Ayoreo , a Colombian indigenous population that has agriculture as its fundamental economic base.


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  • 1 Language
    • 1 Terms
  • 2 History
  • 3 Development of the territory
    • 1 General data
    • 2 Demographic situation
    • 3 Social Organization
    • 4 Land and Territory
  • 4 Features
    • 1 Environment
    • 2 Natural Resources
  • 5 Social Development
    • 1 Religion and Mythology
    • 2 Health
  • 6 Economic development
  • 7 Source
  • 8 Related link


Language: They retain monolingualism, native superior to bilingualism with Spanish, their language does not have the construction of their alphabet.

Terms of Service

Some Terms in Ayoreo

  • Chieftain, Chief Acide
  • God Dupade
  • Mother date
  • Son Dupadivi
  • Numitu Earth
  • Cubayudie Animals
  • Come on jico
  • Niome tomorrow


The first contact with the Spanish dates back to 1537, when Juan Ayolas entered the Chaco region. Then there were non-peaceful contacts with the incursions of Ñuflo de Chávez (1546), Irala (1547) and again with Ñuflo Chávez (1559).

Between 1691 and 1724 the Jesuits made difficult contacts with the Ayoreos, who were reluctant to form a mission, only some were incorporated into a Chiquitana Mission . Father Juan Bautista Zea worked on making contact and attempts at sedentarization between 1711 and 1724: on that date Father Achá managed to bring together several Zamuco clans and found the first Mission with Ayoreos, which was San Ignacio de los Zamucos (1724-1745 ).

During the past century the contact of the national society with the Ayoreos was sporadic and painful. During the Chaco war , the Ayoreos, like the Guaraní Ava and Izoceño, were at the center of the conflict, having to abandon their territories, because the armies of both sides occupied the sites of water and salt that were their sources. of traditional use; the Ayoreo fled to the mountains and entered the lands of the Chiquitano, sometimes establishing a coexistence.

Only at the beginning of the 1940s some Catholic priests returned to contact with the Ayoreos; it was a time when a war broke out between Ayoreos from the north and south. From 1947 there was a more permanent contact with North American missions of the Tobité Mission , a task that unfortunately cost the lives of three of them who died by arrows in 1943. In 1950 the Rincón del Tigre settlement was founded, that same year The South American Mission was introduced among the Ayoreos of Zapocó and in 1957 in Santa Teresita .

Development of the territory

General data

  • Total Population: 1701 inhabitants
  • Ecoregion: Amazon
  • Department: Santa Cruz
  • Province: Germán Busch, Chiquitos and
  • Municipality: Various
  • Community: Zapocó, Poza verde, Puesto Paz, Guidai Ichai, Santa Teresita, Tobita, Urucú, Motacú, Rincón del Tigre, Belen.
  • Language family: Zamuco
  • Main activity: Agriculture and Harvesting
  • Products: Corn, Rice, Yuca, Banana and fruits
  • Access Roads: Land, Rail and Air

Demographic situation

The French naturalist D ‘Orbigny ( 1884 ) indicates that there were about 1,250 acculturated mosquitoes, without being able to calculate the dispersed ones in the jungle. In 1994, the population registered by CIRTB was 856 people. Currently the Ayoreo population is 1701, with a positive population growth rate. The Ayoreo migrate to survive, in search of temporary jobs to the city of Santa Cruz and / or to other communities.

Social organization

The basic organization of the Ayoreos, due to acculturation, tends to the individualism of the nuclear family, although the extended matrilocal family (hogasui) is still in force, in which authority is exercised by a head of the family (asuté).

The current type of settlement is the sedentary in dispersed nuclei, formerly combining the type of isolated itinerant settlements with the intra-ethnic sedentary.

Land and Territory

The Ayoreo have access to differentiated environments, the Chaco, the neighboring humid region of the Pantanal, and the pre-Amazon area of ​​the Chiquitana jungle. The Ayorea communities that currently have some land obtained it under the efforts of the New Tribes and South American missions, and also the Vicariate of Chiquitos. Those that have property titles, in different states of legalization are: Poza Verde, Post of Peace and Urucú, all lands with title are in the name of the missions or the Vicariate.

Within the framework of the INRA Law, Ayoreos have been endowed with Community Lands of Origin in four communities: Zapocó, Rincón del Tigre, Santa Teresita and Tobité, the same ones that are currently titled and demarcated.



Habitat: The Ayoreos inhabit the Bolivian Northern Chaco, the Paraguayan and Argentine Boreal Chaco and the transition zone from the Chaco to the jungles and plains of the Amazon basin in Chiquitanía. Environmental Problems: The exploitation of oil wells, the exploitation of semi-precious stones, indiscriminate hunting, the extraction of timber wealth from its forests, cause serious ecological damage to the Ayoreo environment.
In Bolivia they are located in the Germán Bush, Ñuflo de Chávez and Chiquitos Provinces of the department of Santa Cruz, in the Communities of Zapocó, Poza Verde, Puesto Paz, Guidai Ichai, Santa Teresita, Tobité, Urucú, Motacú, Rincón del Tigre, Bethlehem (Santiago de Chiquitos).

Natural resources

Oil wells and semi-precious stones (La Gaiba) are exploited on their lands and the timber wealth is extracted from their forests. It is also an area with growing agricultural activity.

Social development

Religion and mythology

Traditionally the Ayoreo, had a wide mythology and their own religious festivals, related to their beliefs in certain birds as tutelary deities; their cosmic movement moved in a complex and highly structured constellation of symbolic systems, an ideological culture that contrasted with the scarcity of material in which they lived and the state of tribal nomadism. Shamanism was the centralizing force of the clan, parallel to the role of the decasuté; now it no longer exists and it is Christianity that has prevailed.


Some communities have health posts

Economic development

The Ayoreo’s main economic activity is agriculture, generally for self-consumption, which in some cases is used for barter or sale, the main crops are corn, rice, yucca, banana, squash and beans. From the perspective of this indigenous people, the ownership of the land is collective, but the usufruct or benefit is individual: each family cultivates a small farm or they do it between two or three related families. The usufruct of lands in a communal way occurs when foreign institutions intervene with cooperative projects. Agricultural activity is combined at certain times, with the sale of labor and the extraction of wood (individual or communal sale to third parties, becoming eventual subsistence activities for the Ayoreo.

Hunting is a complementary activity, it does not have the boom of previous times, because it depends on the location of the community in the mountains or the pampas. This is due to the increasing presence of outsiders who not only scare the animals away but also carry out indiscriminate hunting.

On the other hand, in recent years the artisan activity has gained importance among groups of women who weave bags of different sizes based on vegetable fibers. They are made with colorful designs and this work is considered today, in another source of obtaining economic resources.

Commercialized Products: Corn, cassava, banana, pumpkin, beans.


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