Life Habits of Ethnic Groups
According to reports collected and transmitted by the missionary historian Felipe Salvador Gilij, Jesuit, existed in the region now occupied by the State of Amazonas, Aboriginal groups or nations noted below, information is that it suffers from some flaws, referring to the spelling of the names:
Acarianas - Achirigotos - Abacaevas - Arecunas - Arinagotos - Arnocofos - meek Caribbean - Caribbean sullen - Cacaguayes - Caranacos - Cuyabas - Guaharivasblancos - Guayuncomos - Guarinagotos - Macomas - Macusis - Macurotos - Maranónis - Majanaos - Mejepures - Naturayos - Ocomesianas - Paraguanas - Paravenes - Paudacotos - Puipuitenes - Parugotos - Tarumas - Yajurúues - Yures.
They were people of strong constitution, although some appeared weak, as would be the Sáliva, for example. Color a little more up the inhabitants of the savannahs and banks in large rivers, were lighter-skinned inhabitants of the mountains of the East and South. His kind of life did not allow fat guys. In general with all hairless bodies and thick and straight hair. They used tear eyebrows as a sign of beauty and it showed no gray hair in older people, which also were not very numerous. As for his height, not very high in these Amazonian tribes, but their bodies were in extreme agile noticing that his feet were like in their hands, tremendous skill, being able to think that the toes were also comprehensible, not taking to stoop to grab things and lift them from the ground.
Some tribes of little rebellious character, were by nature peaceful, others like the famous Caribbean, brave, courageous and indomitable warriors. Although the earliest chroniclers of cannibals falsely branded, coming to describe and draw them eating human flesh, long ago this was dismissed by wrong, though after much controversy.
Were always completely naked, but some used a small piece of cotton or bark tissue as guayuco plant or loincloth, adorning different parts of body, wore bracelets made from animal skins and feathers, bracelets and anklets made with human hair remember, is pierced ears, nose and lips to traverse stick, bones, feathers, of various calibers. Necklaces with snail and oyster shells, clay beads, bone and beads, also used as seed ornaments sarrapia, cucurito, yagua and even hard wings of beetles, which are tied to the neck and arms with some fragrant roots which for they had special properties. They used many varied ornaments with feathers and bright colors, preparing them crowns of exquisite taste. With teeth and nails hunted animals (tigers, lions, eagles, armadillos, caimans, sloths, bears, etc..), Manufactured necklaces, crowns, wrist or ankle, big collars used them as Pectoral ruzados X shaped hanging sideways neck and shoulder.
The lack of clothing was replaced by its colorful body painting, with achiote paste and oil or other vegetable dyes and even minerals (clays), painted in red, purple, white, yellow, black, depending on the occasion and the subject, having different meanings both color and the rare figures that are so artistically adorned the body. For this sometimes used some stamps made of wood or clay, flat or cylindrical, now called pintaderas.
Regulate size holes drilled in the earlobes, stretching for insertarles wooden discs. Some Caribbean nations sharpened teeth, putting sharp as barbs or needles, or piranha teeth.
The music had to be very beautiful and varied, the most used musical instruments were made with rods and hollow tubes of various shapes and forms, such as pan flutes with 6 tubes, small reed whistles with 6 notes, others with large bass , as well as wood and seed rattles a large conch-bodyguard. Instruments were also animal bones and clay, only records that have been found in archaeological sites; between stands clay pot used as a sounding board, with two holes in the top and side, facing each other ( male and female), which were introduced by the two dicks that were played. Inseparable Companions of whistles and flutes sound was the rattle. Some Caribbean nations used rumbling drums made of wood and leather or wooden hammers single, large size with very powerful sound that could be heard at a great distance. With these tools and the accompaniments of song and dance, great feasts were held, which lasted several days and it seems that some ended in bloody fights.
