The natural place to begin: the ethnoprimatology of the Waorani.
Bottom Line: Although there is some evidence that the Waorani consider primates a unique group, the non-primate kinkajou and olingo are also included as part of the group "monkeys," and no evidence was found that primates were more important than other mammals to Waorani culture.These results have implications for both ethnoprimatologists and those working with local communities towards broader conservation goals.Firstly, researchers should ensure that they and local communities are referring to the same animals when they use broad terms such as "monkey," and secondly the results caution ethnoprimatologists against imposing western taxonomic groups on indigenous peoples, rather than allowing them to define themselves which species are important.
Affiliation: Division of Ecology and Evolution, Imperial College, Ascot, United Kingdom; Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.Show MeSH
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Mentions: The homeland of the Waorani is in Amazonian Ecuador, bounded to the north by the Napo River, and by the Curaray and Vilano Rivers to the south [Fig. 1, Cabodevilla, 1994]. This area is now part of Yasuní National Park and Waorani Territory, and the Waorani people have collection rights for all above ground resources [Finer et al., 2009], though it is illegal for these resources to be transported and sold outside the park. Traditionally, the Waorani were hunter-gatherer-farmers, growing a small number of cultivars in cleared forest, collecting wild plants, and hunting mostly large monkeys and peccaries [Rival, 2002]. Since first western contact in 1950, some Waorani have moved to permanent settlements, often centered on a school. Currently, there are around 2000 Waorani living in approximately 38 small scattered villages, and small groups scattered throughout the forest, pursuing more traditional ways of life [Beckerman et al., 2009; Finer et al., 2009; Lu, 2001]. Some communities living within Yasuní National Park and related to the Waorani (the Tagaeri and Taromenane) have refused all western contact. These communities pursue entirely traditional lifestyles [Finer et al., 2009], excepting limited integration of some western material goods, such as using plastic tape (found in abandoned oil facilities) on traditional spears [Proaño García & Colleoni, 2008].
Affiliation: Division of Ecology and Evolution, Imperial College, Ascot, United Kingdom; Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.