cinta-Larga (Digüt)
1840
2070
+ 11,1 %
34
Cujareño (Mainahua)
see Yaminawa
100

35
Emerillon
80
245
+ 67,3 %
36
Enauenê-Nauê
uncontacted
164
?
37
Esse-Ejja
2000
2700
+ 12,3 %
38
Gavião (Parkatejê)
174
266
+ 34,5 %
39
Guahibo (Sikwani)
17064
29869
+ 42,8 %
40
Guaja
300+/-
370
+ 18,9 %
41
Guajajara
2600
8313
+ 68,7 %
42
Guarayo
5000
8500
+ 41,2 %
43
Guayabero
500
969
+ 48,4 %
44
Harakmbet
683
776
+ 11,9 %
45
Hoti
uncontacted
398
?
46
Huambisa
5000
6000
+ 16,6 %
47
Ikito
150
150

*
48
Ingano
4492
11000
+ 59 %
49
Isconahua (Remo)
see Kapanahua
50

50
Itonama
200 (little accurate data)
1600
?
51
Izoceño
?
5500
?
52
Jebero
1000
2300
+ 56,5 %
53
Juruna
60 (little accurate data)
413
+
54
Kampa
27300
31919
+ 14,4 %
55
Kamsa
2419
2464
+ 1,8 %
56
Kanamari
?
1099
?
57
Kandoshi + Shapra
2000
3000
+ 33,3 %
58
Kanela
400
1169
+ 65,7 %
59
Kanishana
75
200
+ 62,5 %
60
Kapanahua + 4 sub-groups
2000
1500
- 25 %
61
Karaja
1115
1820
+ 38,7 %
62
Karib (Galibi, Kaliña)
10276
21714
+ 52,6 %
63
Karijona
150
100
- 33,3 %
64
Karipuna (Pano)
uncontacted
22
?
65
Karipuna/Galibi-Uaça
1082
1900
+ 43 %
66
Karitiana
45
129
+ 65,1 %
67
Kashibo/Kakataibo
1000
1150
+ 13 %
68
Katukina (Dyapa)
275
340
+ 19,1 %
69
Katukina (Waninawa)
275
353
+ 22 %
70
Kauixana
?
100
?
71
Kavineño
600 (little accurate data)
2000
?
72
Kaxarari
50
220
+ 77,2 %
73
Kaxinawa
2100
4000
+ 47,5 %
74
Kayabi/Apiaka
529
1078
+ 50,9 %
75
Southern Kayapo
445 (1970)

222 (1984)

435
+ 48,9 %
76
Northern Kayapo
1962
3600
+ 45,5 %
77
Kayuvava
75
40
- 46,6 %
78
Kofan
690
1550
+ 55,4 %
79
Kokama/Kambeba
10000
20831
+ 51,9 %
80
Koreguaje
673
536
- 20 %
81
Kraho
519
1198
+ 56,6 %
82
Krikati
196
420
+ 53,3 %
83
Kulina
500 (little accurate data)
2500
?
84
Kuripako
see Baniwa
4814

85
Lamistas
15000
14000
- 6,6 %
86
Leko
80
200
+ 60 %
87
Machiguenga
7000
7000

*
88
Maku
1300 (little accurate data)
2327
+
89
Makurap
500 (little accurate data)
1023
+
90
Makushi
7000
15132
+ 53,7 %
91
Mapoyo
?
76
?
92
Marubo
450
594
+ 24,4 %
93
Maxineri
150
336
+ 55,3 %
94
Mayoruna/Matis
1700
2422
+ 29,8 %
95
Moré
150
350
+ 57,1 %
96
Morunahua/Mastanahua
see Yaminawa
250

97
Moseten
see Chimane
1200

98
Movima
1500
2000
+ 25 %
99
Moxo
10000
30000
+ 66,6 %
100
Munduruku
1400
4632
+ 69,7 %
101
Mura
1300
1600
+ 18,7 %
102
Mura-Pirahã
150
152

