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Motilone Bari

The Motilone, or Bari are names of a Native American ethnic group, part of the Chibcha family, remnants of the Tairona Culture concentrated in northeastern Colombia and western Venezuela in the Catatumbo River basin, in the Colombian Department of Northern Santander in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. They have been the subject of the French ethnologist Robert Jaulin's attention, who redefined the concept of ethnocide by observing their particular fate.

Although the Bari and Yukpa peoples are commonly referred to as "Motilones," this is not how they refer to themselves. "Motilones" means "shaved heads" in Spanish, and is how Spanish-speaking Colombians refer to them.

In the 1500s, Alonso de Ojeda of Spain sailed to Colombia and discovered the Maricaibo Basin. The Spaniards believed that the area's frequent lightning strikes turned stone into gold, and so they began settling the region extensively. The Motilones fought the Spaniards back from their territory, defeating five royal expeditions sent to pacify the Indians. It was the Spaniards who first named the Bari "Motilones," or "people of the short hair."

Related websites


Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle

Bruce Olson: Missionary or American Colonizer?

The Jungle is Still His Home

Bari language and links related to the Bari tribe

Joshua Project's statistics about the Bari people

Photographs, music, and information about the Bari, at a site maintained by Bruce Olson

Article about the Motilone people's struggle against oil companies in Colombia

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

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