The reasons for the dances were many: crops, funerals, wars, trips or visits, etc. atmospheric phenomena.; Varied these dances as motivation or as the peoples who practiced, but usually had many common details. Perhaps today our tastes "refined", our ears and our eyes dazzled by the progress we would not understand any of that naive natural force that prevails in their celebrations of their wonderful melodies, their harmonious songs or their spectacular choreographies.
They would only be written many pages on this experiential aspect of our ancestors, studying and analyzing up detailing their songs, each of their representative musical instruments and their interpretation, the various events where the dance unfolds, the dates they are made, the meanings of his paintings, his totem, to the names that distinguish each dance according to their meanings. Both in its musical notes and in their dancing figures, would be symbolized bird songs or sounds or movements of animals mammals. Parties that were manifestation of various rites. In some ritual dances were excluded women, on pain of death.
For these festive ceremonies there were always fermented beverages of flour mainly cassava tubers or sweet potato. But also manufactured with corn, sweet potatoes or bananas ripe and very shredded cooked, food and refreshing drinks. Each Aboriginal nation had its unique drink, although with few varieties in materials and manufacturing methods used. These drinks were stored in large clay pots or wooden canoes made chosen for this purpose. His predilection was wild honey.
With this manioc flour or "cativía" which would be grated cassava dough and squeezed it dry, also manufactured equivalent to our native American bread, which would be the current cassava, of great importance for those Aboriginal food. Furthermore, this cassava shredded and macerated, fermented beverages manufactured.
And speaking of harvesting for food, were gathering large amounts of wild fruits pineapples, mapuey yams, roots, as well as insects, snails, crabs, and as for the supplied meats are hunting and fishing, by methods very resourceful.
They made pots with clay; were famous weavers, as elaborated with plant fibers very beautiful craftsmanship.
Among the most useful and important artifacts woven fabric tube was very strong and flexible mass that squeezed grated cassava happened to our indigenous contemporaries. With sebucán name is known in Venezuela.
Some towns were distinguished as warriors little attached to their land and were more sedentary, the latter developed a craft that although it was for domestic use, its manufacturers also served to trade with other peoples, were based operation of bazaars , barter, since it failed to have knowledge of the currency. These peaceful nations, and they could do sedentary and rustic planting crops, compared to current conucos. Their tools were mainly polished stone axes or sticks very hard with sharp points used as hoes burned to open holes. No definite news has reached us that you used the fire to burn the vegetation that would lie with these agricultural purposes, at least on Amazon.
The Orinoco, Cassiquiare and Black River were arterial roads for movement of people who almost always warred with each other. Because of the constant fighting and displacement many Aboriginal nations disappeared without a trace, knowing their existence only by the stories and traditions that came to the early Spanish chroniclers.
In his bouts used heavy batons of various shapes and sizes, made of very hard wood. Bows and arrows, these tips sometimes deadly poisoned by curare, like the subtle darts from blowguns also used light spears javelins way, with fire-hardened sharp points. The most fearsome warriors appointed as were the many Caribbean nations, of which certain ethnic branches lived near some rivers of Amazonas. Although there were no other people who went to Caribbean history as well as brave and courageous, because they knew how bravely defend heroic, their lands and their natural freedom.
It is important to note that when the conquistadors and settlers inquired further on cults and religious beliefs of the various aboriginal peoples of the New World, the most enlightened of them were amazed at the revelation of healthy and wise belief, almost all these people worshiped a Supreme Being or God, but under different names, to whom he attributed the creations of their respective universes and towns, author of all good. Parallel to this God was for them who feared negative element and in turn attributed malicious, with all the misfortunes and calamities that happened in their lives, also reflected in his other mythologies series of secondary deities. Coincided almost all attributed these beliefs in the existence of an immortal body that still more when they died, comparable with our soul separated from the body that was to be a place to receive the reward or punishment, as his earthly. Explaining this vaguely Amazonian peoples add that shared these same beliefs. One of the things that have caused most admired is know that among the most common mystical stories of these peoples with different languages, is that of a great flood that destroyed their villages.