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The Zapara (or Zaparos) are a tribe of South American Indians indigenous to the Amazon jungle that straddles the border of Ecuador and Peru. They once occupied some 12,000 mi between the Napo River and the Pastaza. Early in the 20th century, there were some 200,000 Zapara.

Their numbers dwindled precipitously to the point where there are fewer than 300 remaining and only a handful who speak their native language. Most speak Quichua, some speak a patois of Kichwa and Zaparo. The oldest surviving Zapara is a woman, about 70 years old, Ana Maria Santi. She refuses to drink alcoholic chicha or to eat spider monkey meat, which most Zapara now hunt and eat because they can get no other meat. To Ana Maria, this seems cannibalistic. "When we are down to eating our ancestors, what is left?" She and her family live in the hamlet of on the river,home to some forty people, about a seventh of what remains of their nation.

Related websites

The Oral Heritage and Cultural Manifestations of the Zapara People.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Zapara

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