Andoke is a Colombian indigenous group that have an independent linguistic family, they call themselves poosíoho , “La Gente del Hacha” . There are some settlements in Peru.


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  • 1 Location
  • 2 Population
  • 3 History
  • 4 Language
  • 5 Economy
  • 6 Sources


They are located in the Araracuara region , Caño Aduche , very close to the banks of the middle Caquetá River , south of the Colombian Amazon. There are some settlements in the Peruvian region of the Ampi-Yacu river .


The population decimated by the effects of rubber exploitation that occurred in past decades. Of the almost 10,000 inhabitants that existed, now there are only records of 597 people.


They traditionally occupied a wide territory that extended from the Monochoa stream, above the Araracuara stream to the Quinche stream, both tributaries of the Caquetá River. They were divided into relatively autonomous lineages comprising more than 10,000 people; each lineage lived in a maloka, the epicenter of the group’s social, spatial, and ceremonial life.

Ethnohistoric evidences speak of extensive exchange networks between the groups of the region that inhabited different environments. The Andoque provided stone axes, dug in their territory in the framework of complex rituals that placed this activity in an important place within their worldview and ethnic identity . The scarcity of stone in the area as well as access to these tools gave the group a privileged position for exchange.

Expeditions of conquest and colonization of the territory in century XVII , Portuguese and Franciscans in charge of Spanish produced major changes in the Amazon territory, the cycle of “the cauchería” at the beginning of the century XX , became the most significant milestone in its history, generating profound transformations and adaptations in its cultural life.

As a result of this activity, not only did most of the population disappear, but also metal instruments and merchandise were massively introduced, new economic systems were adopted, and different models of authority were promoted.

After the ethnocide, the forced transfers of the population to the Ampi-Yacu River and the dismantling of society, the few survivors began a complex process of ethnic reconstruction that is still in force today. Under this framework, once the time of the Arana house and the Colombian-Peruvian conflict ended , the members of each lineage built new malokas , formed exogamous and patrilocal units with their own name and, as a demographic strategy, integrated people from other ethnic groups . Its economic activity continued to be the extraction of rubber, incorporating the figure of the patron within its socio-political and cosmological organization.

Historically, the Andoque and other groups in the region (Nonuya | noyunas]] and Muinanes ) have been affected by the different processes of colonization, expansion of the agricultural frontier and extraction of natural resources, including cocoa , cinchona and rubber. . Likewise, the recent insertion of the region into the market economy system has shaped the cultural dynamics of the ethnic group and its territory.


The language of the Andoque is considered independent, although some have classified it as a member of the Bora-Witoto language family . It can be said that it registers typological similarities with the linguistic families of the region (Arawak, Bora, Tukano) and loanwords from Witoto words, but no systematic correspondence with any of them has been proven.


The subsistence of the Andoques is based on itinerant agriculture. They open chagras every three years and then abandon them to allow the forest to remain. They use the slash and burn system . The man is in charge of felling, while the women are in charge of burning, sowing, caring for the chagra and harvesting. The main crops are bitter cassava (dɨhakopi), chontaduro (noêpa), plantain, yam, pumpkin, pineapple and chili. In the same farm there could be between 8 and 15 different cultivated species.

Hunting and fishing are a fundamental complement to the diet, although now they are practiced with acquired instruments, such as shotguns, metal hooks and synthetic threads. They continue to manufacture baskets and other vegetable fiber tools, such as hammocks and sebucanes to squeeze the yucca. In addition, they mine rubber (tekamə) for sale.


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