*
103
Nambikwara
800
972
+ 17,6 %
104
Nomachiguenga
?
3000
?
105
Nukini (Remo)
see Kapanahua
350

106
Okaina
300
300

*
107
Orejone
190
300
+ 36,6 %
108
Pakaa-Nova
500
1196
+ 58,1 %
109
Pakaguara
50
9
- 82 %
110
Palikur
600
1145
+ 47,5 %
111
Panare
1750
2379
+ 26,4 %
112
Parakanã
350 +/- (1972)
steady decrease
372 before
+

recent increase

113
Pareci/Irantxe/Myky
450
888
+ 49,3 %
114
Parintintin
90
103
+ 12,6 %
115
Parquenahua
see Yaminawa
200

116
Patamona (Kapon)
1000
1675
+ 40,29 %
117
Paumari
250
421
+ 40,6 %
118
Paunaka
120
170
+ 29,4 %
119
Pauserna
30
30

*
120
Pemon
5600
12200
+ 54 %
121
Piapoko
1500+/-
2331
+ 35,6 %
122
Piaroa
4000
12500
+ 68 %
123
Piro
1700
2000
+ 15 %
124
Pisabo
see Kapanahua
200

125
Poturuyar
uncontacted
133
?
126
Poyanawa
see Kapanahua
300

127
Puinave
1250
4643
+ 73 %
128
Pukobyé
?
354
?
129
Quechua
(Canelo, Quixo)
22000
22000

*

130
Reyesanos
400
1200
+ 66,6 %
131
Rikbaktsa
300
555
+ 45,9 %
132
Saliba
766
1000
+ 23,4 %
133
Sanema
2000 (1970)
1700 (1980)
2365
+ 28,1 %
134
Satere-Maue
2000
4710
+ 57,5 %
135
Shapra
see Kandoshi
1000

136
Sharanawa/Marinawa
2000
1250
- 37,5 %
137
Shavante
1660
5201
+ 68 %
138
Shawanawa
see Yaminawa
330

139
Sherente
260
850
+ 69,4 %
140
Shipaia-Kuruaya
130 (little accurate data)
609
+
141
Shipibo
14000
20000
+ 30 %
142
Shuar
18000
30000
+ 40 %
143
Siona/Sekoya
550
770
+ 28,5 %
144
Siriono
500
1000
+ 50 %
145
Surui
44
134
+ 67,1 %
146
Takana
3000
5000
+ 40 %
147
Tanimuka
200
376
+ 46,8 %
148
Tapirape
100
210
+ 52,3 %
149
Tembe
260
880
+ 70,4 %
150
Tenharim
250

steady decrease

264

before

+

recent increase

151
Tikuna
22000
25637
+ 14,1 %
152
Tiriyo/Akulio/ Kachuyana
1240
1753
+ 29,2 %
153
Tukano
13125
27000
+ 51,3 %
154
Tunebo
1076
2389
+ 55 %
155
Txikão
60
146
+ 58,90 %
156
Umutina
200
191
- 4,7 %
157
Urarina
600 (1925)
2700
+
158
Urubu-Ka'apor
480
500
+ 4 %
159
Urueuwauwau
uncontacted
1200
?
160
Waimiri-Atroari
600
505
- 15,8 %
161
Waiwai
700
1400
+ 50 %
162
Waorani
600
750
+ 20 %
163
Wapishana
7200
13467
+ 46,5 %
164
Warao
11700
19573
+ 40,2 %
165
Warekena
see Baniwa
316

