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Baniwa Culture and History

As a complement to our Baniwa language information, here is our collection of indexed links about the Baniwa tribe and their society.

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The emphasis of these pages is on Baniwas and other American Indians as living people with a present and a future as well as a past. Baniwa history is interesting and important, but the Baniwa Indians are still here today, too, and we try to feature modern writers as well as traditional folklore, contemporary art as well as museum pieces, and issues and struggles of today as well as the tragedies of yesterday.

Our Baniwa Websites

Baniwa Language:
    Information and language learning materials from the Baniwa Indian language.

Books for sale on the Baniwa Indians
Our organization earns a commission from any book you buy through these links

Cosmos, Self, and History in Baniwa Religion: For Those Unborn:
    Interesting book about the Baniwa Indian mythology and worldview.
Mysteries of the Jaguar Shamans of the Northwest Amazon:
    Biography of the last living jaguar-shaman among the Brazilian Baniwas.
Comparative Arawakan Histories: Rethinking Language Family and Culture Area in Amazonia:
    Anthropology book on the Baniwa and other Arawakan tribes of the Amazon.
Native American Books:
    Evolving list of books about Native Americans in general.

Baniwa Culture and History

The Baniwa and their Neighbors * Northwestern Brazil Language Map: * Indios de Venezuela y Colombia:
    Maps showing the location of Baniwa territory in South America.
Indigenous Peoples of the Içana River:
    Online ethnography of the Kuripako and Baniwa peoples.
    Articles on the history, culture, religion and lifestyle of the Baniwa and Curripaco Indians.
Orinoco Online: Baniwa:
    Cultural traditions of the Baniwa, with photographs of Baniwa artifacts.
Maloca: The Big House of the Amazon:
    Essay about Amazonian longhouses of the type used by Baniwa villages, with photos.
The women behind the Baniwa jiquitaia pepper farms * Community Crop: Baniwa Jiquitaia peppers * Pimenta Baniwa:
    Articles about a traditional Baniwa chili plant now offering the tribe a sustainable source of income.
How To Live A Good Life:
    Interview with tribal leader Andre Baniwa about education, economic development, and cultural change.
Baniwa of the Aiary and Içana Collection:
    Database of Baniwa oral history including stories, audio recordings and photos. Mostly in Portuguese.
Baniwa Artifacts:
    Online museum exhibit with photos of Baniwa bows and arrows, tools, and a ceremonial rattle.

Baniwa Religion and Legends

The Powers of the Sacred: Portals, Shamans and Amazonian Spirits * Baniwa Religion and Expressive Culture:
    History and Religion of the Baniwa:
    Information about traditional Baniwa religion.
The Kuwai Religions of the Northern Arawak:
    Interesting study of the similar shamanic traditions of the Baniwa and other Arawakan tribal groups,
    including sacred flutes or trumpets, whip ceremonies, death rituals, and myths of the upper world.
Between the Cross and the Pleiades:
    Article about the eradication of native Baniwa shamanism by Christian missionaries.
Sacred Flutes and the Baniwa Cultural Revival:
    A Baniwa community hoping to reclaim their legacy by reviving the tradition of shamanic flute performance.
Musical Body of the Universe: An Amazonian cosmology:
    Anthropology paper on the meaning of music in the Hohodene Baniwa religion and culture.
Assault Sorcery of the Amazon:
    Essay about traditional belief in dark magic among the Baniwa and other Amazonian societies.

Baniwa Arts

Arte Baniwa:
    An indigenous Baniwa cooperative selling traditional baskets, jiquitaia pepper powder, and other products.
    (The page is in Portuguese, but Google Translate can get you close enough to buy yourself a basket, like so!)
Life and Soul: Denilson Baniwa * Ritual Masks for a World in Crisis:
    Contemporary Baniwa artist relating Amazonian mask and artwork traditions to the modern era.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

  Wikipedia: Baniwa of Içana:
  Encyclopedia articles on the Baniwa Indians.
  Tribo Baniwa * Historia dos indios baniwa * Os baníuas:
  Information about the Baniwas in Portuguese.
  La Etnia Baniwa En Venezuela * Grupo Indigena Baniva:
  Information about the Baniwas in Spanish.

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