Añú : indigenous population of Arawak linguistic affiliation, descendants of the indigenous people that Alonso de Ojeda and Américo Vespucccontacted when their ships entered Lake Maracaibo in 1499. Vespucci marveled at seeing their characteristic palafitic ranches and exclaimed the phrase with historical consequences: ” We find a town built on water like Venice. ” Alfinger visited his rancherías in 1529 and called them “onoto” for his custom of painting his body


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  • 1 Description
  • 2
    • 1 Territories occupied by the Añú
  • 3 Population
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Culture
  • 6 Housing
  • 7 Sources


The Añú are also known as the paraujano, a designation that the Wayúu gave them. Paraujano is a compound term that according to specialists means “people from the sea coast”. However, most identify themselves as Añú, “people from here”, although the use of the term lagoon is also widely used to refer to people from the lagoon. The Añú are the second largest indigenous community in Venezuela.

The Añú, like the Wayúu, belong to the Arawak linguistic family. Johannes Wilbert , in the book Los aborigines de Venezuela, assures that the Añú are a separate group and not a subgroup of the Wayuu; arguing that there are indications that allow to indicate that the two languages ​​separated at least twenty centuries ago. Although they live in the same region and share some cultural characteristics, these two original peoples are autonomous.


Territories occupied by the Añú

This community is geographically located in Venezuela: in the Municipality of Páez , Mara , Almirante Padilla (Isla de Toas) and Maracaibo . From the State of Zulia. In the Páez Municipality they are settled in Sinamaica; in “the Sectors: El Barro, La Boquita, Las Parcelas, Nuevo Mundo, Boca de Caño, Caño Morita, La ponchera, El Cañito and Zanzíbar. In the same way, they are located in San Rafael de El Moján of the Mara Municipality, in the Sectors: Nazareth, El Guacuco, Indio Mara and Las Lomas. As for the Almirante Padilla Municipality, they are located in: Isla de Toas, Isla de Maraca, Isla de Zapara, Isla de San Carlos and Isla de Sabaneta. Similarly, they are in the Maracaibo Municipality, located in Santa Rosa de Agua.


The 2001 census carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics located 11,205 people, 3,854 of whom were in traditional communities (especially in La Laguna de Sinamaica) and 7,351 in urban communities. However, experts from the University of Zulia …


The economy of the Añú, is through the sustenance of the fishery, main source of the economic sustenance of the family. This work is done by men and is passed down from father to son. Another source of income is obtained by the woman by cutting the cattail, and then weaving it. From this work the family gets very little. One of the activities of Añu is hunting wild birds such as yaguaza, hemp and crow, earwig, etc.


The Añu culture has promoted the activity of the Marishy (enea) weaving, to make the mats that are used as the wall and ceiling of the stilt houses. Also to make different aesthetic accessories such as baskets, animal figures, etc. This work is manual and is only carried out by Añú women. In the same way, the work with mangrove wood, which is used for the construction of tapinas (palafitos), anoa (canoes), and aneishy (paddles). This is the function performed by the Añú men.

living place

The Añú house is a tradition that has remained until today; This house is built of mangrove wood and mats; made of cattail, built on the water about two meters above it. This type of house is also called palafito, because it is built on watertight or piles.


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