166
Wayana/Apalai
560
1102
+ 49,1 %
167
Wayãpi
410
850
+ 51,7 %
168
Witoto
3271
7000
+ 53,2 %
169
Xinguanos
743
1513
+ 50,8 %
170
Yabarana
64
155
+ 58,7 %
171
Yagua
3000
3500
+ 14,2 %
172
Yamamadi
890
1500
+ 40,6 %
173
Yaminawa
+ 5 sub-groups
2000
2643
+ 24,3 %
174
Yanomami (a)
13000
19627
+ 33,7 %
175
Yaruro
3000
3859
+ 22,2 %
176
Yawanawa/ Kamanawa
see Yaminawa
460

177
Yekwana
2500
3308
+ 24,4 %
178
Yukuna
500
1322
+ 62,1 %
179
Yuqui
uncontacted
250
?
180
Yurakaré
1700
3000
+ 43,3 %
181
Zaparo
?
150
?
182
Zuruaha
uncontacted
125
?
(a)The increase conceals several facts : the 1970 census was probably an underestimation because of the amount of uncontacted groups at the time. In Venezuela, the population has on the whole increased over the last 20 years, data which does not include the 1500 people who died in Brazil between 1987 and 1992 ; these deaths were due to diseases, physical violence and the destruction of the environment due to the various invasions of gold-seekers (Albert B., Libération, Thursday, March 1st 1993).

Table 5, diagrams1,1A and 2 show the demographic evolution since 1970

Diagram 2 : Present demographic trends

At present, there is a population increase for 87 % of the 182 known ethnic groups in Greater Amazonia.

1970 was chosen as a starting point because of the high quality of the data available during this period (KIETZMAN, 1967 ; Situación del Indigéna en America del Sur, 1971 ; RIBEIRO, 1979) but also because this was a turning point for many populations : the processes of population decrease or stagnant demography were reversed. There is little precise research on this particular topic for all the different groups, but what there is shows that this can now be said to be a general trend. A good socio-political context is definitely not a factor behind this new trend, nor can it be a good general status of these populations' natural environments ; even health care cannot be included as a factor since it is far from being provided on a regular or generalized basis. Along with several doctors (Drs E. BOIS and A. FRIBOURG-BLANC, pers. comm.), one may wonder if we are not faced with the acquisition of resistance to imported diseases. This theory is partly confirmed by the fact that the most spectacular increases are seen among populations that have intensive contacts with the outside world (e.g. the Apinayé with a 70 % increase ; the Munduruku, + 69 % ; or the Shavante, + 68 %). For some of the larger ethnic groups, the evolution is less spectacular : this could conceivably be explained by the fact that the data provided by censuses is difficult to appraise and population figures in 1970 were overestimations ; another factor is that these groups are often in contact with the outside world, to a greater or lesser extent, and have been so for a long time ; with each generation they loose a few individuals who join the anonymous crowd of mestizos (e.g. the Tikuna, + 14 %). On the other hand, some populations maintain a strong cultural cohesion in an environment in relative good state, and yet, population increase seems slower than elsewhere, which might suggest voluntary birth regulation (e.g. the Harakmbet, + 9,11 % ; the Siona/Sekoya, + 28,5 % ; or the Yekwarna, + 24,4 %).

There are very few populations that are gradually disappearing, (6 % of the total population). As far as the smaller groups are concerned, they are condemned, for all intent and purposes (e.g. the Pakaguara, - 82 % ; or the Karijona, - 33,3 %). Where the groups are somewhat larger, the present situation is probably only a transition period which a healthy policy in favour of indigenous peoples could no doubt reverse (e.g. the Koreguaje, - 20 %, who have just been granted their own territory ; or the Sharanawa/Marinawa, - 37,5 %).

[9] The extreme case being a comparison between Sponsel (1992), who provides the figure of 450 000 native American Indians for Columbian Amazonia, and our own data which only adds up to 80 431.

[10] Most uncontacted ethnic groups have not been included.

[11] Some ethnic groups live on the borders between several countries and therefore the total number of ethnic groups does not correspond to the sum of ethnic groups of each country.

[12] To enable comparisons with 1970 demographic data, 1990 figures in bold indicate a total of several populations